Here are the best 4K UHD gifts for the Holiday Season: TVs, Cameras, Monitors and more
Stephan Jukic – December 18, 2015
The Christmas holidays are just around the corner and a lot of you are probably thinking of just what to really impress with as a gift for the family or that genuinely special someone. Well, for this Christmas, if an impression is what you want to really make, sweaters and cheap trinkets probably won’t cut the mustard too deep and your best bet will be any one of the numerous cool new tech gadgets that have been hitting the market all year.
And what better tech gadget can you get your hands on than one with 4K ultra HD video, gamin or display capacity for your brother, sister, dad, husband, wife or whoever you love most.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of just these sorts of gadgets on the market right now and some of the best, coolest and honestly most practical tech gifts on sale right now happen to also come with 4K technology built into them in some form or another.
With that said, the following list is one very robust and comprehensive guide of a selection of gadgets from across the spectrum, representing some of what we believe to be the best possible gifts for assorted budgets in the world of cameras, TVs, 4K monitors, streaming media platforms and other cool devices.
Not all of the products we’re about to cover will be on sale right now but they might come with some cool discounts as the core days of the Christmas Holiday edge closer, so keep your eyes open and see what fits your budget and your loved ones’ desires most.
Now, let’s get down to the top gift products themselves.
The cornerstone of the modern 4K UHD technology ecosystem is undoubtedly the 4K TV. These are the fundamental sources of most ultra HD entertainment, the main platforms from which to view the content of external media devices (see below) and the ideal phot and video viewing displays for looking at footage captured on a 4K camera. Many 4K UHD TVs can even be used for gaming in UHD, sometimes with superior results to those of even the best UHD monitors. One of the following or many other highly-rated 4K TVs would be an almost unbeatable tech gift for the Holiday season.
This is definitely one of the 4K Ultra HD TVs we and many others have considered to be among the industry’s best overall value propositions in 2015. The JS9000 comes at a smaller price than the top-shelf flagship JS9500 SUHD 4K TV from Samsung but offers only marginally less overall specs and even outperforms its more expensive cousin in a couple ways.
With some of the best display specs on the market for an LCD/LED 4K TV, the JS9000 covers all of your bases while also piling on plenty of premium technology like HDR-capability, quantum dot color and some truly excellent picture, color and contrast processing systems. This is one spectacular 4K TV and it’s priced at a fairly reasonable level.
Price: $2,997.99 on Amazon.com
Alternative Suggestion: Sony XBR55X810C 4K UHD Smart TV
While not quite comparable to some of Sony’s flagship models like the X930C and X940C HDR-capable 4K TVs, or to Samsung’s JS9000 we covered above, the XBRX810C 4K UHD TV from Sony holds its own weight very nicely, with some superb contrast, excellent color thanks to Triluminos Display technology and Sony’s wonderful Android TV smart platform. Best of all, the X810C is priced to sell considering the quality of its display.
Price: $1,098 at Amazon.com for the 55 inch model and $1,698.00 for the 65 incher
Second Alternative Option: LG EF9500 4K UHD OLED TV with HDR
We can’t really suggest fantastic 4K UHD TV holiday gift options without mentioning one of LG’s amazing OLED models, and with that, we have to recommend the newly released and surprisingly affordable (by OLED standards) EF9500 OLED flat screen 4K TV. Not only does it offer the sort of picture quality that no technology except OLED display can match, it also comes with LG’s fantastic webOS 2.0 smart TV platform and is HDR-capable as a bonus feature that’s lacking in many of LG’s curved 4K OLED models from 2015
Streaming and external downloadable media devices do a lot of what many 4K TVs are already capable of on their own (streaming UHD movies and other content from sources like Netflix, Vudu and Amazon Prime) but they also offer the added features of extra connectivity, data storage, gaming platform capacity and some wicked interactive technology. You can get by with just a 4K UHD TV but no home entertainment system will be truly complete without an external streaming media platform like one of these.
The Roku 4 4K-capable streaming media box is a platform with few equals. Not only does it offer a mountain of music, gaming and Full HD video content, it also allows for some superb 4K UHD media streaming and movie storage. Furthermore, the Roku 4 is one very easy-to-use, straightforward platform which offers plenty of interactive features like complex voice controls, an excellent Roku 7 OS and access to dozens of media apps like Amazon Video, Blockbuster on Demand, CinemaNow, HBO Go, Hulu, M-GO and of course, Netflix.
To top things off, the Roku 4 is extremely compact and easy to connect to almost any type of 4K or HD TV in any space.
Price: $126.80 on Amazon.com
Alternative Suggestion: Amazon Fire 4K TV streaming media box
Amazon’s native Fire 4K TV streaming platform definitely weighs in favor of Amazon content with its technology and interface and this is partly why we didn’t give it our main spot in this category, but, in all other respects, it’s a superb piece of 4K-capable technology which delivers some great access to Amazon 4K UHD content and video or games from other streaming apps. Some deficiencies in connectivity via HDMI slightly mar the Amazon Fire TV platform but its gaming features are very rich, assuming you get your hands on the gaming model with an included controller.
Price: $114.99 on Amazon.com (of course)
4K cameras are becoming more popular and common than ever, with some superb offerings selling at increasingly affordable prices in all shapes and sizes. With the full benefits of high-res photo shooting and all the Full HD video capacities of more conventional shooters, 4K cameras also offer the icing on the cake of 4K video recording. Here are two excellent choices with great features and prices. Also take a look at our cameras page for a much larger selection of every type of 4K camera for almost any budget and use.
