Light Up the Holiday with these Hot Tech Gifts
Are you looking for some fun gifts that are also amazing tools for everyday life? This year be the cool mom, grandma or uncle with these hot tech gifts that will be sure to excite any techie on your list.
This is the second year having Alexa on the must-have list for the holiday season. Over the past year, digital personal assistants have continued to grow in popularity. And while many people are using them to play music, get the forecast, and “Google” questions, their capabilities are continuing to grow beyond these simple tasks.
For example, Alexa will order Prime-eligible products from Amazon by voice command. Newly announced “routines” will allow Alexa users the ability to trigger multiple actions with a simple command, such as “Alexa, good night” and it can turn off the lights and TV and lock the doors. Or say “Alexa, good morning” and it will give you the day’s forecast and news briefings.
Amazon just launched a new line-up of their Echo products that take them to the next level. Not only do they have better speakers and a more impressive design, they have additional functionality. The Echo Plus has a built-in hub to control your smart devices such as lights, thermostats and garage door.
Alexa continues to get smarter and more fun to have around.
Apple has just released their most innovative smartphone. While the phone breaks the mold of iPhone we have grown to love, it’s size and responsiveness makes the adaptation to the new design seamless. Screen quality, speed, reliability, and security of Facial ID is stunning. In my experience, the only time facial ID has any problems is if you don’t look directly at the phone.
Navigation in and through apps is now more than ever, gesture-centered. While I had some initial mistakes with the app switcher gesture, it quickly became second nature. About the only frustrating gesture for me has been initiating the reachability feature to make one-handed use easier.
My biggest concern about the phone doesn’t seem to be the issue I anticipated. I was quite worried that the phone would be too small. I went from the 5s to the Plus models, despite its size for the increased real estate. I gave up one-handed operation for screen and keyboard size. Maybe the actual usable real estate allows a larger keyboard on the iPhone X, because it is good to type on. It doesn’t feel as cramped as the 4.7” phones are for me.
The camera is a beast. Whether we are talking about portrait mode enhancements, or the ability to shoot in low light, it takes stunning photos. Having optical image stabilization on both camera lenses takes this phone to another level.
For the traveler on your list, the Away Luggage is a perfect gift. It is beautifully designed with a durable “unbreakable” shell. Although, the one thing that really sets this apart is the built-in USB chargers.
The suitcase can charge your phone, iPad, laptop or anything else that you can’t go without while traveling. It has a battery pack built in that holds a charge for months and provides 37 watt-hour charge. According to their website, you can charge an iPhone five times and an iPad more than once. No more sitting next to an outlet at the airport to make sure your phone gets you through your next flight.
They also come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you can get the perfect one for your someone special.
Bluetooth headphones are a favorite for the traveler, commuter, runner or anyone that is on the go. The two that I believe rise above the rest are the Apple Airpods and Beats X. They are both compact, easy to use, and great sound quality. They also both have impressive charging capabilities with the Beats X getting 2 hours of play time with just 5 minutes of charging, and Airpods getting 3 hours of listening with just 15 minutes of charging.
In addition, the Airpod allows you to activate Siri with just a couple taps without having to take out your phone.
Reviews.com has a more extensive overview of the these and other Bluetooth headphone options.
Anker Charging Products
We all get that little wave of panic when the dreaded “10% battery life” warning pops up. Anker provides a range of charging products that will keep your techie fully charged without the wait. These are the perfect stocking stuffers.
- Anker PowerCore 10000mAh – This compact external battery is one of the smallest and lightest available. It provides high-speed charging for any device including the iPhone, Galaxy, Edge, iPad and more.
- Anker PowerPort Speed 5 Ports – This desktop charger provides five ports to quickly charge multiple devices at a time.
- Anker Powerline II Lightning Cable (10ft) – A 10-foot lightning cable that is MFi certified, which means it will charge your Apple device quickly and safely. And Anker touts its durability and says that it will last 12x longer than other cables.
This multi-angle stand will hold most tablets to provide easy viewing of your device. This comes in handy when using a Bluetooth keyboard, to view a recipe while cooking, watching videos, or to put on your nightstand to use your tablet as an alarm clock.
There are so many uses that this gift would sure to be a favorite. There is also a smaller size to fit your smartphone.
Apple just launched their third generation of their smartwatch. One of the big updates to this generation is the addition of LTE connectivity. This means that you don’t need your phone on you to make calls and get texts through the watch. Although, there is an additional fee from your cell provider if you want this functionality. In addition, the Apple Watch is waterproof and has GPS capabilities which makes it a great gift for an active lifestyle.
If you are looking for a more traditional analog watch with smartwatch capabilities, there are many hybrid smartwatch options. Many of the major watch brands have these hybrid options from Fossil to Hugo Boss.
Whether you are looking for that big gift or just a stocking stuffer, any of these will be sure to delight…and be used all year long.