With a healthy budget of £250 to spend on your loved ones, the world of Christmas gifts is yours to command. Don't get trigger happy, though. A budget of this size needs careful consideration to make sure you don't blow it all on a dud gift that will be gathering dust by January.
Before you fill your basket with big ticket items, it’s worth conducting some thorough research to find out exactly the sort of gadget fan you’re buying for, to make sure you ace the gift buying this year.
It may sound simple, but find out which side of the Xbox/PlayStation fence then sit on, check their thoughts on fitness trackers, and have a quick nosey around the kitchen to work out how a fancy new air fryer or coffee machine would go down.
Thankfully, we have loads of great ideas for every type of gadget lover.
In this guide to the best gifts for under £250 this Christmas, we've delved deep into the world of premium tech, with top range gifts from the likes of Amazon, Bose, Nespresso, Microsoft, Tefal and more.
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Apple's AirPods Pro are the perfect earphones for anyone who owns an iPhone (or a Mac, iPad or Apple Watch). They fit snugly thanks to three choices of rubber tip, then provide amazing active noise cancelling that really can match the artificial silence created by much larger headphones.
Siri is available with the press of a touch-sensitive button, and battery life is 4.5 hours, plus an additional 24 thanks to the included charging case. If ordered directly from Apple you can also customise the charging case, adding writing (or even emojis) to the front, adding that personal touch.
Part-fitness tracker, part-smartwatch, the new Fitbit Versa 3 has integrated GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, music playback and over 20 goal-based exercise modes. It also boasts an impressive six days of battery life (something the Apple Watch couldn't even dream of), and it is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.
The Versa 3 can also track your swimming pool lengths, thanks to being water resistant to a depth of 50 metres, and a notifications system means it works much like other, far more expensive, smartwatches, delivering alerts from your smartphone to its display.
Available in three different styles, the Fitbit Versa 3 really is the do-it-all wearable, and at a competitive price it makes the perfect fitness-focused gift.
Microsoft dealt a serious blow to Sony with the launch of the Xbox Seres S, with its £250 price tag seriously undercutting both its PlayStation 5 rival and Xbox Series X sibling.
Available to pre-order now and shipping from 10 November, the Series S has a far more compact design than the Series X, thanks to it lacking a disc drive, yet it still plays the same next-generation games, upscaled from 1440p to 4K and at up to 120 frames per second.
The Series S is perfect for gamers more interested in Fortnite than Flight Simulator, but it also doubles as a great media device, thanks to streaming 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and all of the suspects.
More than just a video calling device, Facebook's Portal is the smartest video calling device out there. Its Smart Camera moves with you as you move around your home, panning, zooming and widening where necessary so that you're always in shot.
Gone are the days of yelling across a room to be heard on the microphone, too. Smart Sound enhances voices while minimising unwanted background noise so you can always be heard.
The Portal works with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp so you can easily call friends and family on their phone or tablet. There's no need for them to have the Portal themselves. Of course, if you're buying this as a gift for someone you'll call frequently, why not treat yourself too?
If you're worried about what the device looks like when it's not in use, there's no need. The Portal will display photos from Facebook, Instagram and your phone's camera roll on a screen that adapts to ambient light when you're not on a call.
Netflix may have many great shows on offer to help you leave reality behind, but there’s nothing quite like a good book. Well, actually, there is, and it’s the Amazon Kindle Oasis.
When it comes to e-readers, they need to up their game to make us turn away from a classic paperback, but thanks to innovative waterproofing and new adjustable warm light, the Kindle Oasis has done this.
Designed to withstand significant splashes (or even a whole hour underwater), we recommend the Oasis for evening wind downs in the bath and beach holidays alike. It’s ergonomically designed to shift the centre of gravity to your palm so that it can be held with one hand and rest like the spine of a book.
On top of this, the latest model lets you adjust both its display brightness and temperature. That way, you can rely on natural sunlight on a bright day, then power up the bright but warm light when reading in bed at night.
Left-handed? Don’t worry, the page orientation will adjust to match if it’s being held by a left or right hand. Clever, really.
For a tech-savvy someone who also can’t resist a page turner, this is one of the best gifts you can get for under £250.
