budget pay as you go smartphones 2012

2012’s Most Budget Friendly Smartphones

Guest post! I’m an iPhone user and lover and so could never really write about other smartphones with any fair degree of impartiality. But I appreciate that not everyone wants an iPhone nor wants to spend £529+ to get their hands on one on pay as you go (or pay high contract costs). On that basis, I’m pleased to invite Ryan Larkin to post on some of the most budget friendly smartphones available on Pay as You Go. ~Stacey

Do you want all the trappings of a high-end smartphone and not overdraw your bank account in the quest? If your answer is Yes! Then read further – the guide below is framed for budget-conscious users like you to help garner that well-rounded, well-priced cell phone you’ve always desired.

Presenting the top picks out of 2012’s inexpensive smartphones:

1. Nokia Lumia 710

The Lumia range is poised to place Nokia back in the reckoning and this budget offering certainly doesn’t disappoint. The 710 is a remarkable all-round gadget possessing a snappy 1.6 GHz processor, the capable Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS, a 3.7-inch capacitive screen with Corning Gorilla Glass, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording,substitutable covers, and an extensive range of Nokia apps – among other features.


Priced from £179.95 on PAYG, the Lumia 710 is being lapped up by price-conscious buyers.

2. Blackberry Curve 9320

Blackberry takes the low-priced route with the Curve 9320, a more-than-decent budget smartphone. The non-touchscreen Curve 9320 is armed with the below key merits:

  • A spiffy 806 MHz processor to aid operating speed and multitasking
  • Blackberry OS version 7.1 for ease of use
  • Capable 3.15-megapixel camera (with LED flash) exuding a top resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels
  • A well designed QWERTY keyboard

The low-capacity 320 by 240-pixel 2.45-inch display is a minor letdown but most importantly the device, from £116.95, is priced just right.


3. Sony Xperia U 

Sony’s true Android budget handset, the Xperia U ticks almost all the right boxes when it comes to smartphone features. The device sports a dual core 1 GHz Cortex A9 processor, 512 MB RAM, a vibrant 3.5-inch 850 by 480-pixel display, special access to Sony Entertainment network, 3G functionality, a proficient 5-megapixel camera, and an Ice Cream Sandwich OS upgrade capability – to name just a few highlights.

On the downside, the Xperia U’s 12-millimeter thickness is a little large by smartphone standards and the absence of an SD slot rankles. Still at £129.95 on pay as you go, the Xperia U is worth considering.


4. LG Optimus L3 E400

Announced in February 2012, the Optimus L3 costs from just £64.90 on pay as you go while exhibiting admirable specifications. Principal attributes of this budget handset include:

  • Cutting-edge and solid “L Style” design
  • Extremely portable and comfortable to hold at 109 grams
  • A reasonably competent 800 MHz central processor
  • 1GB internal storage expandable to 32GB through micro SD slot
  • Powerful 1500 mAh battery


The Optimus L3 fares less well on the display front with an underwhelming 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen though the touch functionality is suitably adept. Also there’s Android old Gingerbread system on board that may dampen some enthusiasm. All in all, however, a great buy at the asking price of £64.90 on pay as you go with some of the UK’s biggest networks.

5. Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

Faithful to its name, the Galaxy Ace 2 shines bright with an array of top-notch characteristics albeit at a comparatively dearer price.  Released in February 2012, the Ace 2 boasts the following noteworthy attributes:


  • 800 MHz (dual core) Cortex A9 processor with 768 MB RAM
  • Android Gingerbread OS but with Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade ability
  • 3.8-inch 800 by 480-pixel LED backlit anti-scratch touchscreen
  • 5-megapixel camera with 720-pixel video recording at 30 frames per second
  • Quad band functionality


Sadly the Ace 2 is bereft of a metallic body and also lacks haptic sensitivity. Overall, at under $ 400, the phone is an appealing option.

6. HTC Desire C

The Desire C, from just £129.95 on pay as you go, is a welcome addition to the HTC stable. It boasts some notable features such as:

  • Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Beats Audio knowhow
  • Concurrent video and imaging capability
  • NFC functionality
  • 3.5-inch capacitive display

While the 600 MHz processor may be an issue, the relative affordability, sturdiness, and overall feature-set of the device make it a worthwhile purchase.

If you happen to have one of these budget friendly smartphones, you can share your experience with us in the comment section below.

About the Guest Author

Ryan Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about Technology, Social Media, and SEO. He’s currently writing for www.broadbandproviders.com – the leading provider of the best value broadband internet.