Gift guide: Top Christmas gift ideas for the men in your life
Choosing the perfect Christmas gifts for him can be tricky. That's why most of us leave it till the last minute, right?
But it doesn't have to be that way – we've put together a series of round-ups based on our favourite products to help you choose the very best presents for your tech-obsessed loved ones. This one will help you find the perfect gifts for the men in your life.
Looking for presents for the lady in your life this festive season? Check out our round-up of the best gifts for her.
Stocking Fillers (Under £50)
Google Cardboard - £10
This is perhaps the perfect stocking filler. Google Cardboard lets you use your phone as a virtual reality device. It's an amazing experience if you've never used a proper VR headset before and loads of cheap fun for everyone on Christmas Day.
No one deserves to be saddled with the earphones that come bundled with smartphones, and today’s phones can sound good enough that they don’t deserve it either.
Related: Christmas 2015 Gift Guide
Sturdy metal build and effective sound isolation make these a great budget headphone buy and a perfect cheap audio upgrade.
Otone Blufiniti – £49.99
It’s Christmas day and he’s got nothing through which to play his freshly downloaded Now That’s What I Call The Best Christmas Songs In The World Ever 34 album. Then he unwraps this little Bluetooth beauty and he can pump out Chrimbo classics through its twin 1.5-inch speakers for 10 whole hours before the battery needs recharging. Lucky him (but perhaps not you).
What's better than being able to watch all the best stuff from your phone or tablet on your TV? That's exactly what the Chromecast TV enables you to do. It's the cheapest way of making a dumb TV smart with Netflix, YouTube and loads of other compatible video apps. If music is more his thing then the Chromecast Audio plugs into most hi-fi systems and active speakers for playing Spotify or Tidal from a phone.
Under The Tree (£50-£200)
Recreated Sinclair ZX Spectrum – £99.99
Does he talk fondly of the days when he was amazed to see more than four colours on screen at once, and he walked around with his fingers in a Q=UP, A=DOWN, O=LEFT, P=RIGHT formation? Now he can jump through the 8-bit time tunnel and feel those rubber keys under his digits once more. This wonderful recreation of the Spectrum is, at heart, a Bluetooth keyboard that relies on you downloading a companion app on your mobile device for playing such classics as Manic Miner and Buggy Boy. Wonderfully nostalgic fun.
Apple TV – £129
The latest Apple TV is a massive update on the old version, so if he's a bit of an Apple fanboy he'll love all the new features. Not only does it give you instant access to loads of streaming services on your TV, but it also has a great remote that works brilliantly with games and apps as well.
Roku 2/Roku 3 – £59.99/£99.99
If he doesn't like to use his phone with a Chromecast and he hates Apple, then one of the best streaming boxes to get is the Roku. Best of all, the Roku 2 and 3 work with loads of streaming services including Amazon Video and Netflix. The more expensive Roku 3 is the one to go for if you can afford the extra, as it also comes with a headphone jack in the remote so he doesn't wake the house up when watching Star Wars for the 75th time at 2am.
Humax HDR-1100S – £189
The alternative to paid for Sky or Virgin TV is Freesat. To get it you need a Freesat enabled TV, or if you've got an older telly, at Freesat TV box. The Humax is one of the best around and also lets you record programs for later viewing. Great for the man who's a huge techie. 3
Plex – £12/£32/£119
Sometimes software can be a great gift for the tech head and there's nothing better than Plex. It organises all his movies, TV shows and music in super-accessible form. The apps on Apple TV, Roku and phones are brilliant, so it's a perfect companion for men who already use a TV streaming box and have loads of content on their computer.
Leatherman Juice XE6 – £103.95
Every man who was once a well-prepared Boy Scout would have had a Swiss Army knife to hand. They'd also have lit fires with a pair of sticks and worn silly scarves. Times change. This beast is a massive evolutionary step for the multitool, with more uses than you can shake two barely warm sticks at. And no, it doesn't have a tool for removing stones from horses' hooves.
Ruark Audio R1 Mk3 – £199.95
Waking up in the morning is a thing that comes easier to some (well done, you) than others (damn his lazy hide). The majestic sonic ability of this DAB bedside radio is so enticing that when the radio alarm goes off, he'll actually want to wake up and have a listen. It also has Bluetooth so it can double as a streaming hi-fi. Party time!
