Back To School 2016 Buying Guide – Everything You Will Need!

2016 AH Back To School Shopping Guide 3

It’s that time of the year. Time for back to school shopping. While most people are likely out buying new clothes and such for the upcoming school year. There is also some tech that needs to be bought, so that you or your student can get the most out of the 2016-17 school year. This includes things like smartphones, fitness trackers, TV’s and so much more. We’ve put together a slew of lists covering just about every piece of tech you may need for this upcoming school year.




There are so many different smartphones available right now, many of which are great choices. But there are plenty that won’t break the bank and still offer an amazing experience, like the newly released ZTE Axon 7 or the Huawei Honor 5X. We have these and many more in our Top 10 Smartphones list here. These smartphones are all unlocked, so they will work on AT&T and T-Mobile here in the US – with a few working on Verizon and Sprint as well.

Top 10 Unlocked Smartphones

Smartphone Accessories



Of course, you need to buy some accessories for your new or current smartphone. Things like wall chargers, car chargers, power banks, fitness trackers, smartwatches and so much more. There’s so much to choose from. Luckily we’ve picked 10 of the best options available and have listed them here. These will help you get the most out of your smartphone, and if you’re a fan of Pokemon GO, then picking up a power bank is a must.

Top 10 Smartphone Accessories




It can never hurt to have another charger or two laying around. And those that own devices like the LG G5, HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7 or even the Xperia Z5, you’ll definitely want to pick up a Quick Charge charger, since these are all compatible with the Quick Charge standard. This allows you to charge your smartphone quicker, great for topping off before heading off to that party that you don’t want your parents to know you’re going to, instead of studying.

Top 10 Chargers




While the camera on your smartphone is likely enough for most people to take pictures, having a dedicated camera is often times a better idea. But which one should you pick up? There are so many different kinds of cameras to choose from. Including mirrorless, digital, DSLR and even action cameras from the likes of GoPro and YI. If you want the best quality, a mirrorless or DSLR will be your best bet. And we’ve got plenty listed in this top 10 here.

Top 10 Cameras

Bluetooth Speakers

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 2 Wireless Speaker


If you’re headed off to college this year, you’ll likely want to pick up a Bluetooth speaker to go in your dorm room or even apartment. This way you can listen to your favorite music, without being stuck with using the speaker built into your laptop or even your phone. Bluetooth speakers are a great solution, because they connect to just about anything, wirelessly. And of course, they always fill the whole room with plenty of sound. Making for a great experience, especially when you are studying all night long.

Top 10 Bluetooth Speakers

Laptops & Chromebooks



Depending on what you’re going to school for, you may need a full-fledged laptop. But if you just need to use a web browser, then a Chromebook can be a great machine to get your school work done on. Mostly because they offer somewhat decent specs at a fraction of the price. There are plenty of choices out there, when it comes to laptops, and they all come with different specifications, styles and even price points. We’ve gathered up about 10 of the best here, all of which would be great for school this year.

Top 10 Laptops/Chromebooks




For those times that you don’t want to be sitting at your desk using your laptop, a tablet can definitely take its place. Android tablets have all sorts of apps that are great for doing school work. One of the best note-taking apps available, Evernote, works great on tablets. And so does a to-do list app like Todoist, which is constantly winning awards for how great it truly is. Tablets come in all types of sizes and price points, with some costing as little as $50.

Top 10 Tablets

Streaming Devices


This school year, you won’t be studying, in class, or at work all the time. For those times you need to unwind, you’ll want to check out these streaming devices which connect to your TV and basically make them a smart TV. These include things like Roku, Amazon Fire TV and much more. Allowing you to watch Netflix, Hulu, Google Play Movies & TV, and many other services with just the click of the remote, and many of these can be controlled from your smartphone as well.

Top 10 Streaming Devices


Fossil Q Founder deal (1)

While some may think smartwatches are a niche product, they do have some very valuable uses for students. Especially with apps like Google Keep, Todoist and Evernote working on Android Wear. Allowing you to quickly make a list of things to do, without having to pull out your smartphone to do it the “old-fashioned way”. Like laptops and tablets, smartwatches too come in all different sizes (although most are 46mm) and different price points. There are some that are pretty cheap, and some that can run you as much as $1500.

Top 10 Smartwatches

Fitness & Activity Trackers


Smartwatches may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fitness trackers are definitely worth checking out, before school starts. These will help you become more active, and possibly even lose some weight. Many of the fitness trackers we have listed here, will track your steps, calories burned, your sleep as well as your workouts. Making it a great tool to use when you are at the gym looking to make some gains. Many of these fitness trackers are under $100 as well, meaning that they definitely won’t break the bank.

Top 10 Fitness Trackers

Dorm Room Tech


If you’re living on campus this year, you’ll want to deck out your dorm room with some pretty cool tech. Seeing as you do need time to relax and unwind from the stress that is indeed college. Whether it is buying a TV, or a PlayStation 4, or even a robot vacuum so you don’t have to clean the floor, that’s all tech that will make living on campus a whole lot more enjoyable. These gadgets will also work great if you are renting an apartment off campus, as well, especially if you have roommates with you.

Top 10 Dorm Tech

Tech Under $100


Let’s face it, not everyone has a huge budget for back-to-school shopping. And while you may not be able to afford that 60-inch TV that you’ve been eyeing for your dorm, that doesn’t mean you can’t get something a bit smaller and a bit cheaper. There’s plenty of great tech that’s available under $100 that will look great in any dorm or apartment this school year. In fact, some of these items are gadgets you’ll want to take to class with you, or keep in your backpack while you’re between classes and such.

Top 10 Best Tech Under $100

Tech Under $250


If you have a bit of a bigger budget to spend on stuff for going back-to-school, then this is a list you’ll definitely want to check out. This features ten items under $250, and in fact, many of them are well below $250. Including things like tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, speakers and so much more. Each of these will work well when you head back to school later this month or in September (depending on when school starts for you).

Top 10 Best Tech Under $250