These 13 Tech Gifts For Teens Are Worthy of Bragging Rights
Shopping for a teenager is never an easy undertaking. (We can just picture the forced smiles now. . . .) Lucky for you, we've taken the guesswork out of getting them a gift they'll be sure to brag about on TikTok.
The first fully digital native generation is always way ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest, coolest gadgets, so to find out what teens are eyeing this holiday season, we went straight to the source. Yep, we asked some real-life teenagers to weigh in on the best tech gifts you can buy.
According to Ella (age 13) and Winter (age 14), you'll win your teen over by skipping the practical tech gifts (like air purifiers and phone sanitizers) and instead going for a present that speaks to their particular passions. Does the teen in your life love music? Upgrade their headphones sitch. Have a budding artist on your hands? Try a wireless printer.
Whether the teen you're shopping for is interested in music, fashion, or beauty, we've found something they're sure to think is cool — and there's something here for every budget. Yep, contrary to popular belief, tech gifts don't need to break the bank.
— Additional reporting by Krista Jones and Abbey Stone
Light-Up Alarm Clock
Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock ($39, originally $60)
This alarm clock is designed with heavy sleepers in mind. The alarm has a "sunrise stimulation light" that adjusts from 10 to 100 percent brightness 30 minutes before your alarm's set time. The alarm comes with a radio, a snooze function, and seven color-changing light settings. What does the teen say? "Really fun alarm clock," says Winter. "It's a unique idea, and it's really pretty." High praise.
Instant Photo Printer
HP Sprocket Portable Instant Photo Printer ($80, originally $130)
The pictures on their iPhone no longer have to stay in the cloud. Thanks to this portable printer, your teen can print out photos instantly and choose to save them in a photo album or scrapbook. Its slim design allows them to take this photo printer anywhere: a friend's house, on vacation, or to decorate their locker. (Do teens still have lockers?)
LED Photo Clip Lights
LED Photo Clip Lights ($9, originally $23)
This string of lights offers a unique way for the sentimental teen in your life to cherish their most-prized memories. Our resident teen Winter recommends pairing the photo-clip lights with a photo printer or taking your teen to the copy shop to get hard copies of their pics.
Casetify Sun, Moon, and Stars iPhone Case ($42, originally $52)
Is your teen an astro girlie? She'll love the Zodiac collection from Casetify. But if these celestial designs are a little out-of-this-world for your kid, you'll be sure to find something to spark their interest from Casetify: the retailer has collections that include sports, Disney, K-pop, and more.
Apple Watch SE ($240)
Screen time can be just as draining for teens as it can for adults. Ella says she'd love to get an Apple Watch so that she can track her progress (and stay reachable) on her runs without getting pulled down a rabbit hole on her phone.
In addition to fitness tracking, the Apple Watch SE has sleep-tracking and crash-detection capabilities. It's also waterproof, if your teen is a swimmer.
Mini Fridge For Snacks or Skin Care
Cooluli Skincare Mini Fridge ($50, originally $70)
Of course, the fridge downstairs is packed with goodies for the whole family to enjoy, but what teen wouldn't want to have their own stash? This model can fit so many goodies — perfect for storing their favorite treats at sleepovers and beyond. Plus, it can also double as a skin-care fridge, which we're very into these days at POPSUGAR. Don't take my word for it: read our editor's review of the Disney Princess x POPSUGAR Beauty Fridge product review for further inspiration.
Headphones With Artistic Flair
If the teen you're buying a gift for is expressive by nature, pick them up these artsy earbuds. Handcrafted with acrylic yarns, this pair lets your teen show off their signature style while taking phone calls or listening to music. Plus, their summer-camp vibe goes perfectly with their Eras tour friendship bracelets
This projection light takes mood lighting to a whole new level — its head can be rotated 180 degrees to adjust the size and shape of the projected light. It's small enough to be placed anywhere, whether it be a nightstand, dresser, or shelf, making it a great gift for practically anyone to enjoy.
"This is cool," says Winter. "It adds depth to a room and is good for taking pictures."
Get the gamer teen in your life something they'll obsess over. The Nintendo Switch has three modes of playtime — TV mode, tabletop mode, and handheld mode — for gaming whenever, wherever. When played in handheld and tabletop modes with the seven-inch OLED screen, they can enjoy an enhanced experience with the system's built-in speakers. It comes with a wide adjustable stand, a dock for TV mode, and 64GB of internal storage.
Portable Phone Charging Bank
The only person who hates it more when your teen's phone runs out of battery than you do is . . . your teen. You'll stay saner knowing the teen you love is safe when they carry this credit-card-size portable charging bank with them. The Miisso comes in a rainbow of colors and includes both lightning and USB-C cables.
If you're shopping for a teen who adores music, this speaker will fill their home with melodies for an immersive, concert-like experience. This piece of tech allows you to adjust the bass and treble for a customized sound, comes in three colors (black, a vintage cream, or a relaxed rustic brown), and can be connected via an aux cable. It's an editor favorite as well: read our in-depth review of the Marshall Stanmore III Bluetooth Speaker.
Apple Over-Ear Headphones
Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones ($480, originally $549)
Just when we thought we were getting used to AirPods, Apple debuted a nostalgic version of the technology that pays homage to the O.G. headphone. But hey, we're not complaining! And if your teen enjoys tuning out the world on occasion (don't we all?), they'll love the noise-canceling capabilities of this headset, which are so good, even our own POPSUGAR editor had "no regrets" making the splurge, as detailed in this Apple AirPods Max product review.
Both Ella and Winter named a light-up mirror for doing their makeup as must haves this holiday season. This model — which is under $50 — has multiple lighting settings that allow you to adjust the brightness and warmth. Bonus: reviewers on Amazon say it also makes a great selfie light.