The smartphone market is cluttered with superb, high end, premium phones such as the Galaxy S3, the HTC 1, the Sony Xperia Z, the Google Nexus 4, and so on, and so on. One could be forgiven for thinking whether there is any place for PAYG budget options. There are plenty of people though that cannot afford the top-range phones or cannot get a contract. So, here is a very quick list of some of the best phones available on pay-as-you-go.
Blackberry Curve 9320
This phone comes in at around £100, it has a qwerty keyboard and is a typical candy bar Blackberry design with rounded edges. It is not the best handset in the world with a 3.2 megapixel camera, but it is solid, with a battery that can last a week with moderate usage, 3G connectivity, GPS, Wi-Fi, and so on.
The HTC Wildfire S
Again, this comes in at just under £100. The screen has a respectable pixel resolution of 320 X 480. It runs Android 2.3, and benefits from a 5 mega pixel camera, a decent processor, and is a good all-rounder for the price. It probably is not up to the HTC desire C, which is probably a better buy.
LG Optimus L3
This phone is cheaper at just under £70. It is the entry level LG in the L series. Certainly, the features available in the phone won’t take your breath away, but the appearance, quality of build, and the price might just. It has 3 megapixel camera which does okay, 3G, a micro SD card slot, all for under £80.
Nokia Asha 300
This phone is lightweight with the top social networks featuring heavily. It is great for text messages, and has both a numerical keypad and a touch screen. The processor is 1 Gigahertz, which is enough for the phone.
Nokia Lumia 610
This phone is a bit more at £130. It is the cheapest Windows handset and has fantastic build quality, a great battery life, and of course, runs Windows. Unfortunately, there is no micro SD slot, meaning, it is restricted to 8 Gigabytes of memory, which won’t be enough if you are media hungry. There are lots of features including maps, mixed radio, Nokia music, and so on. It is a cracking phone at a budget price.
Samsung Galaxy Ace
This phone comes at £120, just below the Lumia 610. It is certainly not the highest end of the Samsung market. It is very much a budget device. It is half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S2, the best of the budget phones. It comes with Android 2.2, which is decent although a bit outdated now. It has a reasonable camera, a reasonable design look, although uninspiring, and is a strong contender for the best cheap smartphone.
Sony Xperia U
At £150, this phone is stylish, chic, and pretty. It’s great for those looking for good looks on a budget. The 3.5 inch touch screen is decent, it has a good dual core 1 Gigahertz processor, runs Android 2.3, has a 5 megapixel camera, and is perfectly sufficient for someone looking for a decent all -rounder that looks good. Unfortunately, it only has 4 Gigabytes of storage, which is a real negative as it has no micro SD slot.
Orange San Francisco 2
This phone comes in at around £100, has a very crisp good quality display at 480 X 800 pixel density, has a 5 megapixel camera, a decent processor ,as well as a good battery life.
HTC desire C
This phone comes in at around £100 again. It comes with the Ice Cream Sandwich update of Android, and is excellent for music, incorporating Beats Audio for really good definition of sound. The HTC Sense 4.0 overlay on the Android platform is very good. It is a genuine smartphone and more than just for calls, offering plenty of functionality in terms of internet browsing and music.
Samsung Galaxy Europa
This phone is just £40. It is a well-built handset weighing only 102 grams and benefits from Wi-Fi, 3G, and GPS. As a real bonus, it has a micro SD slot for extra capacity. It is nicely attuned to working with Facebook and Twitter with them integrated well. It is a compact, decent Android device. Not high spec, but certainly a great basic phone for under £50.
This phone at £90 and has been one of the most popular in the cheap range. It has 3.1 megapixel camera, a 600 megahertz processor, and a micro SD slot. It is pebble shaped, sturdy and, overall, decent quality. Its downside is the relatively poor screen at 340 X 320 pixel resolution, but overall, a good popular phone.
So, there you have it… a low down on some of the best smartphones in the market in the budget range from between £40 to £150.