2015 Christmas Gift Guide
You can always tell when it’s that time of year again as high street stores tend to start advertising early and offering their credit cards. You guessed it! Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to think about which gifts you plan on buying your family and friends this year. We’ve put together an awesome list of what we’re checking out on the run up to the festive holiday. Some are big, some are stocking fillers. We’ve also included some handy links to where you can buy the items.
Photobooks have been around for a few years now and are always a welcomed gift but now CEWE have taken it one step further and integrated video into them! Hold on, it’s not a combination of a photo book and a digital photo frame, it’s a photobook with special QR codes that once scanned, show a video on your smartphone or tablet.
There are three options to creating the photobook, via the web, your smartphone/tablet or via your desktop PC using their dedicated software. Downloading and using their software is the only way of integrating videos. I downloaded the software and started producing my photobook! Similar to other websites, you get a virtual book and you drag and drop your photos and videos into position. The software is a little slow and takes a bit of getting used to but the amount of options and choices you are given are really great. Once complete, you check, upload and pay, then wait for it to arrive in the post! You can insert a number of videos but this does come at a cost, these are stored on their central server for a minimum of 3 years, after that your QR code wont work. You can pay extra for the videos to remain on there for longer. We got ours through the post and were very impressed! The quality of the book itself was very good, with glossy, clear photos and the QR video function worked great! Prices start at £19.99 and can be purchased via the Cewe official site.
Call Of Duty : Black Ops 3 & Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 (Activision)
Activision have plenty to offer this Christmas! Many highly anticipated games are being/have been released leading up to Christmas that are bound to be on your shopping list! Titles such as Black Ops 3, Pro Skater 5, Skylands SuperChargers, Guitar Hero Live and Transformers Devastation, there is something for everyone.
The hugely popular Call Of Duty is back this Christmas with Black Ops 3 and its bound to be the must have game this year. This years campaign throws players into a futuristic world, filled with bio-technology and cybernetic enhancements! Your Black Ops soldier now stronger, faster and smarter than ever. The zombies are also back, set in the 1940’s and voiced by the legend that is Jeff Goldblum, it screams hours of blood, gore and fun! Released 6th November on PS3/PS4/Xbox One/Xbox 360 & PC.
Its one we have fond memories of, Tony Hawk Pro Skater is back and if you played the others, Pro Skater 2 was the best, then this will be a hit for you and the new generation of skaters/gamers. Going back to basics with the signature style of the classic Pro Skaters, and coupled with brand new levels, you will be in your button bashing element! Drop in and out of online skate sessions with friends and challengers from around the world with online multiplayer. Complete missions, unlock new content and level up online or offline, go head-to-head on the fly against all takers in competitive matches, or build your own imaginative skate parks to share with the community. Released 2nd October on PS3/PS4/Xbox One/Xbox 360.
BrAun Series 9 Electric Shaver
If you’re looking to get your Dad something this Christmas then I would look no further. The BrAun Series 9 Electric Shaver is the perfect present. Combining efficiency and comfort, the BrAun Series 9 shaver uses Syncro Sonic Technology meaning it can cut through a several day old beard in no time at all. There are four cutting elements, two foils and two trimmers which glide across your face with ease. It’s definitely one of the better electric shavers I’ve tried. You can find this on most online retailers websites and retails for around £179.99.
HTC RE Camera
Cameras are always on the Christmas list but rather than the ever popular GoPro, why not try something a little different? HTC RE is a new camera from the phone brand which looks great and has some promising features. To ensure you capture every moment without stopping the fun, the RE camera is incredibly quick and easy to use – perfect for snapping away and getting truly natural shots. Simply touch it to switch on, then press the button once for a photo and hold down to take a video. This clever device is also rain-proof, meaning it’s the perfect companion for those Christmas walks, whatever the weather. All content will later be streamed to your phone (iOS/Android) for easy editing and one-press sharing. The camera can record in impressive 1080p 30fps FHD, 720p with 4x slow motion feature and has a 146 degree super wide-angle lens with an f2.8 aperture for low light usability.
