As the mobile technology world gathered in Barcelona this week for Mobile World Congress, one notable trend was the shift away from smartphones that can do just about everything to a focus on those that do the essentials well.
Here are our top six budget devices:
1. Asus ZenFone 5 LTE Smartphone – £199 from very.co.uk
A handset with an impressive visual display, this sports a top-end processor to cope with multiple tasks. A decent enough 8GB internal memory, eight megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and an LED flash with a two megapixel at the front for selfie indulgence and video chats. A decent handset for getting onto the 4G high-speed mobile superhighway.
2. Trooper2 5.0 – £89.99 from kazam.mobi
This handset boasts dual SIM card capability for your roaming freedom, and presents your Android-powered apps on a very decent 5 inch display. The five megapixel snapper is good and a standard self-facing VGA camera will do an adequate job on the selfie front. This new brand has an array of other offerings in its range and is home-grown, so well worth your support.
3. Amplicomms PowerTel M9000 Amplified Smartphone – £129.99 from hearingdirect.com
The extra-large icons, intuitive menu and large, easy-to-read display text make this a superb choice for an older generation wanting to be included in the digital revolution. Ready installed with a music player, calendar, email and internet browser, this handset is a breeze to get to grips with. The M9000 boasts super-clear sound, very loud volume level and an extra loud ringer together with an SOS ringer on the rear that can be programmed to call or text up to three numbers with a pre-recorded message.
4. Motorola Moto E – £59 from tesco.com
This tough piece of kit has hard-wearing Gorilla Glass and a water-resistant splash guard giving it plenty of durability. The handset runs on Android with access to a million and more apps running through the impressive dual-core processor. Inside is a five megapixel camera backing up to a very decent 4GB memory which is expandable up to 32GB via a MicroSD card – storage space to satisfy all.
5. Nokia Lumia 630 – £99.99 (SIM Free) from carphonewarehouse.com
So there are restrictions using this piece of kit but, despite only having access to Windows apps, this handset running their 8.1 software is actually is a very decent option. With the newly introduced and extremely intuitive digital assistant Cortana inside, it is really fun to use too. All round, a very decent budget option but the lack of front-facing camera might annoy some.
6. Huawei Ascend Y550 – £109.95 (SIM Free) from carphonewarehouse.com
A stylish enough handset with features in abundance, the Y550 is 4G enabled too and so punches well above its price tag with pricier options. The battery life impressed us most and with a five megapixel camera and two megapixel selfie taker, the Chinese manufacturer is seemingly setting out to lead the budget end of the smartphone arena.