With a price of around $140 off contract, the Optimus L3 II has fierce competition among low-end Androids, but not only. We honestly think the small screen in the L3 II takes a lot of the beauty of Android and that's one big reason against buying it. There are phones with slightly larger screens, but even a small increase in screen size makes a big difference for the user experience. The camera is also disappointing even for such an affordable device.
Voice-activated camera shutter
We like the fact that the LG Optimus L3 is small and pocketable and comes with an affordable price tag. It also has good battery life and a neat voice activated camera shutter feature. However, the tiny, low-resolution screen makes web browsing a bit of a chore, it's camera isn't great and call quality could be better too.
Very long battery life, Low price, Handy size
As our tests make clear, the cheap 99 Euros (~$129) Optimus 430 L3 II from the Korean manufacturer LG excels more than anything at "long-distance running". With a battery runtime of over 36 hours in the reading test, and still more than 16 hours in the WLAN surf test, the "battery giant" even beats potent devices like the Apple iPhone 5 - at least when it comes to battery life.
Great Design, Smooth UI, Dual SIM functionality
The tipo dual is priced at around Rs 10,000. It comes with a great design, sturdy build, dual-SIM functionality, and impressive sound quality. The camera and video playback could have been better, though. Overall, the tipo dual is a good dual-SIM Android phone for the price. Those who need at least a 3.5" screen have plenty of cheaper options, including the Intex Aqua 4.0.
Feels sturdy and durable
Sony has priced the Xperia tipo dual at Rs.10,500, while the single SIM version retails for a grand less. Looking at just Tier 1 brands, the tipo dual is the best dual-SIM Android option at this price point, although we feel it's still a bit expensive. It's very similar to the HTC Explorer in terms of specs, except it's better thanks to the bigger battery, better display and ICS. If Sony drops the price and manages to place it in the 8K range, it will make a killing.
Less weight and is handy.
The Sony Xperia Tipo dual is a compact smart phone with dual sim functionality in Sony's Xperia series. It has its own fixed target audience but this phone is much better than others in this price range. Its 800 MHz processor, 3.2 megapixels camera and Android 4.0 version are its main key features that gives it edge over its competitors. Its week 512 MB RAM, small screen size and no front facing camera might be reasons for avoiding it. So, we give this phone 3 star rating.
Simple phone includes some bells and whistles
Got this phone because it didn't require a data plan. Definitely knew this wasn't a smartphone, unlike one reviewer, and for sure knew this didn't have Wi-Fi, unlike another. This phone has camera, video camera, voice recording & MP3 playback functionality. It has alarms, a calendar, calculator & unit conversion, speed dial, pictures for contacts and more. It's pretty close to being a smartphone without requiring a data plan from AT&T.
Good call quality
The Sony Xperia tipo is a very decent foray in the world of entry level Androids. It has the performance and stability of Android Ice Cream Sandwich going for it, as well as a pleasant to hold, and comfortable to operate with one hand chubby chassis with soft touch plastic on the back.
Smooth and responsive
The Sony Xperia Tipo does a lot right, from its solid battery life to its responsive and smooth performance. It's not perfect though - the screen is small and low resolution and the camera won't be winning any awards.
Given the price tag of around Â£100 (around $160), we can live with that, and the Sony Xperia Tipo stands up well to most of its competitors, easily matching the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Y and the LG Optimus L3.
Long battery life
The fact that the Sony Xperia Tipo is so small and moderately priced will attract many. It's also a bonus that it runs the relatively recent Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. However, the small and low resolution screen makes it fiddly to use for everything bar the basics and the fact remains that the Huawei Ascend G300 offers a much better all round package for a similar price.
Smart styling, great battery life and exceptional value
The Sony Tipo represents smart styling, great battery life and exceptional value. The fact there's Android 4.0 on board means you're in a great position as far as app support goes and Sony's UI tweaks are (for the most part) complementary. It could be more powerful and the screen could be bigger and sharper, but for £89 off contract, we really are nit picking.
Good phone, beware battery issues
it's a decent, entry-level phone and the best of the bunch among AT+T's GoPhone line for ease of use with a slide-out keyboard (among other features). It's not an iPhone, of course, so don't expect too much, but as a basic text-and-talk smartphone (which I have not used for data yet), it's worth the $25-a-month plan.
