Technology gifts are now at the top of everybody’s Christmas lists, but how can you be sure to get the right gift for the right person? Here are some of the best technology gifts available for all kinds of tastes and interests this Christmas. Including true wireless earphones from Sol Republic, a streaming device from Amazon, a racing drone from Nikko and much more!
For Those On The Go – Sol Republic Air Amps
These true wireless earphones from Sol Republic offer the latest in cutting edge audio technology, thereby making them a gift with a real wow this festive season.
There are no cables or neckbands getting in your way, allowing you utter freedom on the go. Sound is consistent in delivery and the Bluetooth never cut out for us, which is exactly what you want from high performance earphones. The fit in each ear is superb, thanks to an ergonomic silicone design (with 4 sizes of ear tips) and an ultra-light build. Noise isolation is good, largely down to the design, and this gives you a little extra protection from the hum drum of the outside world. They are also water proof and sweat resistant, therefore making them great companions for working out too.
The earphone buds come within a case that doubles up as a protective housing and also a battery pack. The pack itself offers a 2,200mAh battery, this allows you to charge up the buds on the go. There is also a touch of added genius – you can also use the case’s micro USB and USB port to charge other devices on the go too. The buds themselves offered around 2 and a half hours in our testing, so the battery pack housing really is a great and necessary addition to the whole package.
We believe that the £149.99 price tag is bang on. Sound is rich, detailed and impressive when you consider there are no wires. The one thing we would have loved to see is a little extra battery life and the microphone is far from adequate to take calls in a loud environment; however, with all the plus points, that may be us being a little picky!
Available from Amazon.
For The TV Addict – NEW AMAZON FIRESTICK
For the ultimate streaming experience, why not consider the next generation of Amazon’s successful, bestselling Fire TV Sticks? The most advanced streaming stick from Amazon, it now has faster Wi-Fi, more accurate voice search and commands, plus Alexa integration.
At present, you can experience over 7,000 apps, games and Alexa skills. This includes streaming of key content from the likes of Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Netflix, YouTube and more. Thanks to 1 GB of memory, a quad-core processor, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the streaming experience is smoother, slicker and better than previous Amazon streaming devices. It really has become top of the class in that aspect. Plus, navigating the menus is also fast and easy too.
One neat feature we love is the ability to unplug your Fire Stick in one location and when you plug it back in to an HDMI port somewhere else, it picks up where you left off.
Alexa integration is also a really well deployed feature. To start up a streaming service, simply say “Launch Netflix” and the app will open in seconds. There is a broad range of commands that Alexa can understand, making navigation even slicker.
Find out more about this great streaming stick here. Available for £39.99.
For Big Kids – Nikko Air Race Vision™ 220 FPV Pro
Now this is a great, luxury gift for those with a tendency to unleash their inner child. Adrenaline fuelled, fun and unique, having a racing drone like this is fun for all of the family. This drone uses 5.8GHz analog frequency, just like the pros and the response is superb.
One additional flourish is the First-Person View goggles that can be worn to give you a first person perspective of your drones flight in real time. This means you can get a fantastic perspective of flight, which isn’t available as standard on other models. Simply look at the provided LCD screen to see your drones 130 – degree wide-angle view. It’s amazing to behold and to try yourself. The SD card provided means that you can save and relive your best flights too.
The drone itself comes with variable flight modes and speeds, plus 16 one-touch stunts that give it a thrill to use. In fact, you can clock up to 25 mph with this little beauty! But don’t be nervous, the drone won’t disintegrate if crashed, thanks to a flexible and resilient chassis.
Plus, and this is a huge bonus, this does not require FAA registration. This means you can take it out and play straight from the box. Although, do check your local authority’s advice on using the drone, as everywhere has slightly different take on the rules and where you can fly a drone.
