Samuel’s Top 10 Picks This Year [2018 Holiday Gift Guide]

2018 has been a pretty decent year for tech and gadgets. I’ve had the pleasure myself to have tried lots of different gadgets and gear related items this year and honestly, it’s always tough picking out what I’d consider the cream of the crop. There’s always more than one of each category that I’d like to recommend but when it comes to just picking one here and one there, it makes it things so much harder because there’s never really ever a perfect product. I end up having to just pick what had the most of what I was looking for.

With all that said, below are my top 10 picks for 2018 in no particular order. These were the products that left the best impression on me and the ones I felt deserved my recommendations as products you should definitely check out and hopefully pick up for yourself.


The Maverick Alexa Powered Smart Speaker by Cavalier

Best Smart Speaker
I’ve never really need a fan of Amazon’s Echo or Echo Dot. This is mainly due to the fact that I just don’t like the way these things look. The Echo Dot looks like a hockey puck with buttons while the regular Echo wasn’t any better. That’s not to say I don’t like Alexa tech however because I think it works fairly well. I just didn’t like the bland looking hardware. Enter The Maverick by Cavalier. This is one of, if not the best looking Power by Alexa portable speaker out there. It’s aluminum, fabric, and leather materials are top notch and really give it that high end looks that would look great in any setting. Not only that, The Maverick really packs a punch and sounds great in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Website: https://cavalieraudio.com/
Price: $269.99


iOttie iON Wireless Mini Charger

Best Wireless Charger
The iOttie iON Wireless Mini fast charging pad is a compact yet powerful wireless charging solution with elevated style. With the power of Qi wireless fast charging technology, you can now charge smartphones without the need for additional cables. To use the wireless phone charger, simply place the device on the charging surface and charging will begin automatically. The wireless fast charging pad also features an anti-slip silicone pad to keep devices from sliding on the charging surface for maximum efficiency. The iON Wireless Mini fast charging pad for iPhone or Samsung packs powerful features in one compact and sleek design that fits any space.

This is a very stylish wireless charger that would look at home on any desk space.

Website: https://www.iottie.com/
Price: $44.95


udoq

Best Multi-functional Dock
What makes udoq different from most other docking solutions is that it isn’t for any one device. udoq is the first docking station that can organize mobile devices of all brands and all generations. That means that if you have Apple devices, Android devices, or even Amazon devices, they can be used with the udoq. Thanks to udoq’s patented udoq connector cables, you can customize the udoq to suit your needs. The neat thing too is that you never really need to replace the udoq if you have new devices. Just upgrade the cables. Over 90% of all mobile devices are compatible with udoq connector cables.

Website: https://udoq.com/
Price: Starting at $89.00


understands

Understands Computer Monitor Stands

Best Monitor Stand
Those with desktop computers know that desk space is a valuable commodity, especially in this day and age where we seem to have more and more stuff laying around. That’s why having a computer monitor stand can be a huge benefit to you as it can free up a bunch of space just by lifting up your computer monitor and using that space for something else. For instance, Understands sustainable wood computer monitor stands. These are built to not only reclaim space, but also beautify your desktop in the process. Because it’s made from real wood, no two Understands monitor stands are the same.

Website: https://understands.com/
Price: Starting at $99.00


Steelseries Arctis Pro + DAC

Best Gaming Headset
The Steelseries Arctis Pro + DAC is hands down, one of the best gaming headsets I’ve ever used. I’ve use a serious amount of gaming headsets in the past and this one pretty much blows them all away. The main reason for this is the new GameDAC. Arctis Pro + GameDAC is the first full gaming audio system to receive the coveted Hi-Res Audio certification. Experience the quality of lossless WAV, FLAC, and DSD files, stream from Hi-Res sources like TIDAL, and be future-ready for hi-res gaming audio with the GameDAC’s native 96 kHz, 24-bit support.

Website: https://steelseries.com/gaming-headsets/arctis-pro-gamedac
Price: $249.99


Nextbase 612GW Dash Cam

Best Dash Cam
Nextbase really blew me away this year with what they offered. I looked at a bunch of dash cams this year and while most of them pretty much were very alike with similar features and video quality, none of them offered what the top of the line Nextbase 612GW offered. We’re talking full 4K video recording, a touch screen, polarizing filter, and integrated GPS and wireless all in one. That makes this basically the cream of the crop in terms of dash cams where I’m concerned.

Website: https://www.nextbase.com/en-us/
Price: $249.95


Rocketbook Everlast & Everlast Mini Smart Notebooks

Best Smart Notebook
This is probably an odd thing to have up here as one of my Top 10’s but in all seriousness, I’ve been having a blast with these Rocketbook Everlast Smart Notebooks. The main reason being these this is a real pen and paper experience that can be digitized with a click of your smartphone and then erased so that you can use the pages over and over again. Not only that, pages can be sent and saved to your favorite cloud services and then shared.

Website: https://getrocketbook.com/
Price: Starting at $16.00


SOLO NY Backpacks

Best Backpack
2018 for me has been the year where I’ve been rocking the SOLO NY backpacks. These stylish and functional backpacks come in a wide assortment of colors and designs to fit any personality and need. What I really like about them is the use of quality materials, plenty of storage space, and fairly inexpensive pricing. Check out their collection as there’s something for everyone on there. They even have messengers, briefcases, totes, and duffels.

Website: https://www.solo-ny.com/
Price: Starting at $32.99


Amazfit Bip Fitness Tracker

Best Activity Tracker
When people talk about fitness trackers, they usually mention Fitbit, but did you know that there is an alternative out there that is not only cheaper, but has a wicked long lasting battery of around 30 days per charge? I’m talking about the Amazfit Bip, a full featured fitness and activity tracker that also integrates with your smartphone to deliver important notifications. Not only that, it has integrated GPS to track runs as well as a bevy of other activities and has a built in heart rate monitor. The watch band can be swapped out for others if you want it to better match your personality and is stylish enough to be warn on a day-to-day basis.

Website: https://us.amazfit.com/
Price: $79.99


LG Tone Platinum SE

Best Everyday Headset
In the market for a neckband style headset that features Bluetooth wireless connections, long battery life, quick charge times, and great sounding audio? You may want to check out the new LG Tone Platinum SE. I only just reviewed these and I absolutely loved them for everything I mentioned above and the fact that these are fully Google Assistant enabled headsets that allow you to do so much with your smartphone without ever having to take it out of your pocket. That makes these great for everyday use, while out at the gym, or anywhere really.

Website: https://www.lg.com/
Price: $199.99