Sony Xperia M5 wins the Best Value Phone (under £150) of the year

Sony Xperia M5 wins the Best Value Phone (under £150) of the year

2016 has seen the arrival of a number of budget phones which are a lot more capable than their predecessors. Given how closely-fought the budget phone space is, choosing a winner among them is truly a tough ask, but not impossible if the end users are given the chance to rate them.

Our shortlisted phones in the under £150 price category drew massive votes this year and trust us, it was closer than we thought! Here are the results..

Winner: Sony Xperia M5

Not really known as among the best budget phone manufacturers, Sony surprised us all by launching the 5-inch Xperia M5 earlier this year. The phone arrived as a sub £150 handset but a look at its specs will make you feel that it is anything but.

A 5-inch Full HD display is flanked on both sides by premium glass finish and stainless steel corners, making the phone look a lot like the top-range Xperia Z5 phones and boasting IP65 waterproof rating and an IP68 dust proof rating. Spec-wise, the Xperia M5 features a 64-bit 2.0 GHz Octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 21.5-MP and 13-MP cameras and a 2,600 mAh battery which lasts up to two days.

Samsung Galaxy J5

You wouldn't find a closer similarly-priced competitor to the Xperia M5 than the Samsung Galaxy J5. A 5-inch Super AMOLED display, a good-looking exterior, a 13-MP main camera  and a 2,600 mAh battery offer a lot of promise, but the lack of storage may have allowed the Xperia M5 to pip it to the top spot.

Huawei P8 Lite

Huawei's P8 Lite arrived as a low-priced variant of the excellent Huawei P8 and didn't differ much in terms of looks. However, an underpowered processor, low internal memory and short battery life made the difference in terms of performance too obvious. It is definitely light on the wallet, but so are many others which wouldn't let you compromise on the performance.

HTC Desire 530

HTC Desire 530 is pretty light on the wallet and may not amount to much when compared to the One A9, but a look at its specs would suggest that HTC didn't really cut too many corners to earn profit. A 5-inch Full HD display, 16GB of storage, NFC for contactless payments, the latest Android 6 ad a 2,200 mAh battery makes it a decent competitor in the sub-£150 price range.

Motorola Moto G 4G (3rd Gen)

Moto G 3rd Gen not only lets you customise the phone to heaven and back, but offers advanced protection from water and a pure Android experience free of bloatware. Decent cameras and 16GB of internal storage form the icing on the cake but a not-so-promising battery and a not-so-light frame stop it from being the killer phone that it deserved to be. However, if you promise to carry the charger around most of the time, the phone won't let you down.

Vodafone Smart ultra 7

It's predecessor won the coveted Best Value phone award last year at Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, but the Smart Ultra 7 failed to make the cut this time. The phone did grab eyeballs thanks to its pure Android offering, a powerful battery and build quality but iffy cameras and Vodafone bloatware may have turned out to be turn-offs.