With IFA 2015 literally just hours away, and an avalanche of exciting new mobile gadgets on the verge of taking over the already crowded and competitive Android landscape, you’re probably inclined to wait at least a few more days before committing to a tech purchase of any nature.
The fault with that “philosophy” is the world doesn’t revolve around what will happen in Berlin, Germany in the next 96 hours or so, as the start of the school year is also nigh, and electronics retailers want to make your transition from summer, holiday and relaxation to work, homework and stress as smooth as possible.
Enter a boatload of last-minute back-to-school deals, as well as pre-IFA promotions with devices due for upgrades in the spotlight:
This week’s best smartphone buys
The non-edgy Galaxy S flagship is less than six months old, yet it already feels outdated compared to not one, not two, but three other members of the high-end family. Hence, it’s no surprise it’s just hit a new all-time low price over on Amazon, which is roughly $175 off its original no-contract MSRP.
Granted, $525 is still not exactly what we’d call cheap, but let’s not forget such a tag seemed unattainable for “hero” Androids a year or two back.
Why in the world would a sane person grab this “underwhelming” flagship spin-off mere hours in advance of Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium’s formal announcements? And why would anyone prefer it over the GS6?
It’s simple – it’s really not that bad for the money, with water and dust resistance in tow, a classic, time-honored design, robust Snapdragon 810 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 20.7 MP rear camera, 5 MP selfie shooter, 32 GB internal storage space and microSD support.
Look, we’re not going to lie to you and claim you’ll get great bang from the OG Moto E, but you don’t have to spend a lot of bucks either. It is what it is, namely a humble 4.3 incher with dual-core Snapdragon 200 punch, sub-2,000 mAh battery juice, Android 5.1 Lollipop goodies on the way, and available for 7 percent (!!!) of Galaxy S6’s unlocked price. In other words, you could buy one S6, or 13 (!!!) Moto Es.
A genuine trend-setter, the first metal-framed Samsung phone in history probably nears extinction, but deserves to go out with a bang, running Android 5.0 on the software side of things, and standing out in the hardware department thanks to a fast and furious Snapdragon 801 CPU and 2GB RAM.
It also accommodates 32 gigs of data locally, which is something considering the discounted tariff, and measures 6.7 mm in depth while tipping the scales at an impressively slender 115 grams.
It’s archaic, having been released in May 2014, stuck on KitKat, low-res (960 x 540 pixels), and plasticky as all hell. But it’s inexpensive as well, plus lightweight, quad-core-powered (Snapdragon 400), equipped with a respectable 8 MP rear cam, and front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers.
In what world is a $700+ smartphone a good deal in 2015, when affordable gear controls the free market? In a world where the newest top-tier S Pen phablet can’t be scored for less sans contractual obligations, with the freedom of network choice.
Of course, you could always wait… months and months, and see the tag reduced to, say, $660, maybe $680. But where’s the fun in caution?
Tablet deals and steals
Last week, we gave our vote of confidence to the $99 Tab 2 A8. Now, the 7 incher is more than 20 bucks cheaper, and while it’s clearly no powerhouse, it provides quad-core processing speed and 8-hour battery life at a fifth of the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0’s valuation.
First we criticize this bad boy’s price, and then we deem it a “steal?” Well, yeah, because its 8.4-inch predecessor is ridiculously available for $400 also with half the storage space, a slightly laggier chip, thicker profile, extra bulk and an overall less attractive design. Granted, last year’s diminutive Tab S edition still offers an unrivaled display ppi and superior endurance. Then again, which generation you think will get Marshmallow first?
It’s not the world’s cheapest 7-inch slate, but it’s surely in the top three when it comes to sub-$100 bang for buck, with Tegra 4 power, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB flash memory, 7 hours+ autonomy, stylus capabilities, and 5 MP main photographic unit.
Best Android-compatible wearable deals for the week
We know we’ve been nagging you for months to score the original Moto 360 before it’s too late, but now, it’s serious. This may very well be your last chance. And you’re getting the lowest ever price. Besides, the sequel doesn’t look much handsomer, seems to retain the controversial “flat tire”, and likely only improves the internals incrementally.
We’re uncertain if “Nemo” is a thing, and if it’s headed to IFA, but with the $1,200 gold-plated Watch Urbane Luxe already out, we’re sure you can appreciate the rapidly dropping sub-$300 bill of the “standard” Watch Urbane. Standard yet decidedly premium, with first-class build materials, a full circle 1.3-inch P-OLED display and, before long, iPhone compatibility in addition to universal Android handheld support.
Seeing as how the Huawei Watch is shaping up to be quite the extravagant “investment” for most down-to-earth early wearable adopters, this looks like perfect timing to bring the much more minimalistic TalkBand B2 back in the limelight.
By no means a fancy device, the activity tracker adequately does what you’ve come to expect from such gizmos, and it doubles as a Bluetooth headset. Ingenious!
Speaking of not-very-fancy wearables benefiting from the rollout of their more advanced cousins, the Nabu X trades the revamped Nabu’s touchscreen for a rudimentary 3-color LED notification system, but promises to keep you fit and informed of what’s happening in your pocket nonetheless. It also lasts up to a week of typical use between charges, or a whopping month in standby.
Mobile accessories promotions
Words are really useless as far as this item is concerned. You all know what it does, you all know Tech Armor, and you know 6 bucks is a bargain.
Billed as “refined, functional, and practical”, and letting your phone’s “natural beauty shine unhindered”, this protective cover may feel a little overpriced, but vows to shield your precious new phone from the most “serious” falls, as well as mundane drops and contacts with hard surfaces. Plus, it’s much better-looking and slimmer than your typical bulky, rugged handheld container.
Compatible with Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but also other Qi-capable devices from a number of manufacturers, this charger eliminates the fuss of cables at a phenomenally low price. That’s all it does, that’s all it needs to do.
Let’s say you’re on the road, and both the spanking new Galaxy Note 5 and Tab S2 wither in front of your very eyes. This portable external charger can juice them up simultaneously from 0 to 100. And you’ll still have at least 5,000 mAh capacity left in the tank for a third, or even third and fourth gadget.