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Trusted Reviews Christmas Gift Guide: Games, tablets and speakers

In a bind over what to buy for your loved ones this holiday season? Get rid of the guesswork and nab something they’ll love with our curated guide.

While Christmastime and the holiday period can be filled with fun and cheer, it can often get bogged down by the gift buying process, particularly if you’re approaching it completely unsure of what to get.

To help you bypass any stress on that front, we’ve gone ahead and had a scout around for the best tech (and tech-adjacent) gifts that you can buy right now.

We’ve also made sure to steer the majority of this list away from the more absurdly priced items on the market. Every penny counts after all when you’re buying for multiple people, so outside of a few instances, we’ve made sure to have affordability as the key factor when determining which gifts to include. With that in mind, keep on reading to see which items made the cut.

Fire TV Cube Lifestyle (3) crop

Fire TV Cube (2022)

What do you get for someone who loves to binge-watch the latest shows? You get them the latest high-end streaming device, of course. Amazon’s just updated its Fire TV Cube with better speakers, Wi-Fi 6e compatibility and a new Alexa Pro remote that offers more functionality from your fingertips, making this the ideal buy for someone who wants their streaming experience to be as convenient as possible.

Buy now: Fire TV Cube 2022 for just £139.99

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser

In these colder winter months, nothing hits the spot quite like a rich and smooth hot chocolate. Hotel Chocolat already knows a thing or two about tasty treats, but with the Velvetiser, the company shows off its understanding of what makes a great hot chocolate, providing luxurious chocolatey drinks in a matter of minutes. The magnetic design also means that it’s a breeze to clean up afterwards, so you can spend less time washing up and more time curling up on the sofa with your beverage.

Buy now: Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser for just £110

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Headphones

When it comes to headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the AirPods Max tend to dominate the conversation, but for folks in the music and podcast industry, Audio-Technica is the go-to brand.

The company proves that you don’t have to spend a ton of money for high quality audio either, as the ATH-M50xBT2 headphones pack studio level sound for well below £200. To please the music lover in your life, you can’t ask for fairer than that.

Buy now: ATH-M50xBT2 Headphones for just £169

Call of Duty Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The latest iteration in the newly rebooted Modern Warfare series, MW2 is full to the brim with fast-paced multiplayer modes and a cinematic story that’ll have you travel the globe as you try to take down a nefarious operation. For Call of Duty fans it’s a must buy, and an easy addition to their gaming library this Christmas.

If, like me, you haven’t played a Call of Duty title in quite some time then fear not, MW2 is a great entry-point to dive back in with memorable characters and stunning locales, so even if you haven’t played last 2019’s Modern Warfare, you’ll still have a good time.

Buy now: Modern Warfare 2 for just £56.99 (was £69.99)

TOPL Leakproof Coffee Cup

As great as it would be to have a bean-to-cup coffee machine wrapped and ready under the Christmas tree, sometimes the budget just doesn’t stretch that far. If you’re after a low-cost gift for the coffee lover in your life then they’ll be easily pleased by the TOPL coffee cup that has an ingenious feature up its sleeve.

Try as you might, the TOPL cup makes it impossible to spill your tasty beverage thanks to a unique lid that uses a magnetic design to seal shut when knocked over. As if that wasn’t enough, the 360-lid allows you drink from any side which, as any person who’s been scolded by a misplaced sip can tell you, is a Godsend.

Buy now: TOPL Coffee Cup for just £29

Gomatic Peter McKinnon Camera Bag Backpack

A proper camera bag is an essential item for any budding (or professional) photographer, but it can be a lot more convenient to have one bag that doubles as the go-to for your camera kit and as a daily rucksack when needed.

Luckily the Gomatic Peter McKinnon Camera Bag Backpack features customisable insides that allow it to suit different needs depending on the day ahead. There’s even a slot to hold laptops with screens up to 16-inches, and the water resistant material can keep your belongings safe and sound from the elements.

Buy now: Gomatic Peter McKinnon BackPack for £299.99

Fire 7 Kids Tablet

Sometimes the only thing to keep a kid distracted on Christmas Day as you try and baste the turkey is a tablet filled with their favourite apps. Amazon knows as much, which is why the retailer has slashed the price of its most recent Fire 7 Kids tablet which comes with a robust, kid-friendly case and a two-year warranty to give you peace of mind.

