Consumers love to own the fastest, smartest, sexiest mobile available but they also love a great deal, and there are some surprisingly powerful smartphones packing in impressive features for their budget price. All of which makes the Value Phone category one of the hardest fought battles...
Nokia Lumia 620
With its gutsy speaker, solid build and a range of bright, colourful covers, the Nokia Lumia 620 is clearly aimed at the youth market. Yet, in terms of all-round performance, it ranks with the best of the Lumia range. Its 3.8-inch screen is bright and crisp, offering remarkable depth despite its size. This is largely thanks to Nokia’s ClearBlack display, which produces deep blacks that make everything else pop. The 480 x 800 pixel resolution on such a small screen also results in impressive sharpness, while the screen itself is brilliantly responsive. To label the Lumia 620 as a ‘kids’ phone’ is to undermine a very slick product.
LG Optimus L5 II
LG’s Optimus L5 II is a fantastic refresh of the original model, with a more attractive look and stronger specs. Best of all is the fantastic range of features that bolster Android, from the ability to fully personalise your icons and desktops, to the colour-coded light indicators hidden in the home button. It has a capable fivemegapixel camera, too.
Huawei Ascend G510
A bargain smartphone for those on a tight budget, the Huawei Ascend G510 still packs in decent dual-core performance, a surprisingly crisp and colourful 4.5-inch screen and a five-megapixel camera. Only the scant 4GB storage and lacklustre design detracts from a great value package, although its stern and serious build has been solidly constructed.
Nokia Lumia 520
This model retains most of the features of the Nokia Lumia 620, while actually boosting the battery capacity and screen size and shaving a little off the price. Sadly, it has lost the front-facing camera and NFC support. A good looking four-inch screen also struggles with brightness at times, plus the quality of the camera is hit-and-miss.
Samsung Galaxy Fame
Boasting the usual glossy plastic design Samsung is famous for, but durable enough to take a few knocks, the Samsung Galaxy Fame is slightly underpowered. A singlecore 1GHz processor copes fine with Android, but struggles when browsing the web and collapses when playing anything but the most basic games. NFC support and good outdoor snaps help raise its game.
Sony Xperia J
One of the more fashionable mid-range smartphones around, the Sony Xperia J offers a similarly flare design to the Xperia T at a drastically reduced price. Unfortunately, Sony’s had to cut back the specs to lower the cost and performance does take a hit. Gamers are best off looking elsewhere, but this makes its mark for good looks and portability on a budget.
Congratulations to all of the 2013 Mobile Choice Awards winners. You can find all of the incriminating photos on our official MCAwards 2013 website, and a full list of winners can be found here!