Ah yes, the sweet smell of last minute pre-Christmas panic buying.
What to get those special people in your life? How much to spend? How do you get something interesting? Our guide is here to help you with those tricky questions. The following guide picks out a number of products to help you decide, based on what we’ve written about this year.
Gifts up to £100
For ’90s kids: Sega Mega Drive Mini
Just in time to get brand aligned with the new Sonic movie, is a re-release of the classic console that put the blue hedgehog on the map. The Mega Drive isn’t going to win any prizes for graphics or processing power, being 16 bit and approximately 30,000 times less powerful than a low end smartphone. But you do get the original classic Sonic game, plus 39 others – remember Echo the Dolphin? At £70, it’s priced for the nostalgic Generation X-er in your life.
For younger gamers: Arctis 3 Bluetooth Headset
Every kid wants a gaming headset, both to become fully immersed in their gaming, and to block out their parents. This is one of the better wireless ones – we liked it for its good quality audio and microphone, and ease of use. We thought it was on the pricey side when originally released but you can get it for closer to £70 now which makes it a no brainer.
For Instagrammers: Moment Lens for your phone
Despite the recent advances in computational mobile photography, real photographers know the secret to great images is in the lens, so why not attach another one to your phone to get even more impactful shots? After all, if three lenses is good, surely four is better. That’s the thinking behind Moment’s range of telephoto and wide-angle mobile lens attachments, each costing you £100.
For the forgetful: Tile Mate
In this age of mass surveillance, you can either beat them or join them. Except in this case, we’re talking about little Bluetooth squares you can attach to your possessions so you don’t lose them. These handy Tiles enable you to track pretty much anything over a distance of 200 feet. Perfect for bags, keys, wallets, phones, possibly infants – anything liable to being misplaced. And they are only £20 each.
Gifts between £100-£250
For the beauty conscious: FOREO LUNA 3
[sponsored] The LUNA 3 is a pocket-sized sonic facial cleansing brush that’s perfectly sized for throwing in a washbag or taking along to the gym, helping to guard against unwanted fine lines by plumping, firming and tightening skin. It is available in three different designs, depending on your skin type – sensitive, normal or combination – with a different pastel hue depending on the one you choose. Pick it up for £126.
For iPhone fans: Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11, 11 Pro
Even though the iPhone 11’s got pretty good battery life already, more can’t hurt especially for those with long commutes or a hefty games or video habit. So the Apple Smart Battery case for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro (other iPhone makes are available too) is what you want. There’s not much more to say than it does the job, looks pretty good and costs about £80 at Amazon.
For entertainment junkies: NVidia Shield TV
There’s no shortage of streaming set top boxes around but this one offers an interesting extra – games. In addition to the usual 4K access to Netflix, Prime Video and so on, this gives the ability to stream games, via GeForce Now, if you have a Steam, Origin or uPlay account. It’s a powerful little system and at £149, it’s a great way to add gamesplaying to your main TV.
For gamers of all ages: Nintendo Switch Lite
We probably don’t need to include this one, because either your partner or your kid has impatiently told you about it by now. Nonetheless, this is the latest handheld from Nintendo. It plays nearly all the Switch games, although it doesn’t plug into a TV or enable local multiplayer gaming like its bigger brother. It’s great fun though, is probably the must have games console this Christmas, and costs around £190.
Gifts between £250-£400
For binge watchers: Samsung UE 43 RU7020
Fancy a new 4K Smart TV but don’t want to break the bank? Just in time for Christmas is this new Samsung 43 inch wonder. The sound is average to be honest, but that’s nothing a soundbar won’t fix. Yet it’s got it where it matters: the picture sparkles and at £329, you’re going to struggle to find a better spec for the price.
For active families: GoPro Hero 7 Black
It’s last year’s action camera pace setter, not this year’s and that’s because we don’t see enough of a reason to recommend the newer Hero 8 Black over it – the Hero 7 is that good. It’s a waterproof, stabilised action camera that anyone can stick in a pocket and use when out and about for those sudden whitewater adventures (or more realistically, dog walks). It’s small, it’s easy to use, and it’s not hard to understand its insane popularity – especially at its current price of £260.
The Trusted Reviews Product of the Year 2019: Oculus Quest
VR gaming can be an acquired taste for many but the Oculus Quest is without doubt, the way to acquire it. There are no wires, there’s no need for a powerful PC doing the hard processing work – you strap on the headset and off you go into your simulated world. At only £400 it’s a ludicrously easy way to get into VR, and it was our Product of the Year to boot.