Tech can be incredibly expensive, especially if you want the latest and greatest stuff. Flagship phones can run upwards of £1000 or more, while you can easily pay thousands of pounds for laptops, desktop PCs, and TVs. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. If you’re a savvy, smart shopper, you can identify and take advantage of some incredible bargains. All you need is to know where to look and how to spot a good piece of tech when you see one. All the items we’re about to list can almost certainly be bought even if you take out payday loans to buy them; that’s how cheap they are and how little they’ll impact your bank balance. Here are some of the best budget alternatives to high-end devices you’ll find on the market right now.
Best budget smartphone: Motorola Moto G50
Motorola has long been known for its excellent budget smartphone offerings, and that trend continues with the G50. Its performance is snappy thanks to the Snapdragon 480 at its core, while its huge 6.5-inch screen and impressive 48MP camera mean that it can easily compete with any other phone in its price range (and beat some that cost more!). You can have all of this for less than £200 if you know where to look, which is why the Moto G5 takes our award for the best budget smartphone. Motorola is likely to release a successor to this device in 2021, so keep a lookout for what this impressive company does next.
Best budget tablet: iPad 2021
The 2021 iPad model is powered by the A13 Bionic chip, making everyday tasks and gaming lightning-fast (no pun intended). It’s a great all-rounder tablet that does everything you’ll want it to, and while it’s nowhere near as powerful as the iPad Pro (which is largely intended for creative professionals), it’ll more than suffice for most users. Although there are alternatives to Apple’s ecosystem when it comes to tablets, the iPad is so vastly superior to other models that it’s just not worth bothering with anything other than Apple’s offering.
Best budget TV: Samsung UE43AU7100
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: TV naming conventions are awful. It’s almost impossible to discuss which is your favourite model with friends, because it’s difficult to remember what they’re all called. For our money, though, the UE43AU7100 is Samsung’s best budget TV, and therefore the best budget TV around. It has excellent colour reproduction, great gaming features, and surprisingly decent sound for the money. You can expect to pay around £379 for the 43-inch version of this beauty, with larger sizes naturally setting you back more.
Best budget headphones: SoundMAGIC E11C
The SoundMAGIC range is pretty incredible. It’s a budget headphone lineup that doesn’t sound noticeably worse than many high-end options. The E11C are no different; they’re a wired pair of headphones complete with an in-line remote costing just £49. Okay, so they’re wired, which means that many modern smartphones won’t be compatible with them, but if you’ve got a phone with a 3.5mm port, these headphones are a no-brainer. Even if your phone doesn’t have a 3.5mm port, you’ll find adapters easily available online, and they won’t cost you much either.
Best pre-built budget gaming PC: Xum i7 Gaming PC
It’s very difficult to get a high-spec gaming PC for a budget price, but this Xum i7 machine will more than suffice for everyday gaming. While it won’t trouble 1440p or 4K monitors, you should be able to get reasonable frame rates on games at 1080p, including some of the latest titles (although major triple-A releases might evade you at this price point). Still, if you’re playing games like Fortnite or League of Legends, then this budget gaming PC should be a great option for you. Just don’t expect it to run Icarus at max settings.
Best budget gaming console: Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series S is, quite frankly, an incredible proposition. Costing just £250 for the base console, Xbox Game Pass makes the Series S a serious contender. Every single major Xbox game being released right now will be compatible with both the Series S and the Series X, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on major titles like Halo Infinite. Xbox Game Pass is home to a wide range of excellent games you might have missed, and the Series S is also compatible with almost every Xbox game spanning back to the original console in 2001.
Best budget smart speaker: Amazon Echo Dot
If you haven’t joined the smart speaker revolution yet, then the Amazon Echo Dot is a great entry-level way to do just that. It’s a staggeringly cheap speaker; it retails for £49.99, but you’ll regularly find it on sale for about £30, which is a great deal. It has built-in Alexa support, which you can use to fill out shopping lists, play your favourite music or radio stations, and ask about the weather, along with lots of other things. When you’ve been using an Alexa speaker for a while, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it.
As you can see, it’s entirely possible to get some of the latest and greatest tech (like the upcoming smartphones for 2022) without breaking the bank. If you’re smart with your purchasing decisions, wait for sales, and don’t buy into hype, then you can pick up some incredible devices for very little indeed. What are your favourite budget tech options?