The best budget phones [Updated]
Smartphones are all the rage but the top models can come with an eye watering price tag. So here’s our round-up of the best smartphones that you can buy for less than £150.
What is a budget smartphone?
Budget smartphones can connect to the internet, run apps and perform the basic feature phone tasks such as playing media and taking photos. You can now pick up a decent model for around £150, or free on a contract for under £15 a month (with a free handset).
Thanks to this wallet-friendly price tag there’s plenty of competition in the budget phones market, so cast your eyes below for our guide to the best cheap phones worth owning.
For more information read our guide to choosing the best smartphone.
The best cheap smartphones
Nokia Lumia 610
This is the cheapest Windows Phone (WP) that we’ve seen. While the WP operating system might not be as well known as Android or iOS, it’s easy to use with large tiles that display live information, such as incoming messages.
The 3.7-inch screen is a reasonable size for the price (around £100) and though its resolution can’t match that of premium phones, videos and webpages still look sharp.
It doesn’t have the same choice of apps as Android or iPhone and you can’t upgrade the OS to the newer WP8.
For more information read our Nokia Lumia 610 review.
Sony Xperia U
This Sony smartphone costs around £120 on a pay as you go deal. It runs the Android operating system (version 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich) so you get Google Maps, multiple homescreens and downloadable apps.
The 3.5-inch touchscreen is crisp and there’s a decent 5Mp camera.
The Xperia U has a 4GB internal memory but there’s no card slot – once you’ve filled it with your favourite app and photos you’ll be stuck.
For more information read our Sony Xperia U review.
Sony Xperia Tipo
The Tipo is the cheapest smartphone in Sony’s Xperia range, costing around £80 . It’s also the smallest, weighing less than 100g, and has a pebble-like shape so it sits nicely in your hand.
It’s another Android 4.0 phone (impressive for such a cheap model) and so comes with all the usual Android features.
The Tipo has a compact 3.2-inch touchscreen but Sony doesn’t supply headphones with it so if you want to listen to the music player or FM radio you’ll need your own set.
For more information read our Sony Xperia Tipo review.
LG Optimus L3
One of the cheapest smartphones around, the L3 offers the Android Gingerbread operating system for a bargain basement price of just £45.
However LG have had to make some compromises to make such a cheap smartphone – the small 3.2-inch screen and basic features mean it can’t compete with more expensive models. And like the Sony Xperia Tipo, it doesn’t even come with a set of headphones.
Find out how it performed in our LG Optimus L3 review
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