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So you want to get someone a present, but you’re a bit clueless, huh? Well if they happen to have an Android smartphone or tablet, you might be able to narrow that search down.

Android users span a wide range of people, but there are some gifts that just work well with an Android device. We’ve counted down the best Christmas apps for Android 9 Best Christmas Apps For Android 9 Best Christmas Apps For Android The holiday season is upon on -- make the best of it with these Android apps! Read More before, and even some gadget ideas as well 20 Gadget Gift Ideas For Geeks 20 Gadget Gift Ideas For Geeks Geeks love gadgets 365 days a year. However, with the holidays approaching, we really need to start compiling our Christmas lists. Read More , but now let’s take a look at the most up-to-date gift ideas in 2015 for the Android user in your life.

Chromecast ($35)

chromecast

In the most basic sense, the Chromecast is a device that plugs into the back of your TV and allows you to send media to it from your phone or computer. You might not think you need this in your life, but once you start using it, you’ll wonder what you used to do without one.

We reviewed the Chromecast Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway We're giving away a Google Chromecast, so read through our review, then join the competition to win! Read More way back in 2013, but it recently got a pretty major update — at least in the physical looks department. Many of our previous articles on setting it up How to Set Up Your New Google Chromecast How to Set Up Your New Google Chromecast If you own a brand new Chromecast but have no idea how to use it, let our easy-to-follow guide help you get started in mere minutes. Read More , making it into a media center How To Make Chromecast Your Smart Media Centre How To Make Chromecast Your Smart Media Centre At just $18, the Chromecast is an unmistakably great way to make your TV "smart", but it can feel a bit of a one-trick pony once the initial euphoria wears off. Read More , rooting it How to Root Your Chromecast How to Root Your Chromecast Want region blocked content streamed through your Chromecast? By rooting the Chromecast, you unlock the ability to change your DNS (among other things). Here's how! Read More , and learning about its special tricks Awesome New Chromecast Apps, Tips and Tricks You'll Love Messing With Awesome New Chromecast Apps, Tips and Tricks You'll Love Messing With Apps are adding support for the Chromecast constantly, so keep checking your apps. Until then, read on to learn how to get the most out of your Chromecast with what is available today. Read More still apply though.

The new look is smaller, sleeker, and more colorful than the old drab black stick. It’s also easier to hook up to any TV given the longer cable that goes into the HDMI port.

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My favorite uses for it have been playing YouTube videos (you just tap a button inside YouTube and it plays — so simple), playing music at parties with Google Play Music or Pandora, watching Netflix without hooking up an HDMI cable to my computer, and mirroring my screen to show photos or browse the Web.

While the Chromecast used to be available on Amazon, the retail giant recently banned both Chromecasts and Apple TVs Tech Support Scams Net Billions, Amazon Bans Google & Apple... [Tech News Digest] Tech Support Scams Net Billions, Amazon Bans Google & Apple... [Tech News Digest] Windows technical support scams, Amazon bans the competition, Skype Translator spreads its wings, Amazon Flex delivers the goods, Minecraft: Story Mode, and the latest MP3 Experiment. Read More from their online store in order to “avoid customer confusion” (and by that, they mean sell more Fire TVs). The Fire TV is actually a decent alternative to the Chromecast, but only if you’re willing to be wrapped in Amazon’s ecosystem rather than Google’s.

Nowadays, your best bet is getting a Chromecast straight from Google for $35 or heading to your local Best Buy or other electronics store.

Purchase: $35 from the Google Store

Google Play Gift Card ($10, $25 or $50)

google-play-gift-card

Unsure of what to get someone, or don’t have a lot of time left? Google Play gift cards are available at most major retailers like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, or Sam’s Club. There’s a good chance that if you’re waiting in line somewhere, there are Google Play gift cards waiting there alongside iTunes gift cards.

I remember that iTunes giftcards used to be a default gift for buying music before the streaming revolution The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation Read More  happened. Now, people want money to spend on apps. If they’re using an iPhone, an iTunes gift card is still a good idea, but the Android equivalent is the Google Play gift card.

