Buy tech as a Christmas present. Image Credit: Argyll Free Press
Buy tech as a Christmas present. Image Credit: Argyll Free Press
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Tech is one of the most popular types of presents you can give at Christmas, but buying gadgets for others can be tough.

Are they an Apple or Android person? Do they already have a tablet? Do they prefer Xbox or PlayStation?

Then there are the little things like making sure you’ve got access to wi-fi on Christmas Day so the new phone/tablet/computer/console can be enjoyed.

Here are some tips to help ensure the recipient of your gadget gift ends up smiling instead of frowning.

SMARTPHONES
Everyone loves a new smartphone but do not, under any circumstance, buy an Android phone for an Apple fan. Christmas lunch will not be much fun.

If you are considering giving a phone as a gift, it should be easy to figure out to go Android or Apple by looking at their current phone. The only sticking point is if someone has secretly wanted to switch, in which case it may pay to get an exchange voucher.

Another thing to consider is the SIM card. If they are the same size, then just put the old SIM in your new phone and it’ll work. If it’s an older style SIM and the new phone requires a nano one, then you’ll have to visit a shop to switch it over. A new pay-as-go SIM will activate OK over the public holidays though it may take a few hours. Also, epect call centres to be closed on Christmas Day.

TABLETS
It’s hard to go wrong with a tablet. All the major brands make good devices, but it pays to match the tablet with the phone.

For example, if someone has an iPhone an iPad would be better as apps for both only need to be bought once. The same applies for Android devices.

SMARTWATCHES
The key thing to remember is that smartwatches need a phone to work. Also, certain watches need certain phones. The Apple Watch only works on new iPhones, some watches only work with Android phones and others work with both. Check this before buying. You’ll also need access to wi-fi to download apps for the new watch.

TELEVISIONS
Many people would love to get a new TV for Christmas, but it’s a difficult gift to buy as they are so expensive. You need to get the right size (though as big as possible is a good guide) and there is a lot of confusion around 4K and other marketing terms.

It’s hard to justify buying a 4K TV in New Zealand as there’s no 4K content to watch. Our broadcasters and Sky TV don’t offer it and neither do the local streaming services.

However, ultra-high definition DVDs should arrive in New Zealand next year. If you do get a 4K set then make sure it’s a recent model and comes with a discount as prices are dropping quite quickly.

MUSIC
Since most people have replaced their iPods with smartphones, the best gadget for music lovers is a good set of headphones. A good move here is to go for wireless headsets. They’ve become more affordable recently and now there are wireless earbuds too which are great for people who like to exercise.

Another thing to consider is a subscription to a music service such as Spotify, Apple Music or Pandora. It’ll cost you over $100 and there’s nothing to physically hand over, but it’ll give the recipient access to thousands of songs for a year.

GAMING
The most likely present is a new console, giving your gamer loved-one an upgrade to either a XBox One or PS4.

First, check if they are into PlayStation or Xbox. Don’t worry that the consoles are over a year old, they won’t be upgraded for a while yet.

Also, it means that there are good deals around at the moment.

If you are looking for something more affordable, there’s have been lots of games released recently including Halo 5, Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

10 GADGET IDEAS
Except where listed, all the items are easily found in electronic stores in New Zealand.

GoPro HERO4 Session Camera ($499.95): This is the easiest of the GoPro cameras to use and also the smallest.

iPad Mini 4 ($649): The latest version of the Mini has had a big makeover.

Marshall Acton Bluetooth Speaker ($499.95): The best looking speaker from one of the coolest brands in music.

BB-8 App-Enabled Droid ($269.95): Any Star Wars fan would love this gadget.

Parrot jumping drone ($280): These gadgets can jump up to 80cm in height and travel up to 7kmh.

HISY Bluetooth Camera Remote ($49.95): More subtle than a selfie stick and great for group photos.

Jawbone UP MOVE Fitness Tracker ($89.95): This is a clip rather than a band and attaches to your clothes.

Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphones ($680): A premium set of headphones with a retro look.

Samsung Gear VR ($299): This gadget lets you view virtual reality games and experiences. Needs a samsung phone to work.

Enevu personal light ($45): This is a real neat light for kids or camping with a robust design and multiple settings. Order from www.enevu.com

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