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Top 10 budget smartphones for Christmas 2012

We take a look at the best smartphones that won't break the budget
Wed Dec 19 2012, 14:00

WITH CHRISTMAS fast approaching, we've decided to count down the top 10 budget smartphones available in the UK today - ideal for those after a handset with all of the latest functionality without a massive £500 price-tag. 

10. Blackberry Curve 9320
The first handset on our list is the Blackberry Curve 9320, which although is unlikely to appeal to everyone, is a great phone considering its cheap as chips £99 price-tag. Sure, it's by no means on par with the Apple Iphone 5, but the Curve 9320 features some pretty decent specs. 

Blackberry Curve 9320 browser

The phone, clearly aimed at teenagers and Facebook addicts, comes with Research in Motions's (RIM's) traditional portrait QWERTY keypad, ideal for tapping our lengthy Facebook messages and tweets. With RIM's Blackberry OS 7.1 software on board, Facebook and Twitter apps come preloaded, as does Blackberry Messenger (BBM), a music player and access to the Blackberry World app store. 

This dirt cheap handset also features a 2.4in screen, a 3.2MP rear-facing camera, up to 32GB of expandable storage and a 1,450mAh battery.

9. LG Optimus L3
We've found the LG Optimus L3 online for as cheap as £59, so this pint-sized smartphone could make for a great stocking filler.

In terms of specs, it's not as stripped back as you'd expect given its price-tag. There's a 3.2in capacitive touchscreen which offers one-touch access to all of the main Android features, such as Google Mail, Google Play and multiple customisable homescreens.

The handset also features a 3.15MP rear-facing camera, support for both 3G and WiFi connectivity, up to 32GB of storage for music and videos and a 1,500mAh battery, which LG claims will offer 10 hours of battery life when connected to 3G.

8. Sony Xperia Tipo
The Sony Xperia Tipo may be just as cheap as the Blackberry Curve 9320 and LG Optimus L3 at just £80, but it trumps the afformentioned smartphones when it comes to specs and performance. 

Sony Xperiia Tipo comes running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

It may be cheap, but the Tipo arrives running Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, which comes paired with an 800MHz Qualcomm processor under the hood. This equips the phone with all of the Android functionality you'd expect from a Google-branded smartphone, including access to Google Play, Google Maps and a bunch of other preloaded apps.

The cute miniature phone also features a 3.2in touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera, a 1500mAh battery, and 3G and WiFi connectivity. It's also available in a bunch of different colours: black, white, red and blue. 

7. Motorola Motosmart
While it won't go appealing to those that like massive touchscreens and super-slick performance, the Motorola Motosmart isn't bad considering its sub-£100 price tag.  

It's nice and compact at 116x64x11.2mm, but it still manages to squeeze in a 3.5in 480x320 touchscreen - the same size screen as found on the Iphone 4S. This comes powered by a 600MHz processor, and Google's Android 2.3 Gingerbread software.

While the handset's 3MP camera isn't amazing, the Motorola Motosmart comes with support for up to 32GB of expandable storage and a decent 1,400mAh battery. Motorola's software tweaks are great for those who love social networking too, as it brings all of your Facebook and Twitter information to the forefront of the handset's screen.


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