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Our guide to gadgets that are worth your money

When it comes to gadgets, there are so many out there that could really help make our lives better or easier. That sounds great, except for one problem.

There are so many.

And while all claim to be something you never knew you couldn’t live without, the truth of the matter is there are a handful out there that pretty much everyone either uses or could use in their lives.

The thing is there are just too many TVs, phones, cameras, digital assistants, smart watches and other gadgets to choose from. Researching them all would take time none of us have, and that fact could make the entire process rather intimidating.

But that should not stop you from upgrading your tech. With that in mind, here are some gadgets we not only think you’ll want to have, but are also worth the money.

Streaming device

By now, if you are not part of the streaming revolution, you likely know someone who is. Every day more and more people are cutting the cord, moving away from cable and into one of the streaming devices.

There are many to choose from, all of which could effectively replace a cable subscription for a fraction of the cost. Along with that, they can run all sorts of apps and otherwise provide you with seemingly limitless entertainment options.

Which one is right for you?

Google’s Chromecast is not a bad option, while Roku also makes a quality streaming stick. Apple fans might have interest in an Apple TV, though they cost substantially more than some of the other options.

But for an all-purpose streaming device that can handle your apps, stream what you want and even do a bit more, the top option is the Amazon Fire TV, at $69.99.

Amazon has produced a few different styles, but the one that is 4K Ultra HD and comes with an Alexa Voice remote provides some of the best mix of functionality and features.

If the Fire TV doesn’t interest you, Roku also makes a quality streaming stick. Apple fans might have interest in an Apple TV, though they cost substantially more than some of the other options.


This is a tougher one to narrow down, because it really is a matter of preference. Many people have a strong connection to Apple’s iPhone while others prefer the Android OS.

If you want to go with an Apple phone, now is not a bad time to shop as the new iPhone XR and iPhone XS have been released. You may want to avoid the iPhone XS Max, however, as its battery life is, shall we say, questionable at best.

The XR is actually cheaper than you’d probably think, and not a bad deal starting at $749. The XS is a higher-end model that is understandably more expensive. Both are packed with features you have come to love from Apple, such as Face ID, high-quality cameras and access to the App Store. Also, them being available means you can get one of the older models — say an iPhone X or even an iPhone 7 — for much cheaper than ever before.

If you are interested in going with an Android, Samsung’s Galaxy line as well as the Google Pixel are very popular, with the 3 being the most recent edition.

Security camera

When it comes to security, we really can’t have too much. There are plenty of things we can have in order to better protect our family and home, with one of the most useful being a security camera.

Take a quick look online or in any store and you will see plenty of options, but if you’re looking for the best one out there, you need to get a Nest Cam.

This weatherproof security cam captures images in 1080p full HD and sends notifications to your Nest app. It also will record and stream live up to 30 meters away, and features night vision when you need it. Features 130-degree viewing angle and has built-in speakers and microphone. At $178.99, it’s worth every penny to protect your home.

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A digital assistant

If it seems like everyone you know has some kind of digital assistant, it’s probably because they do. OK, maybe that’s not entirely accurate, but more and more homes are filled with the devices, which can do everything from control other smart gadgets to make calls, play music, answer questions, give weather updates and more.

And while there are a handful of companies who are producing them, there really are two main digital assistants that people look toward: Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home.

In terms of options, however, it is the Echo that rises to the top. Whether you go with an inexpensive Dot, a Spot or one of the more powerful Show or Plus models, you are sure to find a digital assistant that can handle whatever you throw at it. Alexa can always learn new things, which makes the assistant that much better.

For the best value, the 2nd Generation Echo Plus is tough to beat, at $149.99.

A fitness watch

Most of us would like to get in better shape, and a big part of that is exercise. The tough part — besides act of exercising — is keeping track of everything we do and how much it benefits us.

Anyone who has looked into the devices knows there are many to choose from, with their abilities ranging from the very basic like keeping track of steps and heart rate to the full-fledged watches that do so much more.

When it comes to watches, the Apple Watch is one of the most popular and best out there. Depending on the model, they can run different apps and handle your calls, text messages and email as well as track your fitness.

If you are looking for something to cover your exercise and nothing more, then the Fitbit Charge 3 is a great choice, at 149.95. It not only measures steps, but gets a better reading on your fitness by monitoring your heart rate, too.

The Fitbit Charge 3 has a battery life of up to 7 days and lets you choose from more than 15 exercise modes, including run, bike, swim and yoga. Water-resistant up to 50M, it could be worn in a pool as well as in the shower.

Another nice thing the fitness watch can do is connect to a smartphone’s GPS for real-time pace and distance when outdoors. Furthermore, you can set goals and get real-time stats during your workouts, or wait until you’re done to track your progress.

Along with fitness, it will track your sleep, recording the time spent in the light, deep and REM stages. It will provide you with trends as well as health insights.


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