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Cheap tech haul: $66 worth of cheap tech stuff

tech haul

Cheap tech haul – Bargain tech shopping

We hit a Family Dollar store to see what kind of tech stuff we could find for a buck or two… or 13. Well, mostly we went to a Family Dollar store to break up the two-hour drive from Charlottesville, VA to Dulles Airport but the point stands.

The original idea was for a $1 tech haul but in the end, we had to set our sights a little higher. We found headphones and chargers, smartphone camera helpers and even a decent HDTV-ready antenna. Here’s all the stuff we snagged, along with the total price of our tech haul at the end.

Five of the weirdest phones we’ve ever seen

Weirdest phones

We’ve seen some weird phones in our time. These ones take the cake though. Ebay, DealExtreme and AliExpress (to name but a few) offer a marketplace for just about anything you can imagine. It makes sense that these are the places where we found the weirdest phones we’ve ever seen.

You can activate just about any phone you like on Ting (check here for the specifics), including but not limited to phones that double as an electric razor, phones that are so tiny you probably can’t even dial, let alone text, on them and phones that finally let you live out your Bayside teen-inspired dreams.

Here’s a look at five of the weirdest phones we’ve found recently.

A Month with the Moto E4

Just a couple years ago, buying a budget phone meant sacrificing a big part of the smartphone experience. Whether it was a poor touchscreen, dated version of Android that couldn’t run the latest apps or the lack of a front-facing camera, manufacturers cut corners in order to keep the price tag low, which always left you longing for something more.

I’ll be honest – when I got my hands on the new Motorola Moto E4, I was expecting much of the same. While previous models of the Moto E have wowed us, they always sat at the top of the budget line, but never beyond that. The more I used the Moto E4, however, the more I realized there’s a much smaller difference between the Moto E4 and leading smartphones than ever before.

The Moto E4 is a true smartphone, offering the latest features like a fingerprint sensor, Google Assistant and water-repellent coating, along with important smartphone staples like long battery life, a capable camera and a 5-inch HD display.

My month with the Moto X Pure

That headline should probably read “slightly less than a month with the Moto X Pure” but that’s not what this series is called.

moto x pureMy month with the Moto X Pure Edition was cut tragically short when the phone met a tile floor and came out worse for the interaction. I didn’t think the sinking feeling when you pick up your phone after a tumble and see a haze of cracks on the screen could be any worse. Turns out, it can. Just try it with a phone that doesn’t actually belong to you.

Coming off an enjoyable month with the Moto E (2nd Gen), moving to the Moto X was quite an upgrade. A very noticeable speed boost, a much bigger and brighter screen… a generally smarter smartphone experience.

Perhaps the biggest leap forward was the camera which captured amazing, beautiful images. Great timing, given that my wife and I had our second child in the time I was testing the Moto X Pure.

The Moto X Pure is thing of beauty

Some among the tech press are calling the Moto X Pure the best Android smartphone experience you can have. After a month using the phone, I can certainly see why. I may not entirely agree (I think the title would belong to the Nexus 6P (which we’ll spend a month with soon) but it’s a close race to call and ultimately, it’s all a bit subjective.

What the Moto X Pure offers is a clean, unencumbered Android experience. Near the tail end of my testing, shortly before the phone’s tragic meeting with the tile floor, it got the update to Android 6.0, Marshmallow. I didn’t have enough time with the newly upgraded OS to determine if it solved the battery woes that had started to crop up in my time with the Moto X Pure.

Ting contest: Enter to win some back to school swag

back to school The Ting back to school contest

Follow Ting on Twitter and like us on Facebook. This month, we want to hear your best back to school tips and tricks.

For the next four Wednesdays, we’ll post a contest question on Facebook and Twitter. Comment or reply with your best answer and you could win a Moto G5 Plus.

One grand prize winner for best answer ever will take home a Ting back to school swag bag.

We’re picking our favorite answers. How can you be a Ting favorite? Tell a joke or a story. Share a useful tip or hack. We want to know how you’re gearing up for back to school.

When should a kid get their first smartphone?

What age do you think is appropriate for a first smartphone? Ting customers respond.

As a parent, it’s tough to decide when your child should get their first smartphone. You may want them to have the option to contact you in the case of an emergency (and vice versa), or prefer to wait until they’re old enough to pay for their own phone.

Whatever you decide, Ting is a great choice for families because each phone line costs just $6 a month plus texts, talk minutes and data shared across all devices under one account. Ting’s account tools give you complete control over your child’s phone. You can set limits and alerts on what they use so you’ll never be caught by surprise.

We decided to ask Ting customers what they think is a suitable age to give a child their first smartphone, and received some great responses. Take a look below!

If you’re ready to purchase a phone for your child, check out some of the best smartphones for kids.