(Pocket-lint) - Looking for a gift for mum this Christmas - or mom, whichever you prefer? To help you quickly find something she'll absolutely love this holiday season, we've rounded up a range tech gifts to consider. But let's get one thing clear before we dive into this list: technology isn't exclusive to one sex or the other. So, for moms, tech certainly doesn't need to be pink or bedazzled.
Therefore, much of the stuff on this list will work not only for moms, but also dads, non-binary parents, and anyone else.
Fitbit Charge 4
Get your mom a fitness tracker! Fitbit is one of the most affordable and popular brands in this category. We particularly like the Fitbit Charge 3, as it accurately tracks a wide range of activities and has a touchscreen display plus easy-to-use menus. If you want a cheaper option, the Flex 2 is another, more basic tracker. It lacks a display screen and a heart-rate monitor, but it provides all-day activity tracking at a low price.
Apple Watch Series 6
With an always-on screen and a new chip powering it all, the sixth-generation Apple Watch is a step beyond its predecessors. Its panel provides so much more information than earlier generations, which makes interacting with passcodes or swiping to write messages just so much easier. Overall, we think Apple Watch offers the best combination of looks, message handling, battery life, activity tracking, and apps of any smartwatch out there.
Roku Streaming Stick+ (or Amazon Fire TV Stick)
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is one of the cheapest 4K HDR media streaming devices you can buy. It's an HDMI stick that plugs into your TV, so it's easy to set up, plus it supports voice search, and its agnostic in that it serves up content from just about any app or service out there. But, if your mom is a Prime member, maybe consider the Fire TV Stick. It's also cheap, has Prime Video, and supports Alexa commands and 4K HDR.
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
This is top-of-its-game stuff. But the caveat - and there's always a caveat - is that it completely disregards any notion of being affordable. Still, it looks great, dries your hair in double-quick time, and has the design ethos of a Mercedes and BMW combined. It's an amazing bit of kit.
Amazon Echo Show 8
The Echo Show 8 is basically an Echo speaker, but with a display and a camera, and we're fans of this 8-inch variant, although other sizes are available. It ups the ante on previous versions, especially in terms of the beefier sound. It's super for a kitchen or communal space. If you prefer Google Assistant voice control over Alexa, however, there's always Google's Home Hub rival. Yes, it lacks a camera, but it is absent of any unwanted video calls/privacy issues
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
If you want to get your mom a smart speaker but don't want to spend a tonne, go with Amazon's Echo Dot with Clock (the older, smaller version is best in our opinion). It's super inexpensive and an easy access point for Alexa's skills and voice control, whether as a first Echo device, or an expansion in a growing system. The LED display is a bonus for at-a-glance information. Again, if you prefer Google Assistant over Alexa, then just go with Google's Home Mini instead. It's just as compact and it offers smart home device control as well.
For audiophiles after a smart speaker that delivers excellent sound quality for its size, a great design, and fantastic integrated Alexa voice control, as well as the option of Google Assistant, the Sonos One won't disappoint. But it is by Sonos, so it is on the pricier side.
AirPods have become omnipotent with commuters across the globe. And the latest model is sure to be a hit too, with the same simple white design augmented by in-ear buds and active noise cancellation. You also get a wireless charging case, and good battery life to go with it. They also offer offer "Hey Siri" voice control.
PopSockets are huge. It's a simple enough idea: The Original PopSocket sticks flat to your phone, and then it can be popped out whenever you need it. It is best used as a grip for when you want to take the perfect selfie, or as a stand for when you want to read or watch something, hands-free. Part of the appeal, too, is the endless custom choices available.
Tile Pro (or Tile Mate)
Does your mom constantly lose her keys or other things? Get her a tracker! These use a crowd-sourced system, so if your phone is out of range of the tracker, other Tile users who are nearby will pick up its signal, and you'll get a location alert. The Pro offers the best range and louder alarm, though you might dislike spending more on this model. In that case, you’ll still be served well by its cheaper-yet-similar sibling, the Tile Mate.
Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart
Pressure cookers are very hot right now, and believe it or not, they pack a tonne of tech. The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart is one of our favourite electric pressure cookers. It’s simple to use and can cook a wide range of amazing meals super fast, though you can also use it as a slow cooker or a rice cooker or to saute foods. This model has a stainless steel pot, which is more durable. We're not a fan of the cookers with nonstick inserts.
23andMe (or AncestryDNA)
Parents love figuring out family trees. So get yours a DNA-testing kit. 23andMe offers the same sort of ethnicity estimates as AncestryDNA at a similar price, though its DNA database is about half the size. Still, it'll show you migration paths for paternal (male testers) and maternal lineages. AncestryDNA, while it does offer the largest family matching database, can’t differentiate between maternal and paternal lineages.
Microsoft Surface Go (or Asus Chromebook Flip)
Want to get your mom a laptop without breaking the bank? You have about a million options. We're in favour of the Surface Go, a super portable 2-in-1 that's great as a second go-anywhere machine. You'd be hard pressed to find a Windows 10 machine that's as nice for this price. If your mom isn't sworn to Windows, however, you can get her a Chromebook. The Flip C302CA model runs Chrome OS, has a touchscreen, and feels like a pricey ultrabook.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
Philips is the go-to brand when it comes to smart lights, as its system is expandable, works with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, and makes it easy to create colourful scenes. The only downside is that it needs a separate Hue bridge to work, though, with this Starter Kit, that's included.
Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum cleaner
Want to make mom real happy? Get her a robot vacuum so she doesn't have to clean up the floor so often. The Roborock model here is nice and quiet, and is so good at cleaning up you'll hardly notice it. It'll map out your floor and set an automatic route to clean it whenever desired, taking one more item off her to-do list.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Is there some rule out there that says all moms love to read? Either way, it's a thing, so get yours an ebook reader; she'll use it, trust us. We like the Kindle Paperwhite for its e-ink display that you can read in all sorts of lighting, plus its waterproofing, price, and access to Amazon’s library.
Amazon Fire HD 8
If your mom would prefer a colour touchscreen over an e-ink one, get her a Fire tablet from Amazon instead. This model will let her read, watch videos, and do light web browsing. There's no Google Play Store, but it's so darn cheap and provides access to all of Amazon content.
Ring Video Doorbell
Has your mom been a victim of porch theft? If so, we think she'd love this solution. It sends motion alerts to a phone (or Echo Show) and offers 1080p video recording. It can also work off of battery or AC power. The only downside is video recording and storage require a subscription.