Android is known for its variety of devices. One of the factors that makes it popular, is the choice of budget devices. As more people are able to afford Android devices, so they do. While the high-end Androids have impressive specs and features, the low-end ones make up a significant market share. The same is with Windows Phone and the devices it offers at a variety of prices. Usually smartphones are divided into 3 groups, according to cost (and surely, specs vary): flagships, mid-range and low-range. Obviously flagships receive most attention, articles, promotion and acclaim. But here let’s discover the other side – several beautiful low-end smartphones.
Sony Xperia U
Sony Xperia U was presented at MWC 2012. It has an iconic Xperia design, and visually differs from bigger brothers (Xperia S and Xperia P) only by size. Initially the smartphone ran then-most-popular Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which still is a reliable and widespread version. Then it received an official upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. So what do we have in specs? There’s a 3.5” 854×480 screen (of quite a high quality for the price), a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 1290 mAh battery, a 5Mpx rear camera, a front-facing camera, 512MB RAM and 8GB of memory storage (a drawback is, that there’s no expandable option, while only 4GB are available for users), Wi-Fi and microUSB connectivity. The bottom cap is changeable, and comes in several colors (namely black, white, pink and yellow). A great option for not-so-demanding users.
HTC Desire C
An entry-level smartphone, HTC Desire C is not a choice for tech-savvy people; however, it offers much for its low price. It’s quite small, has a 3.5” screen and a recognizable HTC design – not luxuriously-looking, but quite attractive. The screen is by no means great with its 320×480 resolution. Other specs include a 600MHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage (+microSD), a 1230 mAh battery, a rear 5Mpx camera; all this is guided by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. What else could be mentioned, is that the smartphone is light, small, and comes in three color schemes: black, white and red.
Nokia Lumia 520
One of the cheapest Windows 8 smartphones, Lumia 520 lacks a lot of features, such as front camera, LED flash and NFC. But it’s an entry level smartphone, so let’s look from ‘what it has’, not ‘what it lacks’ angle. Quite a fresh device (announced at MWC 2013) weighs 124g, and has a 1.0GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB of memory storage (essentially expandable by microSD), a 1430 mAh battery, a 4” 800×480 screen, and a standard minimum of connectivity features: Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPS and MicroUSB. The specs are quite diluted, the phone is not the smartest one, but it’s more than acceptable for its price. And after all, it’s available in five different colors.
Samsung Galaxy Young S6310
Launched in March 2013, Young looks like a younger brother of Galaxy Ace. If you remove the logo, you’ll recognize familiar Samsung curves anyway. And if you take a look at the specs, you’ll have a 320×480 display at 3.27”, microSD-expandable 4GB of internal storage, 768MB RAM, a 1300 mAh battery, 1GHz CPU, Wi-Fi Direct, and a handful of other features. Galaxy Young runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Apart from the really weak points (such as battery and camera), it’s a great-working device that handles the majority of modern apps, being capable to satisfy an average set of needs.
Sony Xperia M
This smartphone has just been announced by Sony. It’s even closer to the mid-range market, thus pricier than the abovementioned examples, which are currently under $200; but it’s a brand new attempt that’s worth mentioning here. Xperia M will be available in two versions: the usual one and the so-called M Dual (which stands for the dual-SIM feature). The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and comes in four colors: black, yellow, purple and white. It has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 4” screen (854×480), 1GB RAM, 4GB memory storage (+ microSD, up to 64GB), 5Mpx camera, HSPA+, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, a 1750 mAh battery, and a weight of 115g. Recently Xperia M has become available for pre-order in Germany at a price tag of €239 (and M Dual at €299).