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The 22 best tech gifts for gadget fans in 2023

We’ve rounded up the best gear we’ve reviewed in 2023 to suit all budgets and tastes this Christmas

Alex Lee,Steve Hogarty
Monday 18 December 2023 10:26 GMT
<p>Whether you’re looking for fitness wearables or headphones, we’ve got the best tech gifts in 2023 </p>

Whether you’re looking for fitness wearables or headphones, we’ve got the best tech gifts in 2023

The season of festivities have arrived and Christmas is just around the corner now. No one wants to be stuck scrambling around wildly on Christmas Eve, hunting down a gift that the special someone in your life will love. We’re here to help.

There’s really nothing worse than a hastily wrapped bit of tech tat bought from a store at closing time that will just end up stuffed in a cupboard somewhere. Fortunately, we’ve been testing gadgets all year long, so we know which products are worth spending on.

From the newest smartphones, the best-sounding headphones and earbuds, and the most innovative smartwatches and fitness trackers to the latest games consoles, the sharpest action cameras and instant models, and the most advanced smart home gadgets, we’ve tested them all. Tablets, electric bikes, laptops, speakers, pet gadgets, you name it. There’s something for everyone.    

Plus, there are affordable options you can choose so nobody is left out. Below, we’ve hand-picked the very best bits of tech that anyone will love to unwrap on Christmas Day, with every budget catered for.

How we tested

Every techie gift here has been tested extensively by us. We’ve listened to them; snapped pics with them; typed and gamed on them; sat on our bums, for hours, playing FC 24 on them; ran with them on our wrists; brought them out for a ride in the park; cooked with them; cleaned with them; lost and found items with them; and called people from across the world with them. Basically, we can guarantee that everything you find here is top quality.

AirPods Pro, 2nd gen

Apple AirPods Pro second generation noise cancelling headphones
  • Best: Wireless earbuds for iPhone users
  • Why we love it
    • Great active noise cancellation
    • Excellent sound quality
  • Take note
    • Works best with iPhones

The AirPods Pro have just received a huge update for 2023, making them an even better choice for someone in search of top-notch wireless earbuds. Not only do they sound as good as they’ve always done and pair with iPhones in a snap, but they’re also smarter. The AirPods Pro now come with a cool Adaptive Audio feature, which listens to the sound in your environment to blend active noise cancellation and transparency modes together, boosting when you pass some road works and lowering when it’s quieter.

There’s also a new conversation awareness mode, which lowers the volume of your AirPods and turns on transparency mode whenever you start talking. Lastly, there’s a new personalised volume feature, which learns your volume habits over time, so you don’t have to keep adjusting it. For those who’ve upgraded to a shiny new iPhone 15, the AirPods Pro also come with a USB-C port, so you can charge your earbuds directly from your iPhone.

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Audio-Technica LP3xBT turntable

audio technica LP3xBT.jpg
  • Best: Turntable for beginners
  • Why we love it
    • Great sound
    • Easy to set up and use
    • Affordable
  • Take note
    • Slightly plasticky build quality
    • You need to buy your own speakers if you don’t have some alread

That music lover in your life been eyeing up record collections with envy but needs something to play them on if they want to join the party? Audio-Technica’s LP3xBT is an affordable automatic turntable that is a doddle to set up and ideal for beginners. It can connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker, so you won’t have to invest in any extra audio gear if you have one lying around. It features Audio-Technica’s reliable AT-VM95C stylus cartridge, and you’ve also got a built-in phono/line pre-amp for wired listening if you prefer. This had us playing our records in no time, with toggles for both 33RPM and 45RPM speeds. It even returns to the start of the record once it’s played through.

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Meta Quest 3

meta-quest-3-review-indybest.png
  • Best: Virtual reality headset
  • Why we love it
    • Full-colour passthrough is epic
    • Much faster than the previous model
  • Take note
    • A lot pricier than the Quest

For those hoping to dive into immersive gaming, the Meta Quest 3 offers the best entry point into virtual reality. The latest VR headset has been upgraded in all the best ways over the Meta Quest 2. It features full-colour passthrough, so you can see the world around you through the headset and play mixed reality games. The controllers have been improved and the lenses have a higher resolution, so everything looks all that much sharper. The best part? It’s completely wire-free, so you can shoot down zombies and dance in your living room without being tethered to any power outlet. It is a lot more expensive than the previous model, so if you want something more affordable, the Meta Quest 2 (£299, Amazon.co.uk) is still a great choice.

