The days of traditional Valentines gifts are under threat because you can now express your love in a multitude of high-tech ways. If you take your time finding the right present for your loved-one, they will be able to enjoy it for a long time to come and potentially remember the sentiment behind it every day. Flowers are wonderful and are close to magical in the eyes of some, but time passes and they die. Chocolates taste good for only a few seconds and so we are aiming to make Valentine’s Day gifts something that will last for much longer and the fact that they are extremely clever or high-tech does not mean that they are any less romantic. We hope to offer you some inspiration and with some careful consideration, you may be able to find the perfect gift that shows how you feel and which is also useful and memorable in a modern romantic way. Love is expressed every day in many different ways so why not express your emotions with a carefully considered gadget? It’s 2017 after all.
A truly smart-looking smartwatch
This classy looking dress watch will suit any arm and goes well with casual or smart clothing. Despite the size of the watch, it’s design is somewhat genderless and because the trend is moving towards bigger watches it really can be suitable for anyone who deserves a special Valentine’s Day. Underneath the modern styling is some clever Bluetooth technology that connects to any smart phone running the Casio Watch+ app and which is capable of many useful things. You can receive email alerts directly to the watch in the subtlest of ways. The World Time dial can be set up from your phone and you can also set alarms and change other settings without touching the watch. On the other hand, if you lose your phone, the watch will help you to find it immediately. It’s not obviously romantic, but it will be a treasured and emotional gift to receive.
The Casio Ediface costs £325/ $410. For more info, visit casio-europe.com
A romantic photo experience
What can be more romantic than picking up an authentic feeling camera from the past, using real film and snapping the person you love? The I-1 Analog Instant Camera is designed for this exact purpose, but it can also take advantage of an app which lets you control shutter speed and aperture as well as some useful creative tools. It is the perfect balance between old and new photography and may help strike the perfect balance in your relationship as well. We should also mention that it is a beautiful thing to just look at when not in use.
The I-1 Analog Instant Camera costs £300/ $360. For more information, visit impossible-project.com
The perfect way to listen to love songs
Music should be enjoyed in the best possible environment and the AKG K92 headphones are the perfect choice to give to anyone who has a musical bent. They are ultra-stylish, eliminate background noise extremely well and are so comfortable that you will not even realise you are wearing them. Add to this a price that defies logic and we are looking at one of the best value headphones you can buy today. Indeed, the quality is so good that they are perfect for cosy evenings in with a hot chocolate and a selection of your favourite slow love songs.
AKG K92 headphones cost £50/$65. For more information, visit akg.com
Read as many romantic novels as you want
Books are given as gifts all of the time and the right title can be perfect for Valentine’s Day because it will show that you understand your partner. You could also give the gift of a Kindle and give them the ability to carry thousands of books anywhere they want to and they will also be able to enjoy reading in a way that feels much more traditional than reading from a backlit screen. Amazon has nailed the digital reading experience and with weeks of battery life included as well, it really is a strangely romantic choice.
The Amazon Kindle costs £60/$80. For more information, visit amazon.com
Take better couple selfies with this drone
The Breeze 4K will let you explore places in ways that you never imagined before. You can capture you and your partner in a romantic pose from above and you can both have fun flying it and marvelling at the quality of the video it can grab from seemingly impossible angles. Drones are not normally considered to be an object of love, but when you both start to appreciate the abilities of the Breeze 4K, you will have a new shared interest to help you pass the time together. It is a surprisingly absorbing and fun gadget for couples.
The Breeze 4K costs £320/$400. For more information, visit yuneec.com
Love your retro gaming?
The Nintendo Classic Mini is a highly sought after item that offers a genuine retro game experience from a device that you can fit in your hand. The included controller is an exact replica of the original and with 30 games included, all you need to do is buy another controller and you and your partner can share your love of gaming all over again. Everything is original and the pixel perfect games will take you back to a time when gaming was tough and when everything seemed more engaging in spite of the simplistic graphical elements.
The Nintendo Classic Mini costs £50/$60. For more information, visit nintendo.com
Get a 120-inch home cinema screen
A cosy evening reliving that special holiday or even your wedding day would not feel the same when watching the home movies on a phone. The RIF6 CUBE handily solves this problem by displaying your memories up to 120 inches, making it an incredibly small projector that is capable of big things. The bright bulb will survive for more than 20,000 hours, 90 minutes of life is available from one charge and you can even use it for gaming in place of a dedicated console. It is one of the most flexible and useful mobile gadgets we have seen.
The RIF6 Cube costs £240/$300. For more information, visit rif6.com
The record player that sounds as good as it looks
There is little doubt that music when played on vinyl offers a crispness and depth that is not found on technically better platforms. Certain genres of music suit the sound it provides best and just like photos taken with a traditional filter, the personality comes out in every note and every line. The ProJect VT-E takes this further by offering a vertical turntable that can either be stood up or mounted on a wall, making it something wonderful to look at as well as to listen to. Sound quality is quite superb and at no point is there a sense that this is a product jumping on the recent revival of vinyl. It’s authentic, very well made and perfect for those times when you both just want to sit down, relax and enjoy some classic tunes from the days when vinyl was the king of the music hill.
The ProJect VT-E costs £270/$350. For more information, visit project-audio.com
This is an extract from a feature that appeared in Gadget issue 18, available to buy now.