There are gifts that are practical, gifts that are functional, and then there are gifts that are just… wowsers, that’s beautiful. If you’re looking to impress someone with a show-stopping present, this list of gadgets has been imbued with great design, and they’re all really useful to boot. Good news: Beautiful does not always mean budget-breaking (though there are a few splurge-worthy items here too). Here’s a list of gorgeous gadgets I’m excited to send to some lucky friends and family members this year—shh!
1. A wireless charging pad you won’t mind leaving on the table
Your Qi-compatible smartphone can charge wirelessly, but it doesn’t want to rest it’s rump on just any charger—the Belkin Boost is like a chic landing pad, and its matte surface grips your device while restoring its battery life, even working through most cases. This pleasant-looking charger is compatible with a range of devices including the Samsung Galaxy and Note, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, and more.
2. A smart speaker that sounds even more incredible than it looks
Alexa gets around, and in the Sonos One she’s never sounded better. Sonos is known for its incredible sound quality and whole-home audio system that’s easy for anyone to set up. This speaker is beautifully designed, and when you ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM and hundreds more streaming music services, the sound quality will be better than an of Amazon’s own devices can provide.
3. A smarter indoor security camera
The Nest Cam IQ is Nest Cam’s prettier, smarter sister. The IQ is beautifully designed to look at home on any bookshelf or table you stand it on, but its brains are what really stand out. Its sophisticated motion detection can tell the difference between a bird flying by and a burglar entering your home. It even recognizes familiar and unfamiliar faces (so you won’t get alerts every time your kids walk by). A 4K sensor with HDR means that whatever the camera picks up, the picture will be brilliant, even at night.
4. A camera to interact with your pets any time
It can be tough to leave a pet at home (those puppy dog eyes certainly don’t make it easy). Petcube Bites is pet monitor with perks: a 1080p HD video with wide angle lens keeps an eye on your dog or cat while you’re away, and two-way voice lets you talk to your pets any time. Built-in motion and sound detection will let you know if your cat resurfaces from a jaunt outside, and the camera can even dish out treats to your pet for good behavior. This smart camera also works with Alexa, so you can use voice commands to fling treats for Fido.
5. A charger for all your devices that blends in with your decor
Charging multiple devices typically means knots of unsightly cables. Until everything goes wireless, tidy up with the Eclipse charger, which allows you to charge three devices simultaneously, keeping cables neat and easy to access. When not in use, it collapses to hide all the mess with a single touch. This USB hub is compatible with iOS devices, Android, as well as micro USB and even USB-C devices, and it comes in beautiful colors that will compliment any decor.
6. A smart toaster that can cook almost anything
When is a toaster not a toaster? When It can roast a 14-pound turkey, make a pizza, air fry some tater tots, and even dehydrate fruit. Element IQ technology sends power where it’s needed, above or below the food, and each of the six heating elements adjusts individually depending on what mode you choose, creating a precise environment for perfect results. Oh, and when you do need it for toast? You can get nine slices going at a time.
7. A carry-on that can charge your phone while you wait to board
This carry-on is the smartest suitcase you’ll ever travel with because it has thought of everything. The glossy polycarbonate shell is virtually indestructible, a built-in tracker ensures you can find it if it goes missing, an integrated battery will charge your phone while you wait in the terminal, and a carry-handle doubles as a scale so you can ensure you haven’t overpacked.
8. A smart luggage tracker for stress-free travel
If you want to give your regular luggage some extra intelligence, tuck these trackers inside them so you can check in on them with the smartphone app—you’ll be notified when your luggage is out of range with real-time distance monitoring. Specify the desired range for an alarm to activate so you know your bags are always close by, whether you’re flying, on a cruise, driving, or anything in between.
9. His and hers Android smart watches
Having Google Assistant on your wrist means things like the weather report, map directions, to calendar dates and text messages are never more than an “OK Google” away. Michael Kors makes two beautiful smart watches—the Grayson (for him) is water resistant up to 30 meters in handsome stainless steel, and features an activity tracker and a 24 hour battery. The Sofie (for her) is a bold accessory encrusted with crystals, and can be customized with countless different bands (not included). Both run Android Wear, so they’re as smart as they are stylish.
10. A WiFi system that gives you better signal across your home
Eero puts an end to bad home Wifi with its clever system that uses a base unit and beacons that you plug into outlets around your home to boost the signal. It performed better than all the other models we tested, making it the best mesh WiFi system out there. The eero app helps you keep tabs on your Wifi health, letting you know if things are running slowly, or if the internet is out. The app also walks you through the system’s setup, which makes it a cinch to get started. This bundle comes with the eero and a beacon, which will cover a 1- or 2-bedroom home, and there are options for larger homes too.
