The best smartwatches

Just a few years ago, the case for smartwatches wasn’t clear. Today, the wearable world is filled with various high-quality options, and a few key players have muscled their way to the front of the pack. Chances are, if you’re reading this guide, you’ve probably already decided that it’s time to upgrade from a standard timepiece to a smartwatch. Maybe you want to reach for your phone less throughout the day, or maybe you want to stay connected in a more discrete way. The list of reasons why you may want a smartwatch is long, as is the list of factors you’ll want to consider before deciding which to buy.

What to look for in a smartwatch

Google WearOS interface on a smartwatch.
Cherlynn Low

Compatibility

Apple Watches only work with iPhones, while Wear OS devices play nice with both iOS and Android. Smartwatches made by Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit and others are also compatible with Android and iOS, but you’ll need to install a companion app.

The smartwatch OS will also dictate the type and number of on-watch apps you’ll have access to. Many of these aren’t useful, though, making this factor a fairy minor one in the grand scheme of things.

Price

The best smartwatches generally cost between $300 and $400. Compared to budget smartwatches, which cost between $100 and $250, these pricier devices have advanced fitness, music and communications features. They also often include perks like onboard GPS, music storage and NFC, which budget devices generally don’t.

Some companies make specialized fitness watches: Those can easily run north of $500, and we’d only recommend them to serious athletes. Luxury smartwatches from brands like TAG Heuer and Hublot can also reach sky-high prices, but we wouldn’t endorse any of them. These devices can cost more than $1,000, and you’re usually paying for little more than a brand name and some needlessly exotic selection of build materials.

Battery life

Battery life remains one of our biggest complaints about smartwatches, but there’s hope as of late. You can expect two full days from Apple Watches and most Wear OS devices. Watches using the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor support extended battery modes that promise up to five days on a charge — if you’re willing to shut off most features aside from, you know, displaying the time. Snapdragon’s next-gen Wear 4100 and 4100+ processors were announced in 2020, but only a handful of devices – some of which aren’t even available yet – are using them so far. Other models can last five to seven days, but they usually have fewer features and lower-quality displays. Meanwhile, some fitness watches can last weeks on a single charge.

A few smartwatches now support faster charging, too. For example, Apple promises the Series 7 can go from zero to 80 percent power in only 45 minutes, and get to full charge in 75 minutes. The OnePlus Watch is even speedier, powering up from zero to 43 percent in just 10 minutes. (Mind you that turned out to be one of the only good things about that device.)

Communication

Any smartwatch worth considering delivers call, text and app alerts to your wrist. Call and text alerts are self explanatory, but if those mean a lot to you, consider a watch with LTE. They’re more expensive than their WiFi-only counterparts, but data connectivity allows the smartwatch to take and receive calls, and do the same with text messages, without your phone nearby. As far as app alerts go, getting them delivered to your wrist will let you glance down and see if you absolutely need to check your phone right now.

Fitness tracking

Activity tracking is a big reason why people turn to smartwatches. An all-purpose timepiece should log your steps, calories and workouts, and most of today’s wearables have a heart rate monitor as well.

Many smartwatches also have onboard GPS, which is useful for tracking distance for runs and bike rides. Swimmers will want something water resistant, and thankfully most all-purpose devices now can withstand at least a dunk in the pool. Some smartwatches from companies like Garmin are more fitness focused than others and tend to offer more advanced features like heart-rate-variance tracking, recovery time estimation, onboard maps and more.

Health tracking on smartwatches has also seen advances over the years. Both Apple and Fitbit devices can estimate blood oxygen levels and measure ECGs. But the more affordable the smartwatch, the less likely it is that it has these kinds of health tracking features; if collecting that type of data is important to you, you’ll have to pay for the privilege.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
Engadget

Music

Your watch can not only track your morning runs but also play music while you’re exercising. Many smartwatches let you save your music locally, so you can connect wireless earbuds and listen to tunes without bringing your phone. Those that don’t have onboard storage for music usually have on-watch music controls, so you can control playback without whipping out your phone. And if your watch has LTE, local saving isn’t required — you’ll be able to stream music directly from the watch to your paired earbuds.

Always-on displays

Most flagship smartwatches today have some sort of always-on display, be it a default feature or a setting you can enable. It allows you to glance down at your watch to check the time and any other information you’ve set it to show on its watchface without lifting your wrist. This will no doubt affect your device’s battery life, but thankfully most always-on modes dim the display’s brightness so it’s not running at its peak unnecessarily. Cheaper devices won’t have this feature; instead, their screens will automatically turn off to conserve battery and you’ll have to intentionally check your watch to turn on the display again.

NFC

Many smartwatches have NFC, letting you pay for things without your wallet. After saving your credit or debit card information, you can hold your smartwatch up to an NFC reader to pay for a cup of coffee on your way home from a run. Keep in mind that different watches use different payment systems: Apple Watches use Apple Pay, Wear OS devices use Google Pay, Samsung devices use Samsung Pay and so forth.

Apple Pay is one of the most popular NFC payment systems, with support for multiple banks and credit cards in 72 different countries, while Samsung and Google Pay work in fewer regions. It’s also important to note that both NFC payment support varies by device as well for both Samsung and Google’s systems.

Engadget Picks

Best overall: Apple Watch

An off-angle view of the Apple Watch Series 7 on a person's wrist, showing the screen's refracted edge and the watch's dial and button.
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The Apple Watch has evolved into the most robust smartwatch since its debut in 2015. It’s the no-brainer pick for iPhone users, and we wouldn’t judge you for switching to an iPhone just to be able to use an Apple Watch. The latest model, the Apple Watch Series 7, has solid fitness-tracking features that will satisfy the needs of beginners and serious athletes alike. It also detects if you’ve fallen, can carry out ECG tests and measures blood oxygen levels. Plus, it offers NFC, onboard music storage and many useful apps as well as a variety of ways to respond to messages.

The main differences between the Series 7 and the Series 6 that preceded it are the 7’s larger display, its overnight respiratory tracking and faster charging. The slight increase in screen real estate allows you to see things even more clearly on the small device, and Apple managed to fit a full QWERTY keyboard on it to give users another way to respond to messages. The faster charging capabilities are also notable – we got 10 percent power in just 10 minutes of the Watch sitting on its charging disk, and it was fully recharged in less than one hour.

While the $399 Series 7 is the most feature-rich Apple Watch to date, it’s also the most expensive model in the Watch lineup, and for some shoppers there might not be clear benefits over older editions. Those who don’t need an always-on display, ECG or blood oxygen readings might instead consider the Apple Watch SE, which starts at $279.

