Gadgets and technology are increasingly becoming a major part of the Christmas wish list for many tech savvy individuals. I’ve decided to take a look at what I believe are the hottest tech gadgets for the 2016 festive season. I’ve also compared the best from each category to help you decide on the perfect Christmas stocking filler for your gadget crazy loved ones.
1 – Games Consoles
Games consoles are by no means a new entry on this list but the gaming industry is still the hottest property in tech with new gaming titles regularly become record breaking number 1 hits. The gaming industry is now estimated to be worth $100 billion worldwide and competition is fiercer than ever.
Xbox One S
The Xbox has topped the wish list for many since it exploded into the scene in 2001. The latest edition is The Xbox One S.
The new Xbox features 4K video and streaming, up to 2 TB of storage, HDR and it’s also 40% smaller.
The PS4 Pro is the new kid on the block from Sony and it’s the latest high tech / high spec version of their iconic PlayStation. Like its main rival, The Xbox One S, The PS4 Pro also features 4K Gaming, Video and Streaming.
The rivalry between these two is set to continue this year. If you’re wondering which console to go for you can check out this in depth comparison on Trusted Reviews
NES Classic Edition
The NES Classic is a trip down gaming memory lane and is in no way an attempt to compete with the Xbox One S or PS4 Pro. It’s an almost exact replica looks wise of the original Nintendo NES console. The big selling points here are the really affordable price tag which is £49.99 in the UK and $59.99 in The USA and the fact that the console comes with 30 classic NES games already installed.
Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to get your hands on one right now with reports of them selling for crazy money on ebay.
2 – VR Headsets
VR Headsets are another hot product this Christmas and again we see many of the tech giants fighting it out for the top spot. Sony, Facebook, HTC and Google are just some of the big players who have a VR headset on the market right now. Here’s a look at three of the best.
The Oculus Rift is the headset everyone wants this Christmas. Oculus is owned by Facebook and have been leaders in bringing VR to the public for the last number of years. The Rift must be paired with a PC with recommended minimum power levels required in order to gain the full experience.
There’s some good news for Xbox One owners however with plans to allow Xbox Games be played on The Oculus Rift from next month.
The Rift can also be paired with The Oculus touch as featured in the image above to give a full VR experience to users. A number of Rift and Touch titles are already available.
The PSVR is the VR Headset from Sony. As you might have already guessed it’s mainly aimed at the PlayStation gaming market. It’s looks pretty slick and features a 5.7″ OLED screen, 360 degree vision and 120 frames per second video display.
It connects with the PS4 as you’d expect and there are already a number of PSVR dedicated games including more familiar titles like Batman Arkham VR and Driveclub VR. Retail price is around €400 in Ireland which is quite competitive compared to the Oculus Rift which costs around €740.
If you need to choose which is right for you both are compared in depth here on wearable.com
Another rival to these two is the more high end and expensive HTC Vive VR Headset.
The Google Daydream is a mobile VR headset and right now it’s only compatible with Google’s new Pixel Phone and the Moto Z from Motorola. The Daydream is lightweight, comfortable and comes in a range of stylish colours. Users can watch video with a big screen experience and play a variety of games using the mini controller.
Retail price is expected to be €80 in Ireland.
3 – Drones
Drones are becoming increasingly mainstream and affordable and will most likely be on someones list as a way to treat a loved one this Christmas or indeed as a way to treat themselves. There are 3 distinct types of drone available and these include Camera Drones, Racing Drones and Toy Drones.
I’m just going to cover Camera Drones in this blog post but you can look at a more in depth review of the other types available here on MyFirstDrone.com
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a serious piece of kit for those who are serious about drone flying and capturing stunning images and video. The Phantom 4 Pro isn’t what would be considered an entry level drone and the price tag of €1699 should tell you that. It is however the best drone available to buy right now and comes with some amazing features such as 4K video, 30 minute flight time, 72 KM/H top speed and a 7KM control range.
The device’s controller has a built in screen with a live 1080p video display making the DJI Phantom 4 Pro the most coveted drone on the market right now.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is a much more affordable drone at €499. It is still however an amazing machine just like all DJI’s range. The Phantom 3 Standard features 2.7K video, 25 minute flight time, Stabilisation technology and much more. The controller can be connected to a smart phone and steam live camera footage in 720p HD video.
The Parot Bebop is a great entry level drone with a number of nifty features. It comes with a 1080p HD camera and control is via a smart phone app. The drone can be used indoors and outdoors and has a lightweight robust design. The cost on the UK site right now is £199 which is a bit better than the €299 on the Irish website.
4 – DSLR Cameras
DSLR Cameras are not just for the photography professional. Yes you can spend thousands of euros, dollars or pounds on a decent one and even more if you decide to team it up with a good range of lenses. There are however some brilliant entry level DSLRs available which cost a few hundred quid and can easily be used by a novice to capture some stunning shots with minimal effort or training.
Here are a few of what I think are the best entry level DSLRs available right now.
The Nikon D3300 is in my opinion the best entry level DSLR available. It’s not too bulky, very easy to use and comes with a standard 18-55mm lens. It can capture 24.2 megapixel photos and 1080p HD video. The camera can be set to automatically capture photos using recommended settings or manually for those who are feeling more adventurous and are more advanced in their photography skills.
Canon EOS 1300D
The Canon EOS 1300D is the main entry level rival to the Nikon D3300. Canon and Nikon have been fighting out for years and both manufacturers have their loyal followers in the photography world.
The EOS 1300D features 18 megapixels, wifi connection, 1080p video capture and the usual 18-55mm lens. It’s user friendly and can also be user on manual mode for more experienced photographers.
The PENTAX K-50 has many basic features that rival higher priced models.
The K-50 is weather-resistant and dust proof. It allows 1080p full HD movie recording, comes with a number of digital filters and can be powered using standard AA-size batteries. The K-50 is available in 120 different colours with 16 megapixels and can be bought lens free or with the standard 18-55mm lens for around €500.