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(First) NAS for Photos (also from mobile), music and dev work
I am agonizing over selecting a "perfect" NAS for my home, here's a list of my requirements:

1. Most importantly I want for Photos:
1a. to easily and AUTOMATICALLY sync photos taken on my phone to my NAS (replace google photos)
1b. store my RAW files from Pentax (but not in proprietary format - I use standard RAWs) and display them.
1c. create and share playlists/ collections online with family members.

2. I have a music collection and an amp with decent speakers, I am planning to buy a streamer just to connect it to NAS and listen with no PC/NAS fan noise. NAS will be in another room.
2a. I want to create separate playlists or folders with access for my kids (they do not need to listen to heavier music just yet) and
2b. I want to listen to FLAC files WITHOUT converting them by the NAS on mobile (if I can choose to convert or not then great).
2c. I have good tags on my music collection and good folder structure but I hope that apps can also show/download lyrics (timestamped!) and display them.
2d. I want to download (albums/whole playlists) via mobile app so when I leave home I can have most important tracks (or audiobooks) at hand or for kids.

3. I also want to run dev environments:
3a. VMs but I think mostly docker apps will do either from community or my own.
3b. NodeJs and MongoDB as well as PostgreSQL instances.
3c. Git Server

4. Replace Evernote with other NAS hosted app (Joplin? or other?)

5. Having a chat/communicator I can use for my familly would be a nice to have.
6. Same with some Office/Online collaboration tool - nice to have.

7. It would be great if it would play videos with subs without conversion (transcoding) It's fine if I need some kind of nvidia shield or firestick to do that (synology vs qnap vs asustor)

8. replace Dropbox/Google Drive to sync files between PC and NAS so I can replace a PC with no issues at any moment and keep current private work safe, collaborate and share with family and friends (with selective sync! I don't want few GBs on my hard drive just because I am synchronizing a folder with possibly bigger assets).

I was considering Qnap 673A, Synology 1621+ or Asustor Lockstor 6 Gen 2 for the puproses mentioned above.

I am unsure about reliability of the apps as there are a lot of conflicting opinions for all three brands. I would like to know if I'll need to move to hosting community / external packages in containers (lots of docker -> need more RAM), or should I utilize Plex for most of what I need with multimedia (I don't mind one time Plex Pass payment, as long as it's one time) or can I use Synology for all these things although they give the worst hardware, but supposedly best apps.

Synology supposedly has best apps and worst hardware (Asustor is slightly better).
Asustor has Celeron with hardware transcoding features and decent apps it seems (Synology is, again as I read, is better with their softare), and QNAP should have best hardware (I should be able to get nvidia 1650 into that model, then again QNAPS own compatibility sheet states that this model does not support GPU and site says it does.)

I don't mind the settings and configuration (initial) but I want this to support my family members as well.

I am open to different solutions as was considering Unraid even but it might be too much unless there is a pack of software that really allows for all these features.

I know it's a lot and I thank you for taking time to read through it and
Sounds like you are describing Synology. Older DS1520+ would be a great choice. It has a graphics chip which would allow transcoding remotely. But since you most of the streaming happens locally you could as well choose a NAS without GPU. DS1621+ would still manage to convert 1080p video and stream original non-transcoded 4k files to your compatible devices.
People choose Qnap 73A series so they could install GPU card. Without it, it is not a very good multimedia NAS. But it could still cope with 1080p.
Asustor apps will not impress you. If you like to play and configure things you can choose Asutor or Qnap, but the reliable solution will be from Synology even though themselves are far from perfect.

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