Cool Gadgets For Teens Reviewed in 2018

What exactly is a “gadget”? We’ve heard the word plenty of times but it’s not often that we stop to consider what one actually is. For some, it might be an invention that makes doing a chore much more efficient or easier in some way. For others, it might just be a neat little device that helps to pass the time. However, these definitions are all from the viewpoint of an adult — Not from a teenager. To a teen, gadgets are interesting, fun, entertaining, and futuristic. Having one of these can inspire a new hobby or a love for all things digital or electronic and the best part is, there are some pretty incredible inventions out there if you know just where to look.

Teenagers are often enamored with anything that’s new and avant-garde and luckily, they live in the right time period for it. The 2000s have brought to us things such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality machines, and the gift of being able to capture our favorite moments in an instant. We live in a society where inventions make the world go round and truly brighten up our lives and entertain us. Giving a teen the gift of a gadget can help them find a new way to pass the time, get them off of social media and away from texting 24/7, and it can also show them how unique and interesting the digital age can be.

10 Cool Gadgets for Teens

 

1. Echo (2nd Generation)

1. Echo (2nd Generation)
You've probably heard of the Echo before and with it, tales of a magically AI named Alexa who can do just about anything. Any teenager would be thrilled to hear this voice in their room if only to make it easier to listen to music... Or order a pizza!
Expand to see more
There's no way you have heard of the Echo yet and if you haven't, you're in for a surprise. This device comes at a surprisingly affordable price especially when you consider everything you can do with this speaker. In reality, it's not just a speaker at all. Echo enables you to make phone calls, connect various devices in your house such as garage doors, lights, phones, television, etc., it can even order products for you based on your order history. What does this gadget have to offer teens, though? With the use of Alexa, kids can request any song they want and Alexa will immediately find and play it. They can request specific television shows or movies, hear fun facts, and even get the weather report if they really want to. Similar to Siri on the iPhone, Alexa is the artificial intelligence behind the Echo that can make any of your wishes, her command. Your teenager could even order a pizza through Alexa if they really wanted to! This speaker is perfect for a teenager's room if they're fans of playing music; it'll connect to your Spotify, Prime, iTunes, or iHeartRadio accounts. If you don't have any of those, don't worry -- Amazon offers free music as well. This is the speaker to rule all speakers and can be used easily by your entire family which makes it a great investment and one of the most useful gadgets you'll ever use.

Benefits
Alexa is pretty smart when it comes to understanding your needs and complying with them. Your teenager could have an endless string of questions and she has the capacity to keep up, as well as do things that a normal voice service wouldn't.

What We Like About It
While it might seem a little bit creepy at first, the creation of the Echo has really revolutionized households. As long as you don't think too hard about it (and try not to think of the Disney Channel movie Smart House), you'll soon come to rely on Alexa and wonder how you ever got along without this speaker.
Pros

Capable of playing any type of music

High-quality sound

Can control various other appliances

Useful for shopping

Alexa is a multipurpose service

Cons

There are some reported connectivity issues

2. Belkin RockStar Splitter

2.  Belkin RockStar Splitter
You might not think an audio splitter would be helpful for your teenager until they actually try and listen to music with one pair of headphones. This neat gadget changes all of that.
Expand to see more
For the music or even TV lovers out there, a multi-headphone audio splitter can be just the gadget your teenager has been waiting for. We've all had the same problem as kids -- When you get your first walkman and finally get your hands on the hottest new CD, there used to be no way of actually sharing that with your best friends unless you popped it in the stereo. When you were on the go and in the bus or car, we all did the same thing with over-the-head headphones... You did your best to turn the earpieces so that your friends could listen, too. Your teenager will be happy to know that the days of listening through one earpiece or sharing earbuds is over thanks to the creation of audio splitters. Now, all you need is one device, be it a walkman, iPod, smartphone, tablet, or some other MP3 player, and your teen and up to five of their friends can listen to the same song, show, or movie. This is a small but cool invention and one that will save a lot of headphones.

Benefits
Rather than your child excluding their family or friends, you can now give them the chance to listen to music without it being a solo venture. This is also great while on road trips or vacations and won't make your teenager feel like they're giving off an "isolation" vibe.

