Here Are Some Of The Best Value For Money Tech For Budget-Conscious Singaporeans In 2018
Being on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to go for the cheapest price tag; it can mean going for something that delivers great value at an affordable cost.
We surveyed the latest gadgets to hit the market to shortlist a few smartphones, laptops and tablets that give you the most bang for your buck:
The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 has just dropped on Mi Store Lazada on 30 August.
With a Snapdragon 845 and 6GB of RAM, it offers unmatched performance for its price point. To compare, the OnePlus 6 offers the same processor, but at almost double the price (S$838). As such, the Pocophone F1 handles graphically intense games and multitasking with ease.
Its large, 6.18-inch 2,246 x 1,080 screen is bright and crisp, and offers wide viewing angles. However, its IPS LCD panel isn’t as vivid as the AMOLED screens that come with more expensive phones like the OnePlus 6 or Samsung Galaxy S9.
The Pocophone F1’s dual camera setup takes decent pictures for its price point but lacks Optical Image Stabilisation and takes less-than-stellar shots in low light conditions.
The design of the Pocophone F1 is also where its affordability shows: instead of a more premium metal or glass finish, it comes in a plastic polycarbonate chassis. It’s slightly thicker and heavier than other phones in its price point, but that’s due to its large 4000mAh battery, which should be more than good enough to last you the day.
If you’re willing to shell out more for a flagship experience, but still unwilling to pay flagship prices, consider the OnePlus 6.
With a Snapdragon 845 and 8GB of RAM, it offers comparable performance to the much cheaper Xiaomi Pocophone F1, but excels in other areas: to start with, its all-glass body is similar to much more expensive phones like the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9.
The OnePlus 6 also has a 6.28-inch, 2280 x 1080 AMOLED display, which produces more vivid colours than the Pocophone F1.
Its dual camera setup also comes with Optical Image Stabilization. The OnePlus 6’s camera quality is good for its price range and does better than the Pocophone F1, but it still can’t compete with those of flagship phones.
You’ll get a decent 3,300mAh battery with the OnePlus 6, although this is considerably smaller than the Pocophone F1’s battery.
If you’re looking for a no-frills laptop that nonetheless gets the job done, the Acer Aspire E15 delivers excellent value for its price.
It features a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display with excellent viewing angles, especially for its price point. With an Intel Core i5-8250U processor and 8GB RAM, general office or school tasks should be a breeze.
At 2.2kg, the Aspire E15 is no ultraportable, but it’s light enough to carry around without too much hassle. PCMag and CNET reported a long battery life of up to 12 hours – however, these were for the SSD variants of the laptop, which aren’t available in Singapore.
Its MX150 graphics chip won’t run graphically intense games at the Aspire E15’s native resolution, but less demanding games can run at medium or high settings. Overwatch is playable at high settings, while Fortnite is playable at medium settings.
For gamers on a budget, the Dell Inspiron 15 7577 is a worthy contender. It packs an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. It also sports a full HD 15.6-inch screen, although reviewers lament that its display is rather dim.
The variant currently offered by Dell Singapore comes with a GeForce 1050 Ti. While it certainly isn’t a top-of-the-line graphics card, it can nevertheless run some graphically demanding games like Far Cry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins on high settings at the laptop’s native 1920 x 1080 resolution.
As with many gaming laptops in the market, the Inspiron 15 7577 comes in a black and red colour scheme. However, its relatively subtle design allows it to come off as classy, rather than garish.
Alternatively, if you can afford to fork out an additional couple of hundred dollars, the Acer Predator Helios 300 punches above its weight class when it comes to gaming laptops.
The variant offered by Acer Singapore has an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 also packs a GTX 1060, which is a bit of a luxury at this price point. You should be able to blaze through most current releases at high settings.
However, if you’re looking for something to blend in an office environment, the Acer Predator Helios 300 may not be it – it’s sharp and angular with rather loud red accents.
Nevertheless, you’d be hard-pressed to find another machine that offers comparable gaming performance for the same price.
If you want an inexpensive tablet for casual media consumption, consider the Amazon Fire HD 8.
The Fire HD has a modest 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, making it decent at basic web-browsing, media streaming and playing graphically undemanding games.
While its 8-inch, 1280 x 800 screen can’t compete with those of high-end tablets, it probably won’t bother you if you’re not stepping down from higher-resolution screens.
One minor drawback of the Fire HD is that Google apps aren’t available on the Amazon Appstore. This means that if you rely on productivity tools like Gmail, Google Calendar or Google Drive, you may not be able to synchronize your files or settings, unless you manually install Google Play.
All in all, the Fire HD offers good value for its price. However, if you’re not in dire need of a new tablet, you may want to hold out a bit longer, as some speculate that a newer model of the tablet may be on its way.
If you’re looking for a bump in specs from the Amazon Fire HD 8 without having to pay premium prices, consider the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus.
The S$349 model is powered by a Snapdragon 625 chipset and 3GB of RAM, which means that web browsing and media streaming will be a breeze. It can manage undemanding games like Candy Crush, but more graphically intense games will stutter.
For a budget tablet, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus packs a solid display. Its 8-inch, 1,200 x 1,920 display is sharp and offers excellent viewing angles.
The Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus is available in two models. The cheaper S$349 model has 3GB of RAM and 16GB storage space, while the S$449 model has 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage space.
Save even more on your tech purchases
Alternatively, scouting for deals at tech fairs could yield big savings. With COMEX 2018 just around the corner (6 – 9 September, Suntec Singapore), this could be the perfect opportunity for you to pick up that gadget you have been eyeing at a discount.