It’s hard to imagine that 2016 is almost at an end, and with the anticipation of the holidays comes the stress of holiday shopping. If you’re looking to get a head start on your gift purchasing this year, we’re here to make things a little easier, in an upcoming series of guides that accommodate various budgetary constraints.
For those looking for something that’s under $50, this gift guide is the right one for you!
If you’re looking for a simple streaming device that works flawless with your smartphone, there are no better options than the Chromecast. At just $35, this makes a great gift for friends, family, or anyone that needs a simple way to turn a standard TV into a smart one without all the extra frills.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Looking for an affordable media player with voice recognition and its own UI with a ton of supported apps? The Amazon Fire TV Stick could certainly fit the bill. At just $40, it’s only $5 more than the Chromecast, yet offers a direct interface and remote. If Casting isn’t your thing, this is certainly a worthy alternative.
Roku still remains one of the most popular streaming brands on the market, and with the Roku Express you get all the same apps/services but at an extremely aggressive price of just $30, undercutting both the Chromecast and the Fire Stick. While not as fast the more expensive Roku models, for those on a budget, it’s an exceptional choice.
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.
The Mad Catz C.T.R.L. not only is capable of attaching to your phone via included clip, but also works with both Android and PC in mind. With great media controls and a solid in-hand feel, this is certainly one of the best controllers you can get for your mobile devices. At at just under $50, it’s relatively affordable too.
Steel Series Stratus XL
The Steel Series Stratus XL might not attach to your phone, but it ones up the MadCatz by offering exceptional in-hand feel, a more upscale design, and a weight that just makes it feel more substantial. For pairing with PC, Android, and Gear VR — it’s certainly an excellent option. Best of all, at $45, it’s actually a hair cheaper than what you’ll pay for the C.T.R.L.
If you own a Samsung smartphone going back to the Galaxy S6, the best virtual reality experience you can enjoy is with the Gear VR. The headset features an improved fit, includes room for most eyeglasses, and comes with extra padding for a more comfortable fit. You will have a great virtual reality experience when watching movies, playing games, or anything else, with the Gear VR. The international version is priced at $43, but if you are looking for warranty in the US, the price will be $60.
November spring VR headset
This VR headset comes with PMMA lenses that are easier on the eyes and bring a stronger sense of immersion. It accommodates smartphones with display sizes between 4-inches and 6-inches, and the headset comes with ventilation holes to allow for heat dissipation, and as well as you plug in headphones and the charging cable. The headset comes with a remote to navigate across the various VR apps.
Brainwavz Delta earphones
The Brainwavz Delta is a durable and affordable pair of earphones that is built to last. There are three different sized tips included, so you won’t have a hard time finding the right fit, and there is also a “premium” memory foam tip available. The sound quality is quite good, given its price point of just $22.50.
If you are looking for an affordable pair of wireless earbuds, the CB3 Fit are a great choice. The earbuds come with on-ear hooks that hold them in place, and the earphones also feature an IPX4 rating, making them rain and sweat proof. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and the 150 mAh built-in battery allows for up to 7 hours of audio playback. The CB3 Fit is priced at $39.99.
Sony MDRZX110NC headphones
The Sony MDRZX110NC is one of very few headphones available that come with noise cancelling at under $50. The sound quality is good, and while this isn’t the best noise isolating headphones out there, it gets the job done. Priced at around $30, the Sony headphones are a great option, but if you aren’t looking for noise cancellation, there are some other choices available as well, which you can find in the link below.
Speakers & Audio
The Anker SoundCore is one of the best options out there if you are looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker. The sound quality is good, offers up to 24 hours of battery life, a Bluetooth range of 66 feet, and also comes with a mic to easily answer any calls that come through without needing to reach for your phone. The Anker SoundCore is priced at just $35.99.
JBL Clip 2
The JBL Clip 2 is a light, portable, and rugged Bluetooth speaker, and is completely waterproof, with an IPX7 rating for water resistance. You get 8 hours of audio playback time, and also comes with a mic that lets you answer calls without needing to get to your phone. A fun feature is that you can connect two Clip 2 speakers to each other to enjoy amplified sound. The JBL Clip 2 is currently priced at $49.95.
Looking for more? Check out our list of best Bluetooth speakers under $50.
HolyStone HS170 Predator Mini This quadcopter 6-axis Gyro Stabilization System that allows for a more stable and flexible flight, and easy to use regardless of experience level. You get 6 to 8 minutes of flying time with a control range of 30 to 50 meters. If you are looking for an affordable option to start drone training with, this is a great option, and is priced at just $39.99.
HolyStone HS170 Predator Mini
This quadcopter 6-axis Gyro Stabilization System that allows for a more stable and flexible flight, and easy to use regardless of experience level. You get 6 to 8 minutes of flying time with a control range of 30 to 50 meters. If you are looking for an affordable option to start drone training with, this is a great option, and is priced at just $39.99.
They Symca X5C is another great choice for the beginner drone flyer. Up to 7 minutes of flight time is possible, with 360 degree spins and flips at the touch of a button. You can also capture video using the 2 MP camera that is capable of recording at 720p. There are even LED lights to allow for night flight. The basic model is priced $42.99.
Anker PowerCore Speed 10,000 mAh
If you are looking for a power bank to charge a smartphone that features Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 support, the Anker PowerCore Speed is the one for you. The device offers an impressive capacity of 10,000 mAh that should fully charge most smartphones at least twice, and is surprisingly compact and portable as well. It is currently priced at just $29.99.
Tronsmart Presto 10,400 mAh
If you have a newer smartphone that comes with a USB Type-C port, the Tronsmart Presto will be the right fit. It is remarkably compact when considering its large 10,400 mAh capacity, and it also comes with QC 3.0 support to quickly charge compatible devices. The Tronsmart Presto is currently priced at just $25.99.
Some folks want tons of features and extras baked into their fitness trackers, others are looking for simplicity. If you fall into the latter of these groups, you’ll really like the Misfit Shine. This elegant tracker looks great while keeping things simple, with a halo of lights that emit to show you how far you are in your progress towards your daily goal. It also tracks a variety of activities including running, biking, and swimming.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is a great choice if you are looking for a fitness tracker in the sub-$50 category. You can track the number of steps, distance traveled, calories burned, as well as your sleep, and it also comes with a heart rate monitor to track your resting heart rate. The device features an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, and comes with a battery that lasts up to 20 days on a single charge. The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is priced at just $24.99.
Miscellaneous gadgets and gizmos
Amazon Echo Dot
Priced at just a penny below $50, Amazon’s Echo Dot remains the cheapest stand-alone digital assistant on the market. Of course to get the most out of the Dot, it’s best to hook them up to a more powerful pair speakers, but even so — if you’re in the market for an assistant this is a great, affordable option.
Amazon Fire Tablet
If you are on the lookout for an affordable Android tablet, the Amazon Fire is a great option in the sub-$50 category. You get enjoy Amazon’s robust library of movies, books, TV shows, apps and games, especially if you are a Prime subscriber. The device comes with a beautiful 7-inch IPS display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and expandable storage. The Amazon Fire is priced at $49.99.
The Kinivo BTC450 car kit also plugs into the AUX port of your car and lets you stream music and enjoy hands free calling with the built-in mic. While you will have to remember to charge the car kit above, this device is powered by connecting it to the cigarette lighter/charging port, and also includes a USB port to let you charge your smartphone as well. The Kinivo BTC450 is priced at $39.99.
AUKEY Ora lens
The AUKEY Ora lens is a camera extension that clips on to your smartphone. It comes with a macro lens, that allows for a 10x zoom for extreme close ups, and a 140 degree wide angle lens, to capture more of the scenery, landscapes, and more. If you are looking to get the most out of your smartphone photography experience, this is a great device to have. The AUKEY Ora lens is priced at just $24.99.
iOttie Universal car mount
The iOttie Universal car holder features a one touch mount system that lets you lock the device in place and release with just a press of a single button. Sticky gel pads allows for the holder to be stuck to most surfaces, and comes with a telescopic arm to allow for closer viewing of the screen. The holder can accommodate almost every smartphone, with the allowed width going up to 3.5-inches. The iOttie car holder is priced at $24.95.
CHARGED USB Type-C QC 2.0 wall charger
For a single device solution to charge all your smartphones and tablets, you should check out the CHARGED Wall Charger. The charger comes with six ports, including a USB Type-C port, a Quick Charge 2.0 ports, and four regular USB ports to charge all your devices. The charger comes with protection from overcharge, overcurrent, and overheating. This wall charger is priced at just $29.99.
If you listen to a lot of music, take a lot of pictures, download a bunch apps, or store movies and TV shows on your phone to watch later, a microSD card can be a lifesaver. There are quite a few options available, and in the sub-$50 category, you can get up to a 128 GB microSD card, which should be more than enough for most users.
Check out our best MicroSD card roundup now!
Know of any other great tech gifts that fall around or under $50? Let us know in the comments below.