8 Tech Gift Ideas Under $50
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You don't have to spend a lot of money on high-quality tech gifts. Through my research and hands-on testing, I found eight products I wouldn't hesitate to recommend for under $50. All are useful items that will be used every day by your loved ones. Here are my favorite products for everyone on your list.
Our favorite true wireless earbuds
We recommend the Jabra Elite 3 true wireless noise-canceling earbuds in our best earbuds under $100 guide for their "terrific, full-bodied and honest sound" and good call quality. They are also sweat-resistant (IP55 rating) and the backs are molded to match your ear's contours, making them an excellent choice for working out. Battery life is 7 hours, and up to 28 hours with the case. So, if you're looking to gift earbuds that perform well at a great price, you can't go wrong with the Elite 3. Choose from Dark Grey, Light Beige, Lilac, and Navy.
Price: on sale for $49.99, usually $79.99
A fun instant camera that doubles as a digital camera
There's something very gratifying about taking a photo and immediately handling the print. Press the shutter button on the Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera, and it will start printing a 2 x 3 -inch photo on Zink Photo Paper. The Printomatic has a microSD card slot and can save 5MP pictures if you use a microSD card (not included, but you can buy a PNY 32GB card for $5.99). The Zink Photo Paper is expensive (a 20-pack is $9.99), so it's nice that the camera can be also be used in digital-only mode. The Printomatic has a fixed wide-angle lens, automatic flash, and autofocus – it's a true point-and-shoot. It comes in six colors –- pink, white, green, orange, blue, and black.
Price: on sale for $49.99, usually $79.99
A flattering light that makes everyone look better in video calls
If you have someone who works from home on your list, a high-quality light for their video calls will make a huge difference in how they appear. The Logitech Litra Glow has a well-designed mount that makes it effortless to hook onto your laptop or monitor and adjust so the light is just right. The color temperature and brightness controls are on the back for easy adjustment. In addition, the light is small – 3.6 by 3.6 by 1.1 inches – and weighs just 5.2 ounces, including the mount, so it's great for travel.
Price: on sale for $49.99, usually $59.99
Our favorite video doorbell
Give the gift of security with the high-quality, affordable Ring Video Doorbell Wired. It has a built-in motion sensor to let you know when someone is at your front door before they ring the bell, and video quality is 1080p HD with night vision for low-light situations. And works with your existing doorbell wiring for power, so no need to ever change a battery. It's on sale now for under $40, making it a real bargain.
Price: on sale for $39.99, usually $64.99
The best rechargeable item trackers for iPhone owners
Pebblebee's Card for wallets and the Pebblebee Clip for keychains are the first rechargeable trackers to leverage the massive Apple Find My network. Other trackers, like the Apple AirTag, require you to swap out batteries when the battery dies or don't use the Find My network of millions of internet-connected iPhones, iPads, and Macs. In my testing, I found the Pebblebee trackers are just as easy to set up as an AirTag and they work well, with a clearly audible alert when you ping your item. I'd highly recommend the Card or the Clip for any forgetful person on your list.
Price: on sale for $23.99, regularly $29.99
Our favorite fitness tracker
Fitness watches are typically hundreds of dollars, but the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 fitness tracker packs an impressive array of features for less than $50. There's no skimping on health and fitness tracking – it measures heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, sleep patterns, stress, and movement. It receives notifications from your phone, including incoming calls and texts, which you can read on the 1.62-inch OLED display. The display is always on so you can see the time or workout data, it's water resistant for swimming and snorkeling, and the rechargeable battery lasts weeks.
Because everyone needs a tiny charger to fast-charge their phone
Anker's 511 30-watt charger is incredibly tiny and its power prongs fold in, making it perfect for travel. Those 30 watts are more than enough for all iPhones and iPads, and can even charge a MacBook Air. What's even better is that Anker is bundling the charger with a color-matching 6-foot USB-C to Lightning cable in beautiful Aurora White or Lilac Purple.
Price: on sale for $28.49 (if you use the coupon), regularly $37.99
Our favorite streaming device for travel
I'm a big fan of the stick format for streaming media players. Not only do they hide nicely away behind the TV, but they are also easy to pack for travel. Plug the stick into any TV on the road, connect to a network, and you can access all your streaming services and pick up where you left off at home.
Roku has the edge over the others when it comes to content discovery. It's more even-handed in showing you a range of content, and it's the only platform that will show you all of the options for renting and buying from a variety of streaming services.
Roku's Streaming Stick 4K is half the price of the top-of-the-line stick, the Streaming Stick 4K+ ($69.99), and has almost all of the same features. You'll enjoy 4K UHD video at 60 fps, support for Dolby Vision, and the same fast WiFi. The difference is only the remote. The Streaming Stick 4K has a Voice Remote, which lets you use voice commands with the push of a button. The Streaming Stick 4K+ has the Voice Remote Pro ($29.99), which listens for voice commands – no button pushing required. It also comes with a headphone jack for private listening and has a rechargeable battery.
For travelers, I'd bundle in an HDMI extension cable (I recommend the UGREEN 1.5-foot Extension Cable, which is currently $6.99 on Amazon). With an extension cable, you'll be able to plug in the stick more easily, and since the stick needs to plug into power, it provides extra cable length to the outlet.
Price: on sale for $35.95, usually $49.99
[Image credit: Techlicious, Kodak, Ring, Xiaomi, Anker, hands holding gift via BigStockPhoto]
For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.