These are the best tech launches of 2022

2022 has seen a slew of tech gadgets—from brand new devices to updated versions of familiar devices—but these are the best of the best.

2022 is coming to a close, which means tech fanatics are past the days of slew of product debuts each fall. More new devices are coming in the first quarter of 2023, but for the most part, companies have exhausted their stockpile of new and refreshed products to be released. But the year is approaching, which technology products stand out? Almost every major tech company has a product announcement for 2022, and there's a wide variety, but some stand out more than others.

Having covered the many products, services and features for 2022 and provided reviews of some of these categories, Screen Rant can share the best products released this year. Longstanding product categories like smartphones and laptops have seen major upgrades from various manufacturers, while newer product categories like smartwatches and earbuds have also seen major revisions and new launches. Streaming continues to dominate as the preferred medium for content consumption, with the famous streaming stick getting a boost in 2022. While some technology-based services shut down this year, others pushed ahead and dominated the market.

Best Smartphone: Pixel 7 Pro

Google's Pixel 7 Pro, the company's latest Pixel lineup, which happens to be the cheapest major flagship smartphone to be released in 2022. Compared with offerings from Apple and Google — the iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,199 — the Pixel 7 Pro’s $899 starting price is very affordable. Plus, like most smartphones in 2022, trade-in deals and carrier promotions can bring the cost down to nearly $0 for eligible customers.

After testing Pixel 7 Pro, Galaxy Z Fold 4, and iPhone 14 Pro in 2022, it's clear that Pixel 7 Pro is smartphone users' favorite smartphone for everyday use. Most flagship smartphones are thick and uncomfortable in the hand — the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max's squared-off edges are the worst problem — but the Pixel 7 Pro's curved design language makes it the smallest 6.7-inch display yet Screen. Design aside, Google's latest Android 13 software is the perfect blend of ease of use and customizability. As far as the camera system goes, Google's reputation in this department speaks for itself.

Honorable Mentions: iPhone 14 Pro, Galaxy Z Fold 4, Pixel 7

Best Smartwatch: Apple Watch Ultra

Apple tries to make a rugged, fitness-focused smartwatch to beef it up Lineup with Apple Watch Ultra. It didn't quite hit that mark in its first year, as the Apple Watch Ultra outperformed existing and proven Garmin fitness trackers. But in trying to make a solid and powerful fitness tool, Apple ended up creating the best smartwatch on the market.

One of the big issues with the Apple Watch Ultra is the design. The 49mm Apple Watch Ultra isn't a smartwatch worth buying unless you're looking for an oversized watch that's solid and loud. But for those who are comfortable wearing a watch of this size, the Apple Watch Ultra excels when it comes to screen quality, brightness, and advanced fitness metrics. Perhaps the biggest increase is an improvement in battery life — the Apple Watch Ultra can last between 36 and 60 hours on a single charge with Low Power Mode enabled.

Honorable Mention: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Garmin Fenix ​​7

Best Earbuds: AirPods Pro 2

The average user may not be able to tell the second-generation AirPods apart from the original 2019 model, but that doesn't mean the new model isn't without key improvements. Under the hood, the AirPods The Pro 2 features enhanced drivers for a better sound experience with improved noise cancellation and Transparency mode. Since those who purchased AirPods Pro when they were first released may experience reduced sound quality and poor battery life, now is the perfect time to upgrade.

But the most impactful upgrade to the AirPods Pro 2 is the earbud case. It has a metal lanyard loop on the side so it can be securely attached to your bag or worn on your wrist. The AirPods Pro case now has a speaker for charging and pairing chimes, essentially acting as an AirTag. Through the Find My app, users can play a sound to locate their AirPods or case and view the location on a map. In a useful move for MagSafe Duo owners, AirPods Pro can now be charged using the Apple Watch charging stand.

Honorable Mention: Beats Fit Pro

Best Laptop: M2 MacBook Air

Apple switched its most popular consumer laptop - the MacBook Air - to Apple Silicon two years ago. The MacBook Air is one of the first 2020 models to feature the M1 chip, but This laptop retains the exact same form factor as the older Intel MacBooks Air. In 2022, a completely redesigned M2 MacBook Air is released, completing the product transition to Apple Silicon.

At only $200 more than the M1 MacBook Air, the M2 MacBook Air is sure to be the first choice for the average Mac user. It features a sleek and modern design, tailor-made for the M2 SoC. Since most apps now support Apple Silicon natively, compatibility is no longer an issue like it was on the M1 device.

Honorable Mention: Dell XPS 13 Plus

Best Streaming Stick: Chromecast with Google TV

There are plenty of capable streaming sticks on the market, but the Chromecast with Google TV stands out for its value for money. For those looking for a high-quality streaming stick, the Chromecast in 4K with Google TV retails for $49.99. This year, Google has an HD model that costs just $29.99.

Chromecast with Google TV enables users to stream content, cast media from their smartphones to their TVs, and control their smart home at a fraction of the price. It uses intuitive software and pairs with the voice-enabled remote packaged Google Assistant. for Quickly access frequently used apps with custom buttons to launch Netflix and YouTube with a single press.

Best Subscription Service: Xbox Game Pass

In a year in which some streaming services debuted, others reached new heights, and others were shut down, Xbox's Game Pass solidified its market dominance. People had subscribed to Xbox Live for years before Xbox Game Pass became an option, allowing them to connect with friends and play games, but Game Pass was a better deal. With a single subscription for $14.99 per month, users can get Xbox Live benefits, among other perks.

Cloud gaming has never been more popular, with portable devices like the Steam Deck and Logitech G Cloud gaining market share, and Xbox's Game Pass being the default pairing for these products. That's especially true now, as Google Stadia shuts down in September 2022, forcing the service's small but fervent fanbase to seek other options.

Looking Ahead To 2023

Most product launches do happen every fall, but that doesn't mean there aren't great tech to look forward to. Apple is reportedly dropping new Macs with the latest Apple Silicon chips in early 2023, while the Mac Pro is expected product category. Until then, though, tech fans can look forward to CES 2023, where the next generation of smartphones, laptops, smart home devices, and other cool gadgets will debut.

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