11. A wireless speaker you’d never know was a tech gadget
Urbanears is known for their rainbow of bright colors and simple designs—and their new Bluetooth speakers follow suit with an all-over monochrome style that looks more like a minimalist children’s toy than an audio source. Whether your decor calls of a hit of dirty pink, goldfish orange, or indigo blue, Urbanears has you covered, and it will even remember your favorite music streaming presets or hook up to your old turntable.
12. A TV designed to look like a work of art
For those of us who think a TV should be seen only when watched, the Samsung Frame transforms itself into a beautiful work of art when not in use. Choose from a hundred curated art pieces, or your own photos, to display on the 4K HDR screen. The TV is framed in a gallery-style bezel made of wood, white, or metal, so you can find one that compliments your home best. The included wall mount is designed so the TV sits so close to the wall, you’d swear it was a real picture.
13. Stunning headphones that sound as good as they look
For those of you clinging to wired headphones (present company included), this over-ear pair brings great sound quality, which is why Reviewed named them the best headphones of 2017. The ear pads are made of cushy memory foam, the headband is comfortable enough you can wear them as long as you’d like, and the rich sound is pleasing to everyone, newbies and audiophiles alike. These cans come with three cables, including a smartphone-compatible cable with in-line controls and a mic so your calls will sound just as great as your tunes.
14. An electric skateboard perfect for city-dwellers
If you could use a little boost on your commute, or you’re just tired of circling for a parking spot, having a portable, electric skateboard could be a godsend. The Boosted board can reach speeds up to 22 mph, and the powerful motors can go 6-7 miles on a single charge. Use the Bluetooth remote to control your board when you ride, so quick braking and rapid acceleration are easy to achieve. Now you can show up at work without breaking a sweat, and leave your car at home.
15. A VR headset that’s as pretty to look at as it is fun to use
If you’ve been wanting to dip your toe in the world of virtual reality, this headset from Google is a great place to start. Most VR headsets look positively clunky and Terminator-like, but Daydream is soft, lightweight, wrapped in linen, and comes in colors you won’t mind wearing as an accessory. Browse a number of fascinating games or environments through the Daydream app, then teleport to a concert, sporting event, or under the sea in full 360-degree panoramic view. A controller helps you navigate around, and the headset is compatible with Google Pixels, Samsung Galaxy S8/+, LG V30s, and many other smartphones.
16. A smart lamp that add character to any room
This lamp offers Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, in an avant-garde outfit. The Sol by GE is a striking smart light that allows you to choose any color to fit your mood, and it even has visual cues for a clock or timer. With Alexa built in, you can control this and other smart lights, check the weather, play music, or leverage thousands of other Alexa skills. Part functional and part aesthetic, the way all smart home products should be.
17. A pocket-sized printer you can take anywhere
With technology becoming a bigger part of the fabric of everyday life, it’s only natural we begin to yearn for the retro, the analog, and the tactile. This handheld, wireless printer will turn digital pictures into photos you can hold by wirelessly printing them from your phone. You can even connect your social media accounts to print your favorite Instagram and Facebook photos. Get creative and customize images before you print with the HP Sprocket App by adding text, borders, and emojis.
18. A retro-inspired sparkling water maker to kick that sugary soda habit
We drink a lot of carbonated water at our house, and I thought I already had an attractive carbonator…until I saw Aarke. There’s something retro and industrial about the design, which features a pull-down handle and not much else in gleaming stainless steel (my old plastic carbonator is currently on a timeout in a cupboard). The included PET plastic bottle is accented in metal to match, and each CO2 carbonator cartridge (not included) will replace 120 single-use plastic water bottles—style you can feel good about.
19. A portable battery charger that fits any modern style
When you’re traveling, watching your smartphone battery die is just about the worst thing short of missing your flight. Making sure you always have a way to power up is critical, and Mophie’s rechargeable universal battery will charge a smartphone up to seven times. It doesn’t hurt that the slim design is extra stylish (and it comes in rose gold, too).
20. An elegant aromatherapy diffuser
The holidays are stressful—take some deep breaths with this hand-crafted ceramic diffuser nearby and enjoy the calming effects of aromatherapy as you bake cookies or wrap presents. Just 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oils will diffuse a 250-square-foot space, so you’ll be holiday zen in no time. Ultrasonic vibrations diffuse without heat so essential oils retain more of their magic powers to keep you calm amidst the chaos. Plus, it’s pretty, which will make you oh so ho-ho-happy.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.