When you’re on a budget but need a phone that’s as good as your friends’, the solution is to opt for Android. Android is the most popular operating system adopted by all the big manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and Sony.
So here are our top 10 best cheap Android smartphones, perfect for all ages, abilities and above all, budgets.
Diving straight in, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is the perfect smartphone which offers everything you could need, but with a miniature price tag. Benefitting from the same features as its big brother, the Samsung Galaxy S3, the S3 Mini brings you a 5MP camera, a dual core 1GB processor and ad well as access to the entirety of the Google Play Store and Samsung-built apps.
Take a look at our Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini deals, starting from just £8.66 per month.
Huawei might not yet be a household name but it’s definitely one to look out for. The Ascend P2 is slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, which ultimately makes it look and feel like anything but a cheap smartphone.
With a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and an impressive 13MP camera, the Huawei Ascend P2 beats the rest hands down when it comes to specs. And with a weight of only 122g, it’s also one of the lightest phones on the market, weighing in at a similar weight to the latest iPhone 5s!
Motorola has recently slipped behind the likes of Samsung and HTC in terms of popularity, but this doesn’t mean that its latest range of Moto devices aren’t great value smartphones packed full of features.
Images taken on the 5 megapixel camera are presented on a high definition 4.5-inch display but if you want to capture more of the action then turn on the high definition video recorder for panoramic shots. The Moto G also delivers GPS for navigation and location based services and can make video calls via a secondary 1.3 megapixel forward facing camera.
Check out the best Motorola Moto G deals here starting at £8.45 per month.
The HTC Desire 601 might not be as top of the range as the current flagship, HTC One M8 is, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great all-round phone that’s also easy on the bank balance.
Its specs make it more of a mid-range smartphone great for moving up the Android ladder! 4G ready (tariff dependent) with a 5MP camera and the option to upgrade the software to Android v4.4 KitKat, the Desire 601 is great if you want a phone that’s going to stand the test of time.
You can pick up a Desire 601 for less than £15 per month.
If you want a smartphone that’s cool and colourful, the Sony Xperia E1 is perfect for you, available in black, white and purple. The E1 is all about the music with the Walkman app on board as well as audio enhancers such as xLOUD and Clear Bass.
Offering a 3.15MP rear facing camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and social network integration, the Xperia E1 is a great budget smartphone that incorporates the best that Sony has to offer.
You might have guessed that Samsung would appear more than once in this list, and you weren’t far wrong. The Galaxy Ace 3 has stood the test of time, having been released in July 2013. Featuring the same rounded shape as the rest of the Samsung Galaxy range, the Ace 3 many of the same features as the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.
One of the first budget phones to support 4G technology, the Galaxy Ace means that you won’t get left behind when it comes to having the most up-to-date technology.
Another Sony: the Xperia Tipo is one of the cheapest Android phones on the market, and offers first-time smartphone users the chance to join the smartphone revolution without having to stretch the purse strings.
With a built-in FM radio, Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android and a full capacitive touchscreen, the Xperia Tipo is great for tight budgets, especially with deals starting from just £7.50 per month.
LG is a manufacturer perhaps better known for its washing machines and refrigerators, but lo and behold, it does a pretty good job at making smartphones too!
The LG Optimus L3 II features a slightly cuter 3.2-inch display and 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash, voice activated ‘Cheese Shutter’ and geo-tagging. Android v4.1.2 runs the L3 II along with a 1GHz processor.
Android delivers the usual set of built-in apps including YouTube, Gmail and Google Search. A little more intriguing though is the memo feature that lets you write notes on the screen when using other apps, very handy for writing dowing a telephone number or address.
Remarkably you can get the LG Optimus L3 II for £5 per month.
Similarly to LG, Acer isn’t best known for its mobile phones, with its computer and laptop business providing most of its success. However, a new range of smartphones brought to us last year aims to cater to those with a slightly lower budget.
The Acer Liquid Z3 sports a 3.5 inch display, an 3.15MP camera and a dual-core 1GHz processor which delivers a great experience. The Z3 can be set into various different modes including Senior Mode with a magnified display and Basic Mode which presents quick and easy access to calls and text messages. GPS and Wi-Fi internet access are also present.
Last but not least is the Samsung Galaxy Y. Similarly to the Samsung Galaxy Ace, the Galaxy Y provides access to all Samsung apps as well as the Google Play Store; surf the internet or browse your friends’ Facebook profiles until the sun goes down with this dinky little smartphone with its 3-inch screen.
Although it might be a slightly older model than perhaps a few of the handsets above, the Samsung Galaxy Y is a snatch at just £89.95 SIM free or with deals starting at just £5 per month.