Stuck for Christmas gift ideas that don’t cost a fortune? Fret not: we’ve tracked down 10 great options under AU$50 to please all kinds of tech enthusiasts. There’s something for everyone here, from smart-home gadgets to presents for gamers, photographers and even just those who find themselves out and about a lot.
Better get cracking, though – Christmas will be here before you know it!
Got a loved one who’s curious about a smart home setup? Perhaps they’ve felt intimidated by the idea in the past, but Amazon’s entry-level Echo Dot smart speaker provides an easy way to get on board, with simple set up and the ability to integrate with a huge range of other smart home gear. It’s small, and for under AU$50, offers a quick and easy way to bring Alexa’s smarts into the home. It offers all the smart speaker essentials, such as music playback, answering questions, reading the news, checking the weather and setting alarms.
The Echo Wall Clock is an Alexa-enabled gadget with analog flair. This modern timepiece helps visualise Alexa-set alarms and timers through 60 LED lights rimming the clock face. The notches light up when a timer is set, and count down by dimming accordingly. Note that this isn’t a standalone Echo device and requires pairing with a compatible smart speaker – if you’re considering gifting it this Christmas, then, you may want to bundle it with the Echo Dot we’ve mentioned above.
It only came out at the end of September, but with this Amazon deal you can snag the world’s most popular sports game for a lot less than AU$50, just in time for Christmas. If you know an Aussie fútbol fan with a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One who’s yet to pick up this latest in the long-running franchise, you really can’t go wrong here. A great gift for first-timers and old-timers alike.
If you need a stocking filler that won’t end up in the bin, the Anker 10W PowerWave Charging Stand could be what you’re looking for. While our testing found it doesn’t charge a smartphone in a hurry, we did find the design to be well-suited to those who pick up and put down their phone often at their desk, or on a bedside table overnight. It’s simple, affordable and even ranked well in our list of the best wireless chargers money can buy.
Yep, we realise that a microSD card probably isn’t the most exciting of gifts; it’s hardly going to be at the top of anyone’s wishlist. Glance over Amazon’s list of best sellers in the Computing section, however, and you’ll find it’s chock full of these guys – and the simple reason is that many of today’s best gadgets don’t really work without one. If you know a friend or relative that has a new microSD-powered doohickey (or is set to receive one as a gift) then this 200GB card could make their day.
Anker has a history of making affordable Bluetooth speakers, and at AU$40 a pop, you’d perhaps be forgiven for gifting more than one of these little wireless thumpers this Christmas. The Soundcore Mini fits in the palm of your hand, making it effortlessly portable. Besides Bluetooth connectivity, the small speaker also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input socket, can read music from microSD card and even has the quirky addition of FM radio.
If you know a budding photographer with a mirrorless or other compact type of camera, this super-portable mini tripod could make a handy addition to their kit. Manfrotto is known in the photography world for its professional tripods, and the Pixi brings many of those premium features to this relatively small package. It’s not just for stills photography either: this tripod is perfect for capturing steady and smooth video, even while on the move, as you can close the stainless-steel legs and use it as a
selfie stick ‘handheld monopod’.
PlayStation 4 classic games on the cheap
If you’re looking to put together a neat gaming gift for a PS4 owner, Amazon is currently offering up a number of well-reviewed titles from the PlayStation Hits range (and a handful of other popular PS4 games from the past few years) for less than AU$20 a pop. Bundling together a few of these will still only cost you around AU$50 and they all qualify for free shipping for Prime members. Titles on offer include:
When it comes to smart lighting, Philips is the market leader. That typically means the tech costs a pretty penny, which can pose a hurdle for those who perhaps just want to dip their toes in the market. Now costing just under AU$50, this Philips Hue starter kit is an excellent way of trialing smart lights in a home. This kit features Philips’ basic Hue LED bulb. While it doesn’t offer the eye-catching colours of the more-expensive Hue Colour bulbs, this package combines together one regular white bulb with an accompanying Hue Dimmer Switch that lets you control brightness. The bulb and wireless dimmer are already paired together out of the box and don’t require anything additional to work – although it is worth noting that to connect this kit to a wider Hue setup, you will need to invest in a Philips Hue Bridge.
For another stocking filler they’ll actually use, you can’t go wrong with a portable charger aka ‘power bank’. This one has a slim design that can slip into any bag or pocket, and is available in a few colour options, including black, silver and rose gold. The 5K configuration means it has a 5,000mAh battery inside – enough to recharge even the biggest flagship phone at least once, and smaller models up to twice. If you need more charging power, there’s a larger 15,000mAh version from Belkin also available, selling for around AU$55 on Amazon.