If you’re in need of some last-minute gift ideas, we’ve reviewed a bunch of gadgets over the last year that might please the gadget-head in your life. Here’s a wrap up on some of our favourite picks.
LENOVO SMART CLOCK
A smart clock isn’t something anyone needs – a regular clock will do the job just fine. But a smart clock is smart. It can tell you the weather, show your appointments, play music, and even set alarms, and with a recent update now show you your Google Photos – all through the power of your voice.
The Lenovo Smart Clock, reviewed here, is our favourite here at Ausdroid. It’s covered in friendly fabric and doesn’t have an oversized screen. It’s also got handy features like a USB output for charging devices overnight, and a decent-sounding speaker that goes loud enough to wake you up.
At under $100 (it’s currently on sale for $79), it’s affordable too!
MIRABELLA STRIP LIGHTS
This one is kind of unexpected, but a neat idea. Mirabella has been breaking into the smart lighting market, and they’ve released a Wi-Fi connected strip lighting set, meaning you can set it up to work with either an app or voice assistant.
It’s got full RGB capability, meaning you can set it to any colour in the visible spectrum for fancy accent lighting. Put it on a shelving unit for a neat feature light, or under kitchen cabinets for nice ambient lighting.
The Mirabella Genio Light Strip sells for $39 at Kmart. We’ve even reviewed it here!
SONY WH-1000XM3 WIRELESS HEADPHONES
Wireless headphones are a great convenience whether you’re traveling, or just wandering around the house. The best part of these headphones is the astonishing noise-cancelling solution Sony has packed in. They’re also very comfortable thanks to a lightweight construction and comfortable padding.
The battery life is great, with about 30 hours of playback, and the sound quality is top notch. While they don’t have Sony’s lauded noise cancelling solution, they do block out a fair bit of ambient noise.
Our review is available here, and these headphones are usually available for around $350 to $400 depending on sales.
TRULY WIRELESS EARBUDS
Fully wireless earbuds are the vogue these days and Jabara makes some of the best and most recommended earbuds in the market. We loved the Elite 65t when we reviewed them and were excited when the refresh was announced.
We’ve had a review set of the Elite 75t for a few days now and just love the little improvements over the 65t, with them being noticeable smaller, better battery life and the same great functionality. While we have a full review coming up soon we can already say that if you choose the Elite 75t you wouldn’t be disappointed. You can get them now from all normal places for $299.
For completeness, we should also give a special mention to the JBL Reflect Flownwireless earbuds, several of the Ausdroid team would argue their sound is better, especially considering the size. Again if you grab a set of those you wouldn’t be disappointed, and at $229 they’re a little easier on the hip pocket.
FOSSIL GEN 5 WEAR OS SMARTWATCH
Wear OS wasn’t always a great smartwatch platform – in some ways it was cumbersome and hard to use, and suffered from short battery life. Fossil’s Gen 5 platform has changed a lot of that, being one of the first Wear OS devices we’d actually recommend.
With software updates, it’s only been getting better as well, and by now the Fossil Gen 5 platform is worthy of consideration as a gift.
It’s not cheap, with both the Carlyle and Julianna versions starting at $499 from the Fossil website, but they’re pretty great smartwatches with nice features like Google Pay and un-tethered GPS tracking and music playback. Our review is here.
GOOGLE NEST MINI
Smart speakers come in handy whenever you need to ask a quick question, set a timer, or hear the weather. The Nest Mini is on the much smaller end of the scale, meaning you can tuck it away anywhere and it won’t look out of place. It doesn’t have incredible audio quality, but it’s more than serviceable for a bit of music in the kitchen or a podcast in the bedroom.
Nest Minis can also pair with each other for stereo sound, and work as casting devices for sending a Spotify playlist to. The Nest Mini retails for $59 locally, and our review is here.
CYGNETT CHARGEUP PRO 27K
Powerbanks are a really handy device to have whether you’re traveling overseas or just on a day out. Not having to pack all your various wall warts is a real convenience – instead you can take just a powerbank and a few cables.
The Cygnett ChargeUp Pro 27K sports 27000mAh of battery power and can output up to 60 watts – enough for a full size laptop. It can also provide power to three devices at once, provided you don’t exceed that 60 watt limit. The total battery life means you can charge up a typical phone around five times.
The Cygnett ChargeUp Pro 27K costs around $200, and our review for it is here.
MEATER WIRELESS BARBEQUE THERMOMETER
Smart gadgets for the kitchen/ cooking can be a bit varied from gimmicks to essential tools, and for us, the Meater Smart Wireless Thermometer came very close to a cooking essential, especially for out team members who doing things low and slow.
In out hands-on time with the device we’ve found it to be an excellent companion for smoking, BBQs and even the old over roast. The secret sauce is the internal temperature monitoring combined with the cooking app. Simply chooses your meat, select your desired level of cooking and it will monitor and guide you all the way.
What’s best of all is that you can grab these in Australia either at Barbeques Galorewho stock the standard Meater without a range booster for $159 or from Meater’s online store who stock the standard, the + model with increased range and the extremely lust-worthy 4 probe WiFi version.
If you’ve got a hard to buy for BBQ cook in your life, this is the gift you’ve been looking for.
No, not ceramic tiles, although they can be nice to….. but not very gadgetie. Tile Bluetooth locators are a fantastic thing, if like us you have a tendance to loos things. Tiles now come in a massive range of sizes with everything from the tiny Tile Sticker all the way up to the Tile Slim you can drop into your wallet.
With an individual Tile starting as low as $29 these are almost secreted Santa prices, assuming you want to be the most awesome secret Santa who ever lived that is. Tile dropped their 2020 line up a few months back and there are some great options at multiple price points. WIth Tile now integrated into the Google Assistant as a first-party action, they’re also the perfect gift for those getting into the Smart Homey and Google Assistant.