12 last-minute gadget ideas for holiday shopping

by W. Andrew Powell
Holiday Gift Guide Gadgets

Looking for a few last-minute gift ideas? Look no further. I have gadget suggestions from big to small, including cameras, smart speakers, phones, and smartwatches, to helpful business products.

Featured brands include Insta360, Amazon, Fitbit, Philips, Roku, Samsung, DJI, Drobo, and Belkin.

Insta360 Go

Insta360 Go | $279

The Insta360 Go is one of the smallest action cameras that you can wear, or attach to something, and it captures wide angle video or photos with a simple button press or through the app on a phone. The Go stabilized camera can record up to a minute of video, timelapses, or hyperlapses to create a unique view of anything from walking, biking, or travel highlights, to something more adventurous, and it’s water resistant too.

The Go downloads HD video right to a phone through the app that also offers some impressive editing options, including exporting video portrait, landscape, or square, so it works well with any social network.

Amazon Echo | $99

Amazon’s latest generation of the Echo is perfect for any home, and features an impressive 3-inch woofer for better bass, with overall awesome 360 degree sound quality, and the exceptional voice control that Amazon has made so easy to use. With compatible smart home devices, it’s easy to tell Echo to turn lights off and on, control a thermostat, or just play music from a favourite streaming service.

Alexa is my favourite smart assistant out there, because it is so helpful, with fun features, and Alexa understands many questions and requests better than some others. If you need one as a present before Christmas day, your best bet is to head into The Source or Best Buy.

Fitbit Versa 2 | $279

Speaking of Alexa, the new Fitbit Versa 2 is voice enabled with Alexa, and for the person in your life who wants to track their workouts, fitness routine, or get more health-conscious, the smartwatch is packed with healthy features, and it’s incredibly light and easy to use too.

With a battery that can last up to 5 days, it’s also able to track your sleep, and the Fitbit Versa 2 is an all-around great watch for Android or Apple. It also looks great with watch straps you can change, and it’s water resistant up to 50 meters, so it works well swimming or in the rain.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 | $159

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is the perfect tool for the creator who takes their phone everywhere, and wants professional-quality photos and videos.

Capturing 4K video, with compatible phones, the Osmo Mobile 3 stabilizes shooting to take out bumps, jostling, and unwanted movement. It folds down to make it easy to take anywhere, and it can shoot a range of photo styles (panorama, long exposure) or videos (motion timelapse, hyperlapse). The Osmo Mobile 3 also supports shooting in landscape or portrait mode, so it works easily if they’re shooting for YouTube or Instagram Stories.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ | $1259

The Samsung Galaxy Note is my favourite line of phones, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the best to date, with a lot of features that are wow-worthy for that perfect gift this holiday season.

Featuring a 6.8-inch screen that’s utterly gorgeous for videos and gaming, the Note 10+ also captures incredible images thanks to a triple-camera array with a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 12 MP standard lens, and a 12 MP telephoto lens. The phone’s battery will also last all day, and it comes with the S Pen, for anyone who likes to take notes, draw, or get impressive control over documents and editing.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active | $259

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a little over a year old, but it’s still one of the best Android smartwatches around, and while it works well with any Android phone, it works especially perfectly with Samsung phones for anyone who already has or wants one of the devices.

Light, with a good battery life, a bright, clear screen, and you can customize it with a variety of bands, the Galaxy Watch Active is great as a watch, for quick notifications, and to track workouts or activities. Since the device is a year old, it’s also very affordable, and it will wow anyone on your list.

Roku Streaming Stick +

Roku Streaming Stick + | $59

Let your loved one take their favourite streaming services on the road, or just bring streaming to an older television. Either way, the Roku Streaming Stick + is one of the easiest and most popular devices available today for on-demand entertainment.

The Roku Streaming Stick + plugs into the HDMI port on any TV, and comes with an easy-to-use remote control that even offers voice search for actors, movies, or TV shows. The device is practically plug-and-play, and works with a huge range of services, from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple, and the free Roku Channel, to Britbox, Hayu, and hundreds of international channels. For the price, ease-of-use, and breadth of content, it’s a fantastic gift for movie and TV fans.

Echo Dot with Clock

Echo Dot with clock | $79

For the person in your life who still has an old-fashioned alarm clock, or uses their phone by their bed, the Echo Dot with clock is a serious upgrade.

The bright LED display adjusts to the light in the room, so it’s not too bright at night, and like an alarm clock you can hit snooze just by tapping the top of the device. But the Echo Dot is also a full smart speaker, so they can ask Alexa to play their favourite song, set an alarm, or ask about the weather. Just like other Echo devices, the Echo Dot can also control compatible smart devices, and the sound quality is seriously good for a mini speaker.

Like the other Echo device above, to get one in time for Christmas, visit a Best Buy store or The Source.

Philips Sonicare ExpertClean

Philips Sonicare ExpertClean | $199

Give the gift of clean teeth for the holidays with the Philips Sonicare ExpertClean, featuring sonic technology that pulses water between teeth, removes up to 10x more plaque than a standard toothbrush, and features three modes of intensity for the perfect clean.

The Li-ion battery lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, and the kit includes two brush heads, a charger, and a travel case.

Samsung A50 & AKG Y500 | $399 and $139

The Samsung A50 phone makes for a perfect pair with the AKG Y500 on-ear wireless headphones. Together, the affordable duo delivers great sound, exceptional battery life on both sides, a great display, and a very good camera to top it all off.

Like all of the Galaxy devices, the A50 captures photos with excellent colour and brightness, the battery can last you all day long, and it features a good wide-angle lens. The bright 6.4 inch display is also very impressive on such a well-priced phone.

The AKG Y500 headphones come in a range of colours, they can last up to 33 hours on a single charge, and they’re incredibly comfortable and adjustable to fit anyone. There is also an ambient setting so you can hear your surroundings better, even while you’re listening to music.

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini | $179

For the working traveller on your list, the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini is a seriously useful tool to turn a laptop into full workstation.

Including dual-HDMI ports to connect up to two additional screens, two USB 3.0 ports, and an Ethernet port, the dock offers a suite of connection options for laptops that often don’t have enough ports.

On the road or in the office, the dock offers connectivity to plug in a keyboard and mouse combo, an external drive, a wired Internet connection, and dual monitors for a serious productivity upgrade.

Drobo 5N2 and 5D3 | $750 and $1000

For photographers, videographers, content creators, and anyone with large files to manage, Drobo’s network attached storage and direct attached storage systems are the perfect gift, offering expandable memory that’s also protected.

While the 5N2 is made for a network environment, so files can be accessed from multiple computers, the 5D3 connects with USB or Thunderbolt cables for exceptionally quick connections to one computer. Both devices offer easy, expandable memory, enhanced performance with an optional Accelerator Bay, and protection against power failures.

Finally, the 5N2 also includes apps for a range of uses, including external backups, access to the drive from outside the network, media servers like Plex, or for experts, even a MySQL database or a Wordpress site.

Visit The GATE’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guides for more giveaways & holiday features.

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