We live in difficult times. With the cost of everything from groceries to mortgage interest rates on the rise, we’re all pinching pennies. Sure, you still want to get a special someone something great for the holiday season. But if you’re looking for something affordable, we have you covered with these tech gifts under $150, some of which are even under $100.
Oakywood Triple Dock
This multi-device charger is perfect for the home or away office or nightstand. It can house iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods while they charge (it’s not a charger itself) and looks sleek and elegant while doing it. Made of eco-friendly solid walnut wood and solid oak wood combined with stainless steel and Merino wool felt, the company provides assurances that all materials are sourced in an environmentally friendly way. Keep in mind that there’s no built-in charger for the Apple Watch, there’s just a cut-out to fit the Apple Watch neatly. You still need to use and plug in your own charging cable. But the charger is meant to help you position the watch to recharge in an upright or lying flat position. You will also need to wind cables through the dock and plug them all in. Really, this is a design dock not a charger, but if you keep cables permanently set up there, you’ll be able to recharge your devices much more quickly than with a wireless charger, and certainly more neatly. At $127, the price is right, too.
Satechi Vegan-Leather Magnetic Wallet Stand
Another accessory for Apple iPhone owners, the Satechi vegan-leather magnetic wallet stand is compatible with any MagSafe-enabled iPhone, from the iPhone 12 and up to the latest iPhone 15. It secures using a strong and reliable attachment that prevents the wallet from falling off the device. It can be used to carry credit cards, IDs, and cash. The functional double-flap design of the wallet allows you to carry up to four cards at once, with a cut-out specifically made to show an ID. Additionally, the slim wallet permits NFC pass-through from the front pocket so you can easily ‘Tap to Pay’ without taking out a credit/debit card. The Wallet Stand doubles as a kickstand, allowing you to make video calls, take photos, stream videos, and more hands-free. Prop the phone up in both portrait and landscape mode. It comes in four colours (brown, navy blue, orange, and black) and another three that are available exclusively through Apple.com: Forest green, purple, and blue. It’s US$40.
BodyGuardz Pure 3 Screen Protector
Looking for a screen protector? BodyGuardz Pure 3 screen protectors are made of 30% recycled glass with anti-glare and black edge detailing and sell for US$40 up to US$65 each. They’re available for various iPhone 13 and 14 models. There’s the BodyGuardz Eco PRTX shatterproof screen protector that’s made of hybrid glass with anti-glare. It’s the first green-mark certified screen protector made with 50% less plastic than standard PMMA protectors. The virtually indestructible Apex screen protector for iPhone is US$100 and is made from a dense crystalline structure known as CrystalCore technology that makes it ultra-thin while still being highly protective and anti-reflective. Grab one for someone you know might be accident-prone so they can keep their iPhone for as long as possible without a cracked screen.
Belkin BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad
Complete with MagSafe, the Belkin BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1 wireless charging pad is compact and travel-friendly, able to charge both your iPhone and AirPods at the same time. Available for $130, it comes in black or white and offers 15W fast wireless charging for iPhone 12 or later models and 5W charging for AirPods that support wireless charging and the AirPods Pro. It lies flat and has an LED light that shows charging status. It ships with a USB-C power supply.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2 True Wireless Earbuds
For an affordable pair of back-up earbuds, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are a good option. At $85, they feature ANC with transparency mode, Clear Call technology, fast pairing, fast charging, and they are made from sustainable materials to boot. They are dust- and water-resistant and have custom touch controls and equalizer modes. Connect them to a OnePlus smartphone for a more immersive listening experience. Get a total of 27 hours of playback per charge using the included charging case and an extra five hours after just a 10-minute quick charge. They even come with stickers in the box for adding a customized message for a friend who you might be gifting the item to. They come in Lightning White and Thunder Grey. Read my review for more details on my experience with them.
