From our multi-use smartphones and tablets, to a variety of smart products that are contributing to the advent of the internet of things, and a whole lot more, various forms of tech have helped make our lives a lot easier, and for many of us, it can be quite difficult to think back to a time when we didn’t have these numerous conveniences that we almost take for granted now.
However, with new and exciting devices and products being launched everyday, being a technology lover can prove to be a very expensive endeavor. The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be, as we demonstrate in this list of some of our favorite tech that is priced at under $50. Let’s take a look!
MoKo LED desk lamp
We start this list with the MoKo LED desk lamp. This desk lamp features a sleek, angular look that is simple and clean, which should help it blend in nicely with your existing desk setups, and will also not look out of place on a nightstand. It made of aluminium, which not only makes it sturdy, but allows for it to be quite lightweight. There is a rubber or silicone-like material at the bottom that keeps this lamp firmly in place, with no risk of it slipping around.
The desk lamp comes with a LED bulb, which means that you won’t have to worry about it burning out too soon, and should last a really long time. It provides a nice, bright white light that is perfect for when you need to get some extra work done at your desk, or when your winding down for the day with some reading before bed.
Of course, this isn’t just an ordinary desk lamp either. At the base of the lamp is where you will find two USB ports, with both delivering a maximum output of 2.4 A, which is perfect for charging your phone or tablet, or both simultaneously as well. There is also a cradle next to the charging ports where you can place your mobile devices while they are charging, or even just as a nice resting place for your phone or tablet.
MagicLight Bluetooth Smart LED bulb
Next is a smart LED light bulb from MagicLight. As good as Philips Hue and Lifx products are, they can be get pretty expensive, but if you are looking to get into the smart light bulb game without spending a fortune, MagicLight provides a great alternative. What makes this bulb a little different from the competition is that, instead of Wi-Fi, it uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or tablet.
However, the pairing process is still very simple. All you have to do is turn on Bluetooth, download the MagicLight app from the Google Play Store, and the app will automatically find and connect to the bulb. Admittedly, the app isn’t the prettiest to look at, and could use an update, but it certainly gets the job done and offers a lot of controls.
You can easily change the color using a simple color wheel, set up to 5 presets of your choice, or do cool things like have the bulb cycle through different colors, have strobe effects, and even have the bulb pulse to the sound of your music or voice. It’s a bulb that gets nice and bright and works well, and since it is relatively inexpensive, you can pick up a bunch of them to spruce up your home or office space without having to significantly dent your bank account.
ActionPie Qi wireless 12,000 mAh power bank
Next is a 12,000 mAh power bank from ActionPie. While the brand is somewhat off beat, and admittedly, power banks are a dime a dozen at this point, but it has to be said that this is one of the coolest power banks that I’ve used.
Its capacity of 12,000 mAh means that you will be able to charge your smartphone multiple times, and you get two cables with it, one being a standard microUSB cable, while the other splits into a microUSB cable and a lightning cable, to help charge your iPhone or iPad. As far as your charging needs go, these cables should cover most users, unless you have a newer Android smartphone that features a USB Type-C port, in which case, you will have to pick up a separate cable.
Quick Charge support isn’t available with this power bank however, which can be a deal breaker for some, but it does make for it with a few other useful features. You get two USB ports with this power bank, one rated at 2.1 A and the other at 1 A, and between these ports is a LED bulb that allows you to use this charging block as a makeshift flashlight.
My favorite feature though, is the small LCD screen that the device comes with. While other power banks use arbitrary light bars or LEDs to indicate remaining battery life, this screen lets you see exactly how much charge is left on the power bank. You also get Qi wireless charging support here, which is great if you have a device that can take advantage of it, and in case you were wondering, you can charge two devices using the USB ports and other using wireless charging simultaneously.
iHome Bluetooth speaker
If you are looking for a compact Bluetooth speaker that provides high quality audio and looks great while doing it, this next product is for you. This is the color changing Bluetooth speaker from iHome, and while this is like other inexpensive Bluetooth speakers for the most part, what makes this device unique is its ability to really light up a room or outdoor area when listening to music. The speaker is not that large and fits in one hand, and also comes with a lanyard that makes it even easier to carry.
On the bottom side of the speaker are plus and minus buttons for controlling volume, a micro USB port for charging, a button for cycling through the 6 different color modes, and a button for using the Bluetooth speaker as a speakerphone for phone calls. This is also the same button that you’ll use to put the speaker into Bluetooth pairing mode by long pressing on it, and if you want to check the speaker’s remaining battery life you can easily do so by long pressing on the color cycle button.
It was pretty surprising how loud this speaker got, given how compact it is, and since it is an upward firing speaker, it is easy to hear from any direction. This is a very solid Bluetooth speaker for the price, and the fact that it can light up to the beat of your music makes it that much more awesome and fun to use.
WinnerGear Montar car mount
The final item on this list is something that I’ve actually been using for the last three or four years, and so, it’s reliability and usability is something I can definitely vouch for. This is the Montar car mount from WinnerGear, and while it doesn’t have any fancy bells and whistles like some other car holders out there, this product does what it is supposed to do very well.
It is a simple mount with a suction cup on the bottom that let’s you easily attach it to the windshield or dashboard. The clamp rotates 360 degrees in any direction, allowing you to mount the phone in whichever orientation you prefer. The clamp comes with a soft, red rubber lining on the inside to help keep your phone safe from damage when attached to the clamp.
This product was released a while ago, so much so that its big selling point was that it could fit phones as “large” as the first Samsung Galaxy Note. However, this mount is still relevant because of the transition that phones have made from the 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9, making them taller, instead of wider. This essentially breathed new life into this car mount, which is likely the reason this device is still sold to this day. Even recent flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, HTC 10, LG G5, and Nexus 6P comfortably fit in this car mount. If you are looking for a simple and reliable car mount, this is one that I would definitely recommend.
Now when this mount first came out winnergear actually stated that it could fit phones as large as the original galaxy note which came out a pretty long time ago but the reason why this mount is still relevant is because of the transition that phones made from a 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9. This essentially breathed new life into this car mount which I think is the reason why WinnerGear still sells this car mount to this day. Even the most recent flagships like the S7, S7 Edge, HTC 10, LG G5, and the Nexus 6P all fit perfectly in this car mount and that’s the reason why I’ve been using this mount for so long. It fits pretty much any phone on the market and if you’re looking for a simple and reliable car mount, it’s one that I definitely recommend.
So, there you have it for this roundup of some of our favorite tech for under $50! These are some pretty useful products that won’t break your bank, and we would definitely recommend snagging a few for yourself, or even your friends or family members, since these would make great gift items as well.