The strangest year in our lives is coming to a close and the holidays figure to be just as strange. With the COVID-19 pandemic still roaring away, there probably won’t be a lot of the events that are typical this time of year. That doesn’t have to ruin the time of year, however. Today, we thought that we would take a look at five cool tech gadgets and services that won’t break the bank, but will also be a cool addition under the tree or for your secret santa.
It’s probably an understatement to say that people like their coffee. It’s probably more correct to say that people need their coffee. Even if you don’t like coffee, you probably like hot drinks. For anyone who likes hot beverages the Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug² is a great choice. With this device you can set how warm you want to keep your beverage and it stays that warm for over an hour; enough time to finish that cup of joe that would have gotten cold and been thrown out.
The mug has a built-in battery and comes with a charging coaster. The Ember Mug² comes in 10 fl oz or 14 fl oz options and can be found on Amazon for around $110.
The days of the smart home have just begun. Despite being available for a few years now, people—many of which have spent most of this year at home—have begun to install smart gadgets in their homes. Eventually this is the way everything is going, so if you know someone who, like millions of other people, are starting to piecemeal a smart home, the Google Nest Hub is a great tool.
The Nest Hub is marketed as a digital picture frame, but unlike the one you got your Grandmother for Christmas in 2010, the Google Nest Hub provides the ability to watch videos via YouTube or Netflix and, best yet, it functions as a controller for all of your home’s smart devices and accounts. The Google Nest Hub can be found in the Google store for around $90.
Another gift that has been around for a few years now, but is to a point that even modestly-priced options have some value. There are a lot of different kinds of wireless headphones. There are on-head headphones, there are earbuds, there are even wireless headphones built into glasses and hats.
Some of the most popular options for high-end sound include: Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II, Apple Airpods 2, and Google Pixel Buds. Some more affordable options we like include: Anker Life Q20 and the Xiaomi Airdots S.
These days, seemingly everyone has some type of streaming service that they pay for, but getting them all can be really expensive. If you know someone who would like the content on your favorite streaming service, you can give them a gift. In fact, some will give you the option to pay for a year subscription for a discount.
Some of the most popular are: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube Premium and more. As more and more companies get into the streaming service game, it will be nearly impossible to have all of them. Depending on the service you gift, you are looking at about $80-to-$150 for a year’s worth. Personally, we’re pretty excited about HBO Max, since Warner Bros. is releasing all of their 2021 theater releases on the service on the same day they hit theaters.
Most modern smartphones come with wireless charging capabilities. Even Apple finally put wireless charging in the new iPhone. There are chairs, cars, and many more items that provide wireless charging today. If you are looking for a sleek and useful wireless charger, the Courant Catch:3 is one of the best on the market. Not only does it provide a wireless charging station it also provides a place to store your stuff. The manufacturer also offers dual charging hardware and simple mat chargers.
Solidly made and ready to go right out of the box, it can bring some style and function to any room in the house.
This may not be a typical holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that the joy of giving gifts needs to get impeded. What gadgets or services are you looking to give the people in your life? Leave suggestions in the comments section below and check back to our blog for more great technology information.