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.
I think that Nokia made some smart moves with the Lumia 620. It's clearly a smaller, more entry-level handset, but the device-maker hasn't overskimped on features like NFC or the dual-camera setup. An emphasis on color customization and personality should help the Lumia 620 sell in the lower-cost and youth markets, and the $249 price is pretty affordable for the features. In comparison, premium devices like the Lumia 920 sell for around $500 and $600, more than twice the 620's price.
Excellent Nokia apps, built-in Office
The Lumia 620 is a great effort by Nokia all around. It has a standout design that will appeal to many, especially the young, a good (but not perfect) camera for its class supporting 720p HD video capture, and runs on the now more mature Windows Phone 8.
We don't have any major complaints about the phone and that alone is telling. However, as much as we like Nokia's effort in the Lumia 620, it faces competition from some equally capable devices.
Solid smartphone experience
The Lumia 620 is finds itself in a pretty comfortable position right now. It's far from the hunting grounds of the WP8 powerhouses and yet it provides solid smartphone experience, a very decent screen and a design, which while not as sophisticated as that of the Lumia 820 and 920, has more youthful appeal than either of them.
Top-notch hardware design
The Nokia Lumia 620 is a revelation, showing that budget Windows Phone mobiles donâ??t have to be riddled with compromises and lack any semblance of personality. Top-notch hardware design, plenty of power and a feature list that betters many Android phones at the price should make this the gateway drug for many who have been unconvinced by Windows Phone to date. Only the existing shortcomings app library shortcomings of Windows Phone 8 hold this phone back.
Exeeds every expectation
This phone is the best value for your buck. Runs like a charm, Windows Phone 8 is wonderful and it DOES have the quality and quantity of apps, don't fall for the anti Microsoft hype. The vendor shipped it on time and I had no trouble with the delivery. All in all, one of the best buys I have ever made, on anything!!!!!
Compact, powerful enough, good audio and video quality
For anyone looking for the right Windows Phone to buy, we honestly think this is the handset for you. We loved pretty much everything about it - the battery is a concern though - and Windows Phone 8 is a more mature and enjoyable OS than any previous version of Windows on a phone.
While Windows Phone gets some stick it's only when you spend any time using it that you realise it's a complete and competent mobile OS.
Good storage & expansion
If you're after a Windows 8 Phone, the Lumia 620 is a good if not great option. It's affordable but lacks the apps and expansion options of Android. The Office and exclusive Nokia Drive and Music services really need a bigger screen to show their credentials against the new BlackBerry Z10 and iPhone 4S too.
Good performance, Low temperatures, Enhanced sound via DTS
Huawei describes the Ascend G525 as an entry-level smartphone, but the review unit offers more quality than the low-end term would suggest. This starts with the good case: Even though it is only made of plastic, it accommodates the good 4.5-inch display, a 5 megapixels camera with decent picture quality as well as two slots for SIM cards.
Decent specs, Well built
The Ascend G330 hasn't been around for long but the Ascend Y300 looks set to usurp it at the bottom of Huawei's smartphone range.
It offers a good array of features for a low-end smartphone and will certainly give the ZTE Blade 3 and LG Optimus L3 2 a run for their low cost money.
No-frills value Android smartphone
The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a no-frills smartphone with little to get excited about in dazzling new features. However, it does the basics well with Android 4.1 software with usable battery life at an incredibly low price. For the money, it's one of the best budget smartphone choices around.
Extreme battery runtime
We reviewed the Y300 thoroughly and applied the same standards we use for high-end devices - despite the fact that the entry level device is four times less expensive than the HTC One, for example. Obviously the Y300 does not want to be the performance king but it is interesting for the user how it handles more demanding tasks and if the retail price of 149 Euros (~$194) is justified.
