High-Tech Gadgets for Dads and Grads

They want the hippest, hottest tech stuff on the market. You don't want to buy something that will seem outdated (or worse, just lame) in a month. Solution? Choose from these awesome options that earned two thumbs up in our hands-on tests.

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Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot


Plugging the Delphi Connect into a car's OBD-II port can reveal a wealth of valuable info—use the smartphone app or website to troubleshoot mechanical issues, quickly find your car in a parking lot and more. It even functions as a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot.

Verizonwireless.com, $200 plus $5 per month subscription

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Martian Notifier


Don't be fooled by the old-school analog face—the Martian Notifier has multiple secret powers. Among them: It will buzz as desired, thanks to custom notification settings, when the owner receives a text, call, e-mail or social media notification. Way cooler than staring into a smartphone!

Martiannotifier.com, iOS and Android, $129

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JAM Transit Wireless Ear Buds


Everyone can use an extra set for their phone. Comfy, sweatproof JAM Transit Wireless Ear Buds offer great sound for the price and come in three colors: black, white and red.

Walmart.com, $50

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GALAXY Camera 2


Retro, leather-wrapped body meets ultra-modern Android operating system in a camera that captures photos beyond any smartphone's wildest dreams.

Samsung.com, $450

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Jot Script for Evernote Edition Stylus


Touchscreen-tapping and finger-swiping may be second nature, but there's still something to be said for the heft and feel of a nice pen. A Jot Script writes on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 6 or later and saves instantly to Evernote.

Evernote.com, $75

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iPhone 5c


If it's just gotta be an iPhone, choosing the color can be a tough call—the 5c is offered in green, blue, yellow, pink and white. The new FaceTime HD camera makes for spectacular selfies, while the extremely energy-efficient A6 chip allows for tons of app usage without worrying about battery drain.

Apple.com, from $99

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Nokia Lumia 1520


A touch bigger than a typical phone, a tad smaller than a tablet, the Nokia Lumia 1520 boasts an eye-catching 6-inch screen. This Windows 8 phone comes with Office and is easy to read in sunlight. It probably won't fit in a pocket, but it will replace all gadgets for work and play.

Microsoft.com, $99 with contract

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Fast, light and loaded with the latest version of Android, the Nexus 5 will soon be one with its owner. A new photo lens captures more light for brighter night and sharper action shots, and optical image stabilization eliminates blurry pictures. In shiny red (snazzy!), black and white.

Google.com/nexus/5, from $349

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Anki Drive


Look no further for the next big thing in gaming. Typical consoles take a backseat to Anki Drive, which features slick little smart cars zipping around on a vinyl mat. Major amounts of artificial intelligence and robotics expertise went into making this cross between a video game and remote-control cars. For iPhone 4S, iPod touch (5th gen), iPad3 or iPad mini.

Anki.com, $200

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Goji Play


Time on the treadmill flies by with Goji Play, two wireless controllers and an activity sensor that transform cardio equipment into an awesome interactive video game. To keep playing, keep going! Compatible with iPad 3+, iPad mini, iPhone 4S+ and iPod touch (5th gen).

Amazon.com, $100

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RedBubble Cases


For anyone who likes to make a statement, consider conversation-piece cases for iPhones and select Android phones. Nothing mass-market here—the designs are by artists, cartoonists and photographers.

Redbubble.com, $34

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Gone are the days of remote camera setups costing big bucks and requiring hours to install. The Simplicam, powered by Closeli, is up and running in minutes, streaming sharp HD footage. The night-vision feature helps with low- light situations. For iPhone, Android and computer.

Simplicam.com, $150

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Monster NCredible NTune On-Ear Headphones


These exceptionally lightweight headphones with high-quality sound won't bust your budget.

Walmart.com, $100

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ERA by Jawbone


With the "obvious earpiece" look out of style, ERA is where it's at. It's the smallest (and lightest) headset from category innovator Jawbone, and offers four hours of talk time. A built-in locator works with the Jawbone app to ensure it won't go missing. Consider spending $30 more for a nifty charger case.

Originally published in the June 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.

Jawbone.com, $100