The best gifts for under £250 this Christmas

It's time to up your present-buying game with a selection of the top tech presents to suit one and all

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So, you’ve got a £250 budget to spend on your nearest and dearest? Now we’re talking! That sort of cash will push you into the realms of premium tech, but you don’t want to 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. 

We have loads of great ideas for every type of gadget lover. From a fuss-free coffee machine and true wireless headphones to a super-zoom compact camera and robot vacuum, T3 has you covered this Christmas. 

Best gift under £250: Amazon Echo Show

Amazon Echo Show (2nd generation)

It’s Alexa Jim, but not as we know it

Reasons to buy
+Echo with an HD touchscreen +Hands-free smart assistant+Eight internal microphones+Rich Dolby sound

The updated Echo Show from Amazon is a smart home device with all the voice-controlled smarts of the original Amazon Echo, but with the addition of a vibrant, 10-inch HD touchscreen and built-in smart home hub.

So this time when you ask Alexa to look something up, the Bluetooth Echo Show will help you hear and see the results. The screen can even be configured to display a live video-feed from compatible third-party security cameras you may have installed in your home. Just ask Alexa to see who’s at the front door. 

As with the original Echo Show, there are eight microphones and improved Far-Field Voice Recognition hanging on your every word. High-quality Dolby audio delivers expansive stereo sound with deep, powerful lows and crisp highs.

This is a great gift for a member of your family this Christmas, especially if it comes with the promise to keep in better touch in 2019 thanks to easy video calling. 

Best gift under £250: Eufy Boost IQ Robot Vac 11S

Eufy Boost IQ Robot Vac 11S

Gift them the gift of a break from housework this festive season

Reasons to buy
+Quiet+Self charging+Strong suction 

Nobody wants the hassle of hoovering over the Christmas period, and some people would quite like to be without it altogether. 

While we don't advocate throwing out your regular upright vacuum cleaner just yet, robot vacuum cleaners are wonderful things for when you need to get you house in tip top shape but aren't there to oversee the process. Or are too hungover, it is Christmas after all. 

Most robot vacuum cleaners are closer to the £500 mark, and you can see a selection in our best guide below, but Eufy have released this slimline Boost IQ Robo Vac 11S, which sucks up dirt and dust with super strong suction for a spotless clean you can see and feel. 

The cleverest part is the intuitive BoostIQ™ technology, which automatically adjusts suction power when extra vacuuming strength is needed to get the best clean.

Multiple cleaning modes and a pre-set vacuuming time ensure an effortless, thorough clean while you do other things... or nothing at all. It even uses drop-sense technology tackle stairs and ledges, so it's quite happy taking itself for a spin.

Best gift under £250: Bose SoundSport Free

Bose SoundSport Free

The perfect gift for your fitness fanatic friend or relative

Reasons to buy
+True wireless +Sweat resistant 

True wireless earbuds are changed the game when it came to fitness tech in 2018. 

The truth is that they're pointless for most people who just want to listen to music, but when it comes to needing motivational bangers to get you through a workout, nothing beats them. 

No more faffing with a wire, trying to figure out whether to wear them behind your head or like a necklace, and gone are days of ear buds slipping out as you pound the treadmill.

True wireless gives you total freedom of movement, and these ones from Bose are sweat and water-resistant, making them suitable for working out in and out of doors. 

They come with three pairs of Stay Hear+ Sport tips (in sizes S/M/L) that provide a comfortable and secure fit and help you make the most of the high-quality Bose audio.

Lastly, if it's not unusual for the person you're buying for to put their current headphones down after a run and wonder where they've left them, Bose have thought of that too. Bose Connect's "Find My Buds" feature will track lost earbuds so there are no excuses to miss a workout. 

Best gift under £250: Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso Vertuo

Enjoy great tasting, faff-free coffee at home

Reasons to buy
+One-touch brewing+Fast heating system+No programming required+Perfect coffee every time

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! 

Best gifts 2018: Samsung Gear Fit2

Samsung Gear Fit2

Run, cycle and row your way to a healthy 2019

Reasons to buy
+Built-in GPS+Auto activity tracking+Monitor your heart rate+Super AMOLED display

We're still waiting for the launch of the Samsung Gear Fit3, but if your friend or relative has earmarked 2019 as the year to exercise themselves to peak health, you'll be looking for a top fitness wearable to get them now. 

