We're back with the WiFi HiFi holiday gift guides! Each week, we'll release new themed gift guides, chocked-full of great tech gift ideas for different people on your list. This week, we're looking at great gifts for sports and fitness enthusiasts, or those who just want to focus more on their health and well-being.
Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 2 is the first smartwatch with Amazon Alexa built-in and an on-device microphone and comes with the Spotify app for controlling and listening to music and podcasts; or store up to 300 songs on the watch itself. Press a button and speak into the microphone, asking Alexa to find the nearest gym, start a Fitbit exercise, or to learn the caloric value of a certain food. Alexa responds via silent, on-screen text responses. You can also use Alexa on the watch to set alarms and timers, check the local weather and news, control smart home devices, and more. With 5+ day battery life, the watch includes all of the other features you'd expect, including detailed sleep tracking and Sleep Scores, activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, smartphone notifications, Fitbit Pay, swim-proof design, and more. $249.95
Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds
Any fitness fan who also owns an iPhone and/or Apple Watch will love these as they offer a seamless connection to both (though they can connect to other phones and smartwatches, too via standard Bluetooth). Pair them directly with an Apple Watch to listen to downloaded playlists so I you leave your phone in a locker or back at home while going for a quick morning run. The battery life with the AirPods and its charging case is fantastic, so it's expected to be just as good with the Pros. And they can quick charge in a pinch. The Pro adds active noise cancellation with Transparency Mode, improved sound, and a new lightweight, in-ear design, along with three sizes of soft, flexible silicone eartips. They are sweat- and water-resistant. A neat Audio Sharing feature lets you listen to the same source with a friend by bringing their pair close to your device so you can both work out side-by-side on the treadmill while bopping and pacing yourself to the same playlist. $329
Garmin All-in-One Approach G80 GPS Golf Device
For golf fans, this device has radar capabilities that can track club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo, and estimated distance. The slim device includes a 3.5-inch sunlight-readable colour touchscreen with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 15 hours, a button to access the integrated radar features during play, and a rear case divot for sitting on a golf ball for better screen display viewing. Engage in practice and game modes or test your skills on the driving range in virtual rounds on more than 41,000 preloaded full-colour courses around the world. Other features include Touch Targeting for showing the precise yardage to a specific spot; Green View that zooms in on the green to adjust a pin location or shift the flag; and PlaysLike Distance that automatically adjusts yardages to a specific target based on your elevation. US$500
Apple Watch Series 5 Smartwatch
Aperfect companion for iPhone and AirPods owners, the Series 5 edition boasts an always-on Retina display, built-in compass, the ability to make international calls to emergency services (with the cellular version), and lighter titanium casing, along with WatchOS 6 that adds new features like cycle tracking and activity trends. Active individuals will love trying to "close your rings" for activity and sleep and enjoy a seamless connection to your smartphone for notifications, calls, calendar integration, and more. Sadly, there's no sleep tracking but you can use a third-party app like SleepWatch. Starts at $529
Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Headphones
Featured in my article earlier this year on fitness tech, these earbuds are a fabulous choice for anyone who works out, runs or jogs, and is looking for great sound and in-ear coaching. A selection of EarWings and tips provide a perfect fit, and two mics in each bud filter out background noise (they work wonderfully on a windy day). They can run for up to 4.5 hours per charge (13.5 hours with the charging case). But what really sets them apart is the Jabra Sports Life app and in-ear heart rate monitor that delivers real-time heart rate information, telling you when to speed up to reach your target heart rate or slow down. Do a test run so the earbuds can measure your V02 first. Select specific workouts from the app and use Automatic Rep Count to track movement via sensors in the earbud. $280 - CP
Doberman Jogger Alarm
Especially useful for women who run or jog in the early morning or late night hours, or on secluded trails, this alarm could help save your life. Wrap it around your arm before heading out for a run. Should someone approach or attempt to attack you, depress the button and a bright light will begin to flash along with a blaring 100dB alarm. Realistically, something could happen so fast that you don't have the chance to reach the button. But as added peace-of-mind knowing that you might be able to deter an attacker who's worried about attracting attention, it's a great gift item. It's water-resistant and runs on a 9V battery that isn't included, so grab one to give with it so they can get going right away. US$15
For those who love to watch sports more than they play (or who do both), a subscription to DAZN might make a great gift. It is a live and on-demand sports streaming service created by fans, for fans. Download the app and stream content from anywhere, including on your TV, smartphone, or other mobile device. You can watch things like NFL games, including the upcoming Super Bowl and RedZone, UEFA Champions League game, MLB network, boxing, and MMA. Pay $150 to get them a subscription for a year, or $20/mo. after a one-month free trial if you want to check it out for yourself first.
