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Last-minute tech gifts under $100

by Justin Herrick | December 19, 2017December 19, 2017 6:00 am PST

Know what to look for in this final week of holiday shopping. Don’t spend money on brands you’re unfamiliar with, and think twice before dropping big bucks on anything. Chances are you can get something pretty good without spending a fortune. There are actually a bunch of affordable tech gifts available right now that you should take a look at, and Amazon is promising pre-Christmas delivery for most of them.

Here we’ve picked some of the best tech gifts on Amazon that you can buy for under $100.

Motorola Moto E4

Phones were really expensive up until a few years ago. Motorola rattled the mobile industry by introducing the Moto G series, and the company continues proving itself as the most trusted maker of a budget-friendly hardware. The first Moto E launched in 2014 and ever since the series has only gotten better. With the Moto E4, you’re getting a clean version of Android with modest specifications at an unbeatable price.

It features a 5-inch HD (1280×720) IPS LCD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, an 8MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, a 2800mAh battery, and Android 7.1 Nougat.

Those specifications would indicate the phone is on the low-end end side, and that’s true. The Moto E4 is meant to nail the basics in order for buyers to pay a small price. Motorola itself sells the Moto E4 for $129, but Amazon has it down to $99. That’s because there’s a Prime Exclusive version. If you purchase the phone through Amazon, you’ll get a discount in exchange for having lock screen advertisements and pre-installed apps.

The type of person using a Moto E4 probably won’t mind having Amazon’s products and services at the forefront. In fact, they might find the experience to be an advantage. It makes finding new content way easier.

Spending just $99 on a phone usually doesn’t net positive results; however, the Moto E4 has things figured out. Although cheap, the hardware is sturdy and the software is clean. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Buy now: Amazon

Anker SoundBuds

Forget about dropping hundreds of dollars on wireless earbuds or headphones. It’s not necessary for the vast majority of people. If you or someone you know isn’t too picky about sound quality, get them Anker’s SoundBuds. These wireless earbuds are priced below $30 and come with plenty of a technology that has you thinking otherwise.

Using a Bluetooth connection, the SoundBuds feed high-fidelity sound into your ears. They also have CVC 6.0 noise cancellation to keep you and your music uninterrupted. And these wireless earbuds are excellent for workouts as well. An IPX4 rating means the SoundBuds are prepared for sweat, rain, and other types of moisture. So you can take them on the bus for the commute to work and then to the gym for a workout before heading back home. The SoundBuds are always ready for whatever activity you partake in.

Included in the box alongside the wireless earbuds are three hooks and three ear tips, all of which are in three different sizes. Anker knows not all ears are the same and thus you get to customize the SoundBuds’ fit.

Buy now: Amazon

Roku Streaming Stick+

Streaming media shouldn’t be difficult. Whenever you want to watch something, you should be able to fire up a single device for anything. Roku is one of the best platforms for streaming media because it support a massive number of services but doesn’t price its hardware too high. The Streaming Stick+ is particularly appealing because of its balance between features and price. You’re getting 4K and HDR support in a stick-based form factor without needing to spend a lot of money.

You could, of course, go for Amazon’s Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Nothing is wrong with what Amazon wants you to use for home entertainment. Anyone who’s deep into the world of Alexa should choose one of Amazon’s media players. For everyone else, Roku’s Streaming Stick+ is a must-have. We’re sure that you’ll find more than a few things to enjoy on the thousands of channels hosted by Roku. (like one from TechnoBuffalo…)

Buy now: Amazon

Amazon Echo

It doesn’t get any better than Alexa. Amazon’s digital assistant may be facing pressure from Google Assistant and Siri, but Alexa is available on more devices and plays nice with more ecosystems. The Echo was getting a little boring-looking; therefore, the online retailer introduced a refreshed model a few months ago. It’s the same Alexa-powered device but with a new appearance that you can choose to fit your decor.

The second generation Echo comes in Charcoal, Heather Gray, Oak, Sandstone, Silver, and Walnut.

Using Alexa on the Echo is straightforward as it’s the same across every device. Simply say “Alexa” followed by a command, and the digital assistant will head to work. Connect third-party services and you can do things like order pizza from Domino’s, play trivia games, receive daily traffic and weather reports, and listen to music whether on the radio or on-demand.

During the holidays, Amazon is selling its latest Echo for $79 to start. That’s $20 off the usual price. You also have the option to get a Philips Hue Starter Kit at a discount if home automation is something you’re interested in. With that bundle, you’ll receive an Echo along with a Philips Hue hub and four bulbs. The savings there exceed $100 no matter the color Echo you choose.

Buy now: Amazon

Samsung Fast Wireless Charging Pad

Finally we have both Android and iOS devices utilizing wireless charging. First it was Microsoft and Nokia embracing the technology, and it took some time for Android’s partners to come around. Now there are three iPhone models on the market that can sit on a wireless charging pad to gain power. What a time to be alive, folks.

Samsung’s wireless charging pad works with all Qi-enabled products, regardless of brand. As long as your Android phone or iPhone uses that standard for wireless charging, you can use this wireless charging pad. Phones like the Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, iPhone 8, iPhone X, and V30 are all compatible. Even phones released a few years ago that have wireless charging capability on the Qi standard are welcome to be placed on it.

Surprisingly, you don’t have to spend too much money here. This wireless charging pad, despite carrying Samsung’s name, is available for $29. No, it’s not an older unit or one missing a boost in power output. It’s the same wireless charging pad the company pushes alongside its flagships.

