eBay Elf, finding the perfect gift for you this Christmas. Tech, Tips and Top Tweets 9am till 6pm, then I'm off to make the candy canes.
Can we be real for a second? As grateful as we are for the love that goes in to Christmas presents, to get the really cool stuff, sometimes the only person you can really rely on is number one. And remember, you’re never too old to write a personal wish list to Santa. It might be the only way to guarantee you aren’t crossing your fingers on Christmas Eve.
Here’s a list of awesome tech and gadgets I’m counting on to avoid any of those “well, you’re so hard to buy for, but everyone needs socks,” disappointments this year.
When the Christmas snow and ice melts, you’ll be thankful for this brilliant water purification system. The LifeStraw is perfect for your hiking and camping expeditions and you can just dip it into any water source and enjoy clean, drinkable H2O.
Great for travel abroad, it has two-stage filtration system, which nixes 99.9 per cent of bacteria. It has a 3-year shelf life during which it can filter 1,000 litres. It’s even small enough for you to sneak inside your own stocking.
Buy Now: LifeStraw and accessories on eBay
2. Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
Smart home gadgets are still firmly in the realm of ‘tech you need to buy for yourself’. Let’s face it, no-one’s buying you an A/C adapter for Chrimbo, regardless of how clever it is!
So this might be one you need to treat yourself with safe in the knowledge that the Insight Switch will pay for itself multiple times over. Essentially, it’s like buying money.
It connects all of your electronics to the home Wi-Fi network allowing you to look into energy usage and estimated costs on a smartphone app.
Buy Now: The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch on eBay
3. BACtrack Breathalyzer
“Oh, you bought me a breathalyzer? What are you trying to say?” Yep, here’s another one it’s probably better to get for yourself.
If you think you’re under the legal limit, this police-grade breathalyzer with one-touch operation will let you know for sure. Still, probably best to get an Uber anyway…
Buy Now: The BACTrack Brethalyzer on eBay
4. Easybreath Snorkeling Mask
Is there a more awkward partnership than the snorkel and mask? Every time I use one I feel like I’m being waterboarded. The masks are leaky and uncomfortable and the mouthpiece grosses me out.
The folks behind the clever Tribord Easybreath must feel the same way. So they created this full-face mask that allows you to breathe naturally through your nose, while the extraction fan-like tech stops the mask from fogging up. Leaving you to relax and enjoy the view. Perfect for when beach holiday time ticks around.
Buy Now: The Easybreath on eBay
5. Samsung Gear VR
Early adoption is the hallmark of a true tech enthusiast, but these items rarely come as presents. The best way to ensure you stay ahead of the game is to splash out yourself.
If you own a 2015 Samsung Galaxy smartphone then the fully immersive Gear VR headset is a no-brainer that gets you in on Virtual Reality from the ground floor.
Just slide your smartphone into the viewfinder and you’ll be able to tour the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean, while it’s minus lord-knows-what at home. Well, sort of.
Buy Now: The Samsung Gear VR on eBay
6. Google Chromecast Audio
Thinking of upgrading your trusty old speakers for a set with all the modern bells, whistles and Wi-Fi connectivity? Hold your horses.
Google’s new Chromecast Wi-Fi adapter dongle is designed to smarten up any pair of dumb speakers, allowing you to stream tunes directly from your mobile device.
And to think you were going to get rid of those beloved old speakers. Tut, tut.
Buy Now: Google Chromecast Audio from eBay
7. Fitbit Charge HR
If 2016 is the year you’re finally committing to a personal fitness revolution you may need to aid your motivation with a Fitbit Charge HR wearable.
It tracks your daily movement as well as multiple workout activities, capturing steps, distance, calories, time and shows your current heart rate on the built-in LCD display.
Buy Now: Fitbit Charge HR on eBay
8. Range Smart thermometer
I haven’t been this excited about a thermometer since… well, since ever. This connected probe syncs temperature information back to your phone, allowing you to set alarms and view trends over time.
It’s oven proof and accurate to within a single degree, so it’s perfect for roasting a turkey or even brewing a nice hoppy IPA to see in the New Year in style.
Buy Now: Range Smart Thermometer on eBay
9. Sony 4KTV with Android TV
Unless you’ve got some benevolent grandparents who love showering gifts on their favourite grandchild, you’re probably going to have to spring for that 4K telly yourself.
This Ultra HD set from Sony is a great place to start if you’re thinking about upgrading your old 1080p set. It comes loaded with the Android TV software, loads of Google Play store content like music, games, movies and TV shows.
Buy Now: Sony 4KTV with Android TV on eBay
10. Roku 4
Wow, so those 4K TVs aren’t cheap are they? So let’s start small any work up with the Roku 4 set-top box. This Wi-Fi connected box will enable you to watch the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime while listening to music from Spotify.
If you’re playing smart and waiting for the price of next-gen sets to come down, this little hockey puck is 4K-ready and future-proofed.
Buy Now: Roku 4 on eBay