Phones, headphones, more gear that won’t break the bank


With the rising cost of living putting a strain on many families – not to mention the huge Fed rate hike (to curb inflation) that will likely affect your credit card and mortgage payments – Americans are looking for ways to save.

In fact, Google search indicates there’s been a huge spike in words like ‘cheap’ and affordable’ over the past few months, which peaked in June (so far), Colette Garcia confirmed. , Global Communications and Public Affairs, Search at Google, in an email to USA TODAY.

And with gas prices hitting a record high of $5/gallon (on average) across the country, it’s no surprise that Google also says there’s been an uptick in vehicle-related search queries. electrical (VE).

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Speaking of tech, those who still want to treat themselves or their loved ones – perhaps as a gift for dads and grads this month – don’t need to go broke on high-end products to live. a premium experience.

In other words, you might not hear much about cheap gadgets, but they do exist, and often, without too many compromises.

“As consumers feel the effects of fuel and food inflation, they are likely to seek bargains in discretionary tech purchases,” confirms Avi Greengart, president and principal analyst at Techsponential, a service provider. research and consulting services to technology companies and retailers. . “The good news is there are deals to be had, especially in TVs and smartphones.”

Below are five examples of “best bang for your buck” tech items.

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The only thing better than snagging a powerful smart speaker for $38 is when a smart bulb is included in the price.

That’s the case with the all-new Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), which comes with the Wi-Fi-enabled LIFX smart bulb.

Use your voice to summon Alexa, your personal assistant, to control your lights and other smart home gear (like Wi-Fi thermostats), stream music and podcasts, shop online, set alarms, or request phone calls. information such as weather, news and sports scores. (Although you can, you may not want to ask for stock prices until the market bounces back!).

Unlike other smart lights, this dimmable LIFX bulb does not require a bridge or hub.

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smart phone, smart price

Now available for $258 – a third or a quarter of some high-end phones on the market – the TCL Stylus 5G smartphone offers excellent value for money.

For just $258, the just-announced TCL Stylus 5G is a fraction of the cost of many high-end smartphones, but still manages to impress for its deep feature set.

The 6.8-inch Android phone features a 50-megapixel AI-Quad camera, a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, and up to 26 hours of talk time.

“TCL’s Stylus 5G features a 5G chipset from MediaTek, a large screen, and software features for note taking and drawing,” confirms Greengart. As the name suggests, the product also comes with a stylus.

“Are there trade-offs to reach this price point? Of course there is [as] it’s not a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, but the Stylus 5G offers plenty of productivity for $1,000 less.

Thanks for the memory

Easily transfer large files between laptops, smartphones and tablets with the pink-sized SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C (from $11) featuring a USB-A connector on one end and a USB connector -C to another.

Starting at just $11 (for 32 gigabytes), the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C is a small storage solution that lets you easily move files between your USB Type-C smartphone, tablets and Macs and your USB Type-A computers.

The swivel design lets you choose between the USB-A and USB-C connector.

With a capacity of up to 1 terabyte, the all-metal Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB can be easily attached to a keychain to keep it handy wherever you go this summer.

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File transfer is fast thanks to USB 3.1 Gen 1 performance with 150MB/s read speeds.

When connected to an Android phone, the free SanDisk Memory Zone app automatically backs up photos and videos, as well as music, documents and contacts.

(iPhone users, on the other hand, could buy the iXpand flash drive, starting at $16 for 32GB, which has a Lightning connector on one end.)

Sound advice

Great-sounding, comfortable wireless headphones don't have to be expensive.  The NexiGo Air T2 headphones are just $69 a pair and come in multiple colors.

Don’t want to spend $179 on AirPods or don’t like the look of the white stems sticking out of your ears? (Or maybe they just won’t stay in your ears, period?)

For music lovers on a budget, NexiGo’s Air T2 Headphones ($69) are an ultra-thin, lightweight, and truly wireless pair of headphones.

Available in black, silver, or rose gold, they offer a comfortable fit, surprisingly powerful sound (with 13mm drivers), and four built-in microphones for clearer voice calls.

Although they don’t have the powerful active noise cancellation (ANC) technology – instead they have CVC (“clear voice capture”) noise reduction related more to phone calls – you can’t not beat the price, especially considering the awesome design and sound.

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The battery lasts up to 7 hours per charge and up to 28 hours with the charging case.

The game too

Rather than paying $60 or more on every new video game, Xbox Game Pass is a $9.99/month subscription service that lets you play over 100 high-quality games on Xbox, Windows PC, or select Samsung Smart TVs (no console required).

“As supply chain limitations on computer chips slowly ease and crypto mining becomes less profitable, it should also be much easier to find gaming consoles and PC graphics cards at lower prices. regular retail prices,” says Greengart.

“However, for a real bargain, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass lets you play games on PC and even Samsung smart TVs – just add a controller.”

Rather than paying $60 or $70 for every new video game, Xbox Game Pass is a $9.99/month subscription service that lets you play over 100 high-quality games on Xbox, Windows PC, or select Samsung Smart TVs (no console required) or $14.99/month for an “Ultimate” plan (both platforms).

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