Google Nexus 7, Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 : Old gadgets that still rock, and now cost lesser

Monday, 6 January 2014 - 8:18pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

They were once hailed as the latest and greatest in their segments. And they cost a pretty penny too. They are older now. But still around. And much more affordable. Oh, and they still work a treat. Even as the world buzzes about CES 2014, we take a look at seven gadgets that may be long in the tooth but are not short on performance. And do not cost the earth any more.

Google Nexus 7 (2012 edition)
Launched at: Rs 19,999
Current Price: Rs 9500
An official Google device, with a quad core NVIDIA Tegra processor for under five figures? It has been a few weeks since the original Nexus 7 tablet went into the sub-Rs 10,000 territory and at that price, we honestly would say that it is the best value for money gadget out there. It still gets the latest Android updates (yes, it has got Android Kit Kat already, something which only a few of its high-end competitors have), runs every app in the Android app store (Google Play) brilliantly, and remains one of the smoothest performing Android tablets in tech town. Don’t get fooled by those plain Jane looks, within that exterior lurks Tarzan, albeit slightly advanced in years.

Sony PlayStation Vita
Launched at: Rs 19,990
Current Price: Rs 16,000
It was promoted as the next big thing in mobile gaming with twin cameras, a trackpad on the back, a superb AMOLED display, GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity, a touchscreen and button controls, and a whole lot more besides. A stiff launch price and limited (and expensive) game titles meant that it never really fulfilled its potential, but today, with its price tag lowered by almost a fifth, a much bigger games library (some of which are free) and improved bandwidth which lets people download titles directly on to the device, the PS Vita is suddenly a very good option for the hardcore mobile gaming crowd. Oh yes, it can also double up as a browsing device (that touchscreen is very good) and it works in sync with the PS4 as well.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Launched at: Rs 39,990
Current price: Rs 30,500
When it was launched, its price tag made many people blanch in horror (“Almost as much as an iPhone” the call went out). Well, the passage of time might have taken the edge off the price of the second Galaxy Note, but it has not dented its performance one bit. We have lost count of the people who actually claim that it was a better device than even the new Note 3 (we will not comment on that, though). The 5.5 inch Super AMOLED display looks as awesome as ever, the 8.0-megapixel camera takes very good pictures, and most important of all, the S-Pen stylus works with surprisingly silky smoothness. All that at a price that is about sixty per cent of the latest version of the Note? You know, we think that makes it perhaps the best value for money phablet in tech town for stylus lovers!

Nokia Lumia 920
Launched at: Rs 38,199
Current  Price: Rs 25,000
It was launched as the great Android and iPhone rival, and the first phone that actually took pictures of things you could not yourself see in the dark. While it delivered on the second front, it did not exactly rattle the mobile cages of Apple and Google. That said, it remains a formidable performer to this day, with some of the best low-light photography you will see on any phone, combined with buttery smooth Windows Phone 8 (improved courtesy an update) on a very good 4.5 inch display, topped off by 32 GB of onboard storage and wireless charging. And yes, those who called it bulky when it launched will find it more comfortable to use now, thanks to the advent of hefty devices like the Sony Xperia Ultra and the HTC One Max.

Sony PlayStation 3
Launched at: Rs 39,990
Current Price: Rs 22,990
Yes, all the buzz currently is about the PlayStation 4, but its predecessor is far from being out of the console wars just yet. In fact, seen on paper, the PS3 is a formidable deal now, with more (and better) titles than the PS4 at the time of writing. Yes, the PS4 will ultimately catch up and indeed pull away at some stage, but as of now, no major game developer can afford to miss out on millions of PS3 users. PS3 games still look awesome (especially if you have a good display), and yes, the console also can be used as a Blu-Ray player. One of Sony’s biggest challenges indeed will be to try and convince people that the PS4 is a better deal than the PS3. Shades of what happened when the PS3 was launched and the PS2 got a price cut.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9
Launched at: Rs 21,999
Current Price: Rs 17,999
One of the biggest rivals to the iPad in the US, the Kindle Fire HD’s price cut makes it perhaps the best value for money large screen (anything larger than 7 inches) tablet in the Indian market. The 8.9 inch display is a full HD affair with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, and a pixel density of 254 ppi, which is actually very close to the 264 ppi seen on the new iPad Air. But perhaps what makes the Kindle Fire HD stand out from the crowd of Android tablets is its interface, which has been totally reworked by Amazon and the fact that its app store is much more controlled than Google’s, reducing the chances of malware and risque content getting on to your devices. It still looks smart, delivers great sound through its twin speakers, and boasts very decent specs. Not as good as the new Kindle Fire HD, we know, but not an old has-been by any standards either.

Canon  EOS 1100D

Launched at: Rs 29,990
Current Price: Rs 24,065
We know that the cameraphone revolution is increasingly sidelining point and shoot cameras, but the DSLR category continues to do well, thanks in no small measure to a series of price cuts that have made them more affordable. And if you are someone who is just starting out in DSLR territory, Canon’s EOS 1100D is a terrific deal. Some might scoff at its 12.2 megapixel sensor in these days of megapixel madness, but take our word for it, it takes fantastic pictures, aided by the 9-point autofocus system, and the Digic 4 image processor, which ensures that the camera performs smoothly. Yes, you could get a DSLR with a higher megapixel count and support for recording full HD video (the 1100D does only 720p) for a bit more, but any photographer will tell you that the additional money would be better spent on just slapping a better lens on to this one. Because it certainly is not a skeleton of the past. Not by any measure.

(Note: the current prices are based on an approximation of the prices at various online and offline retailers. Actual prices might vary a bit)

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