The best gifts for £500 and under for Christmas 2017

Got a bit more cash to burn? Give Santa a run for his gift-giving money with these stunning tech treats for 500 sheets or less

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We wish you were our friend, parent, partner, whatever. Why? Because you have £500 to spend on a Christmas present for someone. We want to be that someone. No? Ok fine, then we’ll buy ourselves one of these presents!

Yes, there’s serious temptation in the £500 and under category this year. We have a selfie drone fighting it out against a 4K UHD TV with a criminally low price tag for its high spec. Then there’s our favourite flagship-challenging smartphone going head to head with a beastly blender. 

It’s all kicking-off! And the fun begins with a mini quadcopter that has a penchant for snapping backpacking techies...

DJI Spark

Take to the skies with a backpack-friendly drone

Reasons to buy
+Intelligent Flight Modes+Facial recognition tech+Nifty Quick Launch feature+Aerial selfie and video fun

No-one will thank you for shaving the Christmas star off the top of the tree, so cool your boots and take your new DJI Spark outside! Just scraping into our £500 and under category, this pleasing selfie-drone is perfect for beginners and those looking for a highly portable aerial camera.

DJI’s mini quadcopter is simple to fly. Choose Quick Launch, with its Face Aware feature, and the Spark will launch directly off your hand. Simple Control enables you to take aerial photos using a series of hand gestures – so no need for a remote control or your smartphone. 

There are several Intelligent Flight Modes to explore, along with cinematic aerial video features. The DJI Spark comes with props, an Intelligent Flight Battery, charger, micro USB cable and storage box.

Hisense H45N5750 LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

A gorgeous goggle box for less

Reasons to buy
+HDR and HLG compatible+4K Ultra HD resolution+Freeview HD+4K upscaling

Could this be the TV you’ve been looking for? Hisense’s 45-inch HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV isn’t too big nor too small, making it a solid option for a range of living spaces this Christmas.

Considering this HDR and HLG (Hybrid-Log Gamma) compatible telly costs less than £500, it offers a surprisingly lush level of contrast, with vibrant colours balanced against darker blacks. It’ll be all your Netflix 4K movies, and there’s 4K upscaling for lower-res content. 

There’s also tons of smart content to enjoy on this LED-backlit TV, with Freeview Play (60 digital TV channels and 25 radio stations plus 12 HD channels) and access to a range of apps including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon. 

Honor 9

Make like the Grinch with this steal of a smartphone

Reasons to buy
+Head-turning price+Speedy performance+Impressive software+Gorgeous looks

When T3 reviewed the Honor 9 in July we called it ‘the bargain of the decade’, awarding it a near-perfect rating after gushing over its 5.1-inch Full HD display and smooth, 3D glass cradle.

There are plenty of neat features to discover on the Honor 9, including a decent dual-camera that takes 12MP colour and 20MP monochrome images – so more than enough to handle your holiday selfies and ‘booth style’ group pics – and a fast fingerprint sensor. We like the phone’s minimalist single navigation key, too.

Whether you’re buying for yourself or gifting to another, the Honor 9’s undeniable good looks, speedy performance and uncluttered design will wow you on Christmas day.

KEF and Porsche Design Space One Wireless

Premium-sounding cans with a souped-up design

Reasons to buy
+30 hours' battery life+ANC tech+Bluetooth aptX+Porsche Design logo

If you wanna buy us something for Christmas, make it these space-age feel headphones born from a too-cool-for-school collaboration between KEF and Porsche Design. We mean, just look at those cans!

The KEF and Porsche Design Space One Wireless headphones are fitted with 40mm full drivers and 20mm neodymium magnets, and promise an impressive 30-hour battery life even with Bluetooth aptX and Active Noise-Cancelling (ANC) in use.

We’re suckers for premium cans, especially when they’re sporting that exclusive Porsche Design logo on the cushioned earcup flap. If you’re lucky enough to lay you hands on a pair, we guarantee you’ll be singing Santa’s praises. 

Dyson Supersonic Gift Edition

The hair dryer to end all hair dryers

Reasons to buy
+Impressive airflow+Promotes hair health+Powerful digital motor+Sleek black storage case

For the high-rollers among you who want the best hair dryer money can buy, the Dyson Supersonic is still sitting pretty at the top. If you’re buying it for a lucky someone this Christmas, why not pick up the Dyson Supersonic Gift Edition?

Dyson’s premium hair dryer delivers faster drying times and makes clever use of airflow to give your hair extra volume. There’s good news for those of you prone to frizz, too, as the Supersonic produces noticeably sleeker, smoother strands. 

No need to worry about heat-damage, either – the Supersonic has a glass bead thermometer that monitors the dryer’s temperature 20 times per second, with a microprocessor keeping airflow temperature under 150 degrees.

Tefal Ultrablend+

Get a jump-start on your New Year health kick

Reasons to buy
+Powerful 1500W motor+Six blending programs+Easy-read digital display+2L Tritan serving jug

We know Christmas is a time for chocolate and boozing, but if you do fancy giving your liver a break by throwing in the odd green smoothie, Tefal can help you serve up some flavour-packed beverages. 

