Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:09:34 GMT
I really don’t like gift guides. They’re usually full of unnecessarily expensive, moderately useful objects that I would never actually buy for anyone.
That said, if you’re looking for something to pick up for that tech-savvy person in your life (the one you go to when your Wi-Fi isn’t working or your phone is doing that weird thing again), look no further. Below is a list of gadgets that I have personally used over the past year in a work or work-adjacent capacity that I can definitely say have improved my life (and, okay, maybe one of them is just really fun).
Gifts under $50
I am a big believer in the idea that you shouldn’t pitch ideas involving technology that you haven’t spent hands-on time with. How many people every day get on a phone call or send an email about smart speakers and have never actually used one? The Echo Dot and Home Mini are affordable ways to educate yourself and have a nice little speaker that can tell you what the weather is going to be tomorrow.
Gifts between $50-100
I am constantly going back and forth to my desk during the day running to meetings or grabbing lunch. Plugging and unplugging my phone on days where I need that extra charge was definitely not my favourite activity. I recently picked up a Wireless Charging Base and it has removed a small, annoying bit of friction from my day that may seem small but makes a world of difference.
Gifts between $100-200
Talking about phone photography as a trend is, in my opinion, no longer necessary. It’s just the norm, especially when it comes to creating content on the fly. Anyone producing work for Instagram and the like or going live on Facebook from the road should have the best tools with them at all times. Lugging around a more intense camera rig isn’t always an option, or necessary.
Moment makes a killer set of lenses, and their Wide Lens is my favourite. It does exactly as advertised and takes a much wider shot and maintains the quality you’d expect from your phone. A nice stocking stuffer for that friend or family member who needs to produce high quality work away from the studio setting, or just has that jealousy-inducing Instagram grid.
I buy a lot of gadgets. Like a lot. Over the last year or so, I’d say I’ve enjoyed AirPods more than anything else I’ve picked up (save maybe my Nintendo Switch. Mario Odyssey? I mean, come on). I’d say they spend more time in my ears than not. They have fantastic battery life, a handy charging case, and no wires to deal with.
The ability to listen to podcasts on my commute while paired to my iPhone, have them automatically connect to my work Mac, and even just pop one in and dial in to a client call, is unmatched by the other Bluetooth headphones I’ve tested.
One note of caution - Apple’s in-ear headphone design doesn’t jive with everyone’s ears, but give them a try and take advantage of that return policy if they don’t fit.
Gifts over $1,000
I know, I know. A thousand bucks seems like a lot and the opposite of my gift guide philosophy, but it is definitely worth it to anyone working on tight project budgets with a need for dynamic, high quality aerial footage. Investing thousands in a more pro level drone may result in a technically better output, but the Mavic with stable, 4K video is no slouch and in many cases is hundreds or thousands of dollars cheaper.
The Mavic Pro is for sure the best small drone out there and a great introduction to the category, especially for those of us looking for it to do double duty as a content creation machine, as well as something to mess around with on the weekend. The balance between size, durability, and camera quality is unmatched. If you’re serious about getting a drone, get this one.
Ryan Vinnicombe is senior associate, engagement planning for Arnold Worldwide