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Best tech gifts for Father's Day 2017

Father's Day is just around the corner, on June 18, and here is our roundup of some of the best tech gifts you can buy for him on this special day!
By
June 12, 2017

Ties, cuff links, watches, or that bottle of great whiskey are definitely still great choices for Father’s Day, but for the dads that love all things technology, there are a lot of fantastic options out there as well. Father’s Day is coming up soon, on June 18 in case you were wondering, which gives you just enough time to find that perfect tech gift for him. We’re here to help you out, with a roundup of some of the best tech gifts for Father’s Day 2017!


A smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U 11

Everyone needs a smartphone, and more often than not, the handset that your parents are rocking are in dire need of an upgrade. Father’s Day is a great time to gift your dad a new phone, and since you know him best, you’ll definitely have a good idea with regards to what he expects from his smartphone experience. To start with, here are our top picks in the smartphone category:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8: It’s all about that Infinity display with the Galaxy S8, with the ultra-thin bezels and thinned down top portion and bottom chin allowing for that gorgeous screen to really shine through. It’s not just great looks either, as you also get to enjoy a snappy performance, a more streamlined software package, and an excellent camera, to really round out the smartphone experience. It is a touch expensive, with a price point of $725 unlocked, but you definitely can’t go wrong with what is one of the best smartphones of the year.
  • HTC U11: HTC is back with a bang with their latest flagship, the U11. The device comes with a traditional look up front, but makes up for it with the “liquid glass surface” on the back that is definitely eye-catching. A fantastic audio experience and a superb camera are huge positives, but the uniqueness comes in the form of you being able to squeeze the phone to perform certain activities, which seems odd, but becomes a nice way to interact with the phone. The HTC U11 is also cheaper than the Galaxy S8, with a price tag of $649, and is a truly compelling option.
  • LG G6: The G6 heralds a return to form for LG as well, after the failed experiment in modularity that was its predecessor. You get a more traditional design and build this time around, but you do get a beautiful display up front that comes with ultra-thin bezels along its sides and curved corners to make it more impact resistant. What makes the G6 stand out from the crowd is its excellent dual camera setup on the back, with the secondary camera featuring a wide angle lens. The LG G6 is currently priced starting at $600 depending on the color option, and is a great choice if you’re looking for a little extra from your smartphone camera.
ZTE Axon 7

If you are looking for a solid smartphone with almost flagship specifications and features, but without shelling out the premium that the devices listed above demand, the good news is that there are some great options in the “premium mid-range” category that don’t fail to impress and are also more affordable as well. Here are our choices:

  • ZTE Axon 7: Not only does the ZTE Axon 7 feature specifications that gave most 2016 flagships a run for their money, but a big draw for this device is the excellent audio experience it has to offer. Very few smartphones feature dual front-facing speakers nowadays, so if audio is a big requirement, the Axon 7 is a great way to go. It definitely helps that the phone is quite affordable, with a price point starting at $370.
  • Honor 8: While the Axon 7 is a great choice for audio lovers, the Honor 8 will attract those dads who are smartphone photography enthusiasts. Honor is one of the few companies that offer smartphones in the budget-friendly category that feature dual camera setups, and in the case of the Honor 8, the specifications are also impressive in their own right, so you certainly aren’t compromising on much. The Honor 8 is currently priced starting at $320, depending on the color and the on-board storage option you pick.
Moto G5 Plus

If you are looking for an even more budget-friendly option, there are a couple of great options available as well. These devices may not be as powerful as the ones listed above, but they certainly get the job done and feature some unique capabilities of their own. Here is our top picks in the affordable category:

  • Moto G5 Plus: It’s no surprise that the Moto G has proven to be the most popular smartphone series for Motorola and Lenovo, with things getting better and better with every iteration. The Moto G5 Plus is a big upgrade from its predecessor, and comes with a new metal composite construction, more storage, an improved camera, and impressive battery life. The version with 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of built-in storage is priced at $229.99, while doubling both the RAM and the storage will set you back an additional $70.
  • Honor 6X: As mentioned, Honor is one of the few companies with smartphones that feature dual camera setups, and that feature has also made its way to their affordable offerings as well in the Honor 6X. The 12 MP + 2 MP dual camera setup on the back impresses, the mid-range specs provide good performance, and the battery life is great as well. If you are looking for a budget-friendly smartphone with a good camera, the Honor 6X is the way to go. The device is currently priced at $249.99.

For even more great advice on phone selection or you are looking for even more options, be sure to check out our best phones and best cheap phones guides!


Smart speakers

This is a picture of Google Home and also the featured image for the best Google Home apps
Google Home

Even if your dad isn’t particularly into tech, a smart speaker will make an enthusiast out of anyone. Being able to listen to music without having to physically touch it is absolutely a great reason alone to get a smart speaker, but then add features like cooking help, looking up questions, integrating smart lighting, and all the hundreds of other extras possible with a smart assistant, and you have a product that will definitely impress.

