What’s the best iPhone gadget under $40? We tried 3 viral products to find out

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Do you really need a “selfie stabilizer?” How about a timed phone lock or an “iPhone night light?”

According to TikTok, all three gadgets are an absolute must-have. They’re all cheap, too. Each one — the Gimbal selfie stick stabilizer, the Eva Zzy timed container lock and the Peleg Design phone lamp — all cost less than $40.

Still, should you really buy all three? Or are some of these gadgets overhyped? To find out, we tested all three to find out which one is truly the best iPhone gadget of the bunch.

We tested each gadget with an individual test and then rated it on three factors: value, convenience and effectiveness. To find out our winner, watch the video above or keep reading below.

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The selfie stabilizer

First up, we tried this stabilizing selfie stick that can supposedly keep your camera steady no matter what you’re doing. It can spin 360 degrees to rotate with the motion of your phone — meaning you can use it to shoot photos or videos while walking, running, biking, breakdancing or whatever else you could dream up.

Shop: Selfie Stick Gimbal Stabilizer, $34.99

Credit: Amazon

Value: This was our second most expensive gadget, but considering what it can do (connect via Bluetooth, take photos and videos for you, etc.), it was more than worth the cost. 3/3 stars.

Convenience: This was also extremely easy to use. It’s as simple as snapping in your phone. 3/3 again.

Effectiveness: We tested our stabilizer by walking, running and riding a bike with our phones — first without the stabilizer, then with it. For running and biking, the gadget made a huge difference, but since it didn’t change much for walking, we settled for a 2/3 here.

Total: 8/9

The timed phone lock

In theory, this electronic, timed container could lock anything — cookies, credit cards, a video game controller — away for as long as you want. However, many TikToker users have praised its ability to cut down on distractions by forcing users to lock their phones away.

Shop: Eva Zzy Timer Lock Container, $38.86

Credit: Amazon

Value: This was our priciest gadget, and for what it does (just keeps things away from you), it wasn’t really worth the cost. 1/3 stars.

Convenience: This thing is easy enough to use, but it’s also intimidating. One wrong move, and you could lock your phone for 10 hours instead of 10 minutes. 1/3 stars.

Effectiveness: To test this, we locked our phones away for a full workday, and then compared how it affected our total daily screen time. Being forced to avoid the phone really helped with productivity, and it cut down our screen time by almost 200 percent. 3/3 here.

Total: 5/9.

The phone reading lamp

This cute little gadget latches right onto your phone’s flashlight, turning your device into a full-on reading lamp (or night light; no judgment if you’re still scared of the dark).

Shop: Peleg Design Mobile Phone Night Light, $11.99

Credit: Amazon

Value: This thing is about as cheap as an iPhone gadget gets. Still, there are small lamps that cost barely more than this. 2/3 stars.

Convenience: This gadget was extremely convenient to use, but it’s not any easier than a normal lamp. 2/3.

Effectiveness: We tested this thing in a pitch-black room to see if we could read a book with nothing but the iPhone lamp. It worked fine, but it was a little too dim and, again, not any better than a regular old lamp. 1/3.

Total: 5/9

Our winner?

Far and away, the selfie stabilizer was our winner here. This gadget is cheap enough, has a ton of functions, and is so, so easy to use. On top of that, it’s just flat-out fun to run around with a big, spinning selfie stick.

If you can only buy one gadget, the selfie stabilizer is the one.

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