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The right tech can bring your friends and loved ones a much-needed upgrade in quality of life.
Even on a budget of under $100, there are plenty of exciting and useful tech gifts to choose from.
If you’re on an even tighter budget, here are the best tech gifts under $50.
Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we’ve ever tested.
If you know where to dig, there’s a surprising amount of excellent tech gifts out there – accessories, fitness trackers, tablets, and smart speakers – for less than $100.
Fret not, however: there’s no need to trudge through the pages of Amazon, Target, and Best Buy to find the best affordable tech. We’ve done that hard work for you.
Through research and direct testing we’ve uncovered the very best tech gifts under $100. We included a number of gifts in every price range, so you’re bound to find the right gifts for your loved ones.
Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider
The new Echo is an excellent smart speaker and Alexa can answer your giftee’s questions, play music, and control smart home devices like lights and TVs. The new fourth-generation model also features an updated design with a spherical shape that fits nicely with most decor.
If your giftee isn’t into Amazon’s products but still wants a smart speaker, the Google Nest Audio is a great alternative. The smart speaker is reliable at answering queries, can control smart home gadgets, and play music with good sound.
A dedicated fitness tracker without the distractions of a smartwatch
Fitbit’s affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to track your giftee’s fitness metrics. The tracker has a heart rate monitor that helps improve the accuracy of tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. As an added bonus, buyers also receive a free one-year trial of Fitbit Premium.
While more expensive devices like the Apple Watch have many of the same features, they also can bring added distractions and unnecessary steps for a user who primarily wants to keep track of their health.
A countertop display that’s also a smart home hub
The Echo Show 5 (2021) is an affordable smart display that has Alexa built-in. Your giftee can watch recipes and videos on it, see the time at a glance, and ask Alexa questions. It can also play music and control smart home devices.
A Philips Hue smart lighting starter kit
Philips Hue smart light bulbs can be controlled using an app or a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google Home. That means you can dim the lights, set them to change at specific times, or turn them off with a voice command if you’re using an assistant.
The hub included in this starter kit can connect and control your lights without a separate virtual assistant, and the smart button will let you turn the Philip Hue bulbs in your house on and off without any extra wiring.
A 4K streaming device to bring new life to TVs
Anyone who likes to spend their free time streaming videos at home can make use of the Roku Streaming Stick+. Roku’s media streamers are the best in the business, and the Stick+ can stream TV shows and movies from all the major streaming services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. You might want to wait a little, as Roku just announced new $50 Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+ 4K models that add better performance and Dolby Vision HDR. Those are available for pre-order now, and we’ve just begun testing them at Insider Reviews.
If you’re looking for the absolute best features then the Roku Ultra is an ideal streaming player. It’s the best media streaming device we’ve tested, thanks to its easy-to-use interface, 4K playback, voice control, and simple remote. It can transform your so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and other streaming services. Unlike the cheaper Roku Stick model, this version adds Bluetooth, a USB port for external playback, and Dolby Vision capabilities for even better HDR performance on select apps.
A PopSocket grip for your phone
PopSocket Grips stick to the back of your phone and can expand outwards whenever you need a grip or a stand. Use one to take steadier photos, text with a better grip, hold a large device more securely, watch movies, and video chat with ease and comfort. Many cost less than $10 and they come in a variety of colors and patterns to fit your recipient’s personality. There are even plant-based PopSocket grips that are more environmentally friendly.
PopSocket has also added MagSafe versions that magnetically attach to compatible iPhones (iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series) rather than attaching with sticky glue. MagSafe PopSockets are also the best option for MagSafe iPhones, as you can easily remove the PopSocket to place the iPhone on a wireless charger.
You can also find PopSocket cases that have built-in grips that start at $50.
An ebook reader with a built-in light
The entry-level Kindle is a great gift for book worms who want a digital library of ebooks to take with them on the go. For young or new readers, the lack of apps on Kindle can help them stay focused on reading.
Newer Kindle models include a front light for night reading, and the Kindle can retain battery for weeks on a single charge. The $60 version includes ads on the home screen, so you may want to consider spending an extra $20 for the ad-free Kindle; though your gift recipient can also pay the $20 later on.
A smart herb garden
Click and Grow
With the Click and Grow Smart Garden, your loved one can grow fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or thyme in a matter of weeks. The garden kit includes LED lights and basil plant pods — once set up, it will automatically water the herbs on a regular basis for two to three weeks.
A phone case that’s lovely to look at and built to last
Nomad uses genuine Horween leather to craft gorgeous, durable iPhone cases that age beautifully. We can’t recommend the brand’s cases enough. Nomad also makes a few Samsung and Google Pixel cases.
Otterbox has a reputation for bulky protective cases that can withstand a lot of drops, but that doesn’t mean they’re ugly. In fact, Otterbox has tons of super fun cases with Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters on them as well as some stylish designs.
A custom-designed iPhone case filled with familiar photos
Casetify has a huge selection of cases with designs that you might find more interesting than most cases with simpler single or double-color designs.
