Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide 2020

By Christine Persaud

It’s almost that time of year again: Father’s Day! And with social distancing rules still in effect, and likely to be so through the summer, you’ll want to get a jump on ordering dad the perfect Father’s Day gift so it arrives for delivery or curbside pick-up on time.

What can you get for the dad who has everything? Whether you are willing to splurge on something special (since you’re saving so much money in reduced commuting costs and no vacation this year, after all), or if you’re on a tight budget, here are some great gift suggestions.

Samsung Terrace Outdoor 4K QLED TV

This summer, chances are that the family will be spending much of their outdoor time in your own backyard. So, you might as well make it an oasis that feels like a tropical resort. And one way you can do that is to install an outdoor TV. We have one in my house and it’s wonderful to be able to watch a show or sporting event while barbecuing outside or having lunch or dinner on the deck. This one, Samsung’s first 4K QLED model, has an IP55 rating, which means it can withstand temperatures as cold as -30 degrees and as hot as 50, as well as water coming from any direction. The 2,000 nits of brightness means you can comfortably watch TV even on a sunny day and the high motion rate will render fast-moving sports action beautifully so dad can watch the game while flipping some burgers for dinner. The display is coated with anti-reflection and adaptive picture technology, which optimizes content by analyzing its surroundings to minimize unwanted glare. At just 59.8mm thing, the TV comes with the Tizen operating system for powering features like the Samsung TV Plus free linear TV video service with over 120 channels, the Samsung Health fitness and wellness platform, and other popular streaming services. In addition to supporting mobile viewing capabilities like Multi View and Tap View, the Terrace also supports multiple voice services including Bixby, Amazon Alexa, and the soon to launch Google Assistant. The smallest 55″ model should do at $5,000 and it will be available starting in June. For dad’s birthday or Christmas later this year or early next, opt for the matching Terrace Soundbar, which will be available starting in August for $1,200.

Scosche MagicGrip Wireless Charging Phone Mount

Dad will appreciate having a handy wireless charging mount for his phone in the car or on his desk. These are Qi-enabled with motorized arms that automatically close to grip the phone once they sense the Qi coil. The Auto-Grip technology ensures the best positioning for optimum charging, says Scosche. They wirelessly charge at up to 10W and are Fast Charge compatible with Apple, Samsung, and Google Qi-enabled phones. Designed with a thermal management channel between the charging head and your phone allows heat to escape for cooler, safer, more efficient charging. An ambient light sensing LED light ring indicates charging and the head rotates 360˚, so your phone is viewable in landscape, portrait, or any angle in between.

MagicGrip comes with an 18W USB-C PD car adapter and charging cable and is available in a choice of three base options. The MagicGrip Window/Dash mount has a StickGrip suction-cup base that allows you to mount it on any flat surface at home, in the office, or in-vehicle. The FreeFlow Vent mount with its articulating swing-arm lets you move your phone away from your vehicle’s vent. And the MagicGrip Dash mount uses automotive grade adhesive to provide a strong hold to a dash, table, desk, counter, or other flat surface. Each is about US$70.

Urbanista London Active Noise Cancelling True Wireless Earphones

If dad has been considering buying a pair of true wireless earbuds, these fashionable ones might be worth considering. You can completely block out the noise or still hear your surroundings, depending on your preference and setting. Designed to be comfortable for long periods of wear, the earphones were developed by acoustical engineer Axel Grell, who worked to perfect and fine-tune the sound. The new active noise cancelling (ANC) feature can be activated at the press of a button; to remain conscious of your surroundings, while going for a morning run, for example, use the Ambient Sound Mode. This feature enables listeners to switch to a voice-enhancing mode while listening to music or podcasts, allowing outside sounds in and ensuring the ability to hear any surrounding voices. Built-in ear detection technology is programmed to pause when the sensors detect that one bud has been removed from the listener’s ear. The music will stop playing completely when both earbuds are removed. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and works with popular voice assistants. The built-in noise cancelling dual microphone allows you to make or receive stereo phone calls, adjust the volume, play, and stop. London has an IPX4 waterproof rating, protecting it from splashing water from any angle, and provides a playtime of five hours, with four additional full charges from its case for a total playtime of 25 hours. The indicator lights let you know when they are out of charge. Charge the earphones in less than one hour on any Qi-certified pad or via the included USB Type-C cable. Get him a pair in midnight black, rose gold pink, white pearl, or dark sapphire blue with a matching charging case for MSRP US$149.

