Let’s be clear! It’s not like you need these, but with Cyber Monday deals here, it’s a way to save a buck or two and buy Xmas gifts early. Whatever your reason, treating yourself once in a while is okay. I thought I’d put up a short guide of what caught my eye! I’ll split this into categories so you can jump right into the most interesting section.
It’s for a person who can’t fit into more strict categories! Too many hobbies, too many interests – “maker” is probably the best word to describe it. What do they love the most? Probably tools of creation! With that in mind here is my list!
- Arrowmax Pro – I’m still in love with MiniWare ES15, but after I overcranked 2 of them (my fault), I decided to pick a new one. While the review is coming sooner or later, I already can give you my recommendation. In short: just as good – not as expensive. Precision screw driving has never been this much fun.
- Creality Ender 3 S1 – having several 3D printers – some of them modded, others completely quiet, I came to appreciate the ease of use out of the box. S1 is the printer that I would recommend to anyone who is just getting started. Sure there are cheaper 3D printers, but this one is the easiest one to start your 3D printing adventure with.
From £324 (AliExpress|AmazonUK|AmazonUS)
- MiniWare TS101 – sooner or later, you will need a soldering iron. Instead of buying a bulky soldering station, hobbyists can enjoy a portable TS101 that is just as good. If you don’t have the space and are not planning 24h soldering parties, this is a tool for you! Check out my review for more details.
For active people
Can’t live without getting your feet wet, getting miles on your bike or simply adding extra kilometres to a weekly running tally? I know the itch. As a keen cyclist, I love to get out and about.
My recommendations for active people are as follows:
- Wahoo Element Roam – I treated myself to this cycling computer and it’s been great. While notifications were a bit lacking, forcing me to make my own Tasker-based system, updates improved some shortcomings. It’s everything a fellow cyclist needs on their handlebar on road and on the trail.
- Insta360 Go 2 – being active is about living the moment first, being present with 2 hands ready to tackle everything – from climbing to downhill cycling. This camera weighs next to nothing and the software stabilisation saves the memories just the way you remember them. Don’t believe me? Check my review here!
- Amazfit GTR3 Pro – Whatever the exercise, Amazfit workout selection has got you covered. Stylish, durable, with battery life to last days, it’s my everyday watch for home, work and a workout. I have a full review ready if this short pitch isn’t enough!
For home automation enthusiasts
After writing about home automation for years, I have a pretty good idea of what works well, and what should be your next gadget. This year my special smart home recommendations have hot new releases that worked well in my home and I love you to try them.
- SwitchBot Smart Lock – A relatively new release and already won my heart and my garage door. I love the keyless entry and self-lock functions – all in the spirit of non-invasive automation I know and love from SwitchBot – a perfect ecosystem for anyone renting their homes. A full review is available, discount code too, so go ahead and explore their ecosystem.
From £129.99 (SwitchBot Store)
- Shelly Plus Relays – A new line of relays and switches from Shelly, one of the most DIY-friendly ecosystems out there. You’ll pay a little extra but what you get are out-of-the-box integration with DIY systems, cloud support and unparallel options, not present anywhere else. Shelly is always my go-to company when it comes to recommendations for anyone building their automation from scratch. Now on sale, so it’s a perfect opportunity to get your Shelly Plus series devices. What’s great about Shelly Plus? This post covers it all.
From €12.70 (Shelly Store)
- yeedi vac station – Call me lazy, but a smart vacuum with a dedicated self-emptying station is a great way to clean your place without thinking about it. A recent yeedi update brought better mapping and now, yeedi has my full recommendation. Read about my experience in vacuuming and mopping with yeedi in this review.
- Aqara TRV – Aqara had the best year yet – releasing incredible gadgets. From IP cameras with face AI and ZigBee hubs inside to smart curtain pullers. The gadget I’m going to enjoy most is their TRV which offers unparalleled options for DIY enthusiasts and someone who loves the Aqara ecosystem. You will hear me writing about these more soon!
For musically inclined
Music is part of my life. It is constantly in the background keeping me focused and inspired. If you are looking to step up your game a little bit I have a couple of recommendations too! Listen to me and you’ll get a much better sound experience yourself:
- GravaStar Venus – not the most flashy speakers from their lineup, this crown goes to Mars Pro, but the most portable speakers with the richest sound (for its size!) Get a pair, show it off to your friends and listen to some cool music on the go. You can’t go wrong with these. More details are in my review.
