9 Gadgets That Make Cool Gifts for Under $50
Gift giving is hard enough as is, and chances are good that the technophile in your life is ahead of the curve on the latest, greatest smart phone. But is she also outfitted with the latest and greatest accessories?
She may be interested in a new pair of Bluetooth headphones, or a higher res streaming device. Of course, you won't want to pay through the roof to get those things, which is why we've put together this handy list of gadgets that won't break the bank.
You might recognize some of the items here, including the much talked about Amazon Echo Dot, a voice-controlled device that plays music or checks the weather without requiring you to press any buttons. Other things may be less recognizable, but are still incredibly useful (like a smart car locator.)
Take a look and decide which gizmos will make your techie—and your wallet—happy this holiday season.
A Mighty Pen
This ballpoint’s curved barrel can prop up a phone or even a tablet for comfortable hands-free viewing. A stylus tip at the top lets you sketch on-screen. Ace Teah three-in-one stylus pen ($8 for six)
Revive Old Gear
Pump new life into old speakers with this plugin gadget that streams music over Wi-Fi from your phone or tablet. (Apple and Amazon tunes aren’t supported.) Google Chromecast Audio ($35)
A Small Echo
When you talk, this smart-home gizmo listens. And responds. Using a less powerful speaker than Amazon’s $180 Echo, it can tell you the weather, play music, and do other tasks. Amazon Echo Dot ($50)
Dude Where's My Car
This cigarette-lighter adapter doesn’t just have two USB ports for charging mobile devices. It also serves as a homing beacon so you can find your way back to your car. Nonda Zus ($30)
It doesn’t look impressive. But this strap, which loops around the back of most phone cases, makes one-handed thumb typing a lot easier—and dropping your phone a lot harder. Ninja Loop ($5)
Your phone’s on-screen keyboard is fine for tapping out texts, but longer stuff demands the real deal. This mobile keyboard is a nearly full-size mechanical model that folds up small enough to carry in a pocket. It works with Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Battop folding keyboard ($28)
I Like Streaming
By now the “Roku box” is almost synonymous with streaming video. This iteration does it for $50 less than Roku’s higher resolution Premier box, making it the single most affordable gateway to the likes of Amazon Video, HBO Go, Hulu, and Netflix. Roku Express ($30)
Dr. Speaker and Mr. Headphone
These Bluetooth headphones look like … headphones. But flip a switch and suddenly they’re speakers. The split-personality ear cups can direct tunes inward, just to you, or outward, when you want to share. Monoprice two-in-one Bluetooth headphones with external speakers ($40)
Listen up for the new speaker of the house— and backyard, beach, or anywhere else. This Bluetooth black brick cranks out loud, crystal-clear music from your phone or tablet, running 24 hours between charges. Anker SoundCore ($36)