Skip to main content

Tom's Guide Awards 2021: All the big winners as they're announced

Tom's Guide Awards 2021
(Image credit: Future)

The Tom's Guide Awards for 2021 celebrates the very best products across a wide range of categories. After testing and reviewing hundreds of devices and services over the past year, we want to help you find the best things to buy and use. 

Here are all of the winners; if you go to the individual stories, you can read why we selected each of these products. 

Tom's Guide Awards: Hero awards

  • Breakthrough Award: Apple M1 chip
    Finalist: Starlink
  • Diversity in Tech Award: Samsung Solve for Tomorrow
    Finalists:
    HP PATH, Apple Human Interface Guidelines
  • Best Brand: AMD
    Finalist:
    Apple
  • Best of the Best Product: PS5
    Finalist:
    iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Best Innovation: Xbox Game Pass
    Finalist:
    Samsung Solar Cell Remote

See why these companies won Tom's Guide Awards 2021 for the best breakthroughs, brands, and products of the year.


Tom's Guide Awards: Phones and apps

Tom's Guide Awards 2021: Phones

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • Best Phone Overall: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
    Highly recommended:
    Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, OnePlus 9 Pro
  • Best Phone Value: Google Pixel 4a
    Highly recommended:
    Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, OnePlus Nord N200 5G
  • Best phone battery life: Motorola Moto G Power (2021)
    Highly recommended:
    Nubia RedMagic 6, Asus ROG Phone 5
  • Best phone design: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    Highly recommended
    : Apple iPhone 12, Oppo Find X3 Pro
  • Best foldable phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
    Highly recommended: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
  • World’s fastest phone: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
    Highly Recommended: OnePlus 9 Pro, Asus ROG Phone 5
  • Best camera phone: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
    Highly Recommended:
    Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Google Pixel 5
  • Fastest charging phone: OnePlus 9 Pro
    Highly Recommended: Asus ROG Phone 5, Oppo Find X3 Pro
  • Best iPhone app: Wakeout
    Highly Recommended: Endel, Drafts
  • Best Android app: Niagara Launcher
    Highly Recommended:
    Plexamp, Dolby On
  • Best wireless carrier: T-Mobile
    Highly Recommended: Visible, Mint Mobile

See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Award winners for phones


Tom's Guide Awards: Laptops and computers

Tom's Guide Awards 2021: Computing

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • Best laptop overall: Dell XPS 13 with OLED
    Highly Recommended: Apple MacBook Air with M1, Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360
  • Best laptop breakthrough: Apple M1 chip
    Highly Recommended:
    Asus ZenBook Duo 14’s second screen
  • Best laptop design: HP Spectre x360 14
    Highly Recommended:
    Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel, Razer Blade 14
  • Best budget laptop: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
    Highly Recommended:
    Acer Chromebook Spin 311
  • Best Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
    Highly Recommended:
    Acer Chromebook Spin 713, Lenovo Chromebook Duet
  • Best laptop display: Dell XPS 13 with OLED
    Highly Recommended:
    Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360
  • Best sounding laptop: 16-inch MacBook Pro
    Highly Recommended:
    Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
  • Longest lasting laptop: MacBook Pro with M1
    Highly Recommended:
    Samsung Galaxy Book Flex, MacBook Air with M1
  • Best mini PC: Apple Mac mini with M1
    Highly Recommended:
    Azulle Access3
  • Best all-in-one PC: 24-inch Apple iMac 2021
    Highly Recommended:
    Apple iMac 27-inch (2020)
  • Best tablet: 12.9-inch iPad Pro with M1
    Highly Recommended:
    Apple iPad Air (2020), ReMarkable 2

See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Awards winners for computing