You can grab them for $10, $25, or $50, which means this could be one of the less expensive options on this list.

Purchase: Find in store at participating retailers

External Batteries (around $35)

satechi-battery

There are a lot of great options out there for external batteries 6 Of The Best Backup Battery Packs To Extend Your Phone's Uptime 6 Of The Best Backup Battery Packs To Extend Your Phone's Uptime A battery pack is one of the best ways to charge your phone in an emergency. Here are a few portable power banks that might be just what you need. Read More (even some solar powered ones Poweradd Apollo Pro 23,000mAh Solar Battery and Charger Review and Giveaway Poweradd Apollo Pro 23,000mAh Solar Battery and Charger Review and Giveaway We tested the Poweradd Apollo Pro 23,000mAh external battery pack with automatic solar charging. Read More ), but my favorite is the Satechi 10,000mAh battery because it has a decent battery size while maintaining a thin profile — and it isn’t too expensive at $35 on Amazon for the silver version.

It has two USB ports — one with the capacity to recharge a tablet — so you can keep both of your devices up and running. 10,000mAh could also charge your devices at least a few times over, given that the average Android phone has a battery somewhere between 2,000mAh and 3,000mAh. Its sleek design is pleasing to the eye, and it’s easily small enough to pocket on your way out of the door.

Purchase: $35 on Amazon

Games Controllers (from $17)

moga-hero-power

My favorite Android-compatible games controller is from MOGA, and it’s called the Hero Power. This controller has everything you could ask for — dual analog sticks, a D-pad, and shoulder buttons — while also managing to be relatively slim and compact. This is a controller you can stick in your backpack and whip out when you get bored.

POWER A MOGA Hero Power - Electronic Games POWER A MOGA Hero Power - Electronic Games Portable, slim design for gaming on the go. 100+ great games are compatible with this controller. Visit our official website for more information. Buy Now At Amazon $29.99

It connects to your device via Bluetooth, but also includes a small cable that will charge your phone using the controller’s built-in 1,800mAh battery (which you’ll need, given how fast games drain battery).

MOGA also sells a Pro Power, but it’s much bulkier to include proper hand grips and it’s currently about twice the price. Unless you know that the person has huge hands and wouldn’t be able to use the smaller Hero, the basic model does everything you could need.

Both controllers can hold even the largest of phones out there (hello, Galaxy Note 5), and you could even use them with a tablet as long as you didn’t want to dock the tablet on the controller.

Purchase: Hero Power ($17) and Pro Power ($34) on Amazon

Portable Speakers (from $15)

portable-speaker

Phone speakers are weak — that’s just an unfortunate reality of packing them into such small devices. The good news is that portable speakers aren’t too expensive, and can really make for some much-improved audio.

We’ve reviewed the Inateck MercuryBox portable speaker before, and we loved it. It’s small, relatively cheap at $42, has powerful sound, and it’s splashproof. We can happily recommend this one.

Inateck Ultra-Portable Aluminum Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with 15 Hour Playtime, High-Def Sound for iPhone 6S/ 6, iPad, Samsung, Nexus, HTC and More, IPX5 Waterproof, Silver - MercuryBox Inateck Ultra-Portable Aluminum Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with 15 Hour Playtime, High-Def Sound for iPhone 6S/ 6, iPad, Samsung, Nexus, HTC and More, IPX5 Waterproof, Silver - MercuryBox Portable aluminum Bluetooh 4.0 Speaker (fully backward compatible) with up to 33ft/ 10m bluetooth signal, more than enough for bedroom, bathroom, lounge or kitchen. Buy Now At Amazon

If that’s still a bit too fancy for you, though, you can pick up a small portable speaker for as low as $15 on Amazon — like the XBOOM mini portable speaker. It’s probably not the best quality, but it’ll get the job done, and as long as the person who’s receiving the gift isn’t a hardcore audiophile, they probably won’t care.

