Guess what? Christmas is on Monday. Have you completed your shopping? Or are you at a loss.
Look, if the person is important, it’s time to loosen the purse strings a little and prioritise availability, not necessarily value for money. So peruse this little list, and we reckon you’ll find something that’ll suit. Or at least something that will inspire your own new ideas.
Lego Boost – $249.99
Let’s face it, he’s a boy at heart. Or she’s a girl at heart. Or perhaps, there’s that nephew or niece that has slipped your mind – until now! – who really is still a child. Either way, Lego is always an ideal gift for the creative youngster – or young feeling oldster – in your life.
And especially Lego Boost. Because not only do you build great things with it, those things can do things. Using the Boost app, you can even program the things that they do.
Does he or she have an iPhone 8 or iPhone X? You know that Apple finally introduced wireless charging. Well, a great add on for his or her new iPhone is wireless charger from Cygnet. It supports the Qi standard used by iPhones, as well as many high end Android phones.
Cygnett has two versions available. The cheaper one is for regular desktop use, while there’s an in-car model. Either way, we must say that we’ve become quite addicted to the convenience of plonking our phone down on a flat charger, rather than fiddling with a cable connector.
The great thing about Apple products is that if you can make it to an Apple store, you can get it there and then. Or if not, there are lots of other retailers. Last minute? Who cares. Go get it and wrap it up.
It need not even be a four thousand dollar Mac, or a $1500 iPhone. There are zillions of accessories available to go with all Apple products. Phone cover? Wireless keyboard? Portable hard disk drive for backing up their precious data? If your loved one has an Apple, you’ll find at least a stocking filler in the store.
Sony Extra Bass SRS-XB40 – $299
We’re not quite sure why Sony keeps labelling its portable and semi-portable speakers with the “Extra Bass” moniker. Forget about the name, in our experience they deliver pretty much the right amount of bass. The “Extra” is simply a circuit that boosts things (and we didn’t actually like that “Extra” very much at all).
So encourage your loved one to leave that switch off and enjoy what our reviewer noted is a speaker with “staying power”. It’s IPX5 splash proof rated, supports Bluetooth and pairs easily via NFC, and he or she can join two together for a stereo pair, or up to ten for a party throughout the whole house.
How about grandma? She may not be into high tech, but she’ll likely enjoy a new phone specifically designed for easy of use by seniors. The Doro 6520 has a large colour screen, well spaced backlit keys, and has a small number of useful apps.
With its clamshell design, it’s safe to rattle around in a hand bag. Importantly, the phone is compatible with hearing aids, and there is an “assistance” key to summon help.
Bose cut its noise cancelling chops with headsets for US fighter pilots, so it knows what it’s doing with this technology. Its revised version of the QuietComfort 35 headphones offer two levels of noise reduction, with the higher level being the most impressive we’ve ever experienced.
Of course, they can work (without noise reduction) when the battery is flat, fed by means of the supplied cable. And as with other Bose headphones, they deliver impressively high quality sound.
Sound bars are great. They make a TV sound ever so much better with the minimum of fuss. We were particularly impressed with the LG MusicFlow SJ8 sound bar for a number of reasons. First, it sounded pretty good. Second, it comes with a wireless subwoofer so you aren’t short changed for bass. Third, it also works with Bluetooth so you can send music to it from your phone.
And, fourth, it connects to your home WiFi network. So you can pipe music wirelessly to it, have it work with Spotify connect, and, if you get more LG MusicFlow components, make it part of a multiroom sound system.
When we mentioned the Apple store above, we didn’t mean to eliminate Apple products from consideration. And an iPhone is almost always a welcome gift. But which one? You can still buy an iPhone 6s if you want, or the iPhone 5-shaped iPhone SE (it’s way better than a 5, of course). Or a 7 or even the flash new iPhone X.
But we’re going to suggest the iPhone 8. The technology is up to date and the price isn’t too over the top. As our review suggests, if you’re buying for someone who already has an iPhone 7, the improvement may not be enough. But if they have a 6s or earlier, go for it.