Dial into a cheap mo­bile

Smart­phones can be bought on a bud­get, writes Jennifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH -

HTC ONE SV Voda­fone, $ 30/ m for 24m voda­fone. com. au

HTC’S new­est One ( iron­i­cally, there are sev­eral) looks like the com­pany’s cur­rent flag­ship phone mated with last year’s One XL. It boasts a Beats speaker on its rear panel, and it of­fers a rounded, minimalist ex­te­rior, but one made of soft- touch plas­tic rather than slick alu­minium. Its screen is also smaller than that of its big brother, at 4.3 inches, and its res­o­lu­tion is not as sharp, at 480x800 pix­els. What re­mains is a ca­pa­ble 4G smart­phone, how­ever, that uses a 1.2GHz du­al­core chip, 1GB RAM and Google An­droid Jelly Bean ( v4.1) soft­ware. There’s no HTC BlinkFeed to show you news sto­ries at a glance, but it does of­fer plenty of HTC Sense apps to help you see ap­point­ments, play mu­sic or view the weather in­stantly. The screen can be sticky, and its clar­ity doesn’t com­pare to the much pricier top model, but this One is smarter than its pre­paid con­tract sug­gests.

NOKIA LU­MIA 520 Nokia, $ 229 nokia. com/ au

NOKIA’S baby Win­dows Phone, the Lu­mia 520, packs in a lot for its price. The cheap­est in the range has a sim­i­lar look to its big­ger broth­ers, with a colour­ful, matte plas­tic shell, a four- inch screen with a rea­son­able res­o­lu­tion ( 800x480), and Win­dows Phone soft­ware. The Live Tiles that fill its screen are pow­ered by a 1GHz dual- core pro­ces­sor and 512MB RAM, plac­ing it in a slower lane, but Nokia in­cludes its own apps in­clud­ing mu­sic- stream­ing and nav­i­ga­tion ad­di­tions. A five- megapixel cam­era also fea­tures, with vir­tual lenses for op­tions like panoramic im­ages, though it could be faster to fo­cus. Lu­mia 520 buy­ers miss out on 4G and NFC con­nec­tiv­ity in other Nokia phones, and a front- fac­ing cam­era for video calls, but they will also save plenty of cash.

SONY XPE­RIA E Boost Mo­bile, $ 99 shop. boost. com. au

THOSE who pre­fer pocket- sized phones should ap­pre­ci­ate Sony’s bud­get smart­phone. Buck­ing the big trend, the Xpe­ria E will fit in al­most any pocket, or even hide in­side a purse, at just 11cm tall and 115g in weight. De­spite its sub-$ 100 price, the Xpe­ria E can use the lat­est apps, thanks to An­droid Jelly Bean soft­ware ( v4.1), and will cap­ture pho­tos with a rear 3.2- megapixel cam­era, trig­gered by a ded­i­cated shut­ter but­ton. Spend­ing so lit­tle on a phone does de­mand com­pro­mises, how­ever, and the largest is its 3.5- inch screen that of­fers a mea­gre 320x480 pixel res­o­lu­tion, mak­ing it hard to see any­thing in sharp fo­cus. The 1GHz pro­ces­sor also slows down pro­ceed­ings, the phone of­fers just 4GB mem­ory un­til you add your own card, and those who want 4G down­load speeds will be dis­ap­pointed.

SAMSUNG GALAXY EX­PRESS Samsung, $ 397 samsung. com/ au

FROM first glance, and per­haps even a sec­ond, this Samsung smart­phone looks like a more ex­pen­sive model. It fea­tures the same de­sign, chrome fin­ishes and rounded edges as the Galaxy S3, as well as a me­chan­i­cal home but­ton and Su­per AMOLED Plus screen. Look closer and you might no­tice that the screen is smaller ( 4.5 inches) and its body is thicker ( 9.3mm), but they are tough to tell apart un­til they’re in use. The Galaxy Ex­press uses a slower dual- core 1.2GHz chip and 1GB RAM, mak­ing it pause slightly be­tween app tran­si­tions in An­droid Jelly Bean ( v4.1), but it does of­fer a rear five- megapixel cam­era, front cam­era for video calls, plus NFC chip and 4G con­nec­tiv­ity for quick down­loads. Nat­u­rally, you won’t get the cut­ting- edge ad­di­tions of the GS4 with this hand­set, but for a $ 400 sav­ing you might not mind.

LG OP­TI­MUS F5 LG, $ 299 lg. com. au

LG’S newly launched bud­get hand­set packs some pre­mium fea­tures into its $ 299 shell. They in­clude high- speed 4G con­nec­tiv­ity, an NFC chip, a stylish body with dou­ble chrome ac­cents, and touch- sen­si­tive An­droid but­tons be­neath its 4.3- inch screen. The Op­ti­mus F5 sits be­tween LG’s flag­ship and bud­get hand­set ranges, and its spec­i­fi­ca­tions sit in the mid­dle too. The phone runs Google An­droid’s Jelly Bean soft­ware ( v4.1) on a du­al­core 1.2GHz pro­ces­sor and 1GB RAM, and of­fers 8GB stor­age, with space for a mem­ory card to add more. On the down­side, this phone’s five- megapixel cam­era is not ac­com­pa­nied by a flash, mak­ing low- light pho­tos dif­fi­cult, its screen can make fine print tough to read ( 960540), and it’s only avail­able from Op­tus and Vir­gin Mo­bile.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.