GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide: November 2014: €100-€200

By 11:06 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


€100-€200

In the €100-€200 category we were overwhelmed with choice of recent brands and models that might be hard to find in retail stores. If you're okay with doing some Internet shopping you can grab one of those, but established brands have some heavy hitters in here too.

As an example of a remarkable deal you can find on the net, the Huawei Honor 3C Play is barely more expensive than the Galaxy Ace Style, but promises some really impressive specs. It has a MediaTek chipset and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean - as many affordable, MT-powered phones do, it's a common disadvantage to see out for.

Still, you acquire a dual-SIM phone with a 5" 720p classy screen and a quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM, plus 16GB of built-in storage. It has an 8MP capturing camera and a 2,000mAh battery to boot. Finding an Honor 3C Play in brick-and-mortar stores can be quite a challenge though.

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Huawei Honor 3C Play

Pros Cons

  • Dual-SIM phone

  • 5" 720p screen

  • Quad-core 1.3Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • 8MP camera

  • Old Android version, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

  • Hard to find in stores

  • 2,000 mAh


Phones like the Honor 3C Play are of a pie-in-the-sky deal, and a more grounded option is something like the HTC Desire 310. It boasts the same chipset, though in some regions it only comes with 512Mega Bytes (MB) RAM) and the problem of the older Android version comes up again.

Besides HTC's familiar design, there's a 5MP/1080p camera, a front-facing capturing camera too. The classy screen is decent (4.5" FWVGA) and there's a 2,000mAh battery. There's a dual-SIM version of the Desire 310.



HTC Desire 310

Pros Cons

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • 4.5" 480x854px display

  • Quad-core 1.3Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • 5MP camera, 1080p video

  • 2,000 mAh

  • Old Android version, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

  • Non-IPS display


While Android is technically open source, a large portion of the experience comes from proprietary Google services. Mozilla is on a mission to create cheap, open smartphones to give people in developing countries access to the Internet. While there are €30 devices out there already, they are hardly usable as smartphones.

However, you can acquire on the Google/Microsoft/Apple escape train with something like the Alcatel Fire E. It's not the cheapest, but it's fairly competitive compared to similarly-priced Androids (which is not usually the case).



Alcatel Fire E

Pros Cons

  • Open-source Firefox OS

  • 4.5" 540x960px display, IPS

  • Dual-core 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • 5MP camera, 1080p video

  • Firefox Operating System (OS) has limited third-party apps available compared to mainstream mobile OS’s

  • 1,700 mAh


Xiaomi has been enjoying an fantastic exponential growth recently and has already overtaken ailing mobile phone giants like Sony. The ambitious company is taking steps to expand its availability and recently entered the Indian market. It's also making its way to Europe - most often through unauthorized resellers who sometimes are selling the Chinese versions of the phones, which lack Google's service integration. Despite that fact, Xiaomi phone in Europe are still a fine deal and we suspect their sales they will continue to like a healthy growth.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S (aka Hongmi 1S) is enjoying remarkable popularity among our readers and it trumps the HTC Desire 310 on several fronts - it's dual-SIM by default, it has a bigger, sharper 4.7' 720p classy screen (IPS too!), plus a faster Snapdragon 400 chipset and an 8MP/1080p camera. It's still a Jelly Bean device, but Xiaomi has been promising a KitKat update for a while now.



Xiaomi Redmi 1S

Pros Cons

  • Dual-SIM phone

  • 4.7" 720p display, IPS

  • Quad-core 1.6Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, KitKat on the way

  • 8MP camera, 1080p video, 1.6MP/720p selfie camera

  • 2,000 mAh


As another viable alternative to the Desire 310, you can check out the Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM. It features a 4.5" IPS display with FWVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution and Nokia ClearBlack tech. It has a quad-core processor and the latest Windows Phone 8.1 (with free offline navigation), though the video capture is capped at 720p.



Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM

Pros Cons

  • Dual-SIM phone

  • 4.5" 480x854px display, IPS

  • Quad-core 1.3Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • Windows Phone 8.1

  • 5MP camera, 720p video

  • Free offline navigation

  • 1,830 mAh

  • 512Mega Bytes (MB) RAM

Review


The Motorola Moto E has single and dual-SIM versions and as part of Moto's lineup has a ticket for early software updates (it's headed to Lollipop as we speak). It's not quite as capable as the HTC Desire 310 - it only has a dual-core processor and its capturing camera is sub-HD (480p), but some would still go for it just to acquire pure, recent Android.



Motorola Moto E

Pros Cons

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • 4.3" 540x960px display

  • Android 4.4, 5.0 Lollipop on the way

  • 5MP camera, 480p video

  • 1,980 mAh

  • Only dual-core CPU

  • Only 480p video

Review


The first Microsoft-branded Windows Phone handset is a reality, the Microsoft Lumia 535. The phone is an improvement over both the Lumia 530 and the Lumia 630 with a gigantic 5" classy screen and 5MP selfie camera, matching the 5MP main camera. It uses the same quad-core processor but has 1GB of RAM. The phone is currently on pre-order, but units should ship in early December.

There's a dual-SIM version too and it's definitely worth the small extra cash over the Lumia 630, which doesn't even have a front facing cam, unless size is a concern, of course. Do check out the older Lumia 625 first - it has LTE connectivity and its main capturing camera can record 1080p video and it has LTE. Its classy screen isn't quite as fine as the 535's and it only has 512Mega Bytes (MB) of RAM, but it should drop in price as the Lumia 535 arrives.



Microsoft Lumia 535

Pros Cons

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • 5" 540x960px display, IPS

  • Quad-core CPU, 1.2GHz

  • Windows Phone 8.1

  • 5MP camera, 480p video

  • 5MP selfie camera

  • 1,905 mAh


Huawei returns with another remarkable but hard-to-find offering - the Ascdiscontinue Y550. It's one of the cheapest phones with LTE and one of the cheapest phones with a 64-bit processor (it's a Snapdragon 410 chipset). The Cortex-A53 cores inside are the next-generation replacement of the