If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the things we search Google for day in and day out might be the windows to our brains—or at least what most captured our minds, as a global society, during the past year.
Google on Wednesday released its lists of the biggest trending topics of 2015, namely the ones that got the biggest spike this year versus 2014. The lists are presented interactively, letting you refine the search by country, drill down by topic, and even flash back to earlier years to see how our online obsessions have changed over time.
Globally, the top 10 biggest trending topics include a mix of entertainment and breaking news, sometimes both, as in the case of the No. 1 search, “Lamar Odom.” The retired NBA star and estranged husband of Khloe Kardashian fell into a coma in October of this year, which means searches for him must have spiked a lot to take the crown for all of 2015. The top 10 is rounded out by Charlie Hebdo, Agar.io (a hit browser game that was ported to iOS and Android), Jurassic World, Paris, Furious 7, Fallout 4, Ronda Rousey, Caitlyn Jenner, and American Sniper.
More interesting to nerds like us is probably the list of consumer tech trending topics, a distilled look at the hardware we were most fascinated by in 2015. That includes:
10. Surface Pro 4
PCWorld’s Mark Hachman loves his Surface Pro 4, explaining in his review, “The combination of an Intel Skylake chip, a new Type Cover keyboard, and faster SSD speed help push the Surface Pro 4 into a higher echelon of performance.” The only tablets that made this list are aimed at people who want to get serious work done, an interesting trend in itself.
9. Nexus 6P
For the pure Android experience, you can’t beat a Nexus phone, and the Huawei-made Nexus 6P turned plenty of heads this year. In her review, Greenbot’s Florence Ion called it not just “the best Nexus ever” but “the best premium Android phone on the market.”
8. HTC One M9
Greenbot’s Florence Ion had mixed feelings about the latest flagship phone from HTC, calling it “a disappointingly good phone,” for not iterating enough compared to last year. Kind of makes you want to Google it to find out more, doesn’t it?
7. Samsung Galaxy J5
This phone is only available in India, which means we don’t have any hands-on experience with it, but it generated tons of interest in that part of the world. The Galaxy J5’s big selling points are data compression and restrictions on background data, to save customers both data and battery life.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The world likes big phones, and our Google searches cannot lie. In her Greenbot review, Florence Ion says that Samsung’s killer phablet is “so good at everything it does, it outshines the rest of the Galaxy family.” Yes, even the No. 2 gadget on this very list…
5. LG G4
Jon Phillips found a lot to like about the LG G4 in his Greenbot review, praising it for old-school features like a removable battery and expandable microSD storage. Florence Ion even crowned it the winner of a camera shootout with the Galaxy S6.
4. iPad Pro
Apple’s tablet went big this year, with a 12.9-inch model aimed at power users who want to run two full-sized apps side-by-side, or take advantage of the pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil drawing tool. Writing for Macworld, Susie Ochs says it makes “a rightful claim on the name Pro,” but may not be worth the premium price for more casual iPad users.
3. Apple Watch
The only smartwatch to crack the top 10 trending topics, the Apple Watch had a slow rollout beginning in April (we wonder how many searches were driven by its only-available-online exclusivity), but quickly clawed its way to the top of the nascent smartwatch market. In Macworld’s review, Susie Ochs called it “a lovely piece of hardware” even while being frustrated by its version–1 shortcomings.
2. Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung’s flagship phone debuted this spring, bringing major improvements over the previous version. Greenbot’s Florence Ion says in her review, “The Galaxy S6 is evidence that the company has finally figured out that premium phones should look and feel premium. It’s fast, powerful, battery efficient, and quite frankly it’s one of the best Android devices I’ve ever used.”
1. iPhone 6s
The world’s biggest trending tech topic is—obviously—the world’s most popular phone. Apple moved record numbers of its iPhone 6s this year, thanks in large part to the device’s runaway popularity in China. In the Macworld review, Jason Snell fought back at claims that Apple’s “S year” phones don’t innovate enough, saying, “The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus offer some major improvements, with better cameras (front and back), much faster processors, more responsive Touch ID, and the single biggest improvement to the iPhone’s user interface in its history. But other than that, y’know, no big deal.”
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