If you're shopping for an adrenaline junkie who loves nothing better than recording their crazy outdoor pursuits, you need to buy them the Insta360 ONE X this Christmas
Voted #1 in best 360-degree camera roundup (ahead of the GoPro Max), the Insta360 ONE X shoots in every direction, allowing the user to capture every angle of life in seamless 5.7K video. When they go back to edit, they can choose their favourite angle of every shot to create the best video from all footage, and it will flow together seamlessly because it was all shot at the same time.
What's more, the 'FlowState' image stabilisation is excellent, so whoever you are buying for will not be disappointed with the quality of the footage. Say goodbye to jumpy, bumpy footage, and hello to hypnotically smooth video you'll forget was shot on a hand-held camera.
Our favourite novelty feature is the invisible selfie stick mode. If you mount the Insta360 ONE X on a selfie stick, it will literally disappear from your video, meaning you can shoot aerial shots at any angle without a drone.
Bose has created a portable Bluetooth speaker with lots to shout about in the Soundlink Revolve, and there are many reasons why this is a great gift for the tech or music lover in your life.
True 360° audio means that they'll get the same high-quality audio wherever they move in a room, and the combination of robust build, water-resistance and a 12 hour battery life means they can take it anywhere and be entertained all day long.
There's also voice control integration, enabling your loved one to take hands-free calls and make use of the Google Assistant and Siri of their Bluetooth-connected smartphone.
If you’re a coffee connoisseur but can no longer stomach the prices at your favourite java spot, the Nespresso Vertuo offers barista quality coffee at a fraction of the cost.
The Vertuo’s rapid heating system ensures you’ll never be waiting long for your next cup, with clever centrifusion tech spinning each coffee pod 7,000 times per minute during the brewing process to ensure a rich flavour.
If you’re slow to get going without your first brew of the day, you’ll be grateful for the Vertuo’s automatic blend recognition function. It knows which coffee pod you’ve inserted and will brew it to perfection without the need for programming.
So all you need to worry about is selecting which of Nespresso’s 20 delicious Vertuo flavours you fancy drinking. Merry Christmas!
For a really classy gift this Christmas, consider the Pure Evoke C- D4, an all in one music player that combines DAB radio with Bluetooth streaming and a CD player. It's the perfect addition to any music lover's home.
It's compact, but the quality of sound it packs means it punches far above its physical weight. Listen to the radio, play CDs and even wirelessly stream music from a smartphone or tablet, and truly get the party started this festive season.
At an RRP of £229 the Pure Evoke C-4 comes in comfortably under budget anyway, but at the time of writing it is available on Amazon for just £199, a saving of £30.
Treat your foodie friend to a constant supply of their favourite slap up meal guilt free thanks to the Tefal Actifry Genius.
This healthy fryer uses little or no oil to cook fresh or frozen foods and preserve nutritional values, for enjoying delicious fried foods without guilt or sacrificing taste.
It is powered by Tefal's exclusive Dual Motion Technology to evenly cooks food through a combination of hot air and automatic gentle stirring.
The fryer offers a choice of nine intelligent menu settings programmed to automatically adjust cooking temperature, cooking time, and stirring for perfect results.
If you're shopping for someone who loves a dinner party then this is the perfect gift. It can cook enough for five main plates or eight side plate servings in one go, and also comes with access to 300 recipe ideas via the My Actifry app.
The snow sports season is well underway, and if one of the friends or relatives on your list to buy for plans on spending the winter sliding down icy mountains with a plank strapped to their feet then they'll want some A1-protection up top. Step forward the Salomon Driver.
Newly updated for the 2020/2021 season, this performance helmet has a built-in visor to shield their eyes from the sun and snow spray. Lenses are easily changed to suit the conditions, leaving them free to focus on getting radical on the slopes. A merino wool lining enhances comfort, and a Thermo Control System ensure they're never too hot or too cold.
In terms of protection, the Driver features EPS 4D tech designed to better absorb shocks and glancing blows, plus a Custom Dial Fit System that keeps the helmet firmly attached to the head.
It might not be the most cost-effective way of stocking up for Christmas, but after the year 2020 has been, who can blame you for splashing out a little?
This large hamper from the renowned Fortnum & Mason department store is packed with 15 items food and drink items, including Champagne, red and white wine, biscuits, tea, coffee, marmalade, strawberry and champagne preserve, cranberry sauce and a 450g Christmas pudding.
Looking to spend a little less this year? Check out our guides below: