The cheapest 4G smartphones of 2015/2016. The 20 best budget 4G phones. Best cheap 4G smartphones reviewed, cheapest 4G smartphones. With 4G firmly in place in the UK, we round up the cheapest 4G enabled smartphones you can buy in 2015/2016.
With 4G LTE networks firmly in place in the UK offering faster download speeds, here's our list of the cheapest 4G enabled smartphones for 2015/2016.
When buying a new smartphone you might assume that it comes with all the latest technology and the ability to connect to any mobile network you choose. While this would be ideal, it's unfortunately far from the truth. See: What is 4G? A complete guide to 4G.
Cheapest 4G smartphones: what you need
A smartphone needs to have the right hardware chip to support 4G networks so you need to check the specifications carefully to avoid disappointment. See also: 4G LTE rollout schedule in the UK.
If you're looking for a 4G capable smartphone and you're on a budget then you've come to the right place. Here are the 10 cheapest 4G smartphones in the UK based on SIM-free prices.
Be aware that some of these phones are cheap because they are last year's models and therefore might not have the kind of specs you're after or the latest software.
20 cheapest 4G smartphones in the UK 2015/2016
20. UMI Fair
- Reviewed on: 11 November 15
- RRP: £95.19 from European warehouse
The UMI Fair has an excellent specification for not a lot of money. With a thin, metal frame it looks much more expensive than it is, and it includes all the features you're likely to need with a removable battery, microSD support, a fingerprint scanner and dual-SIM 4G LTE connectivity. Performance is adequate and the camera more than satisfactory, making this something of an all-rounder.
Read our UMI Fair review.
- Reviewed on: 13 November 15
- RRP: £81.59 from China (plus import duty); £104.03 from Europe
The Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro isn't our cup of tea, but as budget phones go it isn't bad. For what it lacks in style it makes up for in specifications, offering good value as an acceptable all-round Android phone just a few pounds over £100.
Read our Doogee Valencia 2 Y100 Pro review.
- Reviewed on: 30 April 15
- RRP: £203.33 (£180.66 with coupon code ZTES6PLUS)
The ZTE Blade S6 Plus is a nice phablet for £200, but it doesn't offer enough to make it worth an extra £50 on top of the standard model, which already has a large 5in screen. In comparison to that phone it's lost some of the features we liked, and despite having a larger battery runtime still isn't great. If you're looking for a 5.5in phablet at £200, our money would be on the Kingzone Z1.
Read our ZTE Blade S6 Plus review.
17. EE Harrier
- Reviewed on: 2 July 15
- RRP: From £21.99/month or £199 PAYG
At £200 EE's Harrier offers 4G connectivity, a great 5.2in full-HD IPS screen and the promise of Wi-Fi Calling. For many people that will make it an excellent deal. But a number of issues prevented us getting too excited about this smartphone: there's a load of bloatware, relatively sluggish performance, unremarkable battery life, some awkwardly placed buttons, a plastic build, and the camera performance isn't great.
Read our EE Harrier review.
16. Kingzone Z1
- Reviewed on: 12 May 15
- RRP: £199.91 from European Warehouse (no import duty)
For a £200 phone the Kingzone Z1 is a very decent proposition. It has a nice build, some pleasing connectivity features, and we were astonished to find faster performance than phones that cost three times the price, although cutbacks have been made - notably in the screen and fingerprint sensor, although the latter has other uses beyond security.
Read our Kingzone Z1 review.
15. Ulefone Paris
- Reviewed on: 20 November 15
- RRP: £88.39 (plus taxes - shipping from China)
The Ulefone Paris is a great budget buy at £88, but bear in mind that you may also need to factor in import duty. Even so, it's a great rival to the £125 Vodafone Smart Ultra 6, which sits at the top of our budget smartphone chart, with faster core hardware and 4G dual-SIM functionality, but a lower-resolution screen. The camera isn't as impressive as the rest of this budget phone's spec, but it's still acceptable for such a cheap device.
Read our Ulefone Paris review.
14. UMI eMax Mini
- Reviewed on: 17 November 15
- RRP: £95.19 from China (plus import duty); £122.39 from Europe
The UMI eMax Mini is a very decent attempt at a budget Android phone with mid-range specs, and a strong rival to the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 that tops our budget phones chart. It's slower than the original UMI eMax in our benchmarks, but in real-world use it feels just as fast. The cameras have been improved and also the design, in our opinion, resulting in a cheap phone that offers strong value for money.
Read our UMI eMax Mini review.
13. Moto G 4G
- Reviewed on: 13 August 14
- RRP: £135 inc VAT
Motorola's Moto G is the best budget smartphone around. At £135 it's got great build quality, an excellent screen, decent cameras and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean soon to be upgrade to 4.4 KitKat.
Read our Moto G 4G review.
12. Nokia Lumia 630
- Reviewed on: 5 August 14
- RRP: £129 inc VAT
If you're considering the Lumia 630 as a first smartphone and you don't plan to buy lots of wireless accessories and install lots of apps, it's not a bad choice at all. Windows Phone 8.1 is very easy to use, and will improve even more when Cortana and its associated features arrive in the UK. However, the sticky problem of a lack of apps in Microsoft's store remains an issue for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones, and the lack of a front-facing camera is a problem if you want to use Skype. Note that the Lumia 635 is the model with 4G support.
Read our Nokia Lumia 630 review.
