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Marketing departments at tech brands have officially reached peak ego (we hope). Everything is Innovation, Ideation, and Products That Will Change the Way We as Humans Live. Truthfully, though, most new releases are just minor upgrades to old products, looking for a new round of buzz. At times, those little alterations can make a difference, but honestly, we’re in it for the big launches. The actual cool shit. The shit we haven’t seen before.

Welcome to the 2023 Gadget Awards. Our editors spent another year testing every new release across tech, wellness, and smart-home accessories to definitively tell you what’s worth your money. This year, the standouts included everything from forward-thinking TVs, big smartphone upgrades (iPhone had a good year for once), Therabody’s venture into the wellness space, and even a sofa with built-in subwoofers.

These are items that we have since incorporated into our daily lives and welcomed into our homes, with plans to use them for the foreseeable future. Here are all new and award-worthy products—the stuff you should spend your money on, be it for yourself or as a gift for someone you love this season.


a blue and yellow life vest


Best Non-Apple Smartphone

Galaxy Z Flip5

As far as Samsung is concerned, foldables are the future of smartphones. Whether folding vertically like the Flip5 (we call it hamburger) or horizontally like the Fold5 (hotdog) will be more popular remains to be seen. We’re putting our money on hamburger—smaller phones with more convenient old-school features. We love the Flip5, and the fact that Samsung is fully at the cutting edge of the foldable market. The camera is great, the features are great, and while it might not be the number one phone in the US, we see it majorly taking over international markets.

Best Apple Phone

iPhone 15 Pro

Typically the new Apple releases aren’t that groundbreaking. Unless it’s about a totally new product like the Vision Pro. But, this year’s iPhone 15 Pro (we say skip the Pro Max, too gigantic) is one of the best releases from Apple in recent memory. With an eye on the explosion of mobile gaming, Apple’s flagship A17 Pro chipset is capable of running massive AAA titles. For non-gamers, it’ll have everything look better while running smoother and faster. Maybe next year, it will get a new look, but for now, the tech is impressing us just enough to name it our Apple favorite.

Best Laptop

MacBook Air 15-Inch with M2 Chip

MacBook Air 15-Inch with M2 Chip

A bigger, faster MacBook Air has been requested and rumored for a long, long time. Apple finally caved to the pressure with this year’s 15-inch Air. With the M2 chipset running the show, it functions like the more powerful MacBook Pro, but it’s half the price. Only graphic designers or videographers need a big MacBook pro. This finally fills the gap between the two models. The release did bridge the gap between with personal and professional computing systems, for once, it now feels like there’s an affordable and accessible model that can do both.

Best Smartwatch

Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2, is, quite simply, the best rugged smartwatch out there whether you’re going to use its altimeter, dive functions, or Backtrack function on trails. It’s all about that robust, titanium case, large screen, and 36 hour battery life. There are even a few innovative features that normal folks can enjoy. There’s Double Tap where you tap your index and thumb finger twice on your watch hand instead of tapping the screen with your other hand–it’s like magic. And the screen is now 50 percent brighter, so you can see it in harsh sunlight conditions, or it acts as a better supplemental light when taking food photos in dark environments.

Best Health Tracker


Smart watches can be stressful AF. Checking emails, texts, the time… You never really disconnect. NOWATCH is the complete opposite. If you’re looking for a more wellness based device (that doesn’t even tell you the time), here’s your answer. A health tracker that monitors your heart rate, steps, HRV, breath rate, and most importantly: Your stress. It doesn’t stop at telling you what your stress status is, but it works with you and your stats to create a more healthy lifestyle, even sending you small vibrations when necessary to reduce stress. Plus, it’s aesthetically pleasing, which is what gives this a leg up over other screen-free and ring devices.

Best Camera


We tested a bunch of cameras this year, and beating out other long-awaited Leica models (the Q3 and the M11 Monochrom) already shows how highly we think of the SOFORT 2. It’s a digital point and shoot that lets you print out your favorite pictures from the camera, or your phone, with a polaroid-style printer. It’s a great digital-first camera with a lovely analog touch.

Best Tablet

Tab Ultra C

We still can’t believe The Tab Ultra C—a 10.3 inch tablet from an obscure electronic reader company—exists. It’s a full-fledged E Ink computer that runs on Android software, works with bluetooth keyboards, comes with a stylus, and somehow, the screen is full color. It does everything from handwritten notes to light computer work. Read our full review here.

