The cold winter air may be keeping you inside, but we all have a fitness minded friend or family member on our holiday shopping list that is still pounding the pavement or hitting the gym despite chilly conditions.
After testing out a number of gadgets over the past year, we wanted to share some of the coolest health and fitness gadgets to give as a gift in 2011. These are no ordinary gadgets. They are fitness gifts that will deliver and hold up, rather then sit in a closet collecting dust.
Whether the giftee is a fitness fanatic or just wants to be a bit healthier, these gadgets will help them track progress and make workouts more enjoyable year round.
For data lovers, the Fitbit tracks activity and sleep habits.
The Fitbit Ultra takes everything we loved about the Fitbit (review), and makes it better with a collection of new features. In addition to tracking your daily activity level and guiding you to get more active, the Fitbit Ultra can now track the stairs you climb and includes the ability to customize the metrics it displays. The new Fitbit also includes a stopwatch, a clock, and comes in two colors.
Unlike other trackers that are meant to track just your workouts, the Fitbit Ultra tracks your activity all day, and even tracks your sleep habits at night. Your progress is shown on the Fitbit with a plant that grows with your activity. It’s also wirelessly uploaded to the web so you can track in more detail. The biggest downside is that the Fitbit is not waterproof, so a trip in the washing machine can kill it.
Strap on this smart watch to track fitness, listen to music and get smartphone notifications.
The MOTOACTV is smart watch that includes an MP3 player, fitness tracking, and even pulls in notifications from your Android phone. If you are looking for a great gift that will make any Android user smile or excite the fitness nut in your family, the MOTOACTV is it.
This device includes a heart rate monitor and GPS to track your workouts, and is designed to handle the sweat that comes with getting fit. The watch can track your running and walking workouts, connect to fitness equipment with ANT+ sensor,s and even works on your bike workouts.
The MOTOACTV stores 8GB or 16GB of music locally, has an FM radio, and allows you to answer calls with the included headphones, as well as view texts when paired with your Android smartphone.
Affordable clip on MP3 player brings Nike+ tracking to your workouts.
Apple has just released a new iPod Nano that includes Nike+ integration to help you track your workouts without the need for a dongle and a special pair of shoes.
Additionally, you can carry your music and tune into a local FM radio station for the push you need to finish a hard workout. The iPod Nano comes with a clip to attach to your belt or pocket, or pair it with a watchband to wear around all day.
You don’t get as many features as the MOTOACTV, but the 8GB iPod Nano starts at $129 and comes in an array of colors. Be sure to mention the new watch faces, including Mickey Mouse, to your recipient.
Philips Bluetooth Workout Headphones
Pair these sweatproof wireless headphones to your smartphone,
Not just any headphones will do when it comes to working out. Philips offers up a wireless way to power through your workouts, and even allows you to make and take calls on your run. These headphones can stand up to the sweat, and are washable to prevent grime.
Audio quality is good, with an appreciable amount of bass for wireless active headphones. The headphones do a decent job of blocking out surrounding noise, but will allow car horns through, which is a plus. Call quality is OK, and the person on the other will be able to hear wind noise.
The earbuds come in three sizes and are angled to keep them in while running. The wire that connects the earbuds together is more comfortable than the hard back that you find on many competing headsets. Overall, a great pair of headphones for active users.
WiThings WiFi Scale
This scale has built in WiFi to report your weight to a variety of services and apps.
You won’t insult your recipient with this magnificent scale. In addition to accurately gathering your weight, fat mass and lean mass, the Withings scale displays your BMI and uploads this data to the web for tracking.
You can even share this data with a number of apps and services so that you can make it a part of a total fitness tracking solution. The scale supports up to 8 users, so the whole family can track their progress.
This is perhaps the only scale you’ll be able to give as a gift without first putting on your running shoes.
Belkin Fast Fit iPhone Case
This iPhone 4 armband allows access to your screen and keeps your headphones in check.
The Belkin Fast Fit iPhone 4 case puts your iPhone securely on your arm, including the iPhone 4S. The main selling points include the clear cover that keeps sweat and the elements from hitting your iPhone screen and the cable organizer that keeps cables from flailing about as you run.
This case goes on and off easily with one hand, which is a nice touch. Some users won’t like the fastening system on bare skin, so this is best for runners who put on a shirt before hitting the gym.
The small size and good fit are a steal at around $20 online, and about $25 at your local stores.
Where to Buy GoPro Hero 8
The GoPro Hero 8 is available to order now with a release date on October 15th. There are a few places that you can buy the GoPro Hero 8, including some retail stores.
So far the only Hero 8 deal we’ve spotted is direct from GoPro where you can get a free microSD card with purchase. If you are looking for a place to use rewards, get extra credit card points or to pad your loyalty rewards there are a few more options.
The new Hero 8 features HyperSmooth 2.0 for advanced stabilization, a new integrated mount and now supports GoPro Mods that can add a screen you can see from the front, a microphone and waterproof light.
The GoPro Hero 8 Black is $399 and GoPro is keeping the Hero 7 Black on at $329 and the Hero 7 Silver on at $199.
Where to Buy the GoPro Hero 8 Black
Here is a list of where you can buy the Hero 8 Black right now, and where you should be able to buy it in the coming days. Don’t expect a lot of deals at this stage, but you may be able to save with credit card cash back bonuses at select stores.
GoPro Hero 8: 5 Things You Need to Know
The GoPro Hero 8 is a major change for the GoPro brand with the new Hero 8 Black offering mods to add to the usability and an integrated mount that makes connecting the camera to tripods and people simpler and faster.
You can buy the new GoPro Hero 8 starting today for $399 with a free micro-SD card offer and the new $499 GoPro Max a 360-degree camera is also on sale today. the GoPro Hero 7 Black is now $329 and the Hero 7 Silver is $199.
While the GoPro Hero 8 looks very similar at first glance, there is more than meets the eye, and if you need to add to your filming arsenal, you can do that with the new Go Pro Mods.
This is what you need to know about the 2019 GoPro Hero 8.
GoPro Hero 8 Release Date & Price
Pre-orders are live now, and the GoPro Hero 8 release date is October 15th. If you order now, you should get your Hero 8 on the 15th.
While this is an exciting upgrade, we don’t expect a sell-out with delivery dates pushed back significantly.
GoPro Hero 8 Design
The GoPro Hero 8 features a new design with an integrated mount and support for GoPro Mods that allow you to add a screen, external microphone or light. The lens doesn’t stick out quite as much and the total package is slimmer since you don’t need a cage to mount it to anything.
Simply flip the mount down from the bottom of the Go Pro and you are ready to connect to Go Pro gear that uses the familiar two-three finger connection. The Hero 8 is waterproof down to 33 feet.
GoPro Hero 8 Features
There are a lot of interesting new Hero 8 features on the camera and in the software. Here’s a closer look at the top 8 GoPro Hero 8 features;
- HyperSmooth 2.0 – New levels of stabilization including Boost and Horizon leveling.
- TimeWarp 2.0 – Automatic speed detection for Time Warp videos, plus you can still manually control.
- SuperPhoto + HDR Enhancements – Boost contrast and kill blur with SuperPhoto and get jaw-dropping colors with HDR.
- LiveBurst – The Hero 8 captures 1.5 seconds before you hit the shutter, so you have 90 still images or a 3-second 4K clip.
- Night Lapse Video – Special time-lapse mode for night time videos.
- Three Mics – Better audio and less wind with the built-in microphones.
- Four Lenses to Select – Narrow, Linear, Wide, and SuperView
- 4k60 / 1080p240 – You control your resolution and frame-rate.
You also get Voice Control, Live Streaming in 1080P, Presets an on-screen shortcuts, a Photo Timer, Short Clips, 8X slow motion, Face, Smile, Blink and scene detection and more.
Watch the video above to see more of the features and see side-by-side footage fo the GoPro Hero 8 vs Hero 7.
GoPro Hero 8 Mods
One of the biggest stars of this show are the GoPro Her0 8 mods. These are official Hero 8 accessories that add to your camera’s capabilities by adding some of the most requested features. This also helps bring the Hero 8 in line with action camera competition from Sony and DJI. If you want to use the Hero 8 for Vlogging, you’ll likely want all of these new Mods.
- Media Mod -Shotgun Mic, USB C, HDMI and 3.5mm ports plus additional mounts – $79
- Display Mod – 1.9-inch display so you can see yourself – $79
- Light Mod – 200 Lumen waterproof light – $49
The Light and Display pack their own batteries, so they don’t drain the Hero 8 and you can attach the light to a mount or head strap for standalone use. GoPro says that more mods are in the works.
GoPro Hero 8 Deals
At this point, there is only one real GoPro Hero 8 deal. When you buy direct from GoPro, you get a free 32GB MicroSDHC card. We expect to see some deals later this year, potentially around Black Friday, but many of those will likely focus on the Hero 7 models.