Read our full Meta Quest 3 review

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Fitbit Charge 6

M10256705_black.png
  • Best: Fitness tracker all-round
  • Why we love it
    • Long-lasting battery life
    • Google integration
    • Lots of exercise modes
  • Take note
    • Display isn’t very big

Help giftee’s smash post-Christmas resolutions with Fitbit’s latest fitness tracker. The Fitbit Charge 6 is smarter than ever thanks to a more accurate heart rate sensor and deeper Google integration. You can now see turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps right from your wrist while out on runs, pay for your coffee with Google Wallet, and control music playback through YouTube Music. There’s also an EDA sensor, so you can track your stress levels, and there are even more exercise modes to choose from. It’s a streamlined fitness tracker that lasted days and days on a single charge, and kept us motivated with its free six-months membership to Fitbit Premium.

The only downside is its fairly small vertical display. Fitbit’s range of smartwatches, such as the Fitbit Sense 2 (£179.99, Amazon.co.uk) and Versa 4 (£161, Amazon.co.uk), have bigger, more readable screens, so could be a better option.

Read our round-up of the best Fitbits

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

iphone 15 pro max.jpg
  • Best: Apple iPhone
  • Why we love it
    • Lightning fast
    • Lighter and more ergonomic
    • Features a really neat 5X telephoto lens

Apple’s gone all Sia on us with its latest line of titanium iPhones, and it’ll make the perfect gift for Apple fans. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best handset we’ve reviewed from the manufacturer. Lightweight, super durable and with slightly rounded edges, the biggest iPhone has never been more comfortable to hold, and that natural titanium colourway is just so pretty to look at.

As well as the fancy new action button on the side of the phone, which can be programmed to take you straight to the camera, turn on the flashlight, it’s really handy that it now uses USB-C. We can charge our AirPods and Apple Watch directly from our phone, so if we’re ever out and we don’t have any more juice, our phone can give our other Apple gadgets a boost.

The standout feature though has to be the camera array. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 5x telephoto lens, so we could take better and more detailed pictures even if we were further away. And if your giftee is someone who always forgets to turn portrait mode when taking pictures, you can finally toggle it on after the fact, and our pictures still came out great. This is a really powerful smartphone. It’s fast, takes great pictures, excellent for gaming and surprisingly future-proof.

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Insta360 Go 3

insta360 go
  • Best: Action camera
  • Why we love it
    • Impressively small
    • Good range of mounts included
    • Footage looks great
  • Take note
    • Not quite as good as a GoPro for hslow-motion shots

Claiming to be the world’s smallest action camera, the Insta360 Go 3 is essentially two action cameras rolled into one. You get a tidy little waterproof pop-out camera that’s about the size of your thumb, which is light enough to clip to your clothing or attach to the brim of a hat. While it’s not as good at high-res slow-motion as bigger rivals, it produces great looking 3K footage, has a decent 120fps slow-mo mode in 1080p, and a hyperlapse feature.

For a fuller action cam experience you insert the mini-camera back into the main body, where it behaves much more like a regular GoPro, giving you a reversible viewfinder and touchscreen, added battery life and storage, and letting you adjust settings without using the app. Even without using the main body, you get up to 40 minutes of recording at 1440p on the teeny-tiny camera alone, which is incredibly impressive for a camera small enough to accidentally swallow.

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Tonies Toniebox

Toniebox.jpg
  • Best: Kids tech toy
  • Why we love it
    • Lots of different characters to choose from
    • Fun for all the kids

The Toniebox is the tech toy we wish we had as a kid. It’s essentially a modern-day music box for stories, educational bits and tunes. You place a character on the top of the box, and a story will begin. It’s tactile, with kids being able to choose and place the characters themselves – there are more than 200 to choose from, so your little one can collect them like Pokémon.

