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Christmas shopping: 12 tech and gadget gift ideas from €40

It’s not too late to screengrab some gadgets to light up the season for your tech-conscious friends and loved ones

Christmas decorations appeared in the shops before Halloween was even over, and Christmas ads have been coming thick and fast. But now it is December, which means you have only a few weeks left to prepare for the big day.

If you haven’t quite completed the Christmas list yet, we have some suggestions for all budgets.

Under €100

Chromecast with Google TV

€40/€70 Store.google.com

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Google’s Chromecast device was always a bargain way to turn your old TV into a smarter one. But it relied heavily on your smartphone, which wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The updated Chromecast keeps the price low(ish) but adds Google TV to the mix, giving you a device that has its own apps you can install from the Google Play Store, including Disney+, Netflix and Apple TV. You can also install games and utilities, so if you want to dodge geo-blocked content, you can use a VPN such as ExpressVPN to get the required IP address. And the new Chromecast also comes with its own remote control, so you need never rely on your smartphone for entertainment again.

Choose from the HD version (€40) and the 4K-capable device (€70).

Bodylite LED Reflective Vest

€28 Bodylitegear.com

Runners, cyclists and dog walkers alike know the importance of being visible as the nights get darker. Irish company Bodylite’s new reflective vest gives you an easy and reliable way to light up, with an LED-enabled vest that won’t cost the earth. On the front, you have a green LED strip; on the back are two strips of red LED, which also have a flashing mode to make you extra visible. You’ll get 12 hours of light in flashing mode, and the vest has plenty of reflective material to make sure that headlights will light you up even if the battery has run out. Despite the battery, the vest is lightweight, and has a pocket for your smartphone, keys and money or a bank card.

OneSonic BXS-HD1 True Wireless Stereo Headphones

€80 Onesonic.com

As far as budget-friendly earbuds go, Irish brand OneSonic are hard to beat. The BXS-HD1 open-fit earbuds not only offer great audio, but they won’t break the bank or, more importantly, end up unusable after three wears. They’ve been designed to fit snugly against your ear, with a notch cut out for your lower ear lobe. They are sweat- and splash-resistant, and come with touch controls to allow the wearer to play or pause tracks, skip music, adjust volume and answer calls.

If you prefer noise-cancelling buds with customisable tips, the MXS-HD1 will stretch your budget to €140.

Under €250

Ember Mug

€125 Ember.com

It may seem like a lot to pay for a mug to keep your drink warm – you can pick up a can pick up a €30 Yeti mug that will do the job – but the Ember Mug is a little more than an insulated drinks holder. The mug will also keep your drink at the perfect temperature for you, and keep it that way for up to 90 minutes on battery mode and all day when the mug is placed on its own special charging coaster. An LED light on the mug indicates when your drink is at the desired temperature. No more lukewarm coffee or microwaved tea.

BoomBright Wireless speaker

€160 BoomBright.ie

The Irish-designed BoomBright wireless speaker is an unusual one. The device is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker, a job it performs well. But it is also works as a decorative item in your home, and provides a light show while it’s at it. You can change the colour with the included remote control – a handy way to bring mood lighting to your room – or set the colour pattern to keep time with the beat of the music. The BoomBright will last for eight to 12 hours on a full charge.

You can also sync several of them together – up to eight – and have them play the same music all over your home. And because it has an IP65 rating for water and dust, you can extend that your garden too.

Fujifilm Instax Square Link smartphone printer

€149 Connscameras.ie

Free your photos with a mini photo printer this Christmas. The Fujifilm range of cameras and printers being new life to your photos in more ways than one, adding interactive elements and some fun ones. The Bluetooth-enabled printer uses the Instax Square instant film, giving you more space for your photos. It is lightweight and compact too, and has a rechargeable battery that will last for about 100 prints before needing to be powered up again.

You can add everything from digital stickers and frames to augmented reality elements through a QR code that links to a doodle, extra photos, different backgrounds or text.

Under €500

Oura Ring 3

From €314 Oura.com

Forget about watches or bands; the Oura Ring is a subtle yet useful health and wellness tracker that blends right in. Available in a number of styles and colours, the ring has some powerful sensors built in to track everything from your heart rate to your body temperature and stress levels. The new generation of the ring will also monitor workout heart rate and blood oxygen levels, making it the ideal replacement if you don’t want to wear a smartwatch to track your health and wellness. Battery life is around seven days, and you can charge the ring by popping it on a small stand.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

€309 Samsung.com

Samsung has been doing wearables for quite a while, and it shows. The Galaxy Watch5 has taken some of the lessons learned over the years and used them to develop an elegant yet useful smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch5 comes with Google’s Wear OS 3 software, and new features such as a skin temperature sensor. It is more durable too, with a sapphire crystal watchface that should make it more resistant to scratches, and an IP68 rating. Its bioactive sensor monitors everything from heart rate to stress levels, plus it comes with an ECG function. Some features are kept for Samsung handsets, though, such as the ability to monitor your blood pressure.

Meta Quest 2

€400 Meta.com

It’s still not clear how the metaverse will go, but there are plenty of companies determined to make it happen. But while you are figuring out if virtual networking events and concerts work for you, you can get into virtual reality gaming. The Meta Quest 2 is a good introduction to VR gaming. Not only is it cheaper than some of the alternatives out there, but it is smaller and lighter than the original Quest. It also has a more powerful processor, and – crucially – a sharper screen. There is a decent range of games too, and that can be broadened further if you are willing to give up the wireless feature and tether yourself to a PC with a cable that enables you to access Steam’s VR content.

€500 and over

Apple Watch Ultra

€999 Apple.com

While Apple may have refined its Apple Watch with the Series 8 (€499), the real attention this year was on its Garmin competitor, the Apple Watch Ultra. At just under €1,000, it’s not cheap, but it offers plenty of features. There’s the battery, which lasts 36 hours on a single charge and 60 in battery optimisation mode. You can use it for diving thanks to the improved 100m water resistance, and it has precision location, with dual-frequency GPS that will accurately track location that might have struggled before. Should you find yourself in a tight spot, the emergency feature will blare an 86-decibel siren that can be heard 180m away. It’s also bigger at 49mm, and it is tougher too, with a titanium case.

Dyson Airwrap

€549 Dyson.ie

Dyson’s Airwrap hair styling tool got an update this year, and has been re-engineered for faster and easier styling without extreme heat. The new version comes with a new dual-purpose smoothing attachment that uses the Coanda airflow process to tame your hair, some reworked brush attachments, and combined barrel attachments for curling that allow you to switch airflow as you style your hair, cutting down on the number of extras you’ll need to store and the time it will take to do your hair.

It hasn’t got any cheaper, though the versatility of the device means it can replace several hair styling tools in your kit.

Siemens EQ 700 bean to cup coffee machine

€1,200 Arnotts.ie

Siemens EQ 700 bean to cup coffee machine

If you are ready to get fancy with your coffee, the Siemens EQ 700 bean-to-cup machine will do just that. It has a touch-sensitive display that you can swipe through to navigate the different types of coffee on offer and personalise them according to your own taste. Pop the beans in one end, and perfect coffee comes out the other, frothy milk as required.

And if that’s not enough variety for you, it links up to the Home Connect app, which not only offers remote control but also allows you add more drinks to the machine. You can save up to 10 individual drinks along with your own personal settings for strength, water and milk.