The holidays are once again upon us, which for most folks means cooler weather, hanging decorations, and gift shopping. While we can’t help you with the first two things, we can offer up some great gift ideas so you don’t have to spend hours fighting your way through crowded retail stores. Today’s roundup is focused on iPhone users.
Scarf Ultra Thin iPhone case
We don’t usually recommend giving iPhone cases as presents, but we’re making an exception for the Scarf. It’s available for all recent models, comes in a handful of desirable colors, and sports an extremely minimal design. It’s ultra slim and there’s no logo— it’s hard to imagine anyone not liking the way the Scarf looks because honestly, it’s hard to tell it’s there.
Alternative: don’t see what you like here? Check out our latest roundup of iPhone cases.
Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
Beats headphones have a reputation for being overpriced and underperforming, but I think the Solo3s go a long way to break the stereotype. They still look sharp, fit comfortably and sound great, but thanks to some magic from Apple, they now also feature 1-touch pairing, extra long wireless range and a class-leading 40 hours of battery life. These are THE Bluetooth headphones to get this holiday season, and if you act quickly you can catch them at almost $100 off.
Alternative: if the Beats just aren’t for you, consider the far less expensive Sony Extra Bass headphones.
Aukey Dual USB Portable Charger
You can almost never go wrong with gifting a smart phone user a battery pack, and I really like this one from Aukey. It has a larger capacity (20,000mAh) that lets you fully replenish most iPhones at least 5 times per charge, built-in safeguards to protect against overheating and overcharging, and Aukey’s solid 24-month warranty. Bonus features include the ability to charge via Lightning cable and a built-in flashlight.
Satechi Aluminum Desktop iPhone Stand
A proper iPhone dock props your phone up in an easy-to-see, easy-to-use position, keeps it charged, and looks good doing it. There are certainly more expensive options out there, but I think this Satechi aluminum stand checks off all the boxes. I actually use one myself and can therefore personally vouch for its build quality and design. The only caveat is you have to use your own Lightning cable.
Apple Watch Series 1 42mm Aluminum
Smartwatches aren’t for everyone, but if the person you’re shopping for has an iPhone and is remotely interested in fitness or tech, chances are they’d love an Apple Watch. There are several models available right now, but we like the Series 1 aluminum model because it offers the best bang for your buck (same processor as Series 2 model but not as expensive).
Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves
For a lot of folks, this time of year means freezing temperatures and the appropriate attire: hats, jackets, and of course gloves. Unfortunately, ordinary gloves aren’t compatible with touchscreens, meaning you’ll have to expose your fingers to the elements to use your phone. That’s where touchscreen (also known as e-tip) gloves come in, and the consensus is the Moshi Digits are the absolute best.
Alternative: if the digits aren’t your style, popular apparel brand North Face makes a solid e-tip glove.
Sphero BB-8 iPhone-Controlled Droid
RC toys always make awesome, instantly-gratifying presents, so you can’t go wrong gifting an iPhone-controlled vehicle. There are a number of these available, but the most popular one right now is Sphero’s BB-8 Droid. In addition to gliding around your living room, it can also recognize and respond to voices, capture and display holographic videos, and it charges wirelessly.
You can buy the BB-8 iPhone-controlled droid for $100 (sale price).
iDevice Wi-Fi Smart Plug with HomeKit Support
If you want to be able to control your lights and appliances with your iPhone, you don’t need an expensive, elaborate system anymore. In fact, you can start with something as simple as a smart plug. We like this one from iDevice because it’s easy to set up and supports Apple’s HomeKit, meaning you can control it with Apple’s Home app or with voice commands via Siri. It also has a customizable LED light.
View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack
Just because Apple hasn’t released a VR headset of its own doesn’t mean iPhone users can’t join in on the fun. There are a number of virtual reality headsets available that work with your iOS handset, and this one from View-Master is a solid option. Just download the View-Master apps, or one of dozens of the third-party/Google Cardboard VR apps, drop your iPhone in the headset, and you’re ready to go.
SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller
The iPhone by itself is considered a very powerful portable gaming device. But you can take its gaming potential to the next level with a proper gamepad. We really like the Nimbus from SteelSeries because of its pressure-senstive buttons, 40-plus hours of battery life, it supports all iOS devices (including Apple TV), and it can be recharged via a standard Lightning cable. It’s also very comfortable and feels like a full-size console controller.