Good all-around value for the money
If you don't mind the sketchy call quality, Nokia has hit the nail on the head with its most affordable Windows Phone handset to date. It runs the newest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, has a zippy processor, expandable storage, and produces decent pictures and video.
Least expensive handset in the Lumia line-up
If you're looking for a cheap smartphone, you may have just found it. The Nokia Lumia 520 doesn't tick all the boxes on our features wishlist, but it capably handles those that are most important. Windows Phone 8 is a beautiful operating system, but it still lacks apps. If you can get past this and don't mind sacrificing some performance and connectivity, the Lumia 520 is a strong budget buy.
Build, design, price
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a great little smartphone. It delivers what Nokia is known for, with good design and build quality, despite the affordable price point. A few hardware shortcuts have been made, knocking out the flash, front camera and NFC, for example, which the slightly more expensive Lumia 620 offers.
But at this price there's little to criticise.
A better camera and more software features than you might expect for its price tag
Though it lacks 4G LTE support, the AU$179 Nokia Lumia 520 still gives you quite a bit for your money. Pricing is absolutely this phone's primary value proposition, but the essentials all seem to work, the hardware is sturdy and the camera is better than average.
This is a good buy for someone seeking a wallet-friendly smartphone off-contract.
Exceptional call quality, Good fit and finish
As you would expect LG has made some compromises to keep the Optimus F6 affordable, but for a mid-range device they have put together an overall nice package. The device is well-built, has a good display for its class and incorporates many of the software features from LG's higher end devices. While the camera performance wasn't great, it was acceptable for Instagram and Facebook shots, and the call quality was outstanding.
Calls routed to the speakerphone were scratchy and prone to distortion
For $49 down, the LG Optimus F6 offers T-Mobile customers a lot of value. The phone's hardware may be a bit boring, but it is well put together and all the buttons and controls function without issue. The screen is very good for this class of device, and the network performance was among the best I've seen on a T-Mobile device in recent memory. It's a shame that call quality was at best average, and that the battery didn't seem to last past dinner.
The software all works well.
Employs some of the new LG Optimus UI enhancements
Indeed, there's just so much where an entry-level smartphone can go - especially when last year's mid-rangers tend to occupy the same space nowadays. Looking at the $29.99 on-contract price point of the LG Optimus F3, it might not scare the pants off us with its meager specs sheet, but at least it's treated to some of the enhancements that are found with LG's higher-end offerings.
Very low price point
Firefox OS isn't even in its infancy yet, but it's clear that Mozilla, operators and manufacturers have one thing in mind for the OS - budget handsets for developing markets and the ZTE Open is a colourful, cheap option. We probably won't see the OS on high end handsets any time soon, but that's no bad thing - while Firefox OS is likeable and flexible, it's hardly iOS or Android-beating in terms of feature set.
Cheery and colourful little smartphone
The ZTE Open combined with Firefox OS will make for a cheap and cheerful option for users in emerging markets looking for a first smartphone. However, in the UK Mozilla will be up against serious competition so will need a different approach to succeed.
Extremely economical, Factory unlocked, Well built for the price
The ZTE Open is basically a smartphone for people who don't really need most of the bits of a smartphone. If you want to just check the weather report, maybe look up a factoid or news story on the go, the ZTE Open is a useful and economical way to do that, while still being able to take advantage of those cheap prepaid plans. For the more tech-savvy people and smartphone enthusiasts, it's probably too limited to be worthwhile even once the software side catches up.
Excellent build, Great Keypad
Available for around Rs 3300, this deivce offers excellent build quality, chic design, and user-friendly interface. 3G connectivity and a USB-port would have further sweetened the deal, but unfortunately some smart buggers at Nokia thought that these features would have been a tad too much for a phone in its price bracket. Despite these absentees, the Nokia Asha 205 is a very good phone for the price.
Affordable Windows Phone
The Nokia Lumia 610 has both its strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, you should be able to get one for about $250, as long as you do some digging around, which makes it a decent entry-level offering. On the other, you will have to accept the incompatibility of select applications and the occasional software lags caused by the smartphone's modest hardware.
Great social networking
The Nokia Lumia 610 is a great addition to the Lumia stable (and to Windows Phone in general), thanks to its incredibly low price tag. While the launch of Windows Phone Tango means that we can expect more budget handsets in the future, for now this is about as cheap as it gets.
But it's not just cheap; it's also quite good value for money. You get almost the complete Windows Phone experience, along with a solid camera, decent build quality and strong battery life.
Good social networking integration
The Nokia Lumia 610 is a budget Windows Phone 7.5 handset. Hardware cuts have been made to get the price under Â£200, but most must-have smartphone features are included. And while lag has increased, it's snappy enough to go head-to-head with similarly-priced Androids. What's less easy to forgive is the limited app and games support, which adds a bitter edge to the phone, especially as an intro to smartphones.
Slick user experience
The Nokia Lumia 610 is the baby of the company's Lumia family and aims to bring a Windows Phone device to the low-end of the market. With a reasonably sized screen and most likely a hugely competitive price point, the Lumia 610 may prove to be an excellent, entry-level smartphone.
Great battery life
On a more expensive proposition, the weak camera, capped RAM and slow browsing performance on this device would be deal-breakers. On the Lumia 610, however, they're things you can learn to live with. The handset delivers a stunning OS, good phone functionality and a healthy battery life all packaged within an acceptable design.
Good build quality
The Nokia Asha 302 is your standard Series 40 affair. It doesn't have a touchscreen, but it compensates with a physical QWERTY keyboard, trying to appease those users needing such kind of input option. In terms of hardware, Nokia has done a remarkable job. There aren't many phones at this price point that can offer such build quality. Unfortunately, this handset falls victim to its software, which is unintuitive and buggy.
Good build quality
All in all, the Asha 302 is neat little messaging phone that feels well built, has a good keyboard and decent range of features. However, its small screen makes web browsing a bit of a chore and for a similar price you can now get entry level Android handsets that are arguably easier and more fun to use.
Impressive features list
The Nokia Asha 302 is a feature phone that could give a few smartphones a run for their money with its impressive features list. For starters there's both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity so you can browse and access social networks quickly. The centrepiece of the phone is a full qwerty keyboard presented BlackBerry style beneath the 2.4 inch landscape screen. The 3.2 megapixel camera is a nice addition, though it's not quite up to the standards of high-end smartphone cameras.
Build quality feels reassuringly pricey and sturdy
The Nokia Asha 302 joins the growing band of new Series 40 handsets designed for those that love to keep in touch and use social networks on a budget. One of its standout features is its QWERTY keypad. Where would a messaging phone be without it? Here we take a look at how it performs, in our Nokia Asha 302 QWERTY keypad review.
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