The 9 best gadgets for Christmas

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From sleek smartphones to the latest tablets and next-generation gaming consoles, David Phelan picks his favourite devices

1. Amazon Kindle Paper white

Amazon’s latest tablet designed for reading ebooks is its best yet. The black-and-white screen is sharper than ever and the front light means you can read it in the dark effortlessly.

How much: from £109

Where from: amazon.co.uk

2. Apple iPhone 5s

The best smartphone Apple has yet built, the 5s is slim, light, attractive and very fast. It has a fingerprint sensor to wake the screen, which is brilliantly intimate.

How much: from £549

Where from: apple.com/uk

3. Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet

Nokia’s first tablet is a triumph. It feels great thanks to a warm-to-the-touch polycarbonate shell. It’s a Windows 8.1 RT tablet, augmented with Nokia’s ace apps.

How much: £399

Where from: johnlewis.com

4. Damson Jet

Tiny speakers are portable but lack the punch of separated stereo. The Damson Jets come as a stereo pair in lots of colours. They’re small but sound terrific. They have rechargeable batteries so are entirely portable.

How much:£150

Where from: damsonaudio.com

5. Xbox One

The new console from Microsoft is much more than a games machine. As well as playing DVDs and Blu-ray discs, you can even control your TV or Sky box by talking to Xbox!

How much: £429

Where from: xbox.com

 

Buyer's guide:

Compact cameras that charm

Since the best camera is the one you have with you, it’s easy to think that the snapper on your phone is enough. But for higher quality pics, a dedicated camera is best. For instance, very few phones have optical zooms.

Cameraphones have murdered the cheap compact camera market – though these still have their charms, especially if you pick a “ruggedised” model that’s shock- or waterproof, making it suitable for beach or skiing holidays. Don’t chase higher pixel counts: cramming millions more pixels onto a small sensor adds to image noise. Advanced compacts like the Sony RX100 II or Fujifilm X20 boast bigger sensors that perform sensationally and are well worth the extra spend over a basic compact model.

Compact System Cameras offer the large sensor and interchangeable lenses of an SLR in a lighter body and are a great step up from a compact. The Fujifilm X-A1 and Sony NEX-6 are outstanding. But the SLR is still top of the pile. An SLR like the Canon EOS 100D or Nikon D610 offers the best viewfinder, sensor and usually superior build quality.

6. Canon EOS 100D

The smallest and lightest SLR there is, making for superb handling and ease of use, without sacrificing outstanding picture quality. The 18MP sensor is large and accurate, and though the 100D is small it’s big enough to be taken seriously.

How much: £449

Where from: argos.co.uk

7. Sony RX100 II camera

This is a compact with a big 20.2MP sensor, so the resultant pictures are rich and detailed. It’s easy to use and it’s a great all-rounder that is ideal for new photographers and experienced ones alike.

How much: £649

Where from: sony.co.uk

8. Fujifilm X-A1 camera

This 16MP compact system camera is exceptional, matching outstanding optics and features at a competitive price. It’s beautifully made, has a pleasing retro styling and an intuitive interface that’s easy to use.

How much: £499

Where from: jessops.com

9. Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3

This is an affordable compact camera that sports a 14.1MP sensor. Its 5x optical zoom is longer than standard and features include strong optical image stabilisation, so your shots are steady even when you’re not.

How much: £119.95

Where from: johnlewis.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker