As we enter summertime, Father’s Day is almost here, and many graduations are taking place nationwide. Thankfully CGMagazine is here to curate the best gifts for everyone on your list. From smart home accessories to smartphones, we have built this years list to select from a range of options in all price brackets.
Due to the issues many stores still dealing with long lines, and issues, we have made sure everything on this list can be purchased online, and be delivered to your door without any of the fuss of retail shopping.
iRobot Roomba s9+
The Roomba s9+ is a seriously convenient little cleaner with a sleek new design (perfect for reaching into corners and around baseboards) and just the right amount of power to get the job done.
As Roomba’s most advanced robot vacuum, the pressure is on for an effective clean, which it accomplishes thanks to its PerfectEdge® Technology with wider brushes, superior suction (up to 40X the suction over previous generations) and an advanced 3D sensor. And for those who don’t want to get their hands dirty, the Clean Base Charging Station will automatically suck all the dirt, debris, and all those other gritty little details out of the bot and into the base.
If you know a father figure who wants to feel like he’s mastered control over a robot servant, or who wants all the benefits of a clean home without the inconvenience of actually cleaning it, the Roomba s9+ would be a generous and greatly appreciated gift.
With smart speakers, smart lighting, and even smart thermostats, clearly, the next step in the process is to make your door locks smart. This is where August comes into the picture. Their range of smart locks offers a secure, easy way to usher your doors into the 21st century.
Installing in minutes onto almost any door with a deadbolt, the August Smart Lock is easy to get set up and running. Though the application you can control the lock, along with the ability to check and see if the door is open, if there are any issues, and can even open or lock the door while not at home.
There are plenty of options when it comes to smart locks, but the simple fact August Smart Lock does not need to replace existing hardware and offers a secure, simple way to control the doors in your house make it an easy recommendation for anyone looking to take the plunge into a truly smart home.
Phones are always a hard thing to buy for people. It can be hard to know what is the best choice that will offer performance, while not breaking the bank and keep the design and style they already love. This is where the iPhone SE fits into the picture. This new device brings all the features we have come to expect from the latest iPhones while offering a phone that keeps the classic style and size. Not everyone wants a massive smartphone or new ways of navigating the OS, and the fact the iPhone SE is around $400, is the icing on the cake.
The iPhone SE 2020 is potentially the best budget smartphone you can buy. It is premium-feeling throughout, offers amazing performance, a very good camera, and to put it simply, outclasses almost all the similarly priced Android phones by a mile, providing you don’t want 5G that is.
If you know someone who loves smaller phones and wants the best phone possible in a small package, the iPhone SE 2020 is the phone to buy. It looks great, feels snappy to use and all comes in a sleek, well-designed package. This is the phone that puts other budget phones to shame, and it is a great gift for anyone on your list.
With 2020 being a stressful year for many, the need to relax is more important than ever before. This is how we choose to include the new Muse S on this year’s gift guide. Muse has been around for a while now, offering people a new way to dive into the world of meditation and mindfulness.
The gamification of meditation makes jumping into daily short sessions easy. From learning how to settle your mind with the subtle audio cues, to just seeing how your mind wonders over a session give tangible data to improve on, in a fun, and easy way. It quickly becomes a game to see how relaxed you can be, and how many birds you can get chirping throughout a session.
While not cheap, costing upwards of $380, the Muse S headband is a great way to get into the habit of meditating and makes it fun to do so. The comfort, attention to detail, and the overall package make the Muse S a great gift for anyone, be they a dad with a stressful job, or a recent grad looking to jump into the working world for the first time.
Philips Hue Play Light Bar Starter Kit + Hue Play HDMI Sync Box
Smart lighting has quickly taken over the houses of anyone looking to jump into the world of smart homes, and Hue stands at the pinnacle of this discussion. Their range of lighting offers industry-leading features and compatibility. But what do you buy for someone who already is living a smart lighting based existence? That is where the Philips Hue Play Light Bar Starter Kit + Hue Play HDMI Sync Box comes into the picture.
Sitting behind your TV, this lighting setup syncs with your existing HDMI based devices and allows the lights to expand lighting seen on the screen to an immersive glow behind your TV. While it may sound silly but once setup, and working, the lighting helps anyone watching, or playing be immersed in the visual landscape of the media.
Setup is easy and within minutes the lights are working with your media giving new lights that bleed out from the media on screen. It also works as a great addition to anyone who already is part of the Hue ecosystem and wants to see what is possible with smart lighting.
Philips Hue Play Light Bar Starter Kit Price: $199
Getting started with building a smart home ecosystem can be a challenge. It is hard to know what to buy, and how it will all tie into each other. This is why the Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack is on this year’s list. This $99 offering comes with most of the devices needed to get started. From lights to plugs, to smart cameras, the little box has it all, and best of all, the app makes setting it all up easy. We had the test house set up in minutes, with different zones and programs in place to make the place feel like a thing out of the future.
While most of the devices included are pretty standard, lacking many of the bells and whistles of other options, the simplicity of it all makes it a great place to start, while still giving just enough pizzazz to make it fun, and exciting to set up and see it all working.
