Dads. They're like you, only they think they're really good at tech stuff but are perpetually 10 years behind the curve. That's OK, because this gift guide can go a long way to making sure he's at least partially caught up to 2019 ... and beyond.
Pixel perfect camera
If you want to treat Dad to a new phone this year without going overboard, the Pixel 3a is the way to go. It has one of the best cameras of any smartphone available in 2019, is guaranteed to receive software updates for the next few years, and even has the reliable headphone jack. On top of that, your wallet will appreciate the reasonable price.
The Galaxy S10+ is expensive. Let's get that out of the way right now. However, if you have a flexible gift budget and really want to spoil your old man, it's one of the best smartphones you can buy. The S10+'s large AMOLED display is unmatched, its battery simply refuses to die, and the three cameras on the back allow for some really fun possibilities.
Best under $200
We really like the Nokia 4.2's modern design, featuring a glass/metal construction along with a 5.71-inch HD+ display that has a tiny waterdrop notch at the top. You'll also find dual rear cameras, NFC to pay with your phone via Google Pay, and guaranteed software updates for at least two years. Considering the price Nokia's asking, that's not a bad deal at all.
Get up off the couch
Want to encourage Dad to be a little more active? The Fitbit Inspire is a great way to do so. It tracks steps, calories-burned, sleep, and various exercises all-day long with a battery that lasts up to five days on one charge. The Inspire's incredibly lightweight, comes in a few different colors, and can even be upgraded to the HR model which comes with a heart-rate sensor.
Our favorite smartwatch
On the smartwatch side of things, our favorite option right now is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Similar to the Fitbit Inspire, the Galaxy Watch Active tracks your all-day activity, exercises, sleep, and more. A heart-rate sensor is included by default and there's a GPS chip for mapping outdoor runs. It also receives notifications from your phone, can run apps, and be used to pay for things with Samsung Pay.
The hybrid choice
At first glance, the Withings Move looks like a regular watch. And in some ways, that's because it is. It's got a physical dial and hands to tell the time and comes in some really striking colors. In addition to that, however, it also keeps a log of your general activity, various exercises, and sleep. The best part? Its battery lasts for up to 18 months and doesn't need to be charged. Seriously.
Worth every penny
Bluetooth headphones have gotten really good over the years, and as it stands, one of the best options yet are the Sony WH1000XM3. Sony's asking a lot of money for them, but you get what you pay for — such as incredible sound, immensely powerful noise cancelation, intuitive touch controls, and a battery that lasts up to 30 hours on one charge and juices up via USB-C.
Compact fabric goodness
If your dad prefers his headphones to be lightweight and easy to take everywhere, the Plattan 2 Bluetooth from Urbanears are absolutely worth a look. These compact cans sound surprisingly good for their size, the fabric design comes in a bunch of colors (red being my personal favorite), and the one-button control system is my favorite of any headphones I've ever used.
Truly wireless earbuds have been immensly popular ever since the AirPods first dropped in 2016, and in the Android space, one of the best options out there are the Galaxy Buds. You can expect around six hours of listening time in addition to an extra seven hours provided by the included charging case. The audio is tuned by AKG and the splash-resistant design offers nice peace of mind.
Smart home hub
Smart home tech is becoming more popular with each passing day, and with the Nest Hub, managing it has never been easier. You can swipe down from the top of the screen to quickly manage your smart lights, thermostats, etc., see a video feed of your security cameras, and with Google Assistant built-in, ask whatever questions come to your mind. You can even use it to watch YouTube and follow recipies.
Alexa for less
Affordable smart speakers have gotten shockingly good in recent years, and the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is a prime example of that. It does all of the Alexa things you'd expect, allowing you to ask about the weather, control smart home gadgets with your voice, stream music, and much more. The speaker sounds pretty good considering the Dot's size, or you can connect it to another one via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable.