Icons are crisp, colors are good, viewing angles are okay
The Ascend Y300 is a very capable entry-level smartphone that looks and performs like mid-ranger. With its solid construction, 4-inch IPS display, dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 5 megapixel camera and Android Jellybean, Huawei has certainly set a higher standard for their entry-level product line.
Good call quality
If you are looking at purchasing a high-end Android smartphone from Verizon, your choices are currently the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Motorola DROID RAZR HD (and RAZR MAXX HD), as they offer large 720p HD displays, and are using the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor for fast performance.
The Galaxy S III may look more stylish and "flashy", though its plastic construction does have a cheap feeling to it and doesn't hold up well to abuse.
Strong call quality
The Droid Razr HD is a very good phone. The screen and overall design is very handsome. Its dual-core processor is capable, and it only sips battery power. It's a long lasting, reliable device that still has more than enough power to get the job done.
Being exclusive to Verizon is no handicap either, since the company's 4G LTE service is far-reaching and fast.
There's nothing wrong with the device, except for a mediocre camera. It's just that competition is so stiff.
So, all in all, the Motorola DROID RAZR HD's biggest problem isn't that it's not a solid device. Just the opposite it's an excellent performer that is only bound to get better when the updates start coming in (and when you have Google's word for it, you know they will come in). However, on current merit, it's hard to recommend it over the established players in the game.
Good performance for a dual-core handset
On paper the Razr HD may not look all that tempting given its fairly modest spec. However, in the flesh it's an attractive looking phone that feels more robust than the likes of the Samsung S3. It's got surprisingly good performance for a dual core phone too, along with excellent battery life.
Looks awesome and gives the premium feel you want from a smartphone
The Motorola Razr HD offers superb build quality and battery life along with a nice screen and great battery life. However, its £400 asking price means that it's probably worth spending the extra for a rival flagship smartphone or saving some money by opting for the Google Nexus 4.
Durable and refined smartphone
However, I've talked to many that refuse to touch this phone solely because of those buttons. However, if you can get past that, I would definitely recommend this over the Galaxy S3. Both are certainly great phones, but the Droid RAZR HD feels more refined and professional. At least go try it out at your local Verizon store!
Lovely looking, great screen, decent battery life
So there you have it, we have more faith in Motorola's products than Google CFOs do. While you could argue that the Razr HD isn't a "wow" device, you can't really argue that it's bad, because it isn't. And honestly, we really like its design and feel. It might not be one of the new generation of giaganto-phones that are all the rage now, but it will suit that audience who want smaller devices, with plenty of scope.
Excellent signal strength
The Motorola Droid RAZR HD is, simply put, an excellently built and designed smartphone. It's a pleasure to use, and a solid choice for anyone looking for a good high-end device today.
In fact, the only thing that I could see significantly improving the user experience would be to add more memory and more battery power... which is exactly what the RAZR MAXX HD does. Motorola has a clear hit on its hands here, and for a whole bunch of very good reasons.
Free 50GB Dropbox storage (for 2 years)
Low-end Android smartphones are never perfect, but they aren't really meant to be. Rather, these handsets need to be just good enough to suit the needs of budget-conscious consumers. Does the Samsung Galaxy Fame fit the bill? Well, based on our experience with it we'd say that it's a nice entry-level device that will probably get the attention of the younger crowd and the ladies, in particular.
Difficult texting, Low-res screen
We can see the Samsung Galaxy Fame selling a fair few units, especially given its super low price tag, and we don't see that as a bad thing, given that the majority of users will likely be young, and wanting a way of connecting to Facebook, but for anything more substantial, the handset really struggles.
Attractive design, Decent camera, Affordable price
The Samsung Galaxy Fame is attractive, cheap and has a decent camera. It's let down though by its sluggish processor and lacklustre screen. Unless you're desperate to put a Samsung Galaxy phone in your pocket, you can spend your money more wisely elsewhere.
