Tech gift ideas under $100
An actual smartphone
Coming in hot! $100 can actually get you a smartphone. Yeah, a quirky entry level device, but still. Does your person need a secondary device? Are they curious to experiment with an off-shoot Chinese brand?
- This Palm Phone (Verizon) is a tiny smartphone designed to help people fight "smartphone addiction" — it still technically keeps you connected, but it's way too tiny to use nonstop.
- The Motorola Moto E5 is a pretty decent entry-level smartphone from a recognizable brand.
- The Nokia 5 is in a similar boat as the Motorola — decent low-ender, beloved brand.
- This Ulefone Note 7 is an exotic offer from China. You get a bezel-less design and triple camera for just $99. Careful, it only works on T-Mo and AT&T.
Of course, you can go pick up a couple of cool cases for your gift recipient's specific model. But there are other accessories out there to consider
- Zelda Wireless Charger — yeah, it's a bit expensive, but if your gift recipient is a Zelda fan, they'll love to charge their phone on this pad!
- A 512 GB microSD card — if the person has a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Note 10+, Galaxy S10, or S10+, they'll be thrilled to expand their storage with this massive SD card.
- PhoneSoap phone sanitizer — is the person a neat freak? This sanitizer allegedly uses UV to kill the germs on a smartphone, disinfecting it. Note, it won't polish it and clean the fingerprints on anything.
- Wireless charger for Apple ecosystem — we did have similar models in the cheaper gift guides. But while the others are more like stands that accept the user's existing cables and chargers, this one comes with its own cables and own adapters — it's a charger in its own right and it's fully plug-and-play.
Tech-heads often carry around powerbanks and wireless speakers so they can charge their items on the go and enjoy their music or TV shows wherever they can. Well:
- The Bluetooth Speaker Backpack lets you pack up your stuff and go on a hike with no fear of forgetting a speaker — the backpack is the speaker! Oh it also has a portable battery.
- The Solar Backpack will gather those precious sun rays and transform them into useful charge for mobile devices. Note: solar-charging is not super-efficient but it could possibly help when you are stuck in a rut.
With the higher price tags come the more recognizable brands
- Marshall Major III Bluetooth On-ear — they started out making rock amps, now people love their headphones. Marshall is doing fine in the 21st century!
- Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth Over-ear — Sennheiser is synonymous with crisp, clean, and pleasing sound!
- AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones — great for sports folks. When you are out jogging or biking, you sure don't want to tune out the world. These allow you to listen to both your music and the street sounds with no issues.
A cool Bluetooth speaker
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, you certainly have tons of choice for less money. But, when willing to spend up to $100, you can certainly get some cooler, flashier models:
- Levitating Speaker Nighlight — a soft light and a speaker that magically levitates in the air while blasting your tunes in all directions. Yeah, that's a conversation-starter right there.
- Anker Soundcore Flare+ — it has very flashy, colorful lighting, and it sounds absolutely massive.
- JBL Flip 4 — JBL's speakers are always top-notch when it comes to sound. The Flip is fairly portable and this version even comes with its own carrybag and lanyard for music fans on the go.
- Motorola Sphere+ 2-in-1 — it looks cool and it's a great concept. It's a sphere-shaped Bluetooth speaker that doubles as a holder for a pair of Bluetooth headphones! Take the phones out and continue listening your music from where you left off.
The gift of comfortable book-reading
- Amazon's Kindle devices need no introduction. They have great displays that simulate real paper and don't tire the eyes, and they can download ebooks directly from Amazon's gargantuan catalogue.
Can one have too many smart speakers?
- Gen 3 Amazon Alexa is perfectly within budget. It sounds great and can sync with other Alexa devices across the home, so it can't be written off as redundant if the person already has one (but it probably can if they have three).