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Valentine's Day gift ideas for him and her: Top tech gear for 2019

Forget flowers and chocolates; nothin’ says “I love you” like a new piece of tech. Your special someone, once they’ve ripped open the gift wrapping, will be glad your gift is not just another cliché.

However, keeping on top of what tech actually deserves the privilege of a place in your better-half’s life can be hard. To save you the trouble of doing all that deep research yourself, the TechRadar team has scoured the interwebs to find this timely selection of tech gift ideas for any budget, and every one of them will tell your better half how special they are.

Wearables

Apple Watch

Your Valentine’s wrist deserves the best companion and, if they’re an iPhone user, then the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch you can buy right now. Let your loved one take calls, answer text and maintain a fit lifestyle, among other things, with this smart little gadget that’s easily customisable, has great performance and looks pretty darn neat too. Plus, this premium smartwatch is available in a range colours to suit everyone.

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Is your special someone an Android user? Then try Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch. It looks very much like a traditional wristwatch, smart and dapper, and is feature packed with an impressive four-day battery life. And there are two colour options to choose from.

TicWatch E

If the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch is out of your monetary reach, then consider the TicWatch E. This smart wearable from Mobvoi is one of our favourites, especially given its affordable price tag for a feature-packed device. Powered by Wear OS, the TicWatch E comes with a built-in GPS, a heart monitor, Google Assistant at your beck and call, and music on the go. And, while most smartwatches come in rose gold and black/grey colour options, the TicWatch E is available in Ice (white) and Shadow (black).

Motiv Ring

If you like it, put a ring on it! Fitness trackers on the wrist are so yesteryear. There are now smart rings you can slip on your better-half’s finger instead. The Motiv ring is a fitness tracker that’s small, waterproof, and does pretty much everything a smart device on your wrist would do – from fitness tracking to sleep monitoring. And it looks good on the finger too, with four colours available in seven different sizes that’ll ensure you get the right finger fit. However, you may need to order a sizing set first to make sure you buy the right size.

Grooming products

Dyson Airwrap Styler

Any style-conscious person will tell you, your crowning glory is your hair. And if your better half loves to get their hair done often, then a one-time investment in the Dyson Airwrap Styler will not only save time and trips to the salon, but also maintain the hair’s health. The Airwrap Styler uses currents of air to create waves or straighten hair, taking heat right out of the equation.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

If that special someone in your life isn’t too keen on keeping their hair styled, then a simple hair dryer will suffice. But there’s nothing ‘simple’ about Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer and the hype behind it is not all hot air. With a powerful air flow, a beautiful and unique design, and a quiet motor, this is the best money can buy. 

Philips Series 7000 BG7025 body grooming kit

For the ultimate body grooming kit, look no further than the Philips Series 7000 BG7025. This is the best your partner can get if they want their hair, from head to toe, to come under control (or be gone, as the case may be). 80 minutes of battery life, a double-ended design and minimal irritation after a shave will keep them happy as can be. And it comes in at an affordable price.

Philips Series 5000 11-in-1 grooming kit

Give your partner more option when it comes to grooming their hair. With 11 different attachments to take care of your better half’s grooming needs from head to toe, you’d think you’ll need to be spending a lot. Think again. This Philips Series 5000 multigrooming kit is less than $100 at most retailers. From the black and chrome colour scheme to the finely ground Chromium steel blades, everything about the Philips Series 5000 11-in-1 feels built to last.

Beverage makers

SodaStream Source Element 

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. So join your partner in keeping the planet plastic free this Valentine’s Day and gift them a SodaStream.

Toddy Cold Brewing System (for tea and coffee)

While most of the world is snuggled up with low temperatures during Valentine’s Day, you and your special someone need something to keep cool. And if you’d like a hit of caffeine while you’re doing that, then get your partner a cold brewing system that can make either iced tea or iced coffee. And the Toddy makes a smooth-tasting brew you’ll be really happy with. Plus it’s easy to use and affordable.

Breville Barista Express espresso machine

Fancy breakfast in bed with a shot of caffeine to wash it all down? Then you both will want this excellent coffee machine from Breville. The grinder is built in, and it gives you oodles of control over your favourite brew so you can enjoy it how you like it. So go on, encourage your partner to make you that perfect cuppa every morning.

Smart home

Lenovo Smart Display

Have some fun together with Google Assistant by getting not just a boring ol’ smart speaker but a smart display. These devices add a face to the digital assistant, allowing you to yell at it to get things done or to gently touch the screen to control your smart home setup. Watch YouTube videos or look at at photos of you and your boo on that screen while you get serenaded by your favourite tunes.