Best New Personal Device

On Sale

Zone Headphones

Dyson Zone Headphones

Now 21% Off

Look, these might be headphones but, despite their ability to emit great sound, these aren’t about the tunes. These are about the ability to surprise. Who knew Dyson was going to go in this direction next? Not us, but after reviewing them, we loved them and understand that devices like this might well be a window in our future. Breathe clean air, listen to what you want, what’s not to love?

Best Handheld Gaming Device

Edge and Kishi V2 Pro Controller

Razer Edge and Kishi V2 Pro Controller

When it comes to personal gaming devices, Razer came through. Look, is it the revolution Razer promised? No. But is it a huge step in mobile gaming? Yes, absolutely. The AMOLED screen is lovely, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip is—despite some minor rollout scandal—powerful enough to run big titles. It’s a great handheld entry, and a canary for how big the handheld industry will become. Read our full review here.




Best Smart Sofa

Sactional + StealthTech

Lovesac Sactional + StealthTech

You’re wondering, how can a sofa be a gadget? Lovesac figured it out this year. With built in speakers, it’s a fully immersive TV and movie-watching experience. The subwoofer satellite systems looked like fancy Star Trek spacecraft technology that are neatly hidden underneath the couch cushions, but otherwise, this sectional looks totally normal. A feat! You can sync it to your TV, and whoa. Every background footstep echoes, every musical drop is emphasized by the bass, and it’s all happening right where you’re watching from.

Best Vacuum

Bespoke Jet AI

Samsung Bespoke Jet AI

Now 20% Off

Maybe you don’t care what your vacuum looks like. But maybe you just don’t have this new Samsung number yet in your space. This thing looks damn good. It’s also good at what it does. The suction is incredible. The smart tech recognizes your floor type to auto adjust power, and the dustbin auto empties into the clean station. It’s a big step for Samsung’s vacuum systems, putting it high amongst the ranks in this category.

Best Air Purifier

Big + Quiet

The Dyson Big+Quiet has what might seem like a random name, but it’s a very accurate one. The device is larger than all other Dyson purifiers and fans (but it being on wheels helps the mobility of it) and the size simply just showcases how powerful this thing is. It’s made to purify small classrooms and office spaces with multiple people around it. But if you have it in your house, it pumps so much fresh air, you will notice a huge difference. And let’s not forget the most important part: It’s quiet. Honestly, this is the only Dyson purifier on the market we would suggest, it’s that good.

Best Espresso Machine

La Specialista Arte Evo

De’Longhi La Specialista Arte Evo

The DeLonghi La Specialista is a long-time Esquire favorite espresso machine. But this upgraded, cold-brew ready version? We’re all in. Outside of now being able to extract a cold espresso pull (rather than putting fresh espresso on ice), the best part of the new machine is the tamping setup. On the Arte Evo, the casino-style tamping station is replaced with a classic tamping setup and a guide to help do it perfectly.

Best Drip Coffee Machine


As with everything this Japanese design company puts out, its new single-cup pour-over coffeemaker is gorgeous to look at. But it also makes a damn fine cup of coffee. The Brew heats your water up to nearly boiling, then showers it over your ground beans in four precise temperature increments. Why is this important? Don’t know, don’t care. All we can tell you is that in five minutes, a gentle jingling tone from the Brew indicates that your cup is ready, and it’ll be the best cup you’ve had in a while.

Best Electric Kettle


You know that sleek, long spout kettle all over Instagram? This one is better than that. Finally, a rival worthy of buying. It has twice the capacity space for water, so you can now finally make tea for more than one-and-a-half people, the temperature system is smart, and honestly, it looks really fucking cool on the countertop.

Best Coffee Grinder

The Key

You’ll spend tens of thousands on coffee gear in hopes of extracting The Perfect Espresso Shot, but no piece of equipment gets you closer to Java Nirvana than The Key MK2 Grinder. The second version of Weber’s impressive Key grinder, the MK 2 has 50 percent more torque, a magnetic dust lid, and a 40 gram hopper. Most critical: Beans are fed into the burrs at a more even rate resulting in uniform grind consistency, clearer notes, and a velvety finish.

Best Printer

Smart Tank 5101

Look, a printer might feel like a boring option, but this one is the one to buy if you’re in the market. HP has always made the best models, and this is a pure showcase of that. It prints, scans, makes copies… It’s wireless and honestly has almost no footprint in comparison to what’s come before. Wether you’re running an at-home business or your home is your office, it will become your handy assistant.


background pattern


Best TV Innovation

98-Inch QLED 4K

Samsung 98-Inch QLED 4K

Now 13% Off

TV makers are betting big on a big-screen future—and this is the new standard bearer. Samsung’s new QLED 4K offering is paper thin, and it looks stunning. You won’t find anything as attractive or capable under $10,000 for this size. We promise.

Best Portable TV

StanbyME Go

For an even more forward thinking option than a bigger and thinner screen is LG’s StanbyMe Go—a full touchscreen TV with sound system in a suitcase. Yes. This one blew our mind so much it took a month to determine the when and where of using it. Our verdict: the park, back deck, fire escape, or anywhere you can carry it, really. For now, it’s the Esquire office’s latest obsession, and we all agree, it’s fucking cool. This is the future of TVs. One day, this might be small enough to fit in a real everyday breifcase.

Best Long-Throw Projector

C1 4K

Yeah, there were some great TV launches this year, but our hot take is that projectors are the new TVs. These smart enabled devices come with Hulu and Max already set up. Put it on a table, point it at your wall (the screen automatically adjusts to your space) and use the remote to sign into all your accounts. It’s that easy to use, and if you don’t want a giant screen in your home, this is the way to go. As far as long-throw projectors (the ones you place across the room) this is the best one we tested all year. The 4K picture is large and bright, truly making you forget you’re watching something cinema-style at home.

Best Short-Throw Projector

Cine 1

Okay, but when it comes to the king of all projectors in 2023, nobody did it like Leica. It by far has the cleanest, clearest picture (even in the daytime, a frequent projector problem) of anything we’ve ever seen. Plus, the short-throw allows you to place it in front of your wall and simply enjoy. Plus, the sound is loud, clear, and feels like movie-theater surround-sound, you won’t even need to connect it to speakers (but you have the ability too). The price tag is steep, it’s undeniable. But if you splurge on the best of the best, this is it.

Best Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e

Bowers & Wilkins is a sound-obsessed British company mostly known for outfitting the sound equipment in the world famous Abbey Road Studios. Now looking to take stake in the consumer market, B&W is making the best sounding, most luxurious wireless headphones we’ve used… And they’re $150 cheaper than a pair of AirPods Max. Looks- and sound-wise, they don’t disappoint, and we would buy these over anything else on the market.

Best Earbuds for Running


Looking out for cars, bikes, and general unruliness, while outside is important for urban runners. Earbuds with noise-cancellation aren’t always ideal, and Shokz is a smart alternative. They hover outside of your ears and shoot music and podcasts into your eardrums, while also keeping them completely open so you can hear everything around you at the same time. The sound quality is miraculously clear with adequate bass. They might not be for the plane, but they’re great when you want to be tuned into the world.

Best Portable Speaker

Move 2

Sonos never misses with their speakers, but this one is a cut above. One midwoofer, two tweeters and three amps deliver massive stereo sound, and proprietary Trueplay software uses the Move’s microphones to sense the dimensions and acoustics of the space where you’re using it and maximize your listening experience. It’s substantial in size for a Bluetooth speaker, but still easily portable, and its 24-hour battery life blows your tinier options out of the water. Whether you use it on your own or link it with a houseful of Sonos speaker, it delivers crisp sound no matter how loud you turn it up. Ask my neighbors.

Most Stylish Speaker

Beosound A5

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5

Everyone knows speakers are about sound; but Bang & Olufsen knows they’re about sound and looks. Never has that been on better display than with this year’s Beosound A5, a portable speaker made to live wherever you feel like blasting your favorite tunes. Made with sleek walnut wood it will blend right in with your decor, or spruce up any on-the-go setup. A huge selling point: B&O parts can be replaced and upgraded over time, making their products truly built to last. If sustainability and style are your top priorities, be prepared to own this until the end of time.


a closeup of a water bottle


Best Solar Generator


You might look at this hulking hunk of plastic scattered with LEDs, outlets, and USB ports and say, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a giant battery.” You’d be right! But it’s also one of the most useful devices you can have in extreme conditions. Earlier this year it helped one of our editors in an extreme camping condition (ok it was Burning Man). The Anker charged quickly via solar panels (juicing up 80 percent) during daylight hours. Even when the weather went wild covering the device in a layer of dust and, later, several inches of torrential rain, the Anker kept delivering power uninterrupted.

Best Bluetooth Speaker


One of the most future-oriented products on this list, Urbanista’s Malibu speaker charges by light. You mean solar power? Yes, but better. Direct sunshine is quickest, but this thing also gets a charge from indirect sunlight and even the indoor lighting in your home or office. Expect to see a lot of brands adopt this tech in the coming years, but remember Urbanista was ahead of the curve… Oh, and yeah, it’s also a kickass little bluetooth speaker.

