Best tech gifts for the holidays 2018, from $100 to $250

You like technology, and you want to give a cool gadget this year. You have a healthy -- but not crazy -- budget for that recipient on your list. Here's where to start.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
David Katzmaier
Ty Pendlebury
3 min read

Yes, you can buy a phone in this price range.

Josh Miller/CNET

Gift giving is a delicate balance. On one hand you want to get them something they'll love. On the other hand you don't want to get yourself a pain in the wallet.

The latest tech gadgets , especially ones highly rated by the ace reviewers here at CNET, are sure-fire ways to make someone's holiday season special. And as a gift giver, keeping to a budget ensures you don't have financial regrets once January rolls around. 

Best Christmas tech gifts from $100 to $250

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Some of the best tech lives in the $100 to $250 price range. It's too low for most  laptops TVs  or  phones , but it's the sweet spot for plenty of other really cool devices: Better-sounding smart speakers, cutting-edge Alexa and  Google  displays, totally wireless headphones, lots of gear to make a house smarter and, OK, even some phones and TVs.

We've compiled a massive list of more than 60 great gifts (see above) in this price range, but maybe you don't want to wade through them all. Here's a handful of our favorites.

Disclaimer: Price ranges current as of December 3, 2018. CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Motorola Moto G6

Josh Miller/CNET

Price: $150 to $240

The G6 offers ample processing speed, dual rear cameras and near-stock Android Oreo making it is one of the best budget phones you can buy. At $240 on Amazon it was a steal, but Best Buy's $150 price is insanity.

Sonos One

Sonos One
Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: $180 to $200

The Sonos One isn't the only "smart speaker" you can buy, but it offers great performance for the money and the promise of support for multiple voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa. 

Google Home Hub

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Price: $150

With a smaller screen and no built-in camera, Google's first smart display takes a different tack from the Echo Show . Tight integration with Google services such as Photos, a slick design and most of all a lower price, could make it a more appealing gift.

Apple AirPods

Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: $154 - $159

Does your gift recipient love their iPhone yet hate wires? Chances are they're lusting after these little 'phones, so maybe now is the time to satisfy that craving with the fully-wireless 'phones that started it all.

TCL S305 series (up to 43-inch)


Price: $149 - $240

Technically from 2017 but still current, the TS305 is a 1080p television for people who prize streaming and convenience over image quality. The picture is fine, but what really sets this TV apart is dirt-cheap pricing and our favorite Smart TV system at any price:  Roku TV.

Vizio SB3621n-e8

Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: $148

The Vizio SB3621n-E8 may be fairly inexpensive but your loved will think you spent a lot more as this speaker both looks and sounds as good as a $300 sound bar.

Ecobee 4


Price: $239

The Ecobee 4 is our favorite smart thermostat, beating out Nest, and includes an actual Alexa speaker built-in.

Of course we've reviewed and liked a host of other products this year, and they'd make pretty sweet gifts too. If you don't see that perfect gift among these seven, check out our expanded list below. 

Best Christmas tech gifts from $100 to $250

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CNET's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gift recommendations at all prices.

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