You’ve managed to secure that sort after gadget for a Christmas gift this year. It might be the latest gaming console or a new smart TV accessory or maybe it’s a toy for the kids. The last thing you want is for it to be opened on Christmas day and be completely unusable, it could cause unwanted stress or even tears and no one wants to cry at Christmas time.
The best advice to avoid Gadget Gift Glitches is to prepare. Just like making that perfect Christmas Dinner, you need to make sure all the ingredients are there well in advance as there’s a good chance a shop you need might not be open until tomorrow.
So here are 5 tips on how to avoid frustrating technology Gadget Gift Glitches on Christmas Day.
1: I Have the Power
It’s a classic piece of Christmas advice, always check the box to see if “Batteries are included” and even if the box says they are, find out what type of batteries the device takes and buy some extras, after all, day one of any device is going to get the most use.
But wait, it’s 2021, don’t all gadgets come with a built-in rechargeable battery? Yes, some do but quite often you will receive them and they will need an initial charge. So think about even carefully opening the box, charging the device and making sure it turns on then package it back up as best you can when you are finished. Look it’s not ideal, especially with the modern “unboxing” craze. But you know the person you are getting the gift for best, what would they rather, a fully usable device or a perfect unboxing experience.
A good get out of jail free card is to have a power brick handy. Especially if you are going from place to place on the day.
On the go, charging will save you so much grief.
2: Sold Separately
The distant cousin to a lack of batteries is a lack of that extra special something that is required to make the gadget work. Take the FujiFilm Instax Mini Camera as an example, it’s a great gift that takes polaroid images and prints them all from one device. It has everything you need to take a picture of your subject of inspiration, except the film. Sold Separately.
So always check to see if you need another item to actually make the device do the thing it does on the day and you don’t end up with more gadget gift glitches.
3: Updates REquired
My one big issue with modern gaming consoles is the number of updates. When I first purchased my Xbox Series X and PS5’s both required massive day-one updates that rendered them useless for the first couple of hours when plugged in. That paired with setting up profiles and then the actual updates of the games themselves mean that there were a lot of people who weren’t even getting to play a game until the next day (depending on internet speeds and how long it takes you to remember you passwords).
You’ve gotten over the first hurdle which was actually securing the console during one of the biggest shortages of microchips in history. So make sure the thing is ready to use out of the box as soon as that wrapping paper is ripped off.
A good trick is to set the console up the night before and make sure it’s all in good working order. If it’s a present for the kids you’ll need to know their passwords but let’s face it, their passwords are your passwords, who else is paying for all those Fortnite skins.
Consider also that the Nintendo Switch is a system that can be played docked or as a handheld console. So there is a battery that will need to be charged (refer to tip 1).
4: Not Compatible with this Device
OK, we’ve all seen this. You buy a new device only to find that it needs to link to an app on your phone, but your phone is a 6 and it’s only for 7 and above or it’s an Apple device and your buddy has a Samsung phone.
Most devices have a compatibility list on their websites so you can make sure to avoid gadget gift glitches from that the new fitness smartwatch which will link with the present receiver’s phone well before you buy it.
It may require a tiny bit of detective work, but all the best presents do.
5: Are You Buying for them or you?
One trap I fall into all the time is buying a tech gift for someone that doesn’t actually want it. Do your research first. Real-life example, a couple of years ago I thought a Music Streaming Subscription for a year was the perfect gift for my partner’s parents.
But not the case. They preferred owning a tangible product on CD. They even liked the sound quality of the Compact Disc better and just in general were not really on board with access to all music all the time. You could fall into the same trap with a fitness watch for someone who just doesn’t want to go for walks or just doesn’t like wearing a watch. So make sure the receiver of the gift actually wants it, otherwise, it will never get used the way it was intended.
6: Be Prepared to Teach.
Sometimes getting new tech can be daunting, so do a little research on what you are buying. If you are buying for someone a bit older they might require a bit of coaching to get them comfortable with using a device. So it’s important to remember that it’s Christmas, be patient and enjoy the company of others while you explore the wonders of modern technology.