The 7 best cheap smartphones of 2015: These are the best budget phones you can buy

The 7 best cheap smartphones of 2015: These are the best budget phones you can buy

Best budget smartphones 2015: OS

The best cheap smartphones of 2015 - What OS

When you’re looking to buy a smartphone, tablet or computer, one of the first things to consider is the operating system you prefer to use. When it comes to the budget smartphone market, it’s no different.

It used to be the case that budget phone shoppers were almost exclusively tied to Android if they wanted an affordable phone. This was due, in part, to the prohibitively expensive nature of Apple’s devices.

A few years on, a sub-£200 iPhone is still an impossibility unless it’s a pre-owned and aged device, but the market has changed. Microsoft is trying to fill the gap with a raft of reasonably priced Windows handsets.

Microsoft’s mobile OS is still lacking when it comes to the choice and variety of third-party apps available in its store, but it has most essentials covered. What’s more, Windows 10 promises to improve the situation drastically.

Android, however, is still the daddy when it comes to handsets in the more affordable price bracket. The sheer variety of Android smartphones means there’s a device to suit everybody.

Best budget smartphones 2015: size

The best cheap smartphones of 2015 - What size

As with any smartphone, size is a key issue when picking an affordable handset.

Smartphones have become progressively larger in recent years, with most flagship devices boasting screens around the 5in mark. This trend is beginning to be reflected in the budget smartphone sector. A couple of years ago, cheaper smartphones tended also to have smaller displays, but today you’re as likely as not to see a 5in handset below £200.

Biggest isn’t always best, however. In truth, it’s mainly a matter of taste. A larger phone may not sit as comfortably in your hand as something with a smaller screen, but those who love to watch movies or play games will definitely prefer a big screen. On the other hand, a larger screen with a lower resolution – as is often found on larger budget models – means a drop in sharpness.

Best budget smartphones 2015: 4G

The best cheap smartphones of 2015 - 4G

Budget phones with 4G capabilities used to be like gold dust. Now, however, more and more devices are including the high-speed data connection as standard. Larger networks such as Vodafone and EE even offer their own affordable, 4G-compatible devices. If superfast internet is a must-have, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank.

If you go for 4G, however, be warned. Limited data allowances and expensive 4G contracts might mean you spend as much on your phone bill as you save by purchasing a cheaper device. So, think carefully about whether you need 4G at all. Unless you spend large chunks of your day commuting, the chances are you’ll spend most of your time using Wi-Fi connections at home or at work.

Best budget smartphones 2015: camera

The best cheap smartphones of 2015 - Camera

Between Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, snapping a quick selfie has become an integral part of the way we communicate. If you want to capture your precious moments in pictorial form, you’re going to want a good camera on your phone.

This is often the area where budget phones are weakest. There are handsets out there with cameras capable of decent output, but there’s far more variability than there is at the more expensive end of the smartphone spectrum.

The key is to make sure you read reviews before you buy. Also, do a Flickr or Google image search for the model you’re interested in to find images snapped with its camera.

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