What We Like About It
To add a little bit of fun and flair to this device, Belkin has created it in several different fun, vibrant colors. Each jack has been decked out so that it's not just a boring audio splitter, it's one that's chic and stylish.
Pros

Allows up to five listeners

Compatible with most devices

Maintains the same audio quality

It comes in various colors

Easily packed away and portable

Cons

Users much have their own set of headphones

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera
The days of retro photography are coming back and with it, vintage-designed cameras. Fujifilm is changing the game as far as instant photos go and providing your teens with the means to decorate them however they want.
Expand to see more
We live in a very social generation where everything eventually makes its way to social media or in someone's inbox. Adults will refer to the days where cameras contained actual film to be "the good old days" because memories were a little more precious and you always had a hard copy of your favorite photos. Much to our surprise though, it would seem like those days are slowly coming back with the invention of the instant camera. Fujifilm, a global leader in photography, has created the Mini 9 Instant Camera that's completely user-friendly and allows you to record your favorite moments and have them in your hands within seconds. This instant camera works just like the one you used to have as a kid; Simply point, shoot, and watch your picture slide out and come to life after a few seconds of shaking. It'll bring back some serious nostalgia for you and some priceless memories for them! If nothing else, you'll have a blast watching your kids as they attempt to take "selfies" with this one -- There's no front-facing camera or autotune on this gadget!

Benefits
Fujifilm has found a way to make taking pictures and making memories fun again. This camera is simple to use and teenagers will love the fact that all of their photos instantly have a retro vibe to them.

What We Like About It
The style of this camera is pretty vintage and comes several bright, pastel colors. It also comes equipped with 40 sheets of film, meaning your teenager can make 40 long-lasting memories before having to reorder more.
Pros

The camera is cool-looking and retro

40 film sheets are provided along with decorative frames

Provides photos within seconds

It's easy to use and fun

Great as a gift

Cons

Quality of photos can vary based on the lighting and environment

4. SRL l191 Selfie Ring

4. SRL l191 Selfie Ring
Ever take a selfie in dim lighting? Maybe you haven't but we're sure your teenager has tried! This light will keep them from dealing with dimply lit areas and gone will be the days of sub-par social media photos.
Expand to see more
We've all seen it happen: The infamous selfie. While there's nothing wrong with teens loving how they look and feeling confident, many times it can be frustrating when the lighting is off or they don't have enough of it. Smartphones nowadays have excellent quality, but not even the best of cameras can produce a strong enough front-facing flash to combat dull lighting. The SRL Selfie Ring Light keeps your teen from having to deal with all of those washed-out looking photos that they'd get without the addition of extra light. It's great for nighttime videos and photos at dusk, and can even be used for group photos and videos. This neat little gadget is easily attached to the top of any type of cell phone and even comes with a rubber grip to prevent slipping and sliding while taking photos. It's not overly bulky and won't weigh your phone down or block much of the screen, which is great when you need to use the self-timer or additional front-facing flash.

Benefits
Some might see this gadget as just adding to vanity, but teens love to take pictures and everyone knows how disappointing it can be when you have the perfect shot and angle, but poor, dull lighting. This selfie ring can be taken on camping trips, pulled out during outdoor holidays such as the 4th of July, and even used while in a dimly lit restaurant.

What We Like About It
You're getting nearly professional grade lighting that won't case a harsh or yellow glow on your teen's face for a fraction of the price. This light is portable, easily used, and will change the future of selfies forever.
Pros

Light includes a non-slip grip ring

It has three different light settings

The light is cool-toned to prevent warm glows

It can be used anywhere

Great for travel

Cons

The battery is rechargeable but dies quickly

5. Tzowla Business Laptop Backpack

5. Tzowla Business Laptop Backpack
A backpack that's stylish and charges your phone sounds like a pretty great deal to us. Now if only it had some type of anti-theft lock protection on it... Oh, wait. It does!
Expand to see more
Send your kids back to school with this and they'll definitely have something to brag about. This backpack is a gadget in itself that features many things teens can use while they're on the go. It's great for any type of travel, day trips, even hiking. This bag is water-resistant and perfect for carrying around all of their electronic devices, not to mention, you can even charge them while you're on the go! The built-in USB port makes it friendly to any type of device and you can even plug your headphones in and listen to music devices as well. It features anti-theft protection that will keep all of your teen's most valuable electronics safe and sound in the event that their bag is left unattended because, let's face it, teenagers are known to become easily distracted.

Benefits
This futuristic pack is like something out of the Jetsons show and not nearly what you'd expect for the price. It's cheaper than many backpacks and offers a whole lot more!

