Columnist Jennifer Jolly shows you all the cool new gadgets for men that you can purchase for the holidays.
Jennifer Jolly for USA Today
You know the old saying: Men are from Mars, women are from wherever has the best shoes — that’s how it goes, right? Whenever you’re shopping for the opposite sex, things can get confusing in a hurry, and throwing gadgets into the mix can make things even more complicated. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most-desired gadget gifts for men — for all kinds of guys and in every price range — to help you get it just right this year.
For His Inner Geek: My good friend Mike recently told me, “If it seems like all men are secretly nerds, it’s because they are.” His words, not mine. There’s no better way to show him you embrace his dorky nature than with this fantastic fully functional Star Trek communicator ($129.99). It’s designed to look exactly like the original prop from the show, and it pairs via Bluetooth to his smartphone, so he can actually use it to phone home. Flipping the cover answers calls, and it has a huge range of more than 100-feet, just in case he feels the urge to explore.
Gamer Guy: If he’s a gamer, he probably owns a PlayStation 4. It’s the most popular game console of the past few years, and the PlayStation VR headset ($399) is the ultimate add-on. The core bundle comes with everything he needs to dive into all the fast-paced, neck-twisting virtual reality games he craves. It works with every version of the PlayStation 4, including the all-new PlayStation 4 Pro, so you can buy one worry-free. You can also give your gamer guy a GameStop gift card so he can continue to add the latest releases to his gaming collection.
The Ultimate Hipster: Give the guy on your list a taste of yesteryear with Sharper Image’s hilarious “Mr. Hipster” smartphone stand ($27.00). It’s just like one of those old rotary phones, but instead of a circular dial there’s a slot for his smartphone. Plug it in and he can even make phone calls with the old plastic banana handle. It’s quirky but functional, which is a great combo for gift giving.
For His Mancave: Gamers, graphic artists, movie-lovers — and anyone who appreciates stellar picture quality will love LG’s gorgeous 38-inch UltraWide curved monitor ($1,499.99). Movies, games, and sports look amazing on it, and the curve pulls him into the action. The built-in Bluetooth speakers blast rich sound to all corners of his cave, and the extra-wide screen is perfect for multitasking, so he can watch his favorite team on one side and work on the other.
The Rock Fan: He loves his music loud, and that’s just what he’ll get with the Megaboom ($299.99) or UE Boom2 ($199.99) Bluetooth speakers from Ultimate Ears. It’s only nine inches tall, but it blasts out some seriously impressive sound, no matter where he puts hit. The Megaboom will rock his socks for up to 20 hours on a single battery charge, and since it’s also waterproof, it can go to the beach, the shop, the trail, and everywhere in between. Also, UE’s Party Up app update lets him wirelessly connect two to fifty UE speakers within seconds so he can truly rock out in epic ways.
UE Boom2 ($199.99) Bluetooth speakers from Ultimate Ears. (Photo: UE Boom 2 bluetooth speaker)
The Gear Guy: Samsung’s trio of mobile gadgets are the perfect combo for the ultimate gear guy. It starts with the Galaxy S7 ($694.99); one of the fastest, sleekest, and most powerful Android phones available. Then add the Galaxy 360 camera ($349.99), an awesome little ball of tech which shoots 360-degree video of anywhere, and combine it with the Galaxy Gear VR headset ($99.99). The Gear VR uses the S7 as its screen, just slide it into the place and dive into a world of VR, including the 360-degree videos from the Galaxy 360. Forget a fancy camera that takes snapshots, with this combo he can relive entire moments as though he’s there.
Retro Game Junkie: Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition ($59.99) is the ultimate gift for any old-school gaming fan — if you can still find one to buy. It’s packed with 30 of the original Nintendo’s most stellar titles, like all three Mario Bros. adventures, Tecmo Bowl, Mega Man 2, and many, many more. The bummer about this gadget is that’s it’s so popular, it’s sold out virtually everywhere. If you run into a snag on your usual shopping trips try scoring one on Walmart.com and sign up for notifications on Amazon so you’ll know as soon as they get a new shipment. I’ve seen a few going for top-dollar ($170-$300+) on eBay lately too, so there is hope if you really, really want to get it for him.
The Audiophile: If you type “wireless speaker” into Google you’re going to see literally thousands of options, but if you want the absolute best boom money can buy, Devialet’s Phantom speakers (starting at $1,990) are in a league of their own. They’re more expensive than my first car, and they’re probably more powerful than it, too. With 4,500 watts of ear-tickling power, these speakers are packed with patented technology that give them a sound that is simply second to none.
Devialet’s Phantom speakers offer the best boom money can buy. (Photo: Devialet)
DIY Dude: He’s Getting Hotter: If he’s the kind of guy that has every tool you could possibly imagine, you can really surprise him with this. Thermal imaging tech is just finally creeping into the affordable range, and Seek’s Compact thermal imager ($249.00) plugs right into your smartphone. He just snaps it into place and boots up the Seek app to see the world in a whole new way. The Seek Compact only sees heat, which makes it great for hunting, wildlife spotting, or even pinpointing where that nasty draft in the living room is coming from.
Seek’s Compact thermal imager plugs right into your smartphone. (Photo: Seek)
The Live-It Live Guy: If he loves streaming live video of his latest culinary classics, unboxing antics, or epic adventures, smartphone cameras are alright at getting the job done, but they’ve got nothing on Mevo. Mevo ($399.99) is like a little professional recording rig shrunk down to the size of a soda can. The huge 12.4 megapixel lense can capture photos and video in up to 4k resolution, and videos can be edited on-the-fly with the Mevo app for iOS. It runs on a wall plug or battery power, and can even stream live video to Facebook, making it one of the most powerful video gadgets you can buy.
Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy Award-winning consumer tech contributor and host of USA TODAY’s digital video show TECH NOW. E-mail her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferJolly.
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