Ideal for those looking to update their gizmos and gadgets without breaking the bank. 

Things move fast in the tech world. By the time you get to the end of this article, several new Apple products will have been invented. 

Perhaps not quite that fast. Or, you’re just a slow reader. But anyway, trying to keep up with tech innovations can be a costly business, with everything from television sets to phones becoming obsolete in the mere blink of an eye or change of the channel. 

Driven by big tech firms wanting you to buy their highly addictive gear (drug euphemism intended), it seems like we’re being prompted constantly to upgrade. In fact, in recent times, Apple and Samsung have both been fined for deliberately slowing down old phones with software updates.  

This would be fine if buying new tech was cheap, but in reality, new tech seems to cost a lot more than it used too. Not just ‘seems’, in fact; flagship phones from Apple, Samsung and Huawei all saw an average price increase of 52% in three years. 

Fear not, there are ways to do things in a budget friendly way. If you’re looking for a way to get your hands on the latest technology in the most affordable way possible, then read on; here are 4 ways to upgrade your tech devices on the cheap, IDEAL for those looking to update their gizmos and gadgets without breaking the bank.

TRADE IN YOUR LAPTOP

There was a time when trading in your old device meant a pat on the back and a miserly £5 gift voucher. And off you went to spend it on pick’n’mix at Woolworths, or something. 

Well, perhaps it wasn’t quite so long ago, but luckily, things have now changed substantially, with shops and tech companies being financially incentivised to recycle old devices in exchange for major discounts on new hardware. Currys was one of the UK high street stores to recently run such a program and others such as Apple also have excellent trade-in deals up for grabs, allowing you to use your old laptop as part of the payment on a newer model. Result!

FREE DEVICES AS PART OF SIGN UP OFFERS 

If your phone or tablet really is so trashed that no shop will take it, or if you have lost it altogether, then another way to get your mitts on a new one on the cheap, or potential for free(!) is to look for sign-up deals for other products that include a gratis device. These days everyone from sports bookmakers to car manufacturers are willing to give away a handheld device in order to secure your custom. Indeed, sites like Spreadex are currently offering new signups a 10.2 inch iPad (some caveats do apply) as an incentive to get on board. For other simialr deals, keep your eye on sites like TechRadar, who often report on such offers.

UPDATES NOT UPGRADES

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your tech is to simply breathe some new life into it, by focusing on parts of it which are lagging, rather than investing big bucks in a whole new piece of hardware.

Upgrading the hard drive of your PlayStation or Xbox for your gaming room means that you can improve on loading times, without having to invest in a new device. Likewise, adding more storage can make everything run more smoothly on your smartphone. Hey, it might even mean you have more room for all the newfangled apps that are released each day – during August 2020, 111 thousand mobile apps were released through Google Play Store. Wow!

When it comes to turning an old TV into something new, here at IDEAL we’re huge fans of Google Chromecast. It can update an old smart TV into something more modern and thrusting, all via the simple insert of an HDMI. Similarly, the Amazon fire stick means you can turn a fairly antiquated TV smart. And who said you couldn’t teach an old dog new tricks?

These add ons allow you to harness the true potential of the tech you already own, meaning you can hold off spending big on upgraded equipment.

BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE 

OK, while this one isn’t technically about upgrading your devices, it is about upgrading your life with a more mindful approach to your consumerism. And really, that might be a better investment of your time and money than another night spent playing the latest version of FIFA frantically. 

Ask yourself – do you really need all the endless upgrades on last year’s devices? The tech industry has a huge problem with excess and we all need to watch our electronic waste; constant growth isn’t sustainable for your bank balance or the planet. If it ain’t broke, don’t update it, as they say. 

In the wise words of Oprah Winfrey ‘“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”.

We’re sure this applies to technology, too.