Purchase: MercuryBox ($42) or the XBOOM speaker ($15) on Amazon

Google Cardboard (from around $10)

google-cardboard

Is your gift recipient an avid VR lover? Do they talk about the Oculus Rift The Oculus Rift Is Real and You Can Have One in Spring 2016 The Oculus Rift Is Real and You Can Have One in Spring 2016 Oculus VR has finally announced a release window for the consumer Oculus Rift. VR fans and developers are on the edge of their seats. Read More or the Void I Stepped Into The Void, and it Was Amazing I Stepped Into The Void, and it Was Amazing A company like Void will change virtual reality for ever. MakeUseOf author Andre Infante flies out to their headquarters to experience a world without limits. Read More often? Then they might be interested in Google Cardboard.

Google Cardboard is a set of specifications that anyone can use to make a cheap cardboard VR setup for their phone. As such, you can purchase many different styles of Google Cardboard or even build your own. That could be a very personalized and thoughtful gift!

If you still want to buy something, you can nab one on Amazon from Kollea for only $10. This isn’t a perfect VR solution, especially given the lack of serious input from a controller or anything, but it’s still a very cool concept and fun to play around with for a while.

Purchase: Various kits available from Google or the Kollea Kit ($10) on Amazon

Android Wear Smartwatch (from $150)

Android Wear is a version of Android built specifically for smartwatches, and as you might have been able to guess, it plays really well with other Android devices. You can listen to music, check messages, ask Google questions, and use Google Maps to navigate somewhere — there are so many great apps 6 Android Wear Apps To Install Right Away On Your Smartwatch 6 Android Wear Apps To Install Right Away On Your Smartwatch If you've got a brand-new smartwatch, here are the must-have apps to install right away. Read More available for these things.

There are a ton of options out there Which Android Wear Smartwatch Is Best For You? Which Android Wear Smartwatch Is Best For You? In the market for an Android Wear smartwatch? Let's compare all the options available now and make the decision easy. Read More when it comes to Android Wear smartwatches, but it really depends on how much you want to spend and what kind of smartwatch you’re looking for.

The Asus Zenwatch 2 is currently going for $150 at the Google Store, which is a fantastic deal for a very solid device, even if its square screen means you can tell right away that it’s a smartwatch.

lg-g-watch-urbane

On the other hand, if you’re willing to lay down some cash for a fancy watch, I’d recommend the LG G Watch Urbane. It looks like a real nice watch, not a digital toy, and you can snag the $350 device for only $240 at Amazon right now.

So it really depends, are you looking for a cheap device to entertain a casual Android enthusiast, or are you looking to get someone a serious device that they can wear to work?

Purchase: Zenwatch 2 ($150) at the Google Store or LG G Watch Urbane ($240) at Amazon

NFC tags ($12)

nfc-tags

NFC stands for near-field communication What Is NFC & Should You Buy a Phone That Has It? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is NFC & Should You Buy a Phone That Has It? [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’re in the market for a new phone in 2013, you’re probably going to hear about something called NFC, and how it’s apparently changing the world. Don’t be fooled by the sales talk though.... Read More , and it basically allows you to tap your phone against something (like an NFC tag) and have it perform an action.

You can purchase packs of NFC tags that aren’t too expensive, and they’re pretty fun. People can get quite creative with their uses NFC! What Is It Good For? Here Are 5 Uses NFC! What Is It Good For? Here Are 5 Uses If your phone doesn’t already have a Near-Field Communication chip in it, your next one probably will. High-end Android handsets are quickly adopting the tech and while Apple has so far shrugged it off, adoption... Read More , but some examples including having an NFC tag on your nightstand that silences your phone, an NFC tag in your car that activates Car Mode, or having one near your front door that turns on/off WiFi.

Really, you could snag any NFC tags from your local Best Buy or other tech store, but you can also find them on Amazon pretty cheap if you have Prime 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More .

Purchase: Case4fun 10-pack of NFC tags ($12) on Amazon

Decent Headphones (from $25)

cheaper-headphones

There are a lot of confusing terms out there associated with headphones 10 Terms You Should Know to Identify the Best Headphones 10 Terms You Should Know to Identify the Best Headphones In this guide we'll cut through the jargon and show you what the key headphone specifications actually mean, and why — or if — they matter. Read More , so it can be hard to know exactly what to search for. Luckily, we can simplify the search for you.

