Not every gadget you own has to be expensive. Sure, your smartphone, smartwatch and wireless headphones aren’t cheap, but there are a number of other inexpensive things that still provide real value. Below, are 12 affordable gadgets that you’ll use almost every day, and all of them come in at under $20.
Mophie Powerstation Mini: A portable battery has become pretty essential, especially if you have an older smartphone. You can buy one in an array of different capacities and shapes. This 3,000mAh capacity charger can almost double your smartphone’s battery; plus it’s thin enough to slide into your pocket.
Wyze Cam V2: In past years, you couldn’t buy a smart home camera for less than $100 — but not anymore. The Wyze Cam V2 is a simple and easy to use gadget that works with most smart ecosystems (including Alexa and Google Assistant) and has a similar feature set and video capture capabilities as way more expensive options. It’s great for keeping a watchful on the dog or the front door when you’re away from home.
Portable Power Strip
Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector: A portable surge protector is a surprisingly useful travel companion because it lets you increase the space of any single outlet. This one by Belkin also has two USB ports, meaning you don’t even need a wall adapter (just the cable) to charge your smartphone, headphones or smartwatch. Make some friends at the airport!
USB Flash Drive
Sanfeya USB-C Flash Drive: A flash drive has been an essential gadget for seemingly forever. It safely and securely stores your most essential files without having need to deal the cloud, and it’s obviously portable. Sanfeya’s flash drive is unique because it has dual ends for USB-A and USB-C which lets it plug into older computers, and newer devices that don’t have traditional USB ports.
Xbox One Chat Headset: Sometimes a cheap gaming headset works just as well as the expensive ones. The sound might not be nearly as great, but they’re easier to operate and what you really need for playing with friends is the microphone. If you’re not a serious gamer or you just want a backup headset that doesn’t need to be charged, this simple chat headset for Xbox is great. Or the PS4 variety if that’s more your speed.
Anker Wireless Charging Pad: Most of today’s new smartphones support wireless chargers. Heck, so do a lot of wireless headphones and earbuds as well. And you can get a great one, like this Anker, for less than $20. The days of you worrying about whether you have the right charger (Lightning, USB-C or micro-UBS) for your device are almost over.
Panasonic ErgoFit: Everybody needs a good pair of cheap wired earbuds because you never know when your wireless headphones and earbuds are going to let you down. Either they run out of battery or they start having Bluetooth issues, it’s always idea to have a backup option. Plus, the in-flight entertainment systems on most airplanes still don’t have Bluetooth, so wired earbuds definitely still come in handy.
Linkcool Smartphone Tripod: A tripod might seem like photography equipment, but it can come in handy in a lot of ways. It allows you to record stable videos from far away or watch videos (like workout videos) without having to find a way to prop-up your smartphone. If you take a lot of video calls, it’s nice to have a hands-free option.
Apple USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter: Frankly, not a lot of smartphones have a traditional headphone jack. And not many smartphones comes with a headphone adapter either. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have one on your person.
TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver: This little portable Bluetooth receiver can plug into your old car’s sound system so you can wirelessly stream audio or answer hands-free calls. Or it can allow you to listen to your wireless headphones with things that don’t have built-in Bluetooth, like a Nintendo Switch.
TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini: A smart plug is a great entry-level gadget for anybody looking to grow out their smart home. It plugs into a wall out and, after an initial setup via an app, it lets you control your normally “dumb” devices — lamp, fan or air conditioner — with your smartphone or voice. This smart plug by TP-Link is great because it can work with both Alexa or Google Assistant.
Logitech M185: It’s always a good idea to have a wireless mouse, even if you like using your laptop’s trackpad, because it can give you a nice bit of reprieve, plus it can be a better ergonomic solution. The Logitech M185 isn’t a feature-packed wireless mouse, but it has smooth travel and great (near year-long) battery life.
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.