Ring Video Doorbell

Give dad a new piece of smart home tech to tinker with while he’s stuck at home. The next-generation Ring Video Doorbell now offers 1,080p HD video, up from 720p, along with improved night vision and updated motion zones. It includes a Snapshot Capture feature, two-way talk with noise cancellation, new Privacy Zones that allow you to exclude areas of the camera’s field-of-video from video recording, and three preset modes for Home, Away, and Disarmed. The Doorbell can detect motion and start recording, with adjustable motion zones and a new near zone for more precise motion detection. The Doorbell is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, or it can be hardwired. It will be available for purchase starting June 3 for $125. 

Microsoft Surface Go 2

If dad is in need of a new laptop, consider the super-compact new Surface Go, which comes housed in a light, portable design with a 10.5″ PixelSense display, improved battery life, and up to 64% faster performance than the original with 8th Generation Intel Core M options. It comes equipped with Studio Mics, Microsoft’s dual microphone solution, to increase voice clarity and reduce background noise for Teams meetings or video chats, and a 5MP front-facing camera that delivers sharp video, even in low light. There’s also the new Camera app for the rear-facing camera to make it easy to scan documents and whiteboards. It’s a perfect little computer for dads who are working from home. Starts at $529.

Sonos Arc Smart Soundbar

Dad will probably love a new soundbar for the living room, den, theatre room, or “man cave” and this one focuses on both audio quality and smart features. It supports Dolby Atmos and is compatible with popular voice assistants. Powered by Sonos’ new sound experience platform, Arc is equipped with 11 high-performance drivers, including two that are upward firing for 3D audio. Tuned in partnership with Oscar-winning mixing engineers, Arc adjusts its sound profile through software, based on the home theatre set-up and what’s playing, including stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Atmos. Sound can be refined in the Sonos app with features including Speech Enhancement to further clarify vocals, Night Sound to temper loud explosions, and an update to Sonos’ Trueplay tuning technology, adjusting Arc’s acoustic profile based on the room, accounting for horizontal and vertical sound that comes with 3D sound. Arc, available in matte black and matte white, features a 270-degree rounded plastic grille and a seamless exterior. It can be set up in front of a standing TV or mounted to the wall with a separate custom-designed wall mount. A simple connection through HDMI eARC or ARC keeps set-up simple. Arc can be controlled using the Sonos app and the next-generation S2 software platform, as well as with an existing TV remote, or by voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It can also be controlled through Apple AirPlay 2. Arc replaces Playbar and Playbase in the Sonos line-up and will be available globally on June 10 for $999.

Apple MacBook Pro

If dad needs a new powerhouse computer and works within the Apple ecosystem, this new MacBook Pro is the way to go. It uses the new Magic Keyboard and has double the storage across all standard configurations and faster graphics performance via the 10th-generation processors. It includes quad-core processors, 13-inch Retina display, Touch Bar and Touch ID, immersive stereo speakers, all-day battery life, and macOS, all in a portable design. With a sleek aluminum unibody design in space grey or silver and weighing just 3 pounds, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has True Tone technology that offers a more natural viewing experience. The speakers provide immersive wide-stereo sound, Touch ID easy login and secure online purchases, Touch Bar with dynamic and contextual controls, and Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and Multi-Touch navigation. Starts at $1,699.

