The 12 best cheap tech gifts under $25 – ZDNet

Whether you’re shopping for a coworker or looking to give your niece the perfect graduation gift, buying the right gift is never as simple as it seems — especially if you’re on a budget. After all, it’s the thought that counts, and gift cards should be your last resort. That’s why we’ve done the thinking for you.

For gifts that will bring all the cheer without budget fears, look no further than our list for the best cheap tech gifts for under $25.

PopSocket

Best overall option

PopSocketPopSocket

Popsocket

Features: Compatible with wireless charging | 38.8 mm diameter x 7.7 mm H | Top is swappable 

Our pick for the best cheap tech gift under $25 is a PopSocket. A PopSocket is a great cheap tech gift since it’s so versatile—they come in all sorts of colors and designs to fit any budget (including under $25), and even have wallets and MagSafe case PopSocket options. You can even gift your friend a personalized PopSocket of their pet or a favorite photo of the both of you. 

Pros: 

  • All different types of styles and designs, including MagSafe and wallets 
  • Can create custom grips 

Cons: 

  • Pricing can get higher than $25 depending on the style and design you choose 

Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker

Best for keeping track of your things

Tile Mate Bluetooth TrackerTile Mate Bluetooth Tracker

Tile

Features: iOS or Android app | 200-foot Bluetooth range | Water-resistant

For the friend or family member that is always losing their keys, gift them a Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker. Its small and compact design can attach to a key ring, luggage, a wallet, or more and by using the free app, you can activate the Tile to make a sound so whatever you lost is easy to find. 

Pros: 

  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Xfinity, and Siri
  • Decent Bluetooth range

Cons: 

  • The app could be better

Coffee Mug Warmer

Best for coffee or tea drinkers

Coffee Mug WarmerCoffee Mug Warmer

Amazon

Features: 18 watts | 120℉-140℉ range | Automatic shut off 

There’s nothing worse than your cup of coffee or tea getting lukewarm, so give this coffee mug warmer as a gift. It keeps the liquid inside of a mug warm at a temperate range of 120℉-140℉. It even starts warming your mug as soon as you place it down with sensing technology. 

Pros: 

  • Starts heating your mug as soon as you place it down 
  • Long cord length 

Cons: 

  • Only works with flat bottom mugs 

OontZ Angle Solo Bluetooth Speaker

Best for portable music

OontZ Angle Solo Bluetooth SpeakerOontZ Angle Solo Bluetooth Speaker

Cambridge Soundworks

Features: 4 color options | 5 watts of power | 100-foot Bluetooth range

Cambridge Soundworks produces some stellar audio experiences without costing you a premium. And with its Oontz Angle Solo speaker, it follows suit. The portable music player has a projected 15-hour playtime, enhanced bass-pumping sound, and a figure that is angular and easy to carry. You can snag one for your family, friend, or yourself for less than $20 right now.

Pros: 

  • Water-resistant 
  • Built-in microphone to make calls 

Cons:

  • Sound quality could be a little better 

Also: Best Bluetooth speakers: Here comes the boom

Wireless Sleep Headphones

Best for a good night’s sleep

Wireless Sleep HeadphonesWireless Sleep Headphones

Amazon

Features: 4 color options | Bluetooth 5.0 | 10 hours of playing time

Give the gift of peaceful sleep with these wireless sleep headphones. The headphones fit snugly around your head and can connect to your playlists via Bluetooth so you can listen to white noise, nature sounds, or whatever you want as you fall asleep. 

Pros: 

  • Helps you fall asleep easier
  • 3D contoured eye shape 

Cons: 

  • Velcro can be a little annoying

Seed Bank Box Subscription

Best for aspiring green thumbs

Seed Bank Box SubscriptionSeed Bank Box Subscription

Seed Bank Box

Features: 8-10 seeds per month | Non-GMO, heirloom, and organic seeds | Instruction cards included

Seed Bank Box will send the friend or family member looking to start a garden monthly subscriptions of seeds right to their door. Starting at $24.95 per month, they’ll receive eight to 10 varieties of seeds ranging from root vegetables, vining vegetables, fruit plants, leafy greens, edible flowers, rare heirloom varieties, and medicinal plants. Instructional cards also come with every seed type to learn how to care for your new budding plant.

