Johannesburg - With Christmas fast approaching and payday coming soon as well, what better way to blow it than on unnecessary tech gadgets to make friends and family green with envy.
This year was a great year for tech with the launch of numerous new cool electronics, not to mention the falling price of older gadgets.
Numerous smartphones were launched, bringing with them nostalgia and pure amazement at the advances made in mobile technology.
The year brought with it the rebirth of the iconic 3310 smartphone and Samsung launching the amazing S8 and Note8 devices as bounce-back after the Note7 disaster.
Drone technology in South Africa is increasing its presence with big retailers now stocking some of the most premium drones available on the global market.
After Apple decided to ditch its headphone jack in the iPhone 7 last year, the move sparked a trend in the accessories industry with more add-on devices becoming wireless.
Artificial Intelligence moved closer to the home with the launch of the Amazon Echo range, while wearables continued to dominate tech sales everywhere as smartwatches and fitness trackers became more affordable.
But with all the choices, what are the best gifts to buy for a loved-one, or for yourself?
Fin24 has rounded up a list of the best must-haves if you’re looking to obliterate your 13th cheque:
1. iPhone X - despite the relaunch of the 3310 and new powerful devices on the market from Samsung, Huawei and others - none could steal the spotlight from the iPhone X. The iPhone X, or iPhone Ten as is pronounced, marks a major step in innovation for the electronics manufacturer and is sure to steal the show whenever it is pulled out in public.
2. Zagg iFrogz Audio Impulse Wireless- Bluetooth accessory maker, Zagg has made a quiet but powerful entry into the South African market. The company recently launched new iFrogz Wireless Bluetooth headphones which are an impressive option for wireless audio needs at an affordable cost of less than R500.
3. Ninebot Mini Pro - Nothing will be more fun than spending Christmas lunch on a hoverboard, dodging tables and chairs while knocking over plates and cutlery. From Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, the Ninebot Mini Pro promises hours of entertainment, contributing toward a more sedentary 2018. What’s more is the company has slashed the price from R15 000 to around R8 000 from some retailers.
4. FitBit Ionic - There is no better way to show commitment toward a New Year's resolution than a FitBit Ionic. Those familiar with the brand will know that the Ionic is one of the best fitness trackers available today. The Ionic is a powerful device and offers great features like the ability to listen to music from the watch itself, to ditch your smartphone at home when working out. The Ionic is retailing from R5 000.
5. DJI Spark - The DJI Spark is the answer to an affordable and premium drone experience. Chinese drone-manufacturer, DJI has risen to become one of the best drone brands in the world, and this year announced the smallest drone in its range - the Spark. The mini-drone is small enough to fit and launch from the palm of the hand and fetches a price tag of around R7 500.
6. Robot Alarm Clock - It may not be the most advanced piece of technology or even the most expensive, but the Robot Alarm Clock offered on Takealot is nifty buy. The device might seem like just another bedside watch, but this humanoid robot has a WiFi spy camera on its head. This gadget is going for R2 200 from the online retailer.
7. Taurus Automatic Vacuum Cleaner - Everyday will be a day off from cleaning with an automatic vacuum. The Taurus Automatic Vacuum Cleaner features 3 sensors and will roam the household cleaning up after the whole family. Takealot is offering laziness for R999.
8. PlayStation VR - The PlayStation VR is the epitome of a virtual reality experience. Advances in the VR industry were witnessed this year, but no experience can compare to the PS VR. Of course this kind of technology doesn’t come cheap and a PlayStation 4 console will need to be used with this gadget. Some retailers are offering the device for R5 000 without a console.
9. Amazon Echo Dot - Early adopters will want an Amazon Echo Dot virtual assistant in the home. The voice-controlled gadget, which responds to ‘Alexa’ can schedule tasks, play music and may soon be used to control home appliances. The Echo Dot is fetching a R 3 500 price tag.
10. 3Doodler - Doodling on paper stretches creativity limits, but in 3D it’s new a ballgame. The 3Doodler is a mini 3D printer which will help foster a new kind of art form. The 3Doodler is available from less than R2 000.