Shopping for the holidays can be really taxing, especially if you’re getting something for someone who loves technology.
So, if you’re still not done with your gift shopping, and finding it difficult to decide on the right product for your near and dear ones, our top five gift choices for this season may just come to your rescue.
So, without further ado, let’s just dive straight into it.
Remember you have just about eight more days to go!
All-New Echo Plus (2nd Gen)
The updated Amazon Echo Plus that the company unveiled in September is a regular Echo with an improved smart hub built into it, allowing the Plus to now discover new devices you add to your smart-home system.
In addition to an improved audio quality, the new Plus also boasts an integrated temperature sensor that allows you to set up temperature-based Alexa routines like, for example, turning on a heater, or an air conditioner, when the room reaches a certain temperature.
Also, the ‘Plus’ can be used offline to control your smarthome devices, should you happen to lose Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Echo Plus makes for an excellent gift if you’re okay to spend $149.99 for that special friend or relative.
Sony PlayStation Classic Console
Launched about three months ago, the Sony PlayStation Classic – a miniaturized version of the original PlayStation – is the perfect gift to go for if you have a retro games enthusiast in the family or among friends.
The mini console comes bundled with a standard HDMI cable (to hook it up to your HD television), a USB power cable, and two controllers for local multiplayer gaming; of course, that will only be possible with compatible titles.
The console, as Sony claims, is 45 percent smaller than the original PlayStation and will come pre-loaded with 20 games, including Jumping Flash, Rider Racer Type 4, Tekken 2, Wild Arms and Final Fantasy VII, to name a few.
The eject button on the original PlayStation will serve as a virtual swap button on the Classic, allowing you to smoothly switch you over to the next game with a single press.
A cool gift, indeed, but will set you back by a cool $147 unless you manage to land a good deal and save yourself a few bucks on it.
AmazonBasics Microwave (Alexa-Enabled)
One of the more interesting devices Amazon presented at its September event is the AmazonBasics Microwave that gives you access to “dozens of quick-cook voice presets, so you can cook just by asking Alexa” – thanks to the built-in Alexa Connect Kit.
The kit “includes a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE module that contains software — written and managed by Amazon — that automatically and securely connects to Amazon-managed cloud services.”
You can also use the integrated Ask-Alexa button for simple commands like “Alexa, cook for two minutes and 30 seconds on medium temperature” and Alexa will obey.
The AmazonBasics Microwave also has an integrated Dash button, so you can quickly order stuff that you use regularly right from the Microwave itself.
This counter-top microwave costs $59.99 and can prove to be the ideal gift for a homemaker.
Fitbit Charge 3
Have a friend who’s a fitness freak? Or, an overly health-conscious family member?
Well, if you do, California-based wearables brand Fitbit has just the right product for you – the Fitbit Charge 3.
Even though the Charge 3 looks pretty much the same as the outgoing Charge 2, it does pack some key hardware and software upgrades that make it, well, different.
Fitbit is selling two variants of the new fitness tracker, including a base model with an included silicon wrist strap for $149.95, as well as a special edition version for $169.95 – the additional $20 getting you two wrist straps instead of one, plus Fitbit Pay for contactless payments.
The third-generation Corning Gorilla Glass protecting the tiny Charge 3 screen makes it by far a better scratch-resistant option than the previous edition; much like the Versa – Fitbit’s crown jewel.
While it still has the same black and white screen we saw on the previous model, it now boasts a bigger brighter OLED touchscreen that makes for easier navigation through the menus.
Amazon Fire TV Recast
Amazon’s new Fire TV Recast makes a great gift for any entertainment-addict you’re looking to please this Christmas.
It comes with an integrated DVR (digital video recorder) that can record over-the-air television and content broadcasts through an HD antenna.
The company is offering two variants of the Recast; the $229.99 version can record two shows simultaneously, while the $279.99 model is capable of doing four in one go.
This super versatile device allows you to “watch, record, and replay free over-the-air programming to any Fire TV, Echo Show, and on compatible Fire tablet and mobile devices.”
Not only can you watch and record live sports, local news, late night shows, and other unmissable TV from channels through an HD antenna such as ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and The CW, you can even take them all over the place – thanks to the Alexa app.