If you’re anything like me, you’ve barely started buying gifts for your family and friends, and it’s really starting to set in that Christmas is just a little over a week away. Good thing Amazon Prime 1-day shipping exists, right? Here’s some of our top last minute gift picks for Android fans — the one requirement being that they’re available for shipping or in-store pickup in time for Christmas…
Last minute smart home gear gifts
If there’s one thing that is an absolute no-brainer for the Android fans in your life, it’s some Google Assistant-powered smart home gear. Every millennial tech geek wants to smart-ify their home or apartment, but pretty much no one wants to actually spend the money to do it right. So why not do it for them?
The top of our list for that category would be the Google Nest Hub (previously known as the Google Home Hub) and the Nest Hub Max. These smart displays are great for a teenager’s bedside, the kitchen counter, or even the garage. Anywhere you can use some Google Assistant help for timers, alarms, recipes, and smart home control, a Nest Hub is ideal.
Part of what makes Nest Hub a great last-minute gift is that all the various models are relatively affordable and widely-available. Just order one online or pop into the nearest Best Buy, Walmart, or other retailer — they’re available pretty much anywhere. Amazon is the exception, though, since Google and the company from Seattle, Washington just can’t seem to get along. Looking for a deal? Best Buy is offering 2 Nest Hubs for $99 as of this writing, and Walmart is offering a free Home Mini with the purchase of one.
Also ideal smart display Google Assistant-powered devices? Similar products like the Lenovo Smart Clock and Lenovo Smart Display aren’t made by Google, but they’re equally praised and function nearly identically to Google’s offerings. The Smart Clock will give you a tiny display, while the Lenovo Smart Display is a sort-of happy medium between Google’s options.
If I were to recommend just one other smart home product as a last-minute buy for the Android fan in your life, it has to be the Nest Thermostat E. This is a smart home device that I use personally and the one that I definitely get the most value out of. If the person you’re buying from doesn’t already have a smart thermostat of some kind, this is definitely the one to get.
Buying a thermostat as a Christmas gift might seem a bit odd, but trust me here — this one will be welcomed with open arms. Nest has done a great job of making sure their thermostats are as compatible as possible with an incredibly wide variety of HVAC systems, and chances are your lucky recipient won’t have to do much more than a 15 minute self installation to get started on their smart home adventure. You can get the Nest Thermostat E from Amazon for just $130 with 1 or 2 day Prime shipping in most places.
Some more last-minute smart home recommendations that arrive before Christmas with Prime shipping:
Get them a pair of good headphones
If your last minute Android gift recipient uses a phone (um, you’re reading this article?), chances are they could also use a new or upgraded pair of headphones. As smartphones have ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack over the last couple years (there’s an adapter for that), many are realizing that their Bluetooth headphone collections are just a bit too thin to meet all of life-in-2020’s needs. In particular, you might want to consider buying your Android-using loved one a pair of nice headphones for travel or plane use.
Just like the Google Nest Hub, modern, high-end, noise-cancelling headphones are available really widely and make a perfect gift for just about anyone. Even me personally — I realized just this week that I didn’t own a pair of noise cancelling cans for a couple weeks of plane travel, and really wished I did once I got on that plane. Your average pair of Bluetooth headphones just don’t do the trick in a plane, and the uber-popular AirPods certainly don’t.
There are few options for noise cancelling headphones in the middle of this category’s pricing range that stand out amongst the crowd. Those are the Sony WH1000XM3, and the very comparable Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They both come in at around $250-$200 depending on where you buy them and when, but Amazon is offering free one-day shipping for those to most Prime members, so hop on that if you want to get them in time for Christmas. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper as a last minute gift for the Android fan in your life, maybe check out the Sennheiser HD 4.50, and if you want to go all-out, maybe the newer Bose Wireless Headphones 700 would be better.
Charging accessories are always welcome
If your giftee uses an Android phone, it’s pretty certain that they have to charge that device on a daily basis. One gift that would definitely be a hit would be some extra charging accessories. Even if someone already has all the plugs or charging mats they already need, you really can’t have too many. Already have a wireless charging solution next to your bed? Why not plug in a wireless mat in the kitchen too? You really can’t go wrong here.
Spigen makes a great wireless charging mat for around $30 that’s relatively affordable and works with all the most popular wireless-charging Android phones. I’ve personally used this one, and I really like the blue light glow that you get around the bottom to let you know that your device is charging. If you know the person you’re buying for has multiple devices that need charging at the same time (read: AirPods or other Qi-enabled headphones and devices) Nomad also makes some charging hubs that I like a lot. I actually reviewed the $100 Nomad Base Station and said it’s a great solution for Pixel + AirPods users.
Some more charging accessories that are great last-minute buys to arrive before Christmas:
- Aukey USB-C to Lightning Cable 3-Pack
- Anker PowerCore 26800
- Anker PowerCore 13000
- Anker PowerCore 10000
- Aukey 36W Dual USB-C PD Car Charger
- Choetech 18W USB-C Wall Charger
Get them a Pixel 4 XL
The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL got some rough reviews this year, but there’s one phone that I just never stop seeing all the most influential writers and pundits using in real life. Many of them had a hard time recommending it to most people, and for good reason, but it can’t be denied that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are just great Android phones if you can get around the battery issues (and some would argue the issue doesn’t even exist for the larger model). Be sure to check out our full reviews for our thoughts on both phones:
- Google Pixel 4 Review: A truly stellar Android experience… while it lasts
- Google Pixel 4 XL Review: Google’s best phone still isn’t ready for everyone [Video]
Me? I’d say go ahead and buy a Google Pixel 4 XL as a last minute gift for the Android fan in your life. I think it’s one of the best Android phones of the year, and while there have been better deals out there than Amazon’s $899 for the unlocked 64GB model (which arrives before Christmas), it’s about standard in the wake of the Black Friday Pixel deal extravaganza. This phone definitely is not going to disappoint an Android fan who needs a new phone.
If all else fails, go with a gift card
Are you completely lost as to what to get your Android phone-using loved one? Did none of the above recommendations help you at all? Here’s your solution: a Google Play gift card. Anyone that uses an Android phone has the Google Play Store, and it’s a huge marketplace overflowing with endless apps and games. What’s not to like? If you want, you can buy a gift card digitally and send it to their Gmail account. Or, if you want something to physically put in a stocking or give with a card, you can order a physical card from Amazon with free shipping that arrives before Christmas.
More Gift Guides:
- 9to5Google Gift Guide: Best gifts for those who work hard and play hard
- 9to5Google Gift Guide: Google smart home essentials to automate your holidays
- 9to5Google Gift Guide: Best gifts for the mobile photographer
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