Fitbit Ace 2 Kids Fitness Tracker
If your child has been eying your fitness tracker, excitedly wanting to try one for themselves, look at the Fitbit Ace 2, which is a wonderful device for kids that helps them track their activities and let parents see how active their kids are on a daily basis. My favourite feature is sleep tracking, which logs when your child has actually fallen asleep, how restless they were at night, when they woke up, and how many hours of sleep they got. It's really insightful data that parents can monitor from their phones and share with kids within a special Kid View section of the app (the same app mom or dad uses to track their own devices). $100
Garmin Forerunner 945 Sports Smartwatch
For elite athletes, the Forerunner 945 is a premium running and triathlon smartwatch that holds up to 1,000 songs and lets users sync playlists from select preloaded streaming services, including Spotify and Deezer, or transfer music from a computer. While out for a run or bike ride, athletes can make payments right from the wrist with Garmin Pay contactless payment solution. Full-colour, onboard maps help guide serious runners and multisport athletes so they never get lost on a run. It includes key performance monitoring tools while adding training load focus, a new feature that will sort an athlete's recent training history into different categories based on activity structure and intensity. They can also see all six running dynamics on their watch with the use of a Running Dynamics Pod or compatible heart rate strap. There are additional built-in activity profiles, including skiing, hiking, golfing, and more. Intended to be worn all day, the Forerunner 945 will provide athletes with additional insights to their body's performance, and with Pulse Ox4, they can see how well their body is absorbing oxygen. The Forerunner 945 features up to two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 36 hours in GPS mode, and up to 10 hours in GPS mode with music. It is $830 or get it in a bundle with blue and black silicone bands, HRM-Tri, HRM-Swim, and a quick release kit for $1,030.
Peloton Home-Connected Exercise Bike
For the person who wants to workout but can't seem to find the time to get out of the house and do it, nor the motivation, this bike might be the answer. Each bike includes a display on which you can access a variety of live and on-demand exercise classes, all produced in Peloton's New York City studio. So the person can essentially attend an actual "class" right from home at a time that suits you best. The bike is $2,960, which includes delivery and set-up, then it's $49/mo. to access unlimited classes that also include floor workouts like running, bootcamp, strength, stretching, and yoga. For someone special who has the room to accommodate this bike, it could be just the motivation they need.
FlipBelt Running Belt
It's a simple yet thoughtful gift for the fitness fan on your list. This $40 belt can be positioned overtop the waistband of your workout pants, and offers a clever place to store things like your ID, credit card, mobile phone, wireless earbuds case, car keys, and more while you work out at the gym or go for a run or bike ride. Made of moisture-wicking fabric, it has slits around the perimeter in which you can slide your items. There's also a version with a zipper for keeping personal items secure during rigorous workouts.
Tapplock One+ Smart Locker
Made of reinforced stainless steel, the lock uses a capacitive fingerprint sensor to unlock in under 0.8 seconds, making it an ideal option to use for lockers at the gym so you can get in and out in a rush to get your morning, evening, or lunchtime workout in. Use your fingerprint to unlock it, or the app or a back-up Morse Code-type unlock method that includes a combination of long and short presses on the power button. It lasts for up to a year or 3,500 unlocks per charge. US$99 or get a double pack if you want to share with a friend or gym partner for US$180.