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iMobile.com.au - Top 5 budget phones
Top 5 Hit Phones Top 5 Budget Phones

04 October 2007
Written by Angus Leung & David Hall

 

Nokia E65




Overall:
Weeks at this position: 5
 



The E65 is a great upgrade to the Nokia 6288 handset. It has more of a business focus, and includes a wide range of pre-installed productivity applications. There’s also the restyled exterior, which has been thinned down to 15.5mm.

Highlight features of the E65 include the wide network support (quad-band 2G and 2100MHz 3G), Bluetooth, Infrared, and USB connectivity, microSD memory card support, and the Symbian operating system. There’s great support for BlackBerry and Mail for Exchange push e-mail services (with compatible servers), and the usual suite of SMS, MMS, instant messaging, and regular e-mail support has been included.

My only two disappointments with the E65 were the 2mpx digital camera, and the lag I experienced in some areas of the operating system. A business user may not mind the camera problems all that much, but a laggy operating system will be a gripe for any user.

 
Highlight features
Symbian 9.1 Series 60 3rd edition
Slider design
2.0 megapixel camera
50MB internal memory + card slot
Blackberry and Mail Exchange
Document viewer (DOC, PPT, PDF)
Size & Weight
105 x 49 x 15.5 mm, 115g
Display
16.7 million colour TFT LCD screen
Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
Connectivity option
Bluetooth, Infra-red, USB, WLAN
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 360 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 14 days*
Network
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 2100MHz


Nokia 6110 Navigator




*Quality
*Features
*Value


The Nokia 6110 Navigator is a great 3G smartphone with many of the latest features. It is a GPS navigation device, powerful smartphone, and multimedia device all rolled into one.

In terms of its GPS functionality, the 6110 is just amazing. There is no need to purchase & download maps, set up the GPS software or hardware – it all comes ready to go, straight out of the box. The Nokia Navigator software does everything you want it to do and is extremely easy to use.

The 6110’s display is bright, vivid, and a joy to use. The handset supports HSDPA 3G technology, providing downlink data access at up to 3.6Mbit/s. Quad-band 2G support is included for worldwide connectivity.

My biggest gripe with the handset was the keypad, which can become uncomfortable to use because of the lack of space underneath the keys. There was also the 2mpx digital camera which produces less than exciting images, which is a shame.

Most stand-alone GPS navigation devices cost upwards of $600, easily. The 6110 Navigator can be purchased outright for around $600 or below on online stores – and it’s a 3G smartphone as well as a GPS device! The 6110 is extremely affordable and I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a new phone and/or GPS unit – why not put the two together?

Highlight features
2G & 3G network compatibility
Built-in GPS navigator
2.0 megapixel camera
40MB internal memory + card slot
Stereo FM radio
Symbian version 9.1 Series 60 3rd edition platform
MP3 Music Player
Document viewers
Size & Weight
101 x 49 x 20 mm, 125g
Display
16.7 million colour TFT LCD screen
Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
Connectivity option
Bluetooth, USB
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 210 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 11 days*
Network
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
2G: WCDMA 2100MHz


Sony Ericsson K800i




Overall:
Weeks at this position: 22
 


The Sony Ericsson K800i is an amazing handset - there's really no two ways about it! The first Cyber-Shot camera-phone from Sony Ericsson, the K800i has a 3.2mpx digital camera, large QVGA display, Memory Stick Micro (M2) memory card support, tri-band 2G GSM and UTMS 3G connectivity and a host of other features.

Also, the K800i has definite eye-candy factor. The black case looks stunning and from the back it looks like a real digital camera... wait, it almost is! The quality of this camera has really got to be seen to be believed.

The K800i is on the larger side for a handset (in both size and weight), but over time you really get used to the size. The only other issues I had with the handset was that the UI was a little on the slow side in some areas and that the keypad material which was a little too soft/rubbery for my liking.

 
Highlight features
3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus
Dedicated Xenon flash
64MB internal memory + card slot
NetFront web browser
Stereo FM radio with RDS
MP3 Music Player
PlayNow MP3 ring tones
Size & Weight
105 x 47 x 22 mm, 115g
Display
262,144 colour TFT LCD screen
Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels
Connectivity option
Bluetooth, Infra-red, USB
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 420 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 350 hours*
Network
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 2100MHz

 

Nokia 6300




Overall:
Weeks at this position: 15
 


The Nokia 6300 has a high-end 16.7 million colour TFT LCD, 2mpx digital camera, fast Series 40 user interface, microSD memory card support, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. All this and more is enclosed in an attractive stainless steel case.

I recently reviewed the 6300 and absolutely loved it. Although it is a mid-range handset, it has several features that set it out from the crowd – the major one being the 16.7 million colour TFT LCD @ 240 x 320 pixels. The 6300 is only handset in our top 5 phones that does have a display of this quality!

The Series 40 user interface definitely deserves a mention, as it is fast, responsive, and not to mention easy to use. Additional features include an FM stereo radio, tri-band GSM network compatibility, and SMS/EMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging.

At just over the $400 price tag, the Nokia 6300 is an affordable handset with top-notch functionality.

 
Highlight features
2G network compatibility
Stainless steel design
2.0 megapixel camera
7.8MB internal memory + card slot
Stereo FM radio
Nokia Series 40 3rd edition platform
MP3 Music Player
Size & Weight
106.4 x 43.6 x 13.1 mm, 91g
Display
16.7 million colour TFT LCD screen
Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
Connectivity option
Bluetooth, USB
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 210 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 336 hours*
Network
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz

 

LG Shine




Overall:
Weeks at this position: 9
 


The Shine is a lovely phone. It's smart and stylish, it feels as durable as a rock and is packed full of features. Did I mention it looks great? The stainless steel finish and reflective screen is just gorgeous and I love it, even though I'm not a personal fan of slider phones.

Too bad then that the keypad and buttons weren't implemented well. It's a huge disappointment because it detracts from the experience. The jog dial ignores fast movement, while its flanking keys are difficult to press. The number pad buttons aren't well separated making it easy to mash surrounding keys at a time.

The lack of a memory card slot is also unfortunate, but 512 megabytes is still a huge amount of space whichever way you look at it. Add the two megapixel auto-focus camera, the precise 2.2 inch QVGA screen, the fast HSDPA download support and music streaming capable Bluetooth and you can't argue that the Shine is very well equipped for a phone that has its focus on design.

 
Highlight features
3G network compatibility (HSDPA)
Brushed metal slider design
2.0 megapixel Schneider-Kreuznach camera
Forward-facing camera for video calling
512MB internal memory
Jog dial for navigation
MP3 Music Player
Size & Weight
99.8 x 50.6 x 13.8 mm, 120g
Display
2.2" 262K colour TFT LCD screen
Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
Connectivity option
Bluetooth (A2DP), USB
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 170 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 260 hours*
Network
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
3G: UMTS 2100MHz (HSDPA)

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