13 best holiday gifts for technology lovers in 2017

ByDanny Mavromatis WPVI logo
Danny Mavromatis' 2017 technology holiday gift guide
Get the lowdown on more than a dozen of this year's hottest tech gifts for the holiday season.

Danny Mavromatis (@dannymav) has run mavromatic.com, a technology and product review website, since 2004. Every product listed in this gift guide has been thoroughly reviewed by Danny so you don't have to. Gift ideas range from the obtainable to the extravagant, so one is sure to fit within any budget.


Nomad Ultra Rugged Universal Cable ($34.95)

Life's too short to ever have to worry if you have the right cable with you or not. That's why the Nomad universal cable is a must-have holiday gift. On one side, it has the standard USB jack. On the other, it has the option of picking which jack you need, when you need it. Pick from either Micro-USB, USB Type-C or Lightning. The cable is 5' long with extra thick gauge wire. It's ideal for fast charging and has a kevlar strength core and braided ballistic nylon weave jacket that help the cable keep its durability.


Samsung 55" Frame 4K SUHD HDR Television (Starting at $1998)

The Frame smart TV by Samsung is something we all expected we'd have by now: a flat panel TV you can hang on the wall like a picture frame. We've come very close over the years, but not to the point where the TV is completely flat with no gap behind when mounted. Samsung solved this by designing a completely new way to mount the panel and added the ability to transform it from being a stunning 4K HDR television when in use into a work of art when it's not.

By selecting from one of hundreds of professionally curated pieces of artwork or by selecting one of your own images, the display automatically adjusts based on the ambient lighting in the room. The Frame ships with a thin black frame, but others are available in dark wood, light wood or a white metal finish. The Frame comes in two sizes, 55" and 65".


SensorPush Wireless Temperature & Humidity Smart Sensor ($50)

Here's a fun gift idea that is perfect for someone that has a wine cellar or fine instruments or for anyone you know that wants to keep a close eye on the temperature and humidity of an area. The SensorPush smart sensor takes a reading every minute and can log up to 20 days' worth of data before needing to be synced up with a mobile device. With built-in Bluetooth, just launch the free iOS or Android app and it will automatically download the data and display the full historical readings in detail.


Apple TV 4K (Starting at $179)

If someone you know has a 4K television and buys their movies from iTunes, the Apple TV 4K is the perfect gift for them. The Apple TV 4K not only can stream 4K content from Netflix, but if a previously purchased title from iTunes is already in their library, the 4K HDR version (if available) is automatically updated for free.

As with previous generations of Apple TV, the Apple TV 4K also offers gaming abilities, music streaming and the ability to display photos in 4K resolution.


Mophie Wireless/Qi Charger ($60)

Wireless charging is all the rage. Now that Apple's iPhone 8 and X both support wireless charging, there are more options than ever before. The Mophie Wireless Charging Pad is an example of this and is certified by Apple. When Apple releases support for fast wireless charging soon, this charger will work. Its sleek low-profile looks, rubberized surface and subtle LED indicator make it perfect for blending into most home settings, especially the bedroom nightstand.


SanDisk High Endurance SD Card (Starting at $22)

One can never have too many SD cards, but this SD card is a bit different. SanDisk has specially developed an SD card that can withstand up to 10,000 hours (5,000 for the 32GB version) of full recordings, making it a perfect choice for demanding video recording applications like dashboard cameras and home security cameras.

Thanks to testing in harsh conditions, the cards are temperature, shock, water and x-ray proof. The SD cards comes in two sizes, 32GB and 64GB.


8BITDO N30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad ($42)

Perfect for any gamer, the 8Bitdo N30 Pro gamepad works with a wide range of devices including Android, iOS, Windows PCs, MacOS, Nintendo Switch, and even the Raspberry Pi (using RetroPi). It's a versatile little gamepad that not only looks great but also feels great in the hand. You can expect up to 18 hours of playtime on a single two-hour charge.


DJI Spark Portable Mini Drone (Starting at $499)

The DJI Spark drone is small. I'd say it's the perfect size without compromising the performance of video and flight time. It offers a top-flight speed of 31mph and flight time of up to 16 minutes, which can be extended by buying extra battery packs. The Spark also features a quick launch mode with has facial awareness that enables it to take off and hover in place within seconds of turning it on.

As for the video aspects, it has a two-axis gimbal holding a full HD 1080p camera. The small size makes it easy to pack and take along on road trips, and the full HD camera can produce some stunning aerial photography.


Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE (Starting at $399)

As they say, the third time's a charm! This is the case with the Apple Watch S3. It's become brighter, faster and water resistant since the first version. It also adds a barometer/altimeter and GPS + Cellular so the iPhone, for the first time, can be left behind.

The S3 can stream music, send messages and make and receive calls all on its own. It still features a heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope and comes in many different case finishes and band styles to suit anyone's style.


AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with Tote Bag ($32)

Here's a perfect gift for a coffee lover! The AeroPress is the simplest item featured in this year's guide, but don't let that fool you. It can produce some of the best-tasting espresso that can rival some of the most expensive electronic espresso machines on the market.

There is not much to it: a few plastic bits, scoops and some filters, all made in the United States. . Just add a filter to the bottom and two scoops of ground coffee and then fill it with 175-degree water. Stir the water and coffee, then press the plunger. That's it! It will make the most delicious coffee.


WHOOP Strap 2.0 ($500)

Where all the other fitness bands focus on activity, the WHOOP Strap focuses on strain, recovery and sleep analysis. The WHOOP Strap won't be counting steps, but instead will be measuring how much strain is being put on the body and how quickly the body can recover. Sleep plays an important factor on health and lots of important figures, like HRV and resting heart rate, are calculated during sleep cycles.

The WHOOP band is waterproof and always on with a typical battery life of up to 44 hours. The charging system is a slide-on battery pack that can be attached for continuous use while the strap is being charged. It's the perfect give for the athlete in your life.


Mikme Blackgold Wireless Microphone and Audio Recorder ($499)

The Mikme not only looks cool, it is cool! A lot of engineering has gone into creating this amazing little microphone and audio recorder. Their accomplishments make it possible to capture really great-sounding audio. The Mikme comes with a built-in battery that can last up to 3.5 hours in standalone recording mode.

As for connectivity, this microphone has all the bases covered. The audio can be streamed directly to an iOS device using the Mikme app or it can be connected using the Micro USB and plugged into a Mac or Windows computer. If that's not enough, the sound can also be piped out using the 1/8" audio output (making it perfect for headphone monitoring) or connected to a DSLR camera as an external microphone. It offers a standard 1/4" thread for mounting on a tripod or mic stand and has 16GB of built-in flash storage that can be used to capture audio on the go. This is a perfect little microphone for anyone that wants to capture live performances, interviews or lectures or even to start their own podcast or YouTube channel.


Samsung Gear 360 4K Camera ($175)

The new Samsung Gear 360 is the perfect gift to give to someone who wants to explore new camera technology. Instead of only capturing a quarter of the scene using traditional cameras, the Gear 360 can capture the whole scene in 4K video or 15-megapixel 360 photos using its dual 180 lenses.

While the previous generation only worked with Samsung mobile devices, the new Samsung Gear 360 works with both Samsung and Apple devices. Download the free mobile app for on the go previewing, editing, and even sharing directly to social. Combine this camera with the Samsung Note 8 for the Android lover or the iPhone X for the iOS user and the combo will allow for some stunning 360 VR creations.