We actually regard the Watch SE as the best option for first-time smartwatch buyers, or people on stricter budgets. You’ll get all the core Apple Watch features as well as things like fall detection, noise monitoring and emergency SOS, but you’ll have to do without more advanced hardware perks like a blood oxygen sensor and ECG monitor.

Buy Apple Watch Series 7 at Amazon - $399Buy Apple Watch SE at Amazon - $279

Best budget: Fitbit Versa 2

Engadget

Dropping $400 on a smartwatch isn’t feasible for everyone, which is why we recommend the Fitbit Versa 2 as the best sub-$200 option. It’s our favorite budget watch because it offers a bunch of features at a great price. You get all of these essentials: Fitbit’s solid exercise-tracking abilities (including auto-workout detection), sleep tracking, water resistance, connected GPS, blood oxygen tracking and a six-day battery life. It also supports Fitbit Pay using NFC and it has built-in Amazon Alexa for voice commands. While the Versa 2 typically costs $150, we’ve seen it for as low as $100.

Buy Fitbit Versa 2 at Amazon - $150

Best for Android users: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

A black Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 on a wrist
David Imel for Engadget

Samsung teamed up with Google recently to revamp its smartwatch OS, but that doesn’t mean Tizen fans should fret. The Galaxy Watch 4 is the latest flagship wearable from Samsung and it runs on WearOS with the new One UI, which will feel familiar if you’ve used Tizen before. Also, the watch now comes with improved third-party app support and access to the Google Play Store, so you can download apps directly from the watch.

We like the Galaxy Watch 4 for its premium design as well as its comprehensive feature set. It has a 3-in-1 biometric sensor that enables features like body mass scanning, bloody oxygen tracking and more, plus it has a plethora of trackable workout profiles. Both the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic run on new 5nm processors and have more storage than before, as well as sharper, brighter displays. They both run smoothly and rarely lag, but that performance boost does come with a small sacrifice to battery life: the Galaxy Watch 4 typically lasted about one day in our testing, which while not the best, may not be a dealbreaker for you if you plan on recharging it every night.

Buy Galaxy Watch 4 at Amazon - $250

Fashion-forward options

Michael Kors Access Gen 5e MKGO at CES 2021
Fossil

Yes, there are still companies out there trying to make “fashionable” smartwatches. Back when wearables were novel and generally ugly, brands like Fossil, Michael Kors and Skagen found their niche in stylish smartwatches that took cues from analog timepieces. You also have the option to pick up a “hybrid” smartwatch from companies like Withings and Garmin – these devices look like standard wrist watches but incorporate some limited functionality like activity tracking and heart rate monitoring. They remain good options if you prefer that look, but thankfully, wearables made by Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and others have gotten much more attractive over the past few years.

Ultimately, the only thing you can’t change after you buy a smartwatch is its case design. If you’re not into the Apple Watch’s squared-off corners, all of Samsung’s smartwatches have round cases that look a little more like a traditional watch. Most wearables are offered in a choice of colors and you can pay extra for premium materials like stainless steel. Once you decide on a case, your band options are endless – there are dozens of first- and third-party watch straps available for most major smartwatches, allowing you to change up your look whenever you please.

Cherlynn Low contributed to this guide.

The best gifts for dad under $50

Us kids know how hard it is to buy gifts for parents. It’s either a case of they don’t want anything or they’ve already gone out and bought the product you had your eye on without telling you. Especially tech-savvy dads. But there are some oft-forgotten, cheaper gifts that can do the job without breaking the $50 barrier. From console controllers to tracking tags, smart lights to charging accessories, our ideas will tick the list of even the most hard-to-buy-for father figure in your life.

8BitDo Pro 2 controller

An overview photo of the 8BitDo Pro 2 gaming controller lined up neatly next to a variety of compatible game platforms.
8BitDo

It might look a bit retro, but make no mistake, 8BitDo’s Pro 2 controller is crammed full of tech. The Bluetooth handheld connects to your Switch, PC and mobile device, offering a familiar thumbstick and D-Pad layout, as well as back paddles and a profile switcher. That means dads will be able to use the controller in Switch or Android mode or pair it as an X-input or D-input device. Perfect for gaming while on the move.

Buy 8BitDo Pro 2 at Amazon - $50

Roku Express 4K+

Roku Express 4K+
Engadget

Now that we’re truly in the streaming age, finding a TV with Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max etc built in is a lot easier. But we both know that at least one of your dad’s televisions probably doesn’t (and could use a little help with modernization). That’s where Roku’s Express 4K+ streamer comes in. With support for all modern streaming services, the Express 4K is easy to set up and with its simple remote just does the job.

Buy Roku Express 4K+ at Amazon - $40

LastPass subscription

The LastPass logo on a concrete background.
LastPass

Does your dad have at least one password with “123456” in it? Instead of shaming him, consider getting him a password manager instead. While most browsers come with their own built-in password tools, a LastPass Premium subscription operates across a wide variety of devices, browsers and operating systems. It’ll save all of his passwords and suggest stronger ones all day long, but it isn’t limited to just that: Feed it addresses, card details and other important information and it’ll reduce the time and effort it takes to fill in those pesky online forms.

Buy LastPass Premium starting at $3/month

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

ThermoWorks ThermoPop
ThermoWorks

We’re big fans of ThermoWorks’ Thermapen Mk4, but spending $100 on an instant-read thermometer may not be in your budget. Luckily, you can still upgrade your dad’s cooking toolkit with the $35 ThermoPop, a compact, lollipop-like thermometer that is accurate and easy to use. It has a single button that turns it on and rotates its backlit digital display so you can always read it properly, regardless of how you’re holding it. Temperature readings pop up in about 3-4 seconds, so it won’t take long for dad to figure out if his brisket is cooked to perfection. With a temperature range of -58 to 572°F and a splash-proof design, the ThermoPop could end up being dad’s new favorite kitchen tool.

Buy ThermoPop at ThermoWorks - $35

Anker Nano II GAN Charger

Anker Nano II 65W charger
Engadget

In this day and age, gadgets are getting better at holding their charge for most – if not all – of the day, but there are often times when dad’s smartphone (complete with folding case and belt clip) needs a quick top-up. The good thing about Anker’s Nano II GAN Charger is that it isn’t just a phone charger; you can hook this thing up to a MacBook (Air or Pro) and have it charged in no time. Anker says it’ll charge an iPhone 13 up to three times faster than an original 5W charger and juice Samsung phones at full speed via Super Fast Charging. It’s also compact, saving space on his outlets, but also making it a perfect accessory to throw in a backpack or store in a coat pocket for those on-the-move recharges.

