The Best Gadgets to Give Anyone on Your List This Year
Thanksgiving is officially behind us, and the cutthroat chaos of holiday shopping begins riiight... now. It's time to knuckle up, get in the spirit, and start loading up the ol' Amazon cart. Lucky for you, it's gadget season, and pretty much everyone is due for an upgrade. No matter your budget, we locked in the best tech gifts with which to spoil your friends and loved ones: the coolest stocking stuffers, the best bang for your buck, the best toys, the super useful, and the big splurge items for all you high rollers -- oh yeah, plus genius last-minute subscriptions and services for the procrastinators. Go forth, and don't be afraid to shop for yourself just a wee bit.
Fitbit Charge 2 - $150
Fitness gurus and obsessive step counters will appreciate Fitbit's latest update to its flagship activity monitor, which features SmartTrack technology that automatically tracks your physical activity, performance, and sleep -- plus guided breathing sessions based on real-time heart rate.
Polaroid ZIP mobile printer - $130
This portable photo printer pumps out vibrant 2x3-inch prints from any iOS or Android phone, so sentimental Instagrammers can have some physical memories to one day show their grandkids how great #brunch used to be.
mophie powerstation chargers - $30-$150
For loved ones suffering from low-battery anxiety, mophie's updated energy banks come in a variety of colors and models that support everything from Lightning to USB-C connectors. Until Apple gives the gift of better battery life, you can give the gift of portable power.
Native Union KEY Cable - $30
How often does one leave behind their Lightning charger? Much too often. Native Union offers a quick fix to juice up an iPhone at the bar or on a flight with its mobile connector cable that also doubles as a good-lookin' keychain.
Traveling abroad with no international coverage is the pits. KnowRoaming's SIM card comes through in the clutch with unlimited data that connects your phone to local networks, saving you close to 85% off international voice and data roaming in 200+ countries.
We're all amateur photographers by default, thanks to insanely good smartphone cameras, but the iPhone can't exactly replace a DSLR. Olloclip's optic lenses kick your phone up several notches to capture gorgeous close-up visuals with greater depth of field.
Wait a sec. A 55in smart TV… 4K mind you… with Roku built in? Steal is an understatement. TCL's next-generation UHD television bears all the necessities to fulfill your binge-watching desires from gorgeous picture quality to over 3,500 streamable channels on demand, at an unbeatable value.
Amazon is leading the cord-cutting brigade with its new HDMI streaming stick, which lets you search over 300,000 movies and TV shows on Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, et. al. using voice commands to Alexa. Oh yeah, and it's crazy-affordable.
These neckband-style fitness headphones sport a water-resistant design and full-spectrum audio to fuel your workouts. Get up to 15 hours of playback with noise-reduction to block out ambient sound when you take calls.
Portable, waterproof, and loud as hell, the latest mini-Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears packs a mean audio punch in a bright compact design. Add a soundtrack to your outdoor adventures by strapping this sucker onto your gear via bungie cord, or throw it in the shower when practicing your Beyonce-isms.
Amazon Kindle 2016 - $80
With access to over millions of books, including 1 million exclusives, page-turners prefer Amazon's next-gen e-reader more than any tablet on the market. The new Kindle is lighter and thinner than the previous models, and offers no-glare visibility to protect your eyes from sunlight reflection.
Because mom's stovetop coffeemaker just isn’t pumping out java the way it used to. Nothing beats fresh espresso or cappuccino in the morning, and De'Longhi's machine will save you the money you'd otherwise be pouring into Starbucks.
Spark an all-out Nerf war in your office by making target practice of your co-workers with this 24-dart toy blaster. And if the Bill Lumbergh of the office wants any part of the firestorm, he or she can catch a foam bullet to the eye as well. No prisoners!
Parrot Mambo - $100
A great drone for amateurs looking to boost their aerial skills before eventually upgrading to the pricier DJI Phantom. Besides a variety of acrobatic tricks, the Parrot can transport items or shoot miniature balls through attachable accessories.
NES Classic Edition - $60
The throwback of all throwbacks has just been resurrected for modern times. Nintendo's game-changing console is now pocket-sized, with over 30 NES classics including Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Mega Man 2, Punch-Out!!, Ninja Gaiden, and all the 8-bit Marios just to name a few. Be warned: This thing is in high demand.
GoPro Hero Session - $200
For the friend on your list who likes to hit the trails or casually jump out of airplanes, GoPro’s latest waterproof video recorder is a no-brainer. The Hero Session is the company’s smallest action camera yet, delivering hi-res photos and videos, along with time lapse and burst photos.
More and more gamers are looking for ways to kit out the gorgeous all-white Xbox One S with some extra flair. Thanks to the Xbox Design Lab, you can customize your own controllers -- from the body to the buttons and triggers -- with over 8 million possible color combos.
Cube mobile projector - $299
This pocket-sized projector lets you transform any environment into a theater, giving you a 120in display with incredible visual clarity for 90 minutes on a full charge. Connect it to any HDMI-compatible or mobile device and play whatever you want, wherever you want. Sometimes a 60in TV just isn't enough, ya know?
