BestReviews’ 20 award-winning products at CES
LAS VEGAS -- At BestReviews, we're on a never-ending quest to find the best products available to consumers just like you. That's why we went to CES, the world's largest conference for consumer electronics and tech products, to find all of the items on the cutting edge of advancement that you will find useful in making daily life simpler, easier, and more efficient.
We've given awards to the makers of the 20 best products we found at CES. We're excited about all of the prospective benefits they can offer consumers and believe they'll make a significant impact when they hit the market.
We selected the products for these awards by weighing how helpful they'll be for the typical user, how innovative they'll be in their space, and how transcendent they are above their competition. In the cases where our favorite products aren't yet available or won't be viable for a few more years, we've included suggestions for items that will have a similar effect while you wait for the award-winning model to become a widespread reality.
Best Take Anywhere Product
Lenovo 700 Ultraportable Bluetooth Speaker
If you love the simplicity of playing music from your phone, but hate hearing the sound that comes from its subpar speakers, this product is for you. At just 11 millimeters, it's the thinnest portable speaker we've seen. It's also splashproof, so you can take it with you on a rainy camping trip, use it in the bathroom (such as on a shower ledge) or near the pool without worrying about ruining your investment.
Expected release date and price: April 2019, $150
Best Home Security Tech
A lot of video doorbells debuted last year, and they are now a common household fixture, but Ring still remains at the top of the pack. With its clear video recording, live stream, and ability to speak through the speaker no matter where you are, it's a great addition to your home, especially if you're a renter who wants extra security without breaking management's rules, as you can install it in place of a peephole (but you have one to use this device, period). It lets you monitor the delivery of packages and will warn you about any suspicious visitors with ease. The voice feature actually lets you speak to someone at your door, whether that's just a friendly hello, instructions for where to put a package, or tell a stranger to get lost. Plus, it has lifetime theft protection - should someone steal your Ring, the manufacturer will send you a new one.
Best Personal Wellness Tech
Ever wish you could know exactly what was healthiest for you to eat every time you're hungry? The Lumen tells you what nutrients you need - and it's as simple as breathing in a tube. Keep the handheld device with you, and when hunger strikes, breathe into it and it will break down what kind of food (carbohydrates, protein, etc.) will help your metabolism the most at that moment. It's technology usually reserved for world-class athletes, but later this year everyone can get it.
Expected release date and price: August 2019, $249-$299.
Most Fun Food Tech
This is like a Keurig for beer drinkers, in a modern stainless steel design. You insert one of five types of beer capsules into the top, close it, and the machine makes you a pint of beer. And, yes, it tastes good. We think you will love it for both its taste and its convenience. We appreciate that it reduces packaging waste if you go through lots of bottles or cans, and that you can use it anywhere with a power outlet.
Expected release date and price: Later this year - no pricing information yet.
Alternative option: Pico Pico Brew
Best Home Workout Tech
As a workout, boxing has gained a significant amount of popularity in recent years. People love it (the huge line of people watching the demos and waiting for a turn to try it proves that) because it's challenging, intense, and provides results, physically and mentally. The issue is that it's been reserved to gyms, which are generally expensive, inconvenient, and intimidating for beginners. FightCamp brings that experience home. Similar to how Pelaton made spin classes more accessible, FightCamp offers personalized workouts that are guided by online workout classes. The gloves you use report data back to the company so it knows how to best tailor your next workout. For $45 per month, it's much less than joining a boxing gym, and you'll never have to leave home for a great HIIT workout.
Expected release date and price: The full package (punch trackers, free standing bag, workout mat, boxing gloves, and wraps) is available now for $995.
Best Voice Tech
Google Interpreter Mode
Google took an impressive step forward in taking artificial intelligence from a science fiction fantasy to real-life practicality at CES, debuting its Interpreter Mode, which translates conversations in different languages in real time. A potential boon for those in the hospitality and healthcare industry, Interpreter Mode works with 27 languages and will be used through Google personal-assistant devices (like the Home).
Expected release date and price: No specifics released yet.
Best Skincare Tech
We had a private meeting with the Neutrogena team for a full demo of how the Neutrogena Skin 360(TM) personal skin analysis tool works, and the bottom line is that we are impressed. It fits comfortably in your hand, and you use it to scan on and under your skin's surface for a total skincare analysis that previously could only be done at the dermatologist. It tells you all about the condition of your skin, and most importantly what to do to improve it.