Tom's Guide Awards: TVs and Streaming

TG Awards 2021

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • Best TV: Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV
    Highly Recommended: TCL 6-Series Roku TV R635
  • Best TV innovation: TCL QLED + Mini-LED
    Highly Recommended: Samsung Solar Cell remote control
  • Best TV sound: Samsung Object Tracking Sound Plus (OTS+) and Q-Symphony
    Highly Recommended: LG G1 OLED evo 4K TV
  • Best value TV: Vizio OLED TV
    Highly Recommended: TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535), Hisense U8G
  • Best smart TV platform: Google TV
    Highly Recommended: Samsung Tizen
  • Best TV design: LG G1 OLED TV
    Highly Recommended: Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV
  • Best gaming TV: Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV
    Highly Recommended: TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635)
  • Best streaming device: Chromecast with Google TV
    Highly Recommended: Roku Express 4K Plus
  • Best live tv streaming service: Sling TV
    Highly Recommended: YouTube TV
  • Best sports streaming service: Sling TV
    Highly Recommended: Fubo TV
  • Best streaming service for original programming: HBO Max
    Highly Recommended: Disney Plus
  • Best streaming service original show: WandaVision
    Highly Recommended: The Flight Attendant
  • Best streaming device interface: Apple tvOS 
    Highly Recommended: Roku OS
  • Best streaming device remote: Roku Voice Remote Pro
    Highly Recommended: Apple TV Remote
  • Best streaming app: Disney Plus
    Highly Recommended: Apple TV
  • Best free streaming service: Pluto TV
    Highly Recommended:
    Peacock


See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Awards winners for TV and streaming


Tom's Guide Awards: Audio

Tom's Guide Awards 2021: Audio

(Image credit: Sony)
  • Best headphones overall: Sony WH-1000XM4
    Highly Recommended: Bose 700
  • Best wireless earbuds: Jabra Elite 85t
    Highly Recommended: Master & Dynamic MW08, Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus
  • Best noise-cancelling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4
    Highly Recommended: Bose 700, Cleer Enduro ANC
  • Best sports headphones: JLab Epic Air Sport ANC
    Highly Recommended: Bose Sport Earbuds, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
  • Best over-ear headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4
    Highly Recommended: Cleer Enduro ANC, Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition
  • Most innovative headphones: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
    Highly Recommended: Earin A-3, Apple AirPods Max
  • Best headphones design: Apple AirPods Max
    Highly Recommended: Master & Dynamic MW08, Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition
  • Best headphones for battery life: Cleer Enduro ANC
    Highly Recommended: Urbanista Miami, JLab Epic Air Sport ANC
  • Best smart speaker for music: Google Nest Audio
    Highly Recommended: Sonos Roam, Amazon Echo (4th gen)
  • Best soundbar: Creative Stage V2
    Highly Recommended: JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam, Vizio M-Series M512a-H6


See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Awards winners for Audio


Tom's Guide Awards: Gaming

TG Awards: Gaming

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
  • Best console: Sony PS5
    Highly Recommended: Xbox Series X
  • Best PS5 game/Best Xbox Series X game: Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
    Highly Recommended: Demon's Souls, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  • Best PC game: Microsoft Flight Simulator
    Highly Recommended: Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Half-Life Alyx
  • Best Switch game: Hades
    Highly Recommended: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, The Origami King
  • Best mobile game: Genshin Impact
    Highly Recommended: Pascal’s Wager, Cozy Grove
  • Best game design: Final Fantasy VII Remake
    Highly Recommended: Astro’s Playroom, Returnal
  • Best story: Ghost of Tsushima
    Highly Recommended: The Last of Us Part II, Mass Effect Legendary Edition
  • Best graphics: Ori and the Will of the Wisps
    Highly Recommended: Star Wars: Squadrons, MLB The Show 21
  • Best characters: Yakuza: Like a Dragon
    Highly Recommended: Resident Evil Village, Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Best music/sound: Spider-Man: Miles Morales
    Highly Recommended: Doom Eternal, Persona 5 Royal
  • Most rewarding challenge: The Nioh Collection
    Highly Recommended: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Monster Hunter Rise
  • Best boss level: Khotun Khan (Ghost of Tsushima)
    Highly Recommended: Flamelurker (Demon’s Souls), Emperor Nefarious (Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart)
  • Best gaming laptop: Asus Zephyrus G14
    Highly Recommended: Alienware m15 R4, Razer Blade 15 Advanced
  • Best budget gaming laptop: Acer Nitro 5
    Highly Recommended: Dell G15, Lenovo Legion 5
  • Best gaming desktop: Corsair Vengeance i7200
    Highly Recommended: Dell XPS 8940, HP Omen 30L
  • Best gaming monitor: HP Omen 27i
    Highly Recommended: Dell S3220DGF, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2521H
  • Best VR headset: Oculus Quest 2
    Highly Recommended: Oculus Rift S, PlayStation VR
  • Best gaming chair: Secretlab Omega
    Highly Recommended: Razer Iskur, Mavix M7
  • Best gaming keyboard: Logitech G915 TKL
    Highly Recommended: Corsair K70 RGB TKL Champion Series, Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed
  • Best gaming mouse: Logitech G Pro X Superlight
    Highly Recommended:
    Razer Orochi V2, SteelSeries Rival 5