Automatic Pro - $109
For anyone with a hellishly long commute or just a strong penchant for road trips, this connected car adapter is designed to track their journeys. It uses a 3G wireless connection to provide a real-time location of the vehicle, respond to crash alerts, detect engine trouble, and comes smart-home ready, too, so you can lock the house doors or turn on indoor lights automatically.
Google Home - $129
Part speaker, part AI home assistant, Google Home is on call 24/7. Play music from your Google Play, set your home's temperature, get fun facts and foreign translations, and pull up your daily schedule with simple voice commands. You can also pull off some sweet tricks with the new Chromecast Ultra by asking the speaker to cast Netflix shows on your HDTV.
Tile Slim - $30 (one-pack) - $100 (four-pack)
For those who tend to lose their valuable possessions, Tile's Bluetooth tags are true lifesavers. The Slim version is as thin as two credit cards, making it ideal for keeping track of wallets or purses from a range of up to 100ft.
Google Wifi system - $129
Good Wi-Fi is very, very important. Google’s brand new smart router spoils you with tremendous signal strength, and is built to handle multiple devices without compromising bandwidth thanks to Network Assistant technology. Now everyone in the crib can go nuts bingeing Westworld simultaneously.
This illuminated alarm clock simulates sunsets and sunrises so you drift off and reawaken as naturally rejuvenated as possible. But if that doesn't work, the device ups the volume on your favorite FM stations within one to one-and-a-half minutes to get that ass out of bed.
This electric grill comes programmed with ideal times and temperatures for a range of food items, taking the guesswork out of indoor and outdoor grilling. Burgers, chicken, fish, steak, and yes, sandwiches -- there’s nothing this sucker can’t heat up.
Microsoft Surface Studio - $2,999
The Surface Studio is THE pinnacle workstation for creatives, sporting a beautiful 28” PixelSense Display that produces striking visuals with enough canvas space to bring your ideas to life. A super-powered spec sheet and modern accessories like the innovative Surface Dial present a fresher way to interact your PC. Take note, Apple.
Gorgeous design. Flawless performance. The wireless edition of Bose’s critically acclaimed sound cans is the real deal, backed by industry-leading noise-cancellation technology and impeccable sound quality. Wired mode restores audio bliss if you manage to suck up the 20 hours of battery life.
Pax 3 vape - $275
Owning the Pax 3 automatically earns you stripes amongst the vaping community, with instant heat-ups that generate strong, pure vapor in 15 seconds. Works with both loose leaf or extract, and that rose gold option sure is purdy.
Hover Camera Passport - $600
A hands-free drone that serves as your personal travel photographer? Um, yes please. The Hover Camera uses face detection technology to keep up with you while capturing 13MP photos and 4K videos. Hover is brand new, but we were super impressed when we took it for a test drive. You can bet that this little guy will only get better.
PlayStation VR - $399
It goes without saying that virtual reality is the future of gaming. PlayStation just launched its own VR headset compatible with the PS4, and it throws gamers into surreal worlds unlike anything ever experienced on the Playstation platform. Slip it on and enter the Batman, Resident Evil, or Star Wars universes, with over 25 titles available for purchase.
Sonos Play:5 - $469
The Play:5 proves to be a very worthwhile investment for audiophiles who like to stream their music. With a sleek design, rich audio, and Sonos apps so you can effortlessly control the entire experience, it makes for the ultimate streaming sound setup.
Nothing. But. Gains. Aside from scoring the best deals on the Internet, a Prime membership gets you unlimited streaming to thousands of films, songs, and shows, plus free two-day shipping, unlimited photo storage, and so much more.
Spotify eCard - $10 (1-month) - $120 (1-year)
If your parents are still shelling out upwards of $10 a pop for actual CDs, give the gift of unlimited access to nearly every artist catalog and playlist imaginable, ad-free.
Scribd membership - $25 for 3 months - $100 for a year
For the digital bookworms and college undergrads in your life, Scribd is basically an online library that hosts over 1 million titles and 60 million documents. A subscription gets you monthly access to books, audiobooks, comics, magazines, and news articles for less than the cost of a paperback.
Headspace app subscription - $12.95 per month
This meditation app is one of the most popular out there, serving as a personal trainer for increased mindfulness. A subscription unlocks hundreds of hours of both guided and unguided sessions to fit a variety of situations, moods, and goals. Even sweeter: gifting an annual subscription also scores you a limited-edition Askinosie chocolate bar.
Blue Apron Subscription - $9.99 per meal, per person (1-4 weeks)
If you know someone who wants to kick their take-out habit but maybe isn't the most experienced chef in the world, gift them a subscription to Blue Apron. With a variety of plans and meal options, they deliver healthy dinners with all the measured ingredients and detailed instructions you need to whip it up.
Legacybox - $75 - $200
All those home videos, film reels, and photo albums collecting dust in the attic? Legacybox makes it easy to restore and digitize them in DVD or USB form. Procrastinators, allow for three days or so to get the box in the mail -- then, the giftee can fill it up with whatever old media they want to preserve, send it off, and receive their digitized memories back as DVDs and thumb drives (plus the originals, of course).
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/tech/fun.