Best budget mobile phones

We round up the best cheap mobile phones that provide great bang for your buck.

Paying less for a mobile phone doesn't mean you should be forced to skimp on features, and the good news is, many budget phones now have capabilities well beyond what you would expect given their price tags.

Whether it's accessing your social network profiles, downloading apps, or sending and receiving e-mails, many mobile phones with entry-level price points offer great features — even some prepaid handsets. Keep in mind that the main trade offs when it comes to cheaper, entry-level phones come in the form of a smaller screen with a low resolution, or a plastic body rather than metal.

If you're buying your mobile phone outright, we've limited our selection to phones that retail for $500 or under. And if you're purchasing it on a plan, we've opted for phones that are available for $0 upfront on $29 plans and under. Note that some phones in our list may list an RRP higher than $500 — in this case, these are definitely available on $29 plans and under through one or more Australian telcos: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 or Virgin Mobile.

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HTC Wildfire

The HTC Wildfire boasts impressive build quality and the full suite of Android features, but it has a low-resolution display and sluggish performance. When you consider its price though, these minor issues are much easier to live with and are a small compromise to pay for a handset that offers outstanding value for money.

  • Review Date:
  • Reviewer:
  • Manufacturer:
  • 20th Aug., 2010
  • Ross Catanzariti
  • HTC
  • Rating:
  • Price:
  • Pros:
  • Good build quality, well-designed on-screen keyboard, HTC Sense UI, capacitive touchscreen, multitouch and Flash support, battery life
  • Cons:
  • Low-resolution display with poor viewing angles, keystroke lag, often sluggish
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