Top 5 budget Android phones

You love saving money. You love Android. You’ll love these low-cost Android smartphones!

1. HTC Desire C


1. HTC Desire C

Pay Monthly / Pay as you go

Cheap and cheerful the HTC Desire C gets our vote on almost every point. To start, this is right up-to-date running Andorid 4.0 and offering an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update.

It offers a reasonable 320×480 3.5-inch display, so it’s small but still usable for browsing and reading.

There’s a good 4GB of internal storage plus a microSD for another 32GB of space. While there’s no secondary front camera, it does have a 5MP main camera. Its only weakness is the 600MHz processor, which isn’t the snappiest but will get the job done.


2. Motorola RAZR i


2. Motorola RAZR IPay Monthly

Available at a similar monthly or slightly lower pay-as-you-go cost than the Samsung Galaxy S II (below), the Motorola RAZR i is an interesting alternative. It has a better 4.3-inch screen that’s Super AMOLED Advanced but with a higher 540×960 resolution. Meaning everything will look sumptuous on it.

Storage isn’t its strong point with only 8GB supplied and 5GB actually available, but there is a microSD slot for another 32GB. What it does have is Android 4.0 as standard and an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is now available.

It’s also powered by the Intel Atom 2GHz processor, which is super fast. With an 8MP and second VGA camera there’s a lot of smartphone here for your money.


3. Samsung Galaxy S II


3. Samsung Galaxy S IIPay Monthly

Pushing the term “budget” you can pick up the elegantly ageing Samsung Galaxy S II on a cheaper monthly contact. For the money you’ll get what was the king of phones, even rivalling the Apple iPhone 4S, to show off in the faces of your Apple-wielding friends! But even today it’s one of the better models on the market.

It has a superb Super AMOLED Plus 480×800 4.3-inch display, ideal for browsing and reading on the move. There’s 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot for another 32GB on top.

Importantly it now has an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update available, so it’s right up-to-date. It’ll still feel really fast too,with its dual-core 1.2GHz processor and offers dual 8MP and 2MP cameras. All well worth the extra outlay.


4. HTC Wildfire S


4. HTC Wildfire SPay as you go

Despite having a nice 320×480 display that’s usable for web browsing and reading, our big issue with this Android device is that it’s running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and word from HTC is that no update to Android 4.0 is planned.

If that doesn’t bother you then it’s running a slower 600MHz ARM processor, but at least has 2GB of included microSD storage, alongside its built-in 512MB of space. It’s light and pocket sized with its 3.2-inch display and has a single 5MP camera.

The lowest-cost phone here, it’s great for everyday use and basic app fun.


5. Samsung Galaxy Ace


5. Samsung Galaxy Ace

Pay monthly / Pay as you go

Last and sort of least, similar to the HTC Wildfire S the main disadvantage of the Samsung Galaxy Ace is that it’s also stuck with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. While perfect for everyday apps and phone use, it won’t offer cutting edge features.

The Galaxy Ace offers a similar but slightly bigger 320×480 3.5-inch display, the main issue is the limited internal storage of just 158MB. It does however come with a 2GB microSD card, but you will probably have issues if you want to install lots of apps. It also has a decent 800MHz single-core processor and 5MP camera, which could make up for some of the other points.


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