Apple and Samsung share the best smartphone and tablet Awards

Competition is seriously tough these days, so quality really counts. Apple’s output is more polished than ever, but it has big challenge in the form of a rejuvenated and equally shiny Samsung. The result? Apple maintains its lead, but it’s a close fight. These Award-winners are all highly deserving.

See all our What Hi-Fi? Awards 2015 winners

We don’t know how Apple does it. On paper the iPhone 6S is outgunned on every page, but its overall sound and picture performance just can’t be beaten. Its picture is sharp as you’ll ever need and supported by a lovely natural palette.

Its CD-quality sound is so tight, dynamic and well balanced that we never feel the need for high-resolution files. Build quality is better than ever, and there’s the addition of the innovative 3D Touch pressure-sensitive screen, which adds an extra dimension to interaction. This is not an incremental tweak – it’s a huge update.

Apple doesn’t hog all the glory, because here comes the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ to rule the larger smartphone category. Samsung has undergone a radical transformation of late, dumping all that rubbish plastic and adopting some lovely metal and glass.The screen’s curved edges offer an unusual aesthetic, but what really leaps at us is the quality of the 5.7in screen. It exciting and detailed sound makes us happy too. Sorry Apple, this one belongs to Samsung.

There’s no getting away from it – Apple knows how to make a great tablet and the iPad Air 2 offers the best tablet experience on the market. What’s more impressive is that this tablet is a year old, and has not been replaced in 2015 – yet it still beats its latest rivals.

How is it so good? Because its 9.7in display is pin sharp and its colour palette is spot on. It sounds fantastic too, with a great blend of enthusiasm and precision.

Apple may have stuck to its guns with the big tablets, but its small tablet has got an update this year – which makes the iPad Mini 4 the top dog. This little thing has plenty of power under the hood, and work done on the screen means deeper blacks, better contrast, and colours with more vibrancy.

Its audio performance is as strong as ever, with an emphasis on great tonal balance, good detail levels and full-bodied attack. It may not handle high-resolution audio but it provides a better overall performance than those that do.

MORE: Awards 2015: Best smartphones

MORE: Awards 2015: Best tablets