The AU Review’s annual last-minute Christmas gift guide for 2022

The AU Review is back with its annual last-minute Christmas gift guide to help guide you to the gadgets, gifts and products that anyone would love to find under the Christmas tree.

There’s no denying that everyone needs Christmas this year, or at least the family and friend aspect that comes out of the day. Of course, there are better ways to say you care than gift-giving, but no one’s going to say no to a cheeky pressie or two on the big day. Show your loved one that you put in the hard yards and did your research by getting across our tightly curated annual gift guide.

We’ve included some of our favourite products throughout the year, as well as a few from tried and tested oldies that are still giving us life all these years later. From new smartphones like the Google Pixel 6a and the powerful UE Hyperboom to some stocking-stuffers and one of the best pizza ovens in the game.

Travel

July Checked Plus

Know someone who plans on making 2023 the year of travel? Who would blame them after the past couple of years of uncertainty? Give them a hand on their ambitious New Year goal by getting them a reliable, stylish and incredibly well-designed piece of luggage. Luggage, as we all know it, is one of the most important things to get right when it comes to travel prep, so look to something like the July Checked Plus.

As the biggest checked suitcase in July’s highly attractive range, the Checked Plus comes in an array of monochrome colours like Navy, Forest, Moss Green and Sky. With a 110L capacity, there are very few things that won’t fit in this beauty, which weighs just 4.8kg and is made from a very sturdy German polycarbonate shell with anodised aluminum bumpers and water-resistant and stain-proof nylon lining. The leather finishes on the nylon straps and hinge give a very premium feel.

$425 | July

July Carry On Light Expandable

IF you’re looking to buy someone a carry on instead, then go for the July Carry On Expandable. It’s the newest carry solution in July’s range, weighing just 2.2 kg with capacity of 35L when not expanded, and 40L when expanded via a simple zip mechanism. Flexibility counts for a lot in travel so you’re basically getting someone two carry on suitcases in one to suit whatever situation they find themselves in.

Like all July luggage, the attractive little case is made from a strong German polycarbonate shell with water-resistant and stain-proof nylon lining.

$275 | July

Technology

Jabra Elite 7 Pro

There is no name as reliable when it comes to sports-minded earphones as Jabra. Building off the success of their acclaimed fitness earbuds is the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, the brand’s new flagship product sitting at a very attractive price point with a fulls suite of features including adjustable ANC, 8 hours non-stop playtime (with a total of 30 hours), sturdy IP57 rating, and build-in smart assistant support for Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Coupled that with Jabra MultiSensor Voice for professional-grade audio and you’ve got some of the best earbuds you’ll find all year, especially if you’re taking them for a sweat-sesh.

$179 | JB Hi-Fi

Belkin SOUNDFORM Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Belkin has rejigged and refined its increasingly popular Soundform series with the premium Immerse earbuds. The noise-cancelling earbuds were announced at CES earlier this year and have already hit the local market, with Belkin’s most premium model featured a hybrid ANC with three mics per earbud to cut unwanted noise for better call quality and listening.

Not only that, but multipoint at this price is unheard of. Especially when you’ve got the latest Bluetooth codecs and a very stable connection with 31 hours of battery life and Qi wireless charging. Basically, you’ve got all the features of a more expensive pair of earbuds at a very reasonable price – gold if you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift this year.

$205 | Amazon

Fitbit Sense 2

As the most premium Fitbit model on the market right now, the Fitbit Sense 2 is able to offer a comprehensive, incredibly useful experience that’ll instantly improve and refine anyone’s day-to-day. I mean, that is what we’re ultimately after for Christmas right? The gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. The Fitbit Sense 2 has more than six days of battery life, stress management features with the new Body Response sensor and heart-health tracking including AFib, heart rate variability, skin temperature and more. Add in Fitbit’s new Body Response sensor.

$499.95 | Fitbit

Huawei Watch Fit 2

For a more affordable health-tracking smartwatch that doesn’t feel like a compromise, go for the Huawei Watch Fit 2. The value model is incredibly adept at offering all the quintessential health-tracking features, working seamlessly as both a smartwatch and a health tracker for Android users.

$199 | Huawei

Google Pixel 6a

Even though the excellent Pixel 7 Pro is now out, Google really knocked it out of the park last generation when they put out the Pixel 6a earlier this year. It’s become the mid-range Android handset to beat, carrying over much of what makes the Pixel 6 Pro such a powerhouse 5G smartphone and refining that into something lighter and more affordable.

Google’s A series phones have always been a major success thanks to a focus on providing real value. Trimming features to get to a lower price point is pure art. Whoever is lucky enough to get this under their Christmas tree will be able to navigate life much easier, thanks to Google’s quality hardware and software that includes a 12.2MP primary shooter with the ability to shoot 4K at 60fps, a crisp 6.1-inch OLED display and the workhorse Google Tensor chipset.

$749 | Google

EPOS Adapt 660 – Aston Martin Edition Headphones

The most attractive enterprise headphones in the business just got better. EPOS teamed up with Aston Martin to refine and reapproach the company’s Adapt 660 headphones, adding an extra layer of luxury for the uncompromising office work that demands a premium aesthetic.

This is much about design as it is about performance, with the EPOS 660 ANC headset a powerhouse when it comes to seamlessly making the office space more efficient.

$579 | Simply Headsets

Twelve South Laptop Stands

Know anyone who’s going to be doing a lot of working from home in 2023? Rather than let them stack up a bunch of books and rest their laptop on them to save their poor neck in the long-run, grab them a laptop stand. Simple, affordable and actually useful. Those are the best gifts and Twelve South has a great range of different laptop stands designed for pretty much any set-up.