Buy Anker Nano II (65W) at Amazon - $50

Rocketbook Eco-Friendly reusable notebook

Rocketbook Eco-Friendly reusable notebook
Rocketbook

If dad isn’t one for to-do lists or electronic note-taking and instead prefers to write things down for later, the Rocketbook line of reusable notebooks are a solid choice. It works in two ways: the 32-page notebook features special pages that allow the Pilot Frixion pen to write like any normal pen. However, after fifteen seconds, you can use the microfiber cloth to erase any mistakes or wipe it completely, leaving a perfectly blank page. Before dad does that, however, Rocketbook’s AI app can digitize any of the writing or drawings, saving them to a phone or tablet for later reading.

Buy Rocketbook notebooks at Amazon - $34

Nintendo $50 eShop Gift Card

Nintendo eShop gift card
Engadget

If dad has a Nintendo Switch (or one of the company’s handhelds), then he’s probably already pretty up-to-speed on the Nintendo eShop. Every so often, the company will reduce a wide range of first-party and indie games, allowing you and dad to build out your collection for a lot less. The good news is that throughout the year, retailers will often offer discounts on eShop credit, which when combined with an existing sale, can lighten dad’s overall spend on games. Deals are often around 10 percent off, meaning you’ll be able to secure a $50 card for just $45.

Buy Nintendo eShop gift card at Amazon - $50

Blink Mini Camera

Blink Mini camera
Blink

From unwanted intruders to porch pirates, security cams are a very useful tool not only as a deterrent, but also to capture irrefutable proof of wrongdoing. Blink (from Amazon), has a wide range of indoor and outdoor home security products, but its basic 1080p indoor plug-in camera is a solid choice for keeping an eye on pets, but also unwelcome guests in the dead of night. It comes with two-way audio, allowing dad to covertly startle a friend or family member, and motion detection, letting him focus on the specific areas of the home. The Blink Mini also ties in perfectly with Alexa, so it’s a solid choice for families who already own an Echo device.

Buy Blink Mini at Amazon - $35

iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit

iFixit Essentials Electronics Toolkit
iFixit

Not every dad is handy with tools, but if yours likes to take things apart just to be able to put them back together again or prefers to fix things rather than buying a new one, iFixit’s Essential Electronics Toolkit could come in handy. With a bunch of precision bits, tweezers, suction handle, SIM eject tool and sorting tray, this kit is perfect for DIY screen replacements or opening up a tablet or laptop to fix a worn-out component. It’s also perfect for eyeglasses, should dad need to repair them too.

Buy Essentials Toolkit at Amazon - $25

JLab Go Air Pop earbuds

JLab Go Air Pop earbuds
JLab

Listening to music on-the-go doesn’t need to be expensive. JLab’s Go Air Pop wireless earbuds are a perfect example of that. For just $20 (sometimes less), these small but colorful Bluetooth buds offer on-board touch controls, the ability to use either earbud independently, EQ presets and IPX4 moisture resistance (meaning they’ll survive a low-pressure spray of water). They’re also really solid in the battery life department, too: the Go Air Pops will provide dad up to eight hours on a charge but the case will give you three additional charges before you need to plug the entire set in.

Buy JLab Go Air Pop at Amazon - $20

Fitbit Aria Air smart scale

Fitbit Aria Air smart scale
Engadget

Nobody is saying that dad needs to lose or gain weight, but he’s looking for a better way to track his body measurements then a smart scale could help. Make no mistake: the Aria Air isn’t as fancy as some of the smart scales on the market – complete with body composition metrics – but it’s very accurate and nice-looking scale that tracks body weight and BMI. If dad already has a Fitbit smartwatch or tracker, it’ll put it alongside his existing exercise data, giving him a nice snapshot of his overall fitness and body health.

Buy Fitbit Aria Air at Amazon - $50

Amazon Smart Thermostat

Amazon Smart Thermostat
Engadget

No smart home is complete without a smart thermostat handling all of the family’s heating and hot water needs. Everyone can argue all they like about the temperature inside the house, but dad can control the thermostat remotely with Amazon’s cheap Smart Thermostat. Sure, its usual retail price is normally a tiny bit higher than the $50 limit we’ve set here but we have seen it regularly come down to a low of $48, which is when you should probably jump on it. The Smart Thermostat itself is backed by Honeywell and ties nicely in with Alexa, which can do dad’s bidding for him (whether it be via an Echo smart speaker, display or app).

Buy smart thermostat at Amazon - $60

The best gifts for new dads

It's hard to be a new parent even during the most idyllic times. So what can you do to help? How about gifting a new dad something to make their lives a bit easier. Maybe they just need a breather from the hellstorm of diapers and sleep training. Or perhaps they want a better way to distract their screaming spawn. Here are a few options to consider.

10.2-inch iPad

10.2-inch iPad
Apple

Apple's entry-level iPad is one of the most useful devices for any new parent. It can be your child's gateway to video chatting with their grandparents (and with the new Center Stage cameras, they’ll always be in frame), or a life-saving distraction during long car rides. It could be a new dad's way to catch up on their favorite show while stuck dealing with mealtime. Or it could be a way for growing kids to read interactive stories and play games. The iPad can be whatever you want it to be. And paired with a decent case, it can be durable enough to survive life with tiny humans. (And if it does break, at least it's far cheaper to replace than an iPad Air, or a typical laptop.)

Buy 10.2-inch iPad at Amazon - $329

Jabra Elite 85t earbuds

Jabra Elite 85t earbuds sitting on a few books.
Engadget

There's no question that we love Jabra's lineup of wireless earbuds. The Elite 85t delivers solid active noise canceling, a slim and light design, and excellent sound. And best of all, they cost around $200 and you can often find them for around $150. No matter which smartphone you have, the 85t are an excellent way to catch up on podcasts while trying to rock a baby to sleep. And they'll be even more useful during the rare bit of downtime for new parents. They're perfect for rocking out to your favorite tunes, or pair them to your TV or set-top box to enjoy late-night movies without making much noise.

Buy Jabra Elite 85t at Amazon - $200

SmartNoggin Nogginstik

The SmartNoggin Nogginstick baby toy.
SmartNoggin

This relatively cheap rattle is deceptively useful. It has a light-up face to keep babies interested, multiple textures for them to explore, and a mirror on the bottom for them to learn their own faces. It was a secret weapon during my child's first-year tantrums, so much so that I've gifted it to every new parent I know. It's not high tech at all, but it's a reminder that they’re called classics for a reason.

Buy Nogginstik at Amazon - $24

Sonos Roam

A white Sonos Roam speaker sitting on an outdoor ledge.
Engadget

Sonos' most portable speaker is an excellent choice for new parents, especially if they’ve already bought into the Sonos ecosystem. It's small enough to throw in a bag, giving new parents a way to play some tunes during a picnic. It relies on Bluetooth, so pretty much any device can connect to it. But the best part is that it also works over Wi-Fi with an existing Sonos setup. So if you start playing some songs on your larger Sonos speakers, you can easily pipe that over to the Roam and bring it to your backyard. And since it's from a brand that's known for excellent sound quality, you can expect everything to be much richer than other cheap Bluetooth speakers.

