GIFT GUIDE: Christmas gifts you should avoid giving this year

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gifts avoid

We’ve all received some crappy gifts during Christmas time. And while many were given with the best of intentions, it becomes very awkward between the giver and recipient if you try and get a receipt to refund the gift. This year, we want to try and avoid this for tech gifts – so consider this as a public service announcement or a reverse Christmas Gift Guide.

This list has two conditions: it has to be an actual product on sale, and has to be available from an Australian retailer. So, here are our choices of gifts that YOU SHOULD NOT give to friends and family.

For more Holiday Gifts, Guides and Reviews, just like this one, visit our Holiday Gift Guide hub or search for the hashtag #tgHGG.

Any Cheap Android Tablet (not made by Google)

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Audiosonic, Bauhn, PendoPad and Thompson – what do they all have in common? They are names of the cheap Android tablets sold at some of the major retailers like Target, Aldi, Coles, and K-Mart. Their price tag may be attractive – they are all under $200 – but you get what you pay for because they are utter crap.

Spend the extra dollars and give your loved one a Nexus 7 tablet – it has much better specs, and they will definitely love it (unless he/she is a massive Windows or Apple fanatic).

Facebook Games Gift Card

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Gift cards are pretty good gift, but what gift card you give is just as important. You don’t want to give them something that is pretty much useless and serves no purpose – hence we’re adding the Facebook Games Gift Card.

Officially, its purpose is to make it “quick and easy way to buy items in your favorite games and apps on Facebook.” But when the only items available for purchase are just add-ons to acquire items now as opposed to later or to get extra coins, what’s the point of it?

If you’re looking for gift cards for digital items – buy them a Google Play or Apple iTunes gift card. At least that way, they can purchase apps, movies, and music in addition to add-ons on free games.

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii U

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Feel free to get the consoles for yourself, but don’t bother giving any of the following three consoles as Christmas gifts this year. Many gamers want the Xbox One and/or the PlayStation 4 – though, good luck trying to get the latter as it appears there is a shortage and new shipments are coming next year.

So, what about the Wii U? Fanboys will be angry – especially given that I did pen this article – about the choice of having the Wii U on this list. But I do have some reasons: the usual recipients of consoles as gifts are traditionally children and teenagers, and they’re probably wanting an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. As well, the hardcore Nintendo gamer would already have one.

Lastly, Australia didn’t get the Wii U price cut like America and there isn’t a strong title lineup compared to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to justify buying it. But I’m (hopefully) expecting to see retailers drop the price during the Boxing Day sales to clear remaining stock. You probably should wait a bit then.

Like I said, feel free to buy it for yourself – but don’t give this as a gift this holiday season.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

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This might not be on the top of many people’s lists. However, if you happen to have a techie person in your family or friendship circle, do not consider the Samsung Galaxy Gear. It’s overpriced, the smartwatch doesn’t look good, and the software is horrible.

It is also limited in what devices it support – Samsung says its compatible only with the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Note 3. However, at the moment, the Galaxy Note 3 is supported with the rest being supported whenever they get Android 4.3.

Of course, this is all based on reviews from other sites. We haven’t had the opportunity to review it (nor ever will based on its sales performance). If you really want to give someone a smartwatch, you should probably get them a Pebble.

Zuckerberg Selfie Stick

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Even as a gag gift, you will be forever branded as the worst person in the world – well, in my eyes at least. It’s also another stupid, attention-seeking marketing ploy from Ruslan Kogan/Kardashian. And while much of the tech press has refused to cover it because of its sheer stupidity, I’m only breaking away from that to put it on this list of crap gifts.

Got any other products that should never be given as a Christmas gift? Feel free to add a comment below.