Summer is the perfect time for visiting the beach, having picnics and checking out cool new outdoor restaurants, but it is also a time to think about convenience: The weather’s hot, the subways are crowded, and most people don’t want to be worried about charging their phones or making sure their favorite Bluetooth speakers are waterproof.
We’ve picked some tech essentials you’ll need this summer, ranging from durable Bluetooth speakers to waterproof phone cases. Check out the list below and let us know which tech products you couldn’t live without when the weather gets hot.
There’s a reason the brand is called Lifeproof. This case is virtually indestructible and waterproof. It comes in a variety of cool colors. It’s perfect for summer: It keeps sand out of your phone at the beach and protects it from dirt and mud at picnics or during outdoor activities. The frē is also great for winter and is snow- and ice-proof. You can even bring the phone underwater and take pictures (trust us, we tried it).
The case is a bit heavy-duty, so if you’re not too hard on your phone and mostly use it for everyday purposes, you may not need the frē. To use headphones, you have to unscrew an attachment at the bottom and plug in a separate wire that comes with the case. Still, if you’re the outdoors type or clumsy with your phone, this is the perfect case for you.
LifeTrak Zone C410: $99.00
This little device does it all: Put it on your wrist and you can track every aspect of your life, such as sleep, calories burned, steps taken and distance traveled. The C410 uses dynamic distance calibration for improved accuracy, while your sleep quality is automatically monitored based on your nighttime movements. The activity tracker is the only one on the market to incorporate your heart rate into calorie calculation.
One of the best features of the C410 is its ability to aid in achieving goals. Want to lose weight and watch your calories? No problem. Looking to get to bed earlier and improve your sleep quality? This device, which looks like a small, digital watch, can do it for you. You can also purchase colored bands that change the color and look of the C410.
NudeAudio Super-M Wireless Bluetooth Speaker: $99.00
The choices of Bluetooth speakers appear endless, but the selection of a speaker should come down to two things: convenience and sound quality. San Francisco-based NudeAudio took both these characteristics into consideration when it designed its Super-M, a Bluetooth minispeaker that is waterproof, snowproof and sandproof -- and that sounds great, too.
The speaker is packed with four full-range drivers using neodymium magnets and two passive subwoofers for a portable package that sounds much larger than it is. The orientation of the six drivers creates 360-degree sound that fills a space with what its maker call rich, natural audio.
“The intent of this project was to build the world’s best-sounding speaker that fits into the back pocket of your jeans,” CEO Tom Dudderidge said.
If you want to purchase the Super-M, you can find it on Kickstarter. NudeAudio's fundraising campaign will end in mid-August, although it has already surpassed its goal.
Looking to ramp up your fitness goals this summer but have no idea where to start? Polar’s FT60 is cheaper than hiring a personal trainer and more convenient than going to a nutritionist.
The device is targeted toward committed exercisers, advising its users how much and how intensively to train. The FT60 creates a training program based on one’s personal goals and sets new targets each week. It is also waterproof, can measure one’s aerobic fitness at rest and monitors progress.
The FT60 helps users train at the correct intensity, track the progression of their fitness levels and oversees how many calories they’ve burned. It’s just like having your own personal trainer, on your wrist. Although the price tag may seem a bit hefty, it’s worth it, and Polar devices are extremely durable, lasting as long as a decade.
The battery life of many a smartphone is about the same as the length of a celebrity marriage, especially when a long summer weekend means you’re actively using social-networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine to share pictures and messages.
OrigAudio’s Juicebox is small enough to fit in your pocket or beach bag. The convenient external battery will fully charge your phone as many as two times, and the lights on the front of the battery tell you how much charge it has left. Once it’s drained, the Juicebox can simply be plugged into a personal computer or an electrical outlet to recharge it.