Buying a gift can often be hit or miss. With our help, however, you can avoid that awkward post-unwrapping malaise stemming from poorly feigned excitement. Though tech can obviously be enjoyed by men and women alike, we've scoured the web to find unique tech gifts that women may especially appreciate.
If you need more gift-giving inspiration, check out our round up of the best tech gifts for men.
The Misfit Ray is a stylish and understated fitness tracker that comes in a plethora of colours. It monitors your steps, calories, sleep, distance traveled, is waterproof and can connect to your phone. In fact, we were so impressed with the Misfit Ray, we gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 in our review. And it’s only £49.99/US$79.99 on Amazon.
And don't forget, there is also the Misfit Shine 2 (below)...
Misfit Shine 2
The Misfit Shine 2 earned a 4 out of 5 star rating in our round up of best fitness and activity trackers 2018. What’s great about Shine 2 is that it can be worn as a bracelet – or an attractive pendant while still tracking your fitness metrics.
You can increase the wow-factor and pair the Shine 2 with compatible necklaces, like the Transer Stainless Steel necklace (pictured) which cost less than a tenner on Amazon. US visitors can find a similar necklace here for $9.99.
Bezels & Bytes Jewellery
If you’ve sworn your alliance to Fitbit (or the Apple Watch), you still have plenty of options for glam-cessorizing. Okay, that’s not a real word – but Bezels & Bytes are the real deal when it comes to flipping the minimally designed bands of fitness tech into bold fashion statements.
The company is based in the US and offer a number of styles for the Fitbit Flex (US$78/around £55), Flex 2 (from $68/around £48), Charge 2 ($20/ around £14) as well as bands and cuffs for the Apple Watch (from $20/around £14).
And if you're unsure as to which style to pick, Bezels & Bytes also offer gift cards of various values, so your gift recipient can have the ultimate say.
Bellabeat Leaf Health Tracker
Okay, one last fitness tracker! We couldn't leave the Bellabeat Leaf out as it's perhaps the only gadget on this list that is most catered to women.
Co-founder Urška Sršen, named Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016, specifically had women’s health in mind when she began the company with Sandro Mur. Outside of activity tracking and sleep monitoring, the Bellabeat Leaf offers personalised insights to manage stress, and when paired with the app, tracks the wearer's menstrual cycles and fertility.
It’s versatile enough to be clipped onto clothing or worn as a necklace or bracelet. There are two styles available: the Nature Health Tracker (pictured) and the Urban Health Tracker (£129.85/US$138.98), both of which can be found in silver and rose gold.
PlayStation Plus 12 Month Membership
If the person you’re buying a gift for someone who is more interested in smashing personal bests and records in the gaming sense, a PlayStation Plus membership may be more welcome.
A 12-month PlayStation Plus membership grants additional discounts and up to 24 free game downloads. You could get a membership directly from PlayStation, but to avoid the complication of setting up payment on behalf of someone else's account, you could turn to Amazon instead. There you can find the 12-month subscription option, as we well as shorter subscriptions for 6 months (£37.99 - UK only), 3 months (£19.85/US$24.99), or 1 month (US$9.99 - US only).
If she prefers Xbox, you can also find Xbox Live Gold memberships, which similarly gets members discounts and free games every month. You can buy a subscription for 12-month (£37.85/US$59.99, 6-month (£29.99/US$39.90) and 3-month (£14.86/US$24.99) terms.
Zivix Jamstik+ Smart Guitar
For the musically inclined, this smart guitar from Zivix is sure to send waves of gratitude blasting through the air.
The jamstik+ is the world’s first smart guitar and was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, where it raised $813,803. You can now find it in Amazon’s Launchpad category, which promotes devices and products from innovative startups. The jamstik+, which is essentially a MIDI controller, connects via Bluetooth to iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and Mac) and is portable enough for you play anywhere.
What’s “smart” about this guitar is that it can sense the player’s finger movements and placement and translate it on to the device screen in real time. This grants immediate feedback on how accurately you’re playing.
The jamstick+ also includes an app to teach the fledgling guitarist, which is great if the person you're buying for has always pined to be a guitar hero.
Vinci Smart Headphones
Here's another super-cool tech gift from Amazon's Launchpad, where it was featured (which may not come as a surprise, as the Vinci headphones are Amazon Alexa compatible). Yet on its own merit, these headphones have a range of other excellent features that make it a showstopping gift.
First off, the Vinci headphones are completely hands-free. You can simply say what you feel like listening to and Vinci's AI software will find and play what suits you. As expected of AI, it learns from your listening preferences and habits, so you could just say "Play my favourite song" and it would know what you mean. For non-hands-free use, there is also a touchscreen to change volume and tracks which respond to tap gestures.
These smart headphones can connect to Wi-Fi or a 3G cellular network, so you don't need to be tethered to your mobile device to stream music, though it does allow Bluetooth connectivity if you want. You can choose to stream from Spotify, SoundCloud, and Amazon Music directly.
Plus, on its own the Vinci comes with 16GB of storage, and with microphones by either ear-muff to allow binaural sound recording (which captures the way humans experience sound in a real space).
Kate Spade Charging Wristlet
If you want a gift that combines fashion and functionality, you can't go wrong with this charging wristlet from Kate Spade.
This wristlet fits a 1500mAh power bank that can charge your devices up to two times. There should also be enough room inside the wristlet for both your phone and the powerbank.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Know a lady with long luscious locks who laments hair damage? The Dyson Supersonic may be just what she needs. Sure, it's pricey for what it is, but it's also lighter, quieter, faster, and smarter. In fact, we loved this hair dryer so much we gave it 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Dyson Supersonic features a heat-control system that communicates the temperature to the microprocessor 20 times a second, to ensure that the airflow is never too hot to damage the hair.
With a motor that spins 110,000 times a minute, Dyson has engineered a hair dryer that cuts down both on on dry time, and decibels (Dyson says it reaches an "inaudible frequency" to human ears). As a result of the speed, the dryer needs less heat to dry hair, causing less damage.
The motor is also in the handle, which balances out the weight compared to the traditional dryer design. This makes for a more ergonomic drying experience. If you're willing to spend a little more, this gift is sure to make the recipient and her hair happy.
Okay, we lied. One more fitness tracker: the Fitbit Versa. It's the latest from Fitbit and is aimed towards women (though men can use it as well).
Apart from the physical look, which is designed for narrower wrists, the Versa – like the Bellabeat Leaf – tracks menstrual health, and more uniquely, offers educational content about fertility and reproductive health for younger users through the Fitbit app.
It's available in Aluminum Black (with a black band), Rose Gold (with a peach band), and Silver Aluminum (with a grey band). There are also the Special Edition versions, which cost £199/99/$229.95 in Graphite Aluminum (with a charcoal band) and Rose Gold Aluminum (with a lavender band).
You can see our full review here.