Valentine’s Day 2019: ten luxury gifts for tech lovers
Gadgets a bit more special than your average tablet or smartphone
For many tech fans, nothing beats recieve a new hi-tech gadget from their Valentine. Not all tech is equal, though, so we’ve put together our pick of the best gifts for tech heads this Valentine’s Day.
GoPro Hero 7 Black
If your significant other likes to live life in the edge, then the Hero 7 Black might just be the perfect gift. It’s the latest offering from action camera pioneers GoPro, boasting a significant jump in resolution and frame-rate over the company’s previous models.
Hero 7 Black models are capable of recording video at 4K and 60fps, which is stabilised thanks to the company’s HyperSmooth tech, the Mirror says. This means the image should remain smooth while skating or mountain climbing, an issue that has affected older GoPro models. It can also be used at a depth of ten metres without a waterproof housing, ideal for diving fans.
GoPro Hero 7 Black, £349.00, Amazon.co.uk
A guaranteed hit for your gadget-loving partner is giving them a taste of virtual reality. Getting kitted up for the world of VR can be expensive, so Facebook-backed Oculus has launched an entry-level headset to bring the virtual world to those who don’t have a powerful PC or games console.
The Oculus Go is the company’s first standalone headset, with no cables or wires to clutter up your home. Instead, users simply download the Oculus app, which offers a selection of games and experiences. As tech reviews site Tom’s Guide notes, these include the option to build your own virtual space and invite friends over to your online setting to watch films together in VR.
Oculus Go, £199; Amazon.co.uk
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
A luxury watch could be seen as the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, so image how your tech-loving partner will react when they are presented with a Swiss smartwatch.
Wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular, to such an extent that luxury watchmakers have joined the smart revolution in recent years.
Among them is Tag Heuer. Its most recent take on the smartwatch is its Connected Modular 45, an Android Wear-powered device that comes with a host of digital faces inspired by Tag collections. The strap, lugs and body itself are all interchangeable, too, so you can get the right look without spending thousands on a new watch.
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, £1,200, tagheuer.com
If Tag Heuer’s sporty looks don’t quite match your significant other’s watch taste, take a look at Movado’s Connect. The Swiss smartwatch is a sleek and minimalist digital timepiece running Google’s Android Wear software. This lets users switch between different watch faces and designs, all featuring Movado’s signature small aperture at the top of the face that displays the phases of the moon.
Its uncluttered design is far more appealing than most connected timepieces on sale and, with a price tag of £550, it’s a relatively inexpensive entry into the world of luxury smartwatches.
Movado Connect, £550, Movado.co.uk
Nintendo’s Labo kits are the perfect way to tap in to your Valentine’s creative side.
Labo is a series of cardboard-based construction kits that work with the company’s all-in-one Switch console. Players can build models such as a piano, motorbike and even a robot outfit, which all correspond with their own special mini game. It’s a children’s game through and through, but it’s proving to be just as popular with grown-ups, too.
Nintendo Labo kits, from £49.95, Amazon.co.uk
Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse
Computers may have revolutionised life as we know it, but even tech lovers find there’s no substitute for putting pen to paper. That’s where the Italian stationery firm Moleskine comes in.
The company’s Pen+ Ellipse is a smart ink pen that transfers your handwritten notes on to your smartphone or tablet in real time. Not only is this a handy way of backing up your memos, but the pen can also be used to transcribe handwriting into text, too.
Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse, £179, gb.moleskine.com
Bose’s hi-tech Sleepbuds are an ideal gift for a light-sleeping loved one. The newly launched earbuds use “noise-masking technology” to shut out intrusive sounds and help you get a good night’s sleep. The buds play sleep-promoting tracks that hide background noise by mirroring the frequencies of intrusive sounds, such as dogs barking or someone snoring.
But do they work? Well, according to TechRadar: “In true Bose style, the earbuds are brilliantly crafted and definitely designed with ‘premium’ in mind… [they are] extremely comfortable and do what they say on the tin.” The Sleepbuds can be powered wirelessly and you can expect roughly 16 hours of battery life from a single charge.
Bose Sleepbuds, £229.95, bose.co.uk
Astell&Kern A&norma SR15
You’ll want to take a look at this if your loved one prefers to listen to CDs rather than streaming songs over Spotify.
A smartphone may be the most convenient way to listen to music on the go, but the sound quality offered by Astell&Kern’s range of portable players goes beyond what you’d find on an iPhone or iPod.
The A&norma SR15 condenses the company’s high-end audio tech into a cheaper and more portable package. The sound quality is so good, in fact, that What Hi-Fi? says it’s enough to give smartphones “an inferiority complex”.
Astell & Kern A&norma SR15, £599.99, Richer Sounds
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8i
Bang & Olufsen’s H8i headphones aren’t your ordinary pair of luxury speakers. The leather-wrapped headphones analyse extraneous sounds and neutralise them with an equal and opposite sound wave, allowing listeners to appreciate their favourite songs - or podcasts - without interruption.
The headphones can be connected using Bluetooth, too, meaning you won’t have to use any peculiar adapters for newer smartphones like the iPhone XS and Huawei Mate 20 Pro. This also makes them ideal for use at the gym, as you can stash your phone away in a bag and work out unencumbered.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8i, £289, Amazon.co.uk
Focal Utopia by Tournaire
When your Valentine’s love for technology is equal to their passion for jewellery, you need look no further than the Focal Utopia headphones styled by French jeweller Maison Tournaire.
The Tournaire edition of the luxury headphones is adorned with 18kt gold elements on the ear cups and headband joints.
But the opulence doesn’t end there, as these are joined by 6.5ct diamonds and glossy carbon fibre pieces that hold the gold and diamond elements together. You can also buy a bespoke stand for an additional €10,000 (£8,700).
Focal Utopia headphones by Tournaire, €100,000 (£87,500), philippetournaire.com