If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the Hardcore Droid fan on your list, we’ve gathered the best gear from manufacturers around the world this month to put it to the test and see what’s worth buying.
Here’s a selection of tools that come in handy for people with multiple devices trying to stay productive, entertained, or just make life easier.
1. Synology NAS DS216 ($169.99)
With so many companies and services pushing to cloud-based computing, localized storage is a must. Synology makes some of the best home storage solutions around, allowing you to centralize files for faster access from any devices on your network.
The DS216 is a two-bay network-attached storage server and represents the entry level into these dedicated machines. If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to share local music, movie, and game libraries between tablets, phones, computers, TVs, and more, Synology’s line of NAS has something for you.
2. X-Dragon 20W Solar Panel ($49.99)
As you may or may not know, I travel a lot for work. Whether in the wilderness or urban areas, my portable solar panels and USB battery banks have been indispensable. I keep one in my car and backpack because you never know when you’ll need an extra charge. Portable solar has become a way of life for me.
The X-Dragon 20W is my favorite portable panel for two reasons.
- It’s durable
- It’s 20w
Companies like Goal Zero and Enerplex make a ton of great products, but they’re mostly limited to 2W-14W, which just isn’t enough to keep a battery bank charged.
3. Tile Mate Bluetooth Trackers ($24.99)
If you’re constantly losing your keys, phone, and/or wallet, then Tile has a solution for you. Coming in two sizes (keychain and wallet), these bluetooth trackers use proximity and your phone’s GPS to help make things a little easier.
After pairing with your phone, simply slip a Tile on anything, backpacks, purses, bikes, cars – it’s possible to help track anything.
4. Juno Jumper ($99.99)
A few years back, I had a chance to try out a USB jump starter before they were on the consumer market. While it worked, it also did start a minor fire that needed to be extinguished. Thankfully that’s changed and we have the Juno Jumper.
Juno Jumper is an ultra-portable 12V/300A jump starter and 5v/2.1A 6000mAh Lithium Polymer USB battery bank. Charged via micro-USB, it’s a very handy battery bank to keep in your car and charge devices (including your car itself).
5. Cobra JumpPack XL ($149.99)
Of course, there are limitations to what the Juno Jumper can start without becoming a fire hazard. So if you have a larger vehicle, you’ll want Cobra’s JumPack XL, one of my personal favorite smartcar gadgets on the market.
The USB charges at 3A and peak current for jumpstarting is 500A out of the 41.1Wh Lithium Cobalt battery. Cobra knows car electronics, and the accessories that come with this beast are icing on the cake.
6. Blink Home Security Camera ($89.99)
A handy, portable, and battery-powered camera, Blink for Home is among the best entry-level home security cameras on the market. Starting at $89.99 for a one-camera system, Blink is easy to setup and expand as necessary.
Motion sensors, night vision, and an upcoming upgrade to 60 seconds of streaming video makes Blink for Home much more attractive. The addition of recording on demand will make it a home run.
7. UE Boom 2 Bluetooth Speaker ($199.99)
If you haven’t already read our bluetooth speaker roundup, the Boom 2 by Logitech’s UltimateEars brand is the ultimate winner. Although somewhat pricey, it’s waterproof, shock resistant, and has the best sound on the market.
Available in a variety of colors like blue, white, red, and black, UE Boom 2 is the perfect gift for the audiophile in your life who wants to take a speaker with them in the shower, to the beach, or to bed.
8. Zus Smart Car Charger ($29.99)
The Zus smart charger is more than just another USB car charger adapter. Not only do the two USB ports provide 2.1A to charge your devices, it also includes a bluetooth tracker and battery monitoring through the connected app on your smartphone.
Now you can track where your car’s parked, know whether or not you’re going to run into problems, and even track it if it’s stolen through a simple, unassuming device plugged into the cigarette lighter port.
9. Moto 360 Sport ($199.99)
There are tons of fitness trackers and wearables on the market, but Motorola’s Moto 360 Sport combines the best of both worlds in a simple, elegant, and durable silicon watch featuring Android Wear, along with a bevy of proprietary features.
Check out how it held up to the Fitbit Surge in the Hardcore Droid hardware labs last month.
10. Powerbeats 3 ($199.99)
Beats by Dre makes some of the most popular (and arguably overhyped) headphones on the market. I don’t typically feature Apple products, but Powerbeats are different because these wireless sports earbuds are the best on the market.
There are several other competitors (check out some of our headphone roundups) in the fitness earbuds category, but these held up and stayed in the best during marathon training in Flagstaff, so you’re likely to love them too.