Moto E – from £60
Motorola’s 2014 follow-up to the Moto G, the Moto E, is well under £100 and has a slightly smaller screen at 4.3 inches. This is definitely one of the cheapest Android smartphones on the market today and Motorola’s consistent quality also makes it one of the best.
The Moto E comes with a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage.
Moto G 2014 4G – from £150
Motorola upgraded its hit Moto G phone with 4G capabilities. In some aspects, the Moto G just wipes the floor with its competitors. A 5-inch screen boosts the Moto G’s display quality up there in the mid to premium-range market, with a 5MP camera to boot.
The 1GB of RAM handles most of the apps and the fluidity of Android KitKat well enough, which is a nice surprise as the hungry Google Apps normally slows budget devices right down. All in all, this is one of the best budget smartphones out there today, and a sterling come back for Motorola after being acquired by Google.
ZTE Blade 3 – from £49.95 (Argos)
A simple handset that’s not a showstopper but will get the job done. A 5MP camera and 4GB memory suffice for basic smartphone needs, and the Android 4.2 OS runs smoothly enough.
The Blade 3 is a true budget smartphone, but the 4-inch screen and long battery life make it a must-buy for a new smartphone owner.
Huawei Ascend Y530 – from £69
One of Huawei’s latest budget offerings, released at Mobile World Congress, is the Ascend Y530. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and for £150 you’ll be getting a really decent budget handset with a 4.5-inch screen and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
The simple Emotion UI, which is stuck over Android on this smartphone, could make all the difference for first time smartphone users and is much more attractive than Huawei’s other offerings.
Nokia Lumia 630 – £130
The phone that has certainly helped with Nokia’s mobile turnaround, the 630 is a fantastic budget Windows Phone that offers a very different operating system to Android. Some people love it, some people hate it – we say, go into a phone shop and try it out!
The 630 looks great, colourful and comes loaded with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, a 4.5-inch screen and 8GB of memory. The camera (with LED flash) performs well enough and at around £130, this is serious Nokia power on a budget.