This year for our holiday guide each staff member is listing the items they personally have used and recommend for this holiday season. A lot of my focus this year has been on smart home tech and wearables. I did however check out a few other items not from these categories. So this year this is my list of what I truly think if you pick up for yourself or your loved ones, you’d be a official member of #AllTheCoolGeeks!
Google Nexus 6P & Nexus 5X
Google released these phones just in time for the holidays and if you are looking to pick up a Android phone for yourself as a gift or for your loved ones, this is the phones to get. I have been reviewing both (you can see my review on the 6P here), and these are great phones. I especially love the Nexus 6P! Both phones run Android Marshmallow, have decent battery life, have great cameras, and include a very impressive fingerprint sensor. The Nexus 6P will start out at $499 and the Nexus 5X at $379. These are the phones you should be looking at!
Ring Video Doorbell
On the smarthome front the Ring video doorbell is something I HIGHLY recommend for any home owner, or just anyone who can install their own doorbell. The Ring video doorbell is a doorbell that connects to your WiFi and allows you to answer your door from anywhere. From your phone you can answer and see who is at your door when someone rings. You’ll be able to have a two way conversation with the person, be able to see them (they won’t be able to see you though so go ahead and answer in your PJs it’s okay lol), and relay directions. I love this device especially with the likes of FedEx and UPS. If your not home you can talk to them, letting them know to leave your package or what you want them to do with it. Also if say UPS (which has happened with me) tries to pull the “leave you a sorry we missed you note” though you are home, the motion detecting setting will capture all of it on video. The Ring video doorbell cost $199 and comes in a variety of finishes.
Samsung SmartThings Hub
When it comes to Samsung, there isn’t many products of theirs that I’m fond of. But when Samsung acquired SmartThings, it was a great decision on their part. The SmartThing Hub is the root and center of their ecosystem. The Hub is the device that talks and relays direction to all the smart devices in your home, letting them talk to each other and interact. Some examples of this include controlling your lights, interacting with your door locks, and controlling some of your music systems. With SmartThings you can connect many smart home items and expand your control of your home through automation. Just walked in the house? Your home can turn on certain lights, start up meal or perform some other function you decide on. Since I’ve reviewed SmartThing, I’ve added a ton of items to my house and will continue to expand on it. You can pick up the Hub for $99.00 but they also have bundles that will provide the Hub and a few other items to get you started.
Chromecast 2nd Gen & Chromecast Audio
Need some stocking stuffers, the Chromecast and Chromecast Audio will fit the bill perfectly! With a cost of $35.00 each, these are a them in the cart and don’t worry gift. You won’t have to wait until Black Friday to pick these up. With the Chromecast, you can use your phone or tablet to send movies and TV shows to your big screen TV. Simple to set up, just plug in and connect to your WiFi. Chromecast has tons of support from Netflix to HBO Go, to Hulu and more.
With Chromecast Audio, you can take an older non smart pair of speakers and connect them to the internet. Now you can stream music from a variety of providers all controlled from your phone or tablet. Just like the Chromecast setup is simply plug and play. With a killer price and great features, this gift is a no brainer!
This year there are a ton of good device choices out there. This is the season and I think there will be a lot of happy people this holiday. Will you or your love ones be part of #AllTheCoolGeeks this year?