This year has been unusual to say the least, but that doesn’t mean that holiday shopping has to be. We’ve put together this guide to help you make your loved ones quarantine a little smarter, whether you’re shopping on a budget or you’re looking for something for a little more.
SMART PLUG / POWER STRIP
With a smart plug or power strip you can control any device that’s plugged it, making your home instantly a little smarter, just plug it in and you can control the device via an app on your phone. This means you can plug in your lamp and turn it on and off or set it on a timer. This also applies to plugging in your TV and other electronics/appliances. They’re rather inexpensive coming in at around $20 – $30 usually, making it a budget-friendly gift!
Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip – (Amazon)
Don’t need a smart plug? Smart bulbs are also a great inexpensive gift coming in at around $10 – $20. You can switch out the bulbs on your favorite lamp, and viola instantly you have smart lighting you can control via your phone. Great for dimming the lights for those quarantine movie nights. Smart lightbulbs are a good choice for apartments and place where you can’t change out the light switches. Here are some choices
Another great inexpensive gift is a streaming stick. There are several different kinds, with a streaming stick you can instantly turn your TV into a smart TV. Just plug it in, and instantly have access to a variety of channels including a tile for your streaming subscriptions such as Netflix or Hulu. This gift comes at a price tag of roughly $25. If you want a streaming stick that not only streams but looks good doing it and allows you to game also, you should look into the NVIDIA Shield
If you’re feeling a little more generous this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with a smart TV. With all these nights in, what’s better than a TV where you can instantly connect to your favorite streaming service. Prices range depending on the brand and size of the TV. There are a few options to choose from that won’t break the bank. Brands like TCL, Vizio, and Hisense have TVs as low as $500. If you want to go higher end of the scale, you can go with the LG CX or Samsung QLED TV. Things to note are which smart assistant you want it to work with, price range, and size.
- Hisense 50-Inch Class R6090G Roku 4K UHD Smart TV – (Amazon)
- Vizio V405-G9 40 Inch Class V-Series 4K HDR Smart TV – (Amazon)
- TCL 50″ 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED ROKU Smart TV – (Amazon)
- LG OLED65CXPUA Alexa Built-In CX 65″ 4K Smart OLED TV – (Amazon)
- Samsung 55-inch Class QLED Q70T Series – 4K UHD Dual LED Quantum HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in – (Amazon)
GOOGLE NEST HUB
With this smart display, it does more than house your favorite pictures. It’s not the newest smart home gadget but it still makes a great gift because it brings hands-free assistance a level up with the display. The Google Nest hub enables you to control all of the smart devices in your home in one convenient display. You’re also able to check the weather, control your smart devices, and use it as a google home speaker. This gift comes at roughly $90. You can check out our review of the Google Nest Hub here.
AMAZON ECHO SHOW 8 DISPLAY
If you prefer Amazon Alexa as your smart assistant the Echo Show 8 is Amazon’s smart display. You can do nearly all the things with it.
GOOGLE NEST WIFI
In this new way of working from home/school, nothing is more important than having a strong internet connection. With Google’s Nest Wifi network, you can effortlessly extend the range of your wifi. Just plug in the router and add the points where you need stronger internet and viola great internet connection throughout your entire house. As an added bonus, it’s also a google home smart speaker so you can continue to tell Google to play your favorite songs or anything else you might want! Of course, this does come with a heftier price tag at $169+ depending on how many additional points you’re looking to get.
FURBO DOG CAMERA
With the current lockdown, it seems as if everyone’s been adopting a new little buddy. With the Furbo, your loved one can keep track of their furry loved one when they’re away from home. The Furbo is a dog camera that can dispense treats with 2-way audio, this way when they’re away from home, they can be at ease knowing that they can hear and talk to their new best friend. At $134, this could be a gift that your favorite pet lover would use for years and years.
MEURAL CANVAS II FRAME
Taking digital frames to the next level, the Meural Canvas II allows you to get art into your home. You can pick from different artists, collections, and museums. You can choose from two frame sizes and a few colors. You can see more at the Meural Canvas II in our review here.
EUFY SMART CAMERAS
Home surveillance can be necessary (package theft) or fun (what are pets getting into when you’re not looking). Eufy (by Anker) has cameras for all your needs. Whether it’s a stand-alone camera to keep an eye on a certain part of your home, or an outdoor camera to see when packages, Eufy has an affordable security camera for every need.