In that case, Samsung’s Gear Fit2 should be at the top of your Christmas shopping list.

Whether they start running, rowing or cycling, this savvy fitness band knows which activity they're doing and automatically starts tracking, displaying the most important stats from their workout on its 1.5-inch Super AMOLED display. 

The jewel in the Gear Fit2’s crown is built-in GPS, enabling then to leave their phone at home and still track route, distance and speed in real-time when they're pounding the pavement. 

But that’s not the only tech crammed into this lightweight band. Wrist-based heart rate monitoring also keeps them in the loop on heart activity, enabling them to maximise each workout.

Best gift under £250: Panasonic Lumix ZS50 / TZ70

Panasonic Lumix ZS50 / TZ70 Compact Camera

The best compact camera to document their 2019 adventures

Reasons to buy
+Compact and light+Huge zoom capability 
Reasons to avoid
-No touch screen 

If 2019 is likely to see the person your shopping for travelling the world, then they'll need a compact travel camera to document their antics. 

The Panasonic ZS50, also known as the TZ70, is a great choice for just that. 

It has a huge zoom range of up to 720mm which is great for capturing broad, scenic landscapes or far away details, as well as a built-in electronic viewfinder. 

There's a time-lapse video option to help create shoot fun footage whilst they're away, and the normal video films in full HD video.

Just thinking about this camera is giving us wanderlust... we won't tell if you want to keep this one for yourself.

Best gift under £250: Michael Kors Pyper Bracelet Watch

Michael Kors Pyper Bracelet Watch

A luxury, elegant wristwatch for the special woman in your life

Reasons to buy
+Japanese Quartz battery +Rose gold finish+Bracelet fastening 

If you're looking for a high-end watch to treat the special woman in your life, you'll quite frankly be spoilt for choice this Christmas. 

That said, this gorgeous rose gold watch from Michael Kors really turned our heads. 

Simple and elegant, this luxury bracelet watch combines a clean-cut and contemporary face with dainty crystal stones for a touch of everyday sparkle.

It is water-resistant up to 50 metres and the glass dial case is made from anti-scratch mineral glass, keeping the watch in perfect condition no matter where she wears it. 

Best gift under £250: Tefal Actifry Genius

Tefal Actifry Genius

Give the gift of guilt-free frying this Christmas

Reasons to buy
+Creates healthy, yummy meals without oil+Cook from fresh or frozen

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. 

Best gift under £250: Instax Square SQ20 Hybrid Instant Camera

Instax Square SQ20 Hybrid Instant Camera

Hours of fun await at either side of this hybrid instant camera

Reasons to buy
+Instant print camera +Superpower mode lets you select stills from motion footage
Reasons to avoid
-Film sold separately 

We're huge fans of instant cameras at T3, and think they make great Christmas gifts for anyone and everyone.

The Square S20 is the latest release from Instax and it really is a "have your cake and eat it camera". 

It's a hybrid, which means you can enjoy all the best features of a top of the range instant camera, as well as the 'superpower' motion capture mode. This captures footage that you can they rewind through and select your favourite stills to print, giving you the spontaneity of an instant camera without wasting prints blurry or shots where all your friends have their eyes closed! 

If you can't quite stay away from filters, there is a selection of filters for both motion and stills that you can add. 

The updated camera now offers six shooting modes plus new frame grab, timeshift collage and sequence functions that you'll have hours of fun getting to grips with after a new glasses of eggnog. 

Best gift under £250: Salomon Driver Helmet

Salomon Driver Helmet

Keep your head when you conquer the mountains

Reasons to buy
+Performance snowsports helmet+EPS 4D head protection+Built-in visor system+Merino wool lining

The snow sports season is well underway, and if you plan on spending the winter sliding down icy mountains with a plank strapped to your feet you’ll want some A1-protection up top. Step forward the Salomon Driver.

This performance helmet has a built-in visor to shield your eyes from the sun and snow spray. Lenses are easily changed to suit the conditions, leaving you free to focus on getting radical on the slopes. A merino wool lining enhances your comfort, and a Thermo Control System ensures you’re never too hot or 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 your head.

Looking to spend a little less this year? Check out our guides below: