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Top 5 smartphones under £100

The Gadget Show  Friday 16 September 2011

Top 5 smartphones under £100

We had loads of fun in the £100 Challenge on the Gadget Show recently, and unearthed some real bargains too. So we thought we’d take a look at what you can get your hands on for under £100 in one of the most fiercely fought markets of them all – smartphones.

The world of mobile phones certainly moves quickly, but if you’re not willing to fork out for a monthly contract, you might think twice of forking out £400 or £500 for the latest in smartphone technology when in actual fact you can find some pretty impressive deals for far less than that. So with that spirit in mind, read on for some great mobile deals that will keep you the right side of the £100 mark!

Orange San Francisco It’s been around for the best part of a year ago, but you’ll still go a long way to find anything as good under the £100 mark. The San Francisco gives you a 3.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, Android 2.1, a 3.2-megapixel camera and the likes of GPS and Wi-Fi for an unlikely price. Some will be put off by the enforced Orange tie-in, but for the cost the San Francisco is genuinely hard to beat.

Samsung Galaxy Europa Android handsets are appearing more and more often under the pivotal £100 watershed, and Samsung’s ever-present Galaxy brand is there too, dishing up the likes of a capacitive 3.5-inch touchscreen and broadly good looks at a price that’s steadily come down since the Galaxy Europa first appeared, making it a low-cost smartphone whose appeal has grown with age.

Acer BeTouch e210 There aren’t too many genuine QWERTY-based Android business phones about, never mind budget offerings, but search around right now and you might just find yourself an Acer BeTouch E210 for just less than three figures. That makes it a BlackBerry alternative well worth considering, with the 2.6-inch screen big enough to get the most out of the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system on board.

HP Pre3 There’s a big question mark over this one, as stocks are questionable and the only reason the price is so low is that HP has pulled the plug on the Pre3 and its webOS operating system. But if you are able to get your hands on one, the drastically reduced price means you’ll be getting a simply unbeatable device for the money, just as long as you accept that the way you buy it is the way it’s going to stay.

Orange Barcelona Orange really has made a name for itself with its rebranded smartphones, as witnessed by this second entry in our affordable top 5. The Barcelona is a QWERTY business phone that delivers a decent set of Android features, with the limitations involved in the small screen size the only significant downside worth being aware of.

Tags:

smartphones, £100, bargain, Palm Pre3, Orange San Francisco, Orange Barcelona, Acer e210, Samsung Galaxy Europa

User comments (18)

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Anonymous

Just looking at the specs of these and they look good. I'm looking at some Chinese ODM devices that have similar specs and come in a fantastic price. Tablets to on Android that are wholesale at under £100 glad to see the market is driving the tech forward and the price down.

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Inkymark

My wife and I have had Orange San Franciscos for a while now and just upgraded them to Android 2.2 (Swedish Spring version). Before hand they were OK but had the Orange bloatware on them - you also could not move programs from the internal memory to the SD card. However, with 2.2, this removed the Orange bloatware and also stores programmes to SD. This has improved the speed of the phone no end and is a massive improvement to say the least. Recommend both the phone and version 2.2 (should point out that 2.2 is not an official upgrade for the San Francisco but appears to be well received so far).

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adam

I got a san Fran as a phone to tide me over and it was great. I rooted it with a fantastic ROM for 2.2 and great. Couldn't fault it

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Anonymous

i got the samsung galaxy europa and tbh, its not brilliant, but still does everything you want form android (with a lot of lag though) Btw, the screen is 2.8" on the europa, not 3.5 :D

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Luke

Where can you find the hp pre 3 for under 100 pounds

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Anonymous

Orange San Fransisco is an AMOLED screen? Really? You either know somethng I didn't or you're completely wrong! Which is it then?

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Abubakar Seedat

wicked too good i wnat it

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Jude Antony

To answer MaddyPaulus question! you are poorly informed. Because the ZTE Blade (San Fransisco) is indeed an AMOLED screen. Best phone on this whole list in my opinion. Just had my Galaxy S stolen so will be investing in the ZTE until my upgrade! :D

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Anonymous

Jude - Originally they had AMOLED but last I heard they were shipping the OSF with TFT screen. Perhaps this has changed back again recently then. Either's good, still a good phone for the money. :)

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Kevin Browne

hey Maddypaulus ... don't get your knickers in a twist mate ! for the first few months all SanFrancisco's DID have Amoled screens. then worldwide supply of Amoled dried up greatly and then the TFT screens were used ... still very good though. and whilst Amoled is great, there are those who say TFT will last longer, and not be prone to any burn-in. whatever the screen the Sanfran IS the best phone in the last year - particularly when rooted and upgraded to Gingerbread.

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Peter L

I can confirm the comments of Kevin B 100%. I have both types & can add to the recommendation that if you have the facilities (or know someone) then an upgrade to the firmware on the OSF has it competing with the most expensive smartphones currently available although doing this will invalidate your warranty. Coupled with a really good economy PAYG SIM like Giffgaff it brings the world of smartphones into the hands of pensioners like me & other low-income groups.

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John449

Would you recommend a samsung galaxy mini

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conor

what about the orange stockholm

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Tony6403

The San Francisco is unbeatable for the money. I ditched the Orange software and did an upgrade to Swedish Spring. The only irritation is that font sizes are very small on SMS and cannot be reliably enlarged . There are apps but it is a risky step to take.

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