Go Pro’s Hero 4 Black represents the cream of the crop of Hero cameras and with good reason. It’s compact, it’s tough as nails and it comes with some excellent photo and video recording specs. This little camera weighs barely anything, can be mounted to nearly anything and with its waterproof protective casing can even be made to descent dozens of feet below the waves without a problem. Better still, while it’s being used in all these assorted situations and just about any sort of action and sports related scenario you can image, the Hero 4 Black can shoot some excellent Full HD video, 2.7K video, 1440p video, 4K video at 30fps and also manage some lovely 12 megapixel still photos.
Price: $499.00 on Amazon.com
Alternative Suggestion: Sony 4K UHD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Camcorders barely come better equipped ad more compact than the FDR-AX33 Handycam camcorder from Sony. This wonderfully small, lovely and extremely flexible 4K UHD video recorder can shoot 4K UHD video at a variety of frame rates ranging from 30 to 24fps, manages beautiful still shots at 20 megapixels and offers some superb zoom and image stabilization technology. The image stabilizing engine of the AX33 alone is the same as what Sony has added to many far more expensive video cameras.
Price: $848.00 on Amazon.com
While smartphones with 4K ultra HD displays currently consist of just one single model in the form of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium phone, there are plenty of models out there with 4K video recording capacity and they represent some of the best in phone technology due to all their other internal specs as well. Here are two of the models we most recommend at the moment for this Christmas holiday.
It barely needs to be introduced with all the popularity that this and nearly any newer model iPhone already has but we do need to mention that among phones with 4K UHD video recording capacity, the iPhone 6S Plus is truly an outstanding piece of technology. Not only can it shoot 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second, it also offers some absolutely stunning 12 megapixel photo shooting capacities which have inspired entire photo-journal campaigns worthy of much larger professional cameras with their quality. The 6S Plus is the current pinnacle of Apple’s phone technology and its sheer range of cool design and software specs clearly bear this out.
Price: about $832.73 but variable with airtime contract included.
Alternative Suggestion: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Smartphone
Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium is currently the world’s only smartphone with an actual native 4K ultra HD display resolution (in addition to its 4K UHD video recording camera). Not all content on the phone’s screen shows in 4K but the resolution is definitely there for when it’s needed. Furthermore, some spectacular specs and an awesome recording camera make this one truly unique piece of phone technology. On the other hand, 4K resolution is never easy on any battery system, and the Z5 Premium is no exception.
Price: $659.00 but variable with airtime contracts
PC monitors & Gaming
PC gaming in 4K Ultra HD has finally developed to the point where it becomes a truly interesting and robust proposition. After much of 2014 being spent with GPUs which simply couldn’t handle 4K UHD graphics, the technology has advanced enough to make many 4K gaming on a PC into a very fluid, engaging bit of entertainment. Those in your family who are serious PC gamers will almost certainly love either the GPU or 4K monitor options listed below as holiday gifts for this Christmas season. Also check out our Monitors and Gaming main pages (linked to above) for a far larger range of 4K monitor and GPU options.
Samsung’s U28E590D 4K UHD IPS 4K gaming monitor is truly a beautiful piece of technology. Not only is it very well priced as far as high-grade 4K monitors go, it also offers a wonderful IPS display with great color vibrancy and some remarkably good response time specs given the technology. Best of all however, it comes with BOTH DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0. What makes this 4K monitor work even better for gamers is the inclusion of FreeSync technology from AMD, so if anyone in your family or worthy friends list is a hardcore gamer and has an AMD GPU, it will synchronize its frame rates with the monitor wonderfully.
Price: $485.07 on Amazon.com. Down from a fairly recent retail price of $599.
Alternative Suggestion: Asus Swift ROG PG27AQ 4K Ultra HD Monitor with NVIDIA G-Sync
Asus is known for some of its great work and gaming oriented 4K UHD monitors and the Swift PG27AQ is no exception. This monitor not only looks absolutely awesome, it also offers some spectacular display specs and very decent gaming-oriented qualities like Nvidia’s G-Sync, which is the Nvidia counterpart to AMD FreeSync, for gamers who have this brand’s graphics cards in their game PCs.
Price: Unknown pending further availability
Second Alternative Suggestion: AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4K-capable GPU
We can’t conclude the 4K gaming gift ideas section without mentioning at least one awesome, powerful 4K-capable GPU. With this, we bring your attention to the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card. If whoever you want to get an excellent holiday PC gaming gift for already has a 4K monitor, then the Fury X is a fantastic and powerful GPU choice that won’t disappoint at all. With some of the most advanced graphics processing technology on the market today, the Fury X is perfect for any FreeSync monitor like the Samsung model mentioned above.
In the world of 4K ultra HD-capable gadgets, some categories don’t divide so simply into one type of device or another. This is definitely the case with UAV drones, even though they offer some of the most unique video and photo shooting platforms on the market today. For this reason, we’ve reserved this area for the remarkable Phantom 3 from DJI.
Here is a 4K gift which will almost certainly satisfy virtually anyone from amateur photographer to professional users in nearly any age group from teenager right up to fully mature adult. The Phantom 3 combines some excellent flight controls, a very decent 25 minutes of air time and remarkable altitude and range capabilities with a powerful 4K ultra HD video recording rig which can also take some superb 12 megapixel photo stills. If you want to see your neighborhood or any landscape like never before, this tough little drone is one incredibly exciting gift idea for this Christmas.
Price: $1,184.99 at Amazon.com
A Final Word
Remember, while we consider the list you just read to be a thoroughly considered selection of what we consider some of the best 4K ultra HD gifts in each device category, different budgets and needs might mean different priorities for TVs, cameras, monitors etc. So please, look through our site under the various device categories for some thorough reviews and general coverage of many other TVs, cameras, monitors, GPUs and other cool 4K tools and toys by clicking the links above or simply using the 4K.com search feature.
Story by 4k.com