While we’d all love to own the fastest, smartest, sexiest mobile around, we don’t always have half a grand kicking around in our back pockets. Thankfully that doesn’t mean settling for something that can barely play Snake, or loads the web slower than a screechy dial-up modem. The mobile tech world is evolving at an incredible rate, and the result is some surprisingly powerful smartphones packing impressive features at an incredible value price, making this year’s Value Phone category a very tight and very brutal battle indeed...
Sony’s Xperia range has gone from strength to strength since the split with Ericsson, covering everything from top-end smartphones to excellent value models. The Sony Xperia U is a fantastic compact phone, dinky enough to slip into any bag or pocket. Don’t think that makes it a minor-league player, though: a sharp and vibrant screen and powerful dual-core processor make this one mean mini media machine, one for gamers and movie moguls alike. Best of all, despite packing all of these excellent features, the Xperia U will give you change from £200.
The Huawei Ascend G300 is a stylish value smartphone packing tons of fantastic features that outgun its low price. A formidable choice for customers looking for their first smartphone, thanks to the large, bright, colourful screen and the excellent camera.
HTC One V
We love HTC’s One family, from the massively powerful One X down to this excellent cut-price handset. It’s more expensive than the other phones here, which just keeps it out of the top two, but the price is still incredible considering the formidable 5MP camera and slick design.
Nokia Lumia 710
Nokia brought the sleek and social Windows Phone 7.5 to the masses with the Lumia 710 smartphone, a budget version of its flagship Lumia 800 mobile. It can handle the full range of Windows Phone apps and games, and comes with the excellent range of Nokia apps, making it an invaluable pocket pal.
The ZTE Tania is a well-constructed and highly usable Windows Phone handset, which broke straight into the value market despite tough competition from the likes of the Nokia Lumia 710. A 5MP camera, strong battery life and a responsive touchscreen round off a worthy value device.
Orange San Diego
The San Diego was the first phone to rock Intel’s Atom processor, previously only found on netbooks, and its buttery smooth, high-speed performance certainly lives up to the hype. An excellent 8MP camera can shoot Full HD 1080p video and is stuffed with extras, including a superb burst mode.