Buy Roam at Sonos - $179

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7
Apple

The Apple Watch is great for working out — but it can also be a handy tool for new parents. It's a simple way to keep tabs on texts and other notifications when your hands are full with a baby or baby-related ephemera. It lets you start and stop podcasts when you can't reach your phone. And — here's the kicker — it's also a perfect way to distract youngins and de-escalate shouting matches. It turns out, having a tiny screen on your wrist that can display photos is pretty useful! And it's also a relatively safe device for babies to fiddle with, thanks to its touchscreen. (Of course, you can take your pick of any competing smartwatch for Android users, but we'd recommend Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4.)

Buy Apple Watch Series 7 at Amazon - $399Buy Galaxy Watch 4 at Amazon - $250

GoPro Hero10 Black

GoPro Hero10 Black
GoPro

Action cameras are great for vacations and high-impact sports, but they can be just as useful for new parents. It's the sort of thing you can strap onto a hat when you go out for a light hike with a little one, or just leave it running in your backyard to capture their first steps. Sure, we've all got smartphone cameras, but it's tough to leave those running for extended periods, and they're still a bit distracting if you're dealing with a child. A camera like the Hero10 Black, on the other hand, is something you can just set, forget and discover little video treasures later.

Buy Hero10 Black at Amazon - $500

Theragun Mini

Someone using the Theragun Mini on their elbow.
Theragun

Keeping up with a new baby can lead to aches and pains in muscles that dad never knew he had. The Theragun Mini can give him the opportunity to get a massage without leaving the house. While there are much bigger and more powerful Theragun machines, the Mini is a good size for beginners and those who want to take its muscle relief power wherever they go. It has a single button that dad can use to change the massage gun’s speed and its ergonomic design makes it easy to reach different parts of the body. And arguably the best part is its 150-minute battery life — while that might not seem like a long time, it truly is when you consider the fact that you don’t need to use it for more than a few minutes each day to feel the results. With that schedule, dad could use the Theragun Mini every day for a month or more before needing to recharge it.

Buy Mini at Theragun - $199

Comixology

Promotional images for the Comixology service.
Comixology

It’s hard to keep up with comics when kids are around, but Comixology makes it easy to catch up on your favorite releases. If you know a comic nerd who’s eager to see what the X-Men are up to, or who just wants to catch up on long-running graphic novel series, it’s worth sending them an Amazon gift card that they can use with Comixology. It’s particularly useful for anyone who has an iPad or a decent Android tablet. Not surprisingly, bright and portable screens are one of the best ways to appreciate comic art!

Buy Amazon gift cards for Comixology

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Game controller

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Game controller
Fisher Price

A perfect gift for any gamer dads in your life, the Laugh and Learn Controller is basically a baby-proofed version of a modern gamepad. There's a joystick, directional pad, and array of buttons for kids to fiddle with. But like any good distracting toy, it also lights up and makes sounds to keep them entertained. It's not exactly complex, but it's inexpensive and effective. That's particularly true for parents of little ones who always gravitate to their expensive console controllers.

Buy Laugh and Learn Controller at Amazon - $10

Greens Steel insulated tumbler

Greens Steel Beast insulated tumbler
Greens Steel

Coffee, tea or another caffeinated beverage is an essential for many new dads and Greens Steel’s insulated tumblers can keep their drink of choice hot or cold for hours. While we all appreciate that luxury, it’s especially important for parents who often find themselves sipping tepid coffee hours after they brewed their first cup because they got distracted with kid duties. These tumblers are made of 18/8 food grade steel and they have a double wall vacuum that maintains temperatures for up to 12 hours. And regardless of which size you get (20-, 30- or 40-ounce) they all fit into standard-sized cup holders, so dad can bring his drink with him when he runs out for an emergency diaper restock.

Buy Greens Steel tumbler at Amazon - $29

Leaked iPhone 14 Pro dummy prototype shows a much larger camera bump, and no more notch

2022 seems to be the year that the iPhone finally breaks up with the notch.

Whoever Dave2D‘s sources are, they certainly must be pretty important people. The YouTuber managed to get his hands on a pretty realistic-looking iPhone 14 Pro dummy unit – the kind Apple hands out to case/accessory designers beforehand to help them manufacture and launch upgraded accessories as soon as the phone drops. It’s rumored that Apple will be dropping just 4 iPhones this fall (the company is discontinuing the Mini), and while the 14 and 14 Max look relatively unchanged, the higher-end 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max have some significant design upgrades – notably the absence of the camera notch for something much more discreet.

Apple debuted the notch in 2018 – nearly 4 years ago. Since then, almost every company’s moved on to bigger and better things, but the iPhone-maker couldn’t seem to shake off the intrusive design detail. In fact, in a year where even MUCH smaller companies were making phones with tighter bezels and camera cutouts, Apple was faithfully committed to giving their iPhones an ugly, obtrusive forehead like a parent getting their children bad haircuts. It’s funny that Apple even figured out 5G before they figured out notch-less displays.

However, if Dave2D’s secret source is to be believed, Apple’s finally figured out a workaround, with a rather fitting ‘i’ shaped camera cutout on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. This creates the iPhone X moment for the Pro range, with a design that people can now instantly distinguish as a different, more premium model (the same way the notched iPhone X actually distinguished itself from the iPhone 8). For someone who’s used Android all his life, this doesn’t feel too different, but if you’re a serial iOS-head, this new camera cutout will instantly be the first thing your eye immediately travels to… because for the first time, you have hardware that is actually ‘inside’ the screen’s real estate.

It’s not entirely certain why Apple chose this unique cutout (the company should have figured out under-display FaceID by now, right?) but some speculate that this is the best the company could do given the dire circumstances and timelines. Apple ditched their Chinese front-facing camera manufacturer for a South Korean maker at the very last minute due to quality and developmental issues. Rumor has it that this new camera system turned out to be thrice as expensive as the regular notch, but given the fact that the company is running on a tight deadline with their iPhone event just 4-ish months away, it was the best they could do. Maybe the iPhone 15 will look better, right?

Front-facing camera aside, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are rumored to have Apple’s latest A16 Bionic chip. The specs of this chip are the kind of details that nobody will really know up until Tim Cook or Phil Schiller actually gives us the whole story.

