Every year the writers at MobileSyrup engage in a beloved holiday tradition of reflecting on our favourite things from the past year. It’s a fun opportunity for us to share some more personal insights into our lives and write about some of the things we care about that we maybe wouldn’t get to write about normally.
So, let’s dive into it: here are my favourite things of 2022.
I was very impressed with Google’s Pixel family this year. While I didn’t review the Pixel 7 Pro, I did spend time with the Pixel 7, Pixel Watch, and the budget-friendly Pixel 6a.
Both smartphones are, in my opinion, excellent options with tremendous value (and even more so during recent holiday sales). The Pixel 7 took the excellent foundation of 2021’s Pixel 6 and improved it in small but important ways. The extra polish led to, in my opinion, one of the best Pixel phones in a long time.
Meanwhile, the Pixel 6a offers an almost identical experience to last year’s Pixel 6 for a lower cost. Sure, you lose out on the more advanced camera hardware and the 90Hz display, but for the $200 in savings over the cost of the Pixel 6, it was well worth the tradeoff. Plus, even with the worse camera hardware, the Pixel 6a still took excellent photos — it even won MKBHD’s annual smartphone camera competition.
Despite flaws, the Pixel Watch also impressed me. Frankly, I think I expected the smartwatch to be worse than it was. However, it sets a solid foundation for Google moving forward in the space and, hopefully with Google’s renewed commitment, Android smartwatches as a whole will get better too.
This section is admittedly tooting my own horn, but hey, it’s my list of favourite things, and I’ll do as I please with it. I wrote a few pieces about Canadian carriers this year that I’m really proud of, and I wanted to highlight that work here.
First was coverage of the July Rogers outage. This was ultimately a team-wide effort, and no one person at MobileSyrup could have done it all. Still, I was particularly excited about my explainer piece detailing what went wrong and examining possible solutions. You can read it here (although it is somewhat dated now).
Next up was coverage of the Telus credit card fee, a saga that spanned from August to December. The CRTC ultimately rejected the fee, but it didn’t matter for most Telus customers who were subject to the surcharge anyway. You can read about that here.
Finally, I wrote about how several apps from Canadian carriers include third-party trackers from Facebook, Google, and others. You can read that here.
This isn’t the first time Destiny 2 found itself on one of my ‘favourite things’ lists, but it has been a while since I included it (the last time was in 2019). At the time, I was optimistic about where the game was headed. A few years on, there were some rough spots but generally, I think Destiny 2 is in a good place, especially after The Witch Queen expansion arrived in February 2022.
The Witch Queen brought an excellent campaign (the new Legendary difficulty was a welcome change) and kickstarted the subclass overhaul that saw many of the abilities and powers available from the early days of Destiny 2 revamped and improved with a new customization system.
Over the last year, I’ve had some of the most fun with Destiny 2 that I’ve had in a while, and I’m really excited to see where the game goes when the Lightfall expansion drops in 2023.
And the best for last: my wife and I had a baby this year. Becoming a father has been challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Outside of mentioning it in a few stories I wrote for MobileSyrup (most notably the round-up of baby tech I tested out), I haven’t talked much about becoming a parent publicly. This is largely because it’s an area of my life that I want to keep for myself. I’ve always been a private individual, primarily using social media to talk about interests and hobbies rather than share my life — that desire to separate my public and private self has expanded significantly now.
Of course, kids influence all parts of your life, which is why I’ve talked about it sparingly. For example, I almost exclusively use my phone’s camera to take pictures and videos of my daughter now, which shapes how I feel about the cameras I test when I review a new phone. Going forward, expect to see the impacts of parenthood emerge in my reviews and stories throughout the new year.
And with that, I wish you all a happy New Year and a delightful 2023. I’ll see you next year.