£62.97 (GravaStar Store)
- Arylic Pro v3 – if you are building your multiroom system from scratch, take a look at the Arylic boards that bring a DIY take on sound tech. I linked mine with some Majority speakers – but you are free to add whatever speakers you have laying around. It’s a great base for a project!
$59.99 (Amazon|Arylic Store)
- GravaStar Sirius Pro – another product from GravaStar! This time the earbuds I use daily and I’m in love with. They look cool, they sound cool and come with fun features covered in this review. Check it out and treat yourself to by far the coolest-looking buds money can buy.
£76.96 (AmazonUK|AmazonUS|GravaStar store)
Anyone interested in software, microcontrollers, Arduinos and Raspberry Pi falls into this category. I thought hard to pick the best items this year, but trust me, there are simply too many things I like to list. Check out the entire section of my page dedicated to Raspberry Pi. Anyway, if that’s you – then these are my recommendations.
- Argon Eon case – Argon40 cases are always a great choice, but the Eon takes the crown for being the most elaborate offering. It’s perfect for NAS and other use cases and it looks stunning. Read my review and don’t wait too long. These things can be hard to get your hands on!
- M5Stack StickC Plus – in my review I called it the most featured ESP32 board per cm² – and I still stand by it. Options expanded to e-ink-enabled boards or Stamp-sized microcontrollers, but the StickC Plus takes the crown for being just great for pretty much anything. If you want to get someone into programming – M5Stack products are ace!
£19.95 (M5Stack Store)
- Wio Terminal – a small development gadget from SeeedStudio. At first, I wasn’t sure if the support for this board will follow, but after 2 years it deserves your attention with extensions sensors and gadgets that you can use with it. Read my review to learn more – and treat yourself to this pocket wonder!
- Bittle by Petoi – what’s more fun than the opportunity to learn how to program robots that look like Spot from Boston Dynamics? Petoi has a robot just for you and if you want to explore how hard it is to coordinate multiple servos, read my review and then get Bittle for yourself. It’s an excellent gift for anyone looking for a real challenge.
$199 (Petoi Store)
This is a mixed bag of things that bring me joy! They may not even fit into any categories here, but I thought I’d list them here. Let’s start with something you probably saw on my page before.
- Insta360 ONE X2 – a 360 camera is simply fun. Whether you are going on holidays, shooting hikes or just trying to capture something that is really hard to track – the 360 has all the tools that you need. The results? Well just take a look at my review.
- ZD 1/16 4WD RC car – I’ll admit, this is completely out of place, but it’s so much fun to drift around. Some cool options out there but if you want to have space for modding and upgrades, then 1/16 scale is probably the best without being expensive.
- FIMI SE X8 2022 – I have an older version (2020 – review here) but the latest one is almost a twin. It’s a great drone to get you started. Forgiving, durable. Not perfect, but worth my time and attention. Perhaps it’s worth yours too.
The last paragraph is for people like me. All the cool gadgets that I enjoyed having in 2022 helped me to get where I am. You don’t have to have a YouTube channel to find these useful. So if any of these sound interesting, give it a browse! You never know when you’ll wake up your inner creator.
- – getting a really good camera was a game changer. It changed the way I shoot things and enabled better image quality in my always light-deprived office. If you are getting started and S5 is way beyond your budget, Lumix GX-80 is a camera I used before – and still use for my desk shots. Lumix S5 takes it to another level. I still shot at 1080p60 but knowing that I can switch to 4K60 at any given time gives me that peace of mind.
- Zeapon Pons motorised slider – My adventure with this beast didn’t start well. But with time, and an app update we got to a mutual agreement – I’m happy with sometimes temperamental pairing, and the slider delivers me butter smooth b-roll that makes all my sponsors drool about. If you like my b-roll product shoots, they are mainly done using this beast.
From £121 (AliExpress)
- Pixel G1 LED panels – RGB panels are great for product shoots (and other purposes) and these Pixel panels are just worth the money. Great quality, a good interface. Read more in my review and marvel at my much better thumbnail game thanks to these.
- Synology DS418 NAS – After several years I finally got a chance to use a dedicated NAS box that isn’t Raspberry Pi based. While Argon Eon case substitutes for my NAS needs, for now, I’m already eyeing other options from Synology. I was impressed in my review, and I would strongly recommend using NAS for your work.
I hope this list has inspired you. It’s impossible to list all the things I enjoyed in 2022 – most of them are usually listed on this website – so give it a go. It’s a great opportunity to ask you if you have serious recommendations in any category. No matter how wild. Let me know in this Reddit thread! I’m looking forward to your recommendations.
🆓📈 – See the transparency note for details.