If the recipient of the gift isn’t a huge audiophile, you probably don’t need to shell out for the best headphones out there. Most high-end headphones would be wasted on us commoners, and most likely left on a bus at some point.

That’s why I’d recommend something a step above the $10 nearly-disposable headphones you can find at most places, and I’d say get the ActionPie $25 pair of in-ear headphones from Amazon, which has just phenomenal reviews. Of course, it has a built-in mic so that you can use it for phone calls, and it’s compatible with Android.

For the more serious audio-lover, this $100 pair of Sennheiser headphones should satisfy all their needs. These come with a two-year warranty in case something goes wrong. Be careful to buy the version for Android, though, and not the iOS version — they’re different!

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear (Android version) - Black Red Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear (Android version) - Black Red Samsung Galaxy model using newly designed, tangle-free oval cable featuring 3-button in-line remote with integrated microphone Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

Purchase: ActionPie in-ear headphones ($25) or Sennheiser in-ear headphones ($100) on Amazon

MicroSD Storage (around $25)

microsd-card

Buying microSD cards can also be tricky — there are a lot of mistakes you need to avoid 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Your Next MicroSD Card 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Your Next MicroSD Card MicroSD cards seem simple, but there are a few critical mistakes that you must avoid when shopping for one. If you ignore these, you may regret your purchase. Read More — but again, we’ve made the process easy for you.

First, make sure the person you’re getting a gift for has a device with a microSD card slot. Ask them what phone or tablet they have and Google it. Once that’s confirmed, I’d suggest getting a 64GB SanDisk microSD card from Amazon. It’s only $25, it’s from a reliable brand, it’s the highest speed of microSD card, and it’s guaranteed to work in any phone with a microSD card slot.

SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter, Grey/Red, Standard Packaging (SDSQUNC-064G-GN6MA) SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter, Grey/Red, Standard Packaging (SDSQUNC-064G-GN6MA) Ideal for premium Android based smartphones and tablets Buy Now At Amazon $19.99

Some phones support the larger 128GB microSD cards, but not all of them, so you’re probably safest going with the 64GB. Besides, that’s plenty of space considering the base model of most phones comes with only 16GB. You’ll really be giving them a lot more space for movies, TV shows, and music.

Purchase: 64GB SanDisk MicroSD Card ($25) on Amazon

Wireless Charger (from $13)

wireless-charger-2

Wireless charging is awesome What Is Wireless Charging & How Exactly Does It Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is Wireless Charging & How Exactly Does It Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] We live in a wireless world. Except we don’t. Sure, we can send huge amounts of information across the airwaves, but the devices capable of sending and receiving it are tied down to power cords.... Read More , but you need a device that supports it. Again, check what device the person you’re giving a gift to has and verify that it supports wireless charging. Specifically, verify that it supports Qi wireless charging (though few others use Powermat, the alternative). If you want, you can even read up on everything you need to know about wireless charging What You Need to Know About Wireless Charging What You Need to Know About Wireless Charging Until our devices offer week-long battery life, charging on the go will remain a reality for us all. Read More .

Once you’re sure they have a Qi-compatible device, you’re pretty much good to go with any Qi charger. You can find them for as cheap as $13 on Amazon, and even that cheap one from JETech has solid reviews.

Purchase: JETech Wireless Charger ($13) on Amazon

Which Will You Be Getting?

As an avid Android user myself, I’d be super happy with any of these gifts — but I’m curious what you’ll be getting the Android user in your life.

Will you be picking any of these up for the holiday season? Let us know down in the comments!

  1. Squalle
    November 22, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Honestly, the only thing on this list that I would want that I don't already have is the NFC tags. I've always thought that it would be cool to have some of those.

    Does anyone have a portable battery that works decent. I don't remember the brand I have, probably a cheap one, but it doesn't last very long.

