You’re on an extremely tight budget, but you need the absolute best phone that you can afford. What do you go for? Let’s find out.
Nokia Lumia 520
The Nokia Lumia 520 is the first choice that springs to mind. True, it’s running Windows Phone, so the app selection isn’t nearly as robust as iOS or Android, but its hard to ignore the value a £99 Nokia phone provides. The 5-megapixel camera is the best in its class, and it delivers a great viewing experience overall thanks to its 4-inch 800x480 display. You won’t get better build quality for under £100 either.
Huawei Ascend Y300
The Huawei Ascend Y300 also has a 4-inch 800x480 IPS display, a 5-megapixel camera and a 1GHz dual-core processor. This time round, you get Android 4.1 under the hood. With just 512MB RAM, it could be smoother, though it does cost just £70.
Vodafone Smart III
The Vodafone Smart III is another contender. We generally shy away from recommending network branded PAYG phones, but the other choices for under £100 simply aren’t as good. Vodafone’s handset includes a 4-inch 800x480 display, a single-core 1Ghz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage (plus microSD), and a 5-megapixel shooter. The asking price is £75 too, although expect the phone to be locked to its network so you'll have to get it unlocked to enjoy it on gift gaff.
Doro PhoneEasy 607
If you want a phone that’s easier to get your head around and hardly ever needs charging, the Doro PhoneEasy 607 is a simple clamshell handset that packs a whopping 420 hours standby time. Perfectly suited for less able, it has an ICE, or in case of emergency button which will call a friend or family should the need arise. Perfect for one handed use, sporting big, easy to press keys and a lanyard for easy stowing around the neck, as far as accessibility goes, nothing else under £100 comes close.
ZTE Blade V
Finally, a quad-core phone for £100. The ZTE Blade V won’t wow you when it comes to design, but it has the necessary features you'll need for a decent smartphone experience. It feels surprisingly snappy for a £100 handset, the screen is solid - if a little dim - while the battery is relatively frugal. Virgin Media want £100 for the phone, or £81.99 if you’re already a customer of the company.
There you have it, five phones that cumulatively cost less than an iPhone. Hopefully it's helped you decide which is right for you.