With so many smartphones being launched each month, it’s not just your flagship handsets that are making the headlines. With the likes of Huawei, Motorola, Sony, LG and HTC all releasing budget smartphones in 2016, there’s no reason to compromise when it comes to picking up a bargain.
The LG K3 is priced at from £4.50 per month on a two year contract, making it our most affordable post pay smartphone (read on to discover our best budget Pay as you Go and SIM free phones).
The compact 4.5” display shows off the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS and pre-loaded apps such as Tasks, Evernote and Quick Memo+, which allows you to make typed or handwritten notes, with the option to do this over photos or a screenshot.
The 5MP camera can capture detail at 2560 x 1920 pixels, which is ideal for the later viewing of photos on a computer or TV screen. To aid selfie photography, the LG K3 budget smartphone has Flash for Selfie.
|LG K3 deals|
The Motorola Moto G4 Play is priced from £7 per month on a two year contract or at £124.99 SIM free. The 5” display has HD resolution and with a water repellent nano coating, the phone is a practical choice.
The Pure Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS experience means no bloatware, so the Moto G4 Play performs fast and fluidly. The 8MP camera has larger than normal pixels for capturing more light under poor lighting conditions. This budget phone also has a 5MP selfie camera and a high capacity 2,800mAh battery that should give a fulls day use, to the typical user.
|Moto G4 Play deals|
The HTC Desire 530 is priced from £7.50 per month on a two year contract, at £105 on Pay as you Go or for £139.99 SIM free. The 5” HD display is bright and clear and this phone is powered by the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS.
HTC Themes can be used to radically change the look and Freestyle Themes can be used to break the barriers of the typical grid layout of icons. HTC BlinkFeed can be used to bring the latest news to the home screen, while HTC Sense can reorder your home screen apps based on where you are and what you typically use.
The HTC Desire 530 has an 8MP main camera and 5MP selfie camera. HTC Zoe can be used to turn your photo albums into short videos, accompanied by music.
|HTC Desire 530 deals|
The Sony Xperia E5 is priced from £8 per month on a two year contract, at £153.99 on Pay as you Go and at £159.99 SIM free. The 5” HD display is perfectly tuned for use outdoors with a brightness that can be increased to 508 nits, where one nit is equal to the light given off by one candle.
Sony has given the Xperia E5 the ‘It just works’ approach, meaning that it isn’t full of bloatware. Running on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS and with a colour matched locked screen, the minimalist design looks complete.
The Sony Xperia E5 has 13MP main camera and 5MP selfie camera. With Auto Scene Recognition, you can just point and shoot and the phone’s camera will do the rest.
|Sony Xperia E5 deals|
The Huawei Honor 5C can be picked up from £11 per month on a two year contract or for £134.99 on Pay as you Go. It is truly surprising to find such a good spec sheet at this price and it includes an aluminium body with a brushed metal-effect finish.
The 5.2” display has Full HD resolution and the 2GHz processor is powerful enough to handle advanced gaming. The Huawei Honor 5C runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, has a rather practical Gloves Mode and has a long lasting 3,000mAh battery.
The 13MP camera can do everything from light painting to time-lapse photography and the 8MP selfie camera has ten beauty modes.
|Huawei Honor 5C deals|
Written by: Michael Brown
If price is your sole concern, then read on to discover the best budget smartphones of 2015, which are undoubtedly now even cheaper than the price we originally reported on:
1. Microsoft Lumia 435
At £49.99 on pay as you go, the Microsoft Lumia 435 is the cheapest 2015 smartphone release. This does mean that there is a no-fuss spec, so this is a good choice for someone very young or if a phone is desired simply as a standby device.
The spec includes a 4” display, dual core processor, Windows OS and basic 2MP camera.
You can also purchase the Microsoft Lumia 435 on contract from £7.04 per month.
2. Motorola Moto E 2015
At £99.99 SIM free, we see the Motorola Moto E 2015 coming in at under £100 and this little fellow has a 4.5” display. This phone is perfect for the accident prone or younger user with its splash proof coating, durable Corning Gorilla Glass and changeable Motorola Bands and Motorola Grip Shells.
A quad-core processor powers the experience and multiple user accounts can be set up to ensure personal data remains private. The 5MP camera can be activated with a twist of the wrist and this gesture can be used to switch between the main camera and the selfie camera.
You can also purchase the Motorola Moto E 2015 on contract from £7.50 per month.
3. Vodafone Smart Prime 6
At £100.99 SIM free, the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 really is a bargain. The 5” display makes the most of the Android Lollipop OS and the metal keys and chrome finish give this smartphone a premium feel.
A quad-core processor handles multitasking and gaming while photography is handled by a main 8MP camera and a 2MP selfie camera.
You can also purchase the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 on contract from £4.50 per month.
4. Microsoft Lumia 640
At £119.99 SIM free or pay as you go, the Microsoft Lumia 640 certainly fits well into this budget category. An ample 5” display brings the Windows OS alive and a quad-core processor ensures minimal lag.
The most prominent feature is Cortana, the voice controlled digital assistant and there is a very good 8MP camera. The weakest point is the 1MP selfie camera but for most, this resolution will still be acceptable.
You can also purchase the Microsoft Lumia 640 on contract from £5 per month.
5. Sony Xperia C4
At £149.99 SIM free, the Sony Xperia C4 is an absolute steel and hands-down the best budget smartphone that you can buy for under £150. A very large 5.5” display with Full HD resolution gives a real visual treat and everything runs smoothly thanks to a fast octa-core processor.
The Xperia C4 runs the popular Android Lollipop OS and music lovers will be blown away by the 97db speakers with Sony 3D Surround Sound and a battery that can give up to 53 hours of music playback. A main 13MP camera is paired with a 5MP selfie camera with wide-angle lens.
You can also purchase the Sony Xperia C4 on contract from £7.50 per month.
Written by: Michael Brown