Typically we see a trade-in deal with GoPro and bigger deals in January, so if you want to save, you may need to hold off until 2020 before major deals appear.
Google Pixel Watch Release Rumors Emerge
Just like the past few years, Google will likely release a new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL this fall. They typically hold a launch event in October. However, new reports suggest that isn’t all Google has planned for 2018.
In fact, Google will reportedly use its hardware event to unveil a 2nd Gen Pixel Bud headset, along with an all-new Wear OS Smartwatch. To be specific, a “Pixel Watch” to take on the Apple Watch.
Google’s smartphones continue to impress, but its Pixel Buds fell short in 2017. Not to mention Android Wear smartwatches aren’t all that popular either. That said, if Google can unleash a few impressive products that plays nice with its Pixel phones, we could see the comeback of Wear OS. Here’s what we know, and what we’re hearing.
According to the popular and highly accurate leaker Evan Blass, Google has two surprises coming later this year. Besides the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, we’ll get new Pixel Buds and a Pixel-branded watch. We don’t have any other information to go on, but we’re expecting to learn more soon.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me — with high confidence — that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 10, 2018
Google recently rebranded Android Wear into “Wear OS” and hopefully a Pixel Watch made by Google will help boost sales and get smartwatches popular again. And while they partnered with LG in 2017 and released a few nice watches, a Pixel Watch could be exactly what the market wants and needs. Especially if this potential Pixel Watch has hybrid features that combine a regular timepiece with modern software and technology. We’re thinking a regular mechanical watch, with a Wear OS display on the bottom half. Giving users the best of both worlds.
However, we’re more excited about the idea of a 2nd-Gen Pixel Bud headset. Google’s headphones overpromised and underdelivered last year, even if they were excellent headphones. In 2018, we’re hoping for a truly wireless design that can compete with AirPods or Samsung’s Gear IconX. Not to mention all the other 100% wireless headphones on the market.
This makes sense given recent market trends, and you can bet the Google Assistant will be built-in too. We’re still a long ways away from October, but it’ll be here before you know it. Expect more leaks, reports, and rumors, then some sort of announcement from Google in September. The last few events took place the first week of October, so we’re betting the same thing will happen this year. Stay tuned for more details.
Kodi: 3 Things to Know Before You Buy a Kodi Box
People are always looking for new ways to watch TV shows and movies and Kodi makes that possible for free.
Users with large media collections use Kodi as a replacement for Microsoft’s Windows Media Center and the media players that came on their device. iPhones, Android devices, iPhones, iPads and Windows PCs all have Kodi apps that let users easily browse their movies, music, television shows and photos from one app. Xbox One users can access their content on a television through the app.
Some users that don’t have large media collections are using Kodi to watch movies and stream television shows that they don’t own using unofficial upgrades. Because it’s open-source, anyone can change how the software works. There are add-ons for live sports and cable replacements that don’t require a subscription. Other downloads unlock movies that are still in theaters.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is a piece of user-friendly software that gives you access to television shows, music and movies that you own. Copy your DVDs to your PC, and the software will add trailers and a synopsis to those movies. It sees pictures and music videos. Big buttons and legible text make it easy to browse your media collection.
Like your phone, Kodi lets users add new features without learning to code. Most developers use this add-on system to improve the music experience or reorganize content. These add-ons are available to everyone. Unofficial upgrades available outside of the software’s download area let users watch television and stream movies they don’t own. These add-ons are why everyone wants a Fire TV Stick or set-top box with the software on it.
Buying a Device with Kodi
Kodi doesn’t come pre-installed on any hardware, which is why users are installing the software on devices themselves. It’s why buying unofficial Kodi Boxes has grown in popularity too.
Two sites make it possible to buy a device with the software installed: Craigslist and eBay. Craigslist shoppers can buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick loaded with the software for $59.99. eBay sellers have unofficial Kodi boxes that cost $34.95.
Don’t expect to return any devices you buy when something goes wrong. Craigslist and eBay sales are final. Trying the hack may void an Amazon Fire TV Stick’s warranty, which could prevent you from getting a replacement when the software stops working. That’s one reason buying hacked Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Kodi Boxes is a bad idea.
Is Kodi Legal?
The Kodi software is legal. It’s open-source, so changing how it works for your own needs isn’t a problem. Selling Kodi Boxes and using unofficial add-ons to watch copyrighted content may not be legal.