The device also comes with one year of Amazon Kids Plus right out of the gate, which offers up access to countless kid-friendly apps, books and TV shows. If you want an inexpensive gift that’s sure to keep the younger ones settled (for a little while at least) then you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than this.

Buy now: Fire 7 Kids Tablet for just £69.99 (was £109.99)

ShiftCam SnapGrip

ShiftCam SnapGrip

Let’s face it, smartphone photography will always be so much more convenient than carrying around a dedicated camera, but there’s still something to be said about the steadiness offered by a proper camera grip.

The folks at ShiftCam seem to agree, as the company has put together the ingenious SnapGrip which, as its name implies, attaches seamlessly to the back of your iPhone (via MagSafe) and lets you take pictures via the physical shutter button. This is a game changer for upping your photography game and a low-cost gift for all Instagrammers out there.

Buy now: ShiftCam SnapGrip for just £69.99

Sage Bambino Plus Espresso Maker

If the Velvetiser is our go-to gift for hot chocolates, then it’s over to the Sage Bambino Plus for that all-essential cup of coffee to get your day started.

Admittedly, Sage’s bean-to-cup coffee machine is a bit pricier than most items on this list but as a solid investment for the future (particularly if you’re buying the machine for someone you live with), this is one of the best coffee machines you can buy with the full barista experience condensed into one gorgeous stainless steel frame.

Buy now: Sage Bambino Plus Espresso Maker for £399

Anker MagGo Power Bank

Even if you are forward-thinking enough to bring a powerbank with you wherever you go – leaving your physical cables at home can render that powerbank redundant, but there is a fix around this.

Anker’s magnetic MagGo Power Bank doesn’t require any cables to get going – just attach it to the back of your iPhone and your device will start charging wirelessly. As a must-have accessory for those long nights out, Anker’s MagGo is a hard one to argue with, and it’ll be much appreciated by anyone who spends a fair amount of time on their phone.

Buy now: Anker MagGo Power Bank for just £39.99 (Was £10)

Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger

Anker’s MagSafe battery pack can be fantastic for wireless charging on the go, but what about if you’re sick of all the cables surrounding your bedside table?

If one of your loved ones is constantly going on about how much they hate having an abundance of charging cables then maybe it’s time to help them make the leap to wireless charging, and the Belkin 3-in-1, as its name suggests, has space for not only your iPhone but your Apple Watch and AirPods as well. For anyone who’s knee-deep in the Apple ecosystem, this is an easy win as a gift.

Buy now: Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger for just £89.99 (Was £99.99)

Google Nest Mini

While there are plenty of great smart speakers out there, like the new Echo Dot 5 and the HomePod Mini, they can’t quite match the Google Nest Mini when it comes to value for money.

Currently discounted to just over £20, the Nest Mini is a stylish smart speaker that can blend into home decor fairly well, and its small size prevents it from taking up too much valuable table space. As a low-cost stocking filler for someone who loves a bit of smart home tech, the Google Nest Mini is a solid present to please just about anyone.

Buy now: Google Nest Mini for just £24 (was £49)

4lite Wiz Connected LED Strip Light

In the world of smart lighting, Philips Hue rules the roost as the most recognisable brand, and while its app and ecosystem are the best of their kind, the lights themselves come at a premium cost.

If you want to indulge in the smart lighting experience without breaking the bank then I’d recommend checking out the 4lite Wiz Connected LED Strip Light which costs significantly less than its main competitor while still boasting plenty of colour profiles to choose from. You can even select ‘candlelight’ as one of the profiles, allowing the strip to simulate the comforting aura of a candle at Christmas.

Buy now: 4lite Wiz Connected LED Strip Lite for just £33.99 (was £44.99)

Sonos Roam in park

Sonos Roam SL

Whether it’s for working from home or for taking with you on a picnic during sunnier days, a solid Bluetooth speaker can always come in handy. In the realm of audio tech, very few brands command the same level of respect as Sonos which is why we were mightily impressed when the company finally dove into the Bluetooth speaker market with the equally impressive Sonos Roam.

Despite its portable size, the Roam boasts a rich soundscape that can make your favourite Christmas hits sound better than ever.

