Opinion: The best phone, TV, headphones, smartwatch and other tech of 2022

Newshub's best tech of 2022.
A lot of fantastic tech was released in 2022. Photo credit: supplied/various

OPINION: As 2022 draws to a close it's time to look back at the very best consumer tech releases of the year.

We've gotten innovative new gadgets and updated versions of old favourites pushing harder at the cutting edge of technology, delighting us with novelty and satisfying us with newfound conveniences.

We've also gotten incredibly frustrating disappointments, as we do every year.

I've reviewed and tested many tech products this year; some were good, some were bad, some were extraordinary.

But what were the most impressive releases of all? Here are my top picks.

Samsung galaxy z fold4.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. Photo credit: supplied

The best smartphone of 2022

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

Foldable phones are still a niche product, but the format increasingly seems like it's the future and Samsung has mastered it over the past few years. This year's version is thin, relatively light, has a practically invisible hinge and a super clever way of hiding its under-screen camera. It's hard to imagine how it'll be improved further, aside from the usual hardware bumps. As a multi-tasking device that is both a small tablet and an (almost) standard size smartphone, this remarkable handset was the most impressive phone of the year.

Runner-up: Apple iPhone 14 Pro / Pro Max

The gap between the Pro models and the standard iPhones got bigger than ever this year with loads of much better new stuff in the more expensive models. How great these devices deliver an always-on display, the cool new Dynamic Island, the car crash detection safety features, the 2000 nit peak brightness, the power of the A16 bionic chip - it all adds up to the finest iPhone model yet. Personally, I especially like the innovative Dynamic Island and am wondering if we'll see that emulated in other brands in 2023.

Honourable mention: Oppo Find X5 Pro


Sony A95K BRAVIA XR | MASTER Series | OLED | 4K Ultra HD | High Dynamic Range (HDR) | Smart TV (Google TV).
Sony A95K. Photo credit: supplied

The best TV of 2022

Winner: Sony A95K

This gives the best looking images I've ever seen on a 4K television. It delivers a truly phenomenal picture quality with its QD (Quantum Dot) OLED screen, with the pure black blacks you can expect from a standard OLED but also with way more brightness and colour volume. I've seen a lot of superb televisions this year, but I guess it's something about Sony's XR Cognitive Processor that gives this an edge with its absolutely exquisite image quality. It also offers a refresh rate of 120Hz with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) so it's perfect for ultra modern gaming, but it's the best-in-class picture quality that make this my number one.

Runner-up: Samsung QN900B

The flagship television from Samsung this year is a wonderfully gorgeous beast that also won my heart. It actually has a few advantages over the Sony model - including 8K support and four HDMI 2.1 ports instead of just two - but is ever so slightly less impressive with its image quality, to my eyes at least. It comes down to unmeasurable elements in the computer brains of TVs this good, I think, or maybe even personal preference - so go check them both out and make your own mind up, but both are incredible.

Honourable mention: LG C2 OLED evo

Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones.
Sony WH-1000XM5. Photo credit: supplied

The best headphones of 2022

Winner: Sony WH-1000XM5

Everybody has been singing Sony's praises when it comes to over-ear headphones for years now and for very good reason. They're amazing. This year's iteration has slightly better audio quality and noise-cancelling than the previous, with a much better battery life and a much more comfortable design. The earcups are bigger, which means there's less ear strain when I have these on for several hours straight, and the new 'soft fit' leather is particularly lovely to the touch. Yet again Sony has taken the best in the market and made it even better. I use these every day and love them.

Runner-up: Apple AirPods Pro 2

Apple's latest flagship set of earbuds are as good as earbuds have gotten so far, with noise-cancelling and audio quality that's kind of unbelievably good for in-ear headphones. I've tried more sets of earbuds over the past few years than probably any other sort of device and these are my all-round favourites for everyday use - especially as Apple finally added on-device volume control. They don't work as well if you don't have an iPhone or other Apple devices, but if you do, these should be a no-brainer.

Honourable mention: Sennheiser Momentum 4

Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Ultra. Photo credit: supplied

The best smartwatch of 2022

Winner: Apple Watch Ultra

Apple's smartwatches have always had advantages over other brands with their performance and just how well they integrate with other Apple products, and all those advantages have been carried over into the brand's first 'Ultra' model. Targeted at people who climb mountains, walk through deserts, explore the arctic, scuba dive and get way off the grid on their hikes, it's a niche, high-end product whose most exciting new features aren't relevant for most of us; but nonetheless I was blown away at how its innovation has evolved the smartwatch format.

Runner-up: Huawei Watch D

Again, it's innovation that really impresses me with consumer tech and this smartwatch being the first ever to be able to record blood pressure is truly ground-breaking. Huawei doesn't have the 'ecosystem' compatibility advantages of Apple and Samsung with its smartwatches but they do have the best battery life on the market and an always impressive suite of features. On top of the usual Huawei smartwatch benefits, the blood pressure reading capability of the D make it a gamechanger.

Honourable mention: Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro

Other bests:

Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse and MX Mechanical Keyboard

One of the biggest improvements I've made to my tech usage in the past few years is adding Logitech's peripherals to my laptop and desktop computers, both at home and at work. Honestly, I don't know how I managed without them now and these latest versions released in 2022 make any computer usage that much more comfortable and efficient.

Netgear's Orbi Quad-Band Wi-Fi 6E mesh system.
Orbi Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System. Photo credit: Newshub.

Orbi Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System

There's a shockingly large collection of devices connected to Wi-Fi at my house and it is only growing larger. This mesh system - which unlocks the power of Wi-Fi 6E along with a few other new tools - made the internet wickedly faster in every corner of my home, on every device at all times. It's awesome.

Samsung Odyssey Ark monitor.
Samsung Odyssey Ark. Photo credit: Newshub.

Samsung Odyssey Ark

If you're a PC gamer and want to spend an insane amount on an insanely good monitor, this is the one you want to get. It'll set you back the better part of $5000 but it features a wonderfully curved 55" ultra-high quality quantum mini LED 4K screen that is about as immersive as you can get.

Product shots of Apple TV 4K (2022), Chromecast with Google TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
Apple TV 4K (2022); Chromecast with Google TV 4K; Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Photo credit: supplied

Apple TV 4K (2022) / Chromecast with Google TV 4K / Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

OK this is a copout, but all three of these things released this year are fantastic for the same reason: Each of them does a wonderful job of vastly enhancing a basic projector or older TV. If you're subscribed to a few different streaming services and want to search across all of them, or want a wider range of apps than is likely available on your TV most likely presented in a better way, as well as a simpler remote and potentially better quality streaming - well, then one of these is a great, relatively cheap buy.

So which is best for you? I would recommend:

  • Apple: If you want to cast using Airplay, use Apple Fitness and Apple TV Plus, have a library of film and music connected to your Apple account, or to play games from the App Store and Apple Arcade (it supports Xbox and PlayStation controllers too).
  • Amazon: If you have other Alexa devices, want a cheaper and smaller device, to use Alexa for voice control, want to use (and have) Wi-Fi 6, or want support for all four HDR formats (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision).
  • Google: If you want to cast using Chromecast, use personalised YouTube a lot, use Google Photos, or want to use Google Assistant for voice control.

All three have a different user interface, too, so I'd recommend searching on YouTube for people demonstrating how each looks as that might push you one way or the other.

Daniel Rutledge is Newshub's verticals editor.

Newshub was supplied most of the devices listed in this article, along with several that were considered for it, during 2022 for review and testing purposes.