Good call quality
The BlackBerry Curve 9380 is an interesting foray in the touchscreen-only jungle by RIM, which probably meant to create a decent consumer-oriented budget device with its services staples. Yet when you get rid of one huge advantage for BlackBerry aficionados, which is the physical keyboard, and replace it with an on-screen one plastered over a wimpy 3.2-incher, eyebrows are bound to be raised.
Bright, colourful screen
There's definitely the potential within the BlackBerry Curve 9380 for it to be a good smartphone, and for many BlackBerry addicts on a budget, hungry for some touchscreen action, it could serve well.
Frankly, we'd rather have the BlackBerry Curve 9360 within the BlackBerry range, but if it's a touchscreen phone you want in this price bracket, we'd go for the iPhone 3GS, thanks to its slicker operating system.
Visually rich user interface
Given its price point we think that the BlackBerry Curve 9380 will do really well. It offers a similar level of functionality to the more expensive BlackBerry Torch 9860, but for a smaller price tag, bundling NFC capabilities in for good measure. It's not the biggest or most powerful touchscreen phone out there. If you're after something inexpensive that allows you to surf the web and check Facebook and that's not an Android phone this will certainly satisfy.
Decent camera and messaging capabilities
The BlackBerry Curve 9380 betrays its lower end leanings with a fairly low resolution screen and underpowered processor, but it's got a decent camera and messaging capabilities. The lack of content on BlackBerry App World will be a frustration for some however. While it will make a welcome upgrade for existing BB fans, the Curve 9380 hasn't really enough on offer to distinguish it from similarly priced Androids.
In virtually every sense, the Curve 9380 is a downgraded Torch 9860. While that Torch was a decent effort from RIM, the design brief doesn't transfer as well to a cheaper device. That doesn't mean I think it's a particularly bad phone though. At its current Â£200+ price tag, it isn't great value for money, and that is why I wouldn't recommend buying it (at that price anyway); while it does everything it should, it still doesn't really impress in the wider view of things:I think the biggest...
The Curve 9380 bears a price tag of Rs.20,990. In our opinion, that's just a tad more on the steep side, especially for a Curve series handset. While the handset itself proved to be reasonably versatile and handled itself quite well overall, the current price is, again, just a little too much. Nevertheless, if you're not willing to shell out Rs.5,000 to Rs.6,000 more for the Torches or the Touch and Type Bold handsets, then you should consider this one.
Distinctly usable despite the small size
Seen by itself, the BlackBerry Curve 9380 is a pleasantly competent smartphone. It can accomplish most common smartphone tasks without fuss. If you like tiny phones, it may even be enough to convince you to skip the Android equivalents if you're not a fan of their quirks -- certainly if you're the kind who can kill the batteries on other small phones or find Android too complex. We know a few who bought small Android phones only to trade in for something else soon afterwards.
With its intuitive operating system skin, the HTC Explorer would make an excellent first smartphone. But it may not be as much of a treasure as first thought as it's not quite hitting the budget heights we thought it would - it needs to drop a few pounds per month to be a truly cheap-cheap handset.
Sense user interface
If you've owned an Android phone before, the chances are that the Explorer is not really going to appeal, as its specification is just too basic. However, if you're looking for a handset that would serve as a sensible first dip into the world of smartphones, then the Explorer's good build quality and neat Sense user interface makes it a good, if not exactly spectacular, option.
Easy to use & Easy to customise
The HTC Explorer represents great value for money. It's very easy to get to grips with and the layout is easily customisable. Overall performance is very smooth for a phone of this price and will more than satisfy those after an inexpensive pay-as-you-go phone.
Our only real criticisms of it are that some may find it too small. That and that the flash-less 3-megapixel camera isn't very good.
Cool pebble-like design
The HTC Explorer, at first glance, reminds us of a black pebble that has been weathered in a river bed for a long period of time. By that, I mean, it's a solid black device that has nicely curved edges all the way around it. It ultimately feels wonderful in the hand even all the hardware buttons line up with your natural finger placements.
Gingerbread OS 3.0
To wrap up, the call features of the phone are just fine and the voice quality is pretty clear at both ends. But take this one; the phone's battery longevity does not live up to the expectation. But considering the overall performance, the HTC Explorer deal is worth-grabbing this winter.
The advantage of a relatively low-powered screen and processor is that the modest 1230mAh battery should be able to go a few times round the block without a recharge and sure enough, this one gave a little over two days of consistent use. Indeed, the HTC Explorer covers just about all the smartphone basics very well at a decent price making it a good introduction for Android newbies.
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