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And while 2020 has been less-than-stellar for almost everyone, that doesn't mean your gift selection needs to follow suit. For gifts and gadgets that will have your loved ones filled with gratitude for many months to come, check out these 10 seriously-cool devices that will bring a much-needed smile to everyone's faces.
Get the infamously good Bose audio quality in a wireless format with the brand's in-ear wireless headphones. The Bose headphones seal with your ear canal to block out ambient noise, and its three available sizes ensure a comfortable fit. "The sound is amazing, and the fit is very comfortable even thru extended use!" says one reviewer. "The bass is substantial, sounds good, and the ability to use right or left earbud alone is very convenient!"
SHOP IT: Best Buy, $216 (originally $236)
If anything, 2020 has been great for Nintendo Switch's growing audience. Downtime at-home has transformed the console into one of the year's must-have items. The Nintendo Switch lets you choose your control style; choose between one controller or two, vertical or sideways, attached to the console or separate. "One of my best purchases," raves a Nintendo user. "I remember growing up and playing old school Nintendo, so when this came out, I had to have it. I am so happy that I purchased it. I love that you can play it on the TV or the console, but nothing beats being able to pack it and take you with it."
SHOP IT: Walmart Canada, $400
A gift fitting this year's abundance of at-home time: Vankyo's mini WiFi projector. Bring the movie theatre home with this portable projector, suitable for both indoor and outside use. Compatible with smartphones, laptops, Xbox, Chromecast and more, enjoy your favourite TV shows and games in a larger-than-life format. "The projection image and sound of the projector showed while playing a Hollywood blockbuster has not disappointed," says one reviewer. "The image details and colour is just right as what shows on my phone."
SHOP IT: Amazon, $119 (originally $140)
Give the gift of caffeine this holiday season with Nespresso's Inissia Coffee Machine by De'Longhi. The machine offers a 25-second heating time and is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for small spaces. "Love this little machine! It's compact and works great," writes one reviewer. "I had another one with this same company, and it lasted me more than six years. They are fantastic machines and make an amazing espresso shot."
SHOP IT: Best Buy, $100 (originally $146)
Amazon's affordable Fire 7 Tablet gives users up to seven hours of screen-time for reading, watching videos, listening to music, and browsing the web. It has a seven-inch screen display, and shoppers can choose between a 16 GB or 32 GB storage option. According to one reviewer. "it's worth more than what you paid. It's easy to use, the picture quality is fine, it runs smooth, [and it's] lots of fun."
SHOP IT: Amazon, $80 (originally $90)
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II digital camera is a perfect gift for no-fuss photographers. The point-and-shoot camera is built with an f/1.8-2/8 lens and a 20.1MP CMOS sensor to bring your bright and vibrant subject matter to life on-screen. It includes a 4.2x optical zoom and swivel 3-inch LCD screen in a compact design for everyday use. "It is a very good camera," says a shopper. "I like it when going outside and travel around. The photos it took are colour with amazing colour and sharpness."
SHOP IT: Best Buy, $700 (originally $800)
Fitbit Sense is Fitbit's first-ever advanced health smartwatch. The updated watch includes heart rate notifications, a skin temperature sensor, and an EDA Scan app to learn about your body's stress responses; this in addition to Fitbit's famous fitness-tracking technology.
SHOP IT: The Source, $360 (originally $430)
With more than 24-hours of battery life and voice-activated Siri access, Apple's AirPods are straightforward, easy-to-use wireless headphones. "Listening to the high-quality audio and voice is a great experience," writes a reviewer. "They also seamlessly switch between devices. I use them with my iPhone mostly and my laptop when needed."
SHOP IT: Walmart Canada, $178
A unique gift idea for music aficionados, (post-Covid) party hosts or a friend who simply wants to upgrade their space: 1 by One's wireless record player. The classic turntable comes with two 36-watt bookshelf speakers, USB-to-computer connectivity, and wireless streaming from your smart devices. "This record player met all of our needs and was worth the extra little bit of money," writes one reviewer. "The adjustable counterweight is key so that records don't skip which suitcase record players don't have."
SHOP IT: Amazon, $290
Turn any outlet in your home into a smart outlet with the Amazon Smart Plug. The plug works with Amazon's Alexa to add voice control to any outlet-connected device in your home. Schedule lights, turn on the coffee machine and control heating and cooling appliances when you're coming home from work. "I couldn't be more happy with this," says a satisfied shopper. "I am definitely going to be getting more to add even more help in my life."
SHOP IT: Amazon, $35
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.