Hot gadgetry for your Christmas list

Galaxy gear

Galaxy gear

High-tech gadgetry is coming to a wrist near you this Christmas, with smartwatches and fitness trackers among the most popular gifts.

The Jawbone Up, which sells for about $199, tracks daily movements and sends the information to smartphone apps, which tell you whether or not you are burning through enough calories to reach a desired goal.

The apps also giveyou the tantalising prospect of comparing their fitness with that of friends and family who use the same app.

DEAR SANTA....: The Sony SmartWatch 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
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DEAR SANTA....: The Sony SmartWatch 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

The Nike FuelBand ( from $230) and Fitbit Flex (from $145) are other devices for keeping track of fitness goals after a Christmas splurge.

Next on the list are smartwatches. Both Sony and Samsung released versions in September, and Samsung said last month sales of its watch had hit 800,000.

Smartwatches take on the role of a mini smartphone, notifying you on their screen and through a gentle vibration about any emails, tweets and calls.

Such technological marvels come at a price: Sony's SmartWatch 2, which is compatible with several Android phones, has a recommended retail price of $239, while the Samsung Galaxy Gear, compatible only with certain Samsung phones, has a suggested retail price of $449.

In the tech community both smartwatches are regarded as mostly a gimmick because they need to be linked to a nearby smartphone to work.

And from the wrist to the couch, gaming consoles are also proving to be a hot Christmas item.

But if you were hoping to get your hands on one, then you might have only one choice this Christmas: the Microsoft Xbox One priced at $749.

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After its rival, the Sony Playstation 4 (from $649), went on sale at the end of last month, demand for the new console outstripped supply.

Those who did not pre-order a Playstation 4 will probably have to wait until the next shipment arrives in February.

 - SMH

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