8 barely gimmicky tech that make nice vacation presents 2023

Shopping for vacation presents is not all the time straightforward. Positive bets like a new laptop or game console do not come low cost, and extra inexpensive picks like garments (everybody wants new socks) do not excite everybody. It is less complicated if there’s an issue to unravel, like their work-from-home setup wants enchancment or the reward receiver matches a selected kind, like a frequent flier. Past that, although, issues get difficult. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a enjoyable reward which may not be on the one you love’s radar, however they will nonetheless truly adore it, you will have to be keen to embrace a great gimmick.

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Whether or not a tech product is “gimmicky” or not is mostly a matter of perspective, however within the case of this checklist, we selected merchandise that, of their design or supposed objective, flip heads, however are nonetheless genuinely helpful, sources of pleasure. Whether or not you are out there for a pocketable immediate digital camera just like the Fujifilm Instax Pal or a placing wi-fi charging stand like Belkin’s BoostCharge Professional 2-in-1, we have got you coated within the checklist under.

Gimmicky tech that makes great gifts: Our favorite picks

A tiny camera, printer with a photo coming out, and hands holding a smartphone.

Fujifilm / Pocket-lint

Fujifilm Instax Pal & Link 2 Bundle

1. The cutest camera and printer combo money can buy

The viewfinder doubles as a handle

$180 $200 Save $20

This bundle gets you the compact, printer-free Fujifilm Instax Pal camera, and the Link 2 printer which can print photos in a variety of instant film types. You might not get the best photos out of them, but you’ll certainly have the most fun taking them.


  • Camera size lets you take photos more places
  • Printer is compatible with more than Instax
  • MicroSD card slot for extra storage

It might look like a toy, but the Fujifilm Instax Pal is a working immediate digital camera, minus the flexibility to immediately print photographs out of the field. Except, in fact, you purchase it on this bundle with Fujifilm’s Hyperlink 2 printer. The Hyperlink 2 printer connects to your smartphone to annotate, filter, and print nearly any photograph you’re taking, together with ones taken on the Instax Pal and uploaded to Fujifilm’s companion app.

Fujifilm Instax Pal 1

In our assessment, we discovered that the photograph outcomes aren’t as high-quality as one thing you’d get out of your smartphone or certainly one of Fujifilm’s different Instax cameras, however you are paying for cuteness right here. The Instax Pal can match nearly wherever and features a built-in viewfinder that doubles as a hoop for carrying the digital camera round.

A handheld camera with a gimbal head and a rotating screen.

DJI / Pocket-lint

DJI Osmo Pocket 3

2. Vlogging digital camera with gimbal and a rotating display screen

Auto monitoring and quick focus

The DJI OSMO Pocket 3 is a gimbal-based vlogging digital camera that provides you one of the best of stabilized drone video on a handheld digital camera, now with 4K 120fps footage. The Osmo Pocket 3 bests it is predecessor with a rotating display screen and assist for wi-fi mics too.


  • 4K 120fps footage
  • ActiveTrack 6.0 mechanically tracks topics easily
  • Helps wi-fi mics

  • Extra fragile than different cameras

For a extra skilled digital camera with an equally odd look, strive the DJI Osmo Pocket 3. Utilizing what’s primarily a small digital camera mounted onto a handheld gimbal, the Osmo Pocket 3 can seize easy, secure footage and observe topics whereas they transfer utilizing DJI’s ActiveTrack 6.0 system. It is the proper setup for vloggers or anybody on the lookout for a easy video digital camera.

DJI Osmo Pocket 3 (7)

Higher than that, the Osmo Pocket 3 can seize 4K 120fps footage for the primary time with the digital camera’s 1-inch CMOS sensor, a giant improve over the earlier Pocket and akin to what you will get from extra normal-shaped vlogging cameras. And the Pocket 3 has a rotating show that makes it straightforward to border and file vertical or horizontal video. All of the transferring elements make the Osmo Pocket 3 a bit extra fragile than a much less odd trying digital camera, however no much less succesful if whoever you’re shopping for it for is eager about beginning a YouTube or TikTok channel.

A teal half-circle smart speaker with a light at the top.

Amazon / Pocket-lint

Amazon Echo Pop

3. Most budget-friendly sensible speaker Amazon sells

The naked minimal, however sufficient

$18 $40 Save $22

The colourful, small Echo Pop is Amazon’s most cost-effective sensible speaker and the simplest approach to get entry to the corporate’s Alexa voice assistant at residence or prolong an Eero Wi-Fi community. Simply do not count on it to be an audio powerhouse.


  • Tremendous low cost
  • A number of colours to select from
  • Can prolong Eero networks

  • Lacking sensors
  • Lackluster sound

The Echo Pop is Amazon’s cost-cutting (and subsidizing) product design is taken to its absolute excessive. A colourful $40 sensible speaker with entry to Amazon Alexa and even the flexibility to increase an Eero Wi-Fi community (additional helpful for a spare bed room), the Echo Pop is the concept of a sensible speaker distilled all the way down to its purest kind. Does anybody want an Echo Pop? That can actually rely on in the event you personal an Alexa-enabled speaker already, however in the event you’re in any respect eager about exploring sensible residence options or utilizing Amazon’s upcoming LLM-powered AI options, it is an absolute impulse purchase.

