There are some great smartphones out there these days, but who says you need to spend big bucks to get an awesome device? Is it possible to buy a smartphone on a budget and still get everything you need? Let us show you the best smartphones on a budget.
Today we’re going to look at seven smartphones you can score yourself without having to drop big bucks, but be prepared to buy online: that’s where most of these bargains live.
The best websites to visit include MobiCity, Kogan and dMavo. They often carry cheap phones, but be wary to check the warranty on them: you might find yourself stranded with an uncovered grey import.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best phones on a budget:
Windows Phone 8 has never been better than on a Nokia, these days, and the once-struggling Finnish manufacturer is now making its comeback, riding high on great phones. The Lumia 520 is set to join the Lumia line-up shortly, and it’s a great way to get in on the Windows Phone 8 platform without spending a huge amount of cash.
The Lumia 520 is a 4-inch Windows Phone 8 device with an 800×480 pixel screen, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 5-megapixel camera and features the HERE navigation suite of apps.
It has similar specs to other Nokia handsets and you only really take a hit on the quality of the camera and size of the battery when compared to something like a Lumia 720 which is a few $100 more expensive.
Processor: 1GHz dual-core
Price: $229 (unlocked) / $179 (Telstra locked)
The Kogan Agora is amazing bang for your buck. It’s a $149 Android smartphone running stock Android 4.1, and yet it’s incredibly versatile, powerful and well-featured for the price point.
It packs in a 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of on-board storage and a 5-megapixel camera. The screen measures 5-inches on the diagonal with a resolution of 800×480. It also has dual-SIM capabilities. The device doesn’t support 4G, instead one slot is 2G and one slot is 3G. The Agora is running Android 4.0.4.
It’s a bespoke Kogan offering, so you’re only going to get it at the online resellers store. It’s well worth a look.
Processor: 1GHz dual-core
The Nexus 4 is one of the more pricier offerings in this list. It tips above the $400-end of the scale, but because it’s such good value for money, it warrants a place on our list.
Google built the Nexus 4 based on the LG Optimus G, a phone that costs twice as much. The Nexus 4 is also twice as powerful as anything on this list, but interestingly, you’re not paying twice the price.
The 4.7-inch black rectangle is still running a quad-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor, only without the integrated 4G support; it’s still packing 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and Gorilla Glass for added protection. The screen is beautiful at 1280×768 True HD IPS Plus and 318 ppi and it runs Android 4.2 for added smoothness and power.
The only differences come in the storage available on-board — Nexus 4 has 8GN and 16GB versions whereas the Optimus has 32GB — and the weight — 139 grams for the Nexus 4 while the Optimus G tips in at 145 grams.
If you can afford to splash $349 for the 8GB model, you’ll get incredible value for your money.
Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core
The Galaxy S III Mini is the trimmed down version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III model, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a less than ordinary smartphone.
The Galaxy S III Mini will have a 4-inch screen at 800×480 pixels. That’s 233ppi (pixels per inch), down from 306ppi on the original galaxy. The processor is a dual-core unit clocked at 1GHz, down from the dual-core S4 on the North American Galaxy S III which is clocked at 1.5GHz, and down even further from the quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor on the international version. RAM drops from 2GB to 1GB, the battery drops from 2100mAh to 1500mAh, and the camera drops from 8MP to 5MP.
Unlike the full-sized S III that will cost you close to $600, the S III Mini will only set you back $250. Not bad value, really.
Processor: 1GHz dual-core
Huawei Ascend P1
Chinese manufacturer Huawei know value. They take the best gear they can, put it into a great looking case and sell it direct to the public for cheap. No fuss, no nonsense.
The Ascend P1 is a slightly older Huawei phone, but it still has a dual-core 1.5Ghz Cortex A9 processor with 1GB of RAM, an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p video capture, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, all wrapped into a 7.69mm-thick chassis with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen. The display runs a native resolution of 540×960 pixels and runs them at 256 pixels per inch (PPI).
It’s a little harder to find, but To top it off, you’ll be able to pick it up these days for much cheaper than its original recommended retail price.
Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
RAM: 1GB RAM
The Xperia Mini is another trimmed down version of an industry flagship. Sony decided it would shrink down the amazing X10 into a tinier package for those who preferred smaller form factors. You do take a bit of a hit when it comes to specs on this one, though.
It’s packing an old version of Android 1.6, a 600MHz processor,
It is an older handset, meaning you can get it now for cheap. Most X10 Minis now go for under $100.
The iPhone 4 is a few iPhone generations behind now, but it still supports the latest version of iOS 6 and comes with all the bells and whistles you could need.
It’s a 3.5-inch slab of glass and aluminium, complete with a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera and Apple’s Retina Display technology for beautiful images.
Apple maintain a fairly high price point on the iPhone 4, but it’s the cheapest way to get into the iOS ecosystem with a smartphone. You can usually pick up an iPhone 4 at major retailers and some telcos for just over $400.
Processor: 1GHz Apple A4
What’s your favourite smartphone on a budget? Tell us in the comments!