The best hi-tech Christmas gifts for value for money

The price of a technological product does not always reveal its true usefulness. Spending €500 or €600 on a Christmas gift that won't be appreciated afterwards can be frustrating. Fortunately, technology offers useful and nice gifts even if you spend between 100 and 250 euros.

Between smartphones, wireless headphones, fitness trackers and smartwatches you'll be spoilt for choice. Very often they are devices presented last year or with technical features inferior to the top of the range. But this does not mean that they are inferior in terms of functionality. For a person who uses the smartphone only for instant messaging applications, to check social networks and to take pictures, very often a device of 150 euros is more than enough. In addition, with a budget of 150 or 200 euros, there is no shortage of original technological gift ideas and you can make happy even the most demanding partner.

Amazon Fire 8 HD

Among the Christmas gifts that are inexpensive but perform well, there is definitely the Amazon Fire 8 HD, the latest version of the tablet launched by the American company. The new Amazon device is designed specifically for those who want to use a tablet to relax: thanks to the 8-inch HD screen (1280 x 800 resolution), you can watch your favorite TV series without any kind of compromise in image quality. In addition, you'll be able to access the Amazon Underground online store where all the most important applications are free, even video games. For those who love reading, the tablet automatically sets the brightness so as not to tire your eyes and for the first 30 days you'll have access to Kindle Unlimited, the Amazon service that provides over a million books. The battery has an autonomy of about 12 hours and the storage space is 16GB with the possibility to expand it up to 200GB. The only flaw is the lack of the Google Play Store. Amazon Fire 8 HD can be purchased on the store of the U.S. company at a price of 109.99 euros.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

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Much more than smartwatches, fitness trackers have won the hearts of sports fans. It may not be a very original Christmas 2016 gift idea, but it will definitely make sports fans happy. The Garmin Vivosmart HR is an activity tracker that allows you to keep an eye on your physical activity, monitoring the number of steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and daily goals achieved. But the most interesting feature is definitely the possibility to check your heart rate directly from your wrist. In addition, the Garmin Vivosmart HR can be connected to your smartphone to receive smartphone notifications directly on the fitness tracker screen: WhatsApp messages, incoming calls and emails. The activity tracker can be purchased online for a little less than 110 euros.

Sennheiser HD598

Finding headphones that ensure excellent audio performance at a price below 150 euros is not easy. The Sennheiser HD 598 are headphones designed for sound professionals, thanks to the open structure and a design that ensures maximum comfort. The support headband is made of leather, while the earcup pads are made of velvet. The sound quality is great, with a bass output that's hard to find in other headphones. The Sennheiser HD 598 can be purchased online at a price just under 110 euros. A low-cost Christmas tech gift that will make your friends and family happy.

Kindle Paperwhite

An e-book reader is a 2016 Christmas gift dedicated to reading lovers. Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite features a new 6-inch screen with a higher resolution (300ppi) than the previous model. The e-reader integrates the new Bookerly font, created for smoother and faster reading. The special construction technology of the display allows you to read comfortably even in bright sunlight. The e-reader's battery life is about six weeks, even with heavy use of the device. The Kindle Paperwhite can be purchased at a price of €129.99.

UE BOOM 2

Although still a niche product, Bluetooth speakers are gaining an increasingly large audience. The UE BOOM 2 ensures playback of any music file and with excellent audio performance, even in outdoor spaces. The operation of the portable speaker is very simple: just connect it with Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet to start playing the music on the device. In addition, thanks to the PartyUp app, you can connect up to 50 EU speakers to the same device to create a mini sound system. The autonomy of the portable speaker is fifteen hours and is shock resistant and waterproof (up to a maximum of thirty minutes and one meter deep). The UE BOOM 2 can be purchased for just over 140 euros on major online e-commerce sites.

Fitbit Charge 2

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For sports enthusiasts, an activity tracker is the best tech gift you can get. Fitbit is one of the leading companies in the industry with several years of experience behind it. The Fitbit Charge 2 is one of the latest fitness trackers made by the US company and allows you to keep track of your physical activity: number of steps taken, distance traveled and number of calories burned. In addition, the activity tracker allows you to monitor your heartbeat both under stress and at rest. The Fitbit Charge 2  can be purchased for a little more than 150 euros on the main Italian e-commerce sites.

ZTE Blade A910

If you lack gift ideas, the only possible solution is to buy a smartphone. The only real problem is to choose among the hundreds of models available. If you are looking for a smartphone with good value for money, the ZTE Blade A910 is one of the best choices. It offers a quad-core MediaTek SoC, supported by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card. The camera compartment consists of a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. It can be purchased on major e-commerce sites at a price just over 170 euros.

Lenovo Moto G4

If you are not convinced of the ZTE, in the same price range you can give for Christmas 2016 another very interesting smartphone. The Lenovo Moto G4 a Snapdragon 617 octa-core SoC, supported by 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card. The 5.5-inch screen has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, while the camera compartment consists of a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The 3000 mAh battery allows you to get through the day without too many problems. The Lenovo Moto G4 can be purchased for just over 180 euros on the main Italian e-commerce sites.

Philips Pasta Machine

For a friend or girlfriend who loves to cook, the Philips pasta machine is a great tech gift idea for Christmas 2016. The device from Philips is one of the best semi-professional pasta makers available on the market: it allows you to make 250 grams of pasta in just over 10 minutes, and thanks to the 4 different extruders you can make more than 10 different types of pasta. It also has a recipe book with more than 20 different dishes. The Philips pasta machine can be purchased for around 200 euros.

Polaroid Snap

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Do you remember the old Polaroids that our grandparents used to take family photos with? Now they are back and allow you to instantly print our most beautiful shots. Through the touchscreen you can interact directly with the camera and decide whether to take a selfie or record a video in HD. In addition, thanks to the Bluetooth connection you can send photos to your smartphone and edit them through the application made for Android and iOS. You can add filters, text and emoji and make your shots unique. To print images, the Polaroid Snap uses Zink Zero Ink technology that needs neither ink nor toner, but simply insert the adhesive paper in the slot provided. A 2016 Christmas gift that is sure to make photography and selfie lovers happy. The camera can be purchased at a price just under 200 euros.

GoPro Hero Session

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All the quality of GoPro enclosed in a few centimeters. The new GoPro Hero Session is one of the smallest action cams in the world and can record videos in FullHD resolution. Through the appropriate brackets can be mounted on any type of object, from the helmets of snowboarders to the surfboard. It can be controlled remotely via the appropriate application and allows you to take pictures thanks to the 8 megapixel sensor. The perfect Christmas gift for adventure lovers. The price is the GoPro Session is about 210 euros.

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