MasterBuilt Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker

Since dads will be spending most of their time at home this summer, now is the time to get them that new grill and/or smoker they have been talking about. And when it comes to a high-tech option, this one takes the cake. Most guys will be thinking of the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe egg-shaped smokers. This one, by the same company as Kamado Joe grills, takes the guesswork out of the process. You can use it to do everything from smoke to grill, sear, bake, and roast, setting the temperature using the digital control panel or from a mobile device via wireless connectivity. The DigitalFan maintains the desired temperature so you don’t have to keep watch on the cook for hours. Plus, there’s a GravityFed charcoal hopper that can hold up to 12 hours worth of charcoal (10 lbs. of lump charcoal or 16 lbs. of briquettes) to provide constant fuel for the fire. The grill can get as hot as 700-degrees Fahrenheit in just 13 minutes. Dad will be salivating as soon as he sees this exciting gift at the door. About $800.

Plex Subscription

If dad loves to watch television or movies, chances are he has every streaming subscription under the sun, from Netflix to Amazon Prime Video, Crave to Apple TV+ and Disney+. But what about Plex? With a subscription, dad can access a personal collection of TV shows, movies, music, and photos from any device, along with over-the-air live and recorded TV, web shows, and more. There are free movies from studios like Warner Brothers, Crackle, LionsGate, and MGM as well. With a Plex Pass that’s $50/yr. or $160 for a lifetime subscription, he’ll get all of the premium features, including advanced audio, premium photos, and additional movie and TV extras.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Smartphone

If dad is looking for a new smartphone and he loves Samsung Galaxy devices, consider upgrading him to this new one which has a long-lasting battery, quad camera design, and Infinity-O display. The phone comes with a large 6.7″ Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with a minimal bezel that maximizes screen space. It has a dedicated gaming interface, including Frame Booster that provides smooth, lifelike motion in graphics. Game Booster, meanwhile, learns your usage patterns to optimize battery, temperature, and memory. With four cameras, including a main camera, Ultra-Wide, Macro, and Depth cameras, the A71 lets you shoot with more perspective, and includes intelligent features as well. The main camera photographs images with a 64MP camera. The Ultra Wide 12MP camera has a 123-degree angle lens. If the shot requires it, the intelligent switch function will recommend Wide Shot and automatically switch it on for you. The 5MP Macro Cam brings objects into focus to capture tiny detail, while the Depth Cam lets your subjects stand out using Live Focus effects. For daytime, use the 32MP (A71) or 32MP (A51) front camera to get clear, high-resolution photos. The discreet camera gives you a simple on-screen experience, with Selfie Focus gently blurring the background so your face becomes the focal point. Additionally, you can shoot and share high-quality live videos with Super Steady Video in both phones, which automatically stabilizes footage for you, creating a smooth and professional video. With 128GB of internal storage and 6GB RAM, along with Micro SD support up to 512GB, you can capture and save videos and photos without worrying about running out of storage space. The large 4,500 mAh battery supports fast charging. Get it for $600 outright in a glossy prism crush black finish.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker

Lifestyle photo of Fitbit Charge 4.

For dads looking to improve their health and wellness, a Fitbit fitness tracker is a thoughtful gift. The Charge 4 is a great option because it includes built-in GPS and Spotify Music so dad can go for his morning runs or walks and leave his smartphone at home. The swim-proof design also means he can take a dip in the pool while wearing it and track that workout and the up to seven days battery life means he can wear it all week without needing to recharge. New features include Active Zone Minutes, which provides real-time alerts on your wrist each time you change heart rate zones so you can push harder or scale back to make your workouts more efficient. With built-in GPS, you can track your pace and distance in real-time and continue to use 20+ goal-based exercise modes along with seven GPS-enabled exercise modes, including a new outdoor workout mode for any outdoor activity like hiking, running, or a brisk walk. After completing a GPS-enabled workout, sync your device for a GPS-powered heat map in the Fitbit app where you can see your workout intensity, based on your different heart rate zones along your route, to help you visualize and improve how you are performing against different terrain. It also tracks sleep, has an SpO2 sensor, Reminders to Move, phone notifications, Fitbit Pay, and more. It comes in black, rosewood, or storm blue/black for $200 while the special edition will be $220 and come with an exclusive granite reflective/black woven band and classic black band. 