Good range of Android features, good camera for the price
The Samsung Galaxy Fame comes out just ahead of its nearest rival the Galaxy Young because of its superior camera. But while its processor appeared better on paper, in practise the lack of RAM held it back and the larger screen actually has a slightly lower pixel count. It's a pretty good budget Android, but if you're not fussed about the camera, you might be better to save a few quid and plump for the Young.
Good quality photos, Above average call quality
We believe the Samsung Galaxy Fame is definitely good enough for the needs of average budget-conscious consumers and will probably get the attention of the younger people. It offers a nice solid design, good quality of its photos as well as an attractive feature set. Its low resolution display, occasional performance issues and poor quality video recording, however, should make you think twice before you buy it, but overall, the Fame is a more than decent low-end Android.
Good for web and apps, Good battery life
The Ascend G330 is a solid performer. It's smooth in use, has the power to run even the most demanding apps very well, and although not hugely exciting to look at and hold, the display's clear and bright enough to elevate it above some of the tattier budget models.
And it's definitely more capable than the old Ascend G300, with hardly any glitches when downloading/updating apps and navigating the phone at the same time.
Excellent value, Reasonable screen
Huawei has gained a phone-loving fan base for a reason - it's because it produces phones at prices few others can really compete with, giving the impression that every penny has gone into offering as much phone for as little cash as possible. The Huawei Ascend G330 is no exception, offering decent specs, a fairly good screen and solidly workmanlike design at an excellent price.
Outperformed everything in its price range
The G330 is a useful update to the G300. Huawei's Ascend smartphone still offers incredible value at just £10 per month, and is now supplied with a faster dual-core processor, a front-facing camera for video chat, and a few design tweaks that make it a more appealing handset to carry around. Now running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the Ascend G330 is slick and intuitive in use, and benefits from a few of Huawei's own interface tweaks to boot.
Sensibly priced, solidly built
For less than £200 - Huawei tells us it expects this phone to be around the same as the G300 in retail price, although we've only seen it for around £180 - you get an Android phone with a decent screen, a recent version of Android in Ice Cream Sandwich and performance good enough for most people.
Decent screen, Capable processor
The Ascend G330 is a very good budget phone for the price, thanks largely to its relatively speedy dual-core processor and good quality screen. It's not quite as impressive as its predecessor, however, as its software doesn't seem to be as stable and its battery life is a let-down.
Decent screen, fast processor, okay camera, reasonable price
The Huawei Ascend G330 offers a decent range of specs for the price though it doesn't quite have the "How much!?" effect of the G300. Still, with a fast processor, decent screen and not-bad camera, it's another very solid budget contender.
Great call quality
The Sony Xperia E dual was born to be used for voice calls. It offers outstanding call quality and can handle two SIM cards simultaneously, meaning that those who own it can take advantage of two carriers' deals, thus saving some cash along the way. Besides, its performance isn't too bad, so it can be a decent entry-level handset for users on a tight budget.
Good balance between functionality and affordability
Sony Xperia E dual is an excellent offering, striking good balance between functionality and affordability. The snappy performance came as a nice surprise to us and if it wasn't for the limited storage for installing apps we'd be recommending it in a heartbeat.
Yet, even as things stand now, the Xperia E is a very competitive package that will tick the right boxes for many and would provide a lot of bang for your buck.
Feels much like a toy
The Xperia E Dual is a great phone for those looking for an entry-level Android smartphone on a budget. The build quality is excellent and the performance is decent. The dual-SIM feature offers the option to keep your professional and personal life separate. In short, if you want a market-tested brand with the features of a smartphone, the Xperia E Dual Android phone is a good choice.
Sits comfortably in the hand
The Sony Xperia E dual is a good dual-SIM smartphone for little money. One should not expect too much besides this function though. The case is undoubtedly fancy, but the stability is not ideal. The card reader allowing up to 64 GB is a useful feature considering the small internal storage provided. The integration of the dual-SIM function proves to be good in Android. An update to Google Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is yet to be released by Sony though.
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.
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