Our list of the best smartphones available to buy with a budget of £100
A few years ago you had to fork out a significant amount to get your hands on a phone with a decent display, good performance and the ability to browse the internet. But the price of smartphones has decreased rapidly in recent times, meaning there are some true bargains to be had.
We’ve picked out the best smartphones that are priced under £100 (SIM-Free or on Pay As You Go). You’ll be pretty amazed at what you can get for your money.
All the mobiles listed, from the incredibly affordable Huawei Y3, to the media-marvel that is the Lumia 550 and the feature-packed LG Leon, are available to buy in the UK and we’ll continue to update our list throughout 2016 and beyond.
Anyway, enough talk and on with our list of the best smartphones available for under £100.
At just £50 SIM-free the Huawei Y3 is remarkably cheap, and that low price tag is definitely the best thing about it, but it’s a surprisingly functional smartphone too, that even stands out in some ways.
Beyond the price the Huawei Y3’s main highlight is its long-lasting 1730mAh battery, which will easily last a day and can potentially stretch to two.
The camera is pretty good for the money too. It’s just a 5MP snapper, but it has a dual-LED flash, which many pricier phones lack, so it can take decent shots even in low light, while the 2MP front-facing camera is perfectly capable of taking a social media-worthy selfie.
The Huawei Y3 is a basic phone in other ways, with a quad-core processor and a 4.0-inch screen, but as a back-up phone or a super cheap option it’s a strong choice.
The Microsoft Lumia 550 has the honour of being the only Windows handset to make our list, so if you’re a fan of Windows 10 on mobile and after a budget handset, this is the phone for you.
But this phone has more than just its operating system and low price to help it stand out, as the Lumia 550 also has a fairly sharp 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 screen, for a resolution of 315 pixels per inch – almost matching the iPhone 7.
Couple that with decent speakers and this makes for a good budget option to enjoy music and video on. The 5MP camera is pretty good too, easily outmatching most other sub-£100 camera phones.
The Lumia 550 isn’t a phone to buy for sheer power, as its Snapdragon 210 processor can be beaten by other handsets at this price, but for media, or just a love of Windows, it’s a great option.
At around £80 SIM free the LG Leon is about as far as you can get from flagship pricing, yet it has a surprising amount of the LG G4’s features.
Knock Code is arguably one of the most exciting, letting you unlock the phone by tapping out a pattern, even when the screen is off. This is a skill that few phones can match, even high-end ones.
The LG Leon also has gesture and voice controls for its camera, which isn’t that unusual but isn’t something you expect to see on budget models.
Then there’s its rear keys, which are unusual and unique outside of LG’s range of phones. They make the Leon eye-catching in a way that few cheap handsets are.
The specs are more what you’d expect for a low-end model, with a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 screen, a 5MP camera, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and 1GB of RAM. But while they’re not special they’re solid for the money and as highlighted above the LG Leon stands out in more than one way.
There are other great handsets than you can pick up for not much more than £100, so if you can stretch your budget you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy J3, which has a fairly large and fairly sharp 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 display, a respectable 1.5GB of RAM for solid performance and a decent 8MP camera, all for just £120.
Then there’s the Honor 5C, which is slightly pricier still at £135, but more than justifies the outlay with a stylish metal build, a 5.2-inch 1080p screen for crisp visuals, a powerful octa-core processor and even a strong 13MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing one.
Whether you want Android or Windows Phone, and are on a really tight budget or just want to save a bit of money, one of these phones should suit.
The Huawei Y3 comes in last place in our list, simply because it’s not as good as the other entries, but with its amazingly low price it’s still worthy of a place. The Microsoft Lumia 550 is a brilliant option for media or Windows fans, and the LG Leon takes first place with flagship features coupled with an entry level price.
But if you can stretch to beyond £100 you can get an awful lot more for your money with the Honor 5C.
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