Make your money go further
Cheap smartphones used to be a bit rubbish, but these days they offer fantastic value. You can pick up good-looking new handsets with decent cameras and impressive performance for under £250. With that in mind, here are four of the best cheap smartphones you can buy today.
Microsoft Lumia 650
The long-awaited Windows 10 operating system is now in full flow, and the Lumia 650 does a great job of showing it off. For starters, the 5-inch HD display uses AMOLED technology instead of the more common LCD, giving you much brighter colours and deeper blacks for a great visual experience.
Round the back there’s an 8MP camera, which is a great spec given the price of the phone. You’ll have no problem capturing detailed images even in poorly lit environments with the LED flash. There’s also a secondary 5MP front-facing camera, which can film in HD quality.
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Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)
Samsung’s revised Galaxy A3 is a step up from 2015’s, which was released with the same title. The new smartphone has a 4.7-inch HD display, and follows a very similar build to the Galaxy S6, with the same curved metal boarders and polished glass finish.
Round the back there’s an awesome 13MP camera on board, which is a lot more flush with the rest of the phone than previously. And with a little help from Samsun’s Quick Launch feature, you can be capturing the action in under a second with a double tap on the home button.
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Alcatel OneTouch Pop Star
Alcatel OneTouch offers a great smartphone on a budget, bursting with features to rival those in its class. On the face of it there’s a bright 5-inch HD display, guaranteed to make you photos and movies look great. While the 8MP camera will make sure you get high quality photos, especially when using the inbuilt HDR mode.
Under the hood there’s a very sizeable 2,000mAh battery to keep you going all day, and a 1.3GHz quad-core processor to make sure you can run multiple apps at once.
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HTC Desire 530
HTC’s mid-range phones have always had a place in lists like this one, and that’s not about to change. The Desire 530 has a 5-inch HD display, 8MP camera with LED flash, and a giant 2,200mAh battery inside.
Where it really comes into its own, however, is design. The smooth, lightweight body is one thing, but the paint-splattered design is really unique. If you’re looking for a smartphone that not only boasts great features, but also will make you standout, look no further.
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And from 2015...
Motorola Moto G
From the 13MP camera to the all-day battery life, the new Moto G is loaded with high-end technology. It even has a water-resistant body that can be submerged in one metre of water for half an hour. But the standout features aren’t the only things that make the Moto G. It’s the price - available to buy for under £200 SIM free.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua has a big HD screen, it’s waterproof, it has a 13MP camera, the battery lasts up to two days and it runs the latest version of Android. Oh yeah, and it only costs buttons on pay as you go. Need we say more?
HTC Desire 626
The HTC Desire 626 is both good-looking and a comfortable size. It comes with HTC BlinkFeed, a personalised homepage that pulls all your news and social networks into one place so you can stay in the know. And if you love sharing photos with mates, the 8MP camera will take care of your snaps so you can share on Facebook and Instagram.
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Microsoft Lumia 640
A big HD screen and fun, bold design makes the Microsoft Lumia 640 look great. But where it really shines is the software. It comes with a voice-controlled personal assistant, Cortana, to help you do things more easily, and Microsoft Office apps - so you can work on the move.
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Know of another cheap phone that offers incredible value we should be shouting about? Tell us about it in the comments below.