While it’s primarily aimed at very young children, with plenty of stories for one-year-olds, there are some really good options for five- to six-year-olds, too, including a Shrek character and Disney’s Moana. More Tonies characters are being released all the time, so you’ll always have new tales to listen to. If your kids love stories (or you just want to wean your child away from screens), the Toniebox is a nifty little toy with a loud, clear speaker.

  1. £78 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Logitech Casa Pop-Up Desk

logitech casa pop-up desk
  • Best: Laptop stand
  • Why we love it
    • Beautiful design
    • Packs away neatly
    • Includes keyboard and trackpad
  • Take note
    • Laptop stand isn’t adjustable

When Khia sang about her neck and her back, she was very likely talking about the strain induced by using her laptop without a proper laptop stand. But you don’t need a Floridian rapper to tell you that hunching over like a horrible great prawn for eight hours a day isn’t healthy.

The Logitech Casa Pop-Up Desk is an all-in-one solution: a laptop stand that disguises itself as a book when not in use, and contains a wireless keyboard and laptop-style trackpad. You could get the same setup more cheaply if you were to buy these bits separately, but what makes the Logitech Casa special is how neatly it all packs away. Perfect for anyone who regularly works from home and wants to banish all memories of the office come 5pm.

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Tile bluetooth trackers

tile pro bluetooth january sales
  • Best: Bluetooth tracker
  • Why we love it
    • Replaceable battery (Pro only)
    • Comes in credit card size
    • Works with Android and iOS
  • Take note
    • Not as accurate as AirTag

We’re perennially recommending these helpful little Tile bluetooth trackers. Attach one to your keys, slip one into your wallet, or stick one to something you’re always misplacing, and you’ll be able to make them ring out so long as your phone is in range. If your stuff is out of range (say you left your keys at the office or dropped them in the park) the Tile app will show you the item’s last known location. If your stuff is really lost, you can have other Tile users actively scan for your tracker.

Apple’s AirTags work so well because they take advantage of iPhones being absolutely everywhere, giving Apple unbeatable coverage. Google is working on the same technology for Android, and is partnering with Tile and other bluetooth trackers to make finding your stuff even easier. The rival tech firms are working together to tackle abuse too, with safety apps that alert you to any trackers on your person that shouldn’t be there.

  1. £25 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021
  • Best: Kindle ereader
  • Why we love it
    • Adjustable warm light for reading in bed
    • Sharp display is easy to read
  • Take note
    • No automatic dimming

The Kindle Paperwhite is a more premium version of the basic Kindle (£84.99, Amazon.co.uk), and as such it’s got a few more useful features included. It has a larger 6.8in screen and a higher-resolution display. That means letters appear sharper and more detailed, so you can read more comfortably at your usual text size or with the Kindle held further away, or reduce the text size to fit more words on each page.

The Kindle paperwhite uses more LED lights surrounding the display so that illumination is brighter and smoother across the page. It can also adjust from a cold, blue daylight to a warmer amber colour – like the night-mode feature on a smartphone – for more comfortable reading in low-light. This model is also waterproof, so if you’re a clumsy clown who likes to read by the swimming pool or at the beach, the Kindle Paperwhite is the way to go.

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Steam Deck

Steam Deck
  • Best: Portable gaming PC
  • Why we love it
    • Play your desktop PC games remotely
    • Doesn’t require a gaming PC to work
    • Can run emulators and other software
  • Take note
    • Hardware isn’t upgradeable
    • Battery life is poor

Valve’s handheld is a marvel of engineering, cramming mid-range PC gaming performance into a portable package. The Steam Deck works as a standalone handheld, connecting to the Steam storefront to buy, download and play most PC games. It also lets you play your desktop PC games remotely over a wi-fi connection, so you can continue playing on the sofa.

It’s essentially a Nintendo Switch for PC games, and the ideal solution for anyone who wants to play their Steam games anywhere they please, and without sequestering themselves away at a desk in another room like an anti-social gremlin.

