Budget-buy smartphones

Smartphones have transformed our lives, giving us Internet access, a host of handy apps, texts and calls, all while on the go. However, not everyone has the cash to splash on a pricey iPhone or costly Galaxy S4.

Best budget smartphones

Pic: AFP/Getty

Thankfully, there are growing numbers of budget smartphones on the market. We check out five of the best bargain buys.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
Samsung's Galaxy range put the Android operating system on the map and it's increasingly impressive tech now rivals the ever popular Apple iPhone.

The SIII's little brother, the MIni, will still set you back around £200, but it boasts a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, dual core processor, decent 5 megapixel camera and 8GB of storage - all that in a handier, pocket-sized package. For an even cheaper alternative with the same photo and video features, as well as a dual core 800MHz processor, opt for the Galaxy Ace II, priced at around £110.

HTC Windows Phone 8S
Windows Phones have come in for some pretty harsh criticism in the past, but Windows 8 looks like taking off in a big way. The HTC Windows Phone 8S might not boast the capabilities of Samsung's S3 Mini, but its good-looking design and Windows 8 OS at a price of around £170 makes it a great option for bargain hunters looking for an everyday gadget with style.

Sony Xperia Tipo
This lightweight budget Android phone from Sony lacks some of the up-to-date tech and crystal clear displays of other low-end smartphones, but priced at just £95, the Xperia Tipo still has plenty to offer.

Running on Android 4.0, it's a fab phone for music lovers, coming pre-installed with Music Unlimited, Google Music and a built-in FM radio, and the xLOUD audio technology within the handset means you benefit from really decent sound.

As an added bonus, the screen is shatter proof and scratch resistant so it won't suffer with the odd bump.

Huawei Ascend G300
Relatively new to the UK, Huawei have already made a splash with this low-end Android phone. A surprisingly crisp 4-inch display, 1GHz processor and simple design make it a viable option for anyone looking for a smartphone with all the necessaries for around £100.

Nokia Lumia 620
If you're keen to jump onto the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon, you could do worse than invest in the Lumia 620 (prices from £150). As their entry-level Windows Phone 8 handset, you won't get some of the more impressive features available on the high-end Lumia 920, such as wireless charging, but if you're after a quality phone that doesn't look like a clone of its Android-based rivals, you'll relish the high quality and range of snap-on covers. The front-facing camera is an added bonus.

Have you opted for a budget smartphone over the popular high-end handsets? Which would you recommend? Leave your comments below...