See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Awards winners for Gaming


Tom's Guide Awards: Smart Home

Google Nest Hello

(Image credit: Google)
  • Best video doorbell: Nest Hello
    Highly Recommended:
     Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
  • Best smart speaker not made by Amazon, Apple or Google: Sonos One
  • Best smart speaker for privacy: Apple HomePod mini
  • The one smart home device you absolutely need: Wemo WiFi Smart Plug
  • The most fun smart home device: Nanoleaf Elements
    Highly Recommended:
    Nixplay Smart Photo Frame
  • Smart home tech accessibility award: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
  • Top smart home company to watch: Wyze
  • Best smart home device for rentals: Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff
  • Best smart home device for home cooks: Chef IQ smart cooker
  • Best smart home display: Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
    Highly Recommended:
    Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
  • Best smart lights: Philips Hue 1600 lumen smart bulb
    Highly Recommended: Govee Lyra Floor Lamp
  • Best smart home device for beginners: Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (2nd Gen)
  • Best robot vacuum: Roborock S4 Max
    Highly Recommended: iLife V3s Pro, Roborock S7
  • Best smart lock: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
  • Best security camera: Wyze Cam v3
    Highly Recommended:
    Blink Outdoor, Arlo Ultra 2
  • Best DIY security system: Abode
  • Best smart home device under $50: Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen)

See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Awards winners for Smart Home


Tom's Guide Awards: Working from Home

Logitech C920 webcam

(Image credit: Logitech)
  • Best webcam: Logitech C920
    Highly Recommended: Logitech Brio
  • Best ring light: Nanlite Halo 16C Bicolor 
    Highly Recommended: Inkeltech 21-inch Ring Light with Tripod
  • Best microphone: JLab Talk
    Highly Recommended: Movo UM700, EPOS B20
  • Best headset: HyperX Cloud II Wireless
    Highly Recommended: Bose 700, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
  • Best mouse: Logitech MX Anywhere 3
    Highly Recommended: Razer Pro Click, Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic Wireless Mouse
  • Best keyboard: Logitech MX Keys
    Highly Recommended: Razer Pro Type, Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
  • Best Wi-Fi router: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
    Highly Recommended: Asus RT-AX86U router
  • Best mesh router: Linksys Velop AX4200
    Highly Recommended: TP-Link Deco X20
  • Best printer: Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank
    Highly Recommended: Epson EcoTank ET-4760, Canon Pixma TR8620
  • Best antivirus software: Kaspersky Total Security
    Highly Recommended: Bitdefender Total Security
  • Best password manager: LastPass Premium
    Highly Recommended:
    1Password

See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Awards winners for Working from Home


Tom's Guide Awards: Health and Fitness

Tom’s Guide Awards 2021: Our favorite health and fitness tech of the year

(Image credit: Peloton)
  • Best smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 6
  • Best smartwatch that’s not an Apple Watch: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
    Highly Recommended:
     Fitbit Sense
  • Best smartwatch for seniors (mobility and safety features): Apple Watch SE
    Highly Recommended:
     Fitbit Sense
  • Best smartwatch for the outdoors: Garmin Enduro
    Highly Recommended
    : Amazfit T-Rex Pro
  • Best smartwatch for sleep tracking: Fitbit Sense
    Highly Recommended: Apple Watch SE
  • Best virtual training program: Apple Fitness Plus
  • Best exercise bike: Peloton
    Highly Recommended: MYX Fitness Bike
  • Best workout machine that’s not a Peloton: Bowflex VeloCore
  • Best treadmill: NordicTrack Commercial 1750
    Highly Recommended: Bowflex Treadmill 22
  • Most innovative workout machine: Tempo Studio
  • Best electric scooter: Unagi Model One
  • Best electric bike: Charge Bikes City

See all the Tom's Guide 2021 Award winners for Health and Fitness

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.