It’s not clear that the add-ons you need to stream movies for free are legal. Services need deals in place before they can offer someone else’s content to users. Add-on makers haven’t done that for these unofficial Kodi add-ons.
The European Union’s Court of Justice declared hacked set-top boxes created to help users easily violate copyrights illegal in a June 2017 press statement. “Acts of temporary reproduction on the multimedia player in question, of copyright-protected works adversely affects the normal exploitation of those works and causes unreasonable prejudice to the legitimate interests of the copyright holder,” the court said in the statement. Put plainly, selling boxes made to give users access to content they don’t own violates European Union law.
Courts in the United States haven’t ruled on whether these boxes are legal, but that may not stop content companies from suing to get the add-ons and streaming services shut down. Ways to watch movies and television shows for free attract more attention from copyright holders the bigger they get. Hacked Fire TV Sticks are growing in popularity. Movie studios and copyright holders could challenge the legality of the add-ons and services at any time. If those services are shut down, your hacked Fire TV Stick won’t work.
There’s another looming issue with Kodi Boxes. The volunteers that make Kodi don’t want it associated with piracy. An article on the Kodi.tv website calls people selling Fire TV sticks with the software “criminals.” It also declares that users in its forums won’t help anyone that runs into trouble with their hacked device. “If the Kodi userbase drops a huge percent because pirate services flee or die, we’re fine with that,” the team says.
The XMBC Foundation’s Nathan Betzen told TorrentFreak that it would issue takedown notices to firms that fool buyers with the boxes. The XMBC Foundation controls Kodi. “If you are selling a box on your website designed to trick users into thinking broken add-ons come from us and work perfectly, so you can make a buck, we’re going to do everything we can to stop you,” he said.
HTC Vive Pre-Order Live: What You Need to Know
Today, HTC put up the live pre-order page for its own virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive. If you order today, you can expect your unit to start shipping sometime in April.
It’s February 29th, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s Leap Day, but more importantly, it’s the HTC Vive pre-order day! Feel free to celebrate accordingly, unless you happen to be a bank account. If you’re living in the U.S., you can expect to shell out a whopping $799 to get your Vive headset; that’s $200 more than Oculus Rift, but it includes additional hardware that Oculus isn’t yet selling, like two VR-aware, motion-sensitive controllers.
Like the Rift, anyone who pre-orders the Vive will receive some free content for their trouble. HTC is partnering with the developers of Fantastic Contraption and Job Simulator to include both titles for free in the HTC Vive pre-order. A recent announcement revealed that Google will be offering the VR sculpting title Tilt Brush for free to Vive owners as well.
The HTC Vive price is…
Thanks to recent surges in the strength of the U.S. dollar, international pricing may be more than some were expecting: in Australia, you’re looking at $899 USD, in Canada, $1149 CAD, in the UK, £689, and everywhere else in the EU is €899. While some of these prices seem substantially higher than in the U.S., most of them also include sales tax in the MSRP. A notable exception is Canada, where you can expect to pay an extra 5 – 13%, depending to which province the Vive will be shipped.
HTC originally planned on coming up with a different version of the Vive to ship to customers, but the version showed off at CES, internally known as the Pre, has become the consumer model as well an a bid to save money and remain competitive against the Oculus Rift.
When will the HTC Vive ship?
So far, we know it’ll start shipping in April, but that’s where certainties end. Most people who pre-order today are likely to receive their headset sometime in that month. It’s difficult to compare this to the Oculus shipping pattern, because neither company is going to release solid numbers on how many pre-orders have been made.
Oculus, for example, is now listing delivery dates of July if you submit a pre-order today – unlike HTC, however, Oculus isn’t an experienced manufacturer of high-tech products; it’s possible that even if HTC experiences the kind of heavy order volume that Oculus did, that they’ll be able to fulfill all the orders within April.
While it’s no kind of serious study, a survey of approximately 1000 VR enthusiasts on Reddit showed 40% of them selecting the Oculus Rift, 30% of them exclusively choosing the HTC Vive, and 30% of them opting to buy both, and deciding which to keep after trying them both.
Each headset will be powered by its own kind of storefront; HTC is partnering with Steam and their nascent SteamVR storefront and interfaces, while Oculus is rolling their own. Both Steam and Oculus have made statements to the effect that their individual stores won’t be locked to any specific hardware, so it’s possible that you’ll be running Oculus content on the Vive at some point in the future.
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