Best tech launches of 2015

We pick out our favourite tech products of 2015 including smartwatches, phones, apps, VR and lots more.

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Best tech launches of 2015

2015 has been a busy year for tech, with huge launches in new product areas from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and more. Read on to see our pick of the eight best tech launches of 2015, and be sure to tell us your favourite products of the year in the comments section below.

Best tech launches of 2015: Smartwatch

Apple Watch

Apple first unveiled the Apple Watch in 2014 but it finally hit the shelves in March of 2015 and had a big update with Watch OS 2 in 16 September to add lots of handy new functionality that makes it hugely more useful, such as third party complications, native third-party apps and more access to on-board hardware for developers. It's still a first-generation product and it has its flaws, but it's an exciting step for the wearable tech market and we expect there'll be even more smartwatches emerging in 2016, including the Apple Watch 2.

Of course, Apple's Watch wasn't the only great smartwatch to arrive in 2015, particularly with the launch of Android Wear from Google. Visit our round-up of the best smartwatches to find out more.

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Next Prev Apple watch battery tips

2015 has been a busy year for tech, with huge launches in new product areas from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and more. Read on to see our pick of the eight best tech launches of 2015, and be sure to tell us your favourite products of the year in the comments section below.

Best tech launches of 2015: Smartwatch

Apple Watch

Apple first unveiled the Apple Watch in 2014 but it finally hit the shelves in March of 2015 and had a big update with Watch OS 2 in 16 September to add lots of handy new functionality that makes it hugely more useful, such as third party complications, native third-party apps and more access to on-board hardware for developers. It's still a first-generation product and it has its flaws, but it's an exciting step for the wearable tech market and we expect there'll be even more smartwatches emerging in 2016, including the Apple Watch 2.

Of course, Apple's Watch wasn't the only great smartwatch to arrive in 2015, particularly with the launch of Android Wear from Google. Visit our round-up of the best smartwatches to find out more.

Best tech launches of 2015: Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S6

We love the Samsung Galaxy S6, and you'll find it at the top of our smartphone chart here. It's an overall fantastic flagship phone with an incredible screen, fantastic power and a stunning camera. In terms of innovation there's nothing particularly standout, but that's where the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge comes in, if you've got some extra cash to splash and want that additional wow factor.

iPhone 6s

For iOS users, the iPhone 6s is an amazing new entry into the smartphone market by Apple, with new features including the 3D Touch pressure sensitive display that has the potential to change the way we interact with smartphones for good.

Best tech launches of 2015: Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Our favourite tablet of the year is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, which impressed us from the moment we saw it. There are two models available, one with a 7.9in screen and the other with a 9.7in screen just like Apple's iPad mini and iPad Air, and they became available to buy in the UK on 4 September to coincide with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

Originally £319 for the smaller model and £399 for the larger model, you can now pick up these tablets for under £300 if you shop around, and we think that's a bargain for its top specs, gorgeous and incredibly slim design. You can find out more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 in our review.

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Best tech launches of 2015: 12in tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft really wowed us with its new version of the Surface Pro this year, and we can't wait until the Surface Book arrives in the UK either. It took some time for the Surface to find its feet in the industry, and with the Surface Pro 3 it was very nearly there. Then came the Surface Pro 4 in October and finally we felt like this is a Windows 10 tablet/laptop hybrid that we could wholeheartedly recommend.

The Surface Pro 4 is impressively thin at 8.4mm but still manages to squeeze in a full-size USB 3 port, and still comes with that handy built-in kickstand making it ultra portable and practical. There's a thinner bezel around the screen, which allowed the screen to grow a little - now 12.3in.

It does come at a price, though, starting at £749, but if you've got the cash to splash read more in our Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review.

Best tech launches 2015: Laptop

Laptop

Our favourite laptop of the year is the Dell XPS 13, which stands as a shining beacon of hope in the world of Windows laptops. Laptops are starting to get sexy again, finally.

The XPS 13 9350 is not a single laptop - it's a range that starts at £849 and rises to £1,399 depending on the specs you choose. They all come with 6th-gen Intel Core Skylake processors and have Windows 10 Home preinstalled, though, and have a 13.3in screen with a tiny 5mm bezel.

Find out more in our full Dell XPS 13 review here.

Best tech launches 2015: App

Google Photos

Something slightly different now but one of our favourite apps of the year was Google Photos, which was also released for iOS as an alternative to iCloud and is completely and utterly free no matter how many photos and videos you upload. It automatically backs up all photos and videos that you take on your smartphone or tablet, and they're all stored in Full HD rather than compressed or low resolution copies. Images are only loaded in Full HD when they're opened so they won't take ages to load and you can get it on Android, iOS or on the web.

Google Photos is also smart enough to recognise types of photos and their subjects. You can search for photos based on placed, people and lots more. Search for snow, for example, and you'll only see photos you've taken with snow in them.

There's lots more to Google Photos that we haven't even mentioned, so if you want to find out more head over to our Google Photos FAQ for everything you need to know.

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Best tech launches 2015: Virtual reality

HTC Vive

This one is a bit of a bonus entry, because it hasn't actually been released yet, but we spent some time with it recently and were so excited by it we just couldn't resist including it.

We are, of course, talking about the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. It's going to shine brightest in the gaming industry but there are various other uses too including creativity applications like Tiltbrush and immersive exploration experiences like The Blu. We can't wait to see what 2016 and beyond brings for VR - it's going to be HUGE.

You can find out what it's like to use the HTC Vive in our hands-on review.

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