Off the Bench: The Best Back-up Phones on the Market

Back-up phone

Sometimes we don’t need access to the best phone in our repertoire, in fact, many times you’re actually better off carrying a less valuable smartphone which still does the standard smartphone work you need without any mod-cons.

Whether you’re heading to a festival, going abroad, or simply going on a road trip, having a back-up smartphone is now something of a necessity. But which phones are on top of the pile if you need a substitute?

Nokia 230

Fancy a Nokia for the new year?


Need a bit more information about this feature phone? Go back to basics with the Nokia 230 here... 


If you’re in need of a back-up phone which doesn’t come with a high price then the Nokia 230 is the ideal acquisition. Costing just £35 SIM-free, you don’t need to worry about this handset causing your bank account much damage, and it’ll handle most standard mobile tasks in a pinch.

Coming direct from Nokia, you know it’s going to be durable enough to stand up to most rough and tumble hobbies, and with a physical keypad, you needn’t worry about your screen getting smashed and becoming unusable. As a whole, it’s strong, simple and cheap – just what you want from a back-up device.

It boasts a 2MP camera on the front and an identical piece of kit on the back, whilst its metallic chassis also adds an element of class to proceedings, making this phone a substitute to remember.

iPhone 4s

What better than an iPhone to keep you going?

Buy the iPhone 4s

Believe it or not, you can still find deals for this Apple veteran hanging around in most online stores, purely because it was such a solid phone from the company. It certainly isn’t as cheap as some of the other phones on this list, but if you’re a big iOS fan you won’t find anything better suited to your tastes as a back-up device.

Apple is still supporting the device with iOS 9, so you’re not stuck with an antiquated version of the OS, and with features like Siri included you still get a great experience with the device.

It’s a lot smaller than the most recent Apple handsets to hit the market, so you’ll easily be able to differentiate should you have one, and its specs are still something to be admired.

Basically, if you’re so integrated with Apple that you really don’t want to opt for another brand, the iPhone 4s is the best back-up phone you’ll be able to find which is still relatively modern.

Sony Xperia E4

Sony is one of the best smartphone manufacturers on the planet...

Sony’s renowned for its smartphone manufacturing, and whilst the Xperia E4 doesn’t quite match up with its flagship launches, it certainly proves a great back-up device.

With a cheap and cheerful approach, the E4’s 5” scratch resistant display is good enough to handle most tasks, whilst the internal framework also hits the mark for any secondary handset. Both cameras also handle their work diligently without being too over the top, making for a solid all-rounder from Sony.

The Android KitKat operating system could do with an upgrade, although one is unlikely to arrive, but despite its age it still does the job. Plus, costing less than £10/month, you can’t really go wrong with the E4, as long as you aren’t expecting too much from it.

Shop Sony here

LG Leon

Go for something a little different with the LG Leon...


Sound like the perfect phone for you? Take a proper look at the LG Leon here... 


Sure, it’s not the coolest name for a smartphone you’ll ever see, but if you’re in need of a smartphone to handle smartphone tasks for a cheap price, then the LG Leon can do the job without flinching.

It’s easy to handle 4.5” display and simple design are solid inclusions, whilst the mid-range internals are powerful enough to deal with pretty much anything you can throw at it. The Android Lollipop operating system is one of the biggest selling points for the handset, which underpins the £10/month mark without a problem.

All of the other peripherals handle their tasks duly, with the likes of the camera and battery both offering fairly standard levels of performance without breaking the bank. Whilst the Leon might not be the most exciting of purchases, if you’re in need of reliability and don’t want to spend a fortune it should do the job.

Samsung Galaxy J5

Say hello to the Galaxy J5

Buy the Samsung Galaxy J5

Sometimes you need a big name brand to rely on, and you don’t get much bigger than Samsung when you’re on the hunt for a smartphone. Of course, flagship devices like the S6 and Note5 are out of the question as a back-up, ushering in the likes of the Galaxy J5.

It sports the classic Samsung design which has become so well-loved following the launch of the Galaxy S range, and it even surprises us a little bit with its spec sheet.

It’s most notable feature is its 5” Super AMOLED 720p display, bringing one of the best displays possible to the back-up market. Whilst the Snapdragon 410 chipset and quad-core processor also handle their tasks efficiently.

You won’t get much change from a ten pound note each month, but if you’re in need of a high quality secondary smartphone then you’ll do well to find anything better than the J5.

So, which back-up phone do you think is best? Is it not on our list? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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