Works with everything
What's not to like about the Sonos One? As a speaker, it sounds fantastic. It's crisp, offers powerful bass, and can be paired with other Sonos speakers for simultaneous playback throughout your entire home. As a smart speaker, it works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and even supports Apple's AirPlay 2. The only problem is you'll want to buy more than just one.
Coolest thermostat around
By design, thermostats aren't very exciting — at least ones that aren't the Nest Thermostat E. After a painless installation, the Thermostat E starts learning your usage habits from the moment you start using it. With this information, it can adjust the temperature on its own based on when you get up, go to bed, leave for work, etc. It can also be controlled from your phone and looks wickedly cool.
Millions of colors
Philips Hue smart lights are expensive, but without a doubt, are some of the best you can buy. This starter kit includes the hub (you need this to get started) and four A19 bulbs that can emit over 16 million different colors. Philips rates each bulb to last for 25,000 hours of usage and they can be controlled with your phone and favorite virtual assistant (Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.).
Make everything smart
Smart plugs are a neccessity for any smart home, and if you ask us, we recommend picking up the Wemo Mini. The compact design allows you to have two Minis stacked on top of each other on one outlet, and once you get it set up through the Wemo mobile app, you can remotely turn the switch on and off from your phone, using your voice, or set up a schedule to have them work automatically.
Make a dumb TV smart
No matter if you dad has an older dumb TV or a smart one with a crappy user interface, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is a fantastic pick up. After being plugged into an HDMI port, you get instant access to a huge collection of streaming apps — including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, and so much more. This particular model supports 4K and HDR streaming and comes with a voice remote.
Best VR headset yet
I think it's safe to say that the Oculus Quest is the first VR gaming headset that's ready for the masses. It runs 100% standalone, meaning it doesn't need to be plugged into a PC or console of any kind. Despite that freedom, you still get access to some of the best VR games around, including big hits such as Beat Saber, Moss, SUPERHOT VR, and countless other titles.
If your dad is a gamer and still doesn't have a Nintendo Switch, now's the time to change that. Easily one of Nintendo's best consoles in years, the Switch can be played on the go or docked into a TV for a big-screen experience. Now that the Switch has been out for a hot minute, its game library is better than ever and is steadily growing all the time.
Binge it all
Netflix is one of the best video streaming services around, and whether your pops is already subscribed to it or keeps putting it off because he doesn't want another subscription, a Netflix gift card is the way to go. You can buy it in various dollar amounts, and when you're ready, you can have a redemptioin code sent right to your dad's email.
Expand that digital library
The Google Play Store is home to a wealth of content, including paid apps/games, movies and TV shows, audiobooks, e-books, and subscriptions such as YouTube Premium. You dad can get any of these things on the Play Store, and just like the Netflix card, this Google Play one is available in numerous amounts and is delivered via email.
Can't go wrong
Last but most certainly not least, we have Old Reliable — aka an Amazon gift card. This should go without saying, but you can find just about anything and everything on Amazon. Whether Dad wants to shop around for some new shirts, headphones, office supplies, cookware, or anything else he can think of, chances are Amazon has it. You can have the card delivered via email, text, or your favorite messaging app.
If we're making some suggestions
Every dad is different, and that means there's no one-size-fits-all gift we recommend over everything else. With that said, there are a few things on here that do stand out as something special.
Getting your dad a new phone is a great way to spoil him on Father's Day, and if you want the best mix of features and value, we'd say to go with the Pixel 3a (opens in new tab). It's considerably cheaper than something like the Galaxy S10 but still offers a flagship-like experience with its unbeatable camera, excellent software, and Google's comittment to providing fast, ongoing updates.
If you'd rather get something that's more affordable while still giving your dad something he'll enjoy, the Fitbit Inspire (opens in new tab) is another great option.
Not only is it one of the lightest and slimmest fitness trackers out there, it's also chock-full of features that encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle and rarely needs to be placed on its charger. Compared to some wearables that need to charge up every single night, that's a huge benefit.
And, if all else fails, you can never go wrong with an Amazon Gift Card (opens in new tab).
Happy Father's Day! 👨👧👦