Are there hidden gems in Dollarama’s tech section? [Part 1]

Dollarama's tech section is full of low-quality gadgets, but some of them are functional and cost less than $5

Be it a fear of a looming recession or you’re just running low on cash and want to scratch that itch of getting a new gadget, Dollarama has a wide variety of tech products, ranging from wireless speakers, headphones, PC peripherals to wireless chargers, smart lights, power banks and more for under $5.

However, it’s important to remember that quantity never equates to quality, and while there are several tech products available at Dollarama, most of them are either going to offer bad build quality, sound flat, or not work at all, making you feel like you shouldn’t have shopped for tech at a dollar store. However, if you do a little bit of digging, you might be able to find a hidden gem or two.

I scoured my local Dollarama a week ago, and here’s what I found.

Tech1 wireless Bluetooth speaker

Tech1 is going to be a common occurrence in this article, as it supplies a bunch of tech products to Dollarama. Tech1’s Bluetooth speaker is one of the few products I can get behind, although it has some considerable limitations.

The speaker is available in Black and Blue colourways (from what I could find) and costs $4.75. The company highlights the speaker’s waterproofing, so I tested it in the shower.

It has a suction cup that lets it attach to almost any surface, and the speaker holds on well. I haven’t had an issue with the suction cup giving up and the speaker falling down (yet). The occasional water droplets landing on the speaker haven’t caused an issue, though I would be wary of submerging the speaker or letting it come in direct contact with a stream of water.

The Bluetooth range on the speaker isn’t significant, though it should be more than enough for most. I was able to go roughly two average-sized rooms away before the audio started distorting. It also comes with a microUSB cable to charge. The battery life on the speaker isn’t great, though; I was able to get just over an hour’s playtime on a full charge.

The speaker’s volume is loud, though the bass is non-existent and the vocals on it sound flat and lifeless. It’s great if you want background noise playing during shower sessions, or if you’re someone who likes to listen to podcasts in the shower. Either way, you can’t really go wrong with this $4.75 investment.

Tech1 gaming mouse

If you’re serious about PC gaming, you should not buy this mouse. Tech1 has given the mouse a complete gamer look with RGBs and a gamer-esque design, but this thing is far from what a gaming mouse actually is.

The mouse costs $4, so it not being wireless isn’t the biggest of my concerns.

The mouse features an optical sensor, though the way it tracks makes me feel like I’m using one of those old mice that had an egg-yolk-looking ball under it. There is a considerable delay between when I move the mouse and when it moves on the screen. I’d attribute that to an extremely low polling rate. The clicks on the mouse feel forced and have a noticeable delay that makes it almost impossible to play shooter games without getting triggered.

The scroll wheel also makes a ‘plasticky’ sound when clicked or scrolled, and I’m sure if the mouse had side buttons, those would sound abysmal, too.

Meanwhile, its size is similar to the Viper V2 Pro, so I didn’t have to adapt much to a different size. The RGBs are bright and the braided cable is decent and doesn’t interfere with the mouse moving.

Regardless of the few positives, I wouldn’t recommend that you pick up this mouse, even if you’re just starting your PC gaming journey.

Xtreme Lit Hexalite

Xtreme Lit’s Hexalites are one of the nicer finds at Dollarama. One pack contains one hexagon light and costs $4.50. I bought four packs and spent $18 on the lights in total.

The lights are battery-operated, with each one taking three AAA batteries (not included). They come with a hexagon metal sheet that has a 3M adhesive on the back. You simply attach the metal sheets on your wall in whatever pattern you want, and the lights magnetically attach to the sheets.

The lights have an on/off button on the rear and are touch-activated. The Hexalites offer seven colour options and are bright enough to be clearly visible even in a well-lit room, a great choice for someone looking to get in the hexa-light game without having to spend upwards of $200 on Nanoleaf or Phillips’ hexagon lights.

Tech1 wireless charging pad

I have no complaints about Tech1’s wireless charging pad. It charges all qi-enabled devices with 5W speeds, making it a great investment for overnight charging or for using it on your work desk.

It features a faint LED that glows red when it is laying dormant and blue when it is charging a device. It doesn’t come with an AC adapter, though it does have an attached USB-A end wire that you can plug into any owned adapters.

The pad charges my iPhone 12 Pro in roughly four hours, and is powerful enough to charge the phone without me having to remove its silicone case.

When sorted by low to high price on Amazon, wireless chargers start at roughly $8. Considering that Tech1’s 5w wireless charger costs just $4, and works as intended, I’d easily recommend it.

Tech1 webcam cover

There’s nothing much to see here. It’s just a $1.75 webcam cover from Dollarama that works as intended.

The pack comes with three webcam covers, each with a peel-off adhesive. The cover has a sliding mechanism that allows you to reveal or hide your laptop’s webcam.

The ‘sticky-ness’ on the covers is impressive, as it hasn’t fallen off or come loose after continuously fiddling with it.

If you’re paranoid about your privacy and would like to take the extra measure to cover your laptop’s webcam when not in use, $1.75 is pocket change for three webcam covers that are likely to last you a long time.

What didn’t work

Honestly, I expected more products to not work, but only two turned out to be duds: Electra’s Vortex Stereo Headphones and Stereo Earbuds.

I really wanted to try out the earbuds, considering they have a Skullcandy-ish look to them. The stereo headsets I wasn’t too excited about. I tried both products with an Android phone and on my PC, but they failed on both fronts.

That’s $4.25 lost on the headphones and $3 on the earbuds.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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