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Monday, November 26, 2007

Pay As You Go Mobile Phones - No longer cheap and nasty.

In the past if you wanted to get the latest and flashiest mobile phones you’d have to either lock yourself into a lengthy contract or spend upwards of £300 if you were on pay-as-you-go.

But with the mobile phone industry moving along as fast as it is, now is the perfect time to bag a good deal on a cheap mobile phone.

First of all, mobile phones have now evolved from simply a telephone to digital camera all the way through to a replacement for practically all the personal devices we carry on us - MP3 players, cameras, even laptops.

And these aren’t new cutting-edge technologies, they’re fast becoming global standards with practically all mobile phones on the market today.

What does this mean for the consumer? Well, it means that mobile phones with all these features are coming down in price, not only on contract but also for Pay As You Go mobile phone customers. The following are a selection of sub-£100 phones from the major handset brands.


Nokia has long been one of the most popular handset brands and has a wide range of handsets catering to different tastes.

The 1600 is a basic phone with colour screen and MP3 ringtones which can be bought on pay-as-you-go for as little as £19.99. While it is basic in terms of its features, another phone for £80 is the 5300. This phone has more impressive features, such as a 1.3 megapixel camera for basic on-the-go photos, MP3 player functionality, with the ability to take MicroSD memory cards to expand space for both of these functions.


Samsung has also been a popular handset manufacturer in recent years, as well as being a trusted brand in other areas such as televisions. The compact M300 is a stylish clamshell design phone with, again, a basic camera but also FM radio and tri-band calling abilities making it usable when travelling abroad to places like America. At just under £40 it is very appealing.

In keeping with Samsung’s very stylised design, the E900 is a sleek sliding phone, with touch-sensitive buttons on the face that light up when the phone is active. It also packs a 2 megapixel camera, the industry standard at the moment, and also takes the aforementioned MicroSD cards and can be used as a MP3 player. All this and it only weighs 93 grams. At just under £90 its looks alone seem to be worth more.


Motorola, like Nokia, is one of the longest-serving mobile manufacturers and can draw upon lots of experience in the field. In recent years Motorola has become synonymous with making slim and stylish clamshell phones, with some ultra-thin standard handsets too.

The KRZR K1 fits this mould exactly: a narrow clamshell design houses an MP3 player, GPRS internet and a 1.3 megapixel camera that also can record video. At £79 you get an ultra-sleek phone which appeals to the technical crowd as well as the fashionistas.


SonyEricsson was formed from two of the most recognisable tech firms in recent years: Sony and Ericsson. The former Sony brings its experience with cameras and portable music to the table, while Ericsson is well-known for its mobile phones.

As a result, the new company has garnered much respect for the amount of features crammed into each phone: Sony’s Walkman and CyberShot brands help elevate their phones such as the W810i, a Walkman-branded phone which has excellent MP3 playing functions, but also a 2 megapixel camera and expandable memory using Sony’s Memory Stick Duo cards.

At £79.99 it stuffs a lot of specs into a small phone. The K800i is similarly priced but offers more digital camera abilities, plus an impressive 3.2 megapixel camera with Xeon flash. The phone itself has a large screen and is 3G compatible, so video calls can be made via the small pinhole camera on the front of the phone.

These are just a selection of handsets from the main established handset manufacturers. It is by no means a definitive list and mobile phone prices are constantly dropping as new handsets are released. Furthermore, there are other companies entering the fray, such as LG and networks like O2 releasing their own range.

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