New, shiny tech is often associated with dedicated followers of fashion. If this rings a smartphone-shaped alarm bell about your friendship-circle or family life, then check out these ten great options for Christmas presents – they’re not only smart but gloriously good-looking too.
The Fitbit Charge 2 heart rate and fitness wristband has it all. Multi-Sport Tracking mode delivers real-time stats right on wrist during a workout, whether it’s running, using weights, practicing yoga or engaged in another form of exercise, plus the continuous heart rate monitoring shows how hard you’re working, and tracks a more accurate calorie burn. When connected to your phone’s GPS, it monitors pace and distance while on the move, then displays a map of your route post exercise. Smart Track automatically recognises when you are exercising and the Charge 2 comes with an automatic sleep tracking function that shows how much time is spent in light, deep and REM sleep. What’s more, it looks great on the wrist and comes with interchangeable accessory bands in many different colours.
Buy a Fitbit Charge 2 for £139.99 from Fitbit
This is television as retro designer furniture, a combination of Samsung’s electronic savvy and the sculptural vision of Parisian designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Viewed from the side it resembles a capital letter ‘I’, hence the Serif moniker, while the rear ports are discreetly hidden behind a removable fabric cover. The Bouroullec brothers also brought their design style to the TV’s remote and user-interface, so this feels about as ‘bespoke’ as a television gets. It can be placed on a shelf or mantelpiece, or else it rests on a chic, minimal stand. The image looks beautiful too, the 4K resolution making it pin sharp.
Buy a Samsung Serif TV for £499 from Samsung
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
This wireless speaker looks very funky, coming in six different colours that’ll work with any design theme. Its compact, ergonomic design make it simple to use and highly portable, and it’s even waterproof, so your style hound can have it blasting out in the shower or bobbing around in a bath. For something this size it’s got a surprisingly big, bassy 360° sound, and it’ll pump out the tune for 10 hours when fully charged, more than enough to keep everyone partying into the early hours.
Buy the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom wireless speaker for £74.99 from Amazon
Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer
This classic streamlined design is so iconic it’s worth having in the kitchen on artistic merit alone. But if your giftee also happens to be a Bake Off nut, all the better. It’s remarkable to think the Kitchen Aid has been around for over a century now, and even more surprising to see how little it has changed in that time – proof that the greatest design is also built to last. It remains extremely versatile and easy to use, and comes with a range of accessories that will keep even the most adventurous pastry chef busy for hours on end.
Buy the Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer for £349 from Amazon
It’s something of an irony that when each of us has hundreds, even thousands, of photos stored on our phones and other digital devices, we are less likely to share these images as hardcopies. Aura’s picture frame is an elegant piece of tech designed for precisely this problem. Using an ultra-HD display, it links wirelessly to digital devices and is able to automatically display images even as they’re taken. Using ‘Smart Selection’, it automatically avoids duplicates, lo-res or blurry images and anything, well, more personal. Giving it as a gift, you’ll be able to pre-select photos to appear on the frame right after they receive it.
Buy the Aura digital picture frame for £250 from Aura
The Fitbit Alta HR is the slimmest heart rate and fitness wristband around, and with interchangeable accessory bands in ten different colours, you’re bound to find the right one to satisfy the fashionista in your life. As well as doing all the usual, like keeping track of steps, calories, continuous heart rate and distance, Smart Track mode automatically recognises that you’re exercising, while an Auto Sleep Tracking mode monitors the different stages of your sleep. And connected via the app, you can chart your progress to a healthier life and set new fitness goals via smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Buy a Fitbit Alta HR for £129.99 from Fitbit
These wireless on-ear headphones are perfect for the style-conscious music lover, and come in 16 different colours, including Cosmic Purple, Bonfire Orange and Snow Blue. They’re easy to synch with whatever digital device they might be using, provide 14 hours of playtime on a single charge, and have a washable headband and collapsible design for portability. And they’re ergonomic too – rather than fiddly buttons, the user simply swipes or taps the earcup to cycle through a playlist or pick up phone calls.
Buy Urbanears Plattan ADV wireless headphones for £52 from Amazon
How about something for the coffee obsessive in your life? The retro styling of this X7 coffee maker could almost double as a space invader from a 1950s B-movie, and comes care of architect Luca Trazzi. It’s twinned with Italian coffee producer Illy, which makes the iperEspresso capsules that go in the machine, and comes with a temperature gauge, milk frother and easy to clean components. Chose from three different colour schemes – shiny red, white or black.
Buy the Francis Francis X& espresso coffee maker for £140 from Amazon
Meet the suitcase that will strut the luggage carousel like a catwalk model. As well as looking the part, the Carry-On by Away is extremely practical. It features two compartments (one for clothes, the other for toiletries and shoes), a zipper/combination lock, 360° rotating wheels for ease of movement, and,/ in a really neat touch, a built-in battery that can charge any USB device. Its tough polycarbonate casing is all-but unbreakable, and it comes in eight standard colours, as well as limited editions like Minions Yellow.
Buy Away Luggage from £225 at Away
Digital meets analogue in the vintage styling of the Polaroid Snap. It features a 10-megapixel camera with three different modes – normal, black & white and vintage sepia tone, and prints 3×2-inch photos instantly (with or without the classic polaroid border). A USB port enables it to connect to other devices and the MicroSD card can be upgraded to store more images. Available in white, black, blue and red, those with a taste for old school design classics will love it.
Buy a Polaroid Snap Instant digital camera from £90 at Amazon
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