Hey all. It’s November, and that means the holidays are right around the corner. In fact, it seems Thanksgiving is getting closer and closer as each day progresses, and that means Black Friday is a short time away as well. So obviously, many of you will likely be doing some shopping between now and then and possibly even afterward, but may not know what to get everyone on your list. Never fear: we’ve compiled a list of the best gifts to get everyone, especially those who may express an interest in technology.
It’s Matridox after all. We’re not gonna be recommending holiday-scented shampoos and conditioners.
Depending on your budget, there’s a wide range of smartphones available that are definitely picking up. If someone on your list is in dire need of a good high-end handset, you can’t go wrong with the iPhone X or 8. They’re two speedy devices with the latest and greatest from Apple, and the X has that all-new design with edge-to-edge screen, Face ID, and Animoji. It costs $1,000, but wouldn’t it be worth it to see that smile and surprise on Little Tommy’s face on Christmas morning?
If there’s someone who prefers Android, a hidden gem I’ve found in my 2017 smartphone testing is the LG V30. While some phones get rid of headphone jacks, lay easy on cameras from last year, and decrease the size of their batteries for the sake of thinness, the V30 decides to make no compromises and pack everything users want into a sleek, beautiful device. Our full review can be found here and, in my opinion, it may be the best that 2017 has to offer.
For those who need to go cheaper, you can’t go wrong with the Moto Z2 Play. It costs just about $400 depending on where you buy from, but it packs specs that perform nearly like its $800+ counterparts. Plus, it has the best battery life of any mainstream 2017 smartphone, and that’s saying something. Our full review can be found here.
Finally, if you’re tight on a budget but still need to get that special someone a new smartphone, the ZTE Blade X Max should definitely be considered. ZTE always makes great low-end devices that act as if they cost two to three times their price, and the Blade X Max is by far no exception. It has a giant screen, decent performance, nice cameras, good battery life, and one of the latest versions of Android. Our review can be found here if you wanna learn more. It costs just $150.
Laptops come and go, but one to remember for your friends and family this holiday season is the Lenovo Yoga 920. It packs all the modern specs you could want to keep you going for years down the line, and even features a 360-degree hinge to convert the laptop into a tablet. There’s a touchscreen, far-field microphones for interacting with Microsoft Cortana, and a really nice build quality that feels sturdy and just looks good. It starts at $1,229. Our full review is coming soon.
Lenovo also has a pretty nice offering when it comes to gaming laptops with the Legion Y920. It’s an absolute beast and can handle any type of game you throw at it. It’s almost like a portable Xbox if you think about it. Our review is linked here.
Tablets are slowly becoming obsolete nowadays, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any good offerings out there. One that comes to mind is the 9.7-inch iPad from earlier this year. It doesn’t carry the Pro branding we’re all used to seeing nowadays and isn’t compatible with Apple’s $99 Pencil, but it does do all the normal iPad things quite well. You can watch Netflix, browse the web, watch more Netflix, scroll Facebook, watch even more Netflix, answer emails, binge-watch Netflix – you get the idea. What normal people do with tablets, the 9.7-inch iPad succeeds at. The best part? It’s only $329 which is a super great deal.
For those looking to stand out in the crowd, the Lenovo Yoga Book remains one of my favorite picks for a tablet. And yes, I know the Halo Keyboard on the Create Pad makes this thing seem more like a laptop than a tablet, but in day-to-day usage, it performs better as a tablet with a fancy keyboard rather a full-blown laptop replacement. You can get it with either Android or Windows 10 and it starts at $499. Our reviews can be found here and here.
Smartwatches make great gifts for anyone because of the novelty they provide and the fact they add to the experience of using your phone. They’re definitely not necessities, but at least to me, they’re nice to have.
Some of the better offerings of 2017 have been the LG Watch Sport (now $254), Samsung Gear Sport ($299), and the Apple Watch Series 3 ($329) which now comes with LTE ($399) to further separate itself from your iPhone. All of these offerings are great and start around the $300 price tag so you won’t be spending a ton.
Look, I could sit here and tell you to buy a rolling BB-8 action figure or check out the latest drone, but these types of toys seem a bit tiring at this point. This holiday season, spice up the selection under your Christmas tree with the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges AR experience from Lenovo. Essentially, you download an app to your phone, slide your phone into a headset, connect a Lightsaber, and start slashing villains like Luke Skywalker. It’s just fun to use every day and leaves a lasting experience that doesn’t grow tiresome or begin collecting dust after being shelved for three months. It’s also only $199 and works with both iPhones and Androids.
Best media streaming players
If someone you know recently got a fresh TV, make it a smart TV by giving him/her a media streaming player. Some of the leaders in this category include the new Apple TV 4K ($179), Amazon Fire TV ($69), Google Chromecast Ultra ($69), and the all-new Roku Ultra ($99). Really, it simply comes down to preference when your debating which model to get. Think of the person you’re buying for and juggle your options, factoring in which streaming platforms they like and whether they belong to a certain ecosystem (e.g. Apple lover, Google fan, etc).
Best tech accessories
From cases to power banks, there’s nothing like a nice accessory for your phone or laptop to stuff inside a stocking. Below is a list of the best accessories for various devices.