It can be tough to figure out where to begin when it comes to buying gifts. In fact, getting started might just be the single hardest part of the process! Narrowing down your options is an important part of finding the perfect gift, and deciding to choose a smartphone-controlled gift might be just what you need to pick the best gift ever.
What makes a smartphone-controlled gift so great is that it’s an additive experience. It takes an everyday object—like a smartphone—and uses it to enhance the functionality of your gift. For instance, that gift could be a luxurious new home appliance that makes mouthwatering cookies, but also turns on from a distance when you pair it with your smartphone. Or perhaps that gift is a high-quality portable photo printer that can print from an SD card, but can also print your favourite smartphone snaps in an instant.
Sweet-sounding smartphone-controlled gifts
Speaking of additive experiences, multi-room speakers are the perfect place to start if you’re giving a gift to someone who has recently moved out. Look for models that run on the same Wi-Fi network or pair together through Bluetooth for an experience that’s both literally and figuratively additive: that way, your recipient has the option to use just one speaker in a small space, or to pair multiple speakers for a surround sound experience.
A popular example of this is the Sony Extra Bass Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. Not only is the Extra Bass a crisp, clear speaker with a 24-hour battery life, but it’s created for amplification. There are physical inputs and controls on the speaker so that you can plug your device in for instant sound, but you can also use your smartphone to control the device. You can sync up to 100 Sony speakers through Sony Party Connect to listen to the same music throughout the whole house.
I actually use the multi-device connectivity on my Sonos system for something a little different (and a little nerdier): podcasts! I relish in filling my house with holiday music from November to January. However, for the rest of the year, I use it for watching Netflix and listening to my favourite podcasts. It’s fantastic to be able to drift, uninterrupted, from one room to the next. Smartphone-controlled, multi-device connectivity means that I can turn on Stuff You Should Know or This Podcast Will Kill You when I’m getting dressed in the morning, then continue (hands-free!) to listen while I’m making breakfast. I can even keep my podcast going when I head downstairs to start writing for the day—and your recipient will be able to, too.
Smartphone-controlled gifts for a cozy home
A smartphone-controlled, multi-room surround sound system is a pretty great way to make a house feel like a home. But if you want to get even deeper into your coziness, you don’t have to stop your gift-giving there!
Phillips Hue lights are an awesome addition to any home. The app is a little cumbersome, but there are tons of other smart home apps that you can use to control them if it’s not to your liking. I’ve always thought it was funny that the Hue marketing focuses on the system’s ability to give you multi-coloured lights (I love them most for being able to turn off all of the lights in the house from bed), but coloured lights are… Well, they’re in.
They’re “in” for holiday lighting, at-home party-on-the-couch lighting, and even for home office/gaming room lighting. Another big hit in the same category is the Nanoleaf line, which gives a fun twist to smart home products. Part home decor and part home ambiance, Nanoleaf panels create an interesting focal point on your walls while also providing cool, modular lighting.
Smartphone-controlled streaming devices
Media streamers pair perfectly with a smartphone. I’m guilty of creating redundancies in my home with streaming devices: I’ll very happily plug a Google Chromecast into my smart TV, if only for the flexibility.
Most of the time, the smart service on my LG TV works like a charm. I’m almost always ready to stream in an instant. Every now and then, however, my service will be spotty, or I’ll be searching for a certain video and typing it out with my remote is just too much of a pain after a long day.
That’s where a streaming device comes in. Perfect for upgrading old TVs and enhancing smart TVs, media streamers give you the option of streaming thousands of hours of content directly from your smartphone. They can even be a great choice for accessibility, providing you with the closeness and speech-to-text functions of your smartphone alongside the size and volume of your television.
The best smartphone-controlled gifts for gamers
With cloud-based gaming and other services, gifts that work with your smartphone are no longer limited to physical gifts. Services like Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass allow enthusiasts to game directly on their smartphones. With online gaming, you can buy a gift of any size at a distance.
My family members are notoriously hard to buy for, but I’ve had some major success with subscription-based gifts. (Funnily enough, the biggest hit was a toothbrush subscription for my sister!) Gaming gift cards are a way to support your loved one’s hobby when you don’t know what to buy them or can’t deliver it in person. There’s no need to juggle gift wrapping or delivery, and your recipient will get to try out lots of new games on their device.
If you’re struggling to find the perfect smartphone-controlled gifts this holiday season, look no further than these finds from Best Buy. They offer plenty of flexibility, all from the comfort of your own phone!
Shop these gifts and more online at Best Buy.