With the holiday season on our doorstep, it’s a good time to start considering which gifts our loved ones might enjoy. If you’re like us, you’ll value doubly any gift that’s useful as well as enjoyable. We’ve looked into a few ideas for those on your list (including you) who would like to make better use of their existing technology.
Simple is often the best choice, and you don’t get much simpler than a stand to conveniently hold your mobile phone at the right height and angle for hands-free video calling or simply safeguarding it from accidents or getting lost in desktop clutter. I use this whenever I work from home, and I highly recommend it.
Even when you are using your laptop for a video call, having the phone at the same height as your laptop camera means you can multi-task as needed without appearing as if you’re distracted. Other call participants will probably have no idea you’re busy looking up the details you didn’t have time or know to research ahead of the call. Like where Albequerque is located in relation to Santa Fe on a map of New Mexico. Or by which date you’d promised to deliver something critical to your group project…
Another handy feature is the cutaway or hole most models include for the charging cable so that you can charge the phone while you’re using it without the cable getting in the way. Here’s a simple model I’ve been happy with, and at under $15/£13, it makes an affordable gift. It easily adjusts in height and angle get just the right frame for whatever you’re doing. I’ve even been known to “go analog” and use the stand to balance note cards on for an interview so that I can refer to them without diverting my eyes from the camera.
Travel Smartphone Charger
For the traveler on your list, this global device charger is a thoughtful gift that will charge smartphones, laptops, tablets… up to 5 devices at one time. Moreover it covers wall outlets in over 160 countries and automatically detects the correct voltage and optimizes charging for each device. It’s super portable, and at under $20/£17 provides great value.
Power Bank Charger
For the times you need to charge your smartphone while on the go, this top-rated powerbank will keep you connected, no wall outlet required. It holds more than 4 full charges for an iPhone 11 or around 5 charges for an iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S10 before needing to recharge the power bank itself. A bit more dear at close to $40/£35, its value will be fully appreciated when it saves the user the hassle of running out of juice while out and about.
Airpod Case Cover
These make a great stocking stuffer for anyone on your list who already owns airpods (cordless Apple earphones). Not only does the sturdy silicone cover add protection if (when) the the case is dropped, but they also make it super easy to distinguish one person’s airpods from another’s. With these available in over 30 shades, it will be easy to choose a different color for each recipient in a shared household. And with options in whimsical designs like those below, even the hard-to-please teens on your list will be delighted. And at under a tenner (as low as $7/£6), you can afford to take a chance on their preferred design.
You may want to pair the above with an airpod cleaning kit for the persnickity people on your list. This will help the user keep the airpods free of grime while emitting a “clean” sound.
And if you want to splash out ona loved one who doesn’t already own a pair of airpods, nothing other than around $180/£190 (yes these are more expensive in the UK) and a quick trip online or in person to the Apple store or other third party retailer (eg Walmart) can stop you! Just be aware if you’re buying brand new vs a “refurbished” set. The latter will usually come with a guarantee, but not everyone will appreciate a wearable device that was once worn by a stranger….
We hope you’ll have found at least one of the above suggestions helpful for the giving season. We’d love to hear if you’ve got another tech gadget you can recommend to our readers. Simply drop us a comment below.
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