You have to hand it to Sony – they keep trying. The newly announced Xperia M is a budget-oriented phone that can be obtained in a variety of neat colors. It has a small-ish 4-inch screen, and it comes in black, white, purple, and yellow (depending on model). It's not gigantic, which is a rarity these days.
MetroPCS, the not-yet-T-Mobile-company, just announced its newest 4G LTE handset this morning, the Huawei Premia 4G. Sounds fancy, no? Don't worry – it's just OK. But for $150, you can't expect it to be a GS4.
And a GS4 it isn't. What is it, though, is a decent mid-ranger with some specs that should live up to its buck-fiddy price tag:
- 4-inch 480x800 display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
- Android 4.0
Nothing super special about this one, but if you're looking for a decent mid-ranger and LTE without a contract, this may be a good way to go.
After revealing the "world's thinnest" smartphone earlier today with the One Touch Idol Ultra (at a svelte 6.45mm), Alcatel has let fly news about the rest of their planned CES 2013 lineup.
Alcatel's got more devices in line than you've got pockets, from a pair of 7" tablets (in standard and HD variants) to a bevy of "Pop" smartphones, all of them apparently aiming squarely for the budget market. Grab a snack, because we're going to take a peek at the full array.
One Touch Tablets
Evo 7 / HD
First up is the Evo 7 and its HD counterpart (despite how it sounds, neither tablet has anything to do with HTC). Both variants are described as Wi-Fi tablets that can be "easily upgraded" to 3G (or, in the Evo 7 HD's case, 4G) through their removable 3G/4G modules.
When we think of "budget" phones, a $500 Galaxy S III may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, MetroPCS' usual strategy of having customers buy phones off contract and save money on the service is in full swing here. The device comes with a hefty price tag up front, but pick up the carrier's $50/month plan for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data, and you're looking at around $1700 over the course of 2 years. Compare that to, say an $80/month plan with a $200 device ($2120 over two years) and you could face some steep savings.
When it comes to the newest generation of phones, "budget" is closer to "flagship" than ever before. Two months ago, I reviewed the free-on-contract Pantech Marauder and came away highly impressed. Ron, too, reviewed the $100 Motorola Razr M and said "This is what budget phones are like now? Where do I sign up?" The old budget formula of taking last-gen hardware and slapping it in a cheap chassis has given way to current-gen hardware in a better chassis - not to mention that the optimizations and polish of Android 4.0 make the experience better than ever on virtually any level of hardware.
You may recognize this little guy from previous leaks of the so-called HTC Proto. The device looked very similar to the Desire V and, indeed, HTC's latest announcement is dubbed the Desire X. While it's no One X, the device does pack a dual-core Snapdragon S4. Unfortunately, it's not that one. This is the MSM8225 which still uses a 45nm architecture so it's not nearly as zippy as the S4 we all know and love from other, more high-end phones. That's sitting underneath a 4" SLCD display with a resolution of 800x480 which, while certainly not bad, isn't setting any bars for picture clarity.
Sony's just dropped a batch of bombshells on us today during an IFA press conference. Among the headlining new devices, the Xperia J which is being billed as an affordable smartphone with a "standout screen size." That "standout" size is 4", by the way. We're not entirely sure who Sony thinks they're going to impress with four inches, but the rest of the specs actually seem like a pretty good deal if the price is right.
- 9.2mm slim stylish design
- 4.0" FWVGA (480x854) TFT display (244 ppi)
- 1GHz Qualcomm MSM7227A (single core)
- 5MP rear camera
- DLNA certified
- "Up to 4GB" flash storage, microSD expandable up to 32GB
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
This device won't be winning any performance awards, but with a high-resolution display and what could be a decent camera, this may be just what international users are looking to pick up off-contract.
First we caught a glimpse of the Samsung Jasper, a mid-range device slated for Big Red. Then Droid Life was leaked a photo of the price card for the Samsung Galaxy Stellar. Now we know they're one and the same,courtesy of a full product listing that has cropped up on Best Buy.
Though the Stellar is listed as available for store pickup beginning today, it's actually unavailable in stores at this point. That could be because it's before the stores have opened, or because the date was simply entered incorrectly.
The specs match the reported launch price of $100 on contract:
Android 4.0 (ICS)
1.2GHz dual-core CPU
4" 800x480 display
3.2MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front
No word on RAM or storage, or what specific CPU it packs.
Let's get the tough stuff out of the way up front. The T-Mobile Concord is manufactured by ZTE, runs Gingerbread, and packs a pretty meager 2MP camera. Don't worry, though. This phone shall not have been mortally wounded in vain. With a price of $99 off contract (with certain plans*) from T-Mobile or Wal-Mart, it doesn't look like too bad of a deal for smartphone users on a tight budget. If you're in the market, you can pick one of these up on August 26th.
While most of our readers will be entirely uninterested in a Gingerbread phone made by ZTE, it's still very interesting to note that high-speed phones are becoming available for so little money.