Struggling to think of the perfect pressie to leave under the tree this Christmas? Well we’re here to help with a handful of nifty gadgets you didn’t even know you needed. They’ll, ahem, tech you by storm.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Bose has long been the undisputed headphone king thanks to its stellar QuietComfort line-up, and this new entry only solidifies that fact. With a more streamlined design that helps shave off some of the bulk of its predecessor, the 700s instantly feel comfier for long-haul listening.
The all-important noise cancellation also remains top-notch, with plenty of ways to adjust on the fly – be that through a physical button that cycles though your top preferences or via Bose’s smartphone app.
Meanwhile, the introduction of touch controls on the ear cup are a nice addition, but there will be a bit of a learning curve to locate the sweet spot in order to get it working perfectly every time.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
For the Xbox One gamer who wants to enjoy the finer things in life, may we present you with the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. Everything about it screams premium – from the adjustable tension thumbsticks, shorter hair trigger locks and interchangeable components.
The carrying case even doubles as a charging stand, which is damn impressive and has to be seen to be believed.
Is it expensive? Absolutely. But it also feels so wonderful in the hand that it’ll make your old controller feel strangely light and plasticky in comparison (though you will have to get used to not unintentionally hitting the paddles underneath).
The good news is that the hefty price tag won’t be in vain. Microsoft has previously claimed the Series 2 will be compatible with its upcoming next-generation system.
Fitbit Versa 2 + Charge 3
At this point it might seem as though every man and his dog already own Fitbits, but there’s a good reason for that. Having had hands-on with the recent Versa 2 and Charge 3, both do an excellent job at tracking your daily fitness and encouraging you to be healthier overall. We started as sceptics and ended actively trying to complete our daily step, calorie and activity goals.
Controversially, we preferred the Charge 3 thanks to its arguably more easily digestible interface, but the Versa packs a greater range of features (like visual workouts) and is more affordable alternative to most smart watches on the market.
WD_Black P10 Game Drive
While you’re free to use the P10 as a top-tier external HDD (of which it performs exceptionally well), this tank of a unit’s real bread and butter is helping expand the storage space of your console or PC by having your library handily on the go.
With an extra 2 – 5TB to play with (depending on which version you pick up), you’ll no longer have to engage in the painful experience of constantly deleting and reinstalling your favourite games.
Even better is that downloading games to the device is incredibly simple and we didn’t notice any difference between using the P10 or our standard PS4 HDD in terms of performance and lag.
If there’s one first-world problem we truly believe in, it’s the heartbreaking sip of lukewarm coffee or tea. The genius’ at Ember are here to solve that issue with the Ember Mug² – a smart mug which allows you to set an exact drinking temperature.
Not only is it incredibly pretty to look at, set up is a breeze too thanks to a smartphone app that quickly pairs with the unit.
We were a little surprised that the max temperature was only 62.5 degrees, but in putting it to the test our cuppa remained piping hot, allowing us to polish it off in much less than the 80-minute battery life. Once you’re done, you can throw it back on the included charging coaster, ready for next time. Ah, technology.
Google Pixel 4
While Apple seemingly dominates much of the smartphone conversation, Google has been steadily toiling away at improving its Pixel line-up and the Pixel 4 is the best so far.
We could talk about any number of features at this point, like the clean Android interface, incredibly speedy face unlock technology or nifty motion sensors, but the Pixel 4’s biggest selling point is its camera. And hot damn does it snap some beauties, plenty of which look so good they’re almost art-like.
Night Sight in particular is a thing of beauty – capturing an unprecedented level of detail compared to its competitors while avoiding an annoying flash. The overall finish might seem a little more plastic than others, but it’s hard to argue with a pretty affordable price. Also, it comes in orange, so consider us sold.
Logitech G PowerPlay Wireless Charging System
If your PC is anything like ours, it’s a mess of cables linking all sorts of devices that would send Marie Kondo into a fit. Logitech has helped alleviate some of those woes with its Logitech G PowerPlay.
To help simplify the complicated tech speak, essentially it’s a mousepad that will charge a compatible Logitech G wireless mouse whenever you use it. That means zero wires and zero batteries required for either product.
To watch it in action is a thing of wonder and works a treat. In our many hours of testing we didn’t notice any lag or drop out, either. Just make sure you have the desk space, because the mat itself is a little on the large side.
DJI Osmo Action
The action camera market is certainly a competitive one, but DJI has worked incredibly hard to sway you towards the Osmo Action and we’ve been incredibly impressed with the results.
The image stabilisation performs great if you’re filming while on the move and the UI thankfully works without lag or glitches – which has been a major sticking point for us with some of the Osmo’s competitors.
The biggest help, however, is the addition of a second screen on the front of the device, making it perfect for anybody wanting to start a vlog, or even just to take the perfect selfie. Oh, it’s also $100 cheaper than its biggest competitor.
Sphero Mini Activity Kit
Sphero has been making a range of delightful tech for some time now (including its incredibly beloved Star Wars droids), but with the Mini Activity Kit, the company has turned its attention to helping kids learn to code.
As a result, as well as a robotic ball and assortment of extras like miniature pins and cones, the kit comes with 15 STEM-inspired activity cards that promote the creation of mazes and obstacle courses.
Coding might not be our strongest suit, but even we could tell it’s a great introduction for any little ones keen on diving into the world of tech.
If you need even more ideas, click here!