‘Tis the season for all that glitters, whether it’s a shimmering new eyeshadow palette, a futuristic espresso machine, or a statement jewellery piece. But beyond that, no doubt many are also waiting for a few shiny tech toys under the tree. For a list of gifts that will for sure be put to good use during the upcoming year, check out our curated list of awesome gadgets and covetable home tech — you’ll probably end up wanting to keep a few for yourself (we won’t judge).
Got a music lover who loves supplying the tunes at all your outdoor get-togethers? The latest Bose bluetooth speaker is being marketed as the tiniest and toughest release yet, powering equally through your yearly summer junk trip or your journey down the powdery slopes of Niseko, for six hours at a time. It fits in the palm of your hand and features a tear-resistant strap so you can secure it anywhere. Best yet, it’s compact and waterproof, exceeding the IPX7 rating. It’s available in a cool bright orange, midnight blue or black.
HK$999 from Bose
This is as much made for art lovers as it is for those who want a 4K smart TV in their living room. Available at 55” or 65”, Samsung’s The Frame transforms your TV’s boring black standby screen into an at-home art gallery, where you can showcase anything from your own holiday snaps to more than 100 pre-selected works from artists around the world. With brightness and motion sensors, the TV dims to match with your home’s ambient light when not in use, and you can also customise the frame and mounting style — flush against the wall with ‘invisible’ wiring like a painting, or with the option of an easel-like studio stand.
From HK$29,880 exclusively at Lane Crawford
French sound engineers Devialet has gone from 0-100 in the Asian market of late, spouting listening lounges and pop-up shops everywhere we look, and its undeniably crisp and stunning sound quality is simply too hard to ignore. Bring one of these sleek bowling balls home and enjoy the best sound — whether for your Spotify playlist, your movie library, or even your meditation tracks — that you’ve ever had.
The Polaroid Impossible I-1 may look like a mid-century relic, but its Bluetooth connectivity and companion app says otherwise. Pairing with your smartphone, you can play with double exposures, light painting, snap photos using sound triggers, and even experiment with every detail — from shutter speed to flash — in manual mode. It’s analog photography for the smartphone era at its best.
HK$2,290 from Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
If you’ve got a flustered owner of a new iPhone who doesn’t own an audio jack, this lightning-cable compatible headphone will be a godsend and plenty more. You can now have surround sound in your personal earphones. Aside from getting exceptional sound quality, the Ambeo Smart is the world’s first recording headphones that can capture 3D biaural sound, which means you get to feel like you’re in the same room as whatever you’re listening to. When recording, you can adjust the mic sensitivity according to how loud your environment is, and can also turn on active noise cancelling for whether when you’re on a call, shutting out your annoying office neighbors, or recording a video. For now, it’s just compatible with Apple iOS devices, with an Android release expected at a later date.
HK$2,399 from HMV
For a bit of retro fun, the Fujifilm Instax series has launched a new square-photo format printer, riding on the popularity of the earlier-launched Instax SQ10 square format camera as well as Instagram’s signature square crop. With the mobile printer, you can print (and reprint) photos in just 13 seconds, and it’s compatible with your phone, as well as Fujifilm’s Instax SQ10 and Fuji’s X-series cameras. Within the Instax Share app, you can also create collages of your favourites, add and change text, filters, frames and so on.
HK$1,680 from electronic stores citywide, or Log-On
Made for iPhone 7/7+, the Oaxis gives your iPhone a second screen, featuring the anti-glare E ink finish that’s used in most e-readers today. You can pair it with your phone to read e-books on the go, customise your background to display your favourite photos, read saved news articles or check the weather, all off the back of your phone. The case itself is shock absorbent, scratch-resistant, and importantly, thin and light.
HK$998–HK$1,160 from Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Sony’s latest console is the original PS4’s meatier upgrade, with a graphics processor that’s twice as powerful, and running at 4.2 teraflops as opposed to the 1.84 of the original. It’s also got 1GB extra for non-gaming apps, such as Netflix. Take advantage of the PS4’s 4K graphics with games such as the intergalactic shooter Destiny 2, colourful sci-fi Ratchet and Clank, and Rez Infinite, a music-heavy, ‘Tron’-like shooter adventure that has gotten remastered for the PS4 (and is reportedly even better on the PlayStation VR). Even better, the PS4 Pro has recently been made available in a sleek glacier white.
HK$3,180 from Sony
Who takes actual selfies themselves these days? It’s all about the dronie — where your drone follows you around to snap your best moments. With Hover Camera Passport’s face detection tech, this is a camera drone that you don’t need a smartphone to control. Just flick on ‘Owner Mode’ and it will find and follow you right out of the box, following you around or orbiting around you in 360 degrees. Best of all, it’s just a light 242g made with a carbon fibre form, and you don’t need to register to use it in some regions.
HK$4,098 from Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
This one’s the ultimate gift for any anti-SLR camera junkie. Those in the market for a new mirrorless (hence not a SLR), full-frame camera will benefit from Sony’s latest release, which is as light and compact as ever at about 650g. For its small size, it sure packs a punch, offering 42.2 megapixel shooting and stunning 4K video capturing. Its 35mm sensor means it works with plenty of interchangeable lenses — even lenses from other systems using an adaptor. It’s also splash- and dust-proof, perfect for those who take their cameras everywhere they go.
HK$26,990 from Sony