We tried the camera out and it was great. We loved how comfortable it is to hold and capture those special moments quickly. Watching the videos back, the quality was very good. Overall a very handy camera and would make an ideal Christmas gift for both men and women. Available now from the HTC website for just £139.
MiPOW Smart Lighting
MIPOW, an authorised manufacturing licensee of Apple Inc., is a global leader in premium mobile device accessories and have now branched out into the ‘smart’ lighting control industry. They offer a range of internal and external smart lighting control products that will illuminate your home. We tried a few of them out and loved them. You can check out the full review here. Products are available now via the official MiPOW website.
House of Marley ‘Roar’ Headphones
Whether it’s strictly roots and reggae riddims, or a self-selected soundtrack, the Roar on-ear headphones have got it covered. Delivering competitive acoustic performance with a stylish Marley look and feel, the clean design is enhanced by a powerful 40mm driver, as well as an in-line microphone with a 1-button controller. Press play, and get ready. Available in Black, Rasta, Grey, Navy and Pink. It includes an in-line one-button mic for hands-free calls and easy music control. Available from House of Marley direct, RRP £29.99.
The Infinity Speaker is a portable device with a built-in battery for your music. The lighting reacts to the bass and drums of your tunes and creates a lighting effect that acts as some kind of equalizer, circling round the outside of the front panel. Infinity have actually made a pretty solid speaker. It sounds great for its size. At higher volumes it can distort quite heavily depending on the genre of music, so no Dubstep. But for a small speaker for bedroom purposes or even if you’re on a trip out with friends and family, it’s pretty good. Our friends over at ThumbsUp! are offering this speaker.
Pure Pop Midi by Mini Moderns
Pure have teamed up with British contemporary designers Mini Moderns to bring you a 1950s inspired linocut Pop Midi. The radio is DAB digital and also supports Bluetooth for music devices like your mobile phone or tablet. The DAB radio has been styled extremely well. With a 3″ drive unit, the speaker kicks out 4.3W RMS. There is also a built-in battery for using off of the mains, making this a great contender in the portable speaker market. You can find more information and also purchase the Pure Pop Midi for around £89.99 from the Pure website.
Remington PROtect Hairdryer
Everyone needs a hair dryer so why not think about ridding yourself if the grotty old one you’ve grown accustomed to and invest in a new Remington PROtect? This nifty little dryer comes in at around £39.99 and features Remington’s TermoCare technology which delivers less heat to your hair preventing any kind of damage. There is also the Ionic Ceramic conditioning which gives your hair a frizz-free shine. I can honestly say that for the price, this hairdryer is better than some of the other models we’ve tried here at TechNuovo, hence why it’s made it onto our Christmas List. You can check it out on the Remington website. Go on, treat your hair to a new present this Christmas.
Filofax Neppa iPad Air 2 Case
The experts behind the popular 90s stationary are back in full force with the release of their range of iPad cases. The Nappa is a book-type iPad Air 2 case with a built-in notepad so you’ll be prepared for whatever work situation you find yourself in. The case also doubles up as a stand for when you want to watch YouTube videos or movies. It’s made of a high quality material that’ll keep your iPad protected from scratches and knocks which in transport. The plastic fastening for your iPad rotates 360-degrees so you can use it at whatever angle you want. Having the elasticated smartphone holder means you can carry all of your tech in one place. It retails at around £79.00 and can be found on the Filofax website.
iBeani Tablet Bean Bag
Handmade in the UK, the iBeani is the perfect accessory for any iPad, tablet or E-readers. This little bean bag holds your device in place, at any angle you want, to allow for a comfortable viewing experience. It covers everyone because it’s not favored towards Apple products. There are no slots you have to fit your device into. You usually see stands that require a solid flat surface to work. The iBeani can mold itself to any surface. It can be put on a desk, on your lap, in bed, on the sofa, in the car or on a plane and depending on how you’re sitting, you can adjust the viewing angle to your needs. We tried one of these out with an iPad, Nexus 7 and a cook book and in all instances, the iBeani held them all securely and it was very easy to adjust the item to suit my viewing angle.
