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The best Father's Day gift ideas under $50

Useful tech gifts don't have to break the bank.

Engadget

Us kids know how hard it is to buy gifts for parents. It’s either a case of they don’t want anything or they’ve already gone out and bought the product you had your eye on without telling you. Especially tech-savvy dads. But there are some oft-forgotten, cheaper gifts that can do the job without breaking the $50 barrier. From console controllers to tracking tags, smart lights to charging accessories, our ideas will tick the list of even the most hard-to-buy-for father figure in your life.

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Chipolo One

If pops tends to lose his keys, bags or other high value items, the Chipolo One could be a low-cost way to restore some peace of mind.
$25 at Amazon

Bluetooth trackers have made it a lot easier to keep tabs on things that you simply don’t want to go missing. If pops tends to lose his keys, bags or other high value items, the Chipolo One could be a low-cost way to restore some peace of mind. The One is a small, colorful plastic disc that pairs with both Apple and Android devices and quickly notifies you when something is no longer on your person. In our tests, we found the separation alerts to be worth the price of admission alone, serving prompt notifications the second the app detected an item was no longer with us. It’ll direct you back to the spot where the phone and the tracker were last paired, perfect for someone who may often forget things.

AirFly SE/Duo/Pro

Thanks to wireless adapters like the AirFly, dad can use his own headphones in places that only have a headphone jack, like in the air and in gyms.
$45 at Amazon
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$50 at Office Depot

If your dad loves flying but hates having to put up with the basic headsets airlines provide while on board, help is at hand. Thanks to wireless adapters like the AirFly, he can use his own headphones in places that only have a headphone jack, like in the air and in gyms. TwelveSouth offers a range of AirFly adapters that cater to specific circumstances: the original is perfect for flights, while the Duo does the same thing but for two people. The Pro, however, provides a simple way to stream music from a smartphone to the AUX IN in any car or speaker.

Anker 622 MagGo Battery

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If your dad is one to complain about having no juice left while out and about, a battery pack like Anker’s MagGo is a solid option.
$50 at Amazon

To Apple’s credit, iPhone battery life has drastically improved over the years. However, that doesn’t make them immune to rapid power drain when they’re constantly in use. If your dad is one to complain about having no juice left while out and about, a battery pack like Anker’s MagGo is a solid option. Removing the need for cables, the MagGo battery pack utilizes Apple’s MagSafe technology and snaps to the back of compatible iPhones and will begin charging wirelessly. Often half the price of Apple’s own MagSafe Battery Pack, Anker’s version comes in a range of different colors and also features a small kickstand that lets dad rotate the phone to either portrait or landscape mode when the need arises.

Nintendo $50 eShop Gift Card

A Nintendo eShop gift card is a good option for gamer dads who want to pick up some of the latest titles for their console.
$45 at Amazon

If dad has a Nintendo Switch (or one of the company’s handhelds), then he’s probably already pretty up-to-speed on the Nintendo eShop. Every so often, the company will reduce a wide range of first-party and indie games, allowing you and dad to build out your collection for a lot less. The good news is that throughout the year, retailers will often offer discounts on eShop credit, which when combined with an existing sale, can lighten dad’s overall spend on games. Deals are often around 10 percent off, meaning you may be able to secure a $50 card for just $45.

1Password subscription

Most browsers come with their own built-in password tools, but 1Password’s subscription service operates across a wide variety of devices, browsers and operating systems.
$3 at 1Password

If dad has passwords with “123456” in it, instead of shaming him, consider directing him to a password manager instead. Sure, most browsers come with their own built-in password tools, but 1Password’s subscription service operates across a wide variety of devices, browsers and operating systems. It’ll save all of his passwords and suggest stronger ones and handle two-factor authentication requests but that’s not all: Give it addresses, card details and other important information and it’ll reduce the time and effort it takes to fill in all of those annoying online forms.

Blink Mini Camera

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Blink has a wide range of indoor and outdoor home security products, but its basic 1080p indoor plug-in camera is a solid choice for keeping an eye on pets, but also unwelcome guests in the dead of night.
$20 at Amazon
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From unwanted intruders to porch pirates, security cams are a very useful tool not only as a deterrent, but also to capture irrefutable proof of wrongdoing. Blink has a wide range of indoor and outdoor home security products, but its basic 1080p indoor plug-in camera is a solid choice for keeping an eye on pets, but also unwelcome guests in the dead of night. It comes with two-way audio, allowing dad to covertly startle a friend or family member, and motion detection, letting him focus on the specific areas of the home. The Blink Mini also ties in perfectly with Alexa, so it’s a solid choice for families who already own an Echo device.

Tapo Matter Supported Smart Plug Mini 3-Pack

Tapo’s Smart Plug Mini outlets are basic in nature, they serve as a simple on or off switch for things like that antique lamp mom and dad bought to go with their coffee table.
$27 at Amazon

One of the most important parts of building a smart home is incorporating all of the non-smart electronics like appliances and lighting into the network. Tapo’s Smart Plug Mini outlets are basic in nature, they serve as a simple on or off switch for things like that antique lamp mom and dad bought to go with their coffee table. Tapo’s app pairing is super simple and the plugs will soon support the new Matter standard, as well as both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. That means dad will be able to create smart home routines that feature devices that weren’t necessarily designed to support them.

Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K delivers all of the major streaming apps you need and ensures that they’re regularly updated to include all of the latest features.
$34 at Amazon

Most newer TV models come with their own set of apps, but often the older, slower dumb television in the back room needs some love too. Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K delivers all of the major streaming apps you need and ensures that they’re regularly updated to include all of the latest features. Oh, and it’s cheap, too.

iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit

Not every dad is handy with tools, but if yours prefers to fix things rather than buying new stuff, iFixit’s Essential Electronics Toolkit could come in handy.
$30 at Amazon
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Not every dad is handy with tools, but if yours likes to take things apart just to be able to put them back together again or prefers to fix things rather than buying new stuff, iFixit’s Essential Electronics Toolkit could come in handy. With a bunch of precision bits, tweezers, suction handle, SIM eject tool and sorting tray, this kit is perfect for DIY screen replacements or opening up a tablet or laptop to fix a worn-out component. It’s also perfect for eyeglasses, should dad need to repair them too.

JLab Go Air Pop earbuds

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Listening to music on-the-go doesn’t need to be expensive, and JLab’s Go Air Pop wireless earbuds are a perfect example of that.
$15 at Amazon
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$25 at Target

Listening to music on-the-go doesn’t need to be expensive. JLab’s Go Air Pop wireless earbuds are a perfect example of that. For just $20 (sometimes less), these small but colorful Bluetooth buds offer on-board touch controls, the ability to use either earbud independently, EQ presets and IPX4 moisture resistance (meaning they’ll survive a low-pressure spray of water). They’re also really solid in the battery life department, too: the Go Air Pops will provide dad up to eight hours on a charge but the case will give you three additional charges before you need to plug the entire set in.

Fitbit Aria Air smart scale

Make no mistake: the Aria Air isn’t as fancy as some of the smart scales on the market – complete with body composition metrics – but it’s very accurate and nice-looking scale that tracks body weight and BMI.
$49 at Amazon
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$49 at Walmart

Nobody is saying that dad needs to lose or gain weight, but he’s looking for a better way to track his body measurements then a smart scale could help. Make no mistake: the Aria Air isn’t as fancy as some of the smart scales on the market – complete with body composition metrics – but it’s very accurate and nice-looking scale that tracks body weight and BMI. If dad already has a Fitbit smartwatch or tracker, it’ll put it alongside his existing exercise data, giving him a nice snapshot of his overall fitness and body health.

SanDisk 512GB Extreme microSD

SanDisk’s 512GB Extreme microSD is 4K-ready, and it's also rated for use at both low and high temperatures, water-proof, shock-proof and x-ray proof — perfect if your dad indulges in more dangerous activities.
$40 at Amazon

Portable memory and storage might not be a glamorous gift, but they play a vital part in extending today’s tech gadgets. Whether it be a Nintendo Switch, drone or even a dash cam, microSD cards can elevate how many games or how much footage you can store without needing to remove things first. SanDisk’s 512GB Extreme microSD is 4K-ready, with fast read/write speeds for rapid file transfers. It’s also rated for use at both low and high temperatures, water-proof, shock-proof and x-ray proof, perfect if your dad indulges in more dangerous activities. Its standard price is over $100, but we wanted to mention it here since you can often find it for around $50.

Amazon Smart Thermostat

Everyone can argue all they like about the temperature inside the house, but dad can control the thermostat remotely with Amazon’s cheap Smart Thermostat.
$64 at Amazon

No smart home is complete without a smart thermostat handling all of the family’s heating and hot water needs. Everyone can argue all they like about the temperature inside the house, but dad can control the thermostat remotely with Amazon’s cheap Smart Thermostat. Sure, its usual retail price is normally a bit higher than the $50 limit we’ve set here but we have seen it regularly come down to a low of $48, which is when you should probably jump on it. The Smart Thermostat itself is backed by Honeywell and ties nicely in with Alexa, which can do dad’s bidding for him (whether it be via an Echo smart speaker, display or app).

Xbox Core Controller

Microsoft has worked hard to ensure its Xbox gamepads work on PCs, smartphones and tablets, so it’s easy to recommend for the gamer dad who likes to play titles across a range of platforms.
$55 at Microsoft

Thankfully, the days of having to buy separate controllers for different devices are all but over. Over the years, Microsoft has worked hard to ensure its Xbox gamepads work on PCs, smartphones and tablets, so it’s easy to recommend for the gamer dad who likes to play titles across a range of platforms. With built-in Bluetooth, it’s easy to pair an Xbox controller with an iPad or Android device, making it the perfect accessory for cloud gaming. They usually go for a bit more than $50, but you can often find them on sale for around $45.