2020 Yuletide Gadget Gift Guide

Christmas is just around the corner and I'm sure that many of you are thinking of gifting yourself or a loved one a really cool gadget just for surviving all the trials and tribulations that we faced this year, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the series of typhoons this quarter, the Taal volcano explosion in January, among many other sad and challenging events.

So just to put a smile on your face and to also help you decide on your purchase, without further ado, I'd like to present my 2020 Yuletide Gadget Gift Guide.

2020 Gadget Gift Guide, 2020 Yuletide Tech Gift Ideas

Smartphone

I reviewed many amazing smartphones this year across different price brackets but the ones I am inclined to recommend are mostly those that are made by Cherry Mobile, realme, Xiaomi, Samsung, and Apple.

If you're a bit tight on budget and you want to get the most bang for your back, you might want to check out the best-selling Cherry Mobile Aqua S9 Max, the first batch of which was completely sold-out within a few hours of its release.

In the midrange category, there's the realme 6 Series, realme 7 Series, Xiaomi Redmi 9 Series, and POCO X3 NFC. I highly recommend all of them as I have personally used these phones and I remain impressed with their specs and features given their fairly accessible SRPs. Also, I work with the companies behind these devices and I know how hard they work to deliver competitively-priced products that meet the needs of young consumers all while ensuring top-notch after-sales support.


In the flagship category, there's very expensive Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, which I think is a daring gadget release by the Korean Giant that's ideal for taste-makers who have seen it all, as well as the Apple iPhone 12 Series that has top-notch photography and video recording features that wow even professional photographers and film-makers.

For midrange consumers who want to level-up to a high-end smartphone this Christmas and also want to experience ultra-fast Smart 5G internet speeds in some parts of the country, they can get the realme X50 Pro 5G which is one of the great-value-for-money flagship models that are available exclusively via Smart Signature Postpaid Plans.

Laptop

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic to various industries, laptop makers saw a boom this year because of consumers' need to stay home and remain productive for online learning and work-from-home arrangements.

If you need a new laptop to help you accomplish more at home be it for work or school, the brands I recommend are Asus, Acer, MSI, and Apple -- because I am familiar with the quality of their products and after-sales support here in the Philippines.

In particular, I like Asus' new ZenBook and Asus VivoBook S14 ultra-thin models that are powered by Intel 11th Generation Core i5 and i7 processors as they offer great bang for the buck from design all the way to internal hardware. The price range for these ultra-portable models is from PHP 50,000 to PHP 70,000.

Mesh WiFi System

While we are on the topic of laptops, another gadget that you might want to give yourself or your entire family is a WiFi Extender of WiFi Router Extension that can bring strong connection to areas of your house that are far from your current router.

Enabling strong WiFi signal beyond thick walls and wide spaces, Linksys Velop Home WiFi System, which goes for around PHP 15,000, is compatible with PLDT Home Fibr, Globe Broadband, and even Converge, and can be managed using an application.

Whether you use internet for school, work, or recreation such as playing RPGs, MOBAs, or even online casino games (have a look here), you will certainly appreciate the wider range and stronger connection that a Mesh WiFi System offers.

Wearable Air Purifier

Used by celebrities and politicians, the trusty CHERRY Ion releases 50 million healthy Anions or negatively-charged ions per cubic meter each second and takes away airborne pollutants like viruses, pollen, dust mites, smoke, and even molds.


This gadget sells for only PHP 3,500 and I think it's a must-have in this pandemic, especially for our beloved seniors.

There's also a more affordable version of this model called CHERRY Ion Lite, which smaller, releases less negative ions, and sells for only PHP 1,999 on Shopee, Lazada, and CherryShop. I think it's a great option for those whose budget is a bit tighter given our current situation.

Vlogging Camera

Since many of us have been mostly at home for around 9 months now, I'm sure most are excited to go out, travel, experience the world, and document adventures through vlogs and Youtube videos.

The good this is that 2020 saw the release of some very handy, ultra-small, yet powerful cameras for capturing moments on crisp and clear videos.

If you prefer an ultra-wide camera that can shoot underwater even without a separate case, there's the PHP 25,000 GoPro Hero 9 Black which now has a front-facing screen that's really handing for finding the perfect frame for talking head videos.

The new DJI Pocket 2 is now also available and it can deliver more cinematic looking clips with its 3-axis stabilization, bigger sensor, and wider aperture. The Creator Bundle that costs around PHP 28,000 even comes with a wide-angle lens, wireless microphone, and WiFi connectivity snap-on module. I think this device is great for a budding filmmaker or anyone who wants to create highly engaging videos for Youtube.

If you're bit cash-strapped currently, you might want to wait for the release of FIMI Palm 2, which is also a camera on an very small gimbal like the DJI Pocket 2 but has a far lower price tag. Alternatively, you could also go with either DJI Osmo Pocket or DJI Osmo Action from 2018, which recently saw a huge price cut.

Smartwatch

realme has two smartwatches out in the market that don't only come with useful features but are also very competitively priced.

The realme Watch and realme Watch S, which sell for PHP 3,590 and PHP 4,990 respectively, both measure the Oxygen level in your blood and have a 24/7 heart-rate monitor. They also come with a Daily Activity Tracker and several Sport Modes. The most noticeable difference between the two is that the Watch S has a more traditional circular watch face.

Wireless Earbuds

If you're still using a pair of wired earphones, it's time to give yourself freedom from cords and tangles by getting a pair of wireless earbuds.

There are several brands of Wireless Earbuds that I recommend including SoundPEATS and Momax, which are available via Digital Walker, as well as realme. The prices of their products range from around PHP 2,000 to PHP 4,000 and I think that - given their SRPs- -the sound quality they deliver is pretty decent for everyday music-listening on the go.

Heat-Not-Burn Smoking Device

As we all face the new normal, I bet those of us with vices or habits that must be broken are thinking of ways to be better.

If you smoke or if you have a loved one who does, then you might want to check out MOK and MOK mini Heatmaster System that simply heat tobacco sticks instead of burning them along with paper and foam, which minimizes the amount of harmful chemicals that the user puffs. For me, that makes these devices better alternatives to traditional cigarette smoking.


MOK sells for PHP 3,490 while the mini goes for PHP 2,490 at MOK's official store in LazMall and Shopee Mall as well as in kiosks in Mega Manila.

So there you go! That's my 2020 Yuletide Gift Guide featuring truly impressive tech gadgets!

To wrap up, let me say that although giving and receiving gadgets can make Christmas merrier for all of us despite the pandemic and everything we went through this year, let's not forget the true reason for the season and that is our Lord Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy Holidays!

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