5 Android Phones That Won’t Bite Your Budget in 2011

March 30, 2011

Everybody loves shiny new gadgets, especially shiny new Android phones, but the price tag often makes us (and our wallets) cringe. The good news is that nowadays, buying one doesn’t mean you have to scrimp and eat instant ramen for the rest of the year. There are a lot of phones out right now, running Android Froyo 2.2 no less, that are very affordable and right on the mark. If you’ve been looking for a capable Android phone that doesn’t bite your budget, here are five of the best ones you can choose from:

Huawei IDEOS U8150

Huawei IDEOS U8150

  • Display: 2.8-inch TFT, 240×320 pixels, 256K colors
  • CPU: 528MHz ARM 11 with 200MB storage, 256 RAM and 512 ROM
  • Weight: 102.1g
  • Card Slot: up to 32GB microSD
  • Connectivity: HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP
  • Camera: 3.15MP, 2048×1536 pixels
  • OS: Android 2.2 Froyo
  • GPS: Yes, and includes A-GPS support
  • Battery: 1200 mAh
  • Standby Time: up to 300 hours
  • Talk Time: up to 5 hours

The Huawei IDEOS U8150 (known as the Comet to T-Mobile subscribers) is one of the most wallet-friendly Android phones in the market right now. While the screen might appear tiny to some, it’s still a great option for first-time users who want to join the Android revolution.

One of the draws of this device is its Wi-Fi N support, giving it the ability to surf using faster N-based networks. If you want something a bit better, you can wait for the newer version of the IDEOS, the U8510. It will boast a faster 600MHz processor, a better 3.2-inch screen and an upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

LG Optimus One P500

LG Optimus One P500

  • Display: 3.2-inch TFT, 320×480 pixels, 256K colors
  • CPU: 600MHz ARM 11 with 170MB storage and 512MB RAM
  • Weight: 129g
  • Card Slot: up to 32GB microSD (2gb included)
  • Connectivity: HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • Camera: 3.15MP, 2048×1536 pixels with autofocus
  • OS: Android 2.2 (upgradable to 2.3)
  • GPS: Yes, and includes A-GPS support
  • Battery: 1500mAh
  • Standby Time: up to 550 hours
  • Talk Time: up to 7 hours and 30 minutes

The Optimus One is one of the better Android phones of its class, running at a cool 600MHz. The battery is quite hefty at 1500mAh which gives you enough juice to last for two days of moderate usage. Another plus for the Optimus One is that it is upgradeable to Android 2.3, something you rarely see for handsets at this price point. All of these features make Optimus One a solid choice for an entry-level Android device.

HTC Wildfire

HTC Wildfire

  • Display: 3.2-inch TFT, 240×320 pixels, 16M colors
  • CPU: 528MHz ARM 11 with 384MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Weight: 118g
  • Card Slot: up to 32gb microSD
  • Connectivity: HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • Camera: 5MP, 2594×1944 pixels with LED flash and autofocus
  • OS: Android 2.2
  • GPS: Yes, and includes A-GPS support
  • Battery: 1300mAh
  • Standby Time: up to 690 hours
  • Talk Time: up to 8 hours and 10 minutes

HTC makes fantastic high-end phones so clearly the Wildfire is in good company. Dubbed as the Desire Mini, it certainly has inherited many of the features and stylings from its higher-end sibling. Like all HTC Android devices, it packs the Sense UI, which gives users a unique interface experience out of the box. It also boasts the best camera of the group at 5MP with LED flash and autofocus capabilities, and the best screen with support for 16 million colors.

If you can wait a bit longer, the Wildfire S is due for release in the next couple of months. The newer version features a higher-res screen, faster processor and Android 2.3 built-in. But if you feel the pull of the original, by all means get it. It’s a great device for anyone who needs Android right here and now.

