7 Cool (and Affordable) Gadgets and Gift Ideas for Father’s Day
You know what Dad really appreciates on his big day , other than a nice, long nap? When you buy him something cool and score a great deal. And by cool we mean a virtual reality headset, a spiffy new tablet, or comfy headphones. Click through this tech-minded gallery and you’ll find all sorts of lesser-known gadgets that hold their own against high-profile competitors—at significantly lower prices. Even better, because we’ve done all the shopping for you, you’ll have more time to kick and and do some major father-child bonding. (Yes, watching TV and sharing a beer counts, in case Mom asks.)
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A good smartwatch tells time (natch) and notifies you about important calls, messages, and appointments. Everything else: fluff. The Pebble Time ($150) for Android and iPhone features an always-on screen that requires charging only once per week. The Apple Watch Sport ($299) (AAPL) does more, but it requires daily charging and works only with iPhones.
There’s nothing cooler right now than virtual reality headsets. The Oculus Rift ($599) delivers dazzling experiences but requires a high-end PC and room to move around. The Samsung Gear VR ($99) delivers nearly as much dazzle for a fraction of the price. Just one catch: Make sure Dad owns a compatible Samsung smartphone.
At $199, Dell's gorgeous, powerful Venue 8 7000 Android tablet costs half as much as the comparable iPad Mini 4 ($399), but sports a slightly larger and higher-resolution screen, expandable storage, an aggressive-for-a-tablet Intel Atom processor, and a 3D camera. Need a reason to stick with Apple? Better apps and cellular-enabled configurations.
Apple’s fourth-generation TV box ($149) features built-in Siri and some cool games, but if Dad is all about the streaming video, go for Roku’s latest streaming stick ($50). It offers way more channels, convenient shortcut buttons on the remote, and a feature Mom will love: sound that can play through the headphone jack on Dad’s phone.
Sony's $80 over-the-ear headphones put up a good fight against the second (and much improved) iteration of entry-level Beats ($140). The MDRs produce great sound with a wider dynamic range, are sturdily built, and the pillow-like earpieces are insanely comfortable. Where Beats can't be beat: style and a removable cord with built-in playback controls.
Mobile chargers come in all shapes, sizes—and values. The Mophie Powerstation ($80), for example, is pocket-friendly, but it’s an fairly unattractive brick that's good for 1 or 2 phone recharges. The Solove A9 ($25) has more than twice the capacity and looks like a sleek, metallic work of art.
Looking for a basic activity tracker on the cheap? Misfit's $20 Link offers many of the same features as Fitbit's (FIT) $60 Zip: steps, distance, calories burned, and battery life up to six months. However, the Link adds sleep tracking and doubles as a music remote, selfie button, and presentation clicker for your phone. Where Link lacks: the Zip has an LCD screen and great online portal for tracking your weight loss.
This article previously appeared on Money.com.