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Best Budget Smartphones for 2014

Are you looking to keep your monthly phone contract bill as low as possible? Maybe you’re looking for a pay-as-you-go option without having to spend hundreds of pounds on a handset? Take a look at this selection of the latest mobiles that won’t break the bank...

Motorola Moto G – the clever option for PAYG

Moto G

Unlike most sub-£150 phones, this phone actually looks good when compared to much more expensive compatition. It boasts a high-resolution 4.5-inch screen that produces a bright, crisp display. There's little or nothing in the way of compromise when it comes to performance either. This is down to the fact that the phone features a powerful quad core processor with enough punch to handle the most demanding Android games with ease. It delivers slick browsing as well.  Released right at the end of 2013, Cnet called the Moto G & the best value phone around by miles;. It attracted praise across the board with 4.5 and 5-star reviews from the likes of Techradar and Stuff.com.

Here’s the best thing about the Motorola G though: the price tag is £130 contract free. This means you can walk away with a highly respectable mobile without shelling out hundreds of pounds – or being tied down to an expensive contract. Little wonder that this phone is being tagged as quite simply the best PAYG option out there.

Take a look here for some smart, simple ways of looking after your Motorola Moto G.

HTC Desire 500 – great for smartphone newbies

HTC Desire 500

Like the Moto G, the HTC Desire 500 also made its first appearance at the very end of 2013. Expect to pay about £200 if you want to buy it sim-free – which makes it somewhat less attractive as a potential PAYG option than the Moto G – but you should be able to get it without an up-front charge on contract for around £12 a month.

The phone features a glossy plastic rear and a 4.3-inch screen that’s bright and sharp enough for you to enjoy viewing content online – although if you’re serious about movie watching on your mobile you might find the resolution a little too fuzzy for your liking.

There’s no point having an all-singing all-dancing phone if you don’t know how to get the most of it. This is one of the areas where the Desire 500 really comes into its own. This is all thanks to HTC's very own ‘Sense 5’user interface. As Cnet puts it, the HTC Desire 500 is a good option “for anyone who’s nervous about taking their first steps into Android”.

Nokia Lumia 520 – an affordable Windows phone option

Nokia Lumia 520

Another wallet-friendly option in terms of initial outlay, the Nokia Lumia 520 can be picked up for less than £100 on pay-as-you-go.  At 4 inches, the screen on the Lumia 520 isn't the biggest or brightest out there, but it's perfectly fine for browsing and checking out videos online. The unit looks good too: there are plenty of different colour back panels supplied with it for you to swap and change as the mood takes you.

What sets the Nokia Lumia range apart from most other mobiles is its Windows operating system. Many mobile users don't look back once they've used a Windows phone for the first time. You can configure your interface to exactly the way you want it with the help of as many or as few tiles as you want. You can also pin your most popular contacts on the start page for easy reach. Nokia’s very own Maps App also comes in pretty useful.

Take a look at our range of Nokia Lumia 520 cases and covers here.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini – still going strong

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

It’s been well over a year since the launch of the Galaxy S3 Mini: a lifetime ago in smartphone terms. It might have been overtaken spec-wise by its successors, the S4 and the S4 Mini. Nevertheless, it still stands up incredibly well as a budget option thanks to impressive performance levels and an AMOLED-powered super-sharp display. Best of all, you can now get it on PAYG for around £150 – which puts it in the same camp as the likes of the Motorola Moto G. See how these two phones compare in a head-to-head – courtesy of PC Advisor .  

Here at Mobile Madhouse, we’ve got plenty of cool ways for looking after your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini here.

On the lookout for a budget option? What's your favourite of the bunch? We have cases for all these top budget smartphones.

Mobile Madhouse

Are you looking to keep your monthly phone contract bill as low as possible? Maybe you’re looking for a pay-as-you-go option without having to spend hundreds of pounds on a handset? Take a look at this selection of the latest mobiles that won’t break the bank...

Motorola Moto G – the clever option for PAYG

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