VALENTINE'S DAY is almost upon us and, if you're fed up with overpriced roses, chocolates and champagne, we've got a few ideas to show the gadget lover in your life how much you love them.
Withings Steel HR
If your sweetheart's pulse isn't racing already, it will be when you give them the latest Withings watch - the first with heart rate monitoring and a digital display. Fortunately, they've found a way to integrate it in a way that still leaves you with a gorgeous analogue watch, with the activity dial still present, and then a little circle that toggles your stats including HR, distance, calories, sleep tracking data and phone notifications for those sweet nothings by text. Battery life is incredible. We've had ours in constant use for a fortnight and it's still got over 50 per cent. There's also a silent vibrating alarm (fnar) and it's fully equipped for water sports.
We always say this, but we love Withings, and it's good to see that its new owners Nokia are taking the brand forward with this sexy, sexy new addition.
Firebox always ranks highly on our list of places to check out for techy gifts, and this year has Valentine's day covered with its quirky smartphone magnifier. Fan a cuddle on the sofa while watching Netflix, or a romantic bath while catching up with, er, Mr Robot? (We're tech journalists, alright). This quirky cardboard box, which looks like an old-school TV, transforms your smartphones dinky display into an 8in screen - you simply slot it into the VHS tape-esque slot and you're ready to chill.
Upright Posture Checker
If you need something that'll make him a little stiff, what about the Upright Posture Checker. It's not the first posture checker we've seen, the collar attaching Lumo Lift takes that dubious honour, but Upright gets stuck where the sun don't shine.
Yes. Upright teaches you to sit upright by sticking a tracking device to your back with a piece of velcro. We're not joking. Sticky velcro pads. And to be fair, thanks to the detailed training guides, you actually have some hope of sticking (arf) to this one. There's very little to learn. Download the app, sit in your chair, don't slouch or you'll get tingles down your spine - not from your love, but from some velcro and plastic vibrating.
We get it and we don't get it. It's a nice idea, but really… we can't quite get over a wearable that requires velcro on skin. It's somehow not romantic.
iHome Millenium Falcon Speaker
If the way to a man (or woman's) heart is through their Star War, then this series of gorgeous replicas from the latest film are perfect, especially as they hold a secret. No, not just the MP3 speaker part, but the fact that when they're off, by touching in just the right place (fnar) you can make it play the Star Wars theme.
It works either as a wired speaker or a Bluetooth jobbie, and the sound quality is perhaps not spectacular, but more than acceptable, and more importantly, it looks like a Millenium Falcon so shut up, that's why. Also available in Tie Fighter, Destroyer Stormtrooper head, C3PO head and (of course) Darth Vader head. Just gorgeous. The force will be strong in this one
The Star Wars speaker range is available from Mobile Fun with prices starting at £49.99 up to £149.99 if you're giving Heads.
Olixar 3-in-1 Stylus, Pen and Massive Tool
You never know when the chance will come to prove yourself a hero, and let's face it - being prepared is sexy. Thus, you can do worse than avail yourself of this pen. Made of rugged metal, you'd think the bonus would be the stylus - but you have seen nothing yet friend. For by taking off the bulbous nib, you expose a spring loaded mini battering ram of awesomeness that will break glass. Yes, even Gorilla Glass.
In testing, we have to be honest, we didn't have any glass we were willing to break, but we did manage to make some impressive dents in the steel office filing cabinet, which was enough to convince us.
So if you're up for showing off what you can do with the rear-ended head of your massive tool, then this is ideal.
Knomo Beauchamp backpack
If your Mrs owns more gadgets than you can shake a stick at, Knomo's Beauchamp backpack might be the perfect Valentine's gift (if you're happy to cough up, er, £129, that is). Not only does the bag, which comes crafted from woven premium nylon with real leather detailing, look gorgeous, it packs with more compartments than even team INQ managed to stuff full of gadgets, with dedicated slots for your laptop, smartphone, portable charger and more.
The bag also packs an anti-RFID external scanning pocket where you can protect your contactless cards and NFC-equipped devices from modern-day thieves.
Kitvision Immerse 360
So you can't be with the one you love on Valentine's Day. That's okay. We've got a plan. Kitvision (relation of Kitsound) has just released its first 360-degree action camera which will allow you to create a VR video of yourself for your beloved to view on their VR headset. With live monitoring via wifi, this is a cut above the 4K camera we reviewed last year.
The results are impressive 1080p videos or stills as either full VR, panorama, circle or dome. And if that wasn't enough, it's waterproof too (in supplied case). It comes with a whole range of accessories and will also work with most other action cam accessories.
It has been suggested that this might be used for something other than simply an immersive Valentine's message. We have no idea what that means. But at under £100 to make your own VR in Full HD? There's a lot to love.
The gadget fiddlers at iFixit have stuck it to Redmond's new fondle slate hybrid
Intel could get rudely pushed aside in favour of custom ARM CPUs
Sky Mobile becomes first UK operator to show its hand
Sweeping layoffs come as firm shelves plans for an Essential Phone 2