Best Cooler

Tempo Performance Cooler

Oyster Tempo Performance Cooler

This cooler doesn’t need ice. Seriously. The insulation tech is so good that it only requires two internal ice packs to keep contents cold all day. The cooler purists can still use ice and just admire the classic stainless steel look, which stands out in today’s sea of colorful rotomold.

Best E-Bike

Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS

TREK Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS

In any bikeable major city, e-bikes have already taken over. But TREK is leading the push to get e-bikes into the great outdoors. We got to test this top-of-the-line Fuel EXe and feel certain, whether you’re new to mountain biking or just want something to do the climbing for you, the entire Fuel EXe series will change the way you think about ripping up a single track.

Best Backyard Gadget

Mesa Torch

There are a lot of ways you can bring your backyard into the tech world these days: Outdoor speakers, weather-proof TVs, but us, we love these Torches from Solo Stove. The brand known for its bestselling pizza ovens brought us a little extra fire for the ambiance this year, and they’re the perfect way to set the mood while keeping some warmth around. Our next backyard pizza night will be well lit for sure.

Best On-Trail Gadget


Traditional ear buds are dangerous to wear in most action sports, but Aleck Punks are the solution. With the near ear wireless audio, you can safely listen to music and stay connected with your group without sacrificing situational awareness. Punks easily mount up to any open face helmets to keep you connected with your crew—whether you’re mountain biking, climbing, horse back riding, etc.—allowing communication for those important split second decisions on the trail. With unlimited range group comms, ABS reinforced construction, and IP65 rating, they’re the perfect accessory to an adventure.




Best Home Gym Setup


For a lot of people, building a home gym is literal rocket science. What do I need? What am I supposed to do? Tempo takes out all the guess work. It’s got all the weights you need packed in a handsome little cabinet. But, the real innovation is that it pairs with your wearable to tell you what workout to do, when to do it, and how to recover. It’s a full-service personal trainer and home setup in one.

Best Body Temp Reader

CORE sensor

Heat training sounds like crazy sports science reserved for .01% top athletes, but it’s really straightforward. Your body temperature is the best indicator of when you’re going to feel wasted. So, you progressively train your body to perform in those higher heat zones. Over time (skipping a lot of science here), your body learns how to cool more efficiently, and on race day you barely break a sweat. CORE’s sensor takes this tech to the masses with an easy-to-follow personalized program that will have you running a lot cooler and a lot longer within a matter of weeks.

Best Light Face Mask

TheraFace Mask

Therabody now goes beyond just massage guns. This year, they debuted an excellent, tech-redefining LED mask. It used to be that you to had to sit completely still with your eyes closed like a loser while you soaked up those LED rays. But the TheraFace has protective eye shields, so you can do your skincare routine while watching TV, cooking, or cleaning. The red light, infrared, and blue light modes can do it all, from making you look younger to evening skin tone to fighting acne.

Best Massage Gun Upgrade

Hypervolt Heated Head Attachment

Hypervolt Heated Head Attachment

Now 40% Off

And for more innovations in the massage gun world… After hitting a bit of a plateau, the whole space is being revived with the introduction of heated attachments. Every company is adding heat to its arsenal, but Hyperice has done it in our favorite way: An affordable attachment that works with any new or old models, and even most other massage guns. If you already have a device, this is the attachment worth adding to your collection for some relaxing recovery.

Best Device for People With Knee Pain

Motive Knee

Well, now that we’re onto massage guns, it’s worth noting that there’s a huge misconception that they can help people in pain. Instead, more advanced gadgets from brands like Motive are made to target certain areas of the body (like the knee) and injuries even more. We tested this one someone who had a handful of knee surgeries and they were blown away that after a 30 minute session, they did in fact, feel relief. It’s even FDA-cleared and medically backed to help those who need it get some long-lasting improvement.

Most Fun Way to Workout

Boxbollen Original

Look, hear us out. This might not be the most advanced gadget, but that’s what we love most about it: The simplicity. After trying it, we think everyone should buy this little foam ball, strap it to their head, and start working out like you’re Mike Tyson. On the app you can track your progress and even play with users around the world. Even if you have no intentions of boxing, this little thing does wonders for your hand-eye coordination, and it’s fucking fun to use, track your stats, and get you a little bit shiftier.

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