5 Awesome Tech Gifts For the Procrastinating Gift Giver

Tech Gifts GuideFTC Disclosure

When December rolls around I like to think I’m completely on top of all the gifting needs that will come up. But, to be honest, there are always last minute tech gifts that need to be purchased. And, well, if I’m being totally honest, there are some bigger gifts, too, that I put off because I’m not really sure if those are the gifts I want to give. Together, this leaves me a little stressed out.

In November, as part of the Verizon Insider team, I attended an event at the Verizon headquarters to learn about some new tech, meet some of their great partners, as well as get a sneak-peek on a few of the holiday tech gift promotions that were planned. This gave me some very helpful information for those who, like me, may be needing a few gifts as the clock ticks away.

5 Last Minute Tech Gifts That Will Make You Look Like You Didn’t Procrastinate

UE SpeakersUltimate Ears Speakers – Whether it’s the UE Boom, UE Roll, or the DJ-worthy MegaBoom if you have a music lover on your list you can’t go wrong with any of the UE speakers. The Boom and MegaBoom are great for campus-living, the home office, small businesses, apartment dwellers, and anywhere your DJ skills could come in handy. And the UE Roll is the ultimate in portability.

Mophie External ChargerMophie – While devices have improved their battery life, having portable charging options is a must for anyone with an active lifestyle. I’ve had Mophie charges for years and they make so many different type that you’re sure to find one that will work for anyone on your list. Whether it’s a slim size, attaches as a powered case, supports a cause, or is waterproof you can’t go wrong with the quality of a Mophie charger.

Moto 360 Gen 2 Watch WomensMoto360 2nd Gen. Watch – Powered by Android Wear, it’s much more than a watch. Wearable tech is one of the top gifts for any occasion, and while these range from #299 and up a gift like this is perfect for the tech geek on your list. What’s awesome is that no matter which color combo you buy they can customize it with new bands and download watch faces that suit them.

Nest Smoke DetectorNest Home Products – As tech becomes more integrated at home, it’s easier than ever to add on a home protection device like a camera, thermostat, or smoke alarm. Perfect for renters and homeowners alike, these devices bring a new level of protection and information. If you’ve got a new homeowner, college student moving off-campus, or a senior family member on your list, Nest home products are designed to make managing things at home a little easier.

Motorola Droid Turbo 2 phoneDroid Turbo 2 Smartphone – I know. It’s not often you want to get someone a phone as a holiday gift. But, if your teen or college-aged child has been bugging you for a new phone this is one of the hottest devices to come out this year and can be customized in an array of colors and textures, something like over 1,000 different combinations. CycleGuy has been using his since Mid-November and likes that it has a unique look to it and isn’t like every other phone sitting on the conference table at meetings. Together with the shatterproof screen and the ability to charge the device in about 15 minutes, the Droid Turbo 2 is perfect for most anyone on your list who needs a new phone.

I’m a Verizon customer and have been for years, long before I started working with them to share about how my family and I use tech. So, for last minute tech gifts I know I can stop in to one of their stores and get any of these and be on my way. A nice gift bag and tissue paper and I get to keep my princess of tech tiara another year. Why settle for a gift card when cool gifts like this are so easy to get!

Sara

Must Have Tech For 2015

Must Have Tech Gadgets

VZW Disclosure

As 2014 comes to an end and the gift giving events make way for talk about the big game or getting fit for summer, there’s still gift cards to spend and deals to be made. Regardless of whether you unwrapped one or a pile, chance are you may not have received some things you really wanted. Or maybe you got gift cards because you’re “hard to buy for” or “it’s easier to send you money”. So now you’re faced with how to spend that loot and what better way than to make sure you have the must have tech gear to make the most of your smartphone or tablet. You may have some ideas of what you want but I thought I’d share a few of my favorite tech gadgets to jump start 2015.

bluetooth headphones1. A good pair of headphones. Whether you like the over-ear, in-ear, or on-ear models, there are so many options. Quality headphones are a must these days, but which one you choose will depend a lot on your lifestyle and how you use them. For active lifestyles you might like the Plantronics Backbeat Fit bluetooth in-ear headphones. The Jawbone ERA is a great low-profile bluetooth headset, especially if you want something a little more discreet and professional-looking. The ERA is the one CycleGuy uses mostly for business. For gaming or watching movies, there are great options from Beats by Dre and Sol Republic. I have different headphones for different uses, so it’s not uncommon to have several pairs of headphones.

portable mini speaker2. A wireless portable speaker. As a child of the 80s, portable speakers have been a very important part of my life. Now, though, they’re not the size of a small TV. Gone are the “boombox” days of lugging around 20-pound stereo systems. We’ve got an entire music library in our purse or pocket. The problem is that sometimes you want to share it and your only options are putting your device in a bowl and cranking up the volume with the hopes it will broadcast. With tiny portable speakers that easily fit in a purse, backpack, carry-on luggage, or in the glove box of a car the mobile DJ in you can come out wherever you are. The Mini Jambox from Jawbone (I really do love their products!) comes in a variety of fun colors and can be used in both casual and professional settings. I’ve heard of them being used at business events and parties when people need big sound in a compact space.

3. Apps to improve your productivity. And by productivity I don’t mean just business-type stuff. With apps to help stimulate your brain and wellness apps, or even must-have apps that aren’t on every “top apps” list you have the ability to customize each device so that you’re getting the most out of it when you’re on it. Sometimes the best productivity app is Spotify or Pandora because you just need some good music to help you get motivated. Other times, maybe you need a great list app or top news and media apps. There are tens of thousands of apps out there in iOS, Android, and Windows that you’re likely to find just the right apps to help you get more out of your smartphone or tablet so you can be more productive.

4. A fitness tracker. I was able to check out the Microsoft Band the day it came out and it was quite impressive with its many features that integrated into smartphones. CycleGuy has the JawboneUP 24 and likes how it integrates with his cycling and food-tracking apps. I have a JawboneUP and even though it’s very basic it gives me a lot of helpful information. Even though it would be cool to have one of the high-end models, there are quality fitness trackers for every budget.

Mophie portable charger5. A portable charger. This should probably be #1 on the list of must have tech gear. I carry the Mophie Powerstation with me. It’s compact and lightweight so it doesn’t add bulk to my purse. And since I have both iOS and Android devices I usually keep cables for several different devices in the car so if I’m out and a friend is running low on power I can lend them my charger. When my daughter went on an out-of-town school field trip, I sent my New Trent Power Pack and iSound Power Max so the chaperones would have power on the 10+ hour drive should there be an emergency. We’re on our phones so much, especially on long trips where you don’t always have access to a plug, that draining our devices is not just a possibility. We’ve all be out and had our phone die with no real options to power it up. Now, you carry the power with you! And for under $100 it’s a great way to be prepared when the power goes out.

If you have these, then you’re good to go! If you have friend or family that don’t have these, then consider them as gifts because they’d probably be happy to get these. I know that many of the apps are free, but consider buying the paid version of an app you love and if you need to give someone a gift they’d probably love the “pro” version too.

What are your “go to” or “must have” tech items that you can’t live without?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Influencer team and share information about technology. This post was not required or edited by a third-party. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sara