Product of the year 2011: nominees for the 8th Pocket-lint Awards

Our final round of nominees for the prestigious 8th Pocket-lint Awards finishes today with the blue ribbon category itself - Product of the Year 2011. Let's face it, we've written about a hell of a lot in the last 12 months and we've seen some absolute crackers, many of which have made it to the shortlist of some of the other categories for our gala event. Now, though, it's crunch time.

We’ve narrowed the field down to a final five but which one is worth of your vote for the 8th Pocket-lint Awards? Get your say in before 29 November. Here’s a run down of the nominees to help you make up your mind.

Sonos Play:3

Price
£220

Released
July 2011

PL review score
4.5 stars


The Sonos Play:3 sounds great, is easy to setup, and will happily sit in you kitchen or on your bedside table replacing that digital radio that doesn't do anything apart from play what's being broadcast now. With the option to kit out your mansion with up to 42 of these (or variations of) all controlled from a single controller, this is also a system that will grow with you.



Where Sonos has hit it on the head with this is the way it works using Spotify's premium service giving you access to millions of songs at the press of a button. Grumbles? We're surprised it's not £199 but then we always want things cheaper. If you were thinking of getting a DAB radio and have a smartphone, don't. You should buy this instead.

Samsung Galaxy S II 

Price
From £400
Released
April 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

The Samsung Galaxy S II has emerged repeatedly triumphant against just about every Android handset we've pitted against it. Samsung really did future proof on the specs front with this one. It remains one of the most powerful phones money can buy. A dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, all wrapped up in an ultra thin form factor, is a pretty persuasive package.

Special mention has to be given to the 8-megapixel snapper on the back, its 1080p video being some of the best we have seen and that killer, enormous, super-lush Super AMOLED Plus screen. That and the way that Samsung's rethought TouchWiz UI operates, adding to but never detracting from the core Android experience, makes for a true hero handset.

Apple iPad 2

Price
£499
Released
March 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

The King has returned. A phrase not only applicable to Mufasa in the Lion King, but also Apple's iPad 2, at least at launch. The lighter, thinner sequel to what was the tablet to beat, managed to steal the crown from its older brother and run a mile with it. With a dual-core processor, front and back facing cameras and a redesigned cover, this has been the tablet that everyone hoped the first generation would be. 

Since launch it's become the Apple fanboy's favourite. Its design oozes everything that Apple is about, brushed aluminium and all. A definite hot product in the tablet domain if there ever was one, backed up by the App Store that goes from strength to strength, the iPad 2 will sell and sell and sell.

Amazon Kindle (2011)

Price
£89

Released
September 2011

PL review score
4.5 stars


Amazon has, quite simply, done it again. With every iteration the Kindle gets cheaper, smaller, lighter and faster. By not messing with the store or interface, the Kindle 4 feels like your favourite ebook reader, streamlined. Buying and reading books is still extremely straightforward and, while the home screen bookshelf could do with some modernisation, it doesn’t get in the way of the important business of reading.



Sure, it’s lost the physical keyboard but the soft version and five-way pad do the job with at least some credibility. Where it really does gob-smack though is the price. For $79 in the US you just can’t beat it for such a flexible product. The constant trickle of free mini-apps and books creates goodwill, and the integration of digital lending libraries is nothing short of revolutionary.

GoPro Hero HD 2

Price
£250

Released
November 2011

PL review score
Preview


We loved the orginal GoPro Hero and we love the Hero 2 even more. The idea of this latest model has been to add lots of flashy new features to lure even more people into the GoPro family. Physically, it’s the same but now there’s huge improvements to resolution and detail, and smoother action too thanks to an 11-megapixel sensor and a processor capable of frame rates up to 10 per second.



It’s fantastic at low light with hardly a colour lost or any noise creeping in once you come to shooting indoors. Add in a 3D mode when you combine the power of two GoPro Hero HD 2 cameras and you’ve got enough of a reason to upgrade. Trust us.

Remember to get your vote in for the 8th Pocket-lint Awards before 29 November.

- Best innovation 2011 nominees