There are devices that are simply cheap and there are those with true value. This list is a wide assembly of the select few gadgets that received our stamp of approval among thousands of other glorious tech that we crossed paths with this year. The list covers a variety of categories besides from desktops, which where once the lifeblood of our coverage, and breaks down to the ultimate unbeatable bargain.
1. Smart Home
First, the Awards for the neatest Smart Home device goes to the Amazon Echo dot. Ambitious and promising, it delivers inexpensive smart speaker, beating even Google’s own Home Mini. So, if you’re looking to get your home smart, the Echo Dot might be a great way to start. Check it out on Amazon.
Smart Plug: iHome ISP5 Control Smart Plug
The iHome ISP5 is a simple device for dumb electronics! It allows you to plug anything from your toaster, lights or coffee maker and instantly makes that device smart, so that you can control it from your phone remotely, anytime. Using the app, you can also have access to Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomeKit. To get it going, simply plug in the device you want to control for instance a lamp or fan, turn on your Wi-Fi and connect through the device’s app. Buy the iHome ISP5 Control Smart Plug at Amazon
Lights: Sengled Element Classic Starter Kit
Looking to make your home smart? The Sengled Element Classic is a budget friendly way to start. It’s a combination of hub and two bulbs that works remarkably with other smart home systems like Amazon Echo. You can schedule when to switch the lights on or off. The bulbs are cheap too, so a breakage won’t dent your wallet. Check out the Sengled Element Classic at Amazon
Robot Vacuum: Eufy RoboVac 11
Cleaning has come a long way and so has the technology behind it. The Eufy RoboVac 11 stands above the rest because it’s a great bargain, is quiet and offers an efficient robotic experience. It makes it to the Editor’s Choice because its low-profile design facilitates cleaning tricky-to-navigate areas.
Buy the Eufy RoboVac 11 at Amazon
Also: Take a look at this guide for the Best robot vacuum from our other partners.
Amazon Cloud Cam Indoor Security Camera (recently released)
You don’t have to be around your house to monitor what your family, home or pet is up to. Get ahead of the curve with this 1080p Full HD Amazon Cloud Cam. The Cloud Cam records, allows replays, see in the dark with night vision sends alerts on motion detection and allows two-way audio. It’s part of Amazon Key In-Home Kit subscription. Buy the Amazon Cloud Cam at Amazon
Smart Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot
There are more than a dozen voice assistants out there but the Amazon Echo dot remains the utmost best inexpensive smart speaker, beating even Google’s own Home Mini. The Echo dot allows you to control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages among others, all hands-free. Compared to its competition, it doesn’t brag of great speakers but it can be paired easily to other devices. Buy the Amazon Echo dot at Amazon
Shower: U by Moen shower
Customize your shower to your desired perfect temperature using the U by Moen shower. This Smart shower allows you to start the shower, make adjustments to your water temp remotely through an app on your Smartphone. You receive notifications when the water’s up to temperature. Pre-heat up to four water outlets connected (regular shower head, body spray, tub faucet, or overhead rain shower) to precisely between 60 and 120 degrees. This Shower tech is sold as a two-outlet and four-outlet outlet system. Buy the U by Moen shower at Amazon.
Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Flex 2
The Fitbit Flex 2 is our Editor’s Choice Fitness tracker for monitoring your adrenaline-pumped body. The Flex 2 is the updated version of the original Flex and now comes with a long overdue waterproof system. It marks the first Fitbit that can be worn in the shower and while swimming in both fresh and salty water (up to 50 meters deep). Although the Flex 2 doesn’t come with heart rate tracking, it automatically recognizes and record workouts such as walking, running, biking and aerobic exercises. Additionally, you can wear this wristband as a pendant and get connected into Fitbit’s huge community of users who will motivate you to exercise. Buy the Fitbit Flex 2 at Amazon
GPS Running Watch: Garmin Forerunner 25
The Garmin Forerunner 25 is a remarkable choice of a choice for users looking to engage in running and need to know their pace, distance, heart rate and GPS on the fly. This watch lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge and like the Fitbit Flex 2 its waterproof to 165 feet. The watch comes with a readable display strip that lights up in the dark in case you run in the dark. Check the Garmin Forerunner 25 at Amazon
Running Headphones: Koss FitClips KSC32
The Koss FitClips KSC32 stays true as an excellent bargain headphone for those who want earphones that will stay away during workouts. The Fitclips costs less than ordinary headphones in its class; it’s sweat resistant, light, flexible and stays on when you run, jump or play. Moreover, this headphone suits both male and female candidates. Check the Koss FitClips KSC32 at Amazon
Console: Nintendo 2DS
The Nintendo 2DS is a neat toy that has been redefined to an unashamedly premium gaming toy. It’s made with iconic matte black plastic and allows you to enjoy some awesome games at a low price. It comes bundled with New Super Mario Bros right out of the box. from best buy
Retro Console: SNES Classic Edition
If you gamed back in the hay days, you might then just enjoy the nostalgia the SNES Classic Edition offers. The SNES Classic is a retro gaming platform that’s really timeless for avid gamers. Right out of the box, it’s packed with 21 preloaded games including Super Mario, the Legend of Zelda and the previously unreleased Star Fox 2. For a budget price, you get to enjoy more than a dozen retro games.