Find out more here http://www.toystate.com/
For The Music Fan – Intempo Large Rechargeable Tube Speaker
Christmas is a time for music, fun and frivolity. Intempo’s Large Rechargeable Tube Speaker offers a fantastic sound to keep you dancing through Christmas and beyond.
The Intempo large tube speaker is Bluetooth enabled for wireless playback, although you can connect via 3.5mm aux should you need to.
The sound is clear, powerful and the bass is pretty impressive too. Inside the tube there are two high quality 3W speakers which produce a great sound for small gatherings or dinner parties. Plus, due to the lightweight yet sturdy build, you can carry this device almost anywhere and connect to almost any player. Although portable, we did find the size to be a little cumbersome and not as portable as we would have liked. It should be added that this speaker is also a great investment for Summer, as we can see it nestling in a campsite or outdoors during the warmer months.
We found that the speaker gives around 3 hours of booming wireless play back thanks to the on-board battery. The range of the speaker is a typical 10 metres, which is about what is to be expected.
For The Forgetful – TrackR Pixel
Perhaps something not luxurious in itself, but this neat little gadget can help protect and find your expensive keys, gadgets, handbags or even your wallet.
TrackR Pixel is a lightweight, small tracking device that can be attached to almost anything and it can then be used to find that item with your smartphone. Simply open up the smartphone app and you can cause the Pixel Tracker to ring and the LEDs light up, therefore making finding the item its attached to a doddle. That means losing your keys is now a thing of the past. Likewise, if you lose your smartphone but you have your Pixel, simply press the button on the tracker and it will cause your phone to start ringing. The tracker makes it almost impossible to lost your most valued objects. Alexa integration also means that tracking is even easier.
To keep track using the Bluetooth connection, your smartphone relies up on you being in range with your object. However, if you go outside this, then the TrackR has another trick up its sleeve. When another TrackR user walks by your item, you’ll receive a confidential location update. This means that if you lose your object while out and about, there is a greater chance of finding your item.
Grab one of these devices here for £24.99.
For The Fitness Fans – Nokia Steel & Cardio
Christmas is a time of indulgence but there is the inevitable realization that all of the indulgence and over eating has to come to an end at some point. That’s why Nokia’s range of fitness products is something that you may want to consider for fitness fans or those looking to be healthier in the New Year.
Nokia Steel (£119.95)
The Nokia Steel is an activity tracker with oodles of style and a range of tracking metrics that make it the perfect gift this Christmas. Whether you are sleeping, running, swimming or simply on your morning commute, the Steel tracks all of these with ease. Plus, there is no need to charge the Steel, as it uses a standard watch battery that uses the Nokia Connected Movement Technology to keep track of your movements automatically, without over using on battery life.
To see your data, simply tap the dedicated smartphone app to unlock analytics, targets, guidance and a lot more. From the app you can track steps, distance travelled and calories burned, all with the Health Mate app. Plus, the watch naturally detects if you are swimming or running, thereby making tracking of exercise simple.
The Steel also tracks your sleep too, allowing you to see how long it takes you to drop off and how restless your sleep is. The ability to track this means you can optimise your sleep cycles and get the most out of your sleep.
Read more about the Steel here.
Nokia Cardio (£149.99)
The Nokia Cardio is the smartest, most sophisticated and intelligent Wi-Fi enabled Scales out there. The device is only 0.7 inches in thickness and is crafted from a solid aluminum base, giving it a superb sense of craftsmanship and quality. Plus, the thinness of the device means its ideal for modern life and smaller living spaces.
The Cardio measures your full body composition, including weight ((kg, lb., st lb.), body fat, water percentage, muscle mass and bone mass. Fear not, the data is automatically pushed to your app, making it a breeze. If you hit a weight target you will also receive a notification, giving you positive encouragement to achieve even more of your goals. The device also claims to be consistently accurate to 0.2 pounds.
The device also gives insight into your cardiovascular health thanks to Pulse Wave Velocity measurements, which can be analysed your Health Mate app. The device gives you an overview of how small changes can be implemented to give you a healthier lifestyle and heart. This includes activity insights and diet tips. Not many scales can offer this kind of insight!