Other notable details include a similar but slightly larger camera bump. Apple seems to be pushing the envelope with just making their iPhone cameras bigger so they have larger sensors, and the iPhone 14 Pro seems to be no exception. Another feature that comes as no surprise? Lightning connector on the base. Apple has until 2024-25 to adopt the USB-C format before the folks at the EU get pissed, so chances are this might be the last, if not second-last iPhone with Apple’s proprietary lightning connector. Makes sense, considering the company also sells iPhone accessories like the AirPods and the MagSafe battery pack that use the same cable/port.

Apple is scheduled to announce the iPhone 14 this September or October. While this prototype here seems to paint a pretty reliable picture of what to expect, there are still a few more details that need mentioning, like the colors, price, and the new killer feature that sets this iPhone apart from others. (It was the Cinematic Mode last year)

The post Leaked iPhone 14 Pro dummy prototype shows a much larger camera bump, and no more notch first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple has previewed its AR/VR glasses to its board of directors, hinting at a near-future launch

The Apple AR/VR headset may be just around the corner. Can we expect a 2022 announcement this fall??

A report last week by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has revealed that Apple has internally begun demonstrating its secret AR/VR headset concept. “Apple Inc. executives previewed its upcoming mixed-reality headset to the company’s board last week, indicating that development of the device has reached an advanced stage”, Gurman mentioned in the Bloomberg article. The company’s board, comprising of 8 directors and Apple CEO Tim Cook, meets at least four times each year to evaluate the Silicon Valley giant’s progress. This time, the board members were made privy to what seems like a final version of Apple’s augmented reality headset prototype that the world has been referring to as Apple Glass.

Apple Glass concept by Antonio De Rosa

This marks an important milestone in Apple’s roadmap, hinting at the fact that the AR glasses are in their most advanced stage. It also would be Apple’s FIRST new product (not including the AirPods Max) to be announced without the company’s legendary former designer Jony Ive. The Apple Watch was announced back in 2014 when Ive was the Chief Design Officer.

Here’s a look at a concept pair of Apple AR glasses created by Antonio De Rosa, designed to resemble the iconic spectacles Steve Jobs wore. De Rosa’s Apple Glass concept comes equipped with 6 cameras that perform environment-mapping, eye tracking, and hand + gesture recognition. Everything sits in a frame that’s incredibly slim, looking less like hardware and more like a fashion accessory – an approach that’s important Apple’s fashion-friendly ethos. The Apple Glass concept even comes along with a rather wide charging case, styled to look like an elongated version of the company’s AirPods case.

In recent weeks, Apple has also ramped up the development of a new native OS for its rumored headset, codenamed rOS, or reality operating system. That progress, coupled with the board presentation, hints at the fact that we could be a few mere months away from Tim Cook announcing the new product. Chances are, however, that we’ll see production leaks to get a better idea of the AR headset’s design once Apple begins reaching out to manufacturers with a concrete production-ready prototype.

The post Apple has previewed its AR/VR glasses to its board of directors, hinting at a near-future launch first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple’s former chief designer Jony Ive gives us a rare look at his everyday design tool kit

The kit gives us a fleeting insight into Jony Ive’s sensibilities, and it encapsulates the two keywords we’ve come to know with his design style – minimalism, and luxury.

Now I don’t mean luxury in the conventional sense, but rather in the way Apple’s own products are de-facto luxury items given their price tags. The kind of objects Ive carries in his toolkit are similar in that nature – they’re high-quality top-notch tools of trade, perhaps the type that most people won’t be able to afford – Jony carries an Hermès measuring tape that costs $530 of your fine American dollars.

In a special interview with Financial Times (a sensible choice of publication considering his entire toolkit costs well over $10,000), Jony gave the world a look at 12 tools of his trade “for making, for marking, for measuring, and carrying with you every day.” The toolkit is far from your average hex-bits and wrenches. Jony prizes himself in carrying products that inspire him and embody his design philosophies – to that end, the images below include everything from a fountain pen to the tonearm from a turntable. Here’s a look at the EDC collection from the most prolific designer of our time.

The two objects right above cost over $6,000 alone. On the left is a 3/8″ Drive Adjustable Click-Type Fixed Ratcheting Torque Wrench, with a price tag of $399, and right beside it, a Linn titanium Ekos SE tonearm that costs a whopping $5,645. Why does Jony proudly carry a 5-grand turntable tonearm with him? Didn’t the man design the iPod??

This color-coded hex L-Key set from Wiha is one of the more affordable objects in his toolkit, and arguably the most fascinating. Priced at just $37.39, these colorful hex keys remind me of the colorful iPods, begging the question – what came first, the hex keys or the anodized aluminum colorful iPods? (It was probably the latter)

Moving onto stationery, Jony carries his more frequently used tools of trade in a leather pouch from Visvim (we couldn’t find the price, but it’s probably in the $300 ballpark). These tools include a $26 genuine bone paper folder from H. Webber & Sons, a vintage brass folding magnifier by Leitz Wetzlar (if that logo looks familiar, Leitz Wetzlar rebranded to Leica in 1986 – a company that Ive has worked extensively with in the recent past), a vintage fountain pen from Montegrappa, a $123 platinum-plated eraser from Graf Von Faber-Castell, and finally that infamous $530 leather-encased measuring tape from Hermès.

With a couple of grand to spare we reach the final effects of Jony’s EDC. These include a Mitutoyo 6in universal bevel protractor worth $325, a $355 Starrett 440Z-3RL depth micrometer gauge, and perhaps the second most bizarre piece of EDC yet – a $1,960 ship clock and weather station from Wempe Instruments’ Navigator II series. One could argue the iPhone is equally good at telling the time or the weather, but then again, if I had a net worth of $500 million, I’d want to buy a nautical clock to tell the time too!

Ive famously left Apple in 2019 to start his own design studio LoveFrom with fellow designer Marc Newson. He’s also the current Chancellor of the Royal College of Art, London.

The post Apple’s former chief designer Jony Ive gives us a rare look at his everyday design tool kit first appeared on Yanko Design.

Pixel Watch – The one true Apple Watch competitor has finally arrived

The one true Android Wear device was finally unveiled by Google at their I/O 2022 keynote, with more details coming during the Pixel Watch launch this fall.

When you think of how far Apple’s progressed with their Watch, it’s worth considering how the Apple Watch has only gotten this far because Apple controls every part of its experience. The Watch is a part of Apple’s expansive product ecosystem, feeding off the innovations of the iPhone and other devices. Apple designs the Watch’s hardware, and even its software, controlling and calibrating the Watch’s UX on every level. That’s honestly why the Apple Watch is MILES ahead of anything Samsung, Garmin, Fossil, or other companies have produced. Google’s Pixel Watch may shuffle things up.