Pros:

  • The subscription box is well organized
  • Large quantities of each seed

Cons:

  • Could use more seed varieties

Also: The best seed delivery services

Sunset Projector Lamp

Best for adding ambiance

Sunset Projector LampSunset Projector Lamp

Amazon

Features: 16 colors | App or remote control | USB power supply 

This cool light will turn anywhere into an ambient setting with its “sunset” glow effect. Choose from preset color settings on the remote, or create your own combined colors using the free app. It’s great for a party, or even a movie night in to add a little bit of mood lighting. 

Pros: 

  • Endless amount of color combos 
  • Perfect ambient lighting 

Cons: 

  • Not as bright as it could be 

Coffee Thermos with LED Temperature Display

Best portable option

Coffee Thermos with LED Temperature DisplayCoffee Thermos with LED Temperature Display

Amazon

Features: 6 colors | 1.1 pounds | Stainless steel 

This gift is also a liquid warming option, but it’s travel size, making it perfect for people who always have a drink with them on the go. It keeps liquids warm or cold for up to 24 hours. And, by simply tapping the bottle top’s touchscreen, you can see the exact temperature of your liquid. 

Pros: 

  • Keep liquid hot or cold for up to 24 hours
  • Touching the lid of the cup displays the current liquid temperature

Cons: 

  • Battery life isn’t the best

Adjustable Cell Phone Stand

Best phone accessory

Adjustable Cell Phone StandAdjustable Cell Phone Stand

Amazon

Features: 7 color options | 3mm aluminum material | Can be adjusted 270 degrees 

Those who work from home will appreciate this adjustable phone stand that can go on their desk. You can adjust the stand 270 degrees for the perfect angle of whatever you are viewing. In addition, you can still charge your phone while it’s on the stand since there’s a slot in the back for a charging cord. 

Pros: 

  • Sturdy and adjustable 
  • Can still charge your phone while using it 

Cons: 

  • Make sure your device is compatible and will fit

elago AirPods Pro Case

Best for gamers

elago AirPods Pro Caseelago AirPods Pro Case

Features: Wireless charging compatible | Anti-slip coating | Fits AirPods Pro case

Since launch, the Apple AirPods Pro has been one of the best selling tech products, especially during the holidays. While you can’t gift a pair of the wireless earbuds for under $25, I’m making a case for AirPods cases — and I don’t mean the actual charging case. I’m referring to the silicone-made capsules that will keep those shiny new AirPods protected from drops, dings, and scratches. This one, made by elago, even brings all the nostalgia of a classic Nintendo console.

Pros: 

  • Retro design perfect for gamers 
  • Comes with a clip to take anywhere 

Cons: 

  • Only compatible with AirPods Pro earbuds

Also: Nomad Rugged Case for Apple AirPods review

Roku Express Streaming Stick

Best for binge watching

Roku Express Streaming StickRoku Express Streaming Stick

Features: Includes a High Speed HDMI cable | Shortcut buttons to streaming channels | Automatic software updates 

The Roku Express is a simple and cheap streaming option, potentially of particular value to kids and students. This streaming stick plugs into the back of a television set via HDMI and allows users to access a range of free channels and services including Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu. It also comes in handy if you plan on bingeing through the Christmas classics all December long.

Pros: 

  • Massive selection of free, live, and premium TV
  • Free Roku mobile app

Cons: 

  • No Ethernet port for a hardwired internet connection

Also: Best streaming devices: Where does Roku stand?

Oster Electric Wine Bottle Opener

Best for wine enthusiasts

Oster Electric Wine Bottle OpenerOster Electric Wine Bottle Opener

Oster

Features: Open up to 30 bottles on a single charge | Foil cutter included | Single push button operation 

Opening a bottle of wine can be a challenge, but this handy gadget makes it super easy. It’s portable size means you can bring it to parties and use its single push-button operation to remove the cork of any bottle. There is also a foil cuter included as well as a charging stand. 

Pros: 

  • Easily open a bottle of wine without struggling 
  • Portable size 

Cons: 

  • Best to keep in the charging port at all times

What is the best cheap tech gift under $25?

Our recommendation for the best cheap tech gift under $25 is a PopSocket since there are endless styles and designs fit for anyone. You can customize a PopSocket with your own personal photo. However, any of the products on our list would be great tech gift options—it just depends on what the gift receiver likes/needs.

How did we choose these cheap tech gifts?

With affordability top in our minds, we chose products that would not only fill up a stocking or that would be fun ideas for smaller gifts, but also items that are suitable — and budget-friendly — as larger gifts. 

Are there alternative cheap tech gifts to consider?

Here are a few other options to look into that are all under $25:

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