Budget phone. The very sound of those two words, together, makes me slightly ill. In fact, it makes me almost immediately seethe with a sort of "nerd-rage." I hate the way budget phones are peddled onto the tech-illiterate by commission-motivated hucksters at "Big Four" carrier phone stores. I hate seeing people get locked into 2-year contracts because they got a "great deal" on a smartphone. "It was free!" they'll say, and that the nice sales representative (his name was Jimmy) kept them from buying "something they didn't need," because they walked in with a firm spending limit and they weren't going to budge!
Android’s massive worldwide popularity has, in large part, the availability of cheap, low-end handsets to thank. We all know this. In developing markets in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, Android powers almost all of the smartphones that are being purchased by growing numbers of prepaid subscribers.
Cheap Android phones are, for that reason alone, a great thing. They’re empowering consumers in developing economies, giving them access to the full web wherever they go - something that has generally been the privilege only of the wealthy and of Western nations in the past decade.
Tonight, Samsung Mobile and T-Mobile announced the Exhibit II 4G, a new 4G smartphone aimed at the budget-conscious subscriber. The Exhibit II 4G will be the first no-annual-contract 4G smartphone sold at most Walmart stores, and is set for an October 27th release.
The budget smartphone will also come to T-Mobile retail stores November 2nd, offered at the low price of $29.99 after a $50.00 mail-in rebate with a two-year agreement and qualifying plan.
T-Mobile announced yesterday the latest additions to their myTouch family - the LG myTouch and myTouch Q, devices designed to help users adopt "the benefits of smartphones for the first time."
The LG myTouch packs a 3.8" touch screen, while the myTouch Q offers a slightly smaller 3.5" display, but boasts a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Both devices hold a 1GHz Qualcomm processor and 5MP rear shooter capable of 720p video recording, as well as Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
HTC has virtually every corner of the Android phone market covered, with unlocked phones ranging from under $300 all the way up to $700. Whether you're looking for a smartphone on a budget, or you just want as much power as you can have in one hand, you'll generally be covered.
Today, HTC has announced the Explorer, which sits firmly on the budget end of the smartphone spectrum. You won't find many bells and whistles on this phone, which will have a 3.2-inch display with a resolution of just 480 x 320, and a 3MP camera around the back.
Huawei is a very interesting company. They're heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. There's been a lot of controversy surrounding their products in terms of intellectual property infringement and military ties.
And then they go and unveil this thing, the Huawei Vision - and, as the title says, it bears a striking resemblance (from the front, at least) to a certain other phone:
The phone so nice, they made it twice.
Let's face it: free phones are usually synonymous with crap phones. That's what the Optimus U is trying to change - and, at least on paper, it looks like it might just be able to accomplish the task. That said, this is a phone sold by LG and US Cellular, both of whom have yet to display real talent when it comes to Android - and there's a lot that could go awry, what with the lack of Flash (both on the camera and in the browser) and the 600 MHz processor.