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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: The best drones your money can buy, and more

From streaming devices to drones, smart TVs to turntables, here’s a top-tier list of electronic products for the tech-obsessed on your list
Tony Velasquez | Nov 24 2018

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STREAMING DEVICES. Your smartphone is handy for watching videos and playing games on the go. But why strain your eyes on a handheld display, when you can get to do all these on a big flatscreen TV? You’ll need a streaming device that can pump your desired content into your HDMI-ready monitor. 1 ROKU STREAMING STICK+ (in photo). This 4K HDR streaming includes subscription access to Netflix, Fox+, Disney Channel, and other channels. You could also cast and link your YouTube account from your smartphone to the TV.

CHROMECAST 2 3RD GEN. The Chromecast app makes it easier for the 3rd Gen Chromecast 2 to find streamable content. It’s a portable device, but it does not provide on-screen menus.

NVIDIA SHIELD. This is one of the most versatile streaming players available with 4K HDR support. It can stream content from apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. It does double-duty as a gaming console, can download high-end Android games, can stream PC titles from GeForce Now program, and can play media content stored on a USB drive. 

APPLE TV 4K. It now offers 4K HDR support, and enables content from other Apple devices to stream to TV via AirPlay. Siri-enabled remote can control other smart home devices.

XBOX ONE S. It plays 4K Blu-ray movies and streams movies and TV in 4K HDR format. Kodi media player can be installed on the console.

DRONES. Aerial videography without a big, expensive helicopter and big, expensive cameras—that’s what the newest drones can achieve, while capturing awe-inspiring images with a bird’s eye view. And yes, they’re just fun to fly even without recording any video or photos. DJI PHANTOM 4 (in photo). It has a phenomenal range of 4,500 feet from remote controller. Obstacle avoidance feature combined with vision positioning system prevents it from crashing while at low altitude. It can go up to 28 minutes of flying time on a full battery. Its safety feature makes Phantom 4 automatically land when battery is at 10%. It can capture 4K video, and transmit live video at 720p resolution. Flight speed reaches up to 45 mph. “Follow me” capability enables Phantom 4 to track and follow a subject.

DJI PHANTOM 4 (PRO). It has more sensors for forward and rear obstacle detection and captures 4K video at 60 FPS. Captures 20mp raw and jpg images. It’s also capable of subject recognition and tracking and has automated flight and high-performance sport modes.

DJI MAVIC AIR. It’s the smallest, most portable drone in the DJI lineup. It shoots 4K UHD video and captures HDR/panorama still images. It’s flight time can reach up to 18 minutes.

ZERO TECH DOBBY POCKET DRONE. Its foldable arms/propellers make it fit inside big pockets. It records 4K video at 30 FPS, with 13MP 28mm CMOS sensor. Flying time is around 9 minutes with a maximum altitude of 3,000 meters.

SMART TVS. TV monitors are getting bigger, with more vivid colors and resolution. And like cellphones, they’re increasingly getting smarter all the time. SONY BRAVIA A8F (in photo). It displays with Dolby vision and comes in 55-inch and 65-inch models. It features “acoustic surface audio” technology, projects sound from behind the screen. A subwoofer is built in at the rear of the TV. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, with Google Assistant. Its remote control has built-in mic for voice searches. It offers 16gb of internal storage, expandable with external drives.

LG OLED 55B8PPA TV. This AI TV has 4K cinema HDR with Dolby Atmos cinematic sound and built-in Bluetooth / Wi-Fi. It’s capable of 4K upscaling and can stream content through Miracast / Wi-Fi direct.

TURNTABLES. Vinyl records are back and are here to stay. Audiophiles can attest to the warmer, more natural sound of music played on a turntable. Take some of them on a spin, and you’ll likely prefer to put needle to the groove in your next music session. AUDIO TECHNICA AP-LP60BK (in photo). It’s belt-driven and offers two adjustable speeds with built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier. It also has an anti-resonance feature, replaceable cartridge, diamond stylus easily replaceable as well. 

AUDIO TECHNICA AT-LP3BK. It has fully automatic belt drive with adjustable speeds and hydraulic lift control for tone arm. It’s equipped with multiple pre-amp modes, and comes with attached dual RCA output cable. Its removable cartridge can be upgraded. 

REGA PLANAR 2. This one’s made of laminated plinth with high gloss acrylic material, and uses a RB220 tone arm with pre-installed carbon mm cartridge. Capable of producing brilliant sound.

SONY PS-HX500. This turntable allows high-quality files to be ripped from record to digital files on PC or Mac. It supports both phono and line output, and is capable of delivering Direct Stream Digital (DSD) quality audio.