The cellphone is more than 30-years-old and placed its first call way back in 1983. Mobile phones are such an afterthought in today’s culture that it’s easy to forget how much they cost just a few decades ago. At nearly $4,000 (adjusted for inflation), only the wealthiest wall street millionaires and big business tycoons bothered owning them in the 1980s. But today, even those considered in the lower class own iPhones and Android smartphones.
This year has been incredible for technology, gadgets and the working class. Products that would have cost a fortune decades ago are now made more affordable by innovation and more efficient production. If you have a big appetite for tech with a slim wallet, these are the gadgets you won’t believe are affordable in 2016.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Samsung Galaxy isn’t the first affordable smartphone on the market. Since the second-generation iPhone in 2008, manufacturers have been working with cell carriers to make phones affordable through subsidization and payment plans. But the Galaxy S7 is another beast entirely. Its camera, display, speed and style is unlike anything even Apple has ever produced. And when you hold it, it feels like something from the future. But like any other top-tier smartphone available, Samsung makes this completely affordable.
Price: $0 upfront with T-Mobile, followed by monthly payments
GoPro Hero4 Black
A camera this good should cost more than $1,000, but the product of choice by extreme athletes all over the world is yours for $500. The GoPro is a staple of adventure videography and the Hero4 black captures stunning photos, sharp slow-motion video and 4K resolution. It’s tough, durable and waterproof with the right accessories. This is the camera you want for every adventure.
Price: $499, doesn’t include accessories like a selfie stick
Ultra-slim laptop computers always have a “but” attached to them. It’s great but the screen resolution is low. It’s great but the battery life is short. It’s great but the storage options are slim. It’s great but there’s no speed.
The new MacBook takes the “but” out of the equation. This ultra-slim, ultra-portable laptop boasts a retina display (same as the iPhone), up to 512GB of flash storage, an impressive battery life and an efficient Intel processor to get everything done. And, of course, it features the same aluminum casing you know and love from Apple laptops.
The thermostat is sort of like a calculator — it has been the same forever and it doesn’t seem like it could possibly get better. Turn the knob down when you want it cold and turn it up when you want it hot. Simple, right? But what about the hours you spend away from home at work? What if you just finished up at the gym and want the house to be a few degrees cooler by the time you get home?
The Nest thermostat connects to your home’s Wi-Fi and communicates with an app on your smartphone, so you can change the temperature away from the unit. It also learns your comings and goings so it can create a schedule to use less energy while you’re away and help save money on the electric bill.