GSMArena Smartphone Shopping Guide: August 2014: €100-€200

By 01:47 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


€100-€200

This category will probably see the most action - phones are affordable and yet have all the features a casual user is likely to need. As a GSMArena reader you may be more tech-inclined and demand better specs but haged in mind that casual users create up the bulk of the market.

The Sony Xperia M is an alternative to the Lumia 520. It's pricier but it's powered by the same dual-core Krait processor and has 1GB of RAM. It has a 4" FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) classy screen and a 5MP/720p camera. It's a bit recent and Sony is leaving it stranded at Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

There's a dual-SIM version of the Xperia M but it's pricier and there are better dual-SIM options. The Xperia M is getting a small long in the tooth but compact droids with fine specs are hard to find even these days.

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Sony Xperia M

Pros Cons

  • 4" FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) screen

  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

  • Dual-core Krait

  • 5MP/720p camera

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • No more Android updates

Review


While the Lumia 530 is Microsoft's entry-level offering the Nokia Lumia 630 is a more capable phone. We found that the dual-SIM version of the phone is priced essentially the same as the single-SIM so that's our pick. By the way, the Lumia 635 is an LTE-enabled, single-SIM version of the phone. It's more expensive though so it depends on how vital LTE is to you.

Anyway, compared to the 530 the Lumia 630 brings a bigger 4.5" classy screen and while the resolution is still FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) at least it's an IPS panel and it's protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The proprietary ClearBlack tech improves sunlight legibility.

The capturing camera also regains its 720p video capture and you acquire more built-in storage.



Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM

Pros Cons

  • 4.5" FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) screen

  • Windows Phone 8.1

  • Quad-core Cortex-A7

  • 5MP/720p camera

  • Voice-guided navigation

  • Dual-SIM

  • Optional LTE (single-SIM Lumia 635)

  • Random-Access Memory (RAM) could have been 1GB

Review


The ZTE Grand S Flex is another phone that gives you the mid-range experience. It's pricier than the Alcatel Idol S from the last chapter but makes up for it with a bigger 5" IPS classy screen with 720p resolution and a faster dual-core Krait processor.

It too has an 8MP/1080p capturing camera and LTE connectivity. Unfortunately, it too is stuck on an recent Android version. Another downside is that it lacks a microSD card slot though it does come with 16GB of built-in storage.



ZTE Grand S Flex

Pros Cons

  • 5" 720p IPS screen

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

  • Dual-core Krait

  • 8MP/1080p camera

  • LTE

  • Old Android version

  • No microSD card slot


The HTC Desire 310 is our first brush with HTC hardware and software design. It tackles the Lumia 630 with a 4.5" FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) classy screen and a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor. The Random-Access Memory (RAM) varies by region and is either 512Mega Bytes (MB) or 1GB.

The phone boasts a 1080p-capable 5MP capturing camera and the respected Sense UI but it's based on recent Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

There's a dual-SIM version of the Desire 310 if you need it (at extra cost, of course).



HTC Desire 310

Pros Cons

  • 4.5" FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) screen

  • Android 4.2 Jelly Ben

  • Quad-core Cortex-A7

  • 5MP/1080p camera

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • Old Android version

  • 512Mega Bytes (MB) Random-Access Memory (RAM) in some regions


The LG Optimus L9 II brings LG's thin-bezel magic to challenge the ZTE Grand S Flex and Alcatel Idol S. It has a 4.7" IPS classy screen with 720p resolution and is powered by a dual-core Krait processor. Unlike the other two, it runs a current Android 4.4 KitKat.

The Optimus L9 II has an 8MP/1080p camera, NFC connectivity and an IR blaster to control your TV and other equipment.



LG Optimus L9 II

Pros Cons

  • 4.7" 720p IPS screen

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • Dual-core Krait

  • 8MP/1080p camera

  • IR blaster


Phablets have exploded in popularity since they hit the scene but they are typically at least mid-range devices. The LG G Pro Lite Dual combines the utility of a stylus and a gigantic classy screen with dual-SIM connectivity.

It has a roomy 5.5" IPS classy screen that's quite low on resolution (qHD for just 200ppi density) and is powered by an recent dual-core Cortex-A9 processor running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Not ideal but an 8MP/720p capturing camera makes us feel a small better. There are stereo speakers on board, too.