What We Like About It
The safe storage for all of your teen's items, complete with the capability to charge them is really what caught our attention. Teens are on their phones and iPods so much these days that having a portable charger can really come in handy.
Pros

Has the capacity to charge anything that's USB-compatible

There's enough room to store a laptop and several other devices

Water-resistant

Features Anti-theft protection

Comes in two colors

Cons

The battery for charging is sold separately

6. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

6. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader
For the literature lover in all of us, Kindle has revolutionized the way we purchase and read books. There's no way your teen can deny that this is a cool gadget, no matter how much they think they don't enjoy reading.
Expand to see more
Kindles are still all the rage as far as the latest in reading technology goes and we're pretty sure that your teen probably needs this. Just like a laptop is an investment in the future, Kindles help encourage kids to read any type of books, not just those for leisure reading. Kindles all your teen access to thousands of books, many of which are unbelievably affordable and even free of charge. They can also use their Kindle to download textbooks for school which will help them tremendously if they decide to attend university later on. In addition to all of the amazing literature your child will have access to, they'll also be able to make notes on the pages, highlight, and search for specific sections or parts of their favorite books. Keeping their place is easy as well with the help of a digital bookmark and a reminder so that the book automatically opens to the last page that was left "open". Reading has been made fun again but also highly portable; there's no need to carry around several books, remember a bookmark, or deal with folded ears on every ten or so pages without one.

Benefits
The Kindle e-reader is equipped to deal with all types of study, reading, and research, and it's also equipped to deal with it all in any type of environment. The non-glare screen allows your teen to take their reader with them anywhere, any time of day.

What We Like About It
Of course, this is an awesome gadget but it's also an excellent investment for the future. If your child isn't too keen on reading then this might encourage them to start and if they are, this will allow them to grow the habit and have all of their favorite books in one safe place.
Pros

Great for school

Perfect for avid readers

No-glare screen

Saves paper and the hassle of bringing books everywhere

Allows you to edit reading materials

Cons

Might be pricey for a teen who doesn't like reading

7. 3D VR Headset Technology

7. 3D VR Headset Technology
What's the perfect device to take away rainy day blues? A virtual reality headset, of course. This can allow your teen to feel like they're flying around on a roller coaster without ever needing to leave the house.
Expand to see more
How crazy is this? Sony recently launched their own version of a virtual reality gaming system, but this one can be all yours without the need for purchasing extra games or an entire system to play it on. Virtual reality is something we've only really seen in sci-fi movies and TV shows, but now you can have that same advanced technology in your own home. Any teen who loves gaming and is fascinated by the notion of being able to feel like you're in another reality besides your own will absolutely love this VR headset. It works with most smartphones and allows your teen to see things in 3D, making them feel as though they're actually going through the motions and dwelling in a world or scenario that they're not. Users have given rave reviews and feedback on this headset, in particular, and it's easily used in conjunction with various 3D smartphone apps -- Many of which can be downloaded for free. It's a fun and unique way to pass the time!

Benefits
The goggles might look uncomfortable, but they're designed to fit most head sizes and also with comfort in mind. They're padded and intended for long-term use so that your teenager won't be bothered by their fit in the slightest.

What We Like About It
This headset comes with everything you could possibly need including a cleaning cloth, wet cloth for even more thorough cleaning, and padding for optimal comfort. It's an all-included deal that will definitely have your teen going wild over all the things they can experience without leaving home.
Pros

Includes cleaning products

Easy to use

Compatible with most smartphones

Many downloadable apps are free

More affordable than many VR headsets

Cons

Not for use with kids who suffer from epilepsy or seizures

8. Sphero Mini Blue

8. Sphero Mini Blue
Don't underestimate this tiny sphere, it might look useless but it actually functions in several different cool and fun ways. Whether games or coding is your thing, this little ball has your teen covered.
Expand to see more
This tiny little ball might not look like much but it really is a pretty crazy gadget. Similar to the Echo, this sphere isn't all it seems -- It can be controlled via a smartphone app and is actually a robot! You can race it, play games with it, and even use it for coding. This is one electronic buddy your teen will be thrilled to receive as a gift. Simply download the app and wait for this robot to respond... To your face, that is! That's right; this little guy actually reads facial expression and acts on them. It's artificial intelligence at its best and we can't imagine anyone, let alone a kid, who isn't fascinated by it.

Benefits
The most recent addition to this little robot is its capability to play games and function as a game controller. All you have to do is download the app and your teen will be ready to go with no need to purchase an entire game system or anything extra.