Buy now: Sonos Roam SL for just £159

Kindle Scribe

One of the newest items on this list, the Kindle Scribe is the latest device in Amazon’s long-line of e-readers but with a twist.

This Kindle comes bundled with a stylus that can be used to jot down notes as you’re reading, which can be a huge help for students and avid readers alike. Plus, the Kindle Scribe also boasts a much larger 10.2-inch display which should be preferable for people who have trouble reading smaller font sizes.

Buy now: Kindle Scribe for £409.99

Moleskine Writing Set

While the Kindle Scribe is certainly a novel way of note-taking in the modern age, sometimes you just can’t beat a classic set of pen and paper, particularly if you have any aspiring writers or novelists in your social circle.

This fantastic creative kit from Moleskine features a luxurious hard cover notebook with ivory-coloured pages, as well as a unique refillable rollerball pen that’s been co-designed with German company Kaweco for a seamless writing experience. As much as we love the latest tech, there’s still something to be said for the feel of physical stationery when it comes to everyday tasks.

Buy now: Moleskine Notepad and Pen Giftbox for just £31.58

Ember Mug coffee

Ember Smart Mug 2

At this very moment, cups of tea and coffee across the country are at risk of going cold before they can be finished in time.

It’s a conundrum that every connoisseur of hot beverages can relate to, especially during these colder months of the year, but with the Ember Smart Mug in tow, you can keep your drinks at the optimal temperature while you concentrate on other things.

Just plug the base into an available power socket and the unit can take care of the rest – easily the perfect present for any tea drinkers out there (outside of the tea itself, of course).

Buy now: Ember Smart Mug 2 for just £129.95

I think that we’re all guilty of clogging up our phone storage with an abundance of photos, and in the process those photos tend to feel less important as time goes on. With the Instax Square Link however, you can give new life to your favourite pictures by printing them out in a matter of minutes so that they can be framed, hung up or even placed into a physical scrapbook.

The Square Link connects wirelessly to your phone via Bluetooth, so it’s a much smoother printing process than what you’ve probably experienced with more traditional desktop printers.

Buy now: Instax Square Link Photo Printer for just £129.99

Rega Planar 1 Turntable

Just like the Sage coffee machine, this turntable from Rega costs a fair bit more than most of the items we’ve recommended but it’s definitely a great option if you’re after something a bit more luxurious for that special someone.

On top of its clean and uncluttered design, the Planar 1 can do justice to any vinyl record by helping them to sound their best during playback, packing a robust level of audio quality that you’d expect to find on a much pricier bit of kit.

Buy now: Rega Planar 1 Turntable for £299

Lego Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter

Almost every Star Wars fan tuned in to see Ewan McGregor’s return as the skilled Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in this year’s Disney Plus series, so here’s a Lego set that’s sure to please kids and adults alike.

Bundled in is the Jedi himself, two other Star Wars characters and the headline build: Obi-Wan’s Starfigher, complete with adhesive decals to really bring it to life. You can even shoot tiny Lego pellets from the ship’s guns (perfect if someone’s trying to wake you up from your Christmas nap).

Buy now: Lego Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter for just £23.99 (Was £29.99)

Lego Ninjago Kai’s Fire Dragon EVO

Definitely better suited for the kids, this Lego Ninjago set has plenty to keep them occupied for Christmas Day and beyond (plus it’s not too expensive either). The fire dragon definitely steals the show here as one of the most eye-catching Lego characters we’ve ever seen, but the set also comes with three other characters included – ideal for making sure that no one is left out if you have multiple children playing together.

Buy now: Lego Ninjago Kai’s Fire Dragon EVO for just £20.69 (Was £24.99)

Backbone One: PlayStation Edition Controller

As nice as it would be to have a next-gen gaming console under the tree on Christmas Day, there are two big factors that prevent that from being a reality for most people: the consoles themselves are quite expensive and trying to locate stock for them is a whole other issue in itself.

If the person you’re buying for has an iPhone however then you can get the Backbone One controller instead, as it turns their handset into a full-on hub for cloud gaming. So as long as they have a decent internet connection to hand then they can enjoy countless hours of gaming fun right on their smartphone.

Buy now: Backone One: Playstation Edition for just £99.99

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