Socket Fillers: Christmas Gifts For Tech-Lovers To Suit Every Budget

Our guide to what to buy for the gadget-obsessed this Christmas, from modestly-priced essentials to the truly covetous unnecessaries, and everything between

Feature by Julie Danskin | 03 Dec 2014
  • Christmas Gifts For Tech-Lovers To Suit Every Budget

Gifts Under £50

1. Shoulderpod S1 – A thoughtful, specialist gift for the digital chronicler in your life, the Shoulderpod S1 is a portable rig designed for increased control in smartphone photography and/or filmmaking. This kit consists of a smartphone-friendly clamp for tripods, handstrap for steady grip, and travel stand. (£23.90, shoulderpod.com)

2. Urbanears Plattan Headphones – Urbanears create stylish, durable in- and on-ear headphones that come in an array of attractive colours at various affordable price points. Plattan is a classic on-ear headphone which offers rich, secluded sound, and features the ZoundPlug socket, which allows a friend (or passer-by, whatever) to plug their own headphones into yours. Why not. (Various colours, £49.90, urbanears.com)

3. FroliCat BOLT – What Christmas is complete without the chance to watch a cat freak out while chasing a laser? BOLT from FroliCat is an interactive toy that can be used handheld for creating laser patterns, or placed on a surface to project automatic patterns at random. Assured fast-paced, multi-species fun for hours of entertainment, or at least until your cat gets fed up of the ridicule. (£19.99, iwantoneofthose.com)

4. The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson – Walter Isaacson is back with another weighty tome following his bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. This time Isaacson charts the birth and growth of the digital age through its greatest creative minds, ranging from Ada Lovelace to Larry Page. If you have a tech lover in your family with a dual penchant for history, you can’t go wrong with this book. (Simon & Schuster UK, 2014, hardcover, 528 pages, £11.99, amazon.co.uk)

Gifts Between £50-£100

5. iKettle – Have someone on your Christmas to-buy-for list who can’t get out of bed without the imminent promise of a hot beverage? Consider the iKettle, the world’s first WiFi kettle that wakes you from sleep, or welcomes you home, with the automated offer of brewing up a coffee or tea to the perfect temperature. The stainless steel kettle comes with WiFi dock and a range of colourful insulating skins for £14.99 each. (£99.99, firebox.com)

6. Babyliss Curl Secret – If this contraption looks scary enough to make your hair curl then you’re not far off, since that’s what it’s designed for. This device is not designed for Earth’s demise, but is in fact an innovative hair-curling product that’s taking the beauty world by storm. The Curl Secret from Babyliss draws hair into its ceramic chamber (sinister) and gently creates perfectly formed curls in seconds, with multiple heat and timer settings. (£101.99, johnlewis.com)


“For the person who genuinely has everything, there’s always a drone”


7. Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack – If there’s a kid you really want to please, and a parent you really want to annoy, then grab a Skylanders Starter Pack. The set comes with software, two figures and traps and, crucially, a traptanium portal, which the toy figure is placed on to make it appear on-screen and allow it to go into battle. Or something. (Various kits available for all mainstream consoles and tablets, £52.99, toysrus.com)

8. Pebble Smartwatch – Know someone who loves Kickstarter? The Smartwatch from Pebble is finally available in the UK to pair up with Android or iOS and display texts, tweets and other notifications using an e-paper display. The highly customisable and water-resistant Smartwatch has a battery that lasts five-to-seven days and even has its own app store. A sure winner this Christmas. (Various colours, £99.99, firebox.com)

Stocking Stuffers: Small But Special Gift Ideas

9. Lumsing 10400mah Harmonica Style Portable Power Bank – For anyone who constantly bemoans his/her smartphone’s lack of longevity through the day, a portable charger is essential, and is a Christmas gift that you can rest assured will be gratefully received. This favourably reviewed portable charger from Lumsing is suitable for copious USB-chargeable devices, comes at a very decent price, and is far more attractive than similar products on the market. (£21.99, amazon.co.uk)

10. Logitech X100 Portable Speaker – This is a handy little gift idea for anyone you know who has a penchant for impromptu music sharing. With a 30-foot wireless range and enabled for any Bluetooth device, the Logitech X100 speakers are equipped with clear, rich sound. Better yet, it fits in the palm of your hand and comes in a variety of colours. (£39, amazon.co.uk)

11. Mimobot Darth Vader USB Stick – Everyone knows a Star Wars fan who also appreciates portable data storage and, since it’s Christmas, why not combine the two? These hilarious flash drives from Mimobot are available in various characters and capacities which come pre-loaded with fun icons and wallpapers, and are absolutely perfect for stockings. (from £24.95, amazon.co.uk)

12. Gift Vouchers, Various – Ah, gift vouchers. Constant life-saver for the rushed, the forgetful and the undecided. There are some great tech-related gift cards for all budgets, including for iTunes/Google Play stores, Spotify, or more bespoke voucher ideas such as Casetify, which allows your recipient to design their own gadget case. Who says gift cards can’t be thoughtful?

The 'Money’s No Object' Gifts

13. Sonos Wireless Music System – The drool-worthy Sonos system is enough to make anyone with an appreciation for high-end audio technology weak at the knees. From the Play: 1 hi-fi speaker that’s compatible with all streaming services and controlled by a smartphone or laptop, to the TV Playbar for the ultimate home entertainment experience, any gift bequeathed with a Sonos logo is likely to make you very popular indeed. (from £169, sonos.com)

14. Romo – This loveable little robot on wheels will not only entertain any kid (or let’s face it, adult) for ages on end by making it chase after a ball or prodding it mercilessly, but the user will also learn basic programming skills while playing. Completing different missions unlocks Romo’s characteristics and abilities, and the software allows video calls, making it easy to forget that Romo is also a really fancy remote car which, by the way, can be controlled from an enabled iOS device anywhere in the world. (£129, firebox.com)

15. Amazon Kindle Voyage – Undisputed despot of the e-readers, Amazon recently released their most expensive Kindle yet: the Voyage. Complete with 300ppi high resolution, a new front light, the rebirth of the bezel page-turn and the promise of book-sharing technology, it seems pretty much like the very decent Kindle Paperwhite, and yet more covetable. If you have a big budget for an eager reader with a love of the most up-to-date technology, they’ll thank you for this. (from £169, amazon.co.uk)

16. Parrot AR. Drone 2.0 Elite Edition – For the person who genuinely has everything, there’s always a drone. The Parrot 2.0 Elite Edition comes complete with high-definition camera and video recording direct to your smartphone, GPS tracking, pilot mode with absolute control, acrobatic abilities and programmable movements. What else can we say: you’ll either really not see the point of one of these, or really, really want one. (£319.99, amazon.co.uk)