Twelve South

UE Hyperboom

If you know someone who’d love a big, powerful Bluetooth speaker then you’re going to want to check out the UE Hyperboom. Most people would immediately recognise the UE Megaboom as a pioneer in the competitive market for Bluetooth speakers, given it works so well and offers plenty of value.

Take that penchant for superb sound and magnify it, with plenty of volume. The UE Hyperboom is three times louder than the Megaboom 3, with precision woofers for clear, earth-shattering sound and a deliciously ruthless bass response that can turn any party into a nightclub.

$599 | JB Hi Fi

Logitech G Astro A30 Gaming Headset

If you know a player in need of a pair of good, solid and comfortable headphones to help them up their game, quite literally, then look to the Logitech G Astro A30. One of the most popular headsets in the gaming community right now, it’s comfortable, well-built and designed with convenience in mind.

It also works with the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S and has numerous options for connectivity, so any gamer will get a tremendous amount of use out of this gift.

$399 | JB Hi Fi

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Know someone whose new year’s resolution is to start a podcast? Get them a leg up in that endeavor by getting them the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. It’s the world’s most popular USB microphone for good reason, designed with absolute convenience in mind to help streamers and podcasters express themselves perfectly.

$159 | JB Hi Fi

Food & Drink

QT at Home

It doesn’t matter which city you live in across Australia, as long as you’ve got a local QT hotel then you’ve got access to the best Christmas hamper in the game. Consider this a cheat code if you want be the host with the most, packing in a sensory dining experience curated by QT’s award-winning restaurants.

If you’re in Sydney, for example, get a QT at Home box designed by the excellent Gowings. If you’re in Perth, that’s the equally stunning Santini Bar & Grill that’s got the goods for you. Also on the cards is QT Newcastle, QT Gold Coast, QT Canberra, and – if you’re across the ditch for Christmas this year – QT Auckland.

Each box caters for six people and features 20 different dishes plus you can pay $39 more and get a wine pack on top of it. You can’t lost. Just make sure you put your orders in before December 21.

$649 per box | QT At Home

Ooni Koda

Forget about Air Fryers, pizza ovens have been all the rage this year as we all enter our social era and start having backyard cookouts again. The Ooni Koda arrived in the Australian market at the perfect time then, presenting a highly portable, well-built pizza oven that can reach those blistering temperatures required to really pump out those epic 12″ pizzas that go far beyond than what a conventional oven is capable of.

If you know someone who lives to host, then there is no better gift to give this year. It’s that simple.

$659 | OOni AU

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

In the past we’ve stacked these gift guides with plenty of options for those who want to pick up a good, reliable bottle of booze. But we also realise that throwing too many options out there could mess up your last-minute plans and leave you putting more work into making the decision than buying the actual gift.

We’re solving that this year with a decisive one-and-done that will go down a treat this Christmas. And that’s America’s workhose Buffalo Trace with Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Those notes of toffee, vanilla and molasses will always win Christmas. Always.

$54.95 | Dan Murphys

Interflora Sparkling Christmas Gift Hamper

There’s good reason why hampers are such good gifts for Christmas, so jump on the trend and hit up Interflora for a simple, nicely-curated gift hamper anyone would love. Especially if they like good sparkling. While Interflora have a few other themed gift hampers, we’re loving this one with a gourmet selection of sweet and savoury treats plus a bottle of sparkling and a floral arrangement to boot.

$234 | Interflora

Melbourne Cocoa

Everyone needs some good stocking-stuffer ideas this Christmas and the most reliable is always going to be chocolate. Hit up Melbourne Cocoa who has been doing some great things this year with a range that suits every taste from salted caramel roasted almonds and dark chocolate coated coffee beans to dark malt honeycomb bars and milk caramel crunch.

Melbourne Cocoa

Fireball Bauble

You’ve heard of spiking the Christmas pudding, but how about spiking the Christmas tree? Fireball whisky has been quite creative this year, releasing Fire-baubles for you to hang, with each coming with a cheeky Fireball 50 ML mini inside. If you know anyone in a sharehouse with a sad old K-Mart tree that needs a bit of loving, then this is the perfect affordable gift to buy last minute from any Boozeburd, IGA Liquor, Bottle-O or independent bottle shops.

Style & Home Decor

Versace Pour Homme for Men EDT Perfume

Know a guy that needs a bit of help in the fragrance department? Anyone can use a bit of freshing up now and then so grab him a 100 ML bottle of Versace Pour Homme for Men EDT from Catch, who has the incredibly popular men’s perfume for a very reasonable price right now.

$74 | Catch.com.au

Glasshouse Candles

A good scented candle will never go astray when it comes to Christmas time, with candles being some of the most popular gifts year in and year out because they instantly elevate any space they are in. And people have been loving home decor lately. Hit up Catch, who have various Glasshouse candles on sale from the very low price of $29

From $29 | catch.com.au

Dri-Glo

Whether you know someone who’ll love a pop of beautiful linen curtains or someone in desperate need of attractive new bed sheets, Dri-Glo should be your answer. The Australian brand has a huge range of towls, bed linen and even some curtains on sale right now – perfect timing for Christmas.

Dri-Glo

Swanky Socks

Not quite brave enough to gift some gimmick socks but still want something fun that people would wear? Swanky Socks is the answer there, with soft and supremely comfortable Merino wool socks with plenty of different designs to choose from. Who said stocking stuffers can’t be socks?

Swanky Socks