Still Need To Buy Christmas Gifts? We've Got You Covered

Best Last-Minute Smart Tech Christmas Gift Ideas

Let’s be honest; shopping is rarely fun. Sure the end result of the trip is great (once you get over the mild heart failure that is your bank balance), but the experience of walking around crowded shops which never seem to have what you want and having to wait in queue after queue is just a nightmare.

Which is why I’m one of the biggest campaigners for online shopping around. Give me a glass of wine, an internet connection and your bank card and shopping is all of a sudden one of my favourite activities. However, when it comes to this time of year when you wipe your eyes and Christmas is less than a week away, online shopping isn’t an option.

But that’s where we at GLITCHED have you covered. We’ve put together the most incredible, perfect and, above all, convenient list of last-minute gifts for the “smart home” lovers in your life. Everything on this list is in stock (at the time of writing) and can be bought in a physical shop without hassle.

So if you’ve only now realised how close Christmas actually is and still have a few gifts to buy, then this list is for you. Enjoy.

So Your Friend Has Pets…

Xiaomi Smart Pet Food Feeder

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  • Price: R2,199.00
  • Where: Mi Store in Sandton

Hear me out; I think every pet parent can agree that some of the best gifts people can buy for you are stuff you can use for your furbabies. Pet stuff is generally expensive, hard to come by and requires a trip to at least one store – none of which are fun activities.

So when someone buys you a gift for your pet, they are gifting you an entire day off from having to go to the store, and by making your pet happy, they’re making you happy too.

Xiaomi’s Smart Pet Food Feeder is one of the best, most extraordinary and most convenient pet-related gifts on the market. Paired with the Mi Home/Xiaomi Home app, the pet feeder gives you control over dispensing time and quantity, bringing you peace of mind while you’re away from home.

It also comes with two sets of sensors that monitor the remaining food and dispensing status all the time and has a built-in emergency power supply system.

Xiaomi Smart Pet Fountain

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  • Price: R1,299.00
  • Where: Mi Store in Sandton

This is a product I haven’t used myself. Still, judging by how reliant I have become on the Xiaomi Smart Pet Food Feeder, it’s only a matter of time.

Sure, the Xiaomi Smart Pet Fountain is, at its core, little more than a water fountain for your pets but paired with the Mi Home app, it can push reminders to your phone when you need to add water, clean the fountain and replace the filter and that’s what makes it truly special.

I love anything that makes my life a little easier, and having my water dispenser remind me when I need to take care of it is the definition of easier. The lid of the pet fountain also stores some water, dispensing a small amount of emergency drinking water in the event of a power cut thanks to load-shedding.

 


So Your Friend Loves To Garden…

Click & Grow Smart Garden 9

Still Need To Buy Christmas Gifts? We've Got You Covered

  • Price: R3,999.00
  • Where: iStore near you

Every list should have that one item you secretly want for yourself, and for me, this is that item. I’ve been following Click & Grow for a couple of years now. Since the brand has become more accessible in the country, I find it increasingly difficult to give myself reasons why I don’t need one.

The Smart Garden 9 is an innovative self-growing garden for every home and every plant growing need. It doesn’t matter where you live, whether or not you have a garden or sunlight; with the Smart Garden 9, you can grow 100% organic herbs, fruits, salads and flowers, free from GMOs and pesticides in your own home.

The garden is self-watering, has built-in grow lights, and comes with a companion app to help keep your baby saplings alive.


So Your Friend Loves Music…

Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker

Still Need To Buy Christmas Gifts? We've Got You Covered

  • Price: R5,995.00
  • Where: GeeWiz

A couple of years ago, my mom started talking about trying out some smart home products, so I purchased an Amazon Echo for her and, a year later, one for my dad as well. If I told you that this is one of the best gifts I could ever have gotten, I’d be downplaying it.

An Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker gives all the sound audiophiles crave with all the smart features that future dwellers do. It’s a great mix. The speaker comes with a three-way speaker design with a 5.25″ down-firing woofer, three 2″ midrange drivers, and a 1″ tweeter and outputs up to 330W of peak power. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to stream directly from the internet or your compatible device.

In short, it sounds great, and you can also use your voice to set timers, add items to lists, and create calendar events and reminders. You can also check the news, weather, or traffic, among other things.

Echo Auto Smart Speaker

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  • Price: R876.00
  • Where: GeeWiz

Everyone has a friend obsessed with the music in their car, or they are that friend. Regardless, this is a gift for anyone who doesn’t have a smart car but wants to feel like they do without the crippling debt.

