The Cheapest 4G-Ready Smartphones

Smartphones

Smartphones have been getting more and more expensive over the past few years. Their increase in performance, size, screen resolution, and just about everything, also means the price tag keeps getting higher each time a new model comes out. (The iPhone 7 is expected to start at £539).

Does this mean we can't find a decent phone for less than £200? Do we really have to sacrifice all quality in the name of a good bargain?

The answer is simple: no. If you're looking for a good, entry-level smartphone and you're not too fussed about thousand-megapixels cameras* or lightning-fast loading times, these are the phones for you.

*This might be a slight overstatement.

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Microsoft Lumia 640

Microsoft Lumia 640

The Lumia 640 is the most expensive budget smartphone on our list, at £129.99 - but compared to the £500+ you could be spending on an iPhone 6s, this easily feels like no money at all.

The perfectly sized 5-inch screen comes with 1280 x 720 quality. The display is fantastic, with beautiful colours, however the screen isn't very bright, which makes the phone difficult to use when standing in the sunlight.

Its 1.2 GHz quad-core chip makes for quick loading times and smooth transitions from one page to the other, while its battery life is pretty good - it measures up well against the leading phones on the market. Its 8GB of memory can be expanded with the help of a micro SD card.

The Microsoft Lumia 640 also packs an 8-megapixel camera and comes in shades of blue, orange, white, and black.

Samsung Galaxy Core Prime

Samsung Galaxy Core Prime

This is the cheapest big brand 4G smartphone you will find on the market. The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime costs only £109.

The all-plastic device and comes in classic white, black, or grey. Looks-wise, it is fairly similar to other, more expensive Samsung lines - it sports the usual home button at the bottom of the screen, as well as the touch-sensitive 'go back' and 'switch tasks' buttons.

Its battery is removable, and a micro-SD slot allows you to expand the 8GB storage up to an impressive 128GB. The camera is slightly underwhelming, at only 5 megapixels while the front snapper is a diminutive 2 megapixels.

The screen size and resolution aren't as good as some high-end smartphones, but the Galaxy Core Prime runs smoothly on Android Lollipop and sports a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor - it's a swift, easy to use first smartphone for anyone.


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Motorola Moto E 4G

Motorola Moto E 4G

An upgrade on 2014's Moto E (guess what the biggest change is), the Moto E 4G also prices at £109.

It comes in a plastic casing in white or black and sports a 4.5-inch screen with 720p resolution. The screen is also splash-proof and anti-smudge, which is perfect for a first-time phone user.

Its 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm chip makes it run quickly and smoothly, and it runs on Android, making it easy to download almost any app.

The main drawbacks to this smartphone would be the underwhelming 5-megapixel camera, and the 8GB storage actually only amounts to about 4GB, since the phone comes packed with undeletable apps. (But there is always the option of adding a micro-SD card). Also, the screen's brightness isn't the best; however this is still a great phone for light users.

Vodafone Smart Prime 6

Vodafone Smart Prime 6

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The cheapest on our list at a miniscule £79 (yes, that's right, seventy-nine British pounds), the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 still manages to match the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime.

Vodafone's own brand smartphone runs on Android Lollipop and a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. (We're starting to see a pattern here...) It packs in a rather disappointing 8GB of data, but a micro-SD slot allows expansion up to 64GB.

Its camera is surprisingly good quality at 8 megapixels, and the front camera is a respectable 2 megapixels. The 5-inch, 720p resolution screen is acceptable, although its brightness (or lack thereof) could leave some asking for more.

But all in all, this is a fantastic little phone which is worth much more than its price tag.


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