Tech On A Budget – The Beginner’s Guide
If you’re a technology follower, you’ll know that it can feel like tech is getting more and more prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately, given innovations in both form and function, it’s not likely that tech is going to get cheaper anytime soon, especially not if you’re looking to purchase seriously high-end equipment. With that said, just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you need to compromise in terms of living a fully technologically enhanced life. Here’s our beginner’s guide to how to get the best tech possible without breaking the bank.
A word about money
Although everything on our list will be reasonably budget-friendly, you will need a little cash spare if you’re going to buy tech for yourself. With that in mind, you might want to think about ways to acquire quick cash injections. If you’re struggling with credit – as many people are – then you may wish to seek out reputable, dependable bad credit personal loans in order to finance your new tech acquisition. Remember not to do this if you don’t reliably have the means to pay them back, however, as this could be more detrimental to your finances in the long run. Let’s begin!
Happily, smartphones are one area where it’s entirely possible to buy high-quality technology without spending a fortune. The best budget smartphones aren’t necessarily going to compete with the high rollers in terms of performance. Still, options from Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola mean you’re always going to be able to get a phone that’s at least capable of performing day-to-day tasks like surfing the web, answering emails, and watching YouTube videos without paying more than around £150. For our money, the best budget smartphone available is the Nokia 1.3, which can be had for around £100.
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The tablet space is one in which many manufacturers are very budget-conscious. For a long time, tablets have been aimed at families with kids; after all, children may wish to use tablets to watch streamed content or play games. Again, like smartphones, there are a whole host of low-budget tablet options on the market. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is an absolute steal at around £110; it’s not particularly speedy, but for watching content, playing games, and reading Kindle books, it’s perfectly fine. Amazon have been cornering the market in budget tablet options for some time now, and there aren’t any other options around that price point that compete in quality terms.
Unfortunately, the nature of gaming as a hobby means you’re going to struggle to get a super high-quality gaming machine for under £200. PC gamers know the pain of paying through the nose for components, but it’s entirely possible to construct an affordable gaming PC as long as you’re somewhat willing to compromise on graphical fidelity. Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series X are currently sold out pretty much everywhere, but the Nintendo Switch Lite offers a superb gaming experience for only around £200, which is solid in our books.
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Happily, 4K is now pretty much the display standard across all TVs, so even if you’re paying budget prices, you’re likely to be able to watch 4K content. Obviously, the larger you go, the more you’ll be paying, so if your viewing space can stretch to a 40” TV or lower, you’re going to find much, much more agreeable prices. That said, if you’ve got around £500-£600 to spare (which might sound like an astronomical amount of money to some, we understand), then you can often get a 50” TV or even larger for that level of spending. Samsung, LG, and Philips all offer fantastic options at this price range.
If budget is your primary concern when it comes to sound systems, then we’d strongly recommend opting for a soundbar over a conventional surround system. The cheapest soundbars can be had for an absolute steal at around £40-£50, and although they’re never going to compete with more pricey systems or dedicated home theatre setups for sound quality, they’ll more than suffice if you’re simply looking to enhance the often tinny sound of a TV. If it’s not your TV you’ll be using as your primary entertainment source, then you may even be happier with a Bluetooth speaker or a good set of PC speakers. These can also be used with a TV if they have a 3.5mm jack.
Do you do a lot of travelling or commuting? Maybe you just want something to accompany you on your regular walks? Whatever your reason may be, it’s important to have a good set of headphones. Happily, once again, there are many companies offering good-quality headphones that won’t break the bank on any budget. Many of these options have Bluetooth capabilities, too, so you can ditch those pesky wires. AKG, Skullcandy, and Sony all have great low-budget options, and if you’re spending more than around £50, you can also expect to get aptX Bluetooth sound, which enhances audio quality and connectivity.
This has been our guide on how to buy low-budget tech if you find yourself in something of a financial foxhole. As you can see, you don’t need to be left high and dry just because you don’t have the money to blow on an LG 8K display. What have been your favourite low-budget tech options? Why not let us know?