Holiday Gift Guide for the fashionable techie

When it comes to interests, fashion and technology may seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum — but in reality there’s no reason for the two to be mutually exclusive.

The success of consumer technology often relies on beautiful or compelling design just as much as the hardware beneath the hood. But neither can propel a device to popularity without the help of the other. To achieve blockbuster status in the world of consumer tech, design and functionality have to come together to create a compelling product.

Below are some great holiday gift picks for those fashionable, design-minded techies in your life.

Fitbit Flex 2 plus pendant


From Zenta to Ringly, there are many different options for wearables marketed towards the more fashion savvy individuals out there, but most tend to be fringe upstarts, without much brand history. Fitbit is a notable exception. Not only has it collaborated with hipster brand Public School for an avant-garde Alta collection — it’s offering two luxury jewelry accessories for its new Fibit Flex 2 device, which starts at $129.95 CAD.

The two options are a pendant and bangle, both of which house the Flex inside an oval cage, and both of which cost an additional $129.95. Pictured above is the 22k gold plated pendant. Additionally, the company notes that further collaborations with Public School and Tory Burch are coming soon for the Flex 2, to provide even more high class fashion options for its barebones fitness tracker.

Google Live Case


In search of a completely unique phone case for that special someone’s brand new Google Pixel? Google released its Live Cases in Canada on October 4th. The $50 case can be customized with photos, artwork, a map of a favourite location or Google Earth images.

Each case comes along with a custom live wallpaper experience, making your handset’s design cohesive the whole way through. For the news hounds, there’s also a colourful Live Case that’s wallpaper reflects what is currently trending in the news. For those without a Pixel, Case Station offers a similar service for most new iPhones and Samsung devices, while Case Mate does the same for the iPhone 6/6S, 6/6S Plus, 5/5S and Galaxy S5.

Pebble Time Round


In the smartwatch and fitness tracker landscape, it can be difficult to find options that marry style and functionality in a meaningful relationship. Many of the best options give off the aesthetic vibe that you might hop on to your bicycle and join the Tour de France at any moment.

If you’re aiming to give the gift of a smartwatch that’s a little more everyday chic — the Pebble Time Round should hit the top of your list. The wearable has a classic round design with a thin and light form factor. The $200 device is available with both 14mm and 20mm bands and in rose gold, silver and black finishes. Plus, with the recent news that Pebble is likely being acquired by Fitbit, perhaps we’ll see lowered prices in time for the holidays.

Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones


A good pair of headphones have become a modern necessity for commuters but just because they’re utilitarian doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also look sharp. The W1 chip-powered Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones are an excellent option for the audio junkie with discerning aesthetic judgement. The headphones retail for $329.95 and come in a wide range of colour options — from black (both glossy and matte) to red to light pink.

The fact that the Solo 3s are wireless means you’ll never get caught up in cords — though it takes a 3.5mm cord if you need one. Apple also promises up to 40 hours of battery life, while an illuminated fuel gauge keeps you appraised of when to plug it in. Additionally, the set can be manipulated via the Beats logo button for music controls and to answer calls or activate Siri if you’re an iPhone user. It’s a pair of headphones that offers both form and function.

Nanoleaf Aurora Modular Smart Lighting


The killer half art/half tech living room centerpiece of your dreams has arrived in the form of Nanoleaf lights. Arrange them in any way you’d like and control their colours and functions through an app or the included remote control. Nanoleaf lights will fit pretty much anywhere due to the product’s modular design and can be automatically programmed to turn on at certain times of the day.

For instance, to help with dark winter wake-ups, users could set their Nanoleaf lights to gradually brighten up their room before they have to rise. The lights can also be switched into use with voice commands. But perhaps the Nanoleaf’s greatest source of fun for a design lover is the fact that it can be set to a whopping 16.7 million different colour options — now that’s artistic freedom. A set of nine Nanoleaf tiles is available for $219.99 through Best Buy.

Photography by Igor Bonifacic.