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A different kind of gift guide: 15 tech products we actually use and love

We handpicked 15 gift ideas, each one personally used and recommended by a member of the Android Authority team.

Published onNovember 25, 2023

Welcome to our holiday gift guide, where we do things a bit differently. Instead of bombarding you with the latest trends or overwhelming you with endless options, we’re keeping it simple and genuine. Our guide features 15 handpicked gift ideas, each one personally used and recommended by a member of the Android Authority team. From editors to writers and video producers, each team member shares their own go-to tech gadget, offering real-life insights and experiences rather than just specifications.

Whether you’re shopping for a tech-savvy friend or looking to treat yourself, these suggestions are tried and tested, covering a range of interests and budgets. So, take a stroll through our guide and find that perfect tech gift, backed by the expertise of the Android Authority team.

Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones

Sony WH 1000XM5

Our editor Adamya Sharma finds her peace with the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones. These aren’t just headphones, they’re an escape pod from the noisy world. Imagine sinking into your favorite tunes with top-notch sound quality and forgetting the holiday chaos. Plus, there’s a neat app to tweak the sound to your heart’s content. And guess what? They often come with a sweet holiday discount.

JSAUX 6-in-1 dock

jsaux 6 in 1 gift guide
  • Recommended by: Hadlee Simons (Editor)
  • Price: $49
  • Find it on: Amazon

Editor Hadlee Simons has a gem for Steam Deck or ROG Ally users: the JSAUX 6-in-1 dock. It’s not just about playing games on a bigger screen; it’s also about upping your internet game with a faster connection. And for about $30-40, it’s like scoring a high-level gaming accessory without breaking the bank.

A GaN charger

gan charger gift guide
  • Recommended by: C. Scott Brown (Editor)
  • Price: $25
  • Find it on: Amazon

C. Scott Brown, our editor, is all about ditching old-school bulky chargers for something sleeker – a GaN charger. This little powerhouse can juice up your laptop and most others gadgets you may carry. It’s perfect for the daily tech grind, but for those heavy-duty gaming sessions, you might still need the big guns. It’s all about making your backpack a little lighter and your life a tad simpler.

Amazon Echo Studio

amazon echo studio gift guide
Andy Walker / Android Authority
  • Recommended by: Kaitlyn Cimino (Senior Writer)
  • Price: $154 – $189
  • Find it on: Amazon, Best Buy

Senior writer Kaitlyn Cimino recommends the Amazon Echo Studio for anyone wanting to fill their home with top-quality sound. Not just any smart speaker, it brings music and audiobooks to life in any room. It’s user-friendly, reasonably priced, and hey, it even responds to your voice commands (though you might want to rename it if you’re filming a video). It’s like a mini-concert hall in your living room, plus it’s fun for the whole family.

A versatile clamping system

clamping system gift guide

Jonathan Feist, a contributor to our team, swears by a clamping system for all tech enthusiasts. Think of it as a Swiss Army knife for your gadgets. It’s a blend of a sturdy clamp, a versatile magic arm, and a reliable smartphone mount. Whether you’re a photographer, a videographer, or just love to fiddle with tech, this system’s flexibility and security are game-changers.

Kindle Paperwhite

kindle paperwhite gift guide
  • Recommended by: Mitja Rutnik (Evergreen Editor)
  • Price: $139
  • Find it on: Amazon, Best Buy

Evergreen editor Mitja Rutnik champions the Kindle Paperwhite for the readers out there. It’s like carrying a whole library in your pocket, with battery life that lasts longer than your holiday break. Mitja reckons it’s a great way to dive into stories rather than getting lost in the endless scroll of social media. It’s a gift of endless stories and knowledge.

Nothing Phone 2

nothing phone 2 gift guide
  • Recommended by: Rita El-Khoury (Senior Features Editor)
  • Price: $599
  • Find it on: Amazon, Walmart, Nothing

Senior Features Editor Rita El-Khoury has a heartwarming reason to recommend the Nothing Phone 2. It’s perfect for keeping in touch with loved ones, especially the ones who aren’t so tech-savvy. With its unique light notifications, no call or message gets missed, even if the phone is face down. It’s a thoughtful gift to stay connected with family, especially when you’re miles apart.

Govee Smart Kettle

govee smart kettle gift guide
  • Recommended by: Edgar Cervantes (Contributor)
  • Price: $49
  • Find it on: Amazon

Edgar Cervantes, one of our contributors, knows the importance of a good morning coffee. His pick? The Govee Smart Kettle. It’s not just about heating water; it’s about doing it smartly. You can control it with your voice or an app, making your morning routine a little more futuristic. For coffee aficionados, this kettle is like having a barista in your kitchen.

Pixel Buds Pro

pixel buds pro gift guide

Senior Writer Ryan Haines finds solace in the Pixel Buds Pro. These aren’t just earbuds, they’re your personal bubble of calm. They’re travel-friendly and come with noise-canceling that knows when to let the world in and when to keep it out. Perfect for family visits when you need a quick escape to your own tunes. Plus, they come in a snazzy blue that matches the Pixel 8 Pro.

JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker

jbl flip 5 gift guide

Deals Editor Matt Horne can’t get enough of the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker. It’s survived more than its fair share of adventures, from beach outings to unexpected pool dives. Its durability is legendary, and the sound quality, especially the bass, never misses a beat. The best part? You can often snag it at a holiday bargain.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag 2

galaxy smarttag 2 gift guide

Managing Editor Bogdan Petrovan has the perfect pick for pet owners: the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag 2. Attach it to your furry friend’s collar and say goodbye to panic moments. These little trackers are tough, waterproof, and don’t need GPS to find your wandering pet. Plus, they’re a steal, especially if you’ve got a habit of misplacing things.

Meta Quest 3

meta quest 3 gift guide

Writer Chase Bernath recommends the Meta Quest 3 for a dive into virtual reality. This headset doesn’t just play games, it immerses you in them. It’s wireless, user-friendly, and doesn’t need extra hardware. Chase loves it for everything from VR gaming to learning piano — it’s a whole new world in a headset.

8bitdo Zero 2 Controller

8bitdo zero 2 gift guide
  • Recommended by: Ollie Cragg (Managing Editor)
  • Price: $19 – $28
  • Find it on: Amazon, Walmart

Ollie Cragg, our Managing Editor, has a soft spot for the 8bitdo Zero 2 Controller. It’s tiny but mighty, perfect for gamers with smaller hands or those on the move. Its simple design makes it ideal for classic games and portable enough to game anywhere. Plus, it’s compatible with a range of devices, making it a versatile choice for gaming enthusiasts.

Soundcore Life Q20 Plus Headphones

soundcore life q20 plus gift guide
  • Recommended by: Andy Walker (Senior Writer)
  • Price: $69 – $90
  • Find it on: Amazon, Walmart

Senior Writer Andy Walker’s go-to are the Soundcore Life Q20 Plus headphones. Comfortable, with outstanding audio quality and battery life that just keeps going, these headphones are a treat for your ears without draining your wallet. Whether for work or relaxation, they’re a sound choice for any audiophile.

Gerber Armbar Drive Multi-Tool

gerber armbar drive
  • Recommended by: Damien Wilde (Video Producer)
  • Price: $26 – $41
  • Find it on: Amazon, Walmart

Video Producer Damien Wilde finds the Gerber Armbar Drive multi-tool indispensable. It’s a lifesaver for anyone who deals with packages, DIY tasks, or just likes being prepared. From a knife for unboxing to a bottle opener for celebratory drinks, it’s the sidekick you didn’t know you needed.

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