Trade-down tech trick | HT Tech

Trade-down tech trick

In the world of gizmo-happy customers who will queue up overnight outside Apple stores to buy the latest contraption for Digital Nirvana, it seems natural that people do all sorts of things to get their hands on the cool stuff. Gagandeep Sapra reports. Doing well, despite the generation gap

By: GAGANDEEP SAPRA
| Updated on: Jun 07 2013, 22:49 IST
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In the world of gizmo-happy customers who will queue up overnight outside Apple stores to buy the latest contraption for Digital Nirvana, it seems natural that people do all sorts of things to get their hands on the cool stuff.

But what if you do not have the budget, or you think you may be paying too much for stuff that may not appeal to you?

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Moore's Law, popular among electronic engineers, is good for smart buyers. Here's how.

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The law named after Intel's founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. It is commonly seen to be 18 months.

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In plain English, it means a new microchip twice as good arrives every two years to make the old one go obsolete. That should explain why there is a new iPhone every year or Samsung's Galaxy or a Nikon camera gets better.

For value-conscious buyers, this means some patience in avoiding the craze for the latest can give handsome returns You can call it the Generation Gap Advantage.

The good news about Apple phones is that the release of the latest iOS6 operating system run on both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S in the middle - meaning three generations. This has helped even wallet-conscious students have access to all the cool applications in a cheaper phone. With discounts going as high as 7,000, the older iPhone is a great bargain for many.

The iPhone4 has the same processing power as the 4S but slower than iPhone 5. The camera is 5 megapixels against the 8 in the 4S. What's missing is the voice command enabling Siri, but not everybody wants to use this - not when accent is still a problem.

In Samsung devices, a Galaxy Note 1 bought a month after the launch of Note 2 was cheaper by as much as 9,000. The camera was less sharp and the processor a little slower but it was by and large offering the same value.

But in driving such bargains, the frequently upgraded Android operating system can cause woes. Older versions are vulnerable to bugs, say tech experts.

In Blackberry devices, the Z10 is hot with its full touchscreen interface, but their older handsets are pretty cool too. But watch out, if you fancy the older ones. Some developers will stop writing apps for the older BB7 OS devices.

In tablets, you can still buy the iPad2 though the 4th generation version is in the stores. The difference in screen resolution or camera power may not mean much to many buyers.

But, in Android tablets, like in the phones you have to be careful in going for the older versions of the OS.

Even in televisions, you can buy smarter by going in for the cheaper ones. But a TV is not something you change but in five or ten years. So it might better to go for the latest ones.

In cameras, the latest ones have higher megapixel power and sharper sensors and better lenses in some cases. And discounts may not be higher on older versions. Look before you leap.

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First Published Date: 07 Jun, 21:19 IST
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