Gift giving is a fun part of the holidays. It’s great to treat your friends and family to fun gifts, and there’s nothing better than finding the perfect gift for somebody whom you love. In our books, it’s even better if these gifts are high-tech gadgets that make life a little bit easier for your friends or family members. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to get a great tech gift for your favorite people. From the geeky to useful, fun to functional, our favorite stocking stuffers offer something for everybody on your list. Read on to check out our favorites — most of them $50 or under.
1. Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon’s Echo Dot is a fun but affordable gift for anyone who’s enthusiastic about the latest in apps and gadgets. Alexa can play music, check the weather, set alarms and timers, control your smart home devices, tell you a joke, or respond to other requests. Anyone who enjoys talking to Siri will like having Alexa around — and the Echo Dot is pretty affordable at $49.
2. Amazon Fire 7″ tablet
Cheap tablets are surprisingly easy to come by. But the Amazon Fire 7″ tablet is one you can feel pretty good about buying, since it officially makes our list of the best cheap tablets. On top of its affordable $49 price tag, it also features a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, gets 8.4 hours of battery life, offers good display quality, and has excellent touch response. It also offers access to Amazon’s app store, plus the Alexa voice assistant.
3. Apple Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter
The iPhone 7 owner in your life has probably already lost a headphone adapter at least once. So a new Lighting to 3.5mm adapter is a great stocking stuffer. It comes in under $10, which is a pretty great price tag for a budget-friendly stocking stuffer. And it will save your favorite iPhone 7 user the annoyance of having to track down the nearest Apple store the next time they misplace an adapter.
4. AUKEY Optic Pro iPhone lens
For the mobile photography enthusiast in your life, a wide angle iPhone lens is a fun stocking stuffer — and an affordable one if you go with AUKEY’s Optic Pro lens. This lens costs just $25, which is much less than many alternatives but still gets great marks from reviewers. It offers a 110 degree field of view that’s great for photographing wide landscapes, group shots, and cityscapes, and it’s constructed of aluminum alloy and multi-element coated glass.
5. Blu R1 HD
A $50 phone may not be as luxe as an $800 iPhone — but it will mean the world to a tween or teen who was keeping their fingers crossed for a smartphone this year. The BLU R1 HD is an impressively cheap device with a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor, 8GB of memory, 1GB of RAM, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We won’t pretend that it can match a much pricier smartphone — particularly because it shows ads and offers on the lock screen — but it can be a great starter phone.
6. Chromecast Audio
Everybody needs an easy way to stream their favorite music from their phone to their speakers. So the Chromecast Audio is the perfect stocking stuffer for any music fan in your life. This $35 gadget plugs in to a speaker so that you can use an iOS device, Android or tablet, laptop, or Chromebook to stream music via Wi-Fi. The person you gift this little gadget to will be able to easily stream their favorite music without the hassle of pairing devices via finicky Bluetooth connections.
7. Flux portable charger
Every smartphone user has run out of juice at some point — which means that most will appreciate a portable charger like this slim model from Flux. This $39 portable charger is slim and minimalistic, which is great for smartphone addicts who don’t want to compromise on aesthetics. It has built-in cords for iPhones and Android devices, and with a a 4,000mAh battery, it can charge cameras, iPads, headphones, laptops, and anything with a USB, microUSB, or a Lightning port.
8. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
Everybody loves the novelty of a Polaroid camera. So a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is a gift that will enable the most avid iPhone photographer to branch out and expand their skills. This camera takes credit card-sized instant photos. It’s also easy to operate, with automatic exposure management and an LED that signals the recommended aperture setting. It’s a light and slim camera — perfect for slipping into a stocking (or throwing in a handbag or backpack).
9. Immerse Plus virtual reality headset
High-end virtual reality headsets are pretty pricy, but you can gift your favorite geek a VR headset without breaking the bank thanks to Immerse Plus. It’s compatible with most smartphones (provided they’re somewhere between four and six inches wide). Plus is a pretty comfortable headset, with a foam eye cushion, a removable window for augmented reality applications, and adjustable lenses and head strap.
10. iPod Shuffle
Most people just use a smartphone instead of an iPod. But if you know an athlete who prizes portability and still wants to listen to their favorite tunes while running or rowing, the iPod Shuffle is a great stocking stuffer. At $49, the iPod Shuffle is a budget-friendly iPod. It holds plenty of songs for a commute or a run and is also a good gift for podcast enthusiasts and audiobook fans.
11. Native Union Night Cable
Cloth-covered iPhone cables and long charging cables are both a luxury, and Native Union’s Night Cable combines the two. This 10-foot cable isn’t cheap at $39. But extra-long length and a weighted knot make it pretty convenient to use at home or while traveling. It’s available with a Lightning connector or a micro USB connector, and the braided cable makes it tangle-free.
12. Roku Streaming Stick
The Roku Streaming Stick is a great stocking stuffer for any streaming TV addict. It’s also the perfect gift for cord-cutters (or aspiring cord-cutters) who will appreciate its quad-core processor, its easy portability, and its compact design. You can even point it anywhere (not just in the direction of the TV) for it to work.
13. See Concept screen glasses
While they’re a little more expensive than most of the other gifts on our list at $65 (or $52 for MoMA members), we think See Concept’s screen glasses are worth including. (We’re looking out for your eyesight and the eyesight of the people on your holiday shopping list.) There are plenty of blue light-blocking glasses that look incredibly dorky. But these sleek glasses are simultaneously stylish and designed to protect your eyes from blue light.
14. Tile Mate
The Tile Mate is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who routinely loses their keys or worries about the whereabouts of their checked luggage. The idea is that when you can’t find the item that you’ve attached a Tile to, you can use the app to track it down via a map that shows its last known location.