Photo courtesy of Stanford

Year after year, tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google work to develop and release the newest technology. These tech companies, along with many others, released an array of popular tech gadgets in 2017. In fact, 2017 saw the release of so much new technology, that it would take a rather exhaustive list to note everything that hit the shelves in stores. Nonetheless, here are the top five hottest tech products of 2017 in no particular order.

Google Home– Mini $49.99, Regular $129.99, Max $399.99

Prior to 2017, it was rather obvious that Amazon was dominating the smart home assistant market with its Amazon Echo. However, after Google I/O 2017, it became clear that Google was determined to gain the attention of the market. The Google Home is similar to the Echo in that it is a smart assistant that is controlled by your voice. In 2017, Google announced two new Google Homes to join the ranks with the original Google Home. Google Home Mini, which costs $49.99, is a small round assistant and fits in your palm. While it doesn’t sound great for playing music, it is a good alternative for those who do not want to shell out the $129.99 for the Google Home. Google also announced Google Home Max, a whopping $399.99 assistant that is focused on sound. Alongside some impressive specs, Google Home Max also uses Smart Sound. Smart Sound allows Google Home Max to use machine learning to adjust itself to fit the acoustics of the room in which its playing.

Pixel 2– Starting at $649.00

Google also released the second generation of its flagship phone, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Even though the Pixel 2 XL has experienced more problems (primarily its blue tinted screen and screen burn-in) than anyone would ever want in a $849.99 phone, it is still one of the best phones on the market. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come packed with amazing specs, are water-resistant and received the highest DxOMark rating than any other smartphone to date. On top of the exceptional photo quality, Google’s AI uses pixel detection for its portrait mode. That’s right. Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can do portrait mode with one camera, unlike other phones on the market that require two.

iPhone X– Starting at $999.00

Apple has once again, blown everyone out of the water with the release of its iPhone X (pronounced “iPhone Ten”). Alongside its sleek, near bezel-less design, the iPhone continues to impress with its Face ID and addition of Animoji. While some are hesitant to upgrade due to the removal of Touch ID and the home button, others gladly welcome the new design. In the end, it’s quite clear that Apple is pushing for consumers to pick up the iPhone X. Rumors in the tech world already suggest that Apple has three new phones in progress that all have a similar design to the iPhone X. While it may be time to say goodbye to the iPhone’s bezels and current design (looking at you, iPhone 8), it’ll be refreshing to pick up a phone that hasn’t been throttled by iOS.

Apple Watch Series 3– Starting at $329.00

With the release of Apple Watch Series 3, it’s refreshing to see that Apple has successfully pinpointed problems with its previous watches and created a near perfect watch. The Apple Watch Series 3 comes in a GPS version or cellular version. With the cellular version (connected through your phone carrier), notifications will continue to come in through the watch, even when you aren’t near your phone. This year’s water-resistant Apple Watch comes jam-packed with all sorts of features. Some of these features include calling, texting, listening to music and a whole slew of fitness features (running, swimming, etc. You get the jist).

Nintendo Switch– $299.99

Game consoles seem to be updated in some way nearly every year. Nintendo, however, hasn’t released a home console since its 2012 flop, the Wii U. Luckily for Nintendo, the Switch has seen huge success and lots of popularity. Through the Switch, Nintendo has embraced the future of gaming by creating a console that acts not only as a home console, but as a portable one as well. Initially, the console released with only a few games that could be played, but developers have been busy. It is estimated there will be over 500 games available to play on the Switch by the end of 2018.