I just recently made the jump to an HTC One, but my last two phones were real stinkers. It's with this bad taste in my mouth that I am glad to see things improving on the budget end of things. US Cellular is debuting the ZTE Imperial, an Android 4.1 handset that doesn't make me hold my nose while reading its spec sheet. It comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, a 5MP rear-facing camera, and a front-facing camera for video chatting. Read More
It's been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. So it is with the smartphone market: today Samsung announced the latest addition to its budget line, with hardware and software slowly rising as flagships push for newer horizons. The Galaxy Ace 3 is the latest of Samsung's innumerable additions to an already huge smartphone lineup, packing a 4" WVGA LCD screen, a 1Ghz dual-core processor (1.2Ghz for the LTE model), and Sammy's highly-skinned version of Android 4.2. Read More
It looks like we won't have to wait until Samsung's June event for an official reveal of the Galaxy S4 Mini after all. This morning Samsung's press department officially unveiled the smaller, budget brother of the Galaxy S4, though "cousin" might be a more appropriate term; the phone does indeed look like its namesake, but that's about where the similarity ends. Like the Galaxy S III Mini before it, the internal hardware makes this device a horse of a different color. Read More
BLU isn't yet a household name in the realm of smartphones, but the company has been quietly releasing hardware for the last few years, letting the remarkably low pricing do the talking. Today they've pulled the cover off of three new models, all aimed at the new "phablet" craze, or at least the lower end of it. The new Studio GSM smartphones start at 5 inches and just $149, and all three feature Android 4.1, the Google Play Store, and dual SIM slots. Read More
Sometimes, it can be a bit arguable what counts as a "low end" phone these days. Even cheap phones are so powerful that calling them anything lower than mid-range can seem insulting. This one, however, makes us pretty comfortable with the moniker. With a 1GHz Snapdragon S1 processor, a 320x480 TFT display, and a 3.2MP rear camera, the Xperia E fills out Sony's budget line just fine.
Optionally, the Xperia E Dual has the option for dual SIM card slots, which is great for business users, and those who need to work with multiple networks. Read More
It's easy to get caught up with the top-of-the-line Android devices, but there is also a thriving market for budget handsets. The Alcatel One Touch Shockwave is such a device, but it's not without appeal. The Shockwave, as its name suggests, is built to withstand being knocked around a bit.
The Shockwave has a shock-resistant casing, Dragontrail tempered glass, and water-resistant seals. It's a smaller device with a 3.5-inch screen and rounded corners. Read More
It's not often we find ourselves excited about prepaid here in the US, but if any store can get people excited about saving money, it's Walmart. And what Walmart and T-Mobile just announced is actually pretty exciting if you're looking for a way to get on the smartphone bandwagon with low monthly overhead.
For $300, Walmart will sell you a contract-free T-Mobile Galaxy S II. That in and of itself probably isn't very exciting. Read More
The One V is continuing to blaze across the US carrier trail - first, Virgin Mobile began selling the device for $200 prepaid, and now US Cellular has joined the fray.
Available now online, US Cellular's One V will cost $129.99 after one of those wonderful $100 mail-in rebates. Unfortunately, if you're new to US Cellular, you'll have to sign a two-year contract upon purchasing the device; if you're an existing customer, it doesn't appear you'll have to sign anything of the sort. Read More
Here's an interesting turn of events: just one week after announcing a new budget device, HTC CEO Peter Chou told the Wall Street Journal that the Taiwanese manufacturer will not cater to the low-end phone market. To be exact, he said that "[they] don't want to destroy [their] brand image," so they won't sell "cheap, cheap phones" just to boost shipments. Given the ambiguity of his statements, it's hard to say what his definition of low end actually is. Read More
It may not get the tech world's heart all a-flutter to hear that MetroPCS is launching a Huawei phone, but the world needs budget phones and networks too! The duo is teaming up this time to bring no fewer than four gees to consumers for the first time in a Huawei device. The Activa 4G is a modestly spec'd phone, with a 3.5" HVGA display, a 5 megapixel camera, and running Android 2.3. Read More