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Google Home Max

Dance with your partner till the cows come home. And to keep the party rocking, you’ll need a speaker with big sound and plenty of smarts, and the Google Home Max fits the bill to a tee. Not only do you get room-filling rich sound, you’ll also have Google Assistant at your beck and call to be a DJ and control your smart home.

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Sonos One

Set up a multiroom speaker system to serenade that special someone while they walk through the house with the twin pack of the Sonos One. Not only do you get excellent sound quality, you also get Amazon’s Alexa to call on for any smarts you need. The Sonos One also supports AirPlay 2, Apple’s Wi-Fi audio streaming technology.

Google Home Mini

Does your partner need a smart device that’s small and demure, yet does everything any of the bigger, bolder and more expensive counterparts can do? The Google Home Mini may not have the hardware for big sound but it sure can do pretty much everything the more powerful speakers can. Here’s a tip though – if you want bigger sound, pop the Google Home Mini in a corner and the sound reverberating off the walls will make it sound richer than it actually is. Plus, it’s tiny enough for any space and yet you can call on Google Assistant to help you control your smart home.

Philips Hue smart lighting system

Set the right mood this Valentine’s Day by gifting your special someone with a smart lighting system that changes hue or colour with the swipe of a finger or a simple voice command. The Philips Hue system is by far the most popular and it’s easy to set up. It works with both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, and it’s own smartphone app is feature packed.

Nanoleaf Canvas

One gift that’s sure to make your boo’s eyes light up (with colour) is the latest product from Nanoleaf. These square light panels bring 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, you and your partner can even play some games on them. And, of course, the coloured lights are perfect for setting the mood too.

No smart devices at home? No sweat. All you need is a smart plug and all your normal, mundane, run-of-the-mill home appliances (like your kettle) can then be controlled with just a single app on your phone from pretty much anywhere. The TP-Link HS110 also features an energy monitoring mode and is easy to set up. Remote access to a smart home that doesn’t have smart devices, need we say more?

Home AV

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB turntable

Your boo have a cache of vinyls hidden away somewhere? 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.

UE Boom 3

Planning to spend Valentine’s Day outdoors? Take your tunes with you on the UE Boom 3. It’s the latest iteration of Ultimate Ears’ excellent Boom Bluetooth speaker range and is the best money can buy. It's both water- and dust-proof, and has a one-touch mix button that lets you pull up your favourite playlists without ever picking up your phone. And there are several colour options to choose from.

Google Chromecast

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to snuggle up together and watch those cheesy rom-coms on streaming services like Netflix and Stan. The good news is you don’t need a smart TV to stream it all on a large screen, you just need this nifty little gadget plugged into an HDMI port of your not-so-smart screen and you can cast from your phone or laptop. Easy.

Miscellaneous

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

Does your special someone have an Instagram addiction? Then this instant camera, which has been designed to resemble the photo-sharing site’s logo, will be perfect. The camera runs on a pair of CR2 batteries and spits out 6.2x6.2cm prints, with the selfie mirror integrated into the front of the camera allowing for more effortless self captures. Fujifilm even throws in orange, purple and green flash filters to allow for an instant injection of colour into images.

Anker PowerCore 20,100 power bank

Need to make sure you hear from your boo often? Then gift them a portable charger that will keep their mobile juiced up, taking away any excuses to not call or text. And the Anker PowerCore 20,100 is one of the best options currently available in Australia that allows multiple devices to be charged at the same time. And it supports quick charge too.

Wacom Bamboo Folio 

Love letters and romantic Post-it notes are so yesterday. But the charm of the love note hasn’t disappeared. This smart notebook will let you indulge in romantic hand-written wordplay with your lover and never allow these sweet nothings to get lost by safely storing them in the cloud. It comprises a smart pen and pad (which can take any paper) that with the push of a button lets you convert your handwriting into 'living' digital files, perfect for the notorious notemakers. The Wacom Inkspace app can then organise, edit and share those musings and sketches with the world or a significant other.

NixPlay Iris W08E Wi-Fi digital photo frame

The memories you create together are important. Show some of them off on a Wi-Fi connected digital frame that lets you change the photos on a whim via an app. Your beautiful memories are displayed on a 4:3 IPS display that comes with an activity sensor. If nothing is moving around in front of it, the display will automatically switch off.