Within the app, once all of the weight data has been crunched and your personal profile added, you can also work out your BMI too. There really is so mucht that this device can do, it’s astonishing.
For Her – Ted Baker iPhone Case
Ted Baker has created a stunning range of phone cases with an elegant style, plus practicality and protection built in.
The Impressionist Bloom iPhone book case offers more than your average phone case. Thanks to a beautiful design, you can enclose your beloved iPhone in something that you can be proud to carry around.
An internal mirror means that you can check your look on the go and prepare for those all-important Christmas parties. Suitable for iPhone 6/6s/7.
For the selfie taker – Lifeprint 2×3 Hyperphoto Printer (£134.95)
Now this is a super smart and fun device for Christmas! The Lifeprint 2×3 Hyperphoto Printer offers the chance to print Augumented Reality Hyperphotos that come to life in front of you!
Firstly, Lifeprint requires No Ink to print. You will need to download the Lifeprint app, connect to the printer via Bluetooth, then you can pop in the paper and print. This means that there are no more ink refills or fiddly installing of cartridges.
When you go to print a photo you can choose to associate your image with Instagram and Facebook videos, Snapchats, GoPro clips, photos and even animated GIFs. Your image will then print with a hidden code within it. To bring the image to life, you then need to look at the photo with your app and the associated content will appear. So if you print a picture of you skiing you could then you could have a first person video of you skiing from your Go Pro pop up. We thought that this technology could be superb for sending animated and fun pictures to sit in Christmas cards.
Plus, the photos are ‘sticky backed’ so you can peel them off and stick to any surface.
Lifeprint is one of the slimmest, lightest, and highest quality instant photo printers out there. It easily fits in your pocket and is truly a game changing accessory for any party, concert, or festival. It’s a very versatile little performer and we were impressed by just how creative you can be with the editing suite, filters, stickers and video integration.
What do you get in the box? Lifeprint Photo printer, 10 Pack Lifeprint Film, Instruction manual and a Charging cable.
Lifeprint is optimised for the following phones: iPhone 5s, iPhone6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7,, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, HTC 10, HTC 10 Ultra, LG G5, Google Pixel and the Sony Xperia XZ.
Available from Apple UK and Amazon.co.uk from £134.95. Compatible with both iOS and Android phones, find out more here http://lifeprintphotos.com/.
For the house proud – Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm (RRP £109.99)
A super smart product that would make a great gift for the practical and house proud person. Packed full of technology and slick features, the Nest Protect provides an innovative solution to the typical outdated smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
The device is also a breeze to install. The battery version we tried took us around 3-4 minutes to install on iPhone (you can also use iPad or Android devices). The unit also comes with a back plate for easy ceiling or wall installation. Once connected to the Wi-Fi other members of your home network can also log in to receive alerts from the device. You will also get notifications about alerts and low battery power on the go too (i.e. when you are not at home), this gives you peace of mind too.
The Protect uses a Split-Spectrum Sensor for both fast and slow burning fires. The sensor should last you 10 years too, which is quite impressive. In fact, the devices checks itself 400 times a day too, to ensure that smoke detection is consistent and reliable.
To reassure you that the alarm is working before you go to bed, the device will give you a “Nightly Promise”. Essentially this function glows green momentarily when the lights have been dimmed to indicate your battery is correct. This means no more midnight or late-night chirping from traditional devices which typically indicates low battery. A clever, yet simple function that makes a huge difference.
Other smart features include Steam Check, this feature ensures that steam from your shower doesn’t set off the alarm. Plus, there is Pathlight, which means that the device emits a low level glow when motion is detected in darkness. This makes popping to the loo in the night simple and less dangerous – no more clattering into furniture!
This device works with your Nest Thermostat and Nest Cam.
Available from Amazon.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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