Tefal says its new Ultrablend+ is the most powerful high-speed blender it’s made, backing this up with an impressive spec including a 30,000rpm and Six Triple’Ax Pro blades that are ready to pulverize your fruits and veggies.

The Ultrablend+ also serves up six one-touch programs, plus a manual control, to help you blend and serve (via a durable Tritan jug) a delicious range of smoothies, plus nut milks, dips, sauces, sorbets, ice creams, batters and mixes. Hey, what do you say we turn that tomato juice into a Bloody Mary?

PlayStation VR

Leave reality behind this Christmas

Reasons to buy
+Comprehensive VR platform+Comfortable VR headset+Starter bundles available+Great choice of VR games

Fancy exploring a haunted house? Fly an X-Wing fighter? Kill some zombies? Or do you want to play virtual dodgeball? Yeah, that sounds nice. Let’s do that… And not go into a haunted house.

With the mighty PlayStation VR you and your buddies can explore multiple worlds and scenarios, all within the (thank Christ it’s not real) realms of virtual reality. Just strap on the PlayStation VR headset and let real life melt away.

Buy a PS VR Starter Bundle this Christmas and you can set up with the PlayStation VR headset, PlayStation Camera and VR Worlds game. Get the Move Starter Bundle and you’ll get the headset, camera and game, plus a Move Motion Controller. Now, let’s go hunt some dinosaurs...

Garmin Fenix 5

An intense GPS smartwatch with hench-like specs

Reasons to buy
+All the data you want+Covers an array of sports+Surprisingly lightweight+Water-resistant to 100m

Phew! The beastly Fenix 5 has muscled in here with just a penny to spare. Yes it costs the best part of 500 quid, but Garmin’s ass-kicking HR and GPS watch for outdoors fitness fans is worth the bunts. 

It’s purpose built for those of you whose (sick) idea of fun is skyrunning, nailing triathlon’s and benchpressing like a boss. It also handles more leisurely pursuits such as walking, swimming and golfing. In fact, there aren’t many sports the heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, smartphone-notifying Fenix 5 doesn’t cater for. 

And when we say it has all the data you’ll need, we mean ALL. The Garmin Fenix 5 captures, stores and serves up (via the Garmin Connect app) an intense amount of metrics that you’ll be picking through from now until next Christmas. If you’re serious about fitness and want a watch that will match your progress toe-to-toe, here it is. 

Panasonic Smart Home Premium Kit

The boring but essential smart home pressie

Reasons to buy
+Weatherproof outdoor camera+Indoor camera records and streams+Window, door and motion sensors+Smart Plug for timed lighting

It’s all very well filling your stockings with gorgeous gadgets, but do have smart eyes on your home and a web of motion sensors on venerable doors and windows? No? Sounds like the gift you need is Panasonic’s Smart Home Premium Kit. 

With the Smart Home Premium Kit, Panasonic’s shoring up the security of your home via indoor and outdoor cameras with two-way comms that beam a live stream to your smartphone. A DECT handset provides immediate security alerts so you can act quickly, while a programmable Smart Plug can be used to fool would-be intruders by turning the lights on before you get home. 

Window, door and motion sensors will ping you notifications if unexpected motion is detected. Trust us, you’ll be thankful for it if some idiot tries breaking into your house to see what Santa brought you. 

Dahon Speed Uno (2017) Folding Bike

An easy-folding bike for no-fuss commuting

Reasons to buy
+Fast, simple folding+One speed simplicity+Lightweight alloy frame+20-inch wheel set

Folding bikes are useful if part of your commute involves a packed bus or train, or if you don’t have ample safe storage space at work to park your bike during office hours. There are plenty of folders to choose from, but for well under £500 we like the look of Dahon’s Speed Uno (2017) Folding Bike. 

It has a no-nonsense one speed and is fast to fold down – great news for those moments when you need to disembark, fold and get on the train in a jiffy. The Speed Uno (207) Folding Bike also features a 20-inch lightweight alloy wheelset and city-ready tires that power you over bumps and potholes. 

When not in use, this lightweight steel-framed bike can be stored under your desk at work or packed away in your home’s hallway at night, making it an ideal choice for compact pads.

Denon Heos 7 HS2

Fill your home with award-winning sound

Reasons to buy
+Award-winning sound+Straightforward app+Huge spec list+Choice of colours

We have so much love for the Denon Heos 7 HS2 that we crowned it ‘Best Wi-Fi / Multi-room Speaker’ at this year’s T3 Awards.

It’s sleek enough to slot into upscale homes but understated enough to hang in more minimalist pads too. When there it will wash your room with glorious Denon sound, and if you pair it with other Denon speakers it’ll give you that huge multi-room hit you’ve been craving. 

High-Res Audio support is here in this Bluetooth integrated speaker, with the ‘guts’ comprising two passive radiators, two custom tweeters, two mid-woofers, a large subwoofer – just, all the woofers, ok? Oh, and the companion app is mercifully straightforward.

Want more? Here’s some other great gift ideas for £500 and under: