‘Tis the season for gifting, our favorite time of year!
Whether you’re looking to show some love to a friend or family member that loves gadgets and electronic toys, or seeking inspiration for that hard-to-shop-for person that seems to already have everything, between this year’s gadget gift ideas and our Subscription Boxes for Foodies – we’ve got something for everyone on your list!
Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
If you’ve spent any time on the road lately, you’ve likely noticed an alarming uptick in the amount of “crazy drivers” you encounter in your travels. Or perhaps you’ve seen one of the thousands of videos online capturing erratic, aggressive drivers causing accidents… or worse.
This is one reason Rex Tokeshi-Torres, a vehicle testing technician for Edmunds.com, calls dash cams “absolutely essential.”
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 ($130) is a small camera that mounts in your vehicle’s windshield and records events happening around your car. Small enough to fit behind your rearview mirror, it records 1080p HD video with a 140-degree field of view.
Incident detection allows it to automatically record incidents, saving video to Garmin’s cloud-based vault. Or activate recording with voice control so you can keep your hands on the wheel. Remotely monitor your parked car with live view through the Garmin Drive app, or its Parking Guard feature will alert you to incidents affecting your parked vehicle, sending clip notifications directly to your compatible smartphone.
While many realize the necessity of a dash cam only after they really need one, you can gift the safe drivers on your list the peace of mind of being prepared. Having proof for their insurance company that they were not at fault in the event of an accident could save them thousands of dollars and countless hours fighting fraudulent accident claims.
HidrateSpark Smart Water Bottles
While everyone knows they should drink more water – the health benefits of staying properly hydrated are extensive – remembering to drink through those proverbial 11 to 16 cups each day is easier intended than accomplished.
This year, you can help your wellness-minded loved ones reach their water drinking goals with a HidrateSpark Smart Water Bottle that automatically tracks your water consumption, glows to remind you to drink when you fall below your goal and is compatible with popular fitness trackers like Fitbit, Apple Watch and more.
The HidrateSpark Pro version starts at $60 (though it’s on sale as of this writing for $45) and includes a rechargeable battery and a sensor in the bottle that automatically sends data to the HidrateSpark app using Bluetooth. You can program glow reminders to be activated all day or only when you’re behind on your hydration goal.
Their latest offering, the HidrateSpark Tap starts at $20 and works with an NFC tag in the bottle’s base. Just tap your smartphone to the tag every time you finish a bottle to log your progress and hourly glow reminders will help to keep you on track.
Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S
If you happen to know an Xbox player that enjoys playing a variety of games, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S solves one of the most frustrating aspects of the latest Xbox Series X|S: it’s limited storage capacity.
Expansive, beautifully graphic-rich games require a lot of storage space to play and render properly, which leads many frustrated gamers to have to choose which two or three games to store on their device while having to constantly delete one to load up another.
This is the gift on this year’s list that co-founder Ryan was most excited about, and your console gamer is sure to be, too. Available in 512GB ($139), 1TB ($220) or 2TB ($400), the small card plugs directly into your Xbox Series X|S to expand game storage without sacrificing load speed, graphic quality or frame rates.
No holiday gift list would be complete without some stocking stuffers!
PopWallet+ by Popsocket – from Verizon
PopSockets are ubiquitous with personalizing your smartphone while also gaining a handy way to reduce hand strain and prop up your phone. Now with their latest offering, the PopWallet+, lucky gift recipients on your list can also gain the ability to sleekly stash up to 3 cards (I use mine for my driver’s license, a credit card, and a $20 bill).
We got to check out a PopSocket PopWallet+ from our friends at Verizon, where they have a selection of wallets and styles for anyone’s interests and artistic preferences. Wallets are typically $25 and come with a PopGrip, but the PopGrip can be swapped out for a totally personalized, custom pairing. PopGrips are $15 each.
If you utilize wireless charging, you can easily remove the wallet from your phone (or your phone case) by pushing the top left corner and sliding it to the right. There are also MagSafe versions available.
We love the many nerdy options for PopGrips available through Verizon and directly through the Popsocket site.
Finally, anyone that has ever misplaced an iPhone or iPad will have an intimate understanding of just how helpful Apple’s “Find My” functionality is to locate your missing items, whether they’re in between the cushions of your couch or left behind at a coffee shop.
Now you can gain the ability to track and find just about anything with Apple AirTags.
Attach one to your keys, your backpack, your purse, or your pet, and voila! You’ll be able to see that item’s whereabouts in your Find My app.
For items like your keys or purse, you can set up proximity alerts to notify you when you leave that item behind – and you can disable that functionality when your item is at your home or office. AirTags ping nearby iOS devices to generate a location that you can find in your Find My app, and even if it’s on the move you’ll see the item’s last known location to give you a place to start looking.
You can have the AirTag play a sound to find items lost nearby and fellow iPhone or iPad users that find something of yours can access your item’s “if you find this, please call XXX” contact details on their device to help reunite you with your stuff.