The Best Holiday Gifts For Tech Lovers In 2022

The holiday season is upon us once more! It's a time for family and friends, a time for rest and connection. And, of course, a time for gifts. Everyone loves presents, but choosing the right one can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to tech. Not only are there unlimited options to choose from, but technology is always changing and improving. The thought of trying to keep everyone happy with the perfect tech gift can be exhausting! Well, take a deep breath, because these are the best holiday gifts for the tech lovers in your life as we close out 2022.

If you have a tech-savvy friend or family member on your list, then you're in luck. In this holiday gift guide, we've rounded up some of the hottest gadgets and gizmos that are sure to impress even the most discerning tech enthusiast. From sleek smartphones to powerful gaming consoles and everything in between, we've got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us help you find the perfect tech gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Smartwatches: Apple Watch Series 8 and Galaxy Watch5

Once relegated to the realm of science fiction, smartwatches are all the rage these days, and they're designed to be the perfect companion for your smartphone, delivering notifications, fitness data, and more right to your wrist. They're just enough of a luxury to make them the perfect holiday gift. Though it may pain some to admit it, there's simply no better smartwatch on the market than the Apple Watch Series 8 ($399+). But for those who remain proud Samsung Galaxy users, the Galaxy Watch5 ($64.99+) is a close contender.

The Apple Watch Series 8 comes with an array of features to help you stay on top of your health. It tracks your activities and can even alert you when it detects something unusual. It also monitors your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and sleep cycles. And it's compatible with Apple's Health app, so you can easily keep track of your daily activity and goals.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch5 includes all the same features and syncs to Samsung Health, where you can also get personalized fitness coaching. It runs on a custom version of Google's Wear OS platform, but with the almost comical stack of extra features Samsung is known for. Both watches take phone calls, have messaging capabilities, and run a range of apps from music services like Spotify to fitness apps like Strava.

Importantly, be aware while shopping that both watches are restricted by ecosystem. Someone with an iPhone won't get much use out of the Galaxy Watch, nor an Android user the Apple Watch. An excellent alternative, if your gift's recipient owns neither a Samsung or Apple phone, is the Pixel Watch ($349.99+), Google's own watch hardware designed to work across all Android devices.

Wireless earbuds: Galaxy Buds2 Pro or AirPods Pro 2

Ever since Apple launched the original AirPods, true wireless earbuds have become one of the hottest product categories in tech. And ahead of the holidays, both Apple and Samsung have new models of their most premium buds in the form of the AirPods Pro 2 ($249) and Galaxy Buds2 Pro ($229.99). Both are a perfect gift, especially if the recipient hasn't upgraded their buds in a while, making for excellent stocking stuffers. Or, put them under the tree and you'll prove that the best gifts come in small packages.

Both the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds2 Pro have active noise cancelation that makes noisy trains and coffee shops disappear, along with passthrough modes that do the opposite, and both have 360-degree audio. And while Apple doesn't discount its products, you'll find plenty of competitive deals on the Galaxy Buds throughout the holiday season.

An excellent alternative, if your gift's recipient owns neither a Samsung nor Apple phone, is the Pixel Buds Pro ($199.99), Google's own earbud hardware designed to work across all Android devices. While they're not quite as top tier as the Galaxy Buds2 Pro or AirPods Pro 2, they offer many of the same benefits.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: For the book lover in your life

We all know that one person whose book collection is getting out of control, so what better way to show you know them than by giving them the gift of unlimited shelf space? An e-reader not only reduces entire libraries to a device the size of a small tablet but makes books available instantly. It's a simple fact at this point that Amazon's Kindle lineup has slim competition, and the best e-reader for our gifting money is the Kindle Paperwhite. Amazon has more expensive and feature-rich options available, but many are sorely in need of a refresh, and none are as light and compact.

The Kindle Paperwhite comes with some other perks as well. It's got a pixel density of 300ppi backlit by 17 LEDs for great visibility in different reading environments. Top it off with USB-C charging, IPX8 waterproofing, and a regular price of $139.99 that's sure to see some discounts before the holidays are out.

Nintendo Switch Lite: For the casual gamer in your life

The little brother of the larger, more capable Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite, proves that Nintendo still knows how to build some of the best handheld gaming consoles on the market. In exchange for the ability to connect to a larger display, the Switch Lite brings nearly all the same features as its more expensive sibling. Our review found that it provides excellent value, portability, and most importantly, battery life.

