With Christmas edging closer, you may want to use this year’s Black Friday sales to pick up some affordable gifts – and they don’t come better than a Best Buy.
Retailers are slashing prices on the latest and greatest tech and home products, so you could land yourself a bargain this Black Friday if you shop wisely. As always, our advice is to plan ahead – and that means finding out if the products that might be on sale are any good before you buy.
To help, we’ve rounded up a range of giftable gadgets where we’ve found Best Buys for less than £50 – great news if you want to keep Christmas affordable. Plus our in-depth reviews will help steer you in the right direction, so you don’t end up with a discount dud.
Black Friday hub – top tips on spotting bargains
Tech products for Christmas under £50
You’ll have no trouble finding headphones under £50 on sale this Black Friday – at the time of writing we have 72 reviews at this price point, but quality is mixed, to say the least. Review scores range from 72% down to just 15% – the realms of the dreaded Don’t Buy.
The Sennheiser HD 206 headphones recently returned from our test lab. These lightweight over-ear headphones are on sale for around £20, rocking a lightweight design and a three-metre cable. They’re cheaper than the popular HD 231i, but can they outperform them?
Fitness watches and activity trackers
If you or a loved one are planning on working off that Christmas turkey next year, a fitness watch or activity tracker could be just the inspiration you need to stick to that new year’s resolution. It’s not easy to find a good fitness tracker for under £50, but there are some available. We’ve reviewed models from the likes of Garmin and Fitbit to help you choose, plus read our first looks of the Goji Go and TomTom Touch Cardio.
Wireless and Bluetooth speakers
A cheap Bluetooth speaker could make for a good stocking filler this Christmas. Big brands like Bose, with its SoundLink Color II, and Sony’s SRS-X11 are both available for under £50, and the Jam Classic is just £15. Sound quality is obviously paramount here, but we also test speakers to find out how easy they are to use, how long their batteries will last and what connections they have, so you know in advance whether you can hook up them up wirelessly, or with the right cable.
We expect to see a selection of Black Friday deals on internet-TV boxes this year. We’ve just had the new Roku Express back from our test lab – it’s the first ever 4K Roku internet-TV box and costs £30. All you need to do to set it up is plug it into your TV’s HDMI port. Alternatively, there’s the £40 Amazon Fire TV Stick. It comes bundled with an Alexa-enabled remote, which means you can use your voice to play your favourite TV shows.
Power banks/portable phone chargers
With all these gadgets in tow there’s a good chance you’ll get caught short away from a power socket. The best solution to this is a power bank – most of which are available for under £50. We’ve looked at a range of big brands – including Belkin, Goji and Energizer, to find out if they really deliver the power they promise. The results? Some only offer as little as 54% of their stated charge. Find out which come out on top in our guide to the best portable chargers.
Home products for Christmas under £50
A popular giftable option around Christmas, a new coffee machine can make those winter mornings just a little more bearable. The Lavazza Jolie is just £35 from Tesco. It’s compact (so won’t take up much space on your worktop) and uses Lavazza’s A Modo Mio capsules. Or are you better off opting for another big-name brand, like Delonghi? Its own budget coffee machine, the £40 Delonghi Dolce Gusto Jovia, is also pretty slimline and can make a variety of drinks to keep you or your family warm this winter. See our coffee machine reviews for more.
Grate, slice, chop, mix, knead, whip, whisk and blend those festive ingredients with an affordable food processor. You might not think you’d find much for less than £50 but there are some impressive Best Buys available, along with others that don’t make the grade.
The Kenwood FPP220 Multipro Compact lands at around £40 and has a 2.1-litre bowl and two speed settings. We sent it off to our test lab to see how effectively it can chop onions, nuts and herbs. If you’re on a tighter budget, read our verdict on the £15 Kenwood CH180A, or head over to our food processor reviews page to see our full line up of tested products and pick one that performs.
A top-notch blender can whiz up a range of ingredients into delicious smoothies, and many of the models we’ve tested (33 to be precise) come in at under £50. While there are four great Best Buys to choose from in this price range, others could leave you reaching for the chopping board. The Nutri Ninja Slim Blender QB3001 costs around £40 and doesn’t feature any buttons – all you have to do is load it with food and push the cup down to start blending. The cheapest on offer is the Kenwood SB056, currently under £20, and there are plenty of models in between. See our blender reviews page for our verdict on products from Philips, Kenwood and Breville to see whether you can bag a bargain, or if it’s worth paying more.
Although you can spend a small fortune on the latest and greatest electric toothbrushes, that’s by no means a guarantee of quality. We’ve tested and rated electric toothbrushes from the biggest brands, including Oral B, Philips Sonicare and Colgate, ranging from £12 to £250, and it’s fair to say performance varies across the board. There are bargains and discounts to be found on many models, including the Colgate ProClinical 350 Whitening toothbrush (which now costs around £15, reduced from £59.99) and, as the name implies, includes a whitening element on its head. There’s also the £40 Philips Sonicare EasyClean HX6511/50 to consider – it’s a tad pricier but boasts a claimed battery life of two weeks. Or should you really risk spending £12 on the Superdrug ProCare, or £14 on the Asda Pure Hygeine?
Don’t believe everything you read when it comes to bagging a bargain in the Black Friday sales. Our Price Predictor tool can help you work out if a discount is really as good as it seems.