  • Google Home: Powered by Google Assistant, Google Home is a connected speaker that helps make your day that much easier. From being able to keep track of your schedule, the weather, listen to music, and everything else Google Assistant is capable of, you are also able to control other connected devices like smart lights, thermostats, Chromecast, and more. Google Home is currently available for a discounted price of $109.
  • Amazon Echo: Amazon is the one that started it all with the Echo, which remains a great option when it comes to smart connected speakers. Powered by Alexa, you can listen to all your music, and it is able to answer your questions, keep track of the weather, read the news and audio books, and a whole lot more. Finally, you are also able to control other smart devices like lights, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more. Amazon has dropped the price of the Echo and Echo Dot for Father’s Day, with the device available for $139.99.
  • Amazon Echo Dot: If you love everything about the Echo but it is out of your budget, or if you have a great set of speakers readily available at home, the Echo Dot is the device for you. The Echo Dot is capable of everything its larger sibling can do, with the only catch being that the built-in speaker isn’t particularly strong or loud, so an external set, that can be connected to via Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm jack, will be required. The Echo Dot is available for just $39.99.

Want to know more about smart speakers? Check out our Google Home review, as well as our comparison of the Amazon Echo vs Echo Dot vs Tap.


Audio

Creative iRoar

You don’t have to be a tech lover to love music, and a portable Bluetooth speaker is always a great gift choice. With different high-quality options available that you can choose between based on your budget, here our choices for Bluetooth speakers:

  • Creative iRoar: The best all-around best Bluetooth speaker you can get is the Creative iRoar, which Creative is calling their most intelligent speaker to date. The iRoar has three drivers and two passive radiators inside that provide a nice full sound. The accompanying app let you adjust the sound to suit your liking, and you can download apps that make it a guitar tuner, alarm clock, and a bunch more. The Creative iRoar is expensive, with a price tag of $369.99, but it’s definitely worth it if you have the budget for it.
  • Marshall Stockwell: Marshall is known for their legendary guitar amps, and you now get to enjoy that great design with the Marshall Stockwell speaker. Up top are metallic knobs for controlling the treble, bass, and overall volume, and inside is a battery that’ll get you roughly 25 hours of playback. The audio quality is excellent, and the speaker will look great in any room. The Marshall Stockwell is priced at starting at $187.
  • UE Roll 2: UE is a mainstream audio companies that makes really good products like the UE Roll 2. It has a very unique disc shape that, when paired with the nice waterproof fabric and handy bungee cord makes it a winner. It has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, so you can even submerge it underwater. The UE Roll 2 is a good sounding speaker with a very unique design, and with a price point of just $70, it is definitely a good choice.
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless

Not everyone is looking to blast music from a Bluetooth speaker all the time, so a good pair of headphones will do the trick instead. Here are our top picks:

  • V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless: If you want wireless headphones, one of the best pairs you can get right now are the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless. They feature a stylish and bold design and don’t sacrifice comfort thanks to plush memory foam ear pads that also do a solid job at isolating outside noises. The Crossfade 2 Wireless headphones aren’t cheap, with a price tag starting at $329, but if you decide to spend the money you won’t be disappointed.
  • CB3 Audio Hush: A good pair of headphones with active noise-cancelling can be difficult to find on a budget, but CB3 Audio is once again at the fore in this regard. There are a lot of features packed into a modern design, with impressive sound quality available, not only for the price, but in general. Which is why it’s great that this excellent pair of headphones is priced at just $90.
Jaybird X3

Not everyone is comfortable with a large pair of headphones on their head and around their ears all the time, and a good pair of earbuds may prove to be more comfortable. Here are our top choices:

  • Jaybird X3: Jaybird’s products have always been at the top of the list when it comes to wireless earbuds, and that holds true for the Jaybird X3 as well. These are a great pair of earbuds all around, and you get a strong connection so you won’t have dropped signals, a good mic for phone calls, sweat resistance, good sound quality, and an eight-hour battery life. These aren’t exactly cheap, with a price tag of $129.99, but are definitely worth every penny.
  • Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23: Active noise cancellation is a feature we generally see with over the ear headphones, so it’s great to see this feature as an option with earbuds as well. You’ll get really good sound quality and the buds come with a mic to answer calls. It also helps that these earbuds are the most affordable option when it comes to earbuds with noise cancellation, with a price tag of just $49.

For even more options, be sure to check out the roundup of the Best Bluetooth speakers, Best noise cancelling headphones, Best earbuds, and a whole lot more over at our sister site, Sound Guys.


