The reason why we guys aren’t great at figuring what others want is because we are too busy browsing online for products that will satisfy our own solipsistic desires. The reason why (most) men  shop quicker is because they spend hours online figuring exactly what they wish to acquire. So the acquisition itself may seem like a fairly quick process but the gearing up to it is worse agony than even women face while purchasing shoes.

So, in case you are a guy and still unsure of what you want to be gifted for Valentine’s — yes, the good thing with gender equality and sexual freedom is that no one person is stuck buying the gifts every time — just point your lover to this online article and let said person surprise you.

Here is my current list of desirable goodies.

 

Watch

I live a fairly active life and a simple timekeeper with day-date function just doesn’t cut it for me. I want connectivity and step counters, I want sleep tracking…but at the same time I don’t want to be wearing some plastic-y smartwatch. And so we have the latest beauty from Frederique Constant, an automatic watch, replete with a transparent back to ogle their in-house movement and yet neatly tucked into the cogs and wheels are sensors to track steps, sleep, etc. All this, of course, gets shared via Bluetooth so what we have here is a deft mix of the classic with the new age. It’s pricey so don’t be surprised if your partner isn’t entirely ‘committed’ to giving you it. At which point you can mention the series, which revisits the original G-shock with a full-metal casing. (Yes, the first all-metal G-shock!) Trust me it will sound a lot more sensible a proposition.

 

 

Headphones

 

 

This is another big category and the range is only limited by your, well, affection. OK, and money! I am currently hooked onto the Master & Dynamic MW60s which are wired and Bluetooth compatible and has  one of the best loss-less sounds to be found across the category.  Something that  won’t cost an arm and a leg and both your kidneys would be the Bose Quietcomfort, a classic but reliably good. For the sports enthusiast, I suggest the Optima Nuforce Sports BE Sport 4, a good snug ear-fit and nice loud sound, (even if a bit lacking in bass). The Jabra 45e Elite is a good set and its double-mic setup is possibly the finest I have seen (with the other side never complaining of one sounding ‘distant’ or ‘faint’) but the volume is rather limited and you can never really crank up your jam in these. A great value for money (it costs under Rs 7000) is 1More’s  new Triple Driver Earphone with Mic in gold.  The sound, tuned by Grammy winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi, is of fantastic quality. The  ergonomically designed oblique angled ear piece fits perfectly into the ear canal, and the inline remote control is conveniently located.  And most importantly,  it comes in a nifty gift box that includes a smart leather pouch, six  sets of  extra silicone ear tips, three  sets of foam ear tips, magnetic clasping traveling case, quality dual prong airline adapter and matching shirt clip. 

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Portable Speaker

 

This is another area where we want it all: a large sound, in a pocket size form, with a big battery to boot. I have liked the stuff by Blaupunkt and Jabra but the current winner is the Wonderboom by Ultimate Ears. It ticks all the above boxes but then throws in waterproofing as a bonus and much sought and utilised feature. Anything that drowns men out in the shower is a surefire winner. The downside, I spend even longer in the bathroom now!

 

Sneaker

 

This category could spin-off into a story spread by itself, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say just get a pair from the Vans Marvel collection, especially the one which features the Avengers’ symbols on one model, from Captain America’s shield to Thor’s wings and Hulk’s shade of green. Outside of that, if you are into fitness, the Adidas Ultra Boost’s 2019 rendition is a slick shoe: great looks, plenty of cushion and light. But then they sure don’t come cheap. Both Adidas POD-S3.1 and the spanking new Reebok Solefury embody the current trend of wearing shoes with split soles. Otherwise, nothing says classic like Nike Cortez or the Air Force 1 Lows. 

 

Gadgets

 

This is a tricky category because everything from RCs to a kitchen stand-mixer come under this one very broad grouping and without knowing one’s interests it can be certainly daunting. My top gadget du moment would have to be these two: the Mavic DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone for some truly professional shots and videos from an aerial viewpoint, and the Oculus Rift VR headset for ameliorating the whole movie and gaming experience by jumping a few years into the future.The HTC Vive is also fantastic (and many may argue, better) but the Oculus has caught up in features and costs lesser. As for the Mavic 2 Pro, that is some serious dosh to put down on a drone so make sure you intend to use it for some solid footage. Word of advice, if you will take either of these on your next romantic getaway, limit the time you intend to spend on these even before you leave, else it might be only entity you have left for company!

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Camera

 

I know we already got the drone up there but if there is a clicker that really ticks boxes that you didn’t even know exist, it is the GoPro 7 Black. I have used it during cycling, my trail runs and even while diving 30m underwater! Under all conditions it has delivered some super snaps and clips, rich colours, great clarity, always sharp and in focus, and with minimal shake. It is pricier than the other Chinese versions out there but frankly, it is worth the difference. If you do get one, don’t go crazy with the accessories, I suggest the smart suit which makes it water-resistant and also provides adequate full-body protection.

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