Holiday shopping can be taxing when buying gifts for all our loved ones. What do they like? What size are they? These are just a couple of the questions we all ask ourselves when holiday shopping.
If that’s you, buying gifts that are tech may be the way to go.
For $50 or less, there are a number of gifts that are not only fun but can be useful every day. Major companies like Amazon, Roku, Logitech and Google have gadgets galore at prices that won’t break your bank.
So forget that sweater and check out some of these cool gifts.
Amazon Echo Dot
The new Amazon Echo Dot delivers dramatically improved sound, making it an even better buy for an entry-level Alexa speaker. If you already own an old Echo Dot and use it to power a bigger, better speaker, there’s no need to upgrade. But if you use your Echo Dot as a primary speaker, you’ll want the new one.
Google Home Mini Smart Speaker
If Alexa’s not your choice, the Google Home Mini smart speaker takes on the Echo Dot with a cute, fabric-covered design and Google Assistant smarts. A smaller, more affordable version of the Google Home, the Mini has a few tricks up its sleeve, like serving as an intercom and pairing with more powerful Bluetooth speakers.
Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote
In October, Amazon unveiled its first sub-$50 media streamer capable of streaming 4K content. The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K supports ultra-high definition streaming video with high dynamic range (HDR) in HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats. The Alexa Voice Remote also gets an infrared transmitter and dedicated buttons for power and volume control, letting users control their connected TV, sound bar, cable box, and other devices without using a separate remote.
Roku Premiere and Premiere+
Roku is another popular media streaming option; monthly active users increased from 11.3 million in Q3 2016 to 20.8 million in the first quarter of 2018, according to Statista. At just $40,
the Roku Premiere is the most affordable 4K-capable media streamer out there, if you don’t mind dealing with a line-of-sight infrared remote. Just $10 more will get you the Premiere+, which comes with a wireless, microphone-equipped, TV-controlling remote.
Amazon Fire 7
The iPad is a popular device, but it costs at least a couple hundred dollars. For those who need a more affordable way to read e-books, watch Netflix, and surf the web, the Amazon Fire 7 tablet makes a good basic video player and color e-book reader, and it’s very easy to use.
The WyzeCam V2 is an inexpensive 1080p home security camera that is small in stature but big on features. With its latest iteration, the Wyze Cam V2, Wyze Labs made some improvements, including motion tracking, enhanced audio capabilities, and a more powerful CMOS sensor. It’s still the smallest home security camera we’ve teste
d and an incredible bargain.
Amazon Smart Plug
Amazon’s new Smart Plug is the first gadget to ship with Wi-Fi Simple Setup, which helps get new devices onto nearby Wi-Fi networks quickly. Then, in combination with nearby Alexa-enabled devices like Echo or Fire TV, the smart plug will turn on smart home devices like coffee makers and lights when you ask.
Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White and Color
The Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White and Color is a simple and relatively affordable way to add color-changing lighting to your home. It doesn’t offer nearly as much in the way of third-party integration as the Hue bulbs, but it lets you select from over 16 million colors, it doesn’t require a hub, and it supports voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Tile Pro and Tile Mate
Always losing your keys or wallet? Affix a tiny Tile tracking device to your belongings to keep tabs on their whereabouts. In October, Tile updated its gadgets with user-replaceable batteries. On the backs of the new Tile Mate and Tile Pro, you now have a battery door, which provides access to a standard CR1632 coin-cell battery. So when your Tile runs out of juice, you can now just change the cell without much difficulty. Neither device has changed much on the outside, but the new Mate has a 150-foot Bluetooth range, while the Pro has doubled to 300 feet. Both are now much easier to locate and have alarms that are 100 percent louder.
Eufy BodySense Smart Scale
The Eufy BodySense Smart Scale is a comprehensive and stylish tool that can help you make sense of your weight, BMI, and full-body composition straight from your smartphone. It works with a well-designed app that contextualizes your body makeup across 12 metrics, integrates with third-party health platforms, and supports up to 16 users.
HP Omen Mouse 600
The HP Omen Mouse 600 packs an arsenal of features (sniper button, removable weights) into a solid impulse-buy gaming mouse. It’s an especially good pick to complement an HP Omen desktop or laptop.
Logitech K480 Keyboard
Logitech’s K480 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard lets you connect a computer, your phone, and tablet, all of which could be using different platforms, to a single keyboard—with solid results.
Skullcandy Jib Wireless
Bluetooth earphones don’t get much more affordable than the Skullcandy Jib Wireless, which packs a strong bass punch for the price.
RHA MA390 Universal
The RHA MA390 Universal earphones outperform more expensive options in both design and audio performance.
Retro-Bit RES Plus
The Retro-Bit RES Plus is an inexpensive retro game console that lets you play your classic NES games on your modern TV.
So this holiday season when you don’t know what to get, check out tech alternatives and who knows, you may even keep some of them for yourself!