The holiday season is here and it’s no secret that high-tech gadgets will likely be at the top of many shopping lists on Black Friday and beyond. In fact, a new poll finds one in five Americans plan to give their loved ones and friends the gift of new electronics this year. However, if you’re out shopping for the best tech gifts, you better make sure you’re buying gadgets and devices that’ll last into the new year!
In a poll by ARRIS Composites, 73 percent say they want electronics that has a better battery life. Nearly six in 10 (58%) are looking for portable gadgets which are more durable than their old tech and 40 percent are hoping their next device is lighter to carry.
Interestingly, only one in three say they’re planning to buy the “latest” tech heading into 2023. One in five simply want to buy something with better battery life and 19 percent are shopping for portable gadgets that have better compatibility with their existing tech. In fact, a previous survey shows that one in eight people suffer from anxiety when their smartphone or digital device shows low battery life.
For those eagerly awaiting the newest releases this holiday season, 53 percent can’t wait for the next high-tech cell phone to hit the market. Another 25 percent are already lining up for the newest laptops and 19 percent getting anxious for the latest handheld video games to fill store shelves. If you’re worried that playing video games too much might not be best for your child, one recent study shows that gaming regularly might just actually boost their brainpower!
No matter what’s on this year’s shopping list, the vast majority of Americans (91%) say they trust reviews they read about the newest electronics. In fact, this latest poll of over 1,000 consumers finds that 96 percent do their homework before buying electronics. Nearly half (49%) spend a few days reading up on the latest gadgets, while 25 percent say they actually read reviews for a few weeks.
So, which popular gadget is going to put the biggest smile on your loved one’s face this year? For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which devices, games, or gadgets consistently made it to the top of the “must-buy” or “best tech gift” lists for 2022.
Kindle e-readers are hot items this season
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The device that lets users browse, buy, download, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines, and other digital media not only comes in as one of the most recommended e-readers, but it also made it on to multiple lists for the best tech buys of the year.
“Small changes lead to great products staying great, and such is the case with the new Kindle Paperwhite (2021). It’s got the same basic look as previous Kindles and Kindle Paperwhite models, a matte black shell and an e-ink screen, but this time it’s larger, with a 6.8-inch panel. The bezels are also smaller, so the device didn’t have to grow too much to accommodate the growth from a 6-inch panel,” writes Henry Casey from Tom’s Guide, who named this e-reader the best Kindle of 2022.
Amazon Kindle (2022)
If you’re looking for some of those key features in the ARRIS poll (battery life and a lightweight design), the newest version of the Kindle may be the right choice this holiday season. Coming in at around $100, it’s also relatively affordable as well.
“The latest Kindle is an affordable e-reader with a top battery life of up to six weeks of usage (based on 30 minutes of daily reading). If you can live without waterproofing or a high-resolution screen, we love it this one for being very easy to use and lightweight,” the team at Good Housekeeping writes, naming it their top tech gift of 2022.
Earbuds and headphones among best tech gifts for anyone
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Apple’s earbuds prove good things do come in small packages! Although they cost anywhere from $234 to $250, the experts almost unanimously ranked these AirPods among the top earbud and headphone options for 2022.
“Apple’s AirPods are kind of a big deal. They essentially made wireless earbuds mainstream, thanks to a simple design, easy connectivity, great battery life, and a stellar case. Today, even with more premium options available, the simplicity of Apple’s baseline AirPods makes them a great gift for any iPhone user carrying wired headphones,” the team at Popular Mechanics writes.
These noise-canceling, over-the-ear headphones aren’t the newest version Sony has on the market, but they do everything tech users will likely ask of them.
“The XM4 checks off all the right boxes where essentials are concerned: they’re exceedingly comfortable, incredibly lightweight, they offer amazing sound, and offer noise canceling that’s among the best available,” the team at Reviewed writes, naming the headphones the best overall for 2022.
Speaking of “the latest” technology, Sony’s newer model of the same noise-canceling headphones garnered nearly as many good reviews from tech experts this year. However, if you’re looking to go with the updated model, it’ll cost you around $400.
“The WH-1000XM5 cost slightly more than their predecessors did at launch but are a superior product, with improved noise cancellation, more detailed audio and a new design that’s more comfortable and helps reduce the impact of wind on noise-cancelling performance. It’s a design that means the headphones can no longer be folded up, but on balance this is a sacrifice worth making,” according to Andy White at Expert Reviews.
Handheld gaming consoles are a winner with kids of all ages
Portable gaming devices have certainly come a long way from the original Nintendo Game Boy. Despite many people being able to download and play plenty of games on their smartphones, Nintendo still wins the day with their various models of the Switch. However, the standard model still edges out the Switch OLED and Switch Lite.
“The Nintendo Switch has been the best and most affordable portable game system for years, and continues to be CNET’s clear top pick: at $300 (or $350 for our favorite model), it can play a huge variety of Nintendo games, indie games, it can dock with a TV and can even play some fitness games,” CNET’s Scott Stein writes.
The Valve Steam Deck may not be the first “handheld PC” on the market, but it may be the most successful to date. The system allows players to access Steam’s vast collection of PC games, without having to sit at home in front of an expensive gaming laptop or desktop. This console won’t come cheap, however, costing hardcore gamers roughly $1,000.
“The system isn’t perfect, as the battery life is still a little lacking, and not every Steam game works perfectly. But the system also receives frequent updates, and new games are getting optimized all the time,” Marshall Honorof from Tom’s Guide writes, adding that their website considers this gaming system “the real deal.”
Smartwatches are still a big hit with fitness enthusiasts
Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)
“While the Apple Watch SE (Second Generation) doesn’t offer all the more sophisticated advancements of the new Apple Watch Series 8, the SE provides a vast collection of features which cover the basics and beyond,” writes the team at Forbes, naming it their most affordable smartwatch, with prices starting around $250.
“Much cheaper than the latest Apple Watch but containing most of the same features, this gift option offers a great smartwatch experience thanks to fast speeds, intuitive software, great battery life, and a comfortable fit,” the researchers at Popular Mechanics add.
Apple Watch Series 8
Speaking of the Series 8, it’s not just a good smartwatch, it also makes StudyFinds’ list of best fitness trackers for 2023! Unlike the more affordable SE, however, the Series 8 carries a price of roughly $400.
“The watch has 14 different quick-start workout modes, which include running, cycling, walking, and strength training, plus you have the option to add new workouts in the Workout app. It added Tai Chi and automatic outdoor cycling tracking this year, meaning it can detect when you’ve hopped on your bike and enable a workout,” researchers at Tom’s Guide write.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
If you’re not an Apple fan, this Samsung smartwatch is not only a great alternative, but it’s also Zdnet’s number two tech gift this holiday season.
“With a titanium shell, enhanced GPS with Glonass and Galileo positioning, as well as LTE mobile data capabilities, it can be used to track health, fitness, and location with up to 80 hours of battery life,” Zdnet’s Rebecca Isaacs writes in their review.
- Expert Reviews
- Good Housekeeping
- Popular Mechanics
- Tom’s Guide
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored, but we may earn a commission for featured products. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.