Spin-Clean Record Washer MKII

If dad is into vinyl and has resurrected or enhanced his collection with a ton of records, he might appreciate this gift. Pricing ranges from $110 to $210 for complete cleaning systems that will help keep his collection in pristine condition and playing like new with that signature nostalgic “crackle” that you can’t get from a CD or streaming digital file.

Casio G-Shock Limited Edition DW6900 Watch

This limited-edition watch is a modern take on one of the original 1983 G-SHOCK silhouettes. Each watch encompasses seven “shock” elements that test the watch against electric shock resistance, gravity resistance, low-temperature resistance, vibration resistance, water resistance, shock resistance and durability. The black DW6900SP-1 and silver DW6900SP-7 feature a transparent band and case alongside a polarized metallic finish dial with an LCD that changes colour depending on the angle to the light. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the DW6900, the updated models includes a custom “25” monogrammed LCD that changes colour, and comes in a unique, neon packaging with “1995-2020” written on it. The DW6900SP-1 and 7 expands the DW6900 original features to include a multi-function alarm and flash alert and an EL Backlight, making the digital display easy to read even in dark conditions. Both models also come equipped with standard G-SHOCK technology such as shock resistance, 200M water resistance, 1/100th second stopwatch, countdown timer, and 12/24-hour time formats. $159 each.

Fujifilm X-T4 X-Series Mirrorless Digital Camera

For dads who are into photography, this new flagship camera includes the newly designed IBIS, a quiet new shutter unit, a new vari-angle LCD screen, a new Eterna Bleach Bypass Film Simulation, and a new, large-capacity, battery. Compact and lightweight, it also features an X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 combination at its core, along with a 26.1MP back-side illuminated sensor with a quad-core CPU to produce images with wide dynamic range and precision AF performance, down to -6EV. The X-T4’s five-axis In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) provides up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization to make sure that images remain steady and sharp. This is combined with the new four-axis Digital Image Stabilizer. A newly developed mechanical shutter can make 26.1 MP images at 15 frames-per-second but is also rated for 300,000 actuations. The larger capacity battery is capable of up to 600 frames per charge.

The 1.62 million pixel vari-angle touchscreen LCD can be adjusted to make it visible from a wide range of positions, providing a high-quality monitor to frame with as well as quick and simple controls. The LCD has also been designed to easily fold away so it is completely hidden from view when not being used. Movie mode can be activated with a flick of a switch for recording both professional-level DCI 4K/60p and Full HD/240p super slow-motion video. It is also possible to record F-Log footage in 10-bit colour, straight to the card. X-T4 introduces ETERNA Bleach Bypass, the newest addition to the collection of Film Simulation modes available in the X Series product line, which creates a beautiful de- saturated, high-contrast look. It is available in black or silver for an MSRP of $2,200.

Ekster Parliament Wallet

Get dad this cool smart wallet that comes with RFID protection. The wallet is designed to be slim yet still hold all of your credit and other cards thanks to a built-in aluminum cardholder that fans out the cards when you click a button. It also protects them against skimming. When you add a solar-powered tracker card to the equation, you can also help him ensure he never loses his wallet or can easily retrieve if it he does. Made of premium leather, it can store up to 12 cards (nine is recommended). The optional tracker card, powered by Chipolo technology, is compatible with iOS 11+ and Android 5+ devices and has a range of up to 200 feet. You can ring your wallet from your phone to find where you misplaced it. It’s also voice-activated, compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, and you can use it to take remote group selfies. A three-hour charge lasts for 2-3 months. The wallet is US$89; add US$30 for the tracker card.

Epson EF-100 Mini-Laser Streaming Projector With Android TV

Help make dad the talk of the neighbourhood with this super-cool miniature streaming projector that can produce images as large as 150″ in size and full 1,080p resolution on any wall or screen for family movie nights to rival a night out at the movie theatre. It is compact so you can stream anywhere with your favourite apps, even outside. It comes with a wireless adapter that plugs into the unit’s USB port and the Android TV operating system along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you can access streaming services like Netflix and Disney+. It also works with Google Assistant using a microphone built into the two included remotes. $1,299

Want some more ideas? Check out Steve Makris’ picks for great gifts any dad would love.