Designer: Google

Unveiled by Rick Osterloh himself, the Pixel Watch finally puts Google in the Smartwatch market (not counting the Motorola smartwatch that was released years ago). After years of ‘will they won’t they’ and even a mildly embarrassing leak last month where someone left a Pixel watch at a bar, Google finally announced the Pixel Watch, a beautifully smooth circular watch that finally puts years of Google’s Wear OS work to fruition, along with the acquisition of Fitbit that happened in 2019. Osterloh didn’t provide too many details on the Pixel Watch (given that it won’t be officially launched until this fall), but he did dwell slightly on the watch’s circular design, its tactile crown, recycled stainless steel body, and interchangeable watch strap system. “It’s all designed to be tappable, voice-enabled, and glanceable, so you can be more present at home, at work, or on the go”, Osterloh added.

However, keen observers may have noticed that as Osterloh highlighted the Pixel Watch’s features (which include Maps, Google Wallet, Notifications, and Google Fit integration) the UI being demonstrated behind him showed a watch with a relatively dark UI – a tough yet necessary choice because the Pixel Watch has TREMENDOUSLY thick bezels. Now I’m not one to bezel-shame any device, but when you’re working with a display as small as the one on the Pixel Watch, bezels are a true enemy of usability, eating into crucial space that could be used to display a whole lot of other information. I’m being incredibly optimistic, but I really love the Pixel Watch’s design, bezel not-withstanding, and I have my fingers crossed that the device they unveil this fall will have a larger display with a smaller black band around its edge.

The post Pixel Watch – The one true Apple Watch competitor has finally arrived first appeared on Yanko Design.

Google unveils Pixel 7 in a rare move at the Google I/O 2022 Keynote

In a pretty unprecedented move at today’s Google I/O, the company gave a sneak peek at a phone that’s months away from being launched. Unlike other tech giants (especially looking at you, Apple) that keep their upcoming projects incredibly well-guarded secrets, Google just decided to rip the old bandaid instead of having people play the speculation game. Along with the Pixel 6A (which really quickly became stale news), Google’s Brian Rakowski also presented the world with a ‘first look’ at the Pixel 7, due this fall. The 7 follows the unique camera bumper style of the Pixel 6, but cuts its visual mass by providing ‘eye-shaped’ outlines around the cameras. The bump still exists, but there’s a cutout within the bump, adding an extra visual element to the phone. I’ll let you decide whether you like it or not. Me? Well, I honestly think it’s refreshing, but I belong to the group of people who wants to see phones reinvent THEMSELVES, not just their camera bumps.

Designer: Google

The post Google unveils Pixel 7 in a rare move at the Google I/O 2022 Keynote first appeared on Yanko Design.

The best gifts for grads under $50

Gifting can be difficult at any time, but it’s been particularly hard over the past couple of years. You may still be working with a tight budget, but you also want to give that grad in your life something that can help make the transition to post-school life a bit easier (and more fun). The tech gifts that come to mind immediately — iPhones, smartwatches, game consoles and the like — are not exactly budget-friendly. But there are handy gadgets out there that won’t drain your wallet completely. Here’s Engadget’s list of the best tech gifts under $50 for new graduates.

Anker Nano Pro 20W

Anker Nano Pro 20W
Anker

Anker’s latest 20W charger will be a handy gift for any grad. More often than not, the new gadgets we buy today don’t come with AC adapters, so having an extra on hand can’t hurt. The Nano Pro can fast-charge the latest iPhones to 50 percent in only 25 minutes, plus it’s smaller than Apple’s own 20W adapter. It also has advanced features like a Dynamic Temperature Sensor, which keeps the charger from overheating, and a power tuner chip, which adjusts power output depending on the connected device. It may not be the trendiest graduation gift, but it’s one that your grad will likely take with them to work, on vacations and elsewhere.

Buy Nano Pro 20W at Amazon - $20

Google Chromecast with Google TV

Aa Chromecast with Google TV plugged into the back of a TV.
Google

Whether they’re still mooching off their parents’ subscriptions, or have finally sprung for their own Netflix account a streaming device is a great gift for a recent grad. The latest Chromecast with Google TV makes the original Chromecast experience much better by adding a physical remote to the mix, along with the new Google TV interface. The remote makes it easier to navigate and the on-screen menus, and the software will serve up TV and movie recommendations based on subscriptions you have. The Chromecast with Google TV supports services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and more, and it’ll stream in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Plus, you can still cast even more content from your smartphone or tablet to your TV.

Buy Chromecast with Google TV at Walmart - $50

8Bitdo Pro 2

An overview photo of the 8BitDo Pro 2 gaming controller lined up neatly next to a variety of compatible game platforms.
8BitDo

We’ve been fans of 8Bitdo’s affordable, multi-platform controllers for quite some time, and the new, $50 Pro 2 is no exception. You can use it with the Nintendo Switch and on Windows, macOS, Android and Raspberry Pi, and you’re able to map functions to buttons using its companion smartphone app. The Pro 2 also adds new bumper buttons under each arm, something the previous version did not have. In general, 8Bitdo’s controllers are more ergonomic than, say, relying on a keyboard and mouse when playing PC games. They’re also a dramatic improvement over the Switch’s Joy-Cons which, if we’re honest, aren’t the most comfortable controllers to use for long stretches of time. The Pro 2 charges up via USB-C, but you can also remove the battery pack and replace it with AA batteries if you know you won’t be able to charge up frequently.

Buy 8Bitdo Pro 2 at Amazon - $50

RavPower 16,750mAh portable charger

RAVPower 16,750mAh portable charger
RAVPower

A portable changer is truly a gift that keeps on giving and RavPower’s 16,750mAh brick is strong enough to charge up smartphones and tablets alike. That’s enough to top off your iPhone 11 Pro Max 2.5 times or an iPad Air once. It has two iSmart output ports so you can power up two devices simultaneously, and its indicator lights will give you an idea of the brick’s remaining power level. Even with a larger-than-average capacity it’s surprisingly compact, measuring 5 x 3.15 x .9 inches, and its built-in flashlight can help you find lost items in a pinch.

Buy portable charger at RavPower - $36

2022 Tile Mate

2022 Tile Mate
Tile

While we often recommend AirTags to Apple users to keep track of their things, Tile’s trackers are another great option that’s more universal. Unlike AirTags, these tiny Bluetooth trackers work with Android devices as well, and are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Also, the latest Tile Mate has a built-in keyring hole, so your grad can unbox it, hook it onto their keys, set it up in the mobile app and get going. With a Bluetooth range of 250 feet, these trackers can help them locate their lost stuff quickly, plus they can add their contact information to the Tile – just in case someone else finds their things first. We also like the Mate’s IP67-rated design, which should protect it even when it’s exposed to the elements on rainy days.

