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Best tech gifts for any budget

Here are our picks for the best tech gifts that you can give, no matter what kind of gift giving budget you might have to work with.
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December 19, 2018

Christmas is just a week away now! While you’ve probably already finished up most of your shopping, maybe you’re a last-minute buyer – like some of us here at Android Authority. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best tech gifts, from budget priced suggestions, to the most expensive tech gifts.

Also be sure to check out the following guides:

Smart Home

Here are some excellent budget and expensive gift options for people interested in smart home products.

Below $50 – LIFX Mini Smart Bulbs

Best tech gifts

You can’t really call your home a smart home if it doesn’t have smart lights. Smart homes are also supposed to be energy efficient, which means they need smart bulbs to light them up. The LIFX Mini Smart Bulbs make an excellent tech gift for those who are on a budget.

The energy efficient bulbs allow you to control the amount of light via WiFi and LIFX smartphone apps. which are available for Android smartphones and Apple’s iPhones. You can also control the 60W dimmable lights in a group. These bulbs, while more expensive than standard light bulbs, can help to keep your energy bills under control.

Between $50-100 – Amazon Echo Dot: 3rd Gen

One of the most popular voice-controlled smart speakers in the world, the third generation version of Amazon’s Echo Dot makes a perfect tech gift for your friends or family. It not only helps you control other smart devices but can also play music, make calls, read the news, and check the weather with just your voice commands.

Higher Price  – Amazon Echo Show: 2nd Gen

For those who can spend more on smart home gadgets, the recently launched second-generation Amazon Echo Show is a better option than the Echo Dot. It serves almost the same purpose, but this one comes with a big 10.1-inch touchscreen that allows you to watch TV shows and other video content.

Smartphones

Below $100 – Nokia 2

Available for just under $100, the Nokia 2 is a highly affordable but quality option if you want to give someone an unlocked smartphone. With a 5-inch touchscreen, 8GB of onboard storage, an 8MP camera, and ample battery life, the Nokia 2 offers you the best value for your money. It uses the Android Nougat 7.1.1 OS and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 quad-core processor.

Higher than $100 – OnePlus 6T

OyxgenOS Android Skin

The OnePlus 6T is perfect for people who want to get high-end flagship hardware in their smartphone but don’t want to spend a ton of money. You can get a standard OnePlus 6T with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, either 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. It’s big display even has an in-screen fingerprint scanner. All of that can be yours for less than $550. If you want to splurge, the new OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is the first phone you can buy in the US with 10GB of RAM for $699, which is still less than many phones that have far less RAM

Highest Price – ASUS ROG Phone

Asus ROG Phone rear design

One of the biggest new trends in smartphones are the ones made for gamers. They are usually not cheap, but they do make an excellent gift for those who prefer playing games on their mobile devices. The ASUS ROG Gaming ZS600KL is a good option for gamers. With almost 3 GHz of processing power, a 6-inch Full View Display, and ample storage and battery life, you can enjoy even graphics-heavy games on your phone. The phone also comes with an extra USB port on the side that can be used to connect to other accessories, including a gamepad, and even a second screen for the phone. 

Prefer a more traditional phone? We recommend the Galaxy Note 9, or any of the phones listed here.

Smart TV and Smart TV add-ons

From expensive smart TVs to more affordable add-ons that can turn your traditional TV into a smart TV, these are the best tech gifts for TV enthusiasts.

Below $50 – Roku Streaming Stick

The Roku Streaming Stick makes a very affordable but smart option to access high-quality video content from online streaming services. When you connect this HDMI dongle to your TV, and then to your Wi-Fi network, the Roku Streaming Stick lets you access thousands of streaming TV services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and many others.

Above $100 – NVIDIA Shield TV

Nvidia Shield TV

The NVIDIA Shield TV may have launched close to two years ago, but this Android TV-based set-top box remains the best high-end streaming media box you can get. NVIDIA keeps updating it with cool new features, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice command support and more.

Higher price  – LG 77-inch Wallpaper TV

For those who can spend a lot more than $100, the LG OLED77C8PUA “Wallpaper” TV may be the best television you can get at the moment. This 77-inch TV is super thin, which also makes it extremely light for its size. Its 4K OLED display offers dark blacks and vibrant colors, it has smart TV apps already installed and will work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice command support. All of that can be yours for “just” $6,997

Tablets

You can’t have a list of the best tech gifts without tablets, can you?

Below $50 – Amazon Fire 7

Available for just less than $50, the Alexa voice-controlled 7-inch screen Amazon Fire 7 makes an excellent low-cost gift option for people who want a bare bones, but still solid, tablet for watching videos, reading books and playing games.

Above $100 – Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

If you want the best pure Android experience on a tablet device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the one to get. With its big 10.5-inch AMOLED display, the Snapdragon 835 processor and a huge 7,300mAh battery, its a powerful tablet that offers great media content viewing combined with some serious work features, thanks to its included stylus. There’s an option to purchase a keyboard accessory, but it’s really not needed if all you want is to watch Netlix on the road with a bigger screen.

 

 

 

Higher Price – Microsoft Surface Pro 6

What about a laptop that can also act as a tablet? The Microsoft Surface Pro 6, running on Windows 10, is expensive but it offers much more than an ordinary laptop. With 13.5 hours of video playback battery, an 8th generation Intel Core processor, and 128GB of onboard storage, you can use it as a laptop or separate it from its keyboard to turn it into a tablet.

Accessories

Looking for something a bit different for your family and friends? Here are some more great tech gifts ideas.

$25-$50 – AairHut Wireless Earbuds

The AairHut A2 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds make an affordable but smart gift for your friends who like to listen to music. The wireless earbuds allow you to listen to 28 hours of music with a single charge. It also comes with HD Mic that allows you to answer hands-free calls.

Between $50 and $100 – Anker SoundCore Pro+ Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

The 25W Anker SoundCore Pro+ Bluetooth Wireless Speaker makes a good gift for those who like music. In addition to delivering great audio with four drivers, it also has up to 18 hours of battery life on one charge and is IPX4 water-resistant rated, which means you can take it to the pool and it will work even with some water spills and splashes.

Higher Price – Samsung Galaxy Watch

A smartwatch makes a perfect gift for your tech gadget fan in your family or friends circle. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a great example of a smartwatch that can do everything well, from offering great apps and watch faces to including excellent fitness and health tracking features. It also has a great display, can be charged with a wireless charging pad, and of course it supports Samsung Pay for shopping. You can find even more smartwatch options here.