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CNET: Car gadgets perfect for Dad

Cnet has picked iSimple BluClik Bluetooth remote control

Cnet has picked iSimple BluClik Bluetooth remote control as one of the best tech gifts for Dad's car. Photo Credit: CBS Interactive

The days of the shade-tree mechanic and getting your hands dirty working on the car are gradually coming to an end. Here are some great tech car accessories and upgrades you can give Dad for Father's Day.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: senior editors Wayne Cunningham and Laura K. Cucullu, and associate editor Antuan Goodwin. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit


Garmin Nuvi 2689 LMT GPS navigator

CNET RATING (Out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD This GPS device boasts smart routing software and accurate maps. Lifetime map and traffic updates increase the value. Natural-language directions, real-time lane guidance and always-on voice command help the driver to keep eyes on the road and the vehicle on the route.

THE BAD Nuvi's settings menu has gotten bloated with options and categories.

THE COST $269.99 to $329

BOTTOM LINE A strong performing navigator with loads of features to help reduce driver errors.


Automatic Labs Automatic smart driving assistant

CNET RATING (Out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD This user-friendly app can help you log fuel efficiency, trip costs and driving habits for later browsing. Audible alerts coach without distracting the driver. Parking places are automatically GPS-tagged.

THE BAD It's at the top end of the OBD (onboard diagnostics) reader and app price range. Lack of advanced or real-time readouts will deter car nerds. Android compatibility was unavailable at time of testing.

THE COST $99.99

BOTTOM LINE Drivers can now monitor and boost their fuel efficiency with ease.


Cobra JoyRide charger

CNET RATING (Out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD This smart in-car charger eases access to your Android phone while driving by providing single-button activation of many functions and preprogrammed triggers. Rapid charging outputs enough amperage to power most Android phones and tablets.

THE BAD It can charge the Nexus tablet, but the app is incompatible.

THE COST $9.95 to $19.94

BOTTOM LINE If you want an Android car charger that does more than just power your phone, it's a compelling option.


iSimple BluClik Bluetooth remote control for smartphones

CNET RATING (Out of 5)

3.5 stars (very good)

THE GOOD Volume, skip, play and pause controls are all at your fingertips while driving. The rechargeable battery lasts a claimed 60 hours. Holding the center button activates Siri or Android voice search.

THE BAD The unit could use a small charging or battery indicator LED.

THE COST $25.66 to $30.51

BOTTOM LINE An easy way to enhance safety and keep hands on the wheel by adding simple media controls to vehicles without standard steering wheel buttons.


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