And the best part is that soon you can use this tool to make custom sheet masks specific for your face shape and skin concerns, and Neutrogena MaskiD(TM) which will be release this fall. Finally, a hydrogel sheet mask that not only fits your face perfectly (you take a 3D image of your face using the Skin360, then fill out a questionnaire about your skin concerns on all the main areas of your face, such as your forehead, eye area, chin, nose, and cheeks). You can get on the waitlist for it here.
Best Health Monitor Tech
Imagine being able to test your blood sugar levels without that painful prick of a needle. It's no longer a wish - a new tool will soon be available to the mass market that's totally uninvasive, so say goodbye to sore fingertips. To monitor your diabetes, you need to simply breathe into a wearable breathalyzer that looks like a watch to get an instant reading. Besides it being pain-free, we love that it no longer requires the tedious task of proper needle disposal and expensive supplies one needs to order often, and also that it's so portable.
Expected release date and price: Later this year - no specifics yet, but you can sign up to be a beta tester here.
Best New TV
LG OLED 8K TV
LG nailed it with this one. Just when people were starting to wonder how TVs could get any better, LG came through with a model that features 8K technology that will soon be available to American consumers.
It has a picture that is as accurate to what you'd see in real life as anything we've seen - making us imagine a future where watching movies and sports on TV is not much different than being there in person (and in a better seat). Blur is minimal, the processor is powerful, and the sound is almost as clear as the picture. It has a feature that makes voices clearer, so if you're watching a game, you might be able to hear a coach talking to their players.
And it wouldn't be a standout CES 2019 product if it didn't have some voice-assistant capabilities built into it. In addition to LG's typical built-in Google Assistant, this TV will also work with Alexa (so almost every voice-command device will be covered), and it will also feature Apple functions, so you can Airplay directly to the TV. Finally, it will have an on-TV dashboard that will make controlling all of your smart home devices even easier.
Expected release date and price: no specifics released yet.
Best Kitchen Tech
Heatworks Tetra Countertop Dishwasher
If you've ever lived in an apartment or home without a dishwasher then you know how inconvenient it can be to have to wash every single one of your dishes. But, dishwashers require a lot of water to function and they aren't the best appliances for the environment. The Heatworks Tetra Countertop Dishwasher solves both of these issues. This countertop-sized washer uses a small reservoir and precise temperature control to wash a load of dishes in just minutes. It doesn't require any plumbing, so you can easily unplug and move it with ease. The Tetra isn't available to customers yet, but you can sign up for updates on their website.
Best New Product for Parents
Owlet Qwlet Band Fetal Baby Monitor
Having a baby is a nerve-wracking experience. Between planning what your life will be like with an additional family member and acquiring all the things you need when the baby arrives, you also worry a lot about the health of your baby while it's in the womb. The Owlet Qwlet Band will give any mother greater peace of mind without having to go to the doctor more than scheduled - it tracks your baby's vitals before they're even born. The mother simply wears a comfortable band that is constructed to feel cozy, more like a fitness band than a medical device. And what the band tracks is incredible - heart rate, number of kicks, contractions, and more. It can even record your baby's heartbeats so you don't need a doctor's visit to listen. All of it is linked to a simple-to-use smartphone app. Sign up on Owlet's website to find out when the product is released.
Best Pet Tech
Mookkie Smart Pet Bowl
If your vet has put your dog or cat on a diet and needs you to monitor how much food they're getting, it's important to follow their rules to keep your furbaby going strong. But if you have multiple pets, it's nearly impossible to track who is eating what food, and how much. Or maybe you have a greedy dog who is notorious for stealing the other's meals. Meet Mookkie, the smart pet bowl. Mookkie uses facial recognition of your pets and only dispenses food when the face matches up to who needs to be fed. The whole product is designed so your cat or dog can easily chow down from any direction, and the bowl pops out for easy cleaning.
Expected release date and price: no specifics released yet.
Best Outdoor Speaker
Cylo Cannonball Waterproof Floatable Speaker
We love this innovative speaker that not only has great sound and is compact and easily portable, you can literally throw into a swimming pool, ocean, or other body of water without any ill effects. They are totally wireless, so you can pair two together for a "surround sound" experience at your next pool or hot tub party. They light up in bright colors, which is nice at night, and their Bluetooth range is 100 feet. Our favorite feature is their incredible durability, making them useful speakers you can use anywhere, land or water, and they can hold up to rough handling long-term.
Expected release date and price: March 2019, $49.99 for the basic model or $79.99 for the Cannonball Max.
