Top five phones from £150 - £300

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini

Small in stature, big on features, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is the ultimate pocket-friendly smartphone. With its infant-like dimensions and array of coloured back covers, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini has an innovation in terms of look and feel. However, with a five-megapixel camera, A-GPS, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, it's not just its snug design that oozes appeal. Our one gripe comes with the fact that it only runs on Android 2.1, with no update in the pipeline. Available for £150 from selected retailers, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini makes for one of the most competitive smartphone offerings out there.
PRICE: £150 (RRP)


Size: 83x50x16mm
Weight: 88g
Internet: Wi-Fi, HSDPA
OS: Android 2.1
Camera: Five-megapixels
Talktime: 210 minutes
Standby: 360 hours

Motorola Defy

Proving that even the most equipped smartphones are no pushovers, Motorola has added a vehement of steel to the Defy's armourery. The plastic casing helps give this tough Android phone shock, dust and water resistance without losing too many points in the looks department.  Ok so the Motorola Defy may not be in the same class as other hard nuts such as toughphone specialists Sonim's offerings, but at the same token, Sonim can't compete with the Defy's feature set. The screen is an impressive 3.7-inches, while the five-megapixel camera complete with LED flash blows any previous toughphone's snapping credentials out of the water. There's also Wi-Fi, GPS, a 1GHz processor and let us not forget the piece de resistance, the Motorola Defy totes Android 2.1. Who said smartphones can't be tough?
PRICE: £279.99 from Amazon


Size: 107x59x13.4mm
Weight: 118g
Internet: Wi-Fi, HSDPA
OS: Android 2.1
Camera: Five megapixels with LED flash
Talktime: 408 minutes
Standby: 238 hours


HTC Wildfire

If social networking is your thing and you're shopping on a reasonable budget then you can't go far wrong with the HTC Wildfire. With HTC's wonderful Friend Stream pre-embedded on the device, you can receive all your Twitter and Facebook updates in one continuous stream, while the App Share feature allows you to cleverly send your friends links to any of your downloaded Android apps. Being a Google device, it's no real surprise to find your Gmail account will be flawlessly synched with the HTC Wildfire. However, for all you non Google mail users out there, features such as being able to view your emails as a conversation also deserves praise. In terms of mapping credentials, the HTC Wildfire probably offers the best experience for a handset in this price range. Google Maps looks great on the 3.2-inch display, while the GPS fix is fast and reliant, and the digital compass will help make sure you're heading in the right direction.
PRICE: £179.95 from Carphone Warehouse


Size: 106.8x60.4x12mm
Weight: 118g
Internet: Wi-Fi, HSDPA
OS: Android 2.1 (upgradeable to 2.2)
Camera: Five megapixels
Talktime: 490 minutes
Standby: 690 hours

BlackBerry Pearl 3G

RIM's BlackBerry Pearl range has achieved iconic status. Utilising the manufacturer's SureType keyboard, BlackBerry Pearl's are the pocket-friendly equivalent to the bigger Curve and Bold range. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G is RIM's smallest ever handset, it's also the best Pearl handset to hit these shores. Despite its svelte body, the Pearl 3G is packed with features including integrated Facebook for all you social networking fiends, dedicated media controls, and despite what its name suggests, it's actually kitted out with HSDPA as well as Wi-Fi for lightening fast internet experience. Being a BlackBerry device it's a given that email is top notch and with an update for OS 6 around the corner this affordable handset is only going to get better.
PRICE: £229.95 from Carphone Warehouse


Size: 108x50x13.3mm
Weight: 93.6g
Internet: Wi-Fi, HSDPA
OS: BlackBerry OS 5 (upgradeable to OS 6)
Camera: 3.15-megapixels
Talktime: 300 minutes
Standby: 348 hours

LG Optimus One

Another affordable Android phone, but this time one that runs on Android 2.2, aka Froyo. Not only does this mean that you can watch Flash video on your LG Optimus One (that type that is so often found embedded on various websites), but you can also turn the Optimus One into a Wi-Fi hotspot allowing you to connect other Wi-Fi enabled devices to the phone. The sat nav experience  is more high-end than mid-range and you're well catered for in the email stakes. The LG Optimus One's shell is a little on the cheap side, while the 3.2-inch touch-screen, though responsive is a little low-res, but in terms of software this is one cost effective handset.
PRICE: £203.60 (RRP)

Size: 113.5x59x13.3mm
Weight: 129g
Internet: Wi-Fi, HSDPA
OS: Android 2.2
Camera: 3.15-megapixels, auto-focus
Talktime: 450 minutes
Standby: 550 hours

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