Christmas Buying Guide: 16 fail-safe gift suggestions

Sometimes, the best intentions may not give you the best results. Here's some suggestions that are far likely to hit the mark.

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Just like that, we’re merely a week away from Christmas. And if you’ve yet to complete your Christmas shopping, here are some gift ideas that might just fit the bill.

Xiaomi 11T Pro

Gifting phones can feel quite tricky if you aren’t planning to spend four digits on one. Phones like Xiaomi 11T Pro strike a good balance, offering a top-tier system-on-chip and a vibrant display panel, while the camera – often a compromise to keep prices down – isn’t that much worse than those found on its flagship cousins. More on what we think of this one here. $799, Shopee and Lazada

BENQ EW2880U

Laptops are far more convenient devices than desktops, but not always the best if you want to sit back and catch up on your streaming backlog. Monitors like the Benq EW2880U are perfect for this and ahem, work. It checks all the necessary boxes: large 28-inch display, 4K resolution, decent 90% P3 colour gamut, USB-C with 60W power delivery, treVolo speakers (don’t expect too much, but still better than generic stuff), and eye care software (Eye-careU). $579, Shopee and Lazada

DJI OM5

If the camera on your phone is the most important feature to you, the DJI OM5 seems like a no-brainer (check Android phone compatibility before buying though) to give your videos that extra bit of slickness. This gimbal also doubles up as a selfie stick or tripod (with optional tripod feet), which adds to its versatility. It’s compact when packed, making it the perfect mobile companion. $219, Lazada

Apple AirTag

Not too pricey, pretty useful, and once your friend gets past the what-do-you-mean-what-makes-you-think-I-always-lose-my-stuff denial stage, they’ll be grateful for your thoughtful gesture. With the range of accessories available, you can pretty much use them anywhere and in any situation. There isn’t anything that you can lose that you can’t stick this on – even your cat. From $45, Apple.

Belkin CONNECT USB-C 7-in-1 Multiport Hub Adapter

Those who work out of their briefcases will certainly appreciate the connectivity options that a multimedia hub can provide. The Belkin Connect expands your Power Delivery USB-C port to offer a variety of connectivity options from HDMI 1.4 to USB-A to SD card slots, and it also supports up to 100W for Power Delivery. There are many options when it comes to hubs, but Belkin is one of the brands with reliable offerings. $89, Amazon

Audioengine A2+ Wireless

Speaking of which, need matching speakers for a new monitor? The Audioengine A2+ Wireless is a (now oldie) but goodie. Compact in size yet big on sound, the A2+ is essentially a studio engineer’s speaker adapted for home use. As such, expect conveniences like aptX-HD Bluetooth along with conventional wired options like USB, RCA, 3.5mm stereo. And it comes in red too! $469, Lazada

Casio GM-S2100CH/GM-S2100CH

Christmas-themed couple watches sound like a fashion disaster but Casio’s pair of GM-2100CH and GM-S2100CH thankfully feature tasteful looking green, red and gold accents. Perfect for those with an active lifestyle, These rugged, metal-covered timepieces offer the legendary durability of the G-Shock series, along with conveniences such as world time and a double LED light to improve visibility in dark places. GM-2100CH-1A $329, GM-S2100CH-1A $309, Casio

Keychron K3

Wireless keyboards are a dime a dozen, but the Keychron K3 offers a decent enough typing experience coupled with a compact form factor. The 75% layout ensures that you keep the most commonly used navigation and function keys at your fingertips, and it easily supports both OS X and Windows with a flick of a switch. You can also customise the typing experience by changing out the switches – Keychron offers seven switches to choose from. From $109, Lazada

Apple iPad Mini

If you’re feeling generous, the new iPad Mini is probably one of the most satisfying of the most unimportant things that you can buy for others. It feels extraneous when you’re considering buying one for yourself, but you’d probably spend many hours on it when it’s gifted to you. If you ever find your mobile screen too small, the Mini will be there to save the day. Check out what we think of it here. From $749, Apple

Jabra Elite 3

Buying earbuds for others can be nerve-wracking – what if it doesn’t fit? What if they don’t like the sound? You could do a lot worse than with the Jabra Elite 3, which checks all the right boxes in this case. It’s not too pricey, the sound is subjectively ear-friendly, and the fitting is decent thanks to a design based around extensive data for ear shapes. It’s also water-resistant and offers hear-through so it’s suitable for workouts as well. $100, Amazon.sg

Sony ZV-1

When it comes to compact cameras for the purpose of shooting videos, it’s still hard to beat a Sony ZV-1 with its reliable and speedy autofocus coupled with a useful articulating touchscreen and easy-access physical recording button. Other cool features include a large aperture lens, a unique Bokeh Switch for an easy way to get the Bokeh effect, and an onboard Directional 3-capsule Microphone as a quality backup if you don’t have your primary mic around. $919 (U.P. $919), with free limited edition Coloured Wind-screen, Sony

HUAWEI FreeBuds Lipstick

For the style-loving friends, there’s the HUAWEI FreeBuds Lipstick – Huawei’s excellent FreeBuds but with a upmarket finish. Decked out in classic black and gold, the stainless steel case has been treated to improve its corrosion resistance and hypoallergenic properties, as well as a long-lasting finish. The true wireless earbuds are finished in a bold red to live up to their name. The scented gift box also adds a touch of elegance. $268 (U.P. $298), Shopee and Lazada

Canon PowerShot PICK

It might look like any ordinary remote camera, but the Canon PowerShot PICK is perfect for shutterbugs who love to take group pictures in social settings – and spend way too much time doing it. They can now ease up a little; place this AI-powered camera in a strategic spot and leave it to do the rest: the PICK will automatically scan the scene for faces and capture photos or videos, so everyone can focus on having fun instead. $649, Lazada

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier Gen 2

Although good practices is far more effective than the quality of your mask, having one that is over-engineered can’t be all bad – it might even be reassuring for those who tend to worry. The second-generation LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier comes with two H13 HEPA filters, fully automatic fan airflow control system with dual fans built-in to remove harmful airborne matter such as bacteria and allergens. Another mask-wearing bugbear that it fixes: it uses a microphone and speaker to make your voice sound clearer to others. $249, receive complimentary grocery vouchers worth $20, Lazada and Shopee

Razer Level Up Gaming Bundle

For your newly-minted gaming friends, nephews and nieces, etc, the Razer Level Up Gaming Bundle is a nice package to instantly upgrade their gaming experience for a fair price. The comprehensive bundle includes a Cynosa Lite gaming keyboard, Viper Mini gaming mouse, and Gigantus V2 mouse pad, so they have everything they need to get started on their gaming journey and never have to worry about gear. $109, Shopee

Poly Studio P5

We’re heading into the third year of the pandemic and by now, I think we’d all appreciate having better quality video, audio and connectivity for our video calls. If it’s a camera that you need, the P5 isn’t too expensive and has a lot going for it: decent quality video and audio, portability and low light compensation so that you look more presentable even when the lighting is crap. $250, headphones.sg
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