Zeko enjoys writing about gift ideas and creative ways to celebrate holidays and special occasions.
What do teenage guys want for Christmas or their birthdays? Finding the perfect gift is about understanding a teenager's interests and hobbies. In general, almost every teen guy is into the latest electronic gadgets (whether it is a cell phone or game system), the latest video games, and the latest fashion. Knowing what the “hottest items” are can make your Christmas or birthday gift shopping less stressful.
Here are some ideas to get you started and help you find a gift that he will really like.
Personal Assistant on His Wrist
Smart watches are all the rage in the technology industry right now and can make nifty birthday or Christmas gifts for teenagers who are into cool gadgets. Many teens find them convenient for their everyday life, because they allow them to check their phones without actually taking the phones out of their pockets. But with so many smart watches being released, how do you know which one would make the best gift? Since most of them are just too expensive for what they really are – a secondary monitor for your smartphone – it makes sense to choose one that is affordable, but still very functional. One such smart watch is the Pebble Time. It comes with an attractive price tag, which gift-givers will appreciate. Here are some of the reasons why it will make a good gift for a geeky teen:
- First off, Pebble has some geek reputation. It was the most successful Kickstarter project ever, which means that it had a solid back up by the tech crowd.
- It is compatible with both Android and iOS phones and has a proven track record. Many other smart watches lose a lot of their functionality if you pair them with phones that are different from those they are designed for.
- Pebble’s battery life is absolutely fantastic! It will last for about six and a half days. Right now, no other smart watch provides this kind of battery life. Most of them have to be charged every night, which is not something very appealing.
- Because of the screen technology the Pebble watch stays on all the time, so you don’t need to flick your wrist just to check the time.
- You can see the screen even at the brightest sunlight – a feature that pretty much many smart watches don’t have.
- Pebble has a better app market than any other device and teens can download tons of high-quality apps for free. They can also download many different watch faces.
- A teen can personalize it anyway he wants, because the smart watch comes with a universal, 22 mm strap. With the Apple watch, for example, people are limited to the straps the company sells (All available at significant cost).
- It is water resistant up to 30 meters, which means you can swim with it.
Keep His Phone Alive All Day With an External Charger
Phones running out of “juice” is still the number one annoyance that a teen faces every day. Getting him a powerful external charger as a gift that also looks cool is another good idea. If you have ever had to shop for an external battery for your phone, you may have noticed that most of them are not very good-looking. There is a company, though, called Lepow, that makes portable chargers with very interesting designs. The one that would make an awesome gift for teenage boys is their U-Stone.
The U-Stone kind of looks and feels like a river rock in your hand. It has a pretty big capacity of 1200 mAh and charges things very fast. With that parameters you would expect to get something super chunky and heavy, but it is actually pretty slim. You won’t be able to carry it in your back pocket, of course, but the sleek design definitely makes it easy to transport.
One unique feature that teenage guys will find cool is the way you check the status of the battery – you simply give the U-Stone a little shake and the LED lights on the front will show you how much power is left.
Give Him a Killer Phone Camera
When it comes to shooting photos and videos on your phone, or doing live streams, you don’t need anything – you just use its native camera and integrated mic and you are good to go. But sometimes the results are less than professional. So, for those guys who would enjoy taking professional-looking photos or shooting and sharing more elaborate videos, an external lens kit would make a great gift.
There are many lens kits out there, but one worth considering as a Christmas or birthday gift for someone is the ExoLens. It is a high quality kit that includes a cool mounting bracket that looks like an exoskeleton and two interchangeable lenses – super wide angle and telephoto lens. There are two variations of the kit: one that comes with Exolens' proprietary lenses and another with optics by Zeiss. If the guy you are shopping for is super picky about his photos, go for the Zeiss kit. If not – get the regular lenses, which are also well-made, but are less expensive. Zeiss is a brand that is known for making some of the best optics for high-end DSLR cameras and their super wide angle lens, for example, shoots with almost no perspective distortion at the corners of the picture, which is pretty much a given when using these type of lenses. But this is not necessary a con for the non-Zeiss optics, because sometimes a bit of distortion can add a lot of interest and drama to a photo.
The mounting bracket is made from aluminum and the inside is lined with soft material, so it won’t scratch your phone. There is a tripod screw mount on the bracket, which would come in handy for shooting time-lapse videos, long exposures and night shots. And there is also an integrated cold shoe mount for lights, microphones and other accessories.
Teenage guys, and guys in general, love technology and most of them have at least one high-tech obsession. It could be computers, spy cameras, mobile phones or remote controlled cars. Gadget gifts are very popular among teenagers and it is easy to pick a nice Christmas or birthday gift for them, since the technology industry is making new developments every year.
Turn His Smartphone Into a Virtual Reality Viewer
Virtual Reality is the newest hype and probably the next big thing in technology. Every teenage boy who loves gadgets, games and entertainment would be more than happy to get some kind of virtual reality gadget as a birthday or Christmas gift.
You can consider getting him a phone-powered, virtual reality headset. There are expensive ones like the Samsung Gear VR that work exclusively with Samsung phones. And then there are inexpensive ones like Destek that work with Android and iOS phones. But just because they are inexpensive doesn’t mean they don’t work or you have to compromise on quality.
