Christmas gifts: best tech and gadgets
Add these gizmos to your shopping list this year
Make life a little more fun this Christmas with this selection of great tech gifts.
From DIY gizmos to gaming must-haves, here’s our pick of the best gadgets available right now.
Logitech Harmony Elite
Nothing could be more rewarding at Christmas than having full ownership of the remote control, but imagine if that same remote operated all digital devices in the house? The Harmony Elite, by Swiss brand Logitech, does just that by synching with more than 270,000 entertainment and smart home devices including smart lights, locks, thermostats, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. In essence, this gadget represents the ultimate Christmas superpower: the ability to remain peacefully ensconced on the sofa after that blow out lunch.
Mininch Tool Pen Mini
Taiwanese brand Mininch makes slick looking tools that are compact, versatile and multifunctional - each product is small enough to carry in your bag and designed to make DIY more of an organised and elegant process. This may sound like a contradiction in terms if you’ve ever wrestled with a flatpack, but these gadgets are very nifty indeed. The company’s Tool Pen Mini, seen here, comes with 22 parts and is inspired by children’s Pop-A-Point rainbow pens. It carries six screwdriver heads in a solid aluminium barrel - you just pull one out and another one appears. Mininch also make a pocket-friendly interchangeable wrench, super handy for sports equipment and household appliances. The company uses prestige materials such as steel with a titanium coating to ensure products are strong and corrosion resistant.
Apple HomePod Mini
YouTuber Marques Brownlee garnered more than three million views when he reviewed Apple’s latest HomePod Mini smart speaker. His headline - “big sound, tiny box” - neatly sums things up. This smart device delivers a surprisingly crisp and powerful sound, plus it works in sync with your phone so you can make calls and ask Siri to play your Apple Music through it. The top display is a flat disk that flashes different colours depending on the action it is performing - for example, it glows green if you are dialling out. There’s a cool secret function too: if you are playing music on your phone, you can “beam” the track across to the speaker by gently tapping your iPhone against its mesh frame - you’ll see a flash of purple and instantly hear the song. That’s got to be a great magic trick to entertain the kids this Christmas.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo
Stylish and easy to use, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo turntable is a smooth operator with a super-crisp sound. It features a heavy steel plate equipped with a thermoplastic elastomer damping ring which reduces vibrations to a minimum. The sound quality is further enhanced by taut motor suspension and sturdy adjustable aluminium feet which guarantee complete stability. Audiophiles will appreciate the finer details too: for example, there’s a discreet rotor switch at the bottom of the turntable that allows you to effortlessly change speeds between 45 or 33.3 rpm. Available in high-gloss black/white/red/green finishes or classic walnut, the real beauty of this ultra-modern streamlined product is the focus it places on the old-fashioned act of record playing.
This temporary desk - humorously christened #StayTheF***HomeDesk by Danish design startup Stykka - is a nifty way to create a collapsible office and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Made from recycled cardboard and assembled in minutes, the makeshift workstation has featured in a variety of architecture and design publications including Dezeen and Wallpaper - they styled theirs with retro Anglepoise lamps and luscious rubber plants. For princely sum of £52, doodles and coffee cup stains are also allowed.
GoPro Hero9 Black
The GoPro Hero9 Black has a brand new front facing screen, which allows you to see what the camera is filming while you are looking at the lens - a very handy addition for vloggers and anyone who wants to save time setting up. The process of recording couldn’t be easier: you just press a top red button and you’re ready to roll using a host of different features from time-lapse videos to a slow-mo function that captures up to 240 frames per second. HyperSmooth 3.0 is the camera’s in-built horizon levelling function which stabilises the recording during high-impact sports such as mountain biking. The brand’s current online gift bundle includes essential accessories including a hand grip, magnetic swivel clip, 32GB SD card and a spare battery as well as a year subscription to GoPro online, which gives you unlimited storage, camera insurance and exclusive discounts. The GoPro app also allows you to control the camera from your phone, which makes dare-devil stunts a whole lot easier to capture on film.
Steel Series Arctis 9
Gaming headsets tend to be all bells and whistles but the Steel Series Arctis 9 wireless headphones are one of the sleekest designs on the market. Not only do they work on PC and PlayStation (including PS5, if you can get one), they are compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device. They look stylish enough to wear as a regular set of headphones, helped along by the fact that the microphone pushes seamlessly inside the ear cup. The steel frame is extremely lightweight and flexible, plus there’s a soft “ski-band” strip that sits over the crown of the head for added comfort.
Garmin Fēnix 6 Pro Edition
The Fēnix 6 Pro Edition is one of Garmin’s most expensive wearables because of its multifaceted functionality and robust design which has been tested to US military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance. The fitness metrics are beyond sophisticated, and for this reason, the Fēnix 6 Pro is best suited to committed athletes who love precision gadgets. One feature that you can really have fun with is the animated workouts displayed on the watch screen, ranging from strength building floor exercises to muscle toning pilates.
Reservoir Supercharged Classic
All Reservoir dials are inspired by classic racing, marine and aircraft counters and feature a retrograde minute and jumping hour hand. This particular model, part of the marque’s best-selling Supercharged Classic range, is powered by a high quality self-winding Swiss movement and draws its looks from the speedometers of British motorcars produced between 1930 and 1960. Every time the hand hits 60 and flicks back to zero, there’s a real sense of speed which neatly captures the very spirit of racing.
What’s not to love about this dinky portable colour printer by Polaroid? Download the app, stock up on film and you’re ready to capture all those special festive moments en famille, no matter how small your bubble is. The prints, which pop out in under a minute, have sticker backs so you can cover your fridge with festive collages. Especially good for teens (and of course big kids).
Transparent Matte Black Speakers
Available in two sizes, the all-new Transparent Matte Black Speaker is crafted from one single aluminium uniframe encasing the tempered glass panels and components - a simple, yet timeless, design. This audio kit comes complete with an enhanced Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip for studio-level sound quality, plus True Wireless pairing to allow two speakers to play music simultaneously.
Tribit StormBox Micro
Rugged, dustproof and water resistant, the Tribit StormBox Micro is ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and cycling - and also packs a punch when used indoors. It has a decent battery life, eight hours on one full charge, and its Bluetooth can keep connected while walking around the house or the garden. Even though the StormBox Micro is small in size, the quality of its sound is big. The built-in XBass gives it a strong booming tone and you can even connect two speakers together for stereo or party mode.