20 May 2015 ~ 8 Comments

Top 5 value-for-money smartphones

top 5 value for money

Everyone knows about the latest and greatest superpowered smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Apple iPhone 5S and the HTC One M8. They pack in the latest technology and the most features and are really at the cutting edge of modern industrial design. However, despite the high performance, they have a price tag to match.

Not everyone can afford £1000+ on a new mobile phone and commitment to a contract of two years or more. Furthermore, anyone following technology knows that early adopters pay over the odds and sometimes even subsidise other consumers for the right to boast that they a device at the bleeding edge of tech.

Smarter customers often look for bargains instead of obsessing over the very best. By going for a phone that’s a generation or two behind the curve, you not only get a product with amazing performance but you also save a lot of money. Simply, it’s the best way to maximise the bang for your buck. And it’s pretty clear that nowadays, even a phone that came out two years ago offers a blisteringly fast user experience, the same solid build quality and more features than you’d probably ever use. If you want better value for money, you can still get amazing performance – after all, most phones today offer better tech specs than laptops and digital cameras from just a few years ago.

We now have bargain smartphones available that refuse to compromise on performance. Today we’re rounding up the top five phones that offer the best value. These handsets are all less than half the price of a new Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5S but still keep up with the latest games and apps. In our opinion, they are easily the best value for money smartphones you can currently get. Have a look for yourself!

Nokia Lumia 520

Only £79.84

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Smooth, stylish and smart, the new Lumia 520 is packed with great features it’s hard to live without. Windows Mobile has massively improved recently and on top of that, there’s no denying that Nokia, with all their experience, make stunning-looking devices.

At an incredible pricepoint of under £80, it’s hard to argue with the Lumia 520. Anything else this cheap without a contract will be sluggish and unresponsive in comparison.

It also boasts a super-sharp 4″ screen, crystal call quality and many other perks such as a physical shutter button and digital lenses.

If you don’t mind a Windows Phone device, there is absolutely nothing that comes close to the price/quality ratio of the Nokia Lumia 520.

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Lenovo A820

Only £109.22

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lenovo a820

When looking at Chinese phones like the Lenovo A820, the main selling points is just how much phone you’re getting for your money. It has 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor but still costs just over 100 quid. If you don’t have hundreds and hundreds of pounds to spend on your mobile phone but still want all the bells and whistles of a smartphone, this is a great choice to go for.

We’ve already written a full in-depth review of the Lenovo A820 but to summarise, the highlights of this handset are the power saving features, the long-lasting removable 2000 mAh power cell, the amazing dual-SIM ports and the fact it comes with a quad core processor.

This handset is incredibly cheap for the hardware you’re getting and it offers incomparable value compared to almost any phone available on British high streets.

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Moto G

Was £159.99 Now only £149.99

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moto g

Yes, you read it right. The Moto G is a Android KitKat 4G smartphone that only costs £150! It boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, boatloads of RAM and much more besides.

The battery is great and the two cameras produce snaps of amazingly good quality. Perhaps best of all in the impressive curved 4.5″ screen coated with Gorilla Glass. The casing is even water-resistant!

LTE 4G, HD display, Quad-Core Speed Android 4.4 KitKat and all for less than £150. A bargain!

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Nexus 5

Only £260.00

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nexus 5

The Nexus 5 surely needs no introduction. Built by LG, the Google-branded Android handset comes with an 8 MP OIS camera featuring HDR+ and Photo Sphere‚ a 4.95″ Full HD IPS Display, fast 4G LTE and a 2‚300 mAh battery.

The phone has a nice matt rubberised back and feels great to hold. Compared to high end competitors like the iPhone 5S, you get a bigger, better quality screen and the Nexus is just as blisteringly fast.

The Nexus 5 is outstanding and comes at an incredible price for a well-specced product that just exudes quality.

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Was £489.00 Now only £275.79

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lg g2

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can still get great value for your cash. The LG G2 blows away most of its competition with a 2.26Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB RAM, 13 megapixel OIS camera and a 5.2″ full HD display.

On top of that it boasts a massive battery to keep it going all day and genuinely useful software features such as tracking zoom, Knockon and Capture PLus.

The phone is gorgeous to look at with the bezel-less screen and amazing build quality throughout. The display density is 424 ppi and the colour reproduction is clear and vivid. Overall, the LG G2 is a great handset and an utter bargain at this price.

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05 September 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Android 4.4 to be named KitKat

chocolate androids

A whole new range of “have a break”-themed puns became possible today as the name of the new version of Android was officially revealed. In keeping with the alphabetical naming system Google have been using (viz. Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, etc.) it had long been referred to as Key Lime Pie. However, it seems that this was not internationally recognisable enough (some differences aside, it’s basically a lemon meringue pie with lime instead) and so they’d entered into an agreement to call it KitKat.

Even the majority of Google employees haven’t known about the new name for Android until this news broke after a giant Android-shaped KitKat was delivered to their headquarters in Mountain View, California. According to reports, the deal was only struck a few months ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Tens of millions of KitKat bars around the world will have prominent Android branding but even the production of the wrappers has been kept a secret so that the news didn’t leak.

android kitkatWhy the sudden change and why a KitKat in particular then? Apparently Hiroshi Lockheimer, the VP of Engineering at Android is a bit of a KitKat addict. And it was Google who contacted Nestlé to strike the secretive deal.

However, in announcing this deal that had been kept under wraps for so long, Google unwittingly let something else slip. A promotional video (which has since been removed) posted on an official Google YouTube channel showed footage from the delivery of the giant Android KitKat at Google HQ. In it, several Google employees are taking photos with their Android smartphones including one holding a shiny-looking Nexus-branded model.

Even though you can make out that it is manufactured by LG again, the back of the phone clearly has a larger camera lens than the Nexus 4 and other Nexus handsets leading many to predict that this is a pre-release version of the new Nexus 5. Keep your ears to the ground as we may be hearing a lot more soon…

In other Android news, Google has now reported that there have now been 1 billion Android activations worldwide. If you think about that, it really is quite staggering. And it’s even ahead of Google’s own predictions.

So what do you think the new KitKat version of Android is going to bring? It’s only version 4.4 (up from the current 4.3 Jelly Bean) so it’s not a major revision, but we can expect plenty of updates and new features. We’re just not sure partnering with KitKat was the wisest of ideas…

First of all, who even likes KitKats? Surely they are one of the worst and most boring chocolate bars? Even worse, in the whole of the US (which is still Android’s biggest market), KitKat bars are made with disgusting Hershey’s “chocolate”. That’s right, American KitKats have only 11% cocoa solids which is less than a third of that legally mandated to even label a product as “chocolate” in the EU!

But that’s far from the worst of it. Partnering with Nestlé is pretty dubious from a moral standpoint if you remember their marketing practices in the third world. Put simple, Nestlé dressed up their sales reps as medical professionals so they could use their perceived authority to push their unhealthy baby milk formula on poor mothers. Of course, once they had started using infant formula, the women we no longer able to produce their own breast milk and we trapped having to buy Nestle’s extremely pricey substitute.

Arguably, foreign packaging and lack of clean water in these regions led to millions of children dying just to make Nestlé’s shareholders a bit of cash. To this day, right-thinking people boycott all Nestlé products and Google’s cooperation with them will leave a much more sour taste in the mouth than the infamous vomit taste of Hershey’s KitKats.

What do you make of this announcement? Do you prefer Key Lime Pies or KitKats? What new features will Android 4.4 bring? Do you still boycott Nestlé products? And can Google be forgiven for working with them? We’d love to hear your opinions on all these issues.

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