5 days of tech gifts: Smart Watches and Bluetooth headphones

The tech industries calls them “wearables” but they’re essentially tech products that you connect to your body.  The most popular include smartwatches and bluetooth headsets.  I checked out 4 that may make the perfect gift this holiday.

Huawei Watch 2 - $179.99 (on sale)

Huawei is a company just starting to make inroads into the US but their newest smartwatch proves that they know a thing or 2 about making great consumer products.  The Huawei Watch 2 is a solid Google Wear watch.  It's clearly built with a sport look in mind.  It has 2 buttons on the side and a touch screen for interacting with the Google interface.  It also has a heart rate sensor and a GPS chip to track your workout.  It's water resistant although not completely waterproof.  Most importantly it has a SIM card slot so you can use the Watch 2 without a phone.  You will need to buy service from your provider to make that work.

The list price is high but it's on sale for the holiday and is a great deal for under $200.


Samsung Gear Sport - $249.99 (on sale)

Samsung is back with their new Gear Sport watch.  It will rely on your smartphone for connectivity but it's full of features for the workout fanatic.  Not only does it have a heart rate sensor, GPS chip and a sporty silicone band but it's also completely waterproof up to 50 meters!  It can track your swim the same way it can track your jog.  It runs Samsung's custom watch OS.  This is good and bad.  I like their OS but some may miss out on the Android apps supported by other Android Wear watches.  I tend to think that most people won't even know the difference.  It's currently on sale for $250.

LG TONE Active+ - $79.99 (on sale)

These headphones from LG aren't new but they continue to be a great option if you're looking for a good set for under $100.  Originally they were $180 but the price has come down and $80 seems to be a pretty consistent sale price.  You wear the plastic band around your neck and the earbuds pull out to go into your ears.  You can also take calls, like most bluetooth headsets.  What I really like is that there is a switch so you can listen to the music with the small speakers built into the plastic ring instead of the earbuds.  This is perfect for those times when you want personal music playback but don't want to totally isolate yourself.

Samsung Gear IconX - $149.99 (on sale)

Samsung is out with their newest wireless earbuds and they are pretty impressive!  The IconX is a direct competitor to the Apple AirPods.  The IconX comes with a few extra tricks up its' sleeve.  The buds charge while stored in the included battery case.  So you charge up the case, to use that case to charge up the buds.  Make sense?  It's a great way to store and carry the buds with you as well.  The grey plastic on the side of the buds is also a touch-sensitive surface for controlling your music and taking phone calls.

I really like the ambient sound setting that helps you hear the world around you even when the buds are in your ears.  I also love the built-in 4GB that allows you to take your music with you on a run or working out at the gym but still keep your phone at home.

They're not the cheapest earbuds at $200 but you'll find them for $150 on sale this holiday.