Many of us go through the year coaxing a cracked smartphone that barely holds a charge anymore just make it a little longer, counting on being gifted an upgrade by a loved one at the holidays. Tech gifts truly keep on giving, because they just make our lives so much easier: In many cases, we simply can’t get by without them; other times, they perform a function we didn’t even realize we wanted to have automated until we experience it and then wonder how we ever lived without it. Here, the 12 best new tech products of 2022 that will have your loved ones proclaiming “you’re the BEST!” this holiday.
You’ll quickly realize this is a gift for the whole household when you cozy up in matching pyjamas, grab a big plate of leftover sugar cookies and tuck under weighted blankets to watch your favorite cheesy holiday specials together on this wireless projector. With a built-in speaker and bluetooth connectivity, The Freestyle can easily point at any blank wall, making it usable throughout the house.
Samsung The Freestyle Smart FHD Portable LED Projector, $330, samsung.ca
For the person in your life whose bookshelf is buckling: Kobo’s latest e-reader has 32 GB of storage—ample room for all the books, audiobooks and PDFs they can download. Plus, it acts as a digital notebook, complete with a stylus for marking up books or creating to-do lists, and a protective cover that doubles as a stand.
Kobo Elipsa Pack, $500, kobobooks.ca
Apple’s newest wearable tech, the Watch Ultra, has up to 36 hours of battery life (or up to 60 hours on the low-power setting) and is designed with the extreme-sports enthusiast in mind: It’s made from super-durable aerospace- grade titanium, so it can stand up to all the elements, and its screen is twice as bright as previous models, so it can be read in any conditions.
Apple Watch Ultra, $1,099, apple.ca
Sleek sound system
This sound bar creates an immersive surround-sound experience for home cinemas, gaming or music, while maintaining a low profile so as not to clutter up your living space. It’s also compatible with Spotify Connect and virtual assistants like Alexa.
LG S95QR Sound Bar and Surround Speakers, $1,600, thesource.ca
Humidifier that does it all
This tricked-out fan humidifies, purifies and cools with three sensors that track the air quality in a room and activate its various functions to adjust the environment to optimal conditions. It captures 99.97 per cent of micro particles in the water and also has built-in ultraviolet technology to kill bacteria in water so it’s only pumping back out the good stuff.
Dyson Purifier Humidify + Cool, $1,150, dysoncanada.ca
Sponsored: Mobile plans for the whole family
With holiday deals on mobile plans, now’s the perfect time to upgrade. Available in all of Canada (excluding Quebec).
Rogers Mobile Plan, from $60 per month, rogers.com
Futuristic VR headset
The metaverse isn’t just for gamers anymore. Everyone from luxury brands like Gucci to real-estate agents are diving into digital worlds, and soon your friends and family may too—if they aren’t there already. For the virtual reality obsessive in your circle, gift a headset that will make their metaverse experience even more immersive with next-gen graphics and 3D audio.
Meta Quest 2 VR headset, $530, bestbuy.ca
Smart stocking stuffer
Every family has that one person who is constantly misplacing their phone, car keys, you name it. Apple’s AirTags can be attached to luggage, slipped into a backpack or popped onto a keyring, making it easy to track literally any object when synched with the Find My iPhone app. They’re customizable with free engraving, or you can opt to add an emoji motif instead.
Apple AirTag, $39 or four for $129, apple.ca
New-school flip phone
If you didn’t have a hot-pink Razr in the mid 2000s are you even a millennial? The flip phone is back, but this time Samsung has turned it into a smartphone with specs to impress: a foldable front screen that can be propped up to take hands-free selfies, wireless charging capability and water-resistant and scratch-resistant construction.
Samsung Galaxy Flip 4, $1,080, samsung.ca
Newly launched in Canada, Ultimate Ears’ wireless earbuds mold to the shape of your ear for a truly custom fit. A single charge gets you up to eight hours of listening time, and the pods are sweat- and water-resistant and are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
Ultimate Ears UE Fits, $250, ultimateears.com
This nifty little gadget is perhaps for the person on your list who truly has everything: Here’s a device that will clean it all, hands-free. From fine jewelery to orthodontic retainers, this tabletop device uses ultrasonic technology to safely clean all the little things that might be lying around the bathroom counter and beyond.
Soaq Ultrasonic Cleaner, $75, nordstrom.ca
Ultimate coffee maker
For the host with the most (and, subsequently, all of their lucky guests), a coffee maker that does it all: cappuccino, macchiato, espresso—all at the touch of a button. This machine can be synched to a smartphone for brewing from bed, and it can even do two cups at once.
Bosch Built-in Coffee Machine, $4,689, bosch-home.ca