For many people on your gift list, you probably knew right away the sort of thing you wanted to get them, and at best needed a little help narrowing it down to a specific model. Hopefully one of our gift guides focusing on specific areas like entertainment, photography or audio will have helped.
But there may be others on your list who are trickier. You know they love technology, but there’s so much to choose from. That’s why we’ve also put together some more varied guides – all the way down to stocking stuffers.
But if you’re still looking now, you probably need more inspiration, so in this guide I’m rounding up what both 9to5Toys and Amazon have identified as some of the most popular tech products of the moment …
You can’t really have a tech gift guide these days without a drone or two. The DJI Phantom 3 Professional (above) is the no-expense-spared model at a wallet-busting $1300, which gets you recording on a fully-stabilised 3-axis gimbal and much more. But there are fun options all the way down to the stocking-filler level.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is a well-regarded midrange option at $420, with the Airborne Cargo MiniDrone at $99 a more affordable fun version, and if you want to bring it down to a little over $50, you can’t argue with 2700 4-star reviews.
Amazon’s Echo – a $150 speaker that can also answer questions Siri-style and control home automation systems that include WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings and more – was first announced a year ago but has proven an amazing hit this year. The new Apple TV is probably a better bet for a dedicated Apple fan, but for everyone else, the Echo is a very cool piece of kit.
Speaking of streaming TV boxes, the Roku 4 hasn’t seemed to inspire much enthusiasm, but it does seem to have prompted people to note that the Roku 3 is a bargain now at just $90 – or even $72 for a certified refurbished model.
And if their TV itself is looking a little old-fashioned now, perhaps a shiny new 4K model would put a smile on their face. You probably aren’t going to be laying out $40,000 on LG’s 98-inch 3D model (above), but there are 4K TVs out there now from just $300.
TV soundbars with Bluetooth capabilities are another popular choice, allowing them to be used for both room-filling movie sound as well as streaming music from an iDevice.
If they spend more time staring at their computer than their TV, then perhaps a 4K monitor would be more to their liking? There’s a lot of choice out there now in the sub-$500 range, including major brands like Dell from $421 and Philips from $450.
You don’t need us to tell you that the Apple Watch is going to be one of the hottest gifts of the season. If that’s a little pricy, we learned this morning that Fitbit is still the most popular wearable. These start from under $50.
If you’re buying for someone who already owns an Apple Watch, third-party bands are one option to consider – especially for someone who just wants to vary their look rather than splash out big bucks on one main Apple band. Quality can vary a lot, so it’s a good plan to filter by reviews.
With Star Wars all the rage at present, the Sphero BB-8 app-enabled droid ($150) has been a hit, and is likely to be popular with children of all ages – including ones with grey hair.
BB-8 has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings.
Amazon has put together its own selection of other popular toys. And strange as it may seem in a digital age, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera – which produces instant, credit-card sized prints – is one of them, priced at $80. There’s also a $138 version for smartphones.
I personally decided that carrying both an iPad and Kindle around was too much trouble, but the Kindle Paperwhite at $120 remains incredibly popular and I have several friends who are big fans.
But if you do want to splash out on an iPad, I’m still a massive fan of the iPad Air 2 – and there are some discounts available, even from Apple.
Action cameras are perennial favorites, and the GoPro range is the undisputed leader. The HERO4 at $400 is the latest & greatest, but the original HERO is now a bargain at $130. There’s also a huge range of accessories from around ten bucks.
Finally, if you’re doing fine with tech-lovers but are stumped when it comes to non-gadget lovers, Amazon’s bestsellers are a great place to start for inspiration.
Do you have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments.
Many thanks to Dan DeSilva for his assistance with this guide.
Filed under: Buying Guides Tagged: gift guide, Holiday Gift Guide, Holiday Gift Guide 2015, Hottest tech 2015, Technology gift guide