- Reviewed on: 14 May 15
- RRP: From £13.50 per month, £109.99 PAYG or £129.99 SIM-free
The Microsoft Lumia 640 is a worthy upgrade over the Lumia 630, and this Windows Phone now presents very good value for money. This is the Moto G of the Windows world, with a near-identical spec and a £20 lower price tag. Which phone you choose will come down to your software preferences - many users will be happy with Windows Phone, but if third-party apps feature heavily on your wishlist you may find that extra £20 for the Moto G money well spent.
Read our Microsoft Lumia 640 review.
- Reviewed on: 17 March 15
- RRP: £82.49 from China
We're really very impressed by the Doogee F1 Turbo Mini. At £82 or £104 (depending on how you buy it) this is the cheapest 4G phone we've ever seen. It's better-looking and more powerful than any budget phone has any right to be.
Read our Doogee F1 Turbo Mini review.
9. UMI Hammer S
- Reviewed on: 20 November 15
- RRP: £108.79 inc. VAT
We really like the UMI Hammer S. It's not the fastest phone you'll find at this price, but it's fast enough for daily use. The design is nice, and genuinely useful technology - USB-C and the fingerprint scanner for example - comes at an attractive price. A strong rival to the excellent Vodafone Smart Ultra 6.
Read our UMI Hammer S review.
8. UMI eMax
- Reviewed on: 9 July 15
- RRP: £115.59 (plus import duty)
UMI's eMax offers superb value for money. It's not as good-looking as other UMI phones we've reviewed, but the eMax has a big and bright full-HD screen for enjoying media and more, and showed very capable performance in the majority of our benchmarks. Photography is decent at this price, and enthusiasts will appreciate the Rootjoy support. At £115 you can't go far wrong with the UMI eMax.
Read our UMI eMax review.
- Reviewed on: 14 July 15
- RRP: 147.06 (plus import duty)
Ulefone's BeTouch is an unrivalled deal at £147. It's fast, it's dual-SIM with 4G connectivity, it has a working fingerprint scanner for security, the screen is large and with an HD resolution plenty crisp enough for the money, and there is absolutely no bloatware. A few minor quibbles aside, it's genuinely difficult to fault this phone at this price.
Read our Ulefone BeTouch review.
6. EE Kestrel
- Reviewed on: 16 June 14
- RRP: £99 inc. VAT
We like the Kestrel, we really do. We don't like its design and build quality, and we hate its user interface, but in other respects the Kestrel has a lot going for it. Whereas network operators haven't yet been able to make 4G connectivity available UK-wide, at least the hardware on which to enjoy it is now available even to those on tight budgets. At £99, you get a pretty good screen, better performance than you should probably expect at this price, and the promise of 4G connectivity if it's available in your area.
Read our EE Kestrel review.
- Reviewed on: 21 October 15
- RRP: £109 inc VAT
If you love Samsung Android phones then you'll like the Galaxy Core Prime. It does lack a few features, but the missing ambient light sensor is one cut corner too far. For only £79, we prefer Vodafone's Smart Prime 6. It has a 5in 1280x720 screen, better cameras and an ambient light sensor. Plus it runs an essentially plain version of Android.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Core Prime review.
- Reviewed on: 12 November 15
- RRP: 149 Euro + 12 Euro shipping (approx £105 + £8.50 shipping)
Although you can't just walk into a shop and buy it in the UK, this Just5 Blaster 2 is certainly a better budget buy than the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. At around £105 it's no surprise to find a plastic build, but we appreciate the inclusion in the box of interchangeable colour covers. The screen is good, if a little dull, and performance is spot-on at this price point. The cameras are acceptable, and the software free of bloat. A good all-round budget option.
Read our Just5 Blaster 2 review.
- Reviewed on: 3 March 15
- RRP: £109 inc. VAT
The new Moto E 4G is a worthy upgrade over the original Moto E, with upgrades in every area. For an extra £20 it adds 4G LTE connectivity and a front-facing camera, plus performance and storage improvements. It might not be as fast as the grey-market Doogee F1 Turbo Mini, but this Moto E 4G is a much better deal than the EE Kestrel, making it the best budget 4G phone intended for UK sale we've seen.
Read our Motorola Moto E 4G review.
- Reviewed on: 7 July 15
- RRP: £99 inc. VAT
We're much keener on the Harrier Mini than we are its bigger brother. While both phones offer very good value, £99 sounds much more appealing than £199, and we prefer the Mini's more compact design. Performance is slower and the screen isn't as good, but you won't get top-end specs from either phone. But as much as we think the Harrier Mini is a great deal, the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 offers better value. It's £20 cheaper and has a larger, better screen, and it seems more adept in photography. Buy the Harrier Mini over the Smart Prime 6 only if you'll benefit from Wi-Fi Calling once it becomes available.
Read our EE Harrier Mini review.
- Reviewed on: 25 June 15
- RRP: £79
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 is a great budget smartphone that we think is worth more than the £79 that Vodafone asks for it. Its processor may not be able to compete with grey-market phones like the Doogee F1 Turbo Mini, but it handles day-to-day use just fine with no noticeable lag. While the Moto E 4G performed slightly better during our benchmarks, the Smart Prime 6 has a bigger screen, better camera and is £30 cheaper, making it our choice out of the two handsets.
Read our Vodafone Smart Prime 6 review.