The Switch Lite is a perfect gift for kids and teenagers, or for anyone who likes to game on the go. At $100 less than its big brother ($199.99 vs. $299.99), this portable edition of the Nintendo Switch won't connect to a TV, but throw it into a backpack, and you'll have a gaming experience as mobile as you are. You can even connect multiple controllers wirelessly and get some friends together for multiplayer action, making it perfect for vacations, plane trips, and car rides.

Sony PlayStation 5: For the competitive gamer in your life

Sony made plenty of headlines when it launched its next-generation console, the PlayStation 5, in 2020. Unfortunately, most of that press was about how hard it was to get your hands on one. Luckily, things have finally changed, and plenty of local stores now have the coveted console on hand. Good luck to anyone who wants to one-up your gift-giving once you put a PS5 under the tree.

The PS5 ($499.99+) has some of the hottest gaming titles available, and a bevy of Sony-exclusive games among them, all of which play at buttery smooth frame rates, even with ray tracing enabled. It's certain to get the latest games, like the upcoming "Grand Theft Auto 6," and will be future-proof for years to come. Combine that powerful hardware with Sony's new DualSense controller, which has adaptive haptics and redesigned ergonomics, and it's no wonder that everybody and their grandma has been trying to get their hands on one.

The perfect gift for any gamer in your life, the PS5 is truly a gift that keeps on gaming.

Steam Deck: For the on-the-go gamer in your life

For anyone who wants a portable console a bit meatier than the rest, it's hard to beat the Valve Steam Deck ($399+). From the company that makes Steam, the PC-based game distributor, the Steam Deck is a gaming PC crammed into the form factor of a handheld console. It runs Windows out of the box, giving gamers access to a nearly infinite range of titles.

Highly reviewed by multiple outlets, the Steam Deck comes in 64, 256, and 512-gigabyte models, which can be expanded via the microSD slot. It runs on an AMD chipset with 16GB of RAM and has a controller layout that should look familiar to anyone who's used something like a Nintendo Switch in the past. The screen is a full HD IPS display that gets plenty bright. The fact that it's a Valve product means you have full access to the Steam software and its extensive library of games, though you can source your games from elsewhere as you would on any other PC. It's the perfect gift for anyone who wants the power of PC gaming in the palm of their hand, even when they're away from the desktop.

iPhone 14 Pro: For that person who never upgrades their phone

We've all got that one person in our life whose phone is begging for an upgrade. You know, the person who still rocks an iPhone X with a cracked screen and a battery that never seems to have more than 5% left in the tank. Why not show them how much better life could be by getting them a brand-new iPhone for the holidays?

The iPhone 14 Pro ($999+) sits near the top of Apple's lineup this year and made plenty of noise when it launched for finally ditching the infamous notch in favor of an in-screen cutout the company dubbed "the Dynamic Island." It's got Apple's latest mobile processor, the A16 Bionic, which is unsurprisingly the most powerful chip in its class, in addition to a powerful new set of cameras and a new suite of emergency features like crash detection, which alerts first responders in the event of a car accident. Our review gave the iPhone 14 Pro a remarkable 9/10.

Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones: For the music lover in your life

The Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399.99) is the perfect gift for the music lover in your life. A good pair of premium noise-canceling headphones is the kind of thing you don't realize you need until you have it, and there's arguably no company that knows how to make headphones like Sony, the inventor of the original Walkman. Of course, the tech present in the WH-1000XM5s makes the Walkman of yore look like it's from the stone age. These wireless, over-ear noise-canceling headphones got a nearly perfect 9/10 in our review due partly to their best-in-class noise canceling, powered by two processing units and eight microphones.

All the noise cancelation in the world means nothing if the sound isn't good, and Sony delivers in spades. The WH-1000XM5s sport 30mm drivers and support the lossless LDAC codec over Bluetooth for better wireless fidelity, resulting in a rich and detailed soundstage. Unlike other popular headphones, these won't pummel you with bass, opting instead for a tastefully balanced sound profile. And because you'll want to keep listening once you hear them, Sony made this version even more lightweight and comfortable than ever before.

