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The 7 best budget smartphones: The best cheap smartphone you can buy in 2013

The seven best budget smartphones for under £200

We understand that not everyone has deep enough pockets to get a Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, so we’ve rounded up the best budget smartphone you can buy. We've reviewed all of these cheap smartphones and they all cost under £200.

Whether you simply can't afford a flagship smartphone, or you want a second device for those situations where your precious smartphone it too vulnerable, here are the seven best budget smartphones in 2013.  

7. HTC Desire CHTC Desire C

  • Reviewed on: 21 August 13
  • RRP: £180 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The HTC Desire C is a nicely designed budget Android 4.0 handset. It could make a good first smartphone but doesn't have any outstanding features. The price is attractive but if you're not bothered about NFC then it's worth paying an extra £20 for the HTC One V for its superior screen and better performance.


6. ZTE Blade 3ZTE Blade 3

  • Reviewed on: 1 May 13
  • RRP: £79 on PAYG
  • Rating: Rated 6 out of 10

While we find the ZTE Blade 3 and stylish and well-built handset for its budget price, its poor performance means that the Huawei Ascend G330 remains the best budget Android smartphone around and is worth the extra £20.


5. Huawei Ascend G 300Huawei Ascend G 300

  • Reviewed on: 21 May 12
  • RRP: £100 (Vodafone PAYG)
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The Huawei Ascend G 300 is a budget Android smartphone that outperforms everything in its price range.


4. Sony Xperia USony Xperia U

  • Reviewed on: 8 June 12
  • RRP: £189 SIM-free; from £15.50 per month contract
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Xperia U is one of the best smartphones we've seen for under £200. For this price you get a capable handset providing higher performance than some more expensive rivals – all with a fantastic screen and a two-day battery life. The phone's maind downfalls are limited storage and old software, although this should be updated one day.


3. Huawei Ascend Y300Huawei Ascend Y300

  • Reviewed on: 15 July 13
  • RRP: £199 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a no-frills smartphone with little to get excited about in dazzling new features. However, it does the basics well with Android 4.1 software with usable battery life at an incredibly low price. For the money, it's one of the best budget smartphone choices around.


2. Nokia Lumia 520Nokia Lumia 520

  • Reviewed on: 17 July 13
  • RRP: £140 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

If you're looking for a cheap smartphone, you may have just found it. The Nokia Lumia 520 doesn't tick all the boxes on our features wishlist, but it capably handles those that are most important. Windows Phone 8 is a beautiful operating system, but it still lacks apps. If you can get past this and don't mind sacrificing some performance, the Lumia 520 is a strong budget buy.


1. Huawei Ascend G330Huawei Ascend G330

  • Reviewed on: 6 February 13
  • RRP: £184 Amazon; From £10 per month (TalkTalk, 24-month plan, free handset)
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The G330 is a useful update to the G300. Huawei's Ascend smartphone still offers incredible value at just £10 per month, and is now supplied with a faster dual-core processor, a front-facing camera for video chat, and a few design tweaks that make it a more appealing handset to carry around. Now running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the Ascend G330 is slick and intuitive in use, and benefits from a few of Huawei's own interface tweaks to boot.

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