Tech Insider: The best technology for a tight budget
Gone are the days where we had to spend huge money to be tech savvy. It is possible to have all the gadgets needed, and then some, without breaking the bank.
First up, the phone. In the last few months we've looked at some of the best budget devices on the market. One of the top phones for less than €100 is the Lumia 630. This small handset runs Windows Phone 8.1 and allows the user to zip through browsing, email and apps without any struggle. The 630 has a fast quad core processor and a 5MP camera which will look great on the large 4.5" screen.
Next up, ensuring the phone - after purchase - doesn't cost you a fortune each month in bills. The app KillBiller is free on Android and calculates the phone owner's usage and then scans through all mobile networks, finding the best value plan on offer.
Many networks offer great deals on 30-day rolling contracts, bringing the monthly cost right down. The only catch with this is the phone tends to cost more.
A tablet is more of a "want" than a "need" but it's now possible to get one at an affordable price, fulfilling the want. If it's a budget of less than €100 you're looking at, the Prestigio MultiPad range comes in under that, as well as the Lava 7" Wifi. Both run Android Jellybean.
One of my personal favourite tech items of the year is the Google Chromecast. While they've been around for some time, they only became available in stores here a few months ago. Chromecast is a device which can turn a TV into an entertainment hub, without having to purchase a SmartTV! Plugging into the HDMI port of the TV, Chromecast connects to mobile devices via WiFi. This means content on Netflix and YouTube can be watched on the big screen.
The Chromecast is available in stores now for less than €40.
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Wearable tech is all the rage at the moment. We saw Apple unveil their new iWatch, but it'll cost an arm and a leg. For those looking to enter the wearable market, check out the Sony SmartBand which pairs up with most Android devices.
While it isn't a watch, this band can monitor steps, phone usage and sleep. The data provided is certainly eye-opening, as it graphs how often the owner uses social media, calls and texts. It is made of extremely light material, and is comfortable to wear.
Available now for just €49.99 on CarphoneWarehouse.ie.