Christmas 2011: Best tech gifts for your son

Features Paul Briden 17:12, 25 Nov 2011

We've compiled a Christmas list of gift ideas for your son

Here's a handy list of gadgetry, games and accessories your son might appreciate this year.

A selection of games
Samurai Vengeance 2 -  One of our favourites, you can get Madfinger Games’ Samurai Vengeance 2 on either Android or iOS and there’s even an HD version available if your son uses a phone with a high-quality display.

Samurai Vengeance 2 is a great little action game with plenty of dynamic and rewarding swordplay, traps to avoid and some interesting puzzles to solve along the way.

There are some RPG-lite elements in there too allowing you to unlock new combo moves which let you unleash some devastating special attacks and flourishes.You can also upgrade the characters health.

The art style and graphics are really appealing with a cell-shaded comic book aesthetic which goes very well with the linear storyline, told between levels via comic-panel cut scenes.

Muffin Knight - Muffin Knight is a compelling little platform arena game you’ll have difficulty putting down.

You progress through a series of fixed levels, unlocking more as you go, where you must defeat oncoming hordes of enemies to gain experience and upgrade your character.

You’ve also got to collect the muffins which pop up continuously on each level – but when you do your character will transform into one of many unlockable personalities varying from a shotgun-wielding gnome to a shuriken-throwing cat-ninja.

Once these characters are unlocked, picking up a muffin will randomly transform you into one of them, and you’re able to upgrade each character in a separate menu screen.

You’re sure to develop your favourites as each has their own unique abilities - you’ll likely end up selectively upgrading the ones you find most useful which creates a mad dash as you run around the levels frantically trying to transform into the little dragon guy, the wizard or the grizzly bear.

The graphics are fantastic, it’s a side-on platformer in the traditional style but it’s all rendered in full 3D with some really nice detail. The characters are cute and entertaining and the levels colourful and interesting.

Muffin Knights is free but it's well worth forking out for the paid version as not only does this remove ads but it unlocks a lot more levels and content not available in the free build.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Games on the go are something which will appeal to many blokes and the Xperia Play is purpose built for the task thanks to its slide-out game pad.

We love mobile gaming on smartphones but sometimes those virtual controls which pop-up can be a little fiddly on touchscreens, particularly when the action gets frantic.

The Xperia Play’s game pad deftly sidesteps this issue giving satisfying feedback with each press of the keys – it is a much more precise way to play.

What’s more, the Xperia Play is running Android, which is a great system for gaming with many thousands of high quality games available through the Android Market, Amazon Market and other third party stores.

The Xperia Play also has many games specially optimised for it and is also fully PlayStation certified, allowing you to access a wealth of exclusive gaming content through the PlayStation Network.

HTC Sensation XL
HTC’s Sensation range is aimed squarely at providing a great multimedia experience from the crystal clear displays to the integrated Dr Dre Beats enhanced audio and included headphones.

It seems as though HTC is getting rather good at optimising its processing technology for use with the Android system as, even though it’s a single core processor, the Sensation XL’s 1.5GHz Qualcomm Scorpion runs Gingerbread 2.3, as well as host of 3D games, remarkably smoothly.

Onboard there’s 16GB of internal storage and 768MB of RAM to help keep things running at a rapid pace.

The other great thing about the XL is the display, a whopping 4.7-inch expanse of glass features an 800x480 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 199 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

Samsung Galaxy S2
The Samsung Galaxy S2 is currently, in our view, the undisputed king of smartphones thanks to its sky-high performance capability, fantastic display and generous internal storage options.

Some people may not like the slightly larger size as this is a 4.3-inch device but this does give you a larger screen to view photos, videos and apps on.

The Galaxy S2 also has an excellent 8-megapixel camera so you can get some high-quality holiday snaps of the family this festive season.

It runs on Android Gingerbread 2.3, though being a premium flagship device we fully expect it to receive the Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 update fairly quickly in the new year, which should ensure it stays top of the pile for some time to come.

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