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Sony WF-1000XM5 wireless earbuds

wf-1000xm5.jpg
  • Best: Noise-cancelling earbuds
  • Why we love it
    • Incredible noise-cancellation
    • Excellent sound quality
    • Charging chase is compact
  • Take note
    • Sony headphones app is a bit rough

The newest version of Sony’s best-in-class buds, the WF-1000XM5 comfortably held top spot in our list of the best wireless earphones.

Sound quality is excellent, and noise-cancellation is where these earbuds really pull away from the competition. Get the right fit with the interchangeable tips, crank up the ANC and even the noisiest situations become a peaceful, silent nirvana. Perfect for busy offices, trains and flights.

Other features help cement the WF-1000XM5 as our pick of the best wireless earbuds, like how your music will pause and the earbuds will tune into voice frequencies if they detect that you’re speaking to another person.

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Sky Stream

sky stream.jpg
  • Best: Streaming box
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to use
    • No satellite dish needed
    • Lots of streaming services available
  • Take note
    • Still have to pay for the expensive TVpackages

It’s never been easier to get Sky TV. Late last year, the broadcaster released a new device called the Sky Stream. It works on any TV (so you don’t need to buy Sky Glass) and it streams content over wifi instead of via a satellite dish on your roof.

It’s a fantastic little box, with a simple user interface, access to hundreds of streaming services, games and apps and even its own new way of recording content. You’ll still have to pay for a subscription to Sky TV, and all the annoying little tiered packages for Sky Sports and Sky Cinema are still there, but this is the simplest way to get Sky TV now, with complete access to Sky Go, HD channels and Dolby Atmos support.

  1. £26 from Sky.com
Prices may vary
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Marshall Middleton Bluetooth speaker

marshall middleton.jpg
  • Best: Bluetooth speaker
  • Why we love it
    • Big, powerful sound
    • Well-designed
  • Take note
    • Battery life could be bette

The Middleton speaker, from the historic British amplifier manufacturer Marshall, is a beautiful, portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds as good as it looks. Finished with a rubber case and gold accents, the Middleton will make a really great gift for those audiophiles looking for a portable speaker that can be used outside, inside and even in the shower.

If you’re a fan of booming bass, you’ll love the Middleton, which delivered some of the best bass we’ve heard from a portable speaker of this size. It also gets really loud, without any distortion. While battery life is a little lacking, with just 20 hours on a single charge, you’ll get years of sonic pleasure with Marshall’s Middleton.

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra

bose quietcomfort ultra.jpg
  • Best: Over-ear wireless headphones
  • Why we love it
    • Sound divine
    • Industry-leading noise cancellation
  • Take note
    • Expensive

If you’re looking for the very best noise-cancelling headphones, Bose’s latest QuietComfort Ultra were released a few months ago, and they’re the best cans we’ve tested when it comes to shutting down outside sound. We couldn’t hear passing cars, trains or chatter. As well as being exceedingly comfortable, with plush leather ear cups and a nice folding design, the headphones just sound really good, too.

Our music came through rich and melodious, with instruments sounding precise within the mix. If the music-lover in your life wants some real hardy premium headphones that sound good and will last for years, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra are just that.

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Gozney Dome S1 pizza oven

gozney dome s1.jpg
  • Best: Pizza oven
  • Why we love it
    • Cooks delicious pizzas in less than two minutes
    • A really beautiful bit of gardenware
  • Take note
    • Heavy
    • Price

The Dome S1 is a beautiful outdoor pizza oven that will make all your garden parties a hit in the spring and summer months. It looks like a gigantic casserole dish that works like the ovens used in your favourite Italian restaurants – that means it’s really heavy, and moving it around is a two-person job. But once you’ve got it set up, you’ll be cooking perfect pizzas with airy and delicious crusts in less than two minutes. It features a nice wide mouth, so pizza rotation with the pizza peel is a doddle.

There is a bit of a learning curve with all pizza ovens, including the Gozney (we had a few burnt pizzas at the start but nailed it by the third round). After all, owning a wok doesn’t turn you into a chef overnight. Still, it did make whipping up mouth-watering pizzas in just a couple of minutes a whole lot easier, and they were far tastier than the ones cooked in our convection oven.

