We’re into the first week of December and there’s still plenty of time to shop for the holidays, right? If you need some holiday gift-giving ideas, here are our recommendations, in no particular order.
iPhone 11 (from $979) or iPhone 11 Pro (from $1379): Make no mistake about it, if your budget is limitless, a new 2019 iPhone will make for the perfect smartphone upgrade. The new ultra-wide angle camera, along with the entire camera system is downright amazing for photography. Your family will never look so good.
AirPods (from $219) or AirPods Pro ($329): The ultimate gift for any budding tween, teenager, college student, young adult, new parent, or grandparents. If that special someone in your life has a lot of Apple products but lack AirPods, they need these. AirPods Pro and Active Noise Cancellation are downright amazing.
Echo Studio ($259): We were impressed with the sound from this new Amazon smart speaker. It also can wirelessly connect with Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen) or Fire TV Stick 4K for Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Atmos. See ya later, HomePod.
Fire HD 8 Kids Edition ($169.99): Previously unavailable in Canada, the Kids Edition of Amazon’s no-frills budget tablet comes with a kid-proof case and 2-year “worry-free” guarantee. If it breaks, Amazon will replace it. Save money for an iPad later, as toddlers don’t care and can be scary. Includes 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited for kids apps and content.
Smart Televisions—Budget Pick
TCL Roku 4K Smart LED TV ($179-$599): If you need a budget TV for the garage, spare bedroom or exercise room, a 4-series TCL TV running Roku will get the job done. Lots of the latest apps, including Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ and more. It’s so easy to listen to your Roku TV with AirPods. Open the Roku app, tap headphones and bam, you’re listening to what’s playing on your TV. It’s easier than connecting AirPods to Apple TV (wake up, Apple).
Smart Televisions—Baller Pick
2019 LG OLED C9 Series 77″ 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV ($6997): LG’s C9 series OLED TVs are the cream of the crop and will knock your socks off. This one is on sale for $1,000 bucks off. Supports AirPlay 2, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and also has Apple TV+ and Disney+ apps. Gallery mode with this wall-mounted TV will keep your wife happy.
Also to consider: 77-inch 2019 LG B9 for $5,997. Save the $1,000 for some buttered popcorn.
Sonos Beam ($399 on sale still): We love this compact sound bar which packs a punch and also looks really good. Supports Alexa or Google Assistant, along with Apple’s AirPlay 2. Simple to use and setup, especially if you have other Sonos speakers.
Sonos Move ($499): the newest Sonos speaker and the first Bluetooth from the company. Easy to charge, sounds really good for its size. Weather-proof and also can take a tumble. Has a clever handle built-in. Picnics on the beach will never be the same. Also tested in a Friday night beer league hockey locker room and was ‘boomer’ approved.
Also: Select Sonos speakers are still 20% off as part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Good luck, champ.
Nest Hub Max ($249 until Dec. 5): Google’s latest smart speaker with a 10.1-inch HD display is the best way to see your pictures from Google Photos. Includes a built-in Nest camera to keep an eye on the dog (or the kids). Look at the display and it shows you the weather, daily schedule and more. Controls your smart home devices as well. A must-have if you’re all in with Google services. Google’s latest “Talk to my story time” feature is also really cool.
Also: Nest Hub for the office ($89 until Dec. 5): smaller, lacks a camera and speakers aren’t as loud as Nest Hub Max.
Nest Hello Video Doorbell ($249 until Dec. 5): The best way to keep an eye on your online deliveries. Familiar face recognition, which can then be read out loud to your Google or Nest speakers. Kryptonite for ‘porch pirates’. You’ll need a Nest Aware subscription to take advantage of cloud recording and zone alerts. Also now with winter ringtones!
Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh ($39) – for those who run out of battery all the time, works for iPhone, iPad and more. You need this on vacation.
Anker SoundCore Mini, Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($27.99 after coupon): Supports Bluetooth streaming, AUX or microSD. Buy two and make a stereo pair. 15 hours of battery life. Can be used while charging and offers very good sound for the size.
Anker Wireless Charger, PowerWave Stand ($23.99 after coupon): charge your iPhone in landscape or portrait mode on your desk.
More Wireless Accessories
AmazonBasics Lightning to USB A Cable, Advanced Collection, MFi Certified iPhone Charger, Grey, 10 Foot, 2 Pack ($26.29): Up your charging game to 10-feet cables that are Apple-certified and now more durable from fraying.
iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless Qi Fast Charge Car Mount Kit ($58): a must-have for every driver. Can wirelessly charge your iPhone. Easy one-handed clamp and removal. Won’t fall off your windshield as suction cup has sticky material on it.
PopSockets: Expanding Stand and Grip for Smartphones and Tablets ($17): your mom has one and you’ve been nothing but jealous. Give-in and join the club. #popitlikeitshot
NOMAD Leather Goods (various): Cyber Monday sale has been extended.
Disney+ subscription ($8.99/month or $89.99/year): If you haven’t subscribed already, it’s the must-have streaming service of the year. Allows up to four simultaneous 4K streams and up to seven profiles. 30 seasons of The Simpsons, too? Sold.
Spigen Ultra Hybrid Works with Apple iPhone 11 Case (2019) Crystal Clear ($12.99): save your money and get one of these for your new iPhone, versus Apple’s expensive clear case. Show off your newest iPhone in all its glory.