Buy now: Amazon

Mophie Powerstation USB-C

Power and portability are important, so pick up Mophie’s Powerstation USB-C. It’s a portable charger that houses a 10,000mAh battery for charging from anywhere at any time. Now you’ll never be left stranded wondering where the nearest wall outlet is.

 

You’re getting two ports to charge devices remotely. One port is USB-C, and the other is USB-A. That allows you to charge two devices simultaneously from the same power source. Mophie does also provide the two cables necessary for using this portable charger. You bring the devices and the Powerstation USB-C awaits.

Need more juice? Mophie sells an even bigger unit. While the Powerstation USB-C costs $99, the Powerstation USB-C XXL ups the battery capacity to 19,500mAh for $149. Most people should be fine with the base model.

Buy now: Amazon

Amazon Fire 7

Until Amazon released the Kindle Fire in 2012, any tablet that wasn’t the iPad was pretty much garbage. More than five years later we’re still looking at Amazon being one of the most dominant players in the industry. And the online retailer has never been forced to compete directly against Apple with an expensive tablet. Amazon’s Fire line continues to be very affordable.

Specifications are irrelevant for the Fire 7. This tablet is tasked with bringing people into Amazon’s platform. If you already buy stuff through the company (and you probably do), you’re halfway there. The Fire 7 offers direct access to everything else Amazon pitches. It also accomplishes basic activities like web browsing, video calling, and gaming.

Did we mention it’s merely $39 for the holidays? You won’t find this good of a tablet close this price.

 

Maybe the Fire 7 isn’t enough for you. Then consider the Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10. Amazon’s two other tablets are bigger and have upgraded components, but their prices are still low. The tradeoff is always that your Fire won’t be as powerful as an iPad; however, you’re getting direct access to Amazon’s impressive catalog of apps, games, movies, TV shows, music, magazines, and books. It’s also a simpler user interface on any Fire tablet compared to Apple’s iPad.

Buy now: Amazon

Tile Style & Sport

It can be hard to keep track of everything in our lives. Whether you’re often losing items or just paranoid, Tile is the solution. These small square-shaped devices can be placed or attached for simple tracking. Tile uses a Bluetooth connection that syncs with your phone to share its location.

The original Tile continues to be sold, but there’s a newer version increasing the range at which your phone can find it. The Tile Style and Tile Sport raise the range to 200 feet.

Tile also works in reverse. If you have your Tile but not your phone, you can press on the device and your phone will ring. Otherwise just keep an eye on the Tile app to see where the item you have it paired with is located. The Tile app shows a map of where your Tile is at a specific time.

Buy now: Amazon

Nokia Body

Start the new year fresh. When the calendar turns to January and 2018 begins, maybe snatch a gym membership or work out from home. How about a scale to monitor progress? Nokia makes the Body, a $60 connected scale that maintains an updated profile on a mobile app. There’s no invasiveness as it’s only you and your scale knowing that number on the screen.

The Body features instant weight insight with trends and BMI, automatic synchronization to keep the Nokia Health Mate app updated, tailored family modes to ensure babies and pregnant women aren’t tracked the same as others, and multi-user support for up to eight people. Don’t worry, though. You’re not charging this scale daily, weekly, or even monthly. Nokia’s Body takes AAA batteries that need to be replaced after about a year-and-a-half.

Nokia does sell the Body is your choice of black or white, meaning you get a scale matching your bathroom. Now you can understand why $59 for a connected scale isn’t bad at all.

Buy now: Amazon

Anker 10-foot Cable

Cables. Everyone needs them. It’s the most popular way to charge devices and transfer files. The cables that come with our phones, tablets, computers, and smartwatches are unfortunately too short. Definitely purchase a lengthier cable for yourself or a loved one. After you experience charging your devices from the comfort of a bed or couch, you’ll wonder what took so long to buy one.

Anker makes 10-foot cables in different styles — Lightning, USB-C, micro-USB. They’re not expensive, either. The micro-USB cable is under $7, and the two newer cables are a little more than $11. So you can grab a few without going broke on only cables.

Buy now: Amazon (Lighting), Amazon (USB-C), Amazon (micro-USB)

JBL Flip 4

Be careful with the portable speaker you buy. On Amazon, you can definitely find something in the bargain bin. Sound, though, isn’t an area to go cheap on. That’s why we recommend the Flip 4. JBL’s been around since 1946, and the company remains in business because it’s adapted to changes in the music industry and consumers’ tastes.

In addition to premium sound firing from stereo speakers, the Flip 4 is extremely durable. JBL implemented an IPX7 design, meaning you can completely submerge the portable speaker without worrying about potential damage. The construction also accounts for drops because you never know when someone at a party will bump into your speaker and send it into pavement. JBL’s Flip 4 is seriously ready for the wildest of parties, and you’ll have everyone entertained for up to twelve hours on a single charge.

For a limited time, JBL and Amazon are selling the Flip 4 for $79. You’re saving $20 on a portable speaker that sounds great, withstands drops and dips, and runs for half-a-day on a single charge. Try paying $25 and getting those features. Just spend the extra money and get JBL’s signature quality in the Flip 4.

Buy now: Amazon

MagicFiber Cleaning Cloths

Glass gets dirty. And glass happens to be used on everything from phones and tablets to eyeglasses and windows. MagicFiber’s microfiber-based cleaning cloths are what absolutely everyone needs to have. You’re getting soft, high-end cloths that remove dust, oil smudges, fingerprints, and dirt. Take one cloth, rub it on glass, and appreciate the job done. Almost immediately you’ll notice the glass is free of any grossness.

These cleaning cloths are available in sets of two, six, thirteen, and thirty. MagicFiber individually wraps them, too, in case you want to store them or give some as a gift.

Buy now: Amazon


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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