Desktop: CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR
When shopping for a VR capable desktop, you’re looking for a lethal combination of power and affordable price. That precisely starts at a sub $1000 price, so when you get the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR starting at under $700, you know you’re getting an impressive deal. This unit sells at a great bargain price compared to other ridiculously priced rigs in is sphere and it’s sure to meet your desires and provide value for money without denting you wallet. Chech the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR at Amazon
Mouse: Logitech G302 Daedalus Prime
The gaming world is constantly evolving and gaming mice need to keep up. The Logitech G302 Deadalus Prime is made for multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, which means it great for speed, agility and efficiency. Further still, it is a budget priced mouse offering a competitive edge, over other premium mice in its category, with a lightweight design and customizable controls. It’s a peripheral worth recommending. Check out the Logitech G302 Deadalus Prime at Amazon
Keyboard: Turtle Beach Impact 100
The Turtle Beach Impact 100 keyboard marks the sweat spot between mechanical keyboards and a regular boring office keyboard. It’s made of regular-old membrane interface that resembles a mechanical one. It’s also quiet, responsive and requires little pressure to actuate. Moreover, it won’t break the bank which should be a breath of fresh air for the budget conscious. Check out the Turtle Beach Impact 100 at Amazon
Headset: HyperX Cloud Stinger
Looking for a high end wired headset stereo? The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a great budget choice that’s made for working for long hours at a time. While the headset caliber might not rival with other premium luxury headsets, it’s nonetheless well balanced and its clarity not as far off as you would imagine. On the bright side, it’s a great bargain given it’s made of decent amount of faux leather and impressive price. It sports a 3.5 mm jack that allows you to plug it in to just about anything. Check the HyperX Cloud Stinger at Amazon
Laptop: Origin PC Eon15-S
The origin PC Eon falls between the fancy notebook at your local store and high powered desktop replacement. It’s a great choice for gaming laptop with power, portability and affordability. Ideally, this is the realm of the budget desktop where ordinary folk like you and I can ever hope to afford. The Origin offers good gaming performance and battery life. You would however have to find a decent pair of gaming headset because the audio isn’t exactly the best around. Not available on Amazon
4. Kids and Family
Kid Tracker: Trax Play
There are a dozen GPS kid trackers but the Trax Play offers the best bang for buck because of a an attractive price package. It costs $99 and if you opt to prepay for as long as two years’ service, you’ll just have a $4 premium data plan payment. Additionally, Trax allows you to add more trackers to the app. It uses augmented reality to pinpoint the tracker’s location which is where your loved ones are. Also allows you to set up GeoFences and get alerts when a tracker enters or exits your fence area. Check the Trax Play at Amazon
Online photo storage: Google Photos
Google the search behemoth wowed the world with the global offer of unlimited photo storage. We must admit Flicker’s free terabyte of storage was hands down an impressive deal to photo enthusiasts but Google definitely turned the tables completely. It allows you to make photo edits, tag people, places and share with friends and family. But the biggest differentiator is the artificial intelligence (AI) which identifies who are in your pictures and suggests photos to share with which contacts. The limit however is upto 16 megapixels for pictures and video up to 1080p. Premium offers start at $1.99 a month for 100GB and 1TB for $9.99 monthly.
Tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8 for Kids
If your kids are become your living nightmare when idle or you just want to keep them occupied, better yet entertained, then the Amazon Fire HD 8 for kids is your best bet. It comes with a two year return policy, accidental damage protection, better battery life (10 hours) and a robust parental control in an all new durable design. While the Fire Kids Edition is the most affordable, Amazon Fire HD 8 offer far much more. Buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 at Amazon
Bluetooth Speaker: Anker SoundCore 2 Portable Wireless Bluetooth
The Anker SoundCore 2 a likeable mini speaker that could be your next companion to the swimming pool or beach. This Bluetooth speaker is light weight, water resistant and offers excellent battery life. It pairs with your smartphone of iPhone among other auxiliary ports such as micro USB charging port of the side. Additionally, the speaker has the ability to enable voice activated software such Siri and put on-going calls on hold while answering another incoming call. Check out the Anker SoundCore 2 at Amazon
Soundbar: Vizio SB2920
The Vizio SB2920 is a premium soundbar for those looking to add crystal clear sound and full range stereo speakers to match the living room TV. The soundbar works with a revolutionary solution, DTS TruVolume, which provides consistency in volume levels so you get to enjoy the highs and low sounds during movie nights. Check the Vizio SB2920 at Amazon
Earbuds: HC-RET In-Ear Earbuds
You don’t have to spent a fortune to get great wireless earbuds; the HC-RET In-Ear Earbuds is a budget friendly high quality buds worth considering. They play music with zero distortion, deep bass, clean treble and interesting mids. Additionally, the buds have excellent phone reception so you won’t have to remove them to answer calls. Crafted from metal, the HC-RET is pretty durable and make a great gym, work and travel companion. Check the HC-RET In-Ear Earbuds at Amazon
Samsung Gear 360
If you’re looking to get delve into 360 pictures and capturing 30 frames per second images, this Gear 360 makes a bold statement on that front and on 4K as well. The camera captures richer and accurate color in different modes (photo, video, time-lapse, HDR photo, etc.). We loved it because of its manageable size and the fact that it can substitute your iPhone’s entire shooting process through the Samsung Gear 360 app. Check the Samsung Gear 360 at Amazon
GoPro Hero 6 Black
Fancy shooting some breathtaking slow-mo footage? The GoPro 6 is an ideal waterproof action cam that tries to make its name in an industry where top-tier smartphones pack impressive cameras as well. Nonetheless, the GoPro Hero 6 remains distinctly above the rest thanks to a slick 4k video (at 60fps) and slow motion 240 fps video. So if slow motion and improved image stabilization is important to you, this might just be an awesome camera for the job. Check the GoPro Hero 6 at Amazon
Compact Camera: Sony DSC-W800
This lightweight camera is a serious tool no picture lover should be without. The Sony DSC-W800 is an admirable camera to carry around for on-the-go-shooting. At a low $89 price, it makes it to our best bargain camera for the year. Additionally, it sports the famous 360 degree Sweep Panaroma mode which smartly stitches photos together for you. Also in the mix is: face detection, image stabilization and 20.1 megapixel resolution camera capable of shooting 720p HD video through its 35mm-equivalent lense. Lastly, the W800’s 5x optical zoom and 130mm telephoto makes for impressive wide angle shots. Buy the Sony DSC-W800 at Amazon
Instant Camera: Polaroid Snap Instant Camera
Instantly recreate your happy and most epic scenes with this Instant Camera. Released earlier this year, this Instant camera spits out hard copy pics moments after they’re snapped. This Polaroid snap sports a striking minimalistic design, captures 10 megapixel images, is attractive (comes in a variety of colors) and costs slightly shy of $90. Buy the Polaroid snap at Amazon
Antivirus Software: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
The Bitdefender Antivirus Plus aces the test as the best among other Antivirus Software in the lineup for most integrated Antivirus. It sports a wealth of security features but costs a good bargain price nonetheless; it’s a great value product. Among the myriad of features include a password manager, a hardened browser, a deletion utility, system scan, ransomware attack protection, parental control, spam filters among others. It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for malware protection. Buy the Bitdefender Antivirus Plus at Amazon
Password Manager: LastPass
Besides from being a cinch to install and use, LastPass Password manager is browser centric supporting a dozen of different operating systems. It also has a free version that impressively supports unlimited password storage across different devices you own. The beauty about it is that you can have it on your desktop simply as a web extension. That means if you don’t have enough space to go around you don’t need to install it.