Samsung Galaxy Buds FE True Wireless Earbuds
For Samsung Galaxy phone owners, the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE true wireless earbuds offer improved sound, ANC with Ambient Sound, and a new ergonomic design. Automatic personalized beamforming along with AI-powered Deep Neural Network (DNN), separates your voice from unwanted background noise for clearer calls. They also boast the longest battery life to date for a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds at up to 8.5 hours per charge, a total of 30 hours with the included charging case. With ANC on, you still get up to six hours of playback and 21 hours with the case. They are designed to be comfortable for all-day wear with a customized fit and three different ear tips from which to choose as well as two different wingtip sizes. Get a pair in Graphite or white for $140.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag 2
For someone forgetful or absent-minded, the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag2 offers new ways to keep track of valuables. A new Compass View feature, available on any UWB-supported Galaxy smartphone (like the Galaxy S23 Ultra) provides arrows to indicate the direction and distance of the tag in relation to you as you search for it. The SmartThings Find app has also been upgraded with a full screen map view and more intuitive interface. Along with longer battery life, there’s a new power saving mode, which allows the battery to last for up to 700 days, more than twice as long as previous Galaxy SmartTag models. In normal mode, the battery life has been extended to 500 days, which marks a 50% increase compared to the previous generation models. You can switch between the two modes on the fly to track everything from a car to your keys and bicycle. With a new compact size and ring-shaped design with an IP67 rating, the large loop has metal on the inside of the ring for greater resilience that can support accessories like clips and keyrings. These accessories can also attach to bags and luggage. In addition to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and UWB capabilities, you can leverage Augmented Reality (AR) Find technology to visually guide yourself toward the item using the Samsung Galaxy smartphone camera. Galaxy SmartTag2 works within maximum Bluetooth range of 120 meters and can control smart home appliances through the SmartThings app. Get one for about $40.
Apple Pencil 2023
The new, more affordable version of the Apple Pencil is perfect for those who want one for more casual use. Touted as being perfect for taking notes, sketching, annotating, journaling, and other similar activities, it offers low latency and tilt sensitivity, but does not support pressure sensitivity, so you might not find it to be as accurate or responsive as other versions. It has a matte finish and flat side that magnetically attaches to the side of any iPad for storage (it works with all of them that have a USB-C port), and it pairs and charges via USB-C cable. When used with M2 models of iPad Pro, the new Apple Pencil supports hover, allowing you to sketch and illustrate with greater precision. A sliding cap reveals a USB-C port where you can attach a USB-C cable to connect to the new Apple Pencil for pairing and charging. When magnetically attached to iPad for storage, the new Apple Pencil enters a sleep state to preserve battery life. It eliminates the need for a USB-C adapter if you’re using an iPad model that the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) doesn’t support. Grab it for $109: it’s compatible with the iPad (10th generation), iPad Air (4th and 5th generations), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th generations), and iPad mini (6th generation).
House of Marley Little Bird True Wireless Earbuds
At just US$40, the House of Marley Little Bird true wireless earbuds are, like other products in the House of Marley line, designed to honour the late Bob Marley’s commitment to both music and the planet. Thus, they are made from sustainable materials, including bamboo, House of Marley’s signature blend of Regrind natural wood fibre, mica composites, and recycled plastics. They run for up to six hours per charge, 24 using the included charging case. Quick charge technology means you can get another two hours boost after just 15 minutes of charging. They charge using USB-C and on the buds are touch controls for adjusting volume, play/pause, and track skipping. There’s also an audible alert that advises when one of these changes has been made. Use the buds to answer and make hands-free calls as well. They come with a built-in mic for clear audio, along with a special mode for watching movies or playing games. They include Bluetooth 5.3, 10mm Hi definition drivers, and come with small, medium, and large colour-coded ear gels.
Particula GoCube Edge 2023
The latest version of the GoCube Edge, which sells for US$70, is a reimagining of the vintage Rubik’s cube. Players learn to solve classic puzzles and compete remotely with other cubers from around the world. It has sensors to track and measure activity (even when disconnected) and an inertial measurement unit to track the cube’s position. As a Speed Cube, there are mechanisms that enable it to be fast and smooth. It consumes low power via its rechargeable battery and connects through Bluetooth 5.0 to the GoCube iPhone and Android app. The free app provides a real-time display of the cube, analyzes movement, and enables fun interactive tutorials so anyone can learn and enjoy cubing. Various pre-packaged games and options are available to play with friends in person and online. The price includes the GoCube Edge, charging stand, charging cable and pouch, and a complimentary one-year subscription to GoCube Academy, a hub for aspiring cubers who want to embark on a gamified journey to conquer the cube.
Midland Multi-Colour Pack X-Talker 2-Way Radios
Perfect for a family camping trip, hiking adventure, or for family members or colleagues to stay in touch at an event, the Midland Multi-Colour Pack X-Talker 2-Way Radios work for a range of up to 26 miles and has 22 channels and 38 privacy codes, with interference-free conversations. They also feature NOAA weather alerts to keep you updated on changing conditions. Each radio is powered using three AAA batteries, so make sure to grab a pack to go with them. They sell for $100 for a three-pack, perfect for families, siblings, or friends who want to play their own Stranger Things ‘80s throwback games.
Keurig Single Serve K-Iced Coffee Maker
The Keurig Single Serve K-Iced coffee maker is an interesting option for the kitchen for those who prefer iced coffee-based drinks. Use the Brew Over Ice button and in one push, get the perfect cup. It starts hot to extract the flavour then cools down to minimize ice melting so the drink isn’t watered down. This machine isn’t just for iced coffee, by the way: you can also brew hot cups of java. There’s even a Strong Brew setting for a more intense taste. Choose from 8, 10, or 12-ounce sizes and store water in the 42-ounce removable reservoir. The slim size makes it the perfect hot and iced coffee maker for even small kitchens. The machine sells for a cool $120.
WITHit Chain Link Necklace for Apple AirPods
This clever and stylish necklace is designed to hold your Apple AirPods so you don’t need to put them in the case every time you take them off to make sure you don’t lose or misplace them. Instead, they connect to the chain link and use a magnetic closure to secure around your neck when you aren’t actively listening to tunes or on a call. This might not be the most fashionable piece of jewelry, but it’s perfect when you’re out for a walk or traveling through the airport, all those places where it’s easy to accidentally drop and lose one bud while you multitask and remove the buds to hear someone talking. It comes in gold or silver for US$20.
WITHit Band Candy Charms
It’s a genius concept, really. Yes, Crocs came up with it first, devising Jibbitz charms that fit perfectly in the little holes of the comfortable shoes to personalize the look. Kids go crazy for Jibbitz so why not have a version for quirky adults, too? Pandora has its charms for bracelets as well, which are more expensive and delicate. WITHit is doing the same thing, but instead of for shoes or bracelets, they are for the Apple Watch bands. The adorable little charms go with a WITHit band, turning it into a fashionable, personalized bracelet as well. They work with WITHit’s own specially designed Apple Watch bands. The charms include everything from a smiley face to a rainbow, speech bubble, ice cream cone, heart, leaf, and more. It’s the perfect way to express yourself. After getting one set, they’ll be exploring to collect more. These charms come in sets of four for US$15, so order a bunch as stocking stuffers for all the young ones or expressive individuals on your list. The Band Candy Apple Watch bands sell for about US$20 ea. for the smooth silicone bands, and you’ll need to grab one of these to go with the gift as well.
Majority Atlas Portable Soundbar
Sure, you can use a standard portable Bluetooth speaker on your desk or while you’re out and about. But what about a cool one in a soundbar design? The Majority Atlas portable soundbar is just US$33 but it can boost audio with your computer, laptop, smartphone, projector, monitor, and yes, even TV. It offers up to eight hours of playback per charge and comes in a slim design that’s easy to fit on a desk or even pop into your backpack to use on the go. It comes equipped with 2.2-inch full-range 20-watt stereo speakers and has Bluetooth technology for wirelessly connecting to your devices as well as an Aux input, USB port, and microSD card slot. There are buttons on the top to control playback, including play, pause, skip, or select mode. It’s a fun alternative to the traditionally styled portable Bluetooth speaker.