What We Like About It
This is a cute little way of finding something else for your teen to do with their phone beside social media. It's fun, exciting, and totally futuristic which will engage and entertain them for sure.
Pros

Easy to use

The app is easily navigated

It's small and portable

Designed to read facial expressions

Has several different capabilities

Cons

Teens only have the choice of three different games at this point

9. UbiKORT 3D Illusion Night Light

9. UbiKORT 3D Illusion Night Light
Did someone say "Millennium Falcon"? No? Well, we've got one for you anyway! And this one lights up too so that your teen can sit and watch in amazement as their favorite aircraft comes to life.
Expand to see more
This bedside lamp is truly one of a kind. For all the Star Wars fans out there, this is a must-have, no doubts about it. It's not often that you'll find a lamp that does exactly what this one does and while there is plenty of Millennium Falcon memorabilia out there, there's only one 3D Millennium Falcon lamp. It lights up in full color LED effects so your child will feel like they're actually looking out a futuristic, laser model of their favorite spacecraft. There's no better way to make them feel like they're actually part of their favorite movie series rather than just watching it, than by giving them part of the action. This lamp is stunning and features full detail, in fact, you get more detail in this lamp than you do in many buildable models of the airship. It's truly unique and something that your teen will love showing off to their family and friends.

Benefits
The life of this lamp is absolutely insane and boasts a whopping 50,000 hours of light time. That's literally a lifetime as far as human beings go and chances are, it'll last you into the next lifetime, too!

What We Like About It
This gadget doesn't do anything specific, but it's a great tribute to a movie that many teens love to watch over and over again. Star Wars is one of those movie series that will never become unpopular or irrelevant, and neither will the gadgets it inspires.
Pros

Comes in several different light colors

The lifespan is outrageously long

High-quality image

Includes tremendous detail

Perfect for fans of Star Wars

Cons

It doesn't really "do" anything

10. Bluetooth FM Transmitter

10. Bluetooth FM Transmitter
A Bluetooth transmitter can do a lot more than just answer phone calls and this one can even play the music of your teen's choosing. Whether they're rocking out in their car or yours, this will always allow them to be hands-free on the road.
Expand to see more
Are you the parent of an older teen? Do you worry about them driving distracted, whether it be by looking at their phone for a text or even switching the song on their playlist? If you are, then this FM Transmitter might be the perfect little gadget for your teenager. It's easily plugged into a cigarette lighter and can be used for several different functions, all of which are hands-free. It features two USB plugs so that your child can charge up to two devices at once (this is great for cellphones) but what we really love is its Bluetooth capability. It functions just like some of the newer cars do so this would be excellent for a teen who just got their first car if it's not a new model. Through the Bluetooth, this device makes hands-free phone calls possible whether you're making them or answering them, and also allows them to connect their music wirelessly. They'll be able to easily skip ahead or go back a song by simply hitting the button on either side of the device without even taking their eyes off the road. This is perfect for use in their parent's cars as well and allows them to have control over every important aspect of their phones while in the passenger seat -- We just hope you like their taste in music!

Benefits
Going hands-free is so important but also challenging in today's age of technology. This device takes an old-school concept such as making use of outdated cigarette lighters and has turned it into something useful and beneficial in the way of car safety.

What We Like About It
A Bluetooth capability is a great tool when driving. This device connects easily to your cell phone and allows you full control over the important tasks on it without even needing to touch it.
Pros

Has Bluetooth capability

Allows your teen to connect their music and phone preferences wirelessly

It's helpful in the way of going hands-free

Can increase car safety

It gives your teen a bit more customization in their vehicle

Cons

The speaker when answering a call is a bit low

Criteria Used in Evaluating Cool Gadgets for Teens

There’s a certain challenge that arises when it comes time to figure out what a teenager likes since, most of the time, parents are made well aware of what they don’t like. It’s important to show them that technology in the digital age doesn’t always need to revolve around social media and, in fact, can be used for other hobbies besides texting. There are plenty of super cool gadgets out there that will both hold their attention and provide them with an ample pastime option, it’s all about learning where to find them. We’ve included in this list something for everyone: The book lovers, music lovers, robotics lovers, and even the social media-loving teens who love their photos. We’re quite sure that you’ll find something on this list that will captivate and enamor your teenager.

