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Top five budget smartphones money can buy (Part I, 2014)

Tony Ibrahim | July 31, 2014
The best value for money smartphones to hit the Australian market this year.

Budget smartphones keep getting better as software matures and components become cheaper. Some companies just this year have produced inexpensive smartphones that could replace your big-brand flagship. Others haven't had the same success.

Good Gear Guide has compiled a list of the year's best smartphones thus far. The smartphone's featured are priced less than the IDC's average of $337, have performed well during our testing and link out to additional resources.

5. Kogan Agora 4G
 
Kogan Agora

Kogan's Agora 4G will pique the interest of people looking for a budget smartphone that packs a big screen. The 5in screen has a high-definition resolution and, coupled with its 4G connectivity, makes the smartphone ideal for internet browsing and multimedia consumption. Innards are a mixed affair for the Agora 4G as it benefits from a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, but RAM is on the low end at just 1GB. The smartphone is developed by Taiwanese manufacturer BenQ and represents its entry in the Australian market for the second time.

Pros"5in screen"4G connectivity"Quad-core CPU

Cons"Not a pretty smartphone"Low RAM

Price (RRP): $229

4. Motorola Moto E
 
Motorola Moto E

Motorola's Moto E has been designed to wean people from developing countries off feature phones and onto smartphones. The smartphone wears Motorola's near-vanilla version of Android, has a 4.3in screen, takes two SIM cards and has inherited some of its looks from the attractive Moto G. Motorola has managed to offer all this for $179 and that puts the Moto E in a price range of its own.

Pros"One of the cheapest smartphones around"Quick software updates"Dual-SIM

Cons"Looks cheap

Price (RRP): $179

3. Huawei Ascend G6
 
Huawei Ascend G6

Few smartphones impart an appreciation for the simple joys in the same way as Huawei's Ascend G6. It's made from good ingredients: one part good design, another respectable hardware and a final part of easy software. Those who snap photos often will value the 8 megapixel Sony camera gracing the Ascend's rear, along with the 5 megapixel 'selfie' camera on its front.

Pros"Lightweight"Refined software"Sony 8MP rear and 5MP front cameras

Cons"No app drawer

Price (RRP): $329

2. Nokia Lumia 635
 
Nokia Lumia 635

We'd name our Lumia 635 "chipper". Bright colours that match the live-tile interface of Windows 8.1 give this little smartphone plenty of personality. A front camera is missing and the 4.5in display has a lower resolution than that of the Moto G, but then again, the Lumia 635 packs 4G connectivity at a more affordable price.

 

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