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

04 October 2007
Written by Angus Leung & David Hall

Price $0 - $199

 

Sony Ericsson W200i




*Quality
*Features
*Value



It’s a rare treat to discover a phone under $200 that offers the same outstanding quality governed by the Sony Ericsson W200i. Masked as a budget phone, the W200i may be the most humble handset on the Walkman Phone range but certainly has plenty to leave the financial conscious audience impressed. Beneath its simple candy bar design, keypad layout and user interface is a wealth of features that one would only expect to find in more expensive models.

The W200i holds a convenient Walkman media player, a versatile VGA camera that can also record videos, a web browser, organiser, phone book, alarm clock, stopwatch, calculator, calendar, speakerphone, USB and infra red connectivity, and to compliment its media, some internal memory and external memory (in the form of a Memory Stick Micro). The phone is solid built all-round, and has a light, petite structure which allows it to be carried and used by anyone.

As far as budget phones are concerned, very few will match the Sony Ericsson’s W200i. The fact is, its numerous abilities, practical design and affordable price tag not only make it a rare find and an exceptional phone but places it on a class of its own.

Other options: Motorola F3, Nokia 1110i, Sony Ericsson Z310i.

 
Highlight features
Sony Ericsson Walkman series
Music player with equaliser
FM stereo radio with RDS
27MB internal memory
Memory stick micro slot
0.3 megapixel camera
Size & Weight
101 x 44 x 18 mm, 85g
Display
2.0" 65K colour Ultra Bright LCD
Resolution: 128 x 160 pixels
Connectivity option
Infrared, USB
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 420 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 360 hours*
Network
2G: GSM 900/1800/1900MHz

Price $200 - $399


Nokia 6300




*Quality
*Features
*Value


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. 

Other options: Sony Ericsson W610i.

 
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

Price $400 - $599


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?

Other options: Nokia 6233, LG U890.

 
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

Price $600 - $799

 

Sony Ericsson K800i




*Quality
*Features
*Value


This price range is quite a serious one, and that calls for a phone packing a lot of punch. I've picked the K800i this week because of its large QVGA display, 3.2mpx Cyber-Shot camera with Xenon flash, large internal memory and external support, and all the extras we expect from Sony Ericsson.

The K800i's camera functionality is second to none, and shoots amazing still images and motion video. The Xenon flash is spectacular for low light situations, putting LED lights to shame. At the 3.2mpx resolution the images are just asking to be printed and framed.

Supporting both 3G and 2G networks the K800i also includes full PIM applications, 64MB of internal memory and Memory Stick Micro memory cards, a NetFront browser with RSS support, and an amazing 262,144 colour TFT LCD at 320 x 240 pixels.

Although the K800i only just comes into this price range, it does offer amazing value for money. You won't find another handset at the same price with the same features as the K800i.

Other options: Nokia 6288, Samsung D900.

 
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

Price $800 or above

 

Dopod 838Pro




*Quality
*Features
*Value


The Dopod 838 Pro is one of, if not the best PDA phone available on the Australian market to date. The handset supports almost every 3G and 2G network, has a 400MHz Samsung CPU, 64MB of RAM and 128MB of flash memory, microSD support, QVGA touch screen display, full QWERTY keyboard and a host of other features.

The network support on the 838 Pro is astounding: GSM 900, 1800, and 1900MHz, and WCDMA 850, 900, and 2100MHz. It also supports HSDPA on 3G networks, and GPRS and EDGE on the 2G networks. The handset also supports WiFi 802.11b/g so you can connect to a wireless hotspot for fast data transfer over the internet. The high speed 400MHz processor runs the Windows Mobile operating system with ease.

A 2mpx digital camera is included on the 838 Pro, along with Windows Media player for local and streaming video, Java MIDP 2.0 for games and applications, Office Mobile productivity applications, and full support for IMAP4/POP3 e-mail messaging. With the full QWERTY keyboard predictive text input is a thing of the past (although T9 predictive text is installed on the 838 Pro!).

The 320 x 240 pixel TFT LCD is only capable of displaying up to 65,536 colours. The display is a touch screen so you'll need the stylus for almost every operation except messaging, which you can use the keyboard if desired.

For just over $1000 the Dopod 838 Pro is definitely worth the money.

Other options: Sony Ericsson W900i, Nokia N95.

 
Highlight features
Quad-band 2G networks
Tri-band 3G networks
PDA functionality
Jog dial wheel
Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 OS
Internet Explorer browser
2.0 megapxel camera
Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
Office Mobile
64MB internal memory + card slot
Size & Weight
112.5 x 58 x 21.95 mm, 176g
Display
65,536 colour TFT LCD screen
Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
Connectivity option
Bluetooth, Infra-red, USB
Battery Performance
Talk Time:  Up to 300 minutes*
Standby Time: Up to 220 hours*
Network
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/1900/2100MHz

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