    • Peter Fitzsimmons
      November 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      I have a couple of portable batteries made by ANKER.
      I have a smaller 3200mAh that I keep in my EDC and a larger 13000mAh battery that lives in my electronic/tech bag.
      I've had both for around 2 years and use them quite often and have saved me from sticky situations many times.
      Best things I ever bought.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      yeah the NFC tags are nifty. i have a portable battery but honestly i forget who made it, just some cheap thing i found on Amazon lol -- but it does the job

  2. likefun butnot
    November 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Android Wear devices have also dropped substantially in price. It's entirely possible to get name brand (LG, Asus, Motorola et al.) Android watch for under $120.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      true! definitely considering that at this point

  3. likefun butnot
    November 18, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    200GB (not 240 and no I don't know why either) microSDXC cards are available now. They aren't cheap, but I have one in my LG G4 and in my Surface Pro. In my experience, they seem to work in everything that supports 128GB cards.

    Nexus Player? I'm not a fan of it, but if you're in the Google ecosystem and for some reason don't like the vastly better FireTV or Roku options, they're acceptable.

    Mobile Device Repair Kit. Not for any particular reason. It's just a good set of tools.

    Tablet or Phone grips. or wall mounts.

    Quickcharge-capable USB charging center.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      very cool! thanks for the recommendations :D

  4. John Recluse
    November 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    All in $,none in £

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      sorry dude, we cater towards an American audience. :P

      • JOHN
        December 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

        Please could you stop sending this stuff as it's biased towards an Americans so no use in the UK a

        • Riley J. Dennis
          December 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm

          "sending"? i'm not sending anything. it's an article on the internet -- no one is forcing you to read it. unfortunately, sometimes on the Internet you're going to find stuff that is not catered specifically to the UK. there are other countries in this world. and a lot of stuff we talk about is applicable to the UK, and a lot of products available on Amazon.com are also available on Amazon.co.uk.

        • JOHN
          December 11, 2015 at 5:11 pm

          It's a pity that I have to open an article in order to ascertain if it's applicable to the UK or the USA. It should be made clear in the header as that is MY complaint that everything seems to be USA centric

        • Riley J. Dennis
          December 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm

          everything seems to be US-centric because a lot of stuff is. a lot of major websites are based in the US or cater to US audiences because the largest chunk of their readership and revenue comes from there. it would be impossible to label every article on the internet with which English-speaking country it is applicable towards. should we end every article title in (USA) (UK) (Canada) (Australia) (New Zealand) (South Africa) or (India) ??? that's just unrealistic. I'm sorry but you're going to have to open articles to determine what country they're oriented towards, and like I said, often they're applicable to more than one.

        • JOHN
          December 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm

          Pity you don't have a uk equivalent like for example Wired uk

  5. TC
    November 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    How about a thumb up and down on each thing you write about. I see so much I've tried and its either junk, doesn't work as advertised, or can't be done the way you all write about. A simple up and down by your readers would be great foe, well your readers.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      i feel like that would be technically difficult to implement, but idk i ain't the programmer here -- just a lowly writer lol. anyway you're welcome to tell us what you like or dislike here in the comments!

  6. Peter
    November 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I wonder where you guys get the information from but the Satechi is far from being $35 a piece at Amazon. That thing costs $60 at Amazon.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      i mean i literally went on Amazon and it was $35 so..... we get our information from Amazon hahahaha. if you're seeing it at $60 now, that's because the price went up. that happens. sorry.

  7. Art
    November 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Bought 2 wireless chargers already... Clicked the link, and it was less expensive than advertised.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      wireless chargers are awesomeeeee, and that's cool !

  8. Howard Blair
    November 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    "Some phones support the larger 128GB microSD cards, but not all of them, so you’re probably safest going with the 64GB. Besides, that’s plenty of space considering the base model of most phones comes with only 16GB."

    There are a lot of phones (including two that WalMart's discounting to $10) that have a lot less than 16GB of storage (more likely 4GB for those two). Also, a great many phones are only rated (guaranteed) to work with 32GB SD cards (SDHC instead of SDXC); check web forums if you're not 100% sure a 64GB card is going to work (my 2014 Moto G LTE is rated to use 32GB cards, but 64GB worked as long as I'm patient after startup for launch screen icons to show up - the phone has to scan & reindex media folders).

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      interesting, good to know! and yeah always check online is good advice

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