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The 5 best budget smartphones of 2015

Know Your Mobile logo Know Your Mobile 29-12-2015 Michael Grothaus

This year has seen a ton of amazing smartphones. No doubt you know most of them by name – iPhone 6s, Nexus 6P, Galaxy S6, LG G4, HTC One M9, Galaxy Note 5, and more. But the thing all these phones have in common are that they are relatively expensive. Each one will cost you anywhere from around £300 if you're lucky, up to around £500-£700 for the really big kahunas. There's actually a selection of affordable smartphones out there, however. And while these smartphones might not have all the bells and whistles of the flagships above they do have enough power and pizzazz to accomplish all the everyday tasks you want to: apps, web browsing, emails, social media, and selfies. So if dropping £500 on a new smartphone isn’t your thing, check out one of these affordable smartphones below, because sometimes being cheap doesn’t mean it’s cheap.

   

1. ASUS ZenPhone 2 (sim-free price: below £199)

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The ASUS ZenPhone 2 is unique on this list because unlike the other phones here it doesn’t run a mobile processor. Instead it packs an Intel processor like you would find in most PCs. But that 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Quad Core Processor doesn’t make the phone sluggish or over power hungry. The ZenPhone 2 features a 5.5-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. Inside you’ll get 16GB of storage, but that’s upgradable thanks to the microSD card slot. It also comes with 2GB of RAM. The phone supports 4G and features a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. It also packs a rather large a large 3,000 mAh battery. It’s available in black or red.

2. Moto G 3 (sim-free price: below £159)

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This Android budget phone is one of the most versatile. That’s because in addition to its other features, it also is waterproof, which is always a nice addon. The entry level Moto G 3 features a 5-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. Inside you’ll get 8GB of storage, but that’s upgradable thanks to the microSD card slot. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU. The camera has a generous 13MP sensor. But best of all is the battery life. This smartphone can last a full day and a half between charges. That’s mainly due to its relatively low res screen. The Moto G 3 can also be fully customized using the Moto Maker service. Oh, it’s also a 4G handset.

3. Huawei P8 Lite (sim-free price: below £149)

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The Huawei P8 Lite is a great budget phone for those that want a little style. That’s thanks to its aluminum body which gives it a premium flagship look. The phone sports a 5-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. Inside you’ll get 16GB of storage, but that’s upgradable thanks to the microSD card slot. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU. The phone supports 4G LTE and features a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. The phone also comes in stylish Black, White, or Gold.

4. Microsoft Lumia 640 (sim-free price: below £129)

© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

What, did you think this list was going to be all Android handsets? We’re giving Windows Phone some love here to. The Microsoft Lumia 640 is the second-most affordable phone on this list. I personally like the Lumia 640 because its glossy plastic case reminds me of the body of the iPhone 3G or iPhone 5c. The Lumia 640 features a 5-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. Inside you’ll get 8GB of storage, but as usual that’s upgradable thanks to the microSD card slot. It also comes with 1GB of RAM and an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU. The phone supports 4G LTE and features a 8MP rear camera. And thanks to its 2500 mAh battery, the Lumia 640 can actually go for two days without a recharge. The Lumia 640 comes in Glossy cyan, Orange, White, Matte black. An added bonus: the Lumia 640 comes with a free one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal worth £59.99. It’ll also get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the OS drops.

5. Motorola Moto E 2 (sim-free price: below £109)

 

© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

While all of the phones on this list can rightfully be called “budget” phones, the winner in the price department is the Motorola Moto E 2. It costs under £109–and in some places you can get the sim-free version for as cheap as £89. The Motorola Moto E 2 sports a 4.5-inch display with 540 x 960 pixel resolution. Inside you’ll get 8GB of storage, but as with all the phones on this list, that’s upgradable thanks to the microSD card slot. It also comes with 1GB of RAM and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU. Given it’s low price you may be surprised to find the phone supports 4G LTE, but it does. It also features a 5MP rear camera–not great, but what do you want for around £100? The Motorola Moto E 2 comes in black or white. 


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