GPS! Go geeks. GPS devices are good, too!
In fact, many experts suggest that GPS “has more hidden benefits than just telling you where you are.” That’s actually one of the reasons that Best Buy’s family of tech gifts—the FitBit, LG Chromecast, and a Samsung curved TV—exactly fulfill your geek needs.
Packing a GPS tracker ($149) will let you maximize your trip, too. “When you plan an excursion or trip, how are you going to know where you’re going and how long it will take to get there?” says Topeka, Kansas-based travel consultant Margaret Anderson. “A GPS is there to give you that GPS information so you can get back on track and get where you need to go.”
Plus, there’s a good chance the tracker will be rooted into the company’s storied tech heritage. FitBit, for example, was founded in 2008 by a pair of former Gap executives, and just last year, the brand was acquired by Google for an eye-popping $1.22 billion.
Galaxy Gear 2 ($120): Watch as you walk
I’ll grant you: Working your hands just wasn’t a thing back in the day. But as Rob “IHeartRobot”onRobots.com says, “Having a device that records how you feel is going to give you a more accurate measurement of your lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want that?” Yes, there’s a huge learning curve involved in beginning a workout regimen, but the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 is one of the smartest fitness wearables money can buy.
The array of sensors—heart rate monitor, UV tracker, vibration motor, GPS, GPS remote, and heart rate sensor—will clue you in to your heart rate’s fluctuations throughout the day and track your workouts—especially hard-core “Twister,” or sweaty-ass, “wet puppy” sports.
Why isn’t this a gadget? Well, even though you’re usually tied to a smartphone or tablet, the Galaxy Gear 2 works a lot better than a dedicated fitness tracker. For one thing, it can sync up with all Android devices and iPhones, and it’s water-resistant, so you can wear it on the beach. You can even sport it at dinner with your honey in a happy-hour kimono.
And if you’re trying to figure out whether you should walk, bike, run, or just explore, the GPS mapping service will identify locations, starting with your most recent location, and gradually gravitate toward the places you’ve been most frequently. You can also capture just the GPS time-lapse, so you can search back for places you’ve visited.
FitBit Charge HR ($129): Your personal health coach
Say you’re on a hike up a mountain. You look over at your FitBit to see where you are on a typical 40-mile hike, and you’re well past halfway!
FitBit is one of the leading gadgets for getting active; its other offerings are, in turn, personalized workouts for runners, cyclists, hikers, and any fitness fanatics, given that it’s chock-full of features, from sleep tracking to visual analysis. Its science-y know-how means it also can pick out common fitness mistakes: Why don’t you sleep in the “sleep position” instead of on your back on an exercise pillow? It’s going to get it.
FitBit’s heart rate tracking is one of the main ways the gadget works. If you start to feel like you’re getting overheated, your FitBit will alert you with a “Clock Required” alert—a la Ambien’s Forest mode—so you can tap that device’s touch screen for a deeper sleep. And you know how J-Lo likes to push the vibrate button when she thinks she’s sexy? Same goes for FitBit! It’s fun, and too, it’s addicting.
The Charge HR is also a pretty good nightlight—you can plug it into an iPod, Chromecast, or simply control it with your smartphone—and it’ll automatically detect when it’s time to sleep. Plus, it runs circles around more than 50 other fitness trackers on the market.