Buy Tile Mate at Amazon - $25

Logitech Pebble

The Logitech Pebble mouse in light blue sitting on a desk next to a keyboard.
Logitech

Whether your grad will commute to their first office job or work from home, a wireless mouse is a must-have when on a computer all day. Logitech’s Pebble is a solid option because, not only can it easily disappear into a bag thanks to its slim profile, but it will also run for up to 18 months on its single AA battery. It’s not an accessory they’ll have to worry about charging up each night. We also like its ambidextrous design and its relatively quiet nature — unlike other mice, it makes little noise when you’re clicking and scrolling away. You’ll also have the option to connect it via Bluetooth or USB receiver, and there are a handful of fun colors to choose from.

Buy Logitech Pebble at Amazon - $30

Greens Steel Beast insulated tumbler

Beast insulated stainless steel tumbler
Greens Steel

It’s important for grads, busy with job applications, internships, new jobs and side hustles, to stay hydrated. Green Steel’s Beast insulated tumblers are good for hot and cold drinks, plus they’re made of 18/8 food grade steel that’s dishwasher safe and they come with metal straws and a splash-proof lid. And regardless of which size you get (20-, 30- or 40-ounce), they’ll all fit into standard sized cup holders. A 20-ounce model has been my morning companion almost every day for the past year or so and it still looks fresh. We also recommend Yeti’s Ramblers if you’re willing to drop a bit more on your grad’s new favorite mug.

Buy Greens Steel tumbler at amazon - $29

Bodum Chambord French Press

A Bodum Chambord french press on a table with milk and two coffee cups.
Bodum

If your grad is a coffee (or tea) lover, elevating their brewing game can make a big difference in their daily lives. Bodum’s Chambord French Press is a simple, affordable vessel that will be a step up from your standard drip coffee machine or aging teapot (while it’s marketed as a coffee maker, it could be used as a tea press instead). The container is made of borosilicate glass and you can get the frame in either plastic or stainless steel. Instead of paper filters a french press uses a plunger and mesh filter that pushes coffee grinds and tea leaves down, infusing flavor into the water above. That should save you money over time and creates less waste.

Buy Chambord French Press at Amazon - $38

Tribit XSound Go

A Tribit XSound Go speaker sitting on a white table with a person using a smartphone in the background.
Tribit

There are plenty of Bluetooth speakers out there, but Tribit’s XSound Go stands out for its simplicity. Measuring 6.7 x 2.2 x 2.3 inches, it’s nearly pocketable and can stay on your desk all day long while you work and then transition to a backyard party with ease. It’s IPX7 waterproof so it’ll withstand a dunk in the pool, and its 24-hour playtime lets you use it all day long without interruptions. It has good sound quality with deep, but not overpowering, bass and it includes a built-in mic with which you can take calls. Just pair it with your smartphone or tablet, choose your tunes and let the speaker do the rest of the work.

Buy Tribit XSound Go at Amazon - $48

Repel Windproof Double Vented travel umbrella

A woman in the rain huddled under a Repel travel umbrella.
Revel

Hear us out — a good umbrella is an unexpected yet invaluable gift. Few things are worse than getting stuck in a downpour on your way to work, especially if you use public transit to get there. Repel’s windproof travel umbrella is just the right size — not too big or too small at 11.5 inches in length — and its nine reinforced fiberglass ribs prevent it from being blown inside-out easily. We also like its single-button design, allowing you to open or close it with one hand. Repel’s umbrella is one of those practical gifts that your grad will be glad to have at the most crucial times, and they’ll save money in the long run by not needing to buy a new, cheap umbrella every time the skies open up.

Buy Repel umbrella at Amazon - $32

  

The best gifts for the new grads in your life

Surviving years of college is no small feat, so the graduates in our lives deserve rightful praise and celebration. Whether your graduate is going out into the world to get their first job or continuing with their education, there are a number of gadgets you can gift them that will make them smile and also come in handy on a daily basis. If you’re stumped on what to give to the tech-savvy grad in your life, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite tech for you to consider.

Chromecast with Google TV

A blue Chromecast with Google TV and its remote on a white background.
Google

Recent graduates moving into a new place may not want to shell out money for cable or a satellite subscription. But just because they’ve cut the cord doesn’t mean they can’t watch quality content. Thanks to streaming sticks like Chromecast with Google TV, watching content on various streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and more is super easy, regardless of what kind of TV they have.

The latest Chromecast with Google TV works especially well for those with a YouTube TV subscription as its “Live TV” tab works as a channel guide for the service. Just like previous Chromecasts, they can also use it to “cast” their computer screen to the TV, too.

Another benefit over other streaming sticks is that it has Google Assistant integration. Your grad can ask it to display the five-day weather forecast, show the live feed from their Nest camera, turn their Philips Hue lights on or off, or play their favorite Spotify playlist. As a bonus, they can use Google Assistant to find shows to watch or to launch apps. — Nicole Lee, Commerce Writer

Buy Chromecast with Google TV at Walmart - $50

YouTube TV subscription

YouTube TV
YouTube

Regardless of whether you gift a Chromecast with Google TV, we think a YouTube TV subscription will make an excellent present for them. The service essentially replaces cable or satellite, and your graduate can easily use their phone, laptop or connected TV to access it. The platform offers pretty much all the standard network and cable offerings including sports channels like ESPN, so they won’t have to worry about missing their favorite team’s game. You can either pay for the subscription directly or buy them a Google Play gift card. — N.L.

Subscribe to YouTube TV - $65/month

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7
Engadget

Watches make great graduation gifts, and the Apple Watch is arguably the best one to get for the iPhone fan in your life. As Apple’s latest flagship wearable, the Series 7 is packed with features both basic and advanced. On a daily basis, most will use the Watch for tracking activity, recording workouts, buying coffees with Apple Pay and checking iMessage alerts on the fly. But the Watch also has perks like blood oxygen tracking, ECG measurements and fall detection that your grad may only use now and again, but will appreciate in crucial moments. Plus, the Series 7 has the largest screen of any Apple Watch to date, as well as the best battery life and a faster charging time, too. And if your grad prefers the style of more traditional timepieces, they can customize their Watch with bands that give them that look. — Valentina Palladino, Commerce Editor

Buy Apple Watch Series 7 at Amazon - $399

Instant Pot Duo Plus

An Instant Pot Duo Plus multicooker on a green and orange background.
Engadget

Once they leave dorm life behind, graduates should learn how to make something other than instant ramen. For newbies, we recommend an appliance like the Instant Pot Duo Plus. This trendy kitchen device can be used as a slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker and, of course, a pressure cooker.