KitchenAid Personal Coffee Maker – £89.95
He complains about instant coffee, he complains about coffee shop prices, he complains that nothing's really his any more... Tell him to stop whining. Then maybe buy him this stunning personal coffee maker, complete with snazzy insulated mug. All his problems solved in one stylish fell swoop.
Splashing Out (Over £200)
Logitech Harmony Elite - £279
One remote to rule them all. Aside from flipping on the TV, Logitech's latest Harmony remote connects with loads of other smart-home tech. So your fella can get home and with a tap of a button boot up Netflix, lower the Philips Hue lights and whack the heating up. Nice.
Huawei Watch - £289 and up
Wearable tech used to be ugly, but that all changed in 2015. Easily the sleekest smartwatch we've tried out this year is Huawei's Watch, which is an impressive mix of style and substance. Running Android Wear, the watch is built from high-end materials and just like the Apple Watch, it's available in a range of styles depending on how much cash you're willing to spend.
While our all-time favourite close shave is obviously walking away from an exploding Aston Martin on our way into a casino, a very literal close shave is also nice. No other electric shaver we've tested cuts as well as this Panasonic, thanks to its five blades, Intelligent Shaving Sensor tech and multi-pivoting head. It even comes with a cleaning station – something our singed tuxedo sadly lacks.
Geneva AeroSphère Large – £649.00
A beautiful thing, isn't it? A real talking point. You'll love it, he'll love it, everyone will love it... What is it? Oh, sorry, it's a wireless multiroom speaker, and an exceptionally pretty one at that. It can connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth aptX and even Apple AirPlay, and thanks to a combination of two tweeters, a pair of 4-inch mid-range drivers and an upfiring 6-inch subwoofer, it sounds as good as it looks.
Kylo Ren's lightsaber from Star Wars: The Force Awakens - £175.99
Unless you've been living under some super-sized rock for the past two years, you'll probably know there's a new Star Wars film hitting cinemas the week before Christmas. And if the man in your life already has his ticket ready, this is the ultimate accessory. Sure, you probably think he's too old to enjoy this replica of Kylo Ren's already iconic crossguard lightsaber, but we can assure you he isn't. We've got one in the office and we haven't been able to put it down since it came out of the box.
Myo Armband - £150
If it's bleeding-edge tech you're after then the Myo armband could well be the gift to get. It reads the electromagnetic forces in your arm to let you control all sorts of tech, from your phone and PC to smart lights and even the Sphero BB-8, featured below. If your man's into Star Wars then this is the closest he will ever get to using the Force. Be warned, though, it takes some getting used to – for hardcore techies only.
Sphero BB-8 - £129.99
This is the robot featured in the upcoming Star Wars sequel and looks a little like a cross between R2-D2 and a football. You control the little fellow using your smartphone and he can roll around doing all sorts of tricks. Perfect for the man who doesn't want to grow up.
TomTom GO 5100 World - £200
If your fella is always getting lost then this is the best satnav to get him. The TomTom is one of the most expensive satnavs around, but it's also one of the best with world maps, safety camera alerts and MyDrive compatibility for life. That means no annual map payments.
Pebble Time Steel – £229.99
You don't just want him to look smart and turn up on time; you want him even more organised than that. This smartwatch will pair with his phone to send him notifications such as calendar reminders and messages you've sent telling him he no longer has any excuse for being late because he has a super new smartwatch. Support for tons of fitness apps should also encourage him to work off all those festive meals, while unlike most smartwatches, the Time Steel actually has enough battery life to get through the Christmas holiday without needing a charge.
Logitech G29 – £249.99
Whether he likes pretending to be Mansell, Schumacher or, to use a more current example, Vin Diesel, he'll want the best tool for the job. This outstanding steering wheel for PS4, PS3 and PC has genuine leather covering, reassuringly strong force feedback and a sturdy set of pedals. He's got an Xbox One, you say? Try the near-identical Logitech G920 instead. And make him play in the garage for a more authentic experience.
Gtech eBike - £995 (normally £1695)
Electric bikes can be a bit heavy and ponderous and look like a weird love child of a moped and Raleigh Chopper. Not so the Gtech. This is a good-looking commuter bike that cleverly features a removable battery shaped like a water bottle. It's on special offer at the moment and you get 14 days to decide whether you want to keep it. It's an expensive gift, but really useful for someone looking to get back into cycling or for someone who needs a little extra push to go pedalling.