The 8 Best Tech Gifts to Buy for Tweens in 2018

We've got the short list on what your tween really wants this year

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 Tweens can be a notoriously difficult group to shop for, especially if you’re trying to buy clothes or entertainment. Take a safer route and choose one of these tech gifts that have universal appeal without costing too much. Whether you want to buy a camera for a budding photographer or a selfie stick for your socialite, you’ll find a fun tech gift on this list for every tween.

Our Top Picks

Best Camera: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS

Inspire your child’s creative endeavors with this compact and accessible digital camera. When your tween needs to go above and beyond their phone’s camera (or if it’s too early for a phone altogether), this point-and-shoot Canon camera will work well. It has 10x Optical Zoom and Optical Image Stabilizer to capture great shots from afar. The 20 MP CCD sensor and DIGIC 4+ processor work to provide great image quality for the price point (it's suitable for simple selfies and more artistic shots.) The camera records in 720p HD for any movie making projects, while effects such as Fisheye Toy Camera add many fun possibilities to be creative. Other nice effects include built-in Wi-Fi for sharing and a help button that provides easy answers to any problems they encounter.

Best Phone: Huawei Honor 8

Whether you are picking out your tween’s first phone or just upgrading to a new one, the Huawei Honor 8 is a perfect choice. First, there are four fun colors, including sapphire blue and sunrise gold. The light-catching aluminum alloy body is also both sturdy and stylish, a practical and fun alternative to the price tag behind the latest iPhone or Galaxy. In addition to good looks, the phone has what matters most to tweens: a spectacular camera and enough power to confidently run all the apps they want.

The phone has a unique 12 MP dual-lens camera, with one lens capturing rich colors and the other letting in light for a sharp vivid photo. Auto-focus lets them capture the best images without worrying about composition, while a forward facing camera makes selfies easy. Plus, you will love the value price tag and durable battery that won’t die before its time to pick them up from school.

Check out our other reviews of the best Huawei phones​ available on the market today.

Best Selfie Stick: MOCREO Bluetooth Selfie Stick

Selfie sticks are a fun and convenient way to capture group photos or snap a picture from a different angle. This model is one of the best on the market. Available in either an understated stainless steel white or rose gold, this selfie stick looks cool and elegant. It comes with plenty of nice features as well, going beyond basic Bluetooth connectivity.

A 360-degree fill-light rotation adds a special extra dimension, assuring shots are captured in the best quality possible. The retractable click and angle adjustment knob fits just about any smartphone on the market, while a safety rope hook adds extra protection from falls. The lightweight and extendable monopod design collapses into a convenient package that fits right in your tween's hand.

See more reviews of our favorite selfie sticks​ available for purchase.

Best Headphones: Artix Headphones

Make bus rides more bearable with the colorful and comfortable Artix headphones, the perfect pair of cans for tweens. They are available in five nifty color combinations, including a sporty blue/green pair and a bold pink and purple ensemble, which allows for some personalization. They are lightweight and adjustable, with a padded band that to fits heads of every size. A tangle-free nylon cable and fold-in earpieces allow these to easily fit in a backpack or locker. They even have a built-in microphone and pause/play control pad to make calls. And the sound quality is very clear and balanced for a value pair of headphones. Don’t settle for the cheap freebies - give your tween the gift of music with these colorful Artix headphones.

Best Portable Speaker: UD MIANOVA LED Bluetooth Speaker 

Let tweens dance the night away with the UD MIANOVA LED Bluetooth Speaker. Colorful and vibrant, the speaker offers six unique color-changing themes. Oscillating automatically, the colorful lights can be left to their own pattern or paused permanently on a single color. Standing 5.7-inches high, the speaker belies its small size with room-filling sound. The 360-degree speakers add surprisingly deep bass for the size along with crisp mids. Supporting both MP3 and WAV music formats, the speaker features 64GB of TF card support for non-Bluetooth music playback. Essentially, that means it can hold nearly 5,000 songs.

On the bottom of the speaker is a simplified operation panel. The available buttons include on/off, play/pause, and volume controls as well as the ability to select the color of choice. Similar capabilities can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet or computer when synced via Bluetooth. Support for true wireless stereo function (TWS) enables two UD speakers to connect via Bluetooth and create left and right channels. Once connected, tweens will have created their very own colorful surround sound experience. Battery life hits around 10 hours without the color or up to 8 hours with color.

Best Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite

The Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite is perfect for tweens. It's portable, inexpensive and cool. The slim and lightweight device can fit in a backpack on the way to school, while the seven-inch screen is perfect as an e-book or a movie screen. The tablet comes with 8GB of memory and can be expanded to an additional 32GB, which is enough to store school material and apps. A robust battery keeps the device working for up to nine hours, enough to get you and your child through long plane rides or a busy day at school. A rear-facing camera can take fun photos, while the bright screen makes games and movies look great. Finally, the tablet is very easy to use and is perfect for kids who don’t have much familiarity with technology. The interface is simple and intuitive, allowing them to get to their favorite apps and websites with ease.

See more reviews of our favorite tablets available for purchase.

Best Instant Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Retro meets modern with the FujiFilm Instax Mini 9, a fun update on the polaroid camera for the digital age. The handheld device is cute and available in ice blue, cobalt, lime green, smokey white or flamingo pink. Just load the film, point and shoot and a picture will develop in seconds. It has automatic exposure measurement to tune the camera to recommended aperture settings with a flashing LED. It can also change to high-key mode to take brighter pictures, exactly what tweens need for a perfect portrait. A new selfie mirror helps frame the lens for the perfect selfie, while a close-up lens attachment helps kids capture fun shots of their pets or food. It needs AA batteries and film, but this is a fun gift your tween can use with their friends to preserve their favorite memories.

See more reviews of our favorite instant cameras available for purchase.

Best Portable Game System: Nintendo 3DSXL

Nintendo’s latest 3DS XL is an entertainment superstar that will be sure to please any tween. The supercharged successor to the Gameboy takes handheld gaming to the next level with improved processing power to make games more immersive and responsive than ever. There's an inner tracking 3D camera that automatically adjusts 3D games to the sweet-spot depending on the user’s facial location.

Nintendo also added the C stick for enhanced control, which can make all the difference in games such as Super Smash Brothers. And the system is compatible with Nintendo’s suite of family-friendly titles such as Mario Kart, the Legend of Zelda and Fire Emblem. And great news for Nintendo Wii and Switch owners: The 3DS amiibos and some games allow cross-platform compatibility.