Christmas 2021: Gadgets to give a technology lover

Cutting-edge Christmas gift ideas from fitness tracking to latest electric conveyance

Fitbit Sense watch: the most advanced iteration of the popular smartwatch

Fitbit Sense watch: the most advanced iteration of the popular smartwatch

 

The world started to get back to something resembling normal during 2021, and this Christmas should bring with it a lot of happy reunions between family and friends. After a year and change of being cooped up it should also bring the freedom to move around a little more too, so to encourage some outside play, here are some Christmas gift ideas to get your friends and family back to the world.

Fitbit Sense watch

There was a little more pizza, chocolate and alcohol consumed than usual during the lockdown so, for many of us, a little extra physical activity wouldn’t go amiss. The Fitbit Sense (above) is the most advanced iteration of the popular smartwatch to date and comes with an all-day activity tracker and GPS which logs steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. It also comes with a host of new features including a sensor that tracks blood oxygen levels during sleep, an electrodermal activity (EDA) scanner that can check for stress and help wearers manage their stress levels, and there’s even a skin temperature sensor. Users can access Google Assistant or Alexa, and answer calls or texts all on a device with a decent battery life between charges. €269 harveynorman.ie

Nintendo Switch Lite handheld gaming console

Nintendo Switch Lite handheld gaming console
Nintendo Switch Lite handheld gaming console

Getting back to the world doesn’t mean you have to leave the game console at home as the Nintendo Switch Lite proves. The original version of the Switch was designed as a hybrid console that could be docked at home or played on the go, but the Lite arrived a couple of years later as a handheld device. The Nintendo Switch Lite retails for around €229.99 on average, and in addition to great battery life has an almost endless list of classic games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 to more recent titles like Monster Hunter Rise. In other words, the perfect device for the long bus or train ride to work or whiling away a slow Sunday in the park. €229.99 currys.ie

Apple MagSafe battery pack

Apple MagSafe battery pack
Apple MagSafe battery pack

Many of us have separation anxiety if we’re away from our precious mobile devices for too long, and we’ve all experienced the existential dread of a low battery alert. This explains the rise in the availability of portable chargers, but Apple’s MagSafe battery pack takes the convenience one step further. This gizmo is designed to clip neatly onto the back of iPhone 12 and 13 models and provides additional charge throughout the day. It also has Qi-based wireless charging for other devices such as AirPods or Android phones, and while it can’t fully recharge a completely drained device, it definitely provides an extra boost during a busy day of phone use. €109.00 apple.com/ie

Netatmo smart video doorbell

One (of the very few) benefits of lockdown life was typically being at home when packages or deliveries arrived, but now we’re slowly getting back into the swing of things, that little perk is slipping away. The Netatmo smart video doorbell can help with that, as it lets you see and speak to any visitors on your smartphone – even if you’re not in the country. The device is relatively easy to install and comes with a timeline app that tracks any comings and goings to your door throughout the day. The video image on boasts a 1080-pixel high definition camera and there’s even infrared night vision. €299.95 apple.com/ie

Dyson 360 Heurist vacuum

Dyson 360 Heurist vacuum
Dyson 360 Heurist vacuum

While robot vacuums were once seen as a high-tech luxury, they’ve since become fairly commonplace. The issue now is the sheer number of competing models, as it can be hard to figure out which are the best value for money. It’s hard to go wrong with Dyson when it comes to any model of vacuum, but the 360 Heurist robot has a lot to recommend it. It may not look quite as sleek as other brands but its state of the art SLAM vision system and 10 GB of memory make it exceptionally good at mapping and cleaning rooms. It has powerful suction and the Dyson Link app allows you to set rules for the Heurist, including specific instructions for hoovering certain rooms and scheduling cleaning. The best part is that it can do all this when users are at work or even while relaxing on holiday. €899.00 dyson.ie

Sony Walkman NW-A105 MP3 player

The walkman induces nostalgia for a certain generation, from its bulky design to swapping tapes with friends. Of course, time has eroded the inconveniences of carrying around a bunch of cassettes or how they would eat batteries with no mercy. For the music lovers out there looking to blend retro with modern, the Sony NW-A105 digital player might be the perfect combo. This sleek, Android-supported device has excellent sound quality, 16 GB of internal memory and a choice of listening modes, including the nostalgia evoking vinyl processor. £199.00 amazon.co.uk

Game & Watch: Legend of Zelda

Most of the gadgets mentioned have some kind of useful or practical function, but sometimes it’s nice to nab a total novelty. Game & Watch were a line of handheld games released by Nintendo throughout the 1980s that also doubled as a watch. The forthcoming Game & Watch: Legend of Zelda is an update of that concept, which packages together three classic Zelda titles (The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening), in addition to bonus game Vermin and an interactive digital clock and timer. This Game & Watch will be released November 12th and while it’s pricier than it really should be, it’s also one of the coolest clocks you will ever own. €59.99 smythstoys.com/ie

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G certainly grabs the crown for being one of the most unique mobiles on the market. While the first two iterations of Samsung’s foldable device were met with decidedly mixed results – ranging from high cost to many technical issues – the Fold3 is the result of feedback in action. The foldout 7.6” display looks crisp and sharp, which makes watching movies and videos or playing games a more appealing prospect, while the hinge mechanism is a vast improvement on older models. The Fold3 is water-resistant, comes with S Pen stylus support – though for some buyers this may be an additional cost – for taking notes, and the folded-out display would be very useful for the multitaskers in your life. €1,899.00 harveynorman.ie

Fiido D11 folding sport electric bike

Fiido has been producing great quality folding e-bikes for many years now, and the D11 might just be their best to date. This bicycle is simple to fold and place in the back of the car or take on public transport, which is most useful for those looking for a little exercise with their commute. The D11 also has a good range, three pedal-assist modes and responsive handling, and manages to hit the sweet spot between being a quality e-bike but at an affordable price. €1,189.00 fiido.ie

LARQ self-cleaning water bottle

Water. H2O. Uisce. Our bodies are made up of about 60 per cent of the stuff, yet many of us don’t drink nearly enough during the day. While reusable water bottles are indisputably handy, they’re tricky to clean properly and can get a little funky over time. The LARQ self-cleaning bottle uses UV-C LED technology to both purify the water and clean the inside of the bottle. The manufacturers boast of killing up to 99 per cent of bacteria and comes in a variety of fetching colours, including Monaco blue and obsidian black. €129.00 arnotts.ie

Xiaomi M365 Pro 2

There has been a steady rise in the popularity of e-scooters in recent years, which on the one hand are seen as a fun, easy alternative to cars or public transport, though on the other, there are lingering concerns over just how safe they are. Xiaomi’s original M365 Pro was seen as one of the best on the market, so it stands to reason the sequel would be even better. The Xiaomi M365 Pro 2 bears a similar design to its predecessor and is just as sturdy and well built. It runs on a more powerful electric motor, can switch between three speed modes (pedestrian, sports and standard), the range is in the region of 45km (28 miles) and it only takes mere seconds to fold. It doesn’t come cheap, but of the e-scooter options available it’s hard to beat. €648.90 harveynorman.ie