Most people in the market for a new mobile phone nowadays are pushed toward high-end smartphones, but judging from what Which? members tell us, many of you are still simply after a cheap mobile phone on a pay-as-you go contract – i.e. a handset that can make calls, texts, and doesn’t need a manual to understand.
Below is a round-up of some of the best basic mobile phones available from around £10 to £40 on pay-as-you-go. One of the key things to look out for when buying a handset in this price-range is its ease of use and a clear, easy-to-read, screen.
Call quality and battery life are of course very important, but our lab tests usually find very little difference in these areas between handsets priced at the lowest end of the scale.
So turn your back on touchscreens, forgo 3G, and say hello to the best of basic.
For more information read the full range of our basic pay-as-you-go mobile phone reviews.
The best cheap PAYG mobile phones
Price range: £10-15
A super cheap and basic phone from Nokia, the 100 only has one big selling point and that is its battery life. With a decent sized battery and no fancy features to drain the power, the Nokia 100 should last more than a few days without charging. The 100 lacks a camera and music player but there is an FM radio to keep you entertained.
Find out how it performed in our Nokia 100 review.
The C1-01 is a cheap and basic mobile, but it does include a few features for its price including a camera and music player. Don’t expect to get professional pictures from it or it to perform as well as more expensive models, but it is a good simple model.
Read our Nokia C1-01 review to see how it performed in our labs.
Samsung Monte Slide
A fairly small, low resolution screen and lack of 3G betray the Monte Slide’s price, but you do still get other features such as a camera and a web browser – although its not an ideal mobile for surfing the web. As a basic mobile it should be easy to use and the battery life should be healthy.
Get our full lab results in our Samsung Monte Slide review.
Clamshell mobile phones have gone out of fashion in the last few years and they are becoming increasingly rare, but the LG A250 offers this form factor for an affordable price. A second screen means you can see new messages or missed calls without having to open the phone and as it is a quad-band mobile phone it will work abroad.
See how it performed in our lab tests in our LG A250 review.
Nokia Asha 201
A Qwerty keypad isn’t a common site on affordable pay-as-you-go handsets, but the Asha 201 offers a full keyboard to allow people to quickly type out text messages – although some might find the keys too small to use comfortably. A decent sized battery and familiar Nokia menu also come included.
Read our Nokia Asha 201 review for the full lowdown.