(Pocket-lint) - Last week the Pocket-lint team selected our personal favourite tech from 2019. But what about the decade as a whole? It's the understatement of the year that it's been an incredibly busy 10 years not only in terms of the devices themselves but also in the evolution of the technologies that power and connect our devices.
The start of the decade saw us moving well-and-truly into the smartphone era, while the end of it sees us about to embark on a 5G adventure.
While the smart home was still a pipedream in 2010, having swathes of smart devices is now within the grasp of many. And while wireless audio, Full HD and 4K, smart assistants and online banking are among the other things to have taken off this decade, it's worth remembering that some of our most used devices weren't around at the start of 2010 - the iPad (see below) wasn't launched until April 2010, for example.
So what tech and gadgets do the Pocket-lint team look back on most fondly from the last decade? It's worth remembering that these aren't what we think are the out-and-out best gadgets of the 2010s, but the ones that have made the most difference to our own lives.
Adrian Willings, Contributing Editor - Roborock S6 robot vacuum cleaner
I've been reviewing robot vacuum cleaners for a while now and once you get one in your home it's hard to imagine anything else. They might not be a replacement for a "proper" clean with a full-sized vacuum cleaner, but they're a Godsend for keeping the house looking presentable with kids, cats and dogs charging about and leaving a trail of mess wherever they go.
Roborock's various robot vacuum cleaners have always been a welcome addition to the home, the flagship S6 robot vacuum does such a superb job of cleaning, mopping and getting about the house with a minimum amount fuss or intervention. These robot vacuums are also jam-packed with features and performance capabilities that outperform much more expensive bots and are proof that quality doesn't have to cost the earth, which is always a winner in my book.
Cam Bunton, contributing editor - Panasonic Lumix GH4
As someone who shoots video very frequently, it’s hard to imagine a world without the ability to shoot 4K video on a portable, mirrorless system with interchangeable lenses. But it wasn’t always that way. When it launched, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 was really groundbreaking in this area. It allowed you to shoot 4K video, without needing a special storage drive: just an SD card was fine. What’s more, it wasn’t hideously expensive either.
Cameras may have got a lot better since, but the GH4 to me is the modern camera that started that move into 4K, and was THE camera to have for any amateur and semi-professional videographer or YouTuber for a good couple of years after it launched.
Chris Hall, editor - Android
Android was almost a dirty word in its early years, considered by many as something experimental and lacking compared to the likes of BlackBerry OS or Windows Mobile. But it was the excitement of an open-source offering and vibrant developer community that brought Android into the big time.
Android isn't just about phones, it's a platform for so many different types of device. While it still gets slammed because Samsung phones don't get updated fast enough, it's a platform that's enabling technology of all types, bringing some commonality to this diversity - and that's hugely significant. Android has powered an explosion in smart devices over the past 10 years making it perhaps the most significant technology enabler we saw in the decade.
Dan Grabham, associate editor - Apple iPad and Amazon Echo
What do you mean, I'm cheating having two? Well, I put together this feature so to hell with it - I couldn't decide between them. While the Apple Watch has had perhaps the biggest day-to-day impact personally, these two gadgets have had the biggest impact of the last decade on our home.
The Apple iPad has been a significant driver of everyday computing; looking up recipes, checking out the sales and Skyping the grandparents - it's done it all. In fact, all the stuff that 10 years ago you'd have probably fired up a laptop for. We've had an iPad almost since day one - I still have an original one in the cupboard - but the one that's stuck in the living room remains an ageing original iPad Air (I use a 2017 iPad Pro other than that). The iPad Air may be creaking under the strain of updates and is in need of a wipe-and-restore, but it's still the go-to device.
And as for the Amazon Echo, we've had one in the kitchen since its 2016 UK launch, with the original model since replaced by both generations of Echo Plus. It's not just something we use for timers, music and some general queries but interestingly it's also something the kids like talking to - and that's probably a sign of where our devices are heading in the 2020s. Unlike three years ago, I'm now certain that it's here to stay and the competition between Amazon and Google for our voices is going to be a compelling theme of the next decade.
Max Freeman-Mills, writer - Anker PowerCore 10,000
The best technology isn’t always exciting or glamorous. But there’s only one piece of tech that I’ve had in my bag, without new generations or replacements, for the full majority of the last 10 years — a modest Anker PowerCore 10,000. First and foremost, it’s a great portable battery, diminutively sized and with great charging rates.
More than that, though, it sums up a lot of the big moves this past decade. We started it off with phones that would last through the day, but soon succumbed to a few years of terrible battery lives, even before the perils of uber-popular battery destroyers like Pokémon Go came around to make battery packs ubiquitous. In more recent times, we seem to be through that dark patch, but my PowerCore remains on standby at all times, faithful and reliable. My decade would have been incrementally more stressful without it.
Mike Lowe, reviews editor - Nintendo Switch
It’s hard to imagine a world devoid of Nintendo making games consoles. But that could have happened: the Wii U, released in 2012, was such an ill-named flop that its follow-up, the Switch, had to be right. Not only was it bang on the money when it arrived in 2017, but it was also revolutionary, wrapping together a portable system that could be played on the go, or docked to be played at home on the telly like a traditional console.
Zelda came to the rescue in one of the best console launch games ever, and by the time Mario and Pokemon titles had arrived over the following years, the Switch had cemented itself as a truly different system to the established PlayStation and Xbox elites. It really stands out as one of those defining and different pieces of tech from this decade – with the legs to go beyond it, too.
Rik Henderson, senior editor of news & features - LG OLED65E6 TV
It was so hard to whittle down every great piece of tech from the last 10 years to just one - especially when gaming had its best decade yet - but I decided to plump for the device that has had the most impact on my life for the last few years: my 65-inch LG OLED TV.
One of the batch of the first 4K HDR TVs from the brand, the LG OLED65E6 sat below the Signature G6 so was (moderately) more affordable at the time but essentially featured the exact same picture processing and panel. And not only did it cause my jaw to drop when first spied in an electronic store's TV showcase area, it has done ever since I've turned it on too.
Yes, there are better OLED TVs around now - as is the way of such things - but OLED panel tech hasn't progressed that much and the deep, involving black levels and clever grasp on colour saturation holds up superbly well.
Having started to review TVs during the days of the superb Pioneer plasmas, I had been searching for the modern equivalent - one that didn't take an entire nuclear plant just to power. LG's OLED was, and still is, my Holy Grail.
Stuart Miles, founder - Apple Watch
For most of the decade, I’ve worn a wearable of some nature. First the Nike+ SportWatch, then the Pebble, with a Nike+ Fuelband and various other smartwatches thrown in somewhere in the mix for good measure, before eventually settling on the Apple Watch.
Now in 2019 it's hard to imagine a life without one. I use the Apple Watch to measure my activity, to pay for things, and to unlock my Mac. In a discreet way, the Apple Watch has become very much part of my life.
And I suspect that the reasons to continue to wear it in the future will continue to grow whether that’s allowing me to open and lock my car, or eventually my house. While it’s not without its faults, not wearing one is now more of a hinderance than ever before.