The Absolute Best Gadgets For Everyone In Your Life

When it comes to picking out a great gift, there are three rules that I stick to. First, buy something that you would like for yourself. Second, buy something that the recipient is unlikely to buy for themselves. And third, buy something that you know the person will use. I refuse to spend my hard-earned paycheck on something I think might end up gathering dust in a drawer.

Since almost everyone I know owns a smartphone, listens to music, and likes to travel in style, this means I'm usually gifting some sort of gadget. This year, my list includes metallic suitcases that are easy to track, bangles that charge your iPhone, DJ-worthy devices, and, for my nieces, Play-Doh sets with a magical, connected component.

Not sure what to gift your dad, running partner, or roommate? Click through for 31 present ideas that are sure to please even the pickiest person this holiday season.

This article was originally published on December 5, 2016 at 11:20 a.m.


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For the curious kid in your life…

A set for assembling bubble-blowing bots, colorful, light-projecting lamps, and futuristic fans.

littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition, $199.95, available at littlebits.cc.
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For your friend who loves Drake (or, all of us)…

A portable charger that lets you call who you need to on your cell phone, late night when you need their love.

WattzUp Hotline Bling Charger, $39.99, available at wattzuppower.com.
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For your friend whose phone is always dying…

A bracelet that does the remembering for her — the Lightning connector is built in.

Q Designs QBracelet, $125 with code R29xQ, available at qdesigns.co.
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— PAID —

For the early adopter who wants more than Instagrammable snaps...

This 360-degree camera shoots impressively immersive videos and still photos. And thanks to a companion app, it's even set up for real-time, wireless sharing.

Nikon KeyMission360, $499.95, available at Nikon.
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For your favorite wannabe DJ…

A touch-sensitive beats maker that lets you create electro hits and moody indie tunes in seconds, simply by moving your fingers across the surface.

ROLI Lightpad Block, $179.95, available at Apple.

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For your friend who always gets stuck in traffic…

A virtual assistant who can let them know about delays ahead of time.

Amazon Echo Dot, $49.99, available at Amazon.



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For your friends who just moved into a new apartment…

A retro-cool radio that tunes in to the actual radio and also your iPhone for when you want something a little more modern.

Crosley Solo AM/FM Tabletop Radio, $59.99, available at Target.
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For your friend who travels frequently for work…

A stylish metallic case with built-in charger that will, dare we say…make him look forward to packing.

Raden, starting at $295, available at Raden.
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For your sister studying abroad…

A beautiful message of love from everyone —friends, family, the dog — back home.

Imprint, free, available at Imprint.us.
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For your friend with major wanderlust…

A VR viewer that will make trekking through virtual forests and sitting on simulated beaches seem just like the real deal.

Google Daydream View, $79, available at Google Store.
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For your nephew who's too young for Game of Thrones…

A Play-Doh set that brings your creations — dragons, included — to life in the connected app.

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio, $39.95, available at Apple.
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Photo: MoMA.
For your friend who loves Fixer Upper…

Colorful LED lights that can be hung in multiple patterns and controlled using one's phone or just one's voice.

Aurora Light Kit, $200, available at MoMA.
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For your friend who talks about her dog nonstop…

A camera that will let her watch, talk to, and play with her pup from afar.

Petcube Indoor 720p Wi-Fi Camera, $149.99, available at Best Buy.
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Photo: Williams-Sonoma.
For your favorite Netflix and chill-er…

A cordless hot cocoa maker that provides the perfect amount of frothiness.

Breville Hot Choc & Froth, $99.95, available at Williams-Sonoma.
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For the parent who loves anything handcrafted…

A small desk lamp made from walnut with brushed aluminum details.

Grovemade Walnut Lamp, $99, available at grovemade.com.
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For your friend who reluctantly gave up his ClassPass membership…

A smart LED-light jump rope that's almost as pretty as it is useful.

Tangram Smart Rope Connected Jump Rope, $90, available at Fab.
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For your Fashion Week-obsessed sister…

A stylish bag that will literally keep her going all day long: Hidden inside that tassel is a phone charger.

Rebecca Minkoff Always On Mini M.A.C. Crossbody, $225, available at Rebecca Minkoff.
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For your jazz-loving parents…

A small but mighty speaker that will make Spotify's "Coffee Table Jazz" sound so much better than it does on their phones.

Sonos Play:1, $169, available at Sonos.
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For the girl who wants a backyard but lives in a teeny-tiny apartment…

A smart garden that requires little to no effort, but can fill her place with petunias and strawberries.

Click And Grow The Smart Herb Garden, $59.95, available at clickandgrow.com.
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For your friend who's always late for your morning runs…

A watch that sends the wake-up reminders so you don't have to.

Apple Watch Nike+, $369-$399, available at Apple.
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Photo: West Elm.
For your friend who wishes she had a fireplace…

LED-lit candles that will add a soft glow to her place.

West Elm Flicker Flameless Pillar Candles, $27-$39, available at West Elm.

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For your friend who is always the life of the party…

A phone case with enough sparkle to match his energy level.

Michael Michael Kors Glitter Smartphone Case, $55, available at Michael Kors.
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For your friend who's always losing his earbuds…

A pair he can keep around his neck for easy access, whether he's on the subway or working out.

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, $149.95, available at Bose.
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For the caffeine addict without much kitchen space…

A festive version of Illy's compact espresso maker.

Illy Francis Francis X9 iperEspresso Machine, $279, available at illy.com.
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For your coworker who loves to doodle…

A smart folio that will seamlessly transfer her hand-drawn sketches and notes to digitized works of art.

Wacom Bamboo Spark With Snap-Fit, $99.95, available at wacom.com.
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For your friend who's always hosting potlucks…

A tablet stand that facilitates messy cooking: The base stores a stylus that you can use to scroll on screen so that you don't get it dirty with tomato sauce.

Prepara iPrep Tablet Stand, $19.47, available at Amazon.
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For yourself, your roommate, & your apartment…

Who says you can't buy something for your place, too? This fan (from the company behind the hottest hairdryer of the year) is super quiet, can both heat and cool your pad, and is so pretty it looks more like a work of modern art than it does a device.

Dyson AM09 Fan Heater, $299.99, available at Dyson.
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For your grandparents who aren't on Instagram…

A book of your favorite photos from 2016 with gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. illustrations.

Chatbooks x Rifle Paper Co. Personalized Photo Books, starting at $14, available at Chatbooks.com.
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For any on-the-go friend, sibling, or parent…

A water-resistant tote with six inner pockets and room for a camera and 15-inch laptop.

Langly Bag Co. Messenger Tote, $180, available at langly.co.
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For your sibling who wants to relive their glory days…

The modern-day version of the Nintendo classic will take anyone back to their youth. It's hard to find (and you may have to pay more for the popular gift), but there are numerous sellers through Amazon.

Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, starting at $212.96, available at Amazon.
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For your athletic dad who won't commit to just one tracker…

A commitment-free chance to try out three that are perfect for the pool.

Lumoid Swimmer's Kit, $35 (home try-on price), available at Lumoid.com.
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For your little cousins who can't be separated…

Wearables that keep them connected when apart via secret, coded messages.

Jewelbots Twinnie 2-Pack, $138, available at jewelbots.com.
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