If anyone is interested in making their home smart, it is hard to deny the Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack makes is a dead-simple way to get things moving.
If you are like me, losing your keys or bags is a constant hassle. You absent-mindedly put your keys down as you walk in the door, only to spend hours finding out where you left them. This is where Tile comes into play. These little devices have one major purpose, and they do it very well. They allow anyone to find their keys, bags or any other item provided they have a Tile attached to them.
With options starting at around $30, Tile is easy to set up and use. You simply attach it to the item you want to ensure you can find, install and run the app, and you are off to the races. The app is fantastically bare-bones, offering the tools you need, with nothing that gets in the way of its task. With the push of a button, the Tile will make a sound allowing you to find your item.
It can also be used to find your phone, and with the unique mesh technology, Tiles can even work to help find something that is lost, using other Tiles in the wild. It is simple, yet it works. While not the most expensive choice on the list, Tile can be invaluable to anyone who is constantly searching for their lost items, and with its a dead-simple setup, anyone can be up and running in minutes.
As Wear OS first launched, the Moto 360 stood as an example of what was possible in a smartwatch. It was round, had all the features people thought possible at the time, and it had a look that made it feel premium in a market filled with plastic-looking watches. Now in 2020, the Moto 30 is back, boasting some major improvements, a sleek look all while maintaining the premium look and feel we have grown to know from the range.
Under the hood, the Moto 360 is a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and 1 GB of RAM. While not bleeding edge, the device showed no lag, is smooth to use, and overall is enjoyable to use and dive into all the features on offer with Wear OS. With the Moto 360 running a close to stock version of Wear OS, it feels clean, easy to use and efficient. It does lack some of the bells and whistles seen in the Apple Watch, but it all works, feels efficient and has a clean look throughout the experience
With a solid battery, a great visual aesthetic, and with it working on almost every smartphone on the market, it is easy to see why the Moto 360 made it to this year’s list.
If a person on your list is a fan of PC Gaming, and requires a few upgrades, then a monitor is a great start, to ensure that they get the best out of modern games. 1440p high refresh rate gaming monitors are quickly becoming the go-to choice for gamers, and the ViewSonic XG270QC is one of the best of the bunch.
Offering a 1440P 165Hz curved display, the ViewSonic XG270QC is a showstopper while off and in use. The slick lines and clean look make this monitor feel premium, looking at home in any computer desk environment. Boasting AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, offering HDR support to games and select content. While not as robust a selection of HDR content as seen on other offerings or TV’s, the ViewSonic XG270QC still manages to offer a bright, vibrant image that will make any gamer salivate.
The software suite that pairs with the XG270QC gives you full control of all the basic features on offer. From modes tailored to select types of games, to the ability to adjust the RPG lighting on offer – since everything gaming related needs to have RGB – the XG270QC is a game monitors dream.
While not cheap – costing over $800 – if you have a gamer on your list, and they need a new monitor, you can’t go wrong with the ViewSonic XG270QC.
The heart of any smart home is the wifi system, yet it can be hard to near impossible to blanket an entire house with the majority of standard routers. This is where a mesh system comes into play, and TP-Link Deco X20 is one of the best we have tested to date.
Easy to set up, the router is out of the box and fully working throughout a house in under 30 minutes. The simple smartphone app makes the installation painless as possible, and the size of the units ensure they are easy to place throughout the house, and will not be unsightly if they are not hidden away.
TP-Link has ensured features are in place that makes the router system simple, but with enough settings under the surface should you want to get your hand’s dirty tweaking settings. Granted this is not the most powerful system on the market, but with three nodes included in the box for $349.99, the TP-Link Deco X20 packs a lot of value for anyone looking to upgrade their WiFi.
Mobile gaming is nothing new, but with the advent of Android 10 and iOS 13 and the ability to leverage your Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controllers to the system, the landscape has been greatly improved. No longer do you need to rely on a hacked-together solution to game on the go. Razer, with the help of GameVice, has developed a new solution that somehow manages to feel like a well-thought-out and complete solution to the problem.
While $80 is a bit much on the surface, Razer has made a controller that feels well worth that barrier to entry. It feels good in the hands, works with a wide range of smartphones, and significantly elevates mobile gaming experiences. If you are a mobile gamer and are sick of third-party options and want something that is built for a mobile lifestyle, give the Razer Kishi a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Should the person on your list also have an Ecobee Thermostat, the next step is to dive into the world of smart security products, including the new Ecobee Smart Camera. This little device makes it easy to keep an eye on your house while not at home. With a quality build, great features, and an overall fantastic look, the Ecobee Smart Camera is a great gift for anyone that wants that extra peace of mind.
The Ecobee Smart Camera installs in minutes using the app, and if you already have an Ecobee account the full process is relatively painless. Once setup you can explore the range of features on offer. The camera offers digital pan-and-zoom that works better than expected, it also can distinguish between people and pets. It also has Alexa built into the camera, along with two-way talk, a night vision mode, and 1080P clear video.
Costing $249, the Ecobee Smart Camera is one of the more pricy smart cameras, but the features on offer and an easy app make it a great gift to anyone on your list.