Take a Smart Pick

The festive season brings plenty of choice to explore gadgets that best meet your needs.

Take a Smart Pick
Take a Smart Pick
Sabari Saran - 26 October 2016

You know it is festive time the moment full page sale advertisements start appearing in newspapers. It is no more brightly lit shops that draw you to go and loosen your purse strings; you can do all of that through the tap of your phone or look up a website on your computer screen. Although celebration is one of the foremost reasons for consumer purchase during the festival season, marketers deploy newer means to lure customers and make them splurge. Nothing wrong with it at all, as long as you can control your spending and at the same time bargain a good deal.

The presence of several online stores has only meant that you get notifications on sale, deals and new launches a lot more frequently than needed. It also is a good time to look forward to getting hold of your favourite gadget that you have been eyeing for some time, even as e-tailers sweat it out to woo you. To gain from the auspiciousness of the occasion, several product manufacturers launch new products as well, which only means you ought to be very much clued in to pick not just the latest, but also figure out deals that would fit your budget, something that can be terribly impacted if not taken seriously.

Deal steal
The penchant for a deal among Indians has been well captured by e-tailers, who make the entry point to several products based on price band, brand and then detail the features. While it may be tempting to go for the least priced device and feel you have saved a lot, you need to evaluate features to get the best value for your money. With this aspect in mind, we set about arriving at six product categories based on the frequency of replacement of some products and the changing trends in some categories to stay relevant with times. For instance, if the satellite channels offer HD facilities, you will be able to feel its importance only on a HD ready TV set.
Since the intent was to list out the best budget gadgets for you, price automatically became the first filter to pick gadgets from a particular range. However, wherever we saw value in some, we have ignored the price tag and given you a value for money option that stands out from the rest for varied reasons. The next step was to look at the usual branded gadgets sans the value in them. But that does not mean that gadgets shortlisted in the following pages are only based on price, standard features and a few extra specs that tilts the scale to those that made the cut.
Although the impact of inflation in a not-so-firing economy is evident, consumers do cover their guard during festive times, which is well exploited by product manufacturers and sellers. While there were a plethora of gadgets to choose from and more often we were tempted to add more to the list, we have restricted ourselves to a limited list keeping in mind the bare essentials, plus additional valuable features to arrive at our list.
Our list of—best smartphones under Rs 9,000, best smartphones under Rs 15,000, laptops under Rs 30,000, TV under Rs 30,000, Bluetooth speakers under Rs 3,000 and headphones under Rs 3,000—is all you need to refer this festive season to give yourself that tech upgrade. So effectively well under Rs 1 lakh you could change the entire set of gadgets in your house. And, for those tempted with the Rs 80,000 priced iPhone 7, the choice is to pick that or pick the full range.

Tempting EMIs
Many e-commerce websites are now partnering with finance companies and offering easy and viable financing options. The likes of Flipkart have even started ‘nocost-EMI’ that enables you to buy products without any processing fee, zero down payment and zero interest. Flipkart has partnered with Bajaj Finserv and offers this service on select products like electronics, home appliances, and mobile phones. The likes of Amazon and Snapdeal have similar deals, which only increases the choice for you. Chances are some of the products we have featured may be priced lower than what we have mentioned, purely because of a deal being on offer.
For the ones who don’t want to avail this option, there is still the option of easy discounts; so it is a wise idea to compare the prices across different e-commerce websites before finally ordering. Most of them today even have decent cashback options on top of the discounts if you pay through a specific bank card or a mobile wallet, which automatically helps you save more. Then the cash discount is something that you can always haggle through, if you plan to visit a store.
A lot of effort has gone into handpicking the gadgets that we have featured by keeping a consumer’s interest above everything else. Our gadgets list will be valuable for you and not burn a hole in your pocket. Happy Shopping!

sabari@outlookindia.com

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