The Echo Auto Smart Speaker lets you control your music, resume your audiobook, make calls or get directions simply by asking Alexa. The device has eight built-in microphones to ensure that the Echo Auto can hear you over the sound of your in-car singing, swearing or other driving sounds.

Echo Auto also allows you to make the most of your drive by adding items to to-do lists, setting reminders, and managing your calendar while keeping both hands firmly on the wheel.


For The Friends Who Have It All…

Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp 2

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  • Price: R799.00
  • Where: Incredible Connection near you

Another item on this list that I not only own myself but that I’ve purchased as gifts for friends. Whoever thinks adults don’t need bedside lamps clearly doesn’t read, care about aesthetics or just hasn’t seen how marvellous the Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp 2 is.

The Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp 2 is basically an incredible little dome that sits next to your bed, has a touch control panel on the front, can be controlled with your voice or with a smart app and can change between 16 million colours.

Do you know how many colours that is? It’s so many, and yet, mine is always on the exact same red/pink hue, but I have millions of other options (literally), and that’s what matters.

Xiaomi Mi Essential Smart LED Bulb

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  • Price: R299.00
  • Where: Incredible Connection near you

It’s easy to sit and make a list of gift ideas, but you know an item is worthy of being on that list when you have bought it yourself as a gift. That is the case with the Xiaomi Mi Essential Smart LED Bulbs. Since moving into my place a few weeks ago, I’ve purchased more of these bulbs than I care to admit and then when all my light fixtures were filled, I started buying them for friends and family.

Few smart products feel as futuristic and cool straight out of the box as the Xiaomi Mi Essential Smart LED Bulbs. There is something about walking into your house and saying “Lights on” and watching your home illuminate before you that awakens the soul.

The Xiaomi Mi Essential Smart LED Bulbs are fully RGB, can adjust their brightness, and come with voice control and smart app control. The best part is that they don’t require a hub to function. And if your friends aren’t interested in playing around with colour, they can stick to various white tones.

Yeelight Smart LED Light Panels

Still Need To Buy Christmas Gifts? We've Got You Covered

  • Price: R2999.00
  • Where: iStore near you

While most smart home products serve a purpose, they make your life easier or improve it; the Yeelight Smart LED Light Panels are just cool. That’s it. While there are many other smart panels on the market, the Yeelight ones are available locally, in physical stores and are pretty damn great.

The Yeelight Smart LED Light Panels come with over 20 preset light modes that allow the lights to dance to game sounds and music, and their DIY nature means you can set them up in any formation you like.

Suppose your friends are already invested in the smart home life. In that case, the Yeelight Smart LED Light Panels can be controlled using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa or its mobile app.


For The Friend With The Clean Home…

Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop 2 Lite

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  • Price: R4599.00
  • Where: Technomobi

When I first started getting into smart home tech, my first purchase was a robot vacuum, and honestly, it’s the best investment I’ve ever made. Since moving into my own place, I’ve fallen in love with my vacuum all over again, and when you give someone a robot vacuum, you aren’t giving them a robot vacuum; you’re gifting them hours and hours of spare time.

Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop 2 Lite is one of the newest additions to their robot vacuum catalogue. The vacuum comprehensively analyses your home environment and creates a map as it cleans to offer thorough and efficient cleanings.

I’ve got mine set to clean my house every day at 3 pm, which means my floors are always clean, and the most effort I need to put in is cleaning out the tank every few days.

Xiaomi Smart Air Purifier 4 Compact

Still Need To Buy Christmas Gifts? We've Got You Covered

  • Price: R1899.00
  • Where: Technomobi

An air purifier is one of those things you never think you need until you own and then you don’t understand how you went so long without it. And as far as gift giving goes, nothing else you can buy beats the gift of giving your friends a break from their allergies. Trust.

The Xiaomi Smart Air Purifier 4 Compact is the smallest of their air purifiers, making it perfect for smaller spaces. It offers all-day protection (load-shedding permitted) for those who suffer from allergies and protects respiratory health by keeping the air in your home clean and safe to breathe.

What sets the Xiaomi Smart Air Purifier 4 Compact apart from other air purifiers is the smart features. The air purifier can be fully controlled and monitored with a mobile app, and schedules allow the air purifier to be put down somewhere and forgotten about.


While there is no way we can cover all the cool smart home items available locally, these ones are neutral enough to appeal to all kinds of friends, from your coolest ones to the ones you have to work with.

Let us know in the comments below if there is a perfect, last-minute smart home gift idea we have yet to think of and let’s all help each other end 2022 off on the very best note possible.

Arielle is a writer who spends more time indoors writing about comics, games and all things geeky than what her mom would approve of. All Arielle wants is money in her bank account, but somehow, she keeps buying collectables that stop that from ever happening.

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