Let’s face it: it’s bloody hard shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone, and just getting a cute card, some chocolates and flowers aren’t going to cut it these days. Instead, get your significant other – or even yourself – a brand new toy to play with as nothing brings out your tech appeal like a new gizmo or gadget to spoil your loved one with.
However, with technology evolving at a rapid rate, it’s admittedly hard to keep up with all things tech that your better half deserves. So, to save you from having to stress out on what to get someone this Valentine’s Day, the Australian TechRadar team has scoured the realm to shortlist the top 15 tech gift ideas across different budgets, and every one of them will show your partner how special they are to you.
Folding book lamp
If your better half is a book lover, this gift will be a very sweet addition to their bedside table – a portable lamp that looks exactly like a real book. Thanks to its adaptable design, the lamp can be opened up to reveal pages or stored away as a closed novel. It even opens up into a full circle like a round folding fan. It’s a beautiful little light that’s not widely available in Australia, but you can find it on Amazon and on eBay.
Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing, and if you’ve got a loved one in your life who’s all about old-school games, then the Sega Mega Drive Mini (known as the Sega Genesis Mini in the US) is one heck of a gift. It comes pre-loaded with 40 classic games and two bonus titles, so there’s plenty to play together as you reminisce on old favourites. Sega poured plenty of love into this smaller replica of the original, making it a thoughtful Valentine’s gift.
Read our in-depth Sega Mega Drive Mini/Genesis Mini review
If your special someone is an avid reader, then set their heart aflutter with a Kindle Oasis. This ultra-sleek ereader from Amazon can store thousands of books, and it’s a delight to have and to hold. Its all-metal casing means it has a premium feel to back up its many features, which includes an automatically adjusting backlight that will change hue as the day progresses. There’s seven inches of screen real estate and the 300ppi E Ink display makes pages appear exactly like a physical printed page. Did we mention it’s waterproof? Perfect for bathtime reading, or by the pool and beach.
Read our in-depth Amazon Kindle Oasis review
This wearable from Fitbit pulls double time as a fitness tracker and a smartwatch – so it can cater to all your loved ones needs. It’s not over-the-top on smartwatch features, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for the everyday user. There’s a number of colour variants available, including a special edition woven band that looks very nice on the wrist.
Read our in-depth Fitbit Versa 2 review
Retro jukebox Bluetooth speaker
If they’re nostalgic for the vintage feel of a bygone era, this charming countertop jukebox has built-in speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. It’s reminiscent of classic ‘50s style, with retro LED lights bordering the sides. A fun way to listen to their favourite tunes, especially if they’re into rock’n’roll. Different designs and styles are available in Australia, with two affordable options listed on Amazon – a gorgeous brightly coloured jukebox from Victrola and another, more demure brown version from ClearClick.
Available in two classic styles that suit pretty much everyone, these are more than just mere sunglasses – they have built-in speakers with Bluetooth connectivity so your significant other can enjoy their fave tunes. The best part is nobody will be able to eavesdrop either as the speakers point inwards to the user’s ears, and that ensures only about 1% of sound is leaked. So walk around in a busy area hand-in-hand and nobody around you will know what you’re listening to. There’s also audio augmented reality built in, which allows you to play around with third party apps as well. There’s only three hours of battery life on board, so they’re never really going to replace traditional headphones, but they’re a pretty cool and very stylish gift.
Read our in-depth Bose Frames review
A great way to enjoy Valentine’s Day evening is to relax at home with your special someone and enjoy a drink, or two. SodaStream’s Source Element has three levels of fizz to tingle your taste buds, available right there on the appliance’s LED display. The carbon dioxide canister is refillable and there are plenty of places throughout Australia that will do it for you, including some major supermarkets and petrol stations. So join your partner in keeping the planet plastic free this Valentine’s Day and gift them a SodaStream.
One gift that’s sure to make your significant other’s eyes light up (with colour) is one of the best products from Nanoleaf, the company that specialises in lighting products with a difference. The Nanoleaf Canvas is a set of square light panels that add life to any old boring wall and make it interactive. Not only will the lights dance to those love songs you’ll be listening to on Valentine’s Day, you and your partner can even play some games on them as they’re touch-sensitive. You can either create your own light patterns and games, or choose from thousands already available on the app. The Canvas can be controlled by voice assistants, by touch or via the app and, of course, the coloured lights are perfect for setting the mood too.
Read our in-depth Nanoleaf Canvas review
Scribble sweet nothings for your partner on this smart pad. You can use the pen to write on any paper you like, then use the companion app to convert it into a digital version which you can send to your loved one. Heck, you can even create a shopping list for Valentine’s Day on it and make sure your better half walks through the door bearing bags of goodies. Anything more important can also be saved to other cloud services like Dropbox.
Has your significant other been hoarding a cache of vinyls somewhere because there’s no way to listen to them? Then gift them this turntable and watch as they dust off those records with delight. The AT-LP120-USB can play 33 ⅓, 45 and 78 RPM, meaning there isn’t an album that can’t be played. There’s also a built-in phono preamp so you never have to worry about finding one on your own. This deck strikes the perfect balance of ease of use for beginners while still including some more advanced features for your special someone to grow into.
Show how much you appreciate your better half by adding some ‘me time’ to their day with this superb robot vacuum cleaner. This little helper can be scheduled to start at a specific time, won’t tumble down the stairs and automatically recharge when done, giving you (or your significant other) the more time to spend with each other, doing things you’d rather be doing than chores.
Read our in-depth iRobot Roomba 980 review
Polaroid is the original name in instant photography but if you thought its hay day has come and gone, think again. If your special someone loves taking pictures of both of you, then the Polaroid OneStep 2 will let them instantly look at the physical images, without the need for an electronic screen. The OneStep 2 is a throwback to the original 1970s OneStep, and oozes retro charm, is easy to use and spits out great square prints.
This small device fits into the palm of your hand and can spew out all those lovely snaps you and your boo take together. It connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and does not require any ink to print photos. Instead, it uses 2 x 3 inch Zink paper that is infused with colour crystals. These melt during the printing process and you’ll have plenty of memories to share in physical form. The Canon Mini Print app also lets you get creative by applying filters to customise your smartphone snaps.
Love Google Assistant? Bring its smarts into the bedroom with the Lenovo Smart Clock. It’s an unassuming little smart display that will wake up with your significant other (or you) to help start the day, and can serenade them to sleep at night with their favourite tunes. While it looks like a pretty unassuming digital alarm clock perfect for the bedside table, it’s essentially a nice little smart display that can control any smart home devices you or your partner may already be using.There’s also no built-in camera, so you’ll have privacy in the bedroom to do… stuff.
Read our in-depth Lenovo Smart Clock review