What the Tech: Cheap devices

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It’s back-to-school season and for many parents of younger children, and the pleas for a new smartphone have begun. Granted, there are good reasons why parents will want their kids to have a smartphone during the school year, but few want to spend hundreds of dollars on one that could be lost or damaged.

Fortunately, there are inexpensive smartphones that make good first devices for kids or anyone else who wants a very basic phone for very basic or simple tasks.

Alcatel released a new $99.99 smartphone, the Avalon V, earlier this year that may fit the bill for some of those consumers.

The Avalon V will never be confused for a Samsung, HTC or iOS device. It’s a little thicker than those phones and slightly heavier. It’s an Android phone and runs any apps from the Google Play store. The camera is an okay 5 megapixel which is good enough for photos on social media and the company says the battery lasts 24 hours.

It’s inexpensive and cheap. Who is it for? It’s probably okay for someone, like a young student, who’s asking for a first smartphone and who’s parents want to stay connected to them without spending a lot of money. It’s available only on the Verizon network.

The Onn tablet from Walmart is just $64 and has the feel of an Amazon Fire Tablet, but it runs on the Android operating system, meaning you can download apps from the Google Play Store. You’re not going to enjoy playing fast-paced games that require a fast processor, but if you’re mostly into Candy Crush and word games, the Onn tablet does just fine. It’s also good for reading. There’s a camera but it isn’t very good, actually it’s terrible compared to the cameras in other smartphones and tablets.

So who is this for? The Onn tablet is a fine option for someone who mostly plays simple games, checks Facebook and email and reads. For kids I’d still recommend an Amazon Fire Tablet for their parental controls.

You don’t have to break the bank for a phone or tablet. Together, you won’t spend more than $170.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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