Product Awards 2018: Winners
We tried and tested a whole load of products last year. From dash cams and child seats to scooters and security gadgets, which products outranked their rivals to win the Honest John Product Awards 2018?
Dash cam of the Year: Nextbase 612GW
The Nextbase 612GW offers ultra HD 4K resolution, a polarising filter to reduce glare, 150-degree wide-angle lens, a high-quality metal body, touchscreen and even the ability to connect to your smartphone to view or download the footage. This technology comes at a price though – at £250 it's more expensive than many other more basic cameras on the market. But, if you want an all singing and dancing dash camera with superb footage, this should be at the top of your list.
Child Seat of the Year: Nuna REBL Plus
We've previously tested the Nuna REBL, but now Nuna has updated its 360 swivelling seat and called it the REBL Plus, giving it a stronger steel frame in the process. It's one of only a handful of 360 rotating seats on the market and, while it's expensive, it feels very worth the money.
Safety and Security product of the Year: Autowatch Ghost Immobiliser
With car theft on the rise, it's more important than ever to protect your vehicle. The Autowatch Ghost secures your car from key cloning, hacking and even key theft. The Ghost immobiliser uses the buttons in your vehicle, like those on the steering wheel, doors and centre console, to allow you to make a unique PIN sequence that must be entered before you can drive your car. There's also an iPhone app that connects to your vehicle and allows you to get in and drive without having to enter the PIN code.
Scooter and Commuter Bike of the Year: Kymco X-Town 300i ABS
The Kymco X-Town (pronounced CrossTown) 300i ABS is a maxi-scooter that's big on comfort, space and equipment, but goes small when it comes to running costs. It's agile, zippy and slim enough for town use yet on faster roads it's powerful and blessed with stable handling. Standard kit includes anti-lock brakes, large screen, LED headlights and a USB charger, plus there's loads of storage under the seat.
In-car Convenience Gadget of the Year: EE Buzzard 2 In-Car Wireless WiFi Adaptor
EE's little router plugs straight into your car's 12v socket to create a WiFi hotspot and you can connect up to 10 devices. The product is a great device for anybody that regularly uses their phone as a sat nav or to stream music. EE's in-car WiFi also uses its 4G network, so you’ll be getting the same coverage and similar speeds as you'd get on an EE smartphone.
Gift Idea of the Year: Lego Speed Champions 2018
This year’s Speed Champions collection sees six sets ranging from £12.99 to £89.99 and includes the Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans, Ferrari 488 GT3, Porsche 911 RSR & 911 Turbo 3.0 and Ferrari Ultimate Garage. But it’s the two Fords that really caught our eye: 1968 Ford Mustang and Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC (75885), priced at £14.99 and £12.99. All models in the Lego Speed Champions range make great gifts for children (and big kids) and the low price points make them ideal for impulse purchases, stocking fillers or an alternative to an Easter egg.
Car Experience Day of the Year: Red Letter Days - Piaggio Ape racing
The three-wheeled Piaggio Ape has been an Italian style icon since 1949 and, for this experience, they're upgraded to racing spec with added stabilisers. Get enough mates together and you can have a whole chaotic race to yourselves. You also don’t need a driving licence or motorcycle licence, you only need to be 16-years-old to take part and the height range is as broad as it gets with the two extremities being 4ft 6in and 6ft 6in. Your £150 entitles you and a friend to a two-hour experience comprising of 20 minutes practice to determine grid positions, followed by a 40-minute race.
Home Care Maintenance product of the Year: Ring RAC610 Tyre Inflator
The Ring RAC610 connects to a 12v accessory socket and can inflate a flat tyre to 35psi in around five minutes. It also comes with valve adaptors for use on bicycle tyres and balls. The whole thing is very intuitive to use - simply hook the air hose up, plug it into the 12v cigarette lighter in your car, select the correct pressure for your tyre and press the button. It's simple, quick and affordable.
Exterior Car Care of the Year: Autoglym Bodywork, Wheels and Interior Collection
One of the big names in bodywork, Autoglym continues to deliver the goods with its collection of bodywork products. This kit includes shampoo, polish, glass protector, wheel cleaner, tyre dresser, interior shampoo, glass polish, vinyl and rubber treatment, plus a sponge, finishing cloth and drying cloth. And every single one is excellent.
Interior Car Care product of the Year: Dyson V6
The Dyson V6 is a compact and cordless vacuum cleaner, powered by Dyson's V6 motor and supplied with click on and off attachments that make it ideal for cleaning everything from your living room carpet to the door bins and seat upholstery of your car. It looks like a kid's toy from the 1970s, but it's effortless and extremely capable when it comes to the tedium of cleaning your car (or anything else).
In-Car Audio Gadget of the Year: Pure Highway 600 DAB Adaptor
Have you got an older car without DAB radio? Well, the Pure Highway 600 is for you. Aside from giving the gift of Smooth Extra and Jazz FM, if you pair it up to a phone you can also use it for music streaming, or as a hands-free system for making and receiving calls. At £150 it isn't cheap, but it packs lots of features and it’s definitely easier than installing a whole new audio system.
Storage product of the Year: Thule Motion XT roofbox
From the railing fittings to the locks and even simple things such as the way the box itself opens, the Thule Motion XT feels like a high quality product. True it's more expensive than other roof boxes, but it's a good investment. The Motion XT is very user-friendly, quiet on the motorway and feels like a robust roof box that not only looks good, but will easily cope with plenty of use over the years. No wonder it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Tyres of the Year: Michelin Cross Climate
The CrossClimate isn't simply an all-weather tyre, it's specifically advertised as summer tyre that borrows tread pattern from a winter tyre. In doing this, they can legally be used during winter in European countries that enforce winter tyre regulations. The CrossClimates also solve the issue of switching between summer and winter tyres as the seasons change. They have proved exceptionally popular with drivers, as the many positive online reviews show, which is due in no small part to the huge variety of sizes available.
Smartphone App of the Year: AppyParking
Anyone that lives in a city, or has tried to park in London, knows finding a parking space can be a nightmare. The UK's narrow streets struggle to combat the growing number of vehicles on the roads, which is why parking apps are more useful now than ever. AppyParking is a smartphone app that shows users where they can park, on or off street. Green zones show where it's free to park and red zones show where restrictions apply. The sat nav function directs you to your chosen parking space and Street View allows you a virtual look around so you recognise the spot when you arrive.
Product of the Year: Nextbase 612GW
Dash cams are more popular than ever before, with everyone from lorry drivers to parents on the school run. So, it's no real surprise that our Product of the Year is also our dash cam of the Year, the Nextbase 612GW. The high-quality, 4K video footage is what will be the top of many buyers’ list of reasons for picking the 612GW, despite its many other tricks and gadgets.