There’s no shortage of technology that will help you do absolutely everything which can make figuring out exactly what you need in this oversaturated market absolutely mind boggling, especially when sales tempt you to buy every shiny new object out there. This year’s Gadget Lovers Gift Guide includes new gadgets that do an outstanding job of helping you be more efficient, keep an eye on your health, and keep you and your family safe as well as longstanding favorites. It’s always been my mission to help you wade through the endless gadgets out there and I believe that this year’s curated list of 14 gadgets contains some of the most well-designed, functional, and innovative items that are worth the investment for the gadget lovers in your life.
Best Gifts for Gadget Lovers
Motiv Fitness Ring ($199)
There are no shortage of smart watches and bands to track our every move (I’ve tried a lot of them over the years!) but Motiv is by far my favorite! I personally purchased my Motiv ring as soon as the Android beta was released 6 months ago (it had only been available for iOS previously) and I’ve been in love ever since. I love how this sleek ring always connects to the app on my phone via Bluetooth so I can get real time information about my fitness, heart rate, and sleep through the easy to read and navigate dashboard. Slate gray, rose gold, and silver Motiv styles are comfortable to wear throughout the day for any activity, lightweight, and durable thanks to being wrapped in a titanium shell that makes it waterproof and apparently, “resistant to any chemical you’d be brave enough to put your fingers in.” I’ve found that my ring has a 3 day battery life as promised by the company but it’s also easy to slip it off my finger when I’m at my desk to charge it using the super slim charging dock that plugs into any USB port and fully charges my Motiv in just 90 minutes.
The C64 Mini ($59.99)
OG gadget lovers will love this throwback that brings games of their childhood back into their living room and will leave the jaws of today’s generation of Fortnite and Nintendo Switch playing kids on the floor as they get schooled playing the 64 preinstalled games featuring the pixelated graphics we grew up with. The C64 Mini allows you to plug in a USB keyboard and use it as a home computer or add a second joystick for 2 player games.
Old school notetaking gets an efficient tech savvy upgrade thanks to the Everlast notebook by RocketBook that lets you write, scan, and erase for a more eco-friendly and futuristic way of preserving handwritten notes in the cloud for all posterity. The Everlast notebook contains pages that look feel like paper but are made from a polyester composite that can be uses any pen from the Pilot FriXion line that dries and bonds to page until you wipe it off with a damp cloth. Before erasing your notes, the RocketBook app can be used to scan and upload them to favorite cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Slack, OneNote, EverNote, iCloud, and more. Set up the app to assign each of the 7 symbols to a destination inside any cloud supported service for a more efficient way of saving digitized notes.
Your beverage just got better thanks to Cauldry, a temperature-controlled mug that allows you to choose any temperature (between room temperature and boiling) for drinking the perfect cup of coffee, brewing tea, or heating up soup. Set the temperature right on the mug or use free app to control your Cauldryn from your phone comes. Cauldryn comes with a battery pack, or can be plugged in, and is a great solution for gadget lovers constantly on the go.
Powercell External Battery from Ventev ($11.95 and up)
Ventev makes my favorite external battery packs and I love the ones with the integrated cables that help me keep my phone charged on the go, even when I forget the cord. The Powercell 3015 (iOS, USB-C, micro USB) models are nice and slim, perfect for tucking in a backpack, clutch, or pocket while the 6010+ model (ios and Android) features a wall charger, integrated cable, and fast charge capabilities to deliver enough power for 25 hours of talk.
Samsung SmartThings Tracker ($99.99)
All those other trackers that you thought were great? It’s time to throw them out and replace them with the Samsung Smart Things Tracker! Most other trackers work with Bluetooth which is fine if the object that you could potentially lose stays within range of your phone. Once it travels outside the range, the tracker becomes useless. Not so with the Samsung SmartThings Tracker that tracks in real time thanks to being connected to the cellular network. GPS tracks loved ones and important times anytime and from anywhere, allows you to set alerts when the Tracker arrives or departs a preset zone, and when a location or SOS signal is sent. It features a durable design that features a battery that lasts up to 10 days, is water resistant enough to not get damaged when splashed, left in the rain, or submerged in water, and comes with a year of service.
Ripple Safety ($119 for 1 button + a year of dedicated operator support)
What if you were in an emergency and only had seconds to act? Ripple Safety is a button that’s smaller than a dime that can be worn, attached to your keys, etc. that when pressed, alerts the Ripple Team that you’re in an emergency situation. One click activates a call from the Ripple Security Team that allows them to see who and where you are and will call to check in with you. If they can’t reach you, Ripple will call the primary emergency contact designated through the app. Three or more clicks alerts the Ripple Security Team that you need emergency assistance and they’ll dispatch your pre-selected emergency response (police or ambulance) and also call and text you to see what your situation is. Great for tweens and teens!
MobileHelp Smart ($349.95 plus a monthly monitoring fee of $24.95/month)
A step up from Ripple Safety is MobileHelp Smart, a discreet wearable medical alert built into a Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch that provides a low-profile way for anyone wearing the device to get help in an emergency. The home screen looks like a smartwatch but by pressing the buttons on the side, the wearer can access a Help button allows them to summon help. When the Help button is tapped, the call for assistance goes to trained operators who know who the user is, where they’re located, and can contact them directly through the watch to determine the scope of emergency and proper level of response. It’s great for aging parents, athletes, or anyone else who wants peace of mind that constant connectivity to an emergency response team can provide through a wearable that you’re more likely to remember to wear than a button. For more information, read my full post: How MobileHelp Smart Wearable Medical Alert System Provides Peace of Mind to Those with Senior Parents.
Furbo Dog Camera ($134.99)
Connected parents with fur babies will love staying in touch with their pet through this interactive dog camera that connects to an app to let you see, talk, and even dispense treats to your pup remotely for all those times your dog has to be left behind. Furbo can send push alerts when your dog is barking so you can pull up the camera to know what your furry friend is barking at, comes with HD night vision too, perfect for watching late night capers, and works with Alexa.
RapidX X4 Home Super Compact Charger ($39.99)
When you have a lot of devices, you need a good charger that doesn’t take up a lot of space and the RapidX X4 Home Super Compact Charger is a slip little alloy device that can stand or be mounted to any surface to provide the power you need throughout the day. It features 4 ports, including a Type-C, and a 6 foot long cord. It’s perfect for keeping on your desk at home or at work, and to tuck in your bag to stay powered on the go when traveling for work.
Swannies Blue Light Blocking Glasses from Swanwick Sleep ($69 and up)
Unexplained headaches? Difficulty falling asleep? These might be consequences of blue light. We’re surrounded by blue light thanks to smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions, and even CFL and LED lighting that causes digital eye strain with symptoms that include tired, sore eyes, headaches and trouble focusing. Blue light enters the eye and is defocused in front of the retina. This causes it to scatter, creating an effect that is visually perceived as glare. Our eyes are forced to work overtime to focus and process the wavelengths of light. A short term effect of blue light is its ability to suppress melatonin production, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Since blue light is everywhere, Swanwick Sleep makes Swannies, an array of attractive glasses with clear or amber lenses that are designed to block blue light to provide a better night’s sleep, especially when worn an hour before going to bed. Swannies come in a variety of styles to be worn on their own, over readers, and even styles for kids for $59.
Cooler than The Clapper and household favorite at the holidays, TreeMote is a wireless remote switch that you can use to turn on your Christmas tree and other lights during other times of the year. It’s a nicely priced item that’s easy to use and saves you the trouble of crawling in and around your tree, trying to plug it in, and potentially knocking it over.
Ventev ChargeSync Alloy Cables for iOS and Android Devices ($29.99)
Forget those cheap cables for charging your devices and invest in ones from Ventev. These 4 foot cables are not only colorful but tangle-free and durable thanks to being encased in brushed aluminum for durability. The high tensile wrap is attractive but also keeps them from fraying and an attached Velcro cable wrap keeps it bundled together in your bag so it doesn’t get tangled with other items inside. The price may seem steep when you’re comparing prices of cables but trust me, these are worth every penny because they will outlast any other cable you’re thinking of buying. I’ve been using the same ChargeSync Alloy Cables for years!
Mabel’s Labels Tag Mates and Mini Labels ($21 and $18.99 but 40% off all labels for CyberMonday!)
The best way to keep track of your gadgets (and your other belongings, especially kid stuff) is to slap a Mabel’s Labels on it. With labels in a variety of different sizes, there are ones that are small enough to affix to a tiny USB flash drive and bigger ones for your laptop. Labeling your gadgets makes your items are distinguishable from everyone else’s while ensuring that they’re returned to you if left behind.
2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDES
AGE APPROPRIATE GIFT GUIDES:
- Toddlers & Preschoolers
- Early Elementary Ages (grades K-2, ages 5-7)
- Tweens (ages 8-12)
- Teens (ages 13+)
SPECIALTY GIFT GUIDES:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Best Subscription Boxes
- 9 Gifts that Make it Easy for Families to Give Back
- Gifts for Teachers (from the perspective of a former teacher, with input from current teachers)
No compensation was received for the listings in this post but affiliate links are included.