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

instax mini 12.jpg
  • Best: Instant camera
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable instant photography
    • Perfect for teens and students
    • Takes really nice retro-looking photos

Instant photography is back – and the Instax Mini 12 camera is the simplest way to try out film photography at an affordable price. You don’t need to fuss about with a bunch of buttons or settings, you just point and shoot, and your photo instantly prints out from the bottom, developing within five minutes. It’s a fun little camera, perfect for teens and families to take on holidays as well as to gigs and parties.

There’s even a selfie mirror for taking portrait pictures, and the camera works with both colour and black-and-white film. The lighting and colour can be a bit off if you aren’t in the right conditions, and your subjects need to stand stock-still or your photos will come out blurry, but the Instax Mini 12 gives great-looking retro pictures that don’t live on your phone. Just remember to buy the film – the camera doesn’t come with any.

  1. £74 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Ring video doorbell pro 2

ring video doorbell pro 2.jpg
  • Best: Video doorbell for home security
  • Why we love it
    • A feature-packed video doorbell
    • Great motion sensing features
  • Take note
    • Expensive
    • Needs hard-wiring

Give the gift of home security this Christmas, with Ring’s video doorbell pro 2. It’s the company’s best video doorbell, and the best we’ve tested this year. Like all of Ring’s devices, we were able to see who was at the door whenever it rang and talk to visitors through the two-way speaker, no matter if we were at home or away.

The best part about the pro 2 is that its motion detection is much more accurate, with a bird’s eye view in the app, and we loved that it captured full-colour footage a whole six seconds before it detected motion. It meant we could see exactly who was coming up towards our house (most video doorbells capture black-and-white footage a couple of seconds before detecting motion). Although it’s a wired device (meaning you’ll have to get it connected to the mains professionally), we preferred this to having to take the Ring down and recharge it every time it ran out of battery. It’s a present that’ll last a life time – or the length of time your giftee lives in the same house.

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Tefal cook4me touch pressure cooker

tefal cook4me touch .jpg
  • Best: Kitchen gadget
  • Why we love it
    • Loads of smart features
    • Works with an app with hundreds of recipes
  • Take note
    • Quite expensiv

Searching for a techie gift for a terrible chef? We see you, and Tefal’s Cook4Me Touch will turn them into Marco Pierre White (OK, we’re exaggerating, but it’ll get them close enough). This is a modern all-in-one pressure cooker with a touch screen that’s wifi-enabled and works with an app. There are hundreds of recipes programmed into the machine, and you can scroll through hundreds more in the app. Once you’ve landed on one, you can send the recipe right to the machine and you’re literally guided through every step of the way, just chucking stuff into the pot. We’ve cooked tortellini, French-style scrambled eggs, mango sticky rice, ratatouille, beef tacos and soup.

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PitPat dog GPS tracker

pitpat gps dog tracker .jpg
  • Best: GPS dog tracker
  • Why we love it
    • Lightweight and small
    • No subscription fee
  • Take note
    • Can take a while to start livetracking initially

If you’re searching for a gift for the dog that keeps on running away, have a look at PitPat’s dog GPS tracker. Unlike the more popular Tractive dog tracker, you don’t need to pay a monthly subscription to track your pet. It’s a small and light waterproof device that just clips onto your dog’s exisitng collar. While it’s definitely slower than Tractive when it comes to finding your pet initially (it has to connect to PitPat’s servers, ping your dog’s tracker, send that location back to PitPat and then on to you), it still gave us peace of mind. When we started live tracking, it sent us his live location every 10-30 seconds. And we loved the Dog Finder feature in the app, which pointed us in the right direction. It comes with a wireless charging pad, so you don’t need to plug it in, and PitPat says that it can last up to two weeks.

  1. £149 from Pitpat.com
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Best tech gifts for gadget fans

Technology is a broad category, so zeroing in on the perfect present for the tech fan in your life can take some careful consideration. Whether you’re shopping for a fitness fanatic or an audiophile, our round-up of the best tech gifts for gadget fans should hopefully help you make the right decision. We’re constantly updating our list with new products as we review them, so keep checking back as Christmas approaches for even more shopping inspiration.

Looking for a present for the man in your life? Read our review of the best gifts for him

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