With Made by Google now in its third year, it is simpler than ever to get or introduce someone into the ecosystem where Assistant and AI are central to the experience. Our best Google products gift guide comes in at all categories — like best phones, best speakers, best accessories, and best Chromebooks — and price ranges, making it especially easy to be treated this season or to treat others.
BEST GOOGLE ASSISTANT SMART DISPLAY
Google Home Hub
The Google Home Hub is the quintessential summation of what the company wants to do with AI + Software + Hardware. Starting with the latter, the Home Hub is cute in the way that all small things are adorable. Wrapped in fabric, it features a 6-inch display that gives you a brilliant photo frame as long as you use Google Photos. With Ambient EQ, Google’s AI and software does a brilliant job of replicating a printed photo in any lighting condition.
It has an okay speaker that is suitable for hearing back Assistant commands, and makes for a more than enjoyable experience of watching the quick YouTube video, especially in the kitchen when cooking.
The Google Home Hub can be placed on any surface that already has a smart speaker, and the screen works well to provide useful visual feedback that quickly makes you prefer seeing rather than hearing.
Even if you’re buying for an Apple user, Google has done a fantastic job of making the device cross-platform, with Google Home a great experience on iOS. On the privacy front, there is no camera to allay those concerns, and is suitable for placing on a nightstand.
The Google Home Hub retails for $149, but a slew of stores this holiday season are offering it for $99. While it’s more convenient to pick up in local shops, the Google Store has two additional color options (Aqua and Sand).
Where to buy Google Home Hub:
BEST GOOGLE ASSISTANT SMART SPEAKER
Google Home Mini
Smart first, speaker second
In another win for cute and compact, the Google Home Mini is the smart speaker you should get. Audio-wise, it’s in the range of the Home Hub and better reflects how it is a device to primarily answer your questions rather than an integral part of your home audio system.
It gets loud enough for the quick stream, but should likely be paired with another Mini — thanks to audio syncing — or a Chromecast Audio. It is highly affordable, and you will without a doubt get it for less than the $49 it normally retails for this season.
Where to buy Google Home Mini:
BEST *GOOGLE SPEAKER
Chromecast & Chromecast Audio
Bring your own speaker
*The best Google speaker for most people is the existing system in their home, be it your TV’s sound system or other speakers you have in the house. With the Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, you can save some money and just upgrade your existing speakers to be compatible with Google Assistant.
From Google Home or your phone, you’ll be able to send audio to the speakers you are already comfortable with and most importantly have set up. It’s a hassle-free and affordable entry into the Assistant ecosystem. The Google Store is notably discounting the Chromecast Audio to $15 this season.
Where to buy Google Chromecast:
- Google Store: Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
- Best Buy: Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
- Target: Chromecast
- Walmart: Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
BEST GOOGLE PHONES
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
Phone by Google
You’ve likely heard the praise about the camera in every condition — as the name suggests — but Night Sight is black magic. This is an AI-backed feature that everyone can appreciate and immediately come to rely on. Meanwhile, on the other side of the device, the wide-angle front-facing lens can actually replace your selfie stick.
In its third year, Google made the Pixel a beautiful device. The matte-coated rear glass is truly a delight to hold. I have definitely spent time just admiring how good it feels in the hand. This is a solid device with a brilliant screen, with last year’s follies mostly forgotten.
Meanwhile, this the best take on Android you can get, with Google Assistant and Google Lens a squeeze away. Google has optimized the interface to be blazing fast and simple to use, especially for iOS converts. The Pixel 3 starts at $799 while the Pixel 3 XL begins at $899.
Where to buy Google Pixel 3:
BEST GOOGLE PIXEL 3 ACCESSORY
Google Pixel Stand
More than wireless charging
Once you have wireless charging, plugging a wire into your phone throughout the day feels downright archaic. It’s a simple-seeming technology, but one that is highly convenient and quickly becomes the way you wish every tech product charged.
The Pixel Stand does all that, but has several other features that turn it into a pseudo-Google Home Hub. When the Pixel 3 is on the Pixel Stand, it can automatically start a Google Photos slideshow and accept your Search queries and Assistant commands. Meanwhile, a Sunrise alarm clock adds a visual element to your morning wakeup, with the screen getting progressively brighter before your alert goes off. It’s pricey at $79, but worth it.
Where to buy Google Pixel Stand:
BEST GOOGLE CHROMEBOOK
The nicest laptop you’ll ever use
Chromebooks now come in all shapes and sizes. Most people who enjoy using Chrome OS devices are familiar with entry-level notebooks that are no more than $300, but yet are still productive with the operating system. If you are or know somebody that loves using Chrome OS, getting/giving a Pixelbook will supercharge your experience of Google’s cloud-based OS.
The hardware is premium, and built like a tank. Keys are clicky with responsive trackpads, and delightfully soft palm rests. Meanwhile, the screen is gloriously large and a great touchscreen that shines when using as a tablet. As a Chromebook, the Pixelbook will last for years and years before you notice any performance degradation.
That said, it is expensive and easily 3-4x the Chromebooks that most people are familiar with. At $999, it is not accessible for most people. However, at $250+ off, it is within the realm of reason especially when you consider that this could be your only computer for a solid 3-4 years. It’s definitely a balance that especially hedges on what kind of deal you can get on it this holiday season.
Where to buy Google Pixelbook:
BEST GOOGLE CHROMEBOOK TABLET
Google Pixel Slate
The Chromebook for fun
While a new product category, Chromebook tablets can fully be your only work machine. However, if that is your primary use for the device, you’re likely better suited with getting something where the keyboard is always attached and not an additional accessory you have to pay for.
What remains of the Pixel Slate then is a consumption device with a gorgeous 12.3-inch screen in a svelte 7 mm thin package. This is a fantastic way to watch YouTube and movies, while browsing is delightful and expansive.
Gaming and Android apps also benefit from the large canvas. Again, if this is all you’re planning to do with a Pixel Slate, the entry-level Celeron variants that come in at $599 and $699 should more than suffice.
Where to buy Google Pixel Slate:
BEST GOOGLE HEADPHONES
Google Pixel USB-C earbuds
The first rule of wired headphones is that you can never have enough of them. Always have a backup pair in case they start tearing or are simply lost. This year, Google made that prepper mentality to headphones feasible with the excellent $30 Pixel USB-C earbuds.
Identical in appearance to Pixel Buds, these headphones are plastic-tipped like Apple’s EarPods and have great adjusters to remain in your ear. However, the best part is the control pill to adjust the volume, play/pause audio, and of course start Assistant. They also work great with any USB-C device including other phones and laptops.
Where to buy Google Pixel USB-C earbuds