With the Destek virtual reality (VR) glasses you can do two things – watch 3D VR movies or videos and play VR games. Who wouldn’t like that! You can even watch 3D VR movies from YouTube. The headset works with most 4" to 6" screen smartphones and there is no need to adjust anything. You just place your phone in the front compartment and make sure it is centered. That’s all there is to it. One convenient feature these glasses have is the opening on the side, which allows you to charge your phone while watching movies.
If you are considering getting the Destek VR headset as a gift, make sure you get the 2016 model that includes a nose padding piece, because the glasses may get uncomfortable on the nose if people use them for a long time.
Let Him Build His Own Computer
If the teen boy on your gift list loves computers, programming or creating his own electronics from the ground up, he will love to get a Raspberry Pi Kit for his birthday or Christmas. The Raspberry Pi is a tiny, inexpensive, but powerful computer that needs to be built and configured first, and then can be used to create your own home media center, internet radio, VPN server or any project you can think of. It can basically do many of the things a normal desktop PC does.
There are different kits to choose from and they come with all the accessories and peripherals you need to build your project. There are also tons of videos on YouTube that show you how to build all kinds of awesome things. If your teen is new to Raspberry Pi, the starter kit would be ideal for him.
It's a well-known fact that most teens love music. They love to listen to music while going to school, work or just hanging out with friends. It is almost guaranteed that a music related gift will be a hit with a teenage guy for Christmas or his birthday.
Geek Chic Speakers
A lot of young people like to listen to their music through speakers, especially when they are hanging out at home, so a cool-looking, decorative speaker would be a gift they will enjoy. You will need to check the newest trends in technology and pick something that really stands out, because teens are always drawn by unique items. For example, right now the newest and coolest thing is Bluetooth speakers that look like they are levitating or floating in mid-air. There are various options on the market, but the Music Angel levitating speaker is one of the most affordable ones, coming under $100. It is a great little gadget that even has multi-colored LED lights, which create a very futuristic atmosphere. Because of the levitation factor, you also get a 360 surround effect, which allows for clearer music. Plus, you can separate the orb from the base and use it as a portable speaker as well. The sound quality is very good for a speaker of that size and most teens would be pleased with it, just don’t expect the sound quality of high-end speakers.
Many teen boys love video games and want to play them all day long. If the teen boy on your gift list is one of them, then a game related gift would be perfect for him. Here are some ideas:
- Gaming keyboards – Those teens who are into serious computer gaming know that a regular keyboard is not enough. If you are looking for a premium keyboard that is functional and cool-looking, check out the Razer BlackWidow series.
- Gaming mouse – If your teenager needs a mouse that can play anything and everything, the Logitech G502 Proteus Core would be a good gift for him.
- Gaming mouse pads – They are not a necessity, because many modern mice work on any surface, but if your teen needs one, consider getting him a large, high quality pad that also catches the eye. Razer Firefly, for example, is a mouse pad that lights up around its edges and will look pretty awesome on a gamer’s desk.
- Gaming headsets - A good gaming headset that delivers a rich sound can improve his overall game experience. It can also double as worthy headphones for music and movies. Some brands that offer good headsets are: SteelSeries, Astro and Logitech.
- Controllers for mobile gaming – SteelSeries makes some very good, wireless gaming controllers, such as the Status.
- Solid state drives – A solid state drive is an essential component of a modern gaming PC. These drives tend to be overpriced, but brands like Samsung offer some reasonable options. Check out the 850 EVO, 250GB.
- Gaming speakers - With the right sound system, he can take his gaming enjoyment to the next level. Mackie CR Series CR3 is a reasonably-priced pair of speakers with great sound and nice design.
- Gaming chair – Any passionate gamer spends a greater part of his day is in front of the TV or PC playing games, which means that he would want to have a comfortable gaming chair.
Trendy Clothes and Shoes
While some teen boys couldn't care less about fashion, others would be happy to receive clothes and accessories as Christmas or birthday gifts. You can’t go wrong with a brand name hoodie or graphic tee-shirt. They are always in style among teen boys. Other gift options are shoes, such as Vans, Nike and DC, polo shirts and jeans.
Cool Shoe Accessories
If you don’t know what kind of shirt or shoes he would like, try getting him accessories. Some cool shoe accessories, for example, that would be a great addition to a birthday gift (or a nice stocking stuffer) are the funky HICKIES laces. They are an elastic replacement for shoe laces that basically turn sneakers into slip-ons. Genius! Many teenagers love high tops sneakers, but hate getting them on and off, so these would be perfect for them. Many runners also have the same love-hate relationship with shoelaces. Plus, they come in tons of fun colors!
A sneaker cleaning kit that will keep his kicks in top quality condition is also a good gift idea, especially for those who love sneakers and have a lot of them. Everyone has at least one pair of dirty trainers that need a cleanup.
For teen boys who love to read, you can't go wrong with a good book as a gift. Choose books that fit the particular teenager’s personality and he will enjoy. For example, if he has a role model he admires - get him an autobiography; if he loves a particular band or singer - choose a book about this band or singer.
Some books that would make good gifts for teen readers are:
- Game of Thrones series,
- The Hunger Games,
- The Lord of the Rings,
- Harry Potter series,
- The Fault in Our Stars,
- To Kill a Mockingbird,
- A Streetcat Named Bob etc.