ROLI Seaboard Rise 2: For the musician in your life

The producer in your life likely has a MIDI keyboard already, but they probably don't have one like the ROLI Seaboard Rise 2 ($1,399), a controller designed from the ground up to take advantage of the infinite sounds available to electronic musicians.

On top of the traditional expression controls such as velocity found on traditional keyboard controllers, the Seaboard Rise 2 is designed for polyphonic expression, with rubberized keys the company calls "precision frets" designed to let players glide between notes seamlessly while operating other parameters. Users can press, slide, and glide side-to-side on the keys to add breath, vibrato, and depth to sounds. The result is the ability to play notes in a way that would otherwise require hours of programming in a digital audio workstation.

The Seaboard Rise 2 is not only a unique instrument but a beautiful one, with an anodized aluminum finish that boasts a slight blue tint. It looks a lot like what would happen if Apple designed a musical keyboard. It even comes packaged with ROLI's Equator2 MPE synth and Studio software, as well as Ableton Lite, making it a great gift not only for experienced producers but also for those just beginning to cut their teeth on music making.

Oura Gen3 Horizon Ring: For the athlete in your life

The Oura Gen3 Horizon ring ($549) is the perfect gift for the fitness enthusiast in your life. This stylish and modern ring is packed with the latest fitness tracking technology, offering a range of features to help your loved one reach their fitness goals. Plus, it's stylish enough to wear in any situation.

The inner surface of the ring is a halo of sensors that track sleep (including naps), exercise activity, post-workout recovery, body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, stress levels, and more. Despite its diminutive size, which is only slightly larger than a non-smart ring, Oura boasts week-long battery life between charges. It's especially great for those who want the fitness benefits of a smartwatch but don't want to run, lift weights, or sleep with a chunky wrist computer strapped on.

The Oura Gen3 Horizon Ring is compatible with both iOS and Android, and syncs with most major fitness apps, including Apple Health, Google Fit, and Strava. It's water-resistant, and comes in a range of stylish colors, including rose gold. For the person looking to take their health and wellness to the next level, the Oura Gen3 Horizon ring is the perfect gift.

Out of left field: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

There's nothing more disappointing than reaching for your tea or coffee, only to take a sip and find that it's gone cold, but the Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug ($129.95+) makes those moments a thing of the past. This nifty ceramic mug connects to your phone and keeps your drinks warm with precise temperature control. You read that correctly: It's a mug, as in the thing you drink tea or coffee out of, and you pair it to your smartphone with Bluetooth. While it might feel weird to update firmware on a mug, it lets you keep your drink exactly as warm as you like it all day long in exchange. Say goodbye to cold coffee.

The Ember smart mug features a companion app that allows you to easily set and view your desired temperature. The built-in LED shows off charging and power status, and can even be color customized from the app. The included "coaster" is really a charging plate that keeps the mug topped up if you plan to let your drink sit for longer than the one hour of battery life in the cup itself.

The Ember mug was highly rated by SlashGear, where we noted just how magical it is to reach for a cup of coffee and find it just as hot as when you first poured it. For the coffee or tea lover in your life, it just might be life changing.

Stocking stuffer: Chromecast with Google TV

The perfect stocking stuffer for any tech enthusiast or home entertainment junkie, the Chromecast with Google TV turns any screen with an HDMI port into a fully functional smart TV that runs the Google TV Android fork. Available in 1080p or 4K resolution variants, it's a great way to bring all the many streaming services we've grown used to together in one place. It gives you access to popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN, as well as thousands of apps and games available through the Google Play Store. You can even use Chromecast to control your home's compatible smart devices.

On the technical side, the Chromecast with Google TV is surprisingly capable, supporting HDR, Dolby Vision, and more. And, of course, in addition to apps, you can cast content to the device right from your phone or computer.

The icing on the cake is the included remote. At first glance, it's not particularly remarkable — that is, until you notice the Google Assistant button. The Chromecast with Google TV integrates into your Google Home ecosystem and comes equipped with Google's best-in-class voice assistant, letting you queue up movies and dim the living room lights using voice commands.

What makes it the perfect stocking stuffer is the price. The 4K version retails for $49.99, while the 1080p model goes for just $29.99. That's a whole lot of value for less than a Grant bill.