While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer.
Today, MetroPCS announced yet another addition to its stable of prepaid Android smartphones. One of the pricier off-contract handsets, the device retails for $459. So, what do you get for a significant portion of your rent for the month? Well, for a Metro PCS phone, it's actually a pretty decent spec list:
- 4.3" Super AMOLED display
- 1Ghz processor
- 8MP rear-facing camera w/ flash
- 1.3MP front-facing camera
- 32GB of "external memory"*
*Note: It's a little unclear what they mean by "32GB of external memory." The device's spec page also lists a 16GB memory card, so it may be that the device has an SD card slot that supports up to 32GB, but only includes a 16GB card.
As we've seen occasionally in the past, ZTE is capable of producing a genuinely impressive budget phone. It looks like they're coming up to bat again, because some purported specs for an upcoming phone have leaked, and they certainly look impressive:
Android 4.0 (could be bumped up to 4.1 by release)
4.5" HD IPS Display (1280x720) with Gorilla Glass
1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU (MSM8960)
12.6MP rear shooter, 1MP front
8GB storage + microSDXC
.38" (9.6mm) thick
Custom ZTE UI pictured
The specs largely match today's flagships, such as the US variants of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III - right down to using the exact same CPU.
I hate to be the Negative Nancy or the Debbie Downer here. Mostly because I hate those disgustingly cute terms for "pessimistic". However, the ARCHOS 97 Carbon tablet arrives at a particularly rough time. Today, ARCHOS' newest tablet is available via the company's web store. ARCHOS has a history of being the leader in inexpensive tablets. Unfortunately, with the advent of the Nexus 7, the competition just got a lot stiffer.
Looking to be the successor to the Pantech Breakout, it seems that a little phone called the Pantech Star Q will be headed to Verizon. This sliding, QWERTY-packing device is decidedly a budget phone, expected to ring in at just $99 on contract, but it includes a mixed bag of low-end and surprisingly appealing specs, including Android 4.0.4, a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a front-facing camera (of indeterminate resolution), a 3MP rear shooter, a 4" WVGA display, and of course a sliding QWERTY keyboard.
If you're not in the market for an über cheap, probably contract free phone, feel free to move along. Assuming you didn't already when you saw the name 'Kyocera'. Still here? Good. Because I've got great news for you! The Kyocera Rise (no relation to the Dark Knight of the same name) is rumored to be coming to Sprint and Virgin Mobile very soon.
Twitter tipsters @evleaks, who has thus far tweeted nothing but leaked photos of devices with brief information on the devices depicted, has shared that Kyocera's contribution to the
Justice League budget smartphone world will be headed to Virgin Mobile, one of the nation's leading prepaid carriers, as well as Sprint.
Well, would you look at what the cat dragged in: ARCHOS, the now-infamous king of cheap Android tablets, has just announced a whole new line of low-end ICS slates - aka "ELEMENTS." Though the line will eventually feature 7", 8", and 9.7" devices, today's announcement was limited to the ARCHOS 97 Carbon, which (as its name suggests) is of the 9.7" variety.
Before you get too excited, though, check out the
rather extremely lackluster spec list:
- 1GHz single-core ARM Cortex A8 processor
- 1 GB of RAM
- 21.8 ounces
- 0.45" thick
- 9.7" IPS display
- 16GB of internal flash memory
- microSD card slot
- Google app access, including the Play Store
- Android 4.0
The device will go on sale later this July for $229.99 - $249.99.
Not every smartphone is designed to blow us away. Every once in a while, we get a little reminder that the low-end handset line needs some love to. On that note, T-Mobile let us know today that it will be launching the T-Mobile Prism, a 3.5" device running Android 2.3. The phone will retail for $20 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a 2-year contract, or a near-impulse-buy price of $150 with no contract.
The iPod may be dead, baby, dead, but that hasn't stopped Samsung from trying to enter the PMP market. The company's latest iterations of its Player line, the Galaxy Player 3.6 and 4.2, has landed and, not to put anything indelicately, but we're left to wonder why Samsung chose to enter this market, or what the company hopes to accomplish. After using the device for a few days, we're sure it's not going to shake up the media player market.
Meet the TF300T, the newest addition to Asus's ever-expanding line of Android tablets. While the model number may suggest that it's the successor to the TF201 - the Transformer Prime - that's not exactly the case. Pick one up and it's immediately clear that this is really the successor to the TF101 (the original Transformer, or TF); it's wrapped in plastic like the 101 (the 201 is aluminum), and the dimensions are a bit more portly, as with the 101.