Amazon Echo Pop buttons

It is value noting that the Echo Pop would not have the temperature sensor or ultrasonic movement detection of a few of Amazon’s different Echo units, which suggests it will not be able to enabling some extra complicated sensible residence routines. It additionally would not get practically as loud or sound as full as different sensible audio system, making it a poor celebration speaker in a pinch. However these shortcomings are largely made up for by the speaker’s value, small measurement, and the ever-growing capabilities of Alexa.

A black charging stand with a metal rod in the center, and iPhone mounted on the top, and AirPods charging in front.

Belkin / Pocket-lint

Belkin BoostCharge Professional 2-in-1 Wi-fi Charging Dock with MagSafe 15W

4. Quick wi-fi charging stand

Good for a nightstand with assist for StandBy Mode

$92 $100 Save $8

Belkin’s BoostCharge Professional 2-in-1 Wi-fi Charger Stand is a modern charger that’s appropriate with iOS 17’s new StandBy mode because of MagSafe magnets and assist for 15W quick charging.


  • Helps StandBy mode
  • Quick cost at 15W
  • Comes with AC adapter

If you would like your wi-fi charging stand to be as a lot as a bed room assertion piece as it’s a energy supply, the Belkin BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1 Wireless Charge Stand is an effective purchase. Its steel, tree-like heart stem ends in a MagSafe appropriate charging pad that helps 15W quick charging, and its plastic base can cost your AirPods simply by plopping them down.

Belkin Boost Charge Pro - 13

Belkin’s designed the magnets within the BoostCharge Professional to work each vertically and horizontally, that means in the event you flip your iPhone sideways on the stand, and also you’re operating iOS 17 and up, you should utilize StandBy mode to show your iPhone right into a bedside sensible show and clock. It is a good, if flashy, stand by itself, however enabling StandBy mode makes it additional helpful.

A rounded white dongle with a button and headphone cable.

Twelve South / Pocket-lint

Twelve South AirFly Professional

5. Nice Bluetooth dongle for frequent flyers

It really works with gymnasium gear too

The Twelve South AirFly Professional is the only approach to join Bluetooth headphones to in-flight leisure techniques with solely a headphone jack. It even comes with a keychain carrying case so that you all the time have it with you.


  • 25 hours of battery life
  • Prices over USB-C
  • Keychain carrying case

  • No quantity controls on the dongle

Sometime, having to discover a approach to join Bluetooth headphones to an airplane’s in-flight leisure system will probably be a factor of the previous, however till then, there’s the Twelve South AirFly Pro. The AirFly Professional is a straightforward dongle that plugs right into a headphone jack and offers a wi-fi Bluetooth connection to wi-fi headphones for {hardware} solely designed to assist wired ones.

Airfly Pro review - 15

The dongle itself will get about 25 hours of battery life (greater than sufficient to get by most flights), fees over USB-C, and features a keychain you should utilize as a carrying case while you’re not utilizing it. The AirFly Professional appears to be like somewhat goofy dangling out the aspect of a show or airplane seat, but it surely’s all value it to not must depend on the horrible wired headphones that get handed out in the beginning of each flight.

A gray folding video game console with a screen on the top half and control inputs on the bottom half.

FunKey / Pocket-lint

FunKey S

6. Retro video games on a keychain

Simple recreation emulation

The FunKey S is the one retro recreation emulator you could credibly connect to your keychain. Formed like a tiny Sport Boy SP in a ton of enjoyable colours, the FunKey S makes enjoying basic handheld video games straightforward, supplied you’ll be able to put up with its small display screen.


  • Drag and drop set up for ROMs
  • Folds like a Sport Boy SP
  • Runs most retro handheld video games

Protecting the keychain accent theme, the FunKey S helps you to take retro video games with you on the go on a tiny handheld. Whereas it feels odd to name video games that got here out in my childhood “retro,” the FunKey S is without doubt one of the easiest attainable methods of enjoying previous Sport Boy, GBA, and even NES and SNES ROMs you might need mendacity round your laptop or ready to be dumped from bodily cartridges.

Associated: Best tech gifts for $10 or under: Funky, practical, and budget-friendly stocking stuffers

The FunKey S itself appears to be like like a Sport Boy SP, is available in plenty of enjoyable colours and is highly effective sufficient to play basic handheld video games with out issues. Its built-in 410 mAh battery would not final lengthy, however for fast play classes in ready rooms or on the bus – it is sufficiently small to slot in your pocket or dangle from a set of keys – a pleasant possibility for anybody seeking to recreation and decorate on the identical time.

A translucent power bank with an LCD display and a yellow USB-C cable.