Samsung Galaxy Mini

Samsung Galaxy Mini

  • Display: 3.14-inch TFT, 240×320 pixel, 256K colors
  • CPU: 600MHz 160MB Storage
  • Weight: 105g
  • Card Slot: up to 32GB microSD (2gb included_
  • Connectivity: HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • Camera: 3.15MP, 2048×1536 pixels
  • OS: Android 2.2
  • GSP: Yes, and includes A-GPS support
  • Battery: 1200mAh
  • Standby Time: up to 570 hours
  • Talk Time: up to 9 hours and 30 minutes

The Galaxy Mini is the newest entry to this budget class of Android phones. It has Wi-Fi N for faster connectivity and carries the same Samsung build quality we’ve come to expect. It doesn’t have any stellar features per se but you have to admit, the specs do match up quite well to the price it’s been given.

ZTE Blade

ZTE Blade

  • Display: 3.5-inch AMOLED or LCD, 480×800 pixels, 256K colors
    CPU: 600MHz ARM 11 with 150MB storage, 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Weight: 110g
  • Card Slot: up to 32GB microSD (2gb incl)
  • Connectivity: HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP and EDR
  • Camera: 3.15MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
  • OS: Android 2.1 Eclair, upgradable to 2.2 Froyo
  • GPS: Yes, and includes A-GPS support
  • Battery: 1250mAh
  • Standby Time: up to 192 hours
  • Talk Time: up to 4 hours

Also called the T-Mobile Blade, Dell XCD35 and the Orange San Francisco in the UK, the ZTE Blade is one of the most sought-after budget Android phones. The reason is that it packs quite a large screen for a lower-end phone, even boasting AMOLED for some versions of the handset.

To top this off, it also has a capable 600MHz processor which really shines once you upgrade the device to Froyo. One thing to note though: The Orange version has a custom skin on it so if you want the stock Android experience, switch it out with the Homescreen Selector option. By far, this is the best choice among the phones we’ve selected.

Conclusion

Any of these would be an excellent choice for a first Android phone for soon-to-be fans but if a gun were to be pointed at my head, I’d pick the ZTE Blade, especially if the AMOLED version is available. Don’t take my word for it though; go ahead and check out the other phones for yourself first-hand to see which fits you best. I think there is one thing we’d agree on though: you don’t need to spend much to get a good Android phone.

 

Comments

  • John

    I got the Orange San Franciso and upgraded it to Andriod 2.2 using a uk guide and this went well.

    I did not realise Flash is not supported on its processor (eg BBC Iplayer). Also Firefox mobile will not run.

    However, it is a good introduction to Android eg runs Google Maps well.

  • Kev

    I have a ZTE Blade and play all my flash content including iplayer through the free browser skyfire from android market.

    Having upgraded this to cyanogen mod 7 (android 2.3.4) and running smoothly at on-demand 128- 690MHz my next upgrade in phone will have to substantialy more cash to match the specs.

    • Darcy Alexander

      How does the flash run on the ZTE Blade?

      Give it about 6-8 months from now, and 1Ghz will be standard fare, and you will probably be able to pick one up for a very reasonable price :)

  • aaftab khan

    hi everyone,
    i bought huawei u8150 before 2 months..it is serving me really great.it has fot only 2.8 touch screen, but it works like charm..it can do all the task what a high priced android mobile can do.i bought this phone for only 8500 rupees(less than 200 dollars) in india
    only problems ,i have found so far are-small screen & low battery life.
    if someone is looking for cheap & handy android mobile., this is one of the best.

  • Mohamed Shihab

    Thanks for your comment Aaftab bhai .

  • fahad

    Aaftab bhai please tell me is huawei u8150 heavy-duty internet browsing cell phone?it can provide internet surfing like desktop pc or not,and here im bit concerned about flash player i think ideos doesnt have flash, what`s the disadvantages of a cell phone without flash player or flash lite support in browser? but i have seen youtube.com on it,it can also play other online videos site like flv,mp4 type website and my last question is does ideos has really gpu or not. i will be thankful for your ans

  • debb

    does the Huawei phone look like a china fone? uhm.. like the font and features?

  • debb

    and also the ZTE brand?

  • Provenzano

    How about showing prices, bozo?

  • Smriti Rawat

    Spice has launched Mi-350, which I think is a decent phone. The best part is that it is dual SIM android device and is reasonably priced. Have recently read a detailed review of the phone..seemed interesting. Check out this blog – http://india-mobilewatch.blogspot.com/2011/10/spice-mi-350-review.html