There was once a time when buying a smartphone was expensive. Back then, you would pay hundreds of hard grafted cash for a pixelated camera and the ability to read your emails on the go. Skip to 2013 and you don’t need to be a banker to own a smartphone. Rather than spending all your money on the latest iPhone or Galaxy S4, there are plenty of affordable alternatives that won’t break the bank.
So if your budget is tighter than a Yorkshireman’s wallet*, don’t panic. With all the leading manufacturers boasting affordable smartphones in their line ups this year, you’re sure to find a cost friendly handset with a healthy serving of features. Here are my best budget smartphones for 2013.
Sony Xperia E
In the words of Sony, our first budget device proclaims to be the “no-nonsense Android smartphone”. There are so many high-end releases out there with gimmicky features you will never use. The Sony Xperia E is not one of those phones. Instead the latest alphabet smartphone from Sony masters the basics down to a tee.
All mobiles, whether smartphone or brick, should have call quality at the heart of the product experience. Fortunately, this budget smartphone comes with HD voice, which enhances your conversation with clarity, even in noisy environments. Perfect for that quick ring when on the train home!
If the battery life of your current device is draining you down, the power management app on the Xperia E puts you in charge. Use the extended standby mode to control which apps are open or closed when the smartphone is locked; prolonging your battery life by up to 4 times.
With all the perks of an affordable Android smartphone, we feel the Sony Xperia E is a comfortable jump into the 21st century of smartphone tech.
Samsung Galaxy Fame
As the successor to the Galaxy Ace, the Fame is Samsung’s best budget smartphone for 2013. Having undergone a glamorous makeover, the 3.5 inch handset is inspired by the curves of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Far from being just a pretty face, here’s some useful features of the Samsung Galaxy Fame.
To help you share your 5 megapixel photos even faster, the Fame is S Beam ready. Just bump your Fame with another compatible smartphone and through the illusion of NFC connectivity, your files are transferred in seconds. Beat that Paul Daniels!
Whether you’re a mover or a shaker, the Fame has simple gestures built within.
When you’re too busy for a phone call, place the screen face down to reject the call. Likewise, giving the handset a good shake up can be useful for refreshing your widget pages.
Serving up a sweet helping of Android Jelly Bean OS; the Samsung Galaxy Fame is an affordable smartphone with fashionable features and up to date software.
Nokia Lumia 520
If you really want to make a statement, the Lumia 520 shouts style with its bright colours. Unlike our other budget smartphones for 2013, the Lumia 520 rebels against Android with its Windows Phone 8 operating system. The Live Tiles are a nice alternative which automatically refresh with your latest social and app updates.
With a 4 inch display, the Nokia Lumia 520 is the largest of our low costing mobiles, and also packs the bonus of a dual core processor. That’s great news for those who love a bit of action gaming!
Loaded with Nokia Mix Radio, enjoy access to streamed music playlists based on your favourite tastes. It could be agreed that with over 60 hours music playback off a single battery charge, the Nokia Lumia 520 has more juice than a smoothie bar!
Budget Apple iPhone 5S
With so many great budget smartphone releases for 2013, one of the most exciting rumours for this year has to be talk of a more affordable Apple iPhone 5S. As a brand renowned for quality at a premium price, affordability isn’t usually top of Apple’s agenda. However as low costing, budget smartphones continue to consume market share across Asia and Africa; it’s only natural Apple want a slice of the pie!
We’ve already seen 6 months of successful Apple iPad Mini sales, which suggest Apple are willing to offer tiers of a product at different prices. Should this budget iPhone make an appearance in 2013, expect to see hardware similar to the iPhone 4 encased within a design consistent with the iPhone 5. Could a budget iPhone 5S come in a variety of fruitful colours like the iPod Touch? Time will tell on these rumours.
The best budget smartphones for 2013
So there’s my round-up of the best budget smartphones for 2013. With plenty of affordable devices available in the UK, there’s no excuse not to join the smartphone revolution today! For more great value deals, why not check out our budget smartphone deals page?
* For those offended, don’t panic. Rob was born and raised in Yorkshire too.