Fitness trackers

Garmin vivosmart HR+

Suggesting that your dad needs to work out on the day meant to celebrate him may not be a great idea, but if he is a fitness enthusiast or you do want to send a subtle message, a fitness tracker is a good gift choice. Here are our top picks:

  • Garmin vivosmart HR+ : The Garmin vivosmart HR+ is one of the best fitness trackers you can get right now that is packed with features. A big touchscreen display shows you all the info you may need without needing to pick up your phone, and it also comes with a built-in GPS which adds new running features. It also has a waterproof rating of up to 50 meters deep, which not a lot of trackers offer. The Garmin vivosmart HR+ is currently priced at just $140.
  • Withings Steel HR: Fitness trackers often look out of place on your wrist, but Withings is hoping to address that concern with the Steel HR. This tracker looks just like an analog watch, but sports a digital display to show you key information on the watchface. It isn’t the most feature-packed device, but if you are looking for a decent tracker that doesn’t look at all like one, the Steel HR is the way to go. The Withings Steel HR is currently priced at $199.99.
  • Polar M600: The Polar M600 brings Android Wear to the world of fitness tracking and comes with a built-in GPS, IPX8 water resistance rating, optical heart rate monitor and 4GB of on-board storage. It also comes with support for Polar’s Flow app, allowing you to track any activity, including rowing, skiing, hiking, and much more. Of course, you also get a full smartwatch experience with Android Wear on-board. It is pricey though, priced at $329.95, but the M600 is one of the few smartwatch/fitness tracker hybrids around.

For even more options with regards to fitness and activity trackers, don’t forget to check out our guide on the Best fitness trackers that are currently available!


Smart tech

Wocket smart wallet

In this budding age of the Internet of Things and smart connected devices, there are a lot of great accessories and devices available that are intended to replace traditional products and will help make your dad’s life a lot easier. Here are our top choices for best smart tech gifts –

  • Wocket smart wallet: The Wocket smart wallet provides a complete replacement for your entire wallet with a single card that can emulate any of your credit or membership cards, and the e-paper LCD screen can show barcodes as well. A pin or voice input is used to unlock the device, so all your info should be secure, and there is an additional pocket to hold another regular card or ID. You can also get the top fold cash accessory that adds another pocket for a card and a large one to carry cash. The Wocket smart wallet is priced at $179, with the cash accessory requiring an additional $30.
  • Tile Mate: The Tile Mate is a Bluetooth tracker that you can loop into key chains or keep in your wallet and other bags and lets you know exactly where the item is if you end up losing it. You can also use your phone to make the Tile Mate ring if the tile is somewhere close by but out of sight. The Tile Mate is priced at $24.99 each, but you can get a 4-pack for $69.99.
  • Weber iGrill 2: The iWeber Grill 2 is a Bluetooth meat thermometer that helps cooking your meat easier, smarter, and more convenient. With a range of 150 feet, you can get back to your guests but still keep a watch on the temperature from your mobile device via the app, and you will receive alerts when the meat is ready. With two high temperature probes included, an illuminated display, and up to 200 hours of battery life, the iGrill 2 is a great gift for any dad who loves to spend time at the grill. The iGrill 2 is priced starting at $92.99.
  • Raden smart luggage: The Raden smart suitcase comes with twoUSB charging ports that can charge most smartphones fully at least twice, features an integrated scale so you know how much the luggage weighs after you pack it, and leverages Bluetooth technology for location awareness. Smart features aside, these are good pieces of luggage by themselves, with durable bodies, four wheels, and sturdy handles. The Raden A22 (carry-on size) and the larger A28 (checked-in) are priced at $295 and $395 respectively, and you can also pick up both together for a discounted $595.

Miscellaneous

There are some gifts that are more practical than fancy, and while a shiny new smartphone is bound to turn heads, the options in the list below serve to address a more pragmatic need. These gifts may not be the most extravagant, but anything that helps solve a problem is definitely going to be cherished for years to come.

  • Car accessories: From Bluetooth car kits, dashboard replacements with Android Auto support, to car chargers and phone holders, there is a lot you can do to make your dad’s driving experience more enjoyable and importantly, hands-free. To find something that best suits your dad, here is our roundup of best car accessories, that cover the range of any tech that can go into your car.
  • Portable battery packs: If your dad has been facing issues with his phone battery running out halfway through the day, a portable battery pack is a great gift option. You can find our roundup of the best portable battery packs currently available here, and in case he has a newer phone that features a USB-C port, you can find a list of relevant portable chargers here.
  • Phone cases: A good phone case can go a long way in keeping your smartphone safe from unfortunate and accidental bumps and drops, and an additional layer of security is never a bad idea. From slim, transparent cases that show off the design of your phone, to the ultra-rugged options that will keep your device safe from anything, every type is available in our best cases roundups for a variety of smartphones. You can search for your particular device on the site, or look for the phone here.

So there you have it for this roundup of some great tech gifts for Father’s Day 2017!