While the LG G Pro Lite Dual makes some questionable sacrifices, it should do quite okay for mom and pop.



LG G Pro Lite Dual

Pros Cons

  • 5.5" qHD IPS screen

  • Stylus

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

  • Dual-core Cortex-A9

  • 8MP/720p camera

  • Dual-SIM

  • Stereo speakers

  • Low classy screen resolution

  • Slow chipset

  • Old Android version


We started with the giants so let's see into the minis too. The LG G2 mini LTE has a 4.7" IPS classy screen with Gorilla Glass 2. The downside compared to the LG L9 II is that it's a qHD classy screen with about half the pixels. It's not more compact either, despite being a mini.

There are still reasons to consider it though. It has LTE connectivity for one and it's a newer device that's much easier to find in shops. It also gets more love in terms of software with many tricks borrowed from the gigantic LG flagships (probably a brighter update future too).

A non-LTE dual-SIM version is available in some markets as well.



LG G2 mini LTE

Pros Cons

  • 4.7" qHD IPS screen

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • Quad-core Cortex-A7

  • 8MP/1080p camera

  • LTE

  • Optional dual-SIM (but no LTE)

  • Low classy screen resolution

  • Not the most compact mini

Review


The Sony Xperia M2 is a full centimeter taller than the LG G2 mini and half a centimeter wider. It has very similar specs though if size wasn't what attracted you to the LG. The Xperia M2 has a 4.8" qHD classy screen with Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor running Android 4.4 KitKat.

There's an 8MP/1080p capturing camera and LTE connectivity or a second SIM slot if you prefer. Sony recently unveiled a water proof Xperia M2 Aqua version but the pricing of that isn't clear yet.



Sony Xperia M2

Pros Cons

  • 4.8" qHD screen

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • Quad-core Cortex-A7

  • 8MP/1080p camera

  • LTE

  • Optional dual-SIM (but no LTE)

  • Optional waterproofing

  • Noticeably bigger than the minis

Review


The Motorola Moto G 4G is assumed to be getting a replacement soon but it's still a fine deal. It has near-stock Android and a promise of fast-track software updates when a recent Android version becomes available. The 4G versions fixes the two major complaints of the regular Moto G, namely, it adds a microSD card slot and 4G LTE connectivity.

The phone has a 4.5" IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with 720p resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat on a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with 1GB RAM. It's potential downside is the camera, which is a 5MP/720p shooter.

Still, the phone has a solid build and the up-to-date software is a gigantic plus for some.



Motorola Moto G 4G

Pros Cons

  • 4.5" 720p IPS LCD

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • Quad-core Cortex-A7

  • 5MP/720p camera

  • LTE

  • Camera is sub-par


The Sony Xperia SP is a direct competitor to the Moto G but one-ups it with an 8MP/1080p camera. The chipset is based on a dual-core Krait but more importantly it packs an Adreno 320 GPU instead of the usual 305 (used by Moto G and Optimus L7 II), so it should have double the performance in games.

The Xperia SP has an attractive metal rim and a 4.6" screen. It's a non-IPS TFT though so viewing angles aren't as fine as on the Motorola.



Sony Xperia SP

Pros Cons

  • 4.6" 720p screen

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • Dual-core Krait

  • Adreno 320 GPU

  • 8MP/1080p camera

  • LTE

  • Non-IPS display

Review


The Acer Liquid E700 aims to be the phone to discontinue all dual-SIM phones... becautilize it has three SIM slots. While triple-SIM have been gimmicky no-name devices, the Liquid E700 is actually a solid contender.

It has a 5" IPS classy screen with 720p resolution (a hair under 300ppi) and a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with 2GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) (the Random-Access Memory (RAM) amount is a rarity in this segment). And it runs Android 4.4 KitKat unlike many other MediaTek-powered devices. It also sports an 8MP capturing camera and a massive 3,500mAh battery. And no, it's not particularly thick either - 9.9mm.



Acer Liquid E700

Pros Cons

  • 5" 720p IPS screen

  • Quad-core Cortex-A7, 2GB RAM

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 8MP camera

  • Triple-SIM

  • Large battery



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