Casetify is also known for its easy to use custom design tool that lets you turn your favorite photos or designs into a custom iPhone case. There are several case styles and dozens of templates, so you can turn your friend’s best photos into a unique way to protect their phone.
An excellent pair of wireless headphones
Sennheiser makes some of the best over-ear headphones. Though not one of its flagship models, the HD 350BT are still strong performers. They’re comfortable, deliver outstanding sound quality, and have a long battery life of up to 30 hours.
Protect your loved ones’ fingers when it’s cold outside and they still want to text their friends and family. These touchscreen gloves are super warm and work well on screens.
A durable, weighted iPhone charging cable
Native Union makes some of the most attractive phone accessories around. The Night Cable is the best long lightning charging cable for the iPhone. It has a 10-foot cord and a handy weight to hold it in place while your phone charges.
A desk lamp with a wireless charger
If your giftee has a phone with wireless charging built in, the TaoTronics Desk Lamp is a great gift. It has a built-in wireless charger and a USB port so you can charge your devices wirelessly or with a cable. The lamp is also well made and fully adjustable. It has multiple brightness and color temperature settings so you can make it your own.
A beautiful wireless charger
Native Union always impresses with its stylish tech accessories. If your giftee hates boring black and white tech, get them Native Union’s attractive wireless chargers, which come in multiple colors, including rose, sage, indigo, and more.
An instant camera
Instant cameras are the perfect gift for shutterbugs who wish they’d lived during the age of the Polaroid. Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 11 comes in cute colors and takes fun, retro pictures that are printed right after they’re taken.
A light for better smartphone photography
Any smartphone shutterbug will love having the Lume Cube 2.0 in their mobile photography kit. The little light helps illuminate the subject of a photo when the lighting is subpar.
An iPhone USB memory stick
Even though iPhones now come with more storage built in, it’s still easy to run out of space. For people who take too many photos, download tons of music, shows, and games on their phones, the SanDisk iXpand is the perfect gift.
An iPhone dock
An iPhone dock looks nice on any desk, nightstand, or table, and it gives your giftee a good place to charge their phone. The Twelve South HiRise 2 Deluxe comes with lightning and Micro USB cables. The device also features a handy design that holds your iPhone up off the base. This prevents your phone’s speakers and home button from getting blocked.
A set of trackers to keep tabs on belongings
Trackers are one of the most practical tech gifts you can give. Once they’re paired, your giftee can use their phone to make the trackers send them a notification to help find a lost item, or show the tracker’s last known location on a map.
This pack comes with one Tile Slim, which is thin enough to slip into a wallet, one Tile Mate, which has loops so it can fit onto key rings, and two Tile Stickers, which can be attached to a remote or other electronic device.
Apple’s AirTags are the best option for Apple users and have a big advantage over Tile tags. That’s because AirTags can ping off iOS devices, whereas Tile tags ping off other Tile tags. In turn, that means an AirTag and the object it’s attached to is more likely to be pinged by a one or several of the billion iPhones in the world.
Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTags are ideal for Samsung phone users, as each tag can ping off a Samsung Galaxy phone in the same way that Apple’s AirTags work. There’s a huge number of Samsung Galaxy phone users out there, so the chances that your Galaxy Smart Tag would get discovered is high.
A temperature-controlled mug
It seems like everything is high-tech these days and a lot of it seems pointless, but this is not one of those things. Ember’s smart mug can keep your loved one’s drink at the perfect temperature so they never burn their tongue again. It uses a smart heating coaster and an app to help you decide how hot you want your drink to be every time.
A kid-friendly tablet with a year’s worth of children’s books and videos
Kids love tablets, but they can also be destructive fiends when it comes to tech. Luckily, Amazon’s Kids Edition of the Fire 7 tablet is here to save the day with its protective case and warranty against accidental damage. The Kids Edition also comes with one year of Amazon Kids, which adds tons of kid-friendly content you can find via Amazon apps like Kindle and Amazon Prime Video.
The Fire HD 8 tablet is also a solid option for teens and adults who don’t need the extra power of an iPad or Microsoft Surface. The latest Fire HD 8 has a 1,280 x 800-pixel screen, 32GB of storage built in, and room for expansion via a Micro SD card slot.
An alarm clock with a soothing light and built-in Bluetooth
No one likes waking up to a blaring alarm, so a light therapy alarm clock that tries to awaken you with a gradual, sunrise-like increase of light is a nice gift. The iHome Zenergy offers a number of great light alarm features, but it also has a decent Bluetooth speaker built into it, so your giftee can play music, too.
A waterproof Bluetooth speaker
The Logitech Wonderboom 2 is a small and simple Bluetooth waterproof speaker that has surprisingly big and good sound for its size and price. It’s an ideal gift for friends and family who like to be outside.
A pair of budget-friendly wireless earbuds
These wireless earbuds are cheaper than AirPods, but they sound even better. They also last for 24 hours of total playtime and 6.5 hours of continuous use.