There a few experiences in life more satisfying than giving a tech gadget to a family member or close friend.
In fact, the only thing better than watching a loved one unwrap a gift is opening one you bought for yourself.
As it happens, there are more than a few tech gadgets for under $20 available for purchase right now. Though affordable, each item on this list can make life easier, less tedious, and more fun in a small but important way.
TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini – $17.99
Kasa’s TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is a phenomenal gadget because it lets consumers sample the benefits of connected living with a minimal financial outlay.
After unboxing and plugging in the gadget, users can activate it by connecting it to their personal wireless networks. Subsequently, owners can remotely control the flow of power to their lights, portable heaters, or home appliances like an accomplished wizard. It also gives consumers the ability to schedule operation hours for their electronics.
With it, people can prevent their crockpots from over-cooking dinner or always wake up to a fresh pot of coffee. Best of all, these plugs do not require a smart hub like an Amazon Echo to function.
Cell Phone Lens Kits – $17.99
Leknes’ Cell Phone Camera Lens Kits are an ideal solution for anyone wanting to take more interesting smartphone photographs without paying for an expensive upgrade.
Each package comes with three high-quality external lenses and a clip to securely hold them in place. Post-attachment, users can take clear and crisp 120° wide-angle and 198° fisheye pictures with their mobile devices. Plus, the macro lens enables stunningly untalented shutterbugs to capture breathtaking 1.18 to 3.54-inch close-up shots.
Thanks to Leknes’ utilitarian design, its kits are compatible with an array of smartphones, including various iPhones, Galaxies, and Pixels.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses – $15.98
According to Harvard Medical School, exposure to blue light before bedtime can disrupt our melatonin production, which makes falling asleep harder. Unfortunately, the desktop computers, notebooks, and smartphones we use to learn, work, and consume entertainment emit the rest disrupting light.
That means individuals wanting to lead healthier lifestyles have two choices: avoid electronics three hours before bed or buy LIVHO’s Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
The more realistic of the two options provide users with UV400 eye protection while also reducing screen glare. LIVHO sells its product in packs of two, so purchasers can coordinate their glasses with their outfits. Plus, unsubstantiated rumors indicate they make wearers look 33.5 percent more intelligent and emotionally available.
PowerWave Pad – $11.99
Having to plug-in a state-of-the-art mobile device like a caveman deeply undercuts the experience of owning a high-end piece of technology. However, Anker’s PowerWave Pad lets people live in a dignified manner consistent with life in the 21st century.
This wireless charger can power up an array of Apple and Samsung smartphones after being connected to a wall adapter. It comes with a 4-foot USB cord, so it is easy to set up, and its small footprint consumes minimal space.
As a bonus, the gadget can also charge Qi-enabled wireless earphones, like AirPods and Galaxy Buds.
Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Bulbs – $19.98
Luminan’s Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Bulbs have all the features anyone could want from a connected illumination product.
First, consumers can turn them on and off using their home Internet connections; no hub is required. Second, users can select the brightness level and choose a hue from over 16 million color options. And third, owners can set them to dim, brighten, or change color based on time of day.
Luminan’s Smart Light Bulbs are also compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Consequently, buyers can use them to thrill friends and terrify enemies with just a few words.
Coffee Mug Warmer – $19.99
It is always disappointing to grab a mug and realize that a previously hot beverage has become lukewarm. It does not matter what the drink is; tepid coffee, tea, or hot chocolate are equally disgusting.
However, Oracer’s Coffee Mug Warmer can protect purchasers from falling prey to that minor inconvenience.
The 18W heating plate can keep liquid refreshments at a hot and reassuring 120°F to 140°F. It also has a safety feature that automatically shuts it off after eight hours of continuous use. And it is made with aluminum alloy and waterproof conductive glass, so it is a cinch to clean.
Aqua Express 8-Inch Waffle Maker – $19.99
Finally, our retail therapy prescription/”gift guide” concludes with Dash’s Aqua Express 8-Inch Waffle Maker.
Admittedly, it is not as technologically advanced as some of the other products discussed here. It does not possess cool but superfluous characteristics like Wi-Fi connectivity or decorative LEDs. But it warms up in minutes, features nonstick heating plates, and can make waffles, hash browns, or paninis very quickly.
Owners can use the device to make comfort food whenever they want it, day or night. That means it prevents consumers from making awkward small talk with an Uber Eats driver at 2 am. For that reason alone, it is far and away the most useful gadget on this list.