Christmas shopping can be a costly exercise. Between stopping for spiced lattes, mince pies and festive foot rubs, stretching your remaining change to cover the goodies can be quite a challenge.
Need to bring home great gifts without breaking the bank? From smart bulbs to Bluetooth speakers, every gadget in this list can be yours for £50 or less. Choose an affordable treat for your recipient, then reward your thrifty behaviour by blowing the rest of your budget on a cinnamon-scented spa day. After all, you’ve earned it. And spent it.
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JBL Clip 4
Supermarkets say it’s never too early for Christmas music. Give them a taste of their seasonal impatience with JBL’s portable speaker. Attach it to your backpack with the integrated carabiner clip, before firing up your summer playlist via Bluetooth. With 10 hours of battery life, you’ll have plenty of time to stroll up and down the aisles playing Long Hot Summer on repeat. And thanks to IP67 waterproofing, the tunes won’t stop, even if they rain on your protest parade by setting off the sprinklers.
LifX White to Warm
White to warm is what British weather usually does after even the hint of a whisp which could become a white Christmas. It’s also the spectrum of this screw-in shiner from Lifx. Compatible with most standard fittings, the smart bulb connects directly to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. From warm to cool (and every temperature in between), you’ll find more than 1000 shades of white on tap in the app, plus the option to schedule automatic tonal shifts. Use daylight shades to focus, before warming up to warm down after dark.
Huawei Band 6
Like carnivores who choose a nut roast from the Christmas menu, Huawei’s Band 6 is half-and-half. Equal parts fitness band and smartwatch, the ticker can track SPO2 and heart rate throughout the day, as well as sleep, stress and menstrual cycles. Its 1.47in AMOLED display is bright and sharp, while the two-week battery life puts the Apple Watch to shame. And with 96 workout modes, you’ll have many ways to burn off the pigs in blankets you secretly scoffed when your veggie mates weren’t looking.
Joseph Joseph Loop
Few gifts hit the spot better than a hot beverage. Equip someone with this insulated bottle and their brew of choice will stay toasty for 12 hours. Brim it with half a litre of steaming liquid and a heat-reflecting copper layer will keep its all-important warmth inside. Time for a sip? Pop off the top and hook its looped handle over the neck for hands-free storage. It’ll also serve as a water bottle come the summer months, keeping aqua cool for up to 24 hours.
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
You can only watch The Polar Express so many times before it stops warming your heart and you start wishing for a derailment. Reinvigorate your festive viewing with Roku’s latest stick. Added to the back of your box, it’ll stream Yuletide TV in bright and shiny 4K with HDR and Dolby Vision. As well as support for Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, it also works with every mainstream content platform – from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to Disney+, Apple TV and BT Sport. So you’ll be sorted for Christmas flicks and the Boxing Day games.
Amazon Echo Wall Clock (Disney Mickey Mouse Edition)
Think smart home gadgets are all a bit Mickey Mouse? This wall clock really takes the Michael. Adorned by Disney’s legendary rodent, the cartoon ticker pairs with compatible Echo devices to help you visualise the sands of time slipping away. Ask Alexa to set a timer and 60 LED indicators around the rim will show how long is left. While the lights do their best impression of a Countdown clock (minus the soundtrack), Mickey keeps himself busy pointing those oversized mitts at the actual time.
Urth Zeolite Tech Organiser
Urth doesn’t care about spelling. Despite the typo, it does care about the earth. That’s why its tech organiser is crafted using recycled nylon. From memory cards to charging cords, 11 storage zones make it simple to stash your stuff – and it’s light inside to reduce rummaging. Stretch pockets keep kit sorted, while the weatherproof shell ensures your gear won’t get soggy. Still fearful for the planet? Urth plants five trees for every pouch purchased.
Between wrapping paper and discarded crackers, it’s easy to misplace your presents in the chaos of Christmas Day. Stick Tile’s adhesive tracker to your kit for easier festive finding. The petite puck fits on anything from remote controls to cat collars. Activate it via Bluetooth for a jingling bell to direct your search, then follow the app’s Proximity Meter as you zone in on the beacon. With a range of 76m, even Smudge’s most daring escape attempts won’t evade its reach.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K
Glue a battery pack to the back of your blower and you’ll always have backup juice. You’ll also have a very messy mobile. For neater adhesion, whack this magnetic number on the rear of your iPhone 12 or 13. Compatible with MagSafe, it’ll stick in place ready to deliver up to 17 hours of fallback power. It works through most cases and there’s a 10W USB-C output for attaching the 5000mAh cell to other accessories.
Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
You shouldn’t need an alarm clock come Christmas morning: the sheer excitement of finding out what Santa’s brought ought to have you up at the crack of dawn. Sadly, not every dawn is quite so thrilling. Lenovo’s Smart Clock Essential will help you rise and shine on duller days. With Google Assistant on-board, it can ease you into the morning with your favourite playlist, tell you what the weather’s doing and brief on you the latest headlines. It’ll also let you control smart home kit without getting out of bed – and guide you with a built-in nightlight when you do.
iFixIt Essential Electronics Toolkit
Phone repair videos might be huge on YouTube, but before you can go viral, you need to know how to actually fix a handset. This compact kit features all the bits you need to get started with basic repairs, including tools to open up a phone, drivers to unscrew their shiny bits and tweezers to delicately scoop out sensitive components. Start with the smartphone of your least favourite relative and, a few bodge jobs later, you’ll be halfway to streaming stardom. Helpfully, iFixIt also ships a range of repair guides.
Beats By Dre Flex
Dinky earbuds might be big in the charts, but cordless audio blobs are easy for careless listeners to lose. Want wireless earphones with more, well, wire? These streamlined Beats ‘buds feature a tangle-free neck loop with integrated volume, music and call controls, plus a battery good for up to 12 hours. Auto-pause halts your playlist when you take them out, while magnetic backs mean you can click them together to create a less losable bundle.
Google Nest Mini
Santa’s not the only one who needs a little helper. Want miniature assistance at home? Stick Google’s smallest smart speaker on your shelf or wall for audio aid whenever you ask. Sure, the pint-sized puck can’t assemble Christmas toys, but it can control your smart home, deliver daily briefings and stream your Spotify playlists through its beefier speaker. And with a fabric wrap crafted entirely from recycled bottles, it’s greener than an elf’s festive dress.
A mouse might not be stirring on the night before Christmas, but poor posture will leave you restless with wrist ache. Sleep soundly for Santa’s arrival by adding a Bayo to your desktop. Shaped to suit your natural wrist position, the wireless clicker’s vertical grip helps you scroll in ergonomic comfort. A speed select button lets you boost the DPI for high-precision tasks, while a light bar along the edge means you can coordinate the mouse with your Christmas lights.
Decoded Magnetic Wireless Charging Puck
From floating trains to fridge adornments, magnets are behind some of history’s greatest inventions. They’re also what allows this little puck to stick to the back of an iPhone 12 or 13 and charge its battery. Topped by Nike Grind leather that’s crafted from recycled footwear scraps, the dinky disc can deliver up to 15W wireless power. Not rocking an Apple handset? It also works with any Qi-compatible smartphone – just without the magic of magnets.