Best Android phones under £150
Unless you've been living in the jungles of South America for the last two years you'll doubtless be aware that the world has been going through an economic rocky patch of late, which has forced the majority of working people to re-think their finances and tighten their belts in an effort to stave off the effects of the crisis.
Understandably, luxuries like smartphone's and mobile subscription have come under scrutiny by people working within a budget, but just because times are hard, that doesn't mean you have to settle for less, and it's Google's Android operating system that is leading the charge to bring users affordable, yet powerful smartphones with which to organise and maintain their daily lives. But which of these devices offer the most bang for your buck? Let's see!
The HTC Wildfire is the original budget Android phone and HTC has done pretty good here. Although HTC's newer HTC Wildfire S had been released now, the Wildfire still plays a pretty good game against other competitors. With seven hours standby and a svelte 12mm thick frame, its spec list is pretty good too. With HTC's Sense interface, you can whiz through menus and carry out functions almost as fast as if you were using a much higher cost handset from the Taiwanese manufacturer.
The HTC Wildfire is available from £129.95 on Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Orange, although Three also stocks the device for a smidgen over the £150 mark.
Samsung Galaxy Mini
The Samsung Galaxy Mini is Samsung's latest foray into the budget market.
The screen is sized at 3.14-inches (240x320 pixels) and it's cased in a pretty small 110.4x60.8x12.1mm frame. Although the Samsung Galaxy S's 1GHz processor has been downgraded to 600Mhz here, it's not too much of a shame, especially at a rather decent launch price of £139.99 on O2.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X8
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 is Sony Ericsson's budget Android contribution and although it may not have the same features as the Sony Ericsson Xperia lay, it does well to fit in with other budget Android devices. The X8 runs on Android 1.6 but is upgradeable to Android 2.1.
There's a 3.2-megapixel camera onboard and although Sony Ericsson's media and TimeScape user interfaces aren't our favourite, the Xperia X8's sturdy build quality isn't a bad offering for a truly brilliant £9.89 on T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange!
Orange San Francisco
Securing UK exclusivity for the ZTE Blade has turned out to be a masterstroke for Orange, as the device is arguably the best Android smartphone for its price available anywhere!
Featuring a 600MHz ARM CPU, 3-megapixel camera, 512MB RAM and a 3.5-inch capacitive TFT screen, as well as version 2.1 of Android, the San Francisco is an impressive package and that lustre becomes ever brighter when you take into account that the device can be yours for the princely sum of £79 on prepay.
LG Optimus One (P500)
LG has earned a good reputation for making top-tier hardware at mid-tier price points but the company surpassed even its own high standards with the Optimus One. For less than £200 you can get your hands on this device, and with its 3.2-inch TFT screen, 600MHz CPU, dedicated GPU, 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, face and smile detection and DivX and Xvid playback support you'll be getting a lot of device for your investment.
The Optimus One ships with version 2.2 (Gingerbread) of Android but a 2.3 upgrade is in the works, and we expect to see it soon and we're confident that the update will make an already good device, even better.
So don't think that just because you're watching your expenditure you have to miss out on top smartphone functionality. There are plenty of devices that will ably handle your day-to-day needs and some are even cheaper than the devices listed here, but if you're looking to get the very most from your money, give one of these a look. You won't be disappointed.