It’s two weeks left till the satisfying crunch of wrappers being ripped apart are heard throughout the world. If you’re still looking for a gift for your partner, friend, or a nephew that has yet to hit adolescence, look no further, because we’ve curated the only gadget gift guide to all the tech toys and gizmos you need to add to your shopping cart this festive season.
And we’ve been pretty lucky this year in terms of options. Nostalgia was a huge one particularly, with Nintendo and Polaroid both announcing products that will bring back fond memories of the past. Sphero collaborated with Star Wars to bring to life R2-D2, BB-8, and BB-9E, albeit in smaller versions, just in time to get the hype train for The Last Jedi going.
Entertainment has also come a long way from the days of old where we had to share controllers. Nintendo’s latest console lets you take your games from the living room to the streets, and more serious geeks would appreciate that the virtual reality trend is taking off exponentially. Audiophiles would love to be associated with Parisian audio startup Devialet that counts musicians will.i.am and Jay-Z as their fans.
Keep scrolling to check out our edit of the best gadgets to put a bow atop this Christmas.
Club Cupertino is taking off, and its next destination is your living room. Apple’s update to the Apple TV finally supports 4K and HDR playback. If that’s too much jargon for you, just know that you’re gonna get crisper images with more dynamic colours. The support for iCloud can also transform your big OLED television into a huge photo frame that displays all your memories from the past year so you can look back at it all oh-so-fondly.
There’s just something about playing games on a console that our phones would never be able to emulate, at least not in the near future. Gaming giant Nintendo has been creating those experiences for the past four decades, and their latest hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, was the best-selling console this year, and that’s not even factoring in the festive sales yet. You can easily start your games on a big screen TV, and then switch it out to bring with you on the go as a handheld device. With more flagship games available like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Odyssey than its predecessor the Wii U, the Switch would definitely be flying off the shelves, so be sure to get yours quickly.
If you’re looking for a unique gift for that photography fanatic in your life, gift them something everyone else is not doing, since there’s already going to be an estimated 1.2 trillion digital photos taken this year. The Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 harkens from its predecessor that came out four decades ago, and it’s back with a new film formula and new technologies (hello built in flash!). All you need to do is press the shutter and listen to the whir of the film’s ejection that’s sure to evoke nostalgia.
Just in time for the latest film in the Star Wars franchise, fans of the intergalactic soap opera can finally have their own home battle between R2-D2, BB-8, and B-9E, in a fight to see which droid is the most superior. Okay, so the bots can’t really battle, but they sure can race it out (Apple holds regular maze challenges featuring the robots at their Today at Apple sessions catered for kids). They can also be your companions as you rewatch the series, interacting with various scenes throughout the films.
Just a decade ago, we were advised to sit further from television screens, yet now we’re putting our phones to our faces just to experience virtual reality. And if you’re looking to get someone to hop onto the VR bandwagon, Samsung’s Gear VR is probably the most newbie-friendly VR device on the market, as all it requires is a phone that slides into the headset. It was developed in conjunction with Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality behemoth that brought it all mainstream.
The design of Devialet’s speakers are so iconic that anyone would be able to recognise it from a mile away. It’s an unusual mix that hovers between abstract and contemporary, but within its hefty 11kg chassis packs a huge punch that will make the price tag seem worth it. Basses are full, tones are tremendous, and vocals are coherent. And as you crank the volume up, the flapping side cones shouldn’t be a cause for worry, as that was how they are designed.