The holiday season has arrived! As you commence your holiday shopping, we have put together this list of great gifts for teens and tweens. While they’re notoriously difficult to buy for, there are tech gifts they’ll love so you don’t need to resort to cash or a gift card.
Oakywood 2-in-1 Headphone Stand
They don’t need to know that the real reason you bought them this gift was to encourage them to put their things away. This stylish headphone stand will be too good to resist on their desk, though. They can plop their headphones on it whenever they aren’t actively listening (or when they’re lounging on the bed listening to tunes through wireless buds). There’s a secret built-in wireless charger in the base as well, so they can recharge their phone or wireless buds while getting homework done so it’s ready for selfies once done. The geometric wooden base looks super cool, too. At US$139, it ships worldwide.
Fujifilm Instax Pal Digital Camera
Teens and tweens love snapping candid pics, so the cute Fujifilm Instax Pal palm-sized digital camera is one that they might love to capture those spontaneous moments at the mall or during the sleepover. While it isn’t a printer (you’ll need an Instax printer and Instax instant film to do this, but it’s available in a bundle), you can transfer a captured photo to the free Instax Pal smartphone app and add fun effects like filters (18 from which to choose), text, and in-app stickers. Once ready, upload your creation to social media, or print it from a compatible instant printer. Use the app as a remote trigger and to check image composition. With interval shooting, you can take three, six, 11, or 21 continuous images at three-second intervals. There’s also a feature called Instax Animation, which combines multiple images into an animation, similar to a flipbook. If you print the Instax Animation, a QR code is printed on the Instax photo. Scan the QR code with a smartphone to play the animation back. L [Link] Mode, meanwhile, selectable on the bottom panel, lets you connect the Instax Pal via Bluetooth directly to the Instax Mini Link 2 smartphone printer provided in an available bundle.
Additional features include a wide-angle lens that makes the camera ideal for group photos or freezing landscape images; app-controlled flash for the best photo lighting; and a multi-use detachable ring that can be used as a finger strap, viewfinder, or camera stand when shooting hands-free. The Instax Pal camera can hold up to 50 images in its memory (prior to required app transfer), with the capacity for additional storage via a microSD card (sold separately). Additionally, personal audio can be recorded and set as the camera’s pre-shutter sound/phrase.
The bundle with the Instax Pal digital camera and Instax Mini Link 2 smartphone printer (the best option to consider) is $270. Grab standard film or the new Instax Mini Soft Lavender instant film for $14 per 10-pack.
Sonos Move 2 Portable Speaker
Teens and tweens need to spend more time outdoors. Encourage them to do so with the Sonos Move 2, which they can take outside to continue to listen to tunes while they play soccer in the backyard or help with gardening outside. They can also use the Sonos Move 2 in their room or bring it anywhere inside the house (or out) since it runs on a rechargeable battery. Yes, they can even bring it to the beach when they have a day out with the family or friends: it can connect via Bluetooth to your phone or other source device when a Wi-Fi network isn’t available. With up to 24 hours of battery life per charge, it’ll quickly become their favourite speaker. Connect two for stereo sound. At $559, it’ll be a huge step-up in sound from the under $100 mini smart or Bluetooth speaker they’ve been using up until now. Plus, when you need an extra speaker to boost the audio for a party, you can connect it wirelessly with other Sonos speakers in the home. I’m sure they’ll let you borrow it for the night!
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)
Find me a teenager who doesn’t want a pair of Apple AirPods Pro and I’d be totally surprised. The 2nd-gen version of the buds now include USB-C MagSafe charging, which will make finding a cable to recharge so much easier (when wireless isn’t around. They include all the same features as the first-gen model, including Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode as well as Spatial Audio, dust resistance, and new audio experiences when used with an iPhone with iOS 17, including Adaptive Audio and Conversation Awareness. Pricing is $329 and when you buy a pair, you can also get a six-month subscription to Apple Music to surprise them with (note: they will need to cancel before the six months is up to avoid being charged after the trial period, and will likely need parental permission to sign up.)
Marshall MOTIF II Active Noise Cancellation Wireless Earbuds
Teens and tweens who have trouble focusing at school due to all the noise, or who love to shut out the outside world during road trips, will appreciate the Marshall MOTIF II ANC true wireless earbuds. At $290, they are a step-up from the kids’ headphones they might be used to up until now. But a 16-year-old will appreciate a more serious pair that helps them appreciate good sound. These offer not only improved active noise cancellation to eliminate or reduce distracting ambient sounds, but also better wind noise reduction, perfect for kids who want to wear them while going with you for a morning or afternoon walk. They’ll get up to 30 hours of battery life per charge using the included charging case and six hours per charge. Plug the case in for 15 minutes to get an additional hour.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Tablet
With pricing from $1,100 to $2,150 depending on the model, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Series tablets are the first-ever to boast an IP68 rating for both the tablet and the S Pen that comes with it. This means you can safely use it just about anywhere. There’s the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, the highest end model in the line, the mid-level Tab S9+, and the entry level Tab S9. They all include features like a Dynamic AMOLED screen and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor, HDR10+ and dynamic refresh rate from 60Hz to 120Hz. There’s also Eye Comfort to help reduce eye strain for kids who spend long hours researching, watching videos, and playing games. Each model also comes with the Galaxy S Pen, perfect for taking notes in class or working out math calculations or brainstorming while doing homework. GoodNotes is also available, offering a new notetaking and journaling experience. This is a higher end tablet but will help kids in upper grades who might not have their own Chromebook but need something viable they can use at home to continue their work.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ40 Instant Camera
If you’re looking for an instant camera that can both take and print mini photos in one, you might want the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ40 instant camera instead. Images are output in an Instagram-friendly square size that teens and tweens are so familiar with. It has an Automatic Exposure function that can automatically sense the level of ambient light when the shutter button is pressed. It optimizes the shutter speed and flash output according to the scene. It allows even novice Instax instant camera users to take photos that are automatically adjusted regardless of interior or exterior conditions. You can also activate Selfie Mode to take selfies and close-up shots by twisting the lens after powering the SQ40 on. It’s $190 and there’s a new variety of instant film called Sunset that is $17 for a 10-sheet pack; grab them a few packs to get started. They’ll thank you for it and blow through them in a day, easy.
OnePlus Nord N30 5G Smartphone
So your pre-teen or teen has been bugging you for their own cell phone. You don’t have one to hand down to them just yet, plus they insist they need something current. If you’re not looking to spend a bundle on a new Samsung Galaxy or iPhone device, consider OnePlus. They’ll get a premium experience with this phone for a fraction of the price, and plenty of features to support mobile gaming. The OnePlus Nord N30 5G comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, 108MP main camera, and 5,000mAh battery with 50W Supervooc ultra-fast charging that reaches an 80% battery charge in only 30 minutes, says OnePlus. It also doubles the charging cycles, which OnePlus says increases the battery’s lifespan and overall health in the long run. By fitting 12 sensors into the smartphone, OnePlus Nord N30 5G monitors its temperature and prevents overheating, perfect for kids who love mobile gaming.
They can take awesome photos with the camera that features 3x lossless zoom, a 2MP depth-assist camera, 16MP front camera, and enhanced software for adding more details to portraits. Additionally, a slow-motion mode can be used to capture dynamic videos. The phone has a 6.72-inch 120Hz display (again, a feature mobile gamers will love) and an enhanced screen backlight system that helps reduce eye strain, which their parents will appreciate. There’s even a Game Focus Mode that uses an efficient GPA Frame Stabilizer for reduced system lag, and a dual speaker system that lets you increase volume up to 200% when listening with friends. The best part? The phone is just $380.
Targus Cypress Hero Backpack with Find My Locator
Ever wish you could attach a tag to your pre-teen to be able to track their whereabouts? That’s already available, of course, through Find My apps on phones and with devices like AirTags. Now, it’s also available in bags. The Targus Cypress Hero Backpack with Find My locator helps parents track their kids and helps kids locate the backpack if it’s lost, misplaced, or worse, stolen. The integrated location module uses Low Energy Bluetooth and securely pairs with the Apple Find My network so you can use the app to locate the backpack. Plus, it’s made of eco-friendly materials, including 26 plastic bottles stitched and sewn into the fabric. It can hold a 15.6-inch laptop in the padded compartment and has other compartments, pockets, and more to hold plenty of school essentials. The straps, meanwhile, are adjustable and the back panel padded. For family vacations, there’s a pass-through trolley strap. Grab it for $200.
Beats Studio Buds+ True Wireless Earbuds
For kids who want to look “cool” and stand out among the pack, the Beats Studio Buds+ will give them total recess cred. However, you’ll need to get them the funky transparent pair, which is as much a statement piece as it is for audio. Along with upgraded ANC with transparency modes, they are also IPX4 sweat- and water-resistant and offer up to 36 hours of battery life using the included charging case (nine hours per charge). For $230, you get four eartips so they can find the right fit (one is extra-small which will be ideal for younger tweens) and seamless pairing with an Apple device (they work with Android, too, and features like Google Fast Pair.) The Class 1 Bluetooth technology ensures extended range and a more reliable connection as they move around.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2 True Wireless Earbuds
Are you thinking of getting them the OnePlus phone mentioned above? If so, you might want to bundle it with these true wireless earbuds, which I reviewed earlier this year. They offer ANC with transparency mode, fast pairing and fast charging, and are made of sustainable materials. PureBeats by BassWave enhancement compensates for weak bass pitches, says OnePlus, to help improve quality while listening to music, playing games, or making calls. With an IP55 rating, they have custom touch controls, Clear Call technology for when the kids need to call home to say they’re on their way, and a dual-mic system to help amplify their voices. Get up to 27 hours from the case, and recharge for 10 minutes for a full five hours of use without ANC. Kids will love the included stickers for adding customized messages and the customizable themed pop-up skins, including an animation that appears on the case when it’s opened. At just $85, these are an affordable option.
MyDoh Account And Smart Cash Card
One gift I’m considering getting my tween son this year is a MyDoh account. I have several friends who have this for their child and love the independence it provides them as well as how it helps them learn about managing money. Download the app, order the Smart Cash Card, then transfer money to your child for things like chores or weekly allowance. They can use the card like a standard debit card and keep track of their money in the app. The card does block purchases from certain merchant categories if they are deemed inappropriate for kids, like gambling and alcohol. Data is also encrypted. Parents can set up auto deposits once chores are completed and checked off in the app. All the per-task or weekly allowance funds can accrue after which the money is deposited on the same day each week. Kids can also set savings goals are try to work towards saving a specific amount. The card is powered by Royal Bank of Canada but you can connect it with any financial institition. The first 30 days are free after which the account, which can be used for up to five kids and two parents, is $2.99/mo. Want to really teach them about what it’s like to be an adult? Deduct the $3/mo. from their allowance!