Not only is it easy to use, it can be a huge time saver: just set it, do other chores (or just rest up) and your meal will be ready when it beeps. It’s a wonderful solution if your grad has a tiny stovetop in their first apartment, and it cuts down on dishwashing if you use the Instant Pot for a lot of one pot meals.

If you do get your loved one this excellent kitchen gadget, we suggest you send them a link to our Instant Pot guide so they’ll get the most out of their new toy. There are also a bunch of dedicated Instant Pot recipe sites and cookbooks that will keep them busy for a while – Rainbow Plant Life’s Instant Pot page and Dinner in an Instant are a couple of our favorites. — N.L.

Buy Instant Pot Duo Plus at Amazon - $120

Logitech Streamcam

Logitech Streamcam clipped to a computer monitor with a cork board in the background.
Valentina Palladino / Engadget

While laptops’ built-in webcams are getting better, most of them still don’t quite cut it for all of the Zoom calls many of us continue to have nowadays. Your graduate will likely have to take calls like this on a regular basis and the Logitech Streamcam is a gadget that can help them put their best face forward. The webcam shoots sharp video in 1080p/60fps and its handy auto-exposure feature helps make dark rooms less cave-like on screen. It also has built-in microphones with noise reduction, so your grad should sound as good as they look on these calls. Additionally, the Streamcam was designed with game streamers and content creators in mind, and that makes it a great all-purpose webcam that your graduate can use for both work and play. — V.P.

Buy Logitech Streamcam at Amazon - $170

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones
Billy Steele / Engadget

There’s a good chance that your graduate will be working from a few different locations when they start their first job. Maybe they’ll spend half of their time in an office and the other half at home, but you can help them stay focused anywhere by gifting them the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones. These are our current favorite high-end cans thanks to their excellent sound quality and equally stellar active noise cancellation. Their Adaptive Sound Control feature automatically changes the level of noise cancellation depending on your location and what you’re doing, blocking out as much of the world as necessary without the user needing to do much work. With this iteration, Sony also added multi-device connectivity, too, so your graduate can seamlessly go from listening to music on their laptop to taking a call from their smartphone. — V.P.

Buy WH-1000XM4 at Amazon - $348

OXO Brew 8-cup coffee maker

Stainless steel coffee maker with pot on a white background.
OXO

Who doesn’t want a caffeine hit in the morning before they head into work? For that we recommend the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker. OXO typically makes excellent tasting coffee, and since this one is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association, it will certainly meet your grad’s standards as well. This model is easy to use, has a thermal carafe to keep their brew hot for hours, and has an option to brew directly into a mug. — N.L.

Buy OXO coffee maker at Amazon - $200

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential on a gray table.
Engadget

Why settle for a boring ol’ alarm clock when you can gift your grad a smarter option? The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential comes in both Google Assistant and Alexa varieties, and does a lot more than just tell time. These compact gadgets can give them the weather forecast, play a Spotify playlist or simply display their appointments for the day.

Which you choose depends on the virtual assistant your grad prefers – we generally recommend the Google version for Android users and those that rely on Google services like Calendar and Drive for their personal and professional duties. Everyone else is likely safe getting the Alexa version. And if you want to step it up a bit, the $90 Lenovo Smart Clock 2 comes with a docking area with a wireless charging pad, so they can power up their phones more easily overnight. — N.L.

Buy Lenovo Smart Clock Essential at Walmart - $50Buy Lenovo Smart Clock Essential (Alexa) at Amazon - $50

Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag with Belkin Secure Holder and Strap
Valentina Palladino / Engadget

We could all use a little help finding our stuff sometimes – new graduates especially. With new internships, jobs, side hustles and more, grads have a ton to keep track of and an AirTag can give them peace of mind by digitally locating their most important items. AirTags can attach to keys, wallets, handbags and more with the right accessories, and then your grad can check out the location of their stuff using the Find My app on iOS. They can program their contact information into the AirTag, in case a stranger needs to return their things, and those with newer iPhone can use the Precision Finding feature to be led directly to their stuff. For those who often misplace their belongings, Bluetooth trackers like these can be crucial. — V.P.

Buy AirTag at Amazon - $29

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite on a light blue background.
Engadget

Voracious readers will appreciate an e-reader like Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. The latest model has a larger, 6.8-inch display that has 17 front lights and an adjustable warm light setting that reduces eye strain. The design is compact and sleek, and the robust battery lasts for weeks between charging. And if they like reading in the tub or by the pool, the Paperwhite is also waterproof.

If you want to give your grad something even more special, however, consider gifting them the Paperwhite Signature Edition. It has 32GB of storage, wireless charging support and a light sensor that can automatically adjust the screen brightness according to their surroundings. It’s about $50 more than the regular Paperwhite, but they will certainly appreciate it. — N.L.

Buy Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon - $140

Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds
Billy Steele/Engadget

One of the great things about Beats’ Studio Buds is that both Android and iOS users can wear them and get a fairly similar experience. These Beats aren’t just for iPhone users, as those with Android devices have access to convenient features like Find My and fast pairing. The brand has come a long way when it comes to sound quality, too. These buds are well-tuned with a punchy bass, and iOS users will be able to get Spatial Audio on select tracks. The Studio Buds also have solid ANC with transparency mode, plus a compact, comfortable design that transitions well from study sessions to workout routines. — V.P.

Buy Beats Studio Buds at Amazon - $150

Anker 633 MagGo 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Station

A person touching the screen of an iPhone that's propped up on Anker's 633 MagGo 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Station.
Anker

Anker’s MagGo 2-in-1 wireless charging station is the gadget to give if you want to set your grab up with basically everything they’d need to never run out of power again. The bundle includes a wireless charging stand that can power both a phone and a pair of earbuds at the same time, and the phone portion detaches into a portable, magnetic, 5,000 mAh battery pack. The MagGo lineup is MagSafe-compatible, so if your grad has a newer iPhone, they’ll be able to take the slim pack with them by snapping it to the back of their smartphone. Also included is a 25W USB-C adapter, which can power the whole system with the proper speed. — V.P.

Buy MagGo 2-in-1 charging station at Amazon - $120

Yeti Rambler 20oz Tumbler with MagSlider lid

Blue insulated cup on a white background.
Yeti

If your grad needs coffee or tea to stay productive throughout the day, a Yeti Rambler is an excellent gift for them. These classic tumblers have a double-walled, insulated design that keeps hot drinks hot for hours, while also being BPA-free. The latest versions have Dracut color coatings, which won’t fade, peel or crack with age (or when you put them in the dishwasher), so their favorite color will come through for years to come. Plus, the Ramblers now come with MagSlider lids, which, while not spill-proof, use magnets to make opening and closing (and cleaning) the lid super easy. — V.P.

Buy Yeti Rambler at Amazon - $35