This year has already paved the way for some amazing, own-worthy tech perfect for gifting anyone on your list no matter the occasion.
We’ve seen new launches (and updates) from industry staples like Apple, Bose, Google, Fitbit, Nintendo and Samsung, along with some impressive tech from select indie brands.
That’s not to say we’re completely overlooking the biggest releases of last year. These are still hot items that continue to dominate the sales charts and remain atop many people’s wish lists; don’t sell them short of gift-giving options.
So, what’s been trending throughout the year? Adaptive noise-cancelling headphones, Bluetooth-tracking stickers, premium smartphones with killer specs, retro everything, smart home do-it-alls, and sporty AirPod alternatives. In other words, more cool gadgets designed to enrich our everyday lives.
Whether you’re looking for creative high-tech products to pass on to your loved ones or need an upgrade yourself, there are plenty of options to choose from across different categories and price points. Here’s a list of the best tech gifts of 2019 (so far).
1. Tile Sticker
Wireless tracker stickers are now a thing, and although we’re waiting to see if the rumors of Apple launching its own location-tracking version come true, Tile has already beaten them to the market with the impressive Tile Sticker. Tiny, waterproof, and with a 150-ft. Bluetooth range, it keeps you from losing anything. This includes wallets, smartphones, water bottles, your Roku remote, and any other valuable that comes to mind. If you really want to get the most for your money, purchase the 4-pack bundle that comes with a free Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation).
2. Nintendo Switch Lite
If the original Nintendo Switch hasn’t already marked the new era of portable gaming, then its smaller sibling must certainly earn that honor. The Switch Lite is exactly what its name implies, a lighter, travel-friendly version that grants access to the platform’s incredible game library at the cheapest entry point. Battery life is much longer than the first-gen Switch models, plus the integrated Joy-Cons with D-pad makes all the difference when playing 2D platformers (cheer with glee, Mario fanboys).
3. LARQ Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
Have you ever attempted to clean a S’well bottle? It’s torture. The LARQ is a more inventive and resourceful alternative that takes all of the hard work out of maintaining a water bottle by performing the task all on its own. A self-cleaning mode is programmed into each bottle, activating a UV-C LED light that eliminates up to 99.9% of harmful, odor-causing germs on the inside. You can purify water in as little as 2 hours and store it cold for 24 hours. How refreshing.
4. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (2019)
The Fire TV Stick has become a staple for UHD TVs, and this 4K rendition ramps up the entertainment value. Picture presentation is stellar with excellent 4K high-def resolution. The interface operates more smoothly due to a stronger processor. We’re also fond of the improved remote which introduces new buttons for power, muting and volume control, so you won’t have to pick up a second control to manage sound. The no-brainer setup, a plethora of streaming apps and Alexa compatibility place it in the unbeatable gift category. Not to mention the price is just right.
5. Apple iPhone 11 Series
All the memes would lead you to believe the iPhone 11 is a joke, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is Apple’s most ambitious smartphone to date with tovastly improved apps, stronger components, and a compelling ultra-wide camera system. You can expect the same intuitive performance from iOS 13, which benefits greatly from the superfast A13 Bionic processor. Battery life has been given a noteworthy boost, too. However, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max steal the spotlight with triple cameras that provide a better range for amazing results. Simply put, the iPhone 11 maintains the series legacy as the most well-rounded smartphone that money can buy.
6. Wyze Cam Smart Home Camera
A $25 indoor security camera with 1080p HD resolution, smart features, cloud storage, digital assistant support, and night vision almost sounds too good to be true. Brace yourself, because it’s a reality, and one that you can generously gift to several others who value home privacy. It even has a person-detection feature to inform homeowners when guests arrive, along with a smoke and carbon monoxide detection feature. Now that’s advanced functionality for a cube-sized camera.
7. Anker Wireless Charger PowerWave 10
Wireless charging pads are making wired charging a thing of the past. The PowerWave 10 lets users charge two mobile devices simultaneously and frees them of all those pesky wires in their work bag (peace out, Lightning cable). Just the thought of tossing an iPhone 11 on one charging surface as the second juices up an Apple Watch sounds heavenly. We like that the pad supports charging through thicker phone cases, too. Its competitive price should entice shoppers to double up; one for the house and one for the office.
8. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Where the popular Bose QC35 line sets the standard for noise-cancelling headphones, the 700 series sets the bar higher with unique performance enhancements. Bose’s new microphone system offers 11 levels of noise cancellation that can be adjusted via companion app to mute droning airplane engines and crying babies. Audio quality remains dynamic to enjoy Spotify playlists with transparency, whereas call quality has been vastly improved to eliminate ambient sounds during wireless chats. Then there’s the stainless steel unibody frame that is beautifully crafted, giving these sound cans a lavish presence fitting of its price tag. Every frequent flyer you know has this marked as their number one present going into the holidays.
9. Eero Mesh Smart Router
The average consumer cares little about the technical side of WiFi. They just want something that’s simple to setup and guarantees the fastest results. Well, this revised version of the highly popular Eero Mesh router simplifies your relationship with your home network through smarter wireless management and voice commands. For instance, you can ask Alexa to pause WiFi on all smartphones and route that power towards your smart TV to establish a stronger streaming connection. Excellent. Tech illiterates worried about the setup process can also breathe easy knowing it takes 10 minutes (or less) to get up and running. Its most rewarding feature: that price tag. A set of three should guarantee zero dropout during Fortnite sessions.
10. Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
Fitbit’s flagship device isn’t just a reliable fitness tracker with smartwatch capabilities — it’s the closest thing to the Apple Watch that you can score for nearly half the price, making it a great gift for fitness lovers. Its popular ecosystem promises the same accurate sleep and fitness monitoring, which you can now view on the vibrant Always-On AMOLED display. One swipe up showcases daily insights such as calories burned, heart rate and other health vitals. Lots of apps (including Alexa) work with the Versa 2 to accommodate daily tasks (e.g. calendar management, Starbucks purchases, Uber rides), and it supports mobile notifications.
11. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note+ are exemplary of Samsung’s commitment to premium performance. Each model is bigger in every facet including cameras, features, and of course, size. Build quality is superb with an aluminum frame and durable Gorilla Glass that uphold their striking appearances. The triple-camera system captures vibrant, colorful shots that look even more immersive on the breathtaking AMOLED display. Toss in the highly functional S-Pen, you have two productivity powerhouses capable of replacing your iPad and iPhone.
12. Ring Stick Up Cam
This more flexible version of the popular security camera provides peace of mind for homeowners who value privacy. Users have the luxury of answering and monitoring the front door, or any area of their property for that matter, directly on their smartphone and can communicate with visitors via two-way talk. There is even an Infrared Night Vision mode to spot intruders and unwanted guests. It’s a smart home gift that your dad or husband won’t see coming.
13. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
Mom already spent big on a gaming console for baby bro, and now it’s up to you get him a cool accessory that will make his Fortnite Friday nights special. Gift wrap SteelSeries’s popular wireless headset, which guarantees premium performance for the low-low. It works multiplatform (e.g. Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4), feels extremely comfortable on the head, has excellent wireless connectivity, and produces better audio than most headsets in its price range.
14. Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2
Think it might be time to replace your old man’s “Best Dad Ever” coffee mug with something more modern? We agree. Our recommendation: The Ember Smart Mug 2. This high-tech cup services every hot coffee lover on command, programmed with several features to warm up their favorite beverages. Adjust and enable saved temperatures directly on the mug’s touch display or mobile app. The device also has 50% more battery life than the previous version, which is clutch for forgetful types who need a java fix after getting caught up in their work.
15. Click and Grow Smart Garden 3
For beginners who want to cultivate their green thumb, this indoor self-watering garden is an awesome gift that steadily grooms them into the horticultural hobby. The Smart Garden 3 can grow plants, herbs, and veggies using smart soil technology that accelerates growth, while providing enough oxygen, PH, water, and nutrients. The built-in LED light is also energy efficient, requiring only 6 watts of energy and saving money on your electricity bill. A few of these can turn any home into a jungle.