Treat one of the moms in your life (or all of them!) to a Mother's Day gift that will bring enjoyment all year long: a speaker, headphones, camera, tablet, or smartwatch. We've chosen five gadgets she would be happy to unwrap, and every one is recommended by the experts at Consumer Reports. (If your budget doesn't stretch quite this far, check out these 5 Mother's Day gadget gifts that cost $100 or less.)
Just think about everything that your wife, mother, and grandmothers have done for you and start shopping!
This cute little wireless speaker is a great gift for a Mom on the move. She can take her tunes almost anywhere—relaxing by the pool, on the deck, in the family room—without searching for a power outlet or struggling with cords and connections. The Bluetooth-enabled SoundLink can play music from a smart phone or tablet as long as it’s within 30 feet or so. It can remember eight devices, so it’s easy to switch from music stored on one device to another. Weighing only 1.25 pounds and not much bigger than a clutch purse, the speaker is easy to carry around, and the rechargeable battery is rated for 8 hours of play. The SoundLink Color delivers good sound quality with a surprising amount of power for its size. And you can buy one in her favorite hue: The speaker comes in a choice of blue, mint, red, black, and white.
Help Mom cut the cord! These wireless headphones will let her enjoy her favorite music even during a grueling spin class, thanks to flexible hooks intended to keep the earphones in place and a sweat-resistant design. She can leave her phone on the sidelines, because these will communicate up to 30 feet via Bluetooth. Sound quality is very good, with decent bass. The black-and-red inline remote has an integrated microphone for voice-activated dialing, plus volume, music player function, and call connect/disconnect controls. (They’re fully functional with Apple devices but also work with Android and Windows gear.) The Powerbeats 2 come with a hard carrying case, four pairs of earpieces of various types and sizes, and a USB charging cable.
Samsung WB350F, $170
Is Mom a regular at the kids’ soccer games or dance recitals? Then she’ll love this compact camera’s 21x optical zoom lens, great for capturing shots way across the field or on the stage. And she’ll be able to share those photos quickly and easily, thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, plus NFC (near-field communication), which makes it easy to pair the camera with phones and tablets. The camera takes very good photos and has manual focus and controls, perfect if she wants to get creative. The retro styling and choice of colors (including black, red, white, and blue as well as brown) might appeal to her fashion sense, too. We've seen this selling for $170 at Amazon to $230 at Best Buy and $260 at Walmart, so shop around.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7" (Wi-Fi, 16GB), $180
A great display, lots of content (especially for subscribers to Amazon Prime, which costs $99 a year), and free, quick tech support on-screen make the Kindle Fire HDX a tablet any Mom would love. This 7-incher is light and comfortable to hold for long stretches, the brighter-than-usual screen stands up to sunlight, and battery life is more than 9 hours. All that makes the Kindle Fire HDX perfect for binge-watching “Veep” or devouring this year’s hottest beach book in a single marathon session. Is Mom into games? No worries, this baby has the oomph to handle ‘em.
Asus Zenwatch, $200
Some smartwatches are so clunky that a stylish Mom wouldn’t dream of wearing them. The Asus Zenwatch smartwatch is different, with a slim, curved design, a stainless steel case with a “rose-gold-colored” inset, and an Italian leather band in a choice of three colors. But it’s not just a pretty face—it has all the smarts you’d expect from an AndroidWear watch. It will let Mom view incoming calls and notifications so she can leave her phone in her purse, and she can perform Google searches and send messages using voice commands. It has other talents, too, including a pedometer, heart-rate monitor, and fitness app, and the ability to serve as a remote for the phone’s camera, complete with a viewfinder, shutter button, and self-timer. And the FindMyPhone feature will ring the phone remotely to lead Mom to its hiding place. Talk about lifesavers!
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