Best Cooking Tech
KitchenAid Smart Display
We've been impressed by the KitchenAid brand for a long time, and so we weren't surprised to be wowed by several new smart kitchen appliances they debuted at CES, including their new SmartOven+. But the real winner is the Smart Display, a Google Assistant-powered kitchen helper that displays and reads out recipes step-by-step, prepares your shopping list, and serves as a main smart home control for other connected devices.
It will be especially useful for home cooks who often leave a tornado-like mess around as they cook and can't possibly flip through cookbook pages or mess up their smart device screens, possibly messing it up beyond needing a simple wipe-down. It is also IPX-5 rated to withstand splashes of water without damage. KitchenAid partnered with the Yummly app to help you make the specific recipes you and your family love, taking into account any dietary restrictions. You can also enjoy listening to music or watching TV on the 10-inch Smart Display, making your kitchen a more fun gathering place.
Expected release date and price: No specific date, but expected during the second half of 2019, priced between $200-$300.
Best Audio Tech
Phonak Audeo Marvel Hearing Aids
There are hundreds of hearing aids on the market, with most that you can buy in stores actually being sound amplification devices, that simply make noises around you a bit louder. So, those with significant hearing impairment usually need the real deal, and even then many are lacking on many levels (and definitely not cheap).
Phonak Audéo Marvel can connect to smartphones, Bluetooth phones, TV, and other devices for a rich listening experience. Another great feature is that some models are rechargeable, saving you money on batteries (a common annoyance for many hearing aid users).
Alternative option: LifeEar Hearing Amplifier
Best Auto Tech
Moshi Snapto Magnetic Car Mount
If you are in your car a lot and tired of fumbling with cords, the Moshi Snapto Magnetic Car Mount (two models, one with wireless charging, one without) will be a godsend. It combines two products that are a staple for anyone trying to make extra money by driving for rideshare - the dashboard mount and phone charger.
Put a Moshi case on your phone, and it will magnetically affix to the mount on your dashboard. That will also start the charging process. It's smooth in practice and can simplify the experience for frequent drivers. The only catch: So far it's only designed for use with iPhones.
Expected release date and price: mid-April, $30 or $60 for the model with wireless charging.
Best Phone Case
Otterbox Otter + Pop phone cases
Otterbox has become synonymous with some of the most protective phone cases available, but they aren't commonly regarded as the most stylish. They are making a push to change that with the debut of the Otter + Pop cases thanks to a partnership with Popsockets.
The case features the typical indestructible design of Otterbox, but slimmed down and available in three cool colors. It comes with a matching Popsocket but you can remove it and replace it with one of the thousands of other designs available, or make your own. The Otter + Pop isn't available yet, so if you can't wait to get a phone case then we suggest checking out the Otterbox Defender. It'll keep your phone safe from tall drops and heavy dust.
Best New Product for Kids
Parents of the 21st century are all faced with the decision of how much technology they should give their kids access to. Fortunately, there are now many kid-friendly versions of the tech that adults use every day.
The Coolpad Dyno is a smartwatch for kids and has all the features they need and none that parents would want to avoid. It has a built-in GPS that can link to an app on a parent's smartphone to keep an eye on children's whereabouts. It also offers step tracking and kids can use it to make calls and texts, but only to pre-approved contacts.
If parents are especially worried about where their kids are, they can set up a "Safe Zone" - the watch's app will notify them when it goes outside of the Safe Zone. It's also really cute with a more sleek, upscale appearance than we've seen in other kids' smartwatches.
Expected release date and price: January 28; $149 on the Dyno website, and can be purchased from more retailers later this year.
Best New Laptop
Huawei Matebook 13
If you want a brand new Apple laptop but can't afford it, this is a possibly better and a lower-priced alternative. The main appeal is a very slim, sleek, light laptop with very high performance (something small and thin laptops often can't handle). It is 6% smaller than the newest MacBook Air, yet it actually has a larger screen display thanks to minimal edging around it. You can choose between NVIDIA or Intel graphics. We love that the charger is compact (fits easily in your palm) and multipurpose, so you can charge mobile devices with it, too. It's also secure, with a fingerprint login.
Expected release date and price: Late January 2019, priced between $999-$1,299.
Best Need It Now Product
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1
Charging technology has come a long way since the early days of laptops and cellphones. Now you can charge your phone wirelessly, in your car, and using solar power. But laptop charging has lagged behind - until now. Anker debuted the PowerPort Atom, a charger that is smaller than the average sized phone charger and works with your computer. But it's not just great for computers, it also charges cell phones in fraction of the time. Get up to 50% of your battery in 30 minutes.
Expected release date and price: late January, $29.99.
Katie Reseburg is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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