If there is a market that’s as heavily crowded as smartphones, then I am yet to find it. Awash with countless devices, all harnessing broadly the same bells and whistles as the next- purchasing the right one can be tricky. Of particular difficulty is budget smartphones, a price-point that consumers are turning to in ever greater numbers.
If you’re one of them, here’s a leg up the budget smartphone fence.
If you’re looking for a reliable manufacturer with a budget price tag, you could do a lot worse than heading straight for Motorola. A name in the business from the very beginning, Motorola are still churning out quality devices, many of which come with a reasonable price tag.
One of which is the Moto E. For a highly agreeable price, the Moto E comes with all the features you might expect from a device twice its cost. A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor comes with Android 4.4, but is upgradeable to the latest Lollipop 5.0. Available with both 4G and 3G connectivity, you’ve no need to worry that a budget price will bring a slow and sluggish response. With support for 32GB of storage, 480p video and weighing in at 145 grams, the Moto E is the chief all-rounder when it comes to budget smartphone technology.
If you’re after just a little more, Motorola also have the Moto G. For the extra cost, you’ll get a 720p HD 5” display, plus a beefier camera.
When you think of smartphone developers, Asus are rarely first to come to mind. They do however, produce a number of excellent portable devices- including the ZenFone budget smartphone.
Whilst the Zenfone 6 is Asus’ most recent entry into the smartphone market, the Zenfone 5 marries a feature-filled device with a reasonable price point. The 5” HD display illuminates a significant amount of power held under the Zenfone’s lid. With 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and a Qualcomm quad-core processor, the Zenfone packs one of the biggest punches in the budget smartphone arena. An 8 mega-pixel rear view camera can shoot 1080p video, which can then be saved onto a 64GB max-capacity micro-SD.
With 4G capability, you’ll be hard pressed to find a device packing as many features as the Zenfone 5 for under £150 (at the time of writing).
Microsoft have often been ridiculed for their inferior attempts to gain traction in the smartphone market. And with good reason, their flagship devices have struggled to compete with more established rivals. But with Windows 10, everything will change.
Purchasing a Microsoft smartphone has suddenly become a much more attractive proposition, and their superb range of budget smartphones is a great place to start.
An example comes from the Lumia 640. Issues over the availability of third party apps looks set to be diminished with a universal app store in Windows 10, and a number of other features exclusive to Microsoft make a particularly strong case for the Lumia 640. Office 365 is included for a whole year, OneDrive will provide you with 30GB of free storage, and Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri, is undoubtedly the best personal assistant on the market.
Bundle this with the HD display, 4G connectivity, quad-core processor and a 128GB capacity for external memory, and the Lumia is actually a snip at its current price point. It’s time to reconsider a Windows Phone.
Famed for their business-conscious mobiles, BlackBerry have been squeezed out from the top of smartphone tree in recent times. But they still operate in the same manner as they always did, churning out impressive devices for business users.
The BlackBerry Z3 is essentially a spiritual successor the hugely popular Curve range. Out goes the old physical QWERTY, and in comes a modern, stylish fully-touchscreen display. For a smartphone with the word “budget” at the forefront of its design, the Z3 actually has an air of premium about the look and feel. A classic rectangular shape, robust shell and textured back panel help to avoid any unfortunate drops.
BlackBerry phones tend to be supported by a loyal army of fans, who insist the User Interface is superior to rival iOS and Android systems. Certainly, for anyone who hasn’t used BlackBerry’s latest OS, BlackBerry 10, it may take some time to adjust. But a smooth and cohesive UI is benefited from little innovations such as an integrated Hub for all messaging (social media included), and a predictive text system that is less obtrusive, and learns from how you type.
The BlackBerry Z3 may not match the spec sheet of some other devices in this rundown, but fans of the manufacturer will be happy to see a more than adequate BlackBerry is available at such a low price.
LG are battling hard for flagship smartphone supremacy, with the recently released G4 attempting to fill some almightily large shoes left by the its predeccessor, the LG G3. Bringing the bar down a touch, the G3 S, the little sister of the powerhouse G3, is a chance to grab a slice of the action without the inevitable wince a flagship device brings along with it.
The G3 S, as you’d expect for the slimmed down price, comes with a set of slimmed down features when compared with the G3. Still, it’s more than a match for any device hovering around the same position in the market. Build quality and an impressive design make the G3 S a premium choice without the price tag to match.
Boasting an impressive battery (2500mAh), several camera features such as laser and auto focus, and a HD IPS display, the G3 S is a great choice for those who want a slice of the premium smartphone market, but aren’t willing to pay for it.
We’ll end with one from even further left-field. Huawei have trumped the rest of the lineup with a sub-£100 device, and for anyone really looking to squeeze every piece of value out of their smartphone purchase, the Honor Holly could be for you.
For the price, you can’t expect too much of the Honor Holly. Still, it manages to cram in a number of the features we’ve mentioned in the devices above. With a 5” HD display, 16GB of internal storage and an 8MP primary camera, the Honor Holly can stand toe to toe with any other smartphone amongst its price range. In some cases, it even succeeds where most fail, with the promise of a two day battery and a dual-sim solution setting it out from the crowd.
Obviously, the added perks that set other, pricier, devices aside are lacking in the Honor Holly. For two instances, it runs a dated version of Android, and only comes with 3G connectivity. But, for all your basic smartphone tasks, Huawei have built the ideal product.
Smartphones at Ebuyer.com
Use the various links above to see our listings of the best budget smartphones. Alternatively, head to ebuyer.com for an extensive range of smartphones of all shapes and sizes.