Unlike most competitors, all iBeani products are manufactured in the UK meaning they support local companies and suppliers. Each bean bag is lovingly made by hand. These little gems are available now, in a variety of colours, direct from iBeani and start at £24.99 each.
Winter Toys from Asda
Asda has released their new Autumn/Winter toy collection which includes everything from soft toys to talking Minions, gadgets for the tech wizz and as always, the latest superheros! A big release this Christmas is of course the new Star Wars movie and the toys have followed suit. From lightsabers to snow boots, plush Yoda to Storm Trooper Nerf guns, they have it all. Noticeably is the variety of Lego figurines they have on offer. You can purchase your favorite hero or most powerful enemy and battle on the Lego playground!
We checked out the Lego Star Wars figures, don’t be fooled, these are not your traditional tiny Lego figures you normally associate with Lego. These are much more grand and awesome! More like the size of an Action Man (are they still going?!), they will fit into any superhero, figurine set and will destroy all with there lightsabers! Superb build quality, not tiny pieces like normal Lego and will please any Star Wars fan! They can be purchase in your local store or direct via the Asda website.
SleepPhones Comfortable TV Headphones
Once in a while a product comes along that really surprises us. This time it’s the headband headphones from SleepPhones. This unbelievably comfy audio device sits around your skull so the built-in padded earphones rest nicely against your ears. The design even lets you lay down to watch your favourite TV shows in peace. They use a wireless connection too so your audio will not be interrupted.
Skull Candy Headphones
Skull Candy are back this Christmas with there usual vibrant headphones. They have just released the XT Plyo and XT Free, both earphones, either wired or bluetooth. We got sent a pair of the XT Free earphones, the bluetooth model and loved them. As you can expect, they come in a variety of vibrant designs and these particular earphones are focused towards to the gym goers, the healthy people who like to jog. Bluetooth functionality is built into each earbud for a low profile, light and ultra-secure fit. They come complete with an inline microphone and remote (the cable goes between one ear and another) and they can last for upto 6hours. We will be putting these to the test and a full review will be up shortly! For more info or to purchase direct, visit the Skull Candy website.
Game of Thrones
The hit TV show has been a huge success and you might be thinking, ‘I can’t wait until spring!’. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about showing you the new season early but HBO do have some great gifts this Christmas to fuel your needs! They have a variety of gifts, from toys to cushions and shirts to dragon eggs, all along the theme of GoT characters, locations and props. Noticeably are the choice of notebooks, all of which have the medieval look and feel to them and would be great for budding writers or artists. We checked out a tiny replica Longclaw sword, known to belong to John Snow. It was incredibly detailed, came with a sleeve & stand, and is made out of metal. It was really cool and would make a great stocking filler!
There really is something for everyone. If you’re buying for someone else or secretly buying for yourself, you will be pleased with your purchase. Prices start from as little as £6 and to enjoy this wide selection, head over to the HBO website now!
Now TV Christmas Boxes
Now TV are coming this year with the release of their Christmas designed set-top boxes. Designs can range from ‘cuddly polar bears’ to a Rudolf graphic. They’re ready to fill any living room with Christmas spirit. The best thing is they’re only retailing for £15 from the Tesco website. Get in quick though as they only have a limited supply.
Skulpt Aim Fitness Tracker
The Skulpt Aim helps users to achieve their fitness goals faster, better understand their bodies, and know when they are losing fat and gaining muscle. Unlike other fitness trackers which only measure calories or step counts, Skulpt Aim is the most accurate way to measure fitness and how weight loss is impacting your body, you need to do this from the inside out, noting down changes in actual body fat and muscle quality.
NBA League Pass Streaming Serice
A Christmas gift for all you hoops fans out there. The NBA has released some new packages to their streaming service. League Pass lets you stream any NBA game you want online. They have different subscription packages available, or if you want to buy a one off game for the Christmas Day post-dinner rests. You can find out more information from the NBA League Pass website.