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The best gadgets to take on holiday

See which durable products we recommend, and learn more about how we test for toughness

The best gadgets to take on holiday

Looking for tough tech to take on holiday? Our expert testing can help you find the best durable gadgets, many of which are waterproof. 

Below, we’ve rounded up some suggestions on what to take with you – whether you’re going on a break abroad or closer to home – highlighting waterproof smartphones, ebook readers, headphones and more.

Best Buy wireless and Bluetooth speakers – perfect for the villa

Mobile phones

There’s no shortage of waterproof smartphones on the market nowadays, but more often than not durable mobiles are fairly pricey. Recently, we had our hands on the Samsung Galaxy S8+, which comes with the highest water-protection rating possible – IP68. It’s around £780 Sim-free. The £650 LG G6 has the same level of protection, so both phones will survive a sightseeing trip in the rain.

You don’t always have to spend big for a water-resistant mobile, though. Samsung’s Galaxy A3 is available for under £200, and it will survive a 30-minute dunk in 1.5 metres of water. That’s an impressive trick for a budget-priced smartphone. See our Samsung Galaxy A3 review for more details, or our smartphone reviews page for other options.

Ebook readers

If you’d rather swap an action-packed schedule for a calm afternoon by the pool, try a waterproof ebook reader. The Kobo Aura One has a 7.8-inch display and an ambient light sensor, which automatically adjusts screen brightness based on the time of day.

This Kobo has enough space for thousands of ebooks, and its makers say it will be fine in up to two metres of water for up to an hour. To see if it’s a Best Buy model, head over to our Kobo Aura One review.

Find out which ebook readers our experts recommend with our ebook reader reviews.

Bluetooth speakers

Wireless Bluetooth speakers are great for holidays. Most of them can be tucked neatly into a backpack, and many that we’ve tested are protected against the elements. Bluetooth support also means that anybody can pair their phone with the speaker quickly and easily.

If you’re looking for a waterproof speaker, consider the Ultimate Ears Boom 2. The tube-shaped Bluetooth speaker is water, dirt and shockproof, and it can be immersed in water up to one metre deep for thirty minutes. Right now, you can pick it up for around £100, but we suggest you read our Ultimate Ears Boom 2 review before taking the plunge.

For buyers on a budget, take a look at our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers under £100.


If floating around on a lilo listening to music sounds good to you, we suggest you take a look at the Kitsound Outrun waterproof headphones. These wireless sets, priced at around £30, feature built-in play and pause controls. You’ll have to read our Kitsound Outrun review to see if the sound quality impressed our audio experts.

Meanwhile, Motorola has its own selection of waterproof headphones. The Motorola VerveLife VerveRider+ headphones can withstand being submerged in one metre of water for thirty minutes without any damage. There’s a built-in mic and buttons that let you speak to Siri on your iPhone, or Google Now on an Android smartphone.

Head over to our headphone reviews where our expert advice will help you pick the perfect set.

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