Cheapest tablets and smartphones

front cover of PC AdvisorIs there really any need to shell out a load of dosh on an Apple tablet or smartphone? They’re deliciously good-looking, but let’s get real. If you’re in money-saving mode it’s a stretch to pay that much just for something pretty that people sitting next to you on the bus or in the office might envy.

In a way Apple stuff represents the very worst of the consumer culture we’re welded to. Just because someone makes something pretty and advertises it as cool, we flock to buy it. It’s idiotic when you think about it. At the end of the day you can do all the stuff you can do on an Apple gadget with any other gadget but without the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’.

What are the cheapest tablets in town?

So which are the best value smartphones and tablets? I found some excellent information to help you make a sensible decision that won’t break the bank. Here’s what PC Advisor article says about it:

The first thing that you need to get your head around is that for less than £250 you’re not going to get a tablet that is going to compete with the iPad 4 in terms of specs and performance.

You should still be looking to buy a budget tablet with the best specs on offer. The key areas you should be concentrating on are: storage, screen size, pixel density, processor power, battery life, and size and weight. With regards to all of these hardware categories – excluding tablet dimensions – bigger is always better. For example, a dual-core processor is likely to be better than a single-core processor and a screen with 323 pixels per inch will look much better than a screen with 132 pixels per inch, as a rule

The last thing that you should know is that pretty much every budget tablet around today comes with Google’s Android operating system. This isn’t a bad thing though, as it’s very easy to use and is improving all the time. What this also means is that you are locked into the Google Play app store, but once again, in our expert opinion this isn’t a bad thing either. The Google Play store has an extensive amount of apps, movies, books, magazines and songs available to download. Just make sure that you have a recent version of Android, and that your tablet offers access to the Google Play store. Not all do.

Here’s a link to PC Advisor’s article about the 10 best budget tablets of 2013/14. If you really don’t make an egotistical investment in your technology you could go for the cheapest tablet on earth, at £30 or so, described here by The Guardian

What are the cheapest smartphones?

What about your smartphone? Are you happy yo pay an ego-led price or do you just want something that does exactly what it says on the tin?

3G have written a great article about the best cheap smartphones for under £100. They’ve picked out the top 6 smartphones priced at less than £100, looking at SIM-Free and Pay As You Go, and all listed as available in Britain. They’ll also be updating their article throughout 2014 as things change, so it’s an ‘evergreen’ resource.

Tesco also has a bunch of great offers on low cost smartphones, listing reliable brands like Virgin Media and Orange phones from as little as £40. That’s more like it!