Combining Fun With Practicality

Gadgets should be fun and useful, not boring and useless! That’s why we’ve made sure to include things that had excellent ratings as far as usage goes, even if it’s only to bring a new appreciation for the digital age to a teen. Gadgets encourage kids to think and ponder which is why they can make such exceptional gifts. You’re providing them with something out of the box that they genuinely think is neat and cool, and that’s what makes each one of these products so successful.

Determining What A Teenager Needs

As we stated before, figuring out a teen’s needs can be somewhat of a challenge. You might have your doubts as to whether or not a gadget would encourage them or leave them feeling like you’ve just gifted them with something that’s somewhat useless and unfulfilling. The good news, however, is that you’ll have a wide variety of things to choose from based on the list we’ve put together. We’ve taken into account a teenager’s typical lifestyle, their influences from society, and the current interests of today’s generation and that’s how we ended up with these expansive options. Not every teenager will enjoy everything on this list, but it’s in our mission to provide at least something that targets every interest a teenager could possibly have.

Other Factors To Consider With Gadgets

One of the main components of our research was to figure out exactly how portable or travel-friendly each item was. While products such as the Echo and LED lamp are excluded from this category, many others are able to be traveled with easily. Many teenagers are active and if they’re not driving, then they’re being driven, therefore, having gadgets that were great on-the-go was important to us as it is to them. We didn’t want to add anything too bulky or outdated on this list and even included a unique way to transport their gadgets — A “smart” backpack!

Age-Appropriate Gadget Gifts

Age was yet another determining factor in how well-received or poorly-regarded these gadgets would be when they ended up in the hands of a teenager. Since teens can range in ages 13 all the way up to 19, we had to come up with a comprehensive list that included something for both of those ages and every single one in between. That led us down a road where gadgets for the majority were definitely the most viable and successful option, which is exactly what we’ve presented to you here. While each product is simple to use and many offer a variety of functional uses, they’re all versatile when it comes to age and what they can actually be used for. Flexibility was an important feature as well, which is why we didn’t include gadgets that were too complicated or that required much fussing. The way we saw it was that if it’s too complex for us, there’s no way a teenager is going to have enough patience to deal with it for very long!

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if these would be age-appropriate for a 16-year-old?

A: Any of these gadgets would suit a child within the age range of 13 to 19-years-old, however, it all depends on your child’s interests. Are they avid readers or do they love listening to music? Are they fans of sci-fi? Maybe they just got their first car and are in need of an accessory for it — These options are all available to you on this list.

Q: What’s the easiest gadget on here to use?

A: That would definitely be the Millennium Falcon lamp. It requires no assembly and is as simple as plugging in the electric cord and watching it come to life. If your child isn’t a fan of Star Wars, then we’d recommend something like the Echo or Kindle; Neither require any assembly, extra purchases (barring music or books that aren’t free) and are simple and entertaining to use.

Q: How long will a gadget such as these last?

A: Indefinitely, as long as your teenager takes good care of it. Obviously, things that aren’t getting too much physical use like the lamp or Echo will last for much longer. You might begin to see some signs of aging on things such as the backpack, Kindle, audio splitter, etc., just from being handled so much.

Q: Could these be good for a preteen as well?

A: Of course! These lists aren’t specifically targeted toward any age group with no exceptions; if there’s something on this list that you think would be good for a 10 to 12-year-old, then go for it. In fact, it makes our day better knowing that we could help you in another area beside the one we’re writing about at the current time.

Q: Do products such as the Echo or Kindle require any additional purchases?

A: Depending on what your teenager is using them for, yes. If your child wants to have access to Amazon music specifically, a Prime account will be needed if they’re not happy with the free music that’s already provided. Additionally, the Echo is compatible with Spotify, which also requires a subscription. Similarly, the Kindle does have many, many books for purchase, but Amazon also offers free options as well. It depends on what your child is interested in and where they can find the best options, but no, you don’t absolutely need to invest in extra options.

Q: Are there warranties for any of these items?

A: Yes, in fact, most of them do offer some type of warranty whether it’s for an entire lifetime or temporary. Always check with the manufacturer before purchase if you’re concerned but in general, something that’s electronic will normally have a warranty, just in case.

Sources

  1. Admin, Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology on Teenagers , Informative Article,
  2. Karen M. Harris, Kids Can Benefit from Gadgets — Within Limits, Parenting Article,
  3. bananacoin17, The Advantages Of A Smart Phone For Teenagers, Online Article,
  4. Kathryn Zickuhr, Generations and Their Gadgets, Informative Article,