Top phones under £130 feat Huawei P8 Lite, Wileyfox Swift, Microsoft Lumia 640 and Vodafone Smart Ultra 6

Despite smartphone makers dedicating a bulk of their advertising budgets on premium phones, a big chunk of their businesses are driven by mid-range and budget phones which are the real workhorses behind the shadows.

With the latest mid-range phones offering more and more advanced features and specifications, we take a look at some of them which will also explain why we do not need to spend in excess of £300 to enjoy an optimal smartphone experience.

Here's a detailed look at the best phones available at £130 or less which will fulfill your multi-tasking, multimedia-consuming, selfie-snapping and HD gaming needs with ease.

Microsoft Lumia 640

Launched along with 'big brother' Lumia 640 XL at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year, Lumia 640 costs just £99 and offers a 5-inch 720p display, dual SIM slots, an impressive 2,500 mAh battery and is available in separate 3G and LTE models.

Even though Lumia 640 launched with Windows 8.1 operating system, all Lumia 640 devices have started receiving Windows 10 Mobile upgrade since January of this year. The phone also comes with a free one year subscription to Office 365 including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote as well as 1TB of free OneDrive storage.

The phone's 8MP rear camera may not be rich in resolution but comes with auto-focus, an LED flash, a backside-illuminated image sensor and an f/2.2 aperture. Its internal specifications include a Quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of storage which is expandable to 128 GB via a MicroSD slot.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6

Costing just £125, Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 has been among the most talked-about budget phones of 2015. Our Editor called it the budget game-changer, and by offering the latest Android OS, feature-packed camera and 4G LTE connectivity, it proves that it is.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 features a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon 615 chip with a 2 GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, Android 5.0.2 operating system, 13MP and 5MP cameras, LTE connectivity and a powerful 3,000 mAh battery.

The phone comes with no bloatware, offer a Nexus-esque Android experience, comes with free 4G from Vodafone and its plastic back and metal rims give it, if not a premium look, a slim and inoffensive feel.

Do you want to hear its price again?

Wileyfox Swift

Costing almost as much as the Smart Ultra 6, Wileyfox Swift comes with rather powerful internal specifications for a budget phone. The little factory in it stores a 1.2GHz, 64-bit, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 8916 CPU, Adreno 306 GPU, 2GB of RAM, a solid 2,500 mAh battery and an internal storage of 16GB which is expandable, thanks to a MicroSD slot.

On the surface, you will find a 5-inch IPS display with a 720p resolution, impressive 13MP and 5MP cams and a sturdy Gorilla Glass 3 screen which comes with a three-year warranty.

Unlike most phones, the Swift runs a Cyanogen OS which is basically a tweaked form of Android. Cyanogen brings in alphabetical ordering of apps in app drawers and in-built themes which cloth the apps in new design. Probably the best part about the OS are the privacy features it packs.

Privacy features in the Swift include lockable app folders where you can store apps that you don't want others to see, randomized keypad numbers in the lock screen and a Privacy Guard feature which lets you decide which apps get access to their phones data.

Huawei P8 Lite

Released along with the flagship P8, P8 Lite gave users the option of choosing a similar-looking phone at a low cost but with a plastic build and rather worn-down specs.

Like the Swift, P8 Lite features a 5-inch 720p display as well as a 1.2 GHz octa-core Kirin 620 processor which sounds as powerful as Snapdragon 410 but we aren't sure about its long-lasting capabilities.

Running Android 5.0 Lollipop, the phone also features 16 GB worth storage which is expandable by up to 128 GB, a 2GB RAM, lovely 13MP and 7.5MP cameras, a 2,200 mAh battery and LTE connectivity.

Thanks to a bloated UI, you'll probably get much less share of the 16GB storage compared to other phones. While this can be resolved by using a MicroSD card, the phone's 5-inch size factor also lets you work on it one-handed and tuck inside your pockets during rush hour.

However, the battery life isn't as high as in other budget phones, but if you know how to save up on your media consumption, it shouldn't be much trouble.

Verdict

A mere look at today's mid-range phones suggests that no matter how little you pay for them, you will be assured 4G connectivity, tonnes of storage space, at least 5-inch of real estate in the display, good resolution cameras and processors that let you multi-task without consuming gallons of power.

Even though all of them won't offer flashy stuff like Quad HD displays, 4GB RAMs, fingerprint sensors or cameras with large pixels, they'll offer you enough battery life and power to get by. In a world obsessed with premium smartphone specs, these workhorses are for those who just care about the job being done.

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