Shargeek / Pocket-lint

Shargeek Storm 2

7. Quick-charging succesful see-through energy financial institution

It is a large battery to cost a number of units

$200 $229 Save $29

Shargeek’s Storm 2 Energy Financial institution has an attention grabbing see-through design, LCD show and comes with sufficient USB ports to rapidly cost your cellphone, Nintendo Change, or laptop computer with out a lot fuss.


  • 25,600mAh battery
  • Helps 100W quick charging
  • LCD show lets charging is working

There’s nothing improper with hopping on a preferred pattern. Working example, the Shargeek Storm 2, a conveyable energy financial institution with a ravishing translucent case that allows you to view all of its inner elements. See-through and translucent devices are having a little bit of a second (see: the superior translucent Steam Deck OLED) and Shargeek’s Storm 2 is a wonderful execution of the design pattern.

It is also only a large, fast-charging battery. The Storm 2 has an LCD for displaying battery capability and charging speeds, a 25,600mAh battery, a number of USB-A and C ports for charging your smartphone, handheld recreation console, or laptop computer. If you happen to’re particularly inquisitive about charging laptops, it’s able to 100W quick charging, which Shargeek says can get a 16-inch MacBook Pro to 50 p.c battery in 41 minutes or much less.

A NES-inspired mechanical keyboard with red, grey, and black buttons.

8Bitdo / Pocket-lint

8Bitdo Retro Mechanical Keyboard

8. Retro-inspired keyboard with buttons value pushing

NES vibes

The 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard works with Home windows and Android units and is styled like a NES. It additionally comes with two programmable “Tremendous” buttons that can be utilized for shortcuts or different duties.


  • Scorching-swappable PCB
  • Nice retro finishes
  • Comes with two programmable buttons

  • Solely works with Home windows and Android

The 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard is 8Bitdo’s first keyboard and a reasonably superior first draft. As a controller-maker, it is not stunning the keyboard borrows the aesthetic trappings of the NES console, together with iconic crimson accents. However the Retro Mechanical Keyboard ought to fulfill keyboard lovers too, with programmable keys, and a hot-swappable PCB.

Associated: These are the 8 gadgets to gift travelers this holiday season

Alongside the keyboard, 8BitDo additionally consists of two Tremendous buttons that may be programmed to allow particular shortcuts or simply about no matter else you’ll be able to think about. The one actual draw back with this geeky keyboard is that it’s solely appropriate with Home windows and Android machines, leaving Mac customers trying elsewhere for video game-inspired typing.

There’s nothing improper with a gimmick, if it really works properly

A superb reward is all about getting somewhat inventive, and there is nothing extra stunning than an odd-looking gadget that is legitimately useful. The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 each appears to be like like a timid fowl when mounted on a tripod and monitoring a TikTok dance, and it is a improbable video digital camera. The Twelve South AirFly Professional feels extraneous, fixing an issue that does not actually need an answer, however not when can you employ your AirPods Professional the entire flight? – it is marvelous. Shargeek’s Storm 2 Energy Financial institution appears to be like cool and can be only a big battery. The trick with all of those presents is that even when they’re area of interest or look foolish, for the appropriate particular person, they may change every part.

How did we make our checklist of barely gimmicky devices?

By way of reviewing merchandise, Pocket-lint casts a large web, often overlaying what might be fairly particular merchandise if all you are used to studying is smartphone opinions. I pulled these picks from well-reviewed merchandise that also stay on the margins, both as a result of their options or use-cases are restricted, they appear foolish, or they may appear superfluous from the outset. The objective was to search out tech that, no matter the way it seemed or labored, would make a distinction to the one that acquired the reward. And that standards turned up enjoyable cameras, charging choices, and methods to play video games, improbable stuff for no matter vacation gifting state of affairs you are attempting to deal with.

What presents from this information make one of the best stocking stuffers?

By way of value and measurement, it must be both the Twelve South AirFly Professional or the FunKey S. Each are comparatively inexpensive at $55 and $73, respectively. They’re additionally each extremely pocketable, which suggests they’ll slot in most Christmas stockings with none points. Selecting between the 2, if value is not a difficulty, is determined by what sort of particular person you are shopping for the reward for. Are they going to understand one thing sensible, or are they going to need one thing that encourages them to have enjoyable? If sensible, then perhaps the AirFly Professional makes extra sense. If enjoyable, then the FunKey S is the appropriate selection.

What’s the appropriate amount of cash to pay for a digital camera?

That can rely in your finances, and who you are shopping for the digital camera for. For camera beginners, our favourite picks are inclined to fall within the $500-$700 vary, which makes the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 a stable possibility when it comes to options and value, particularly if easy filming and picture high quality are your high issues. For extra professional cameras, you must be keen to spend hundreds of {dollars}. Contemplating what number of photographs and movies find yourself being considered on smartphones within the first place, do you really want to spend that extra cash in the event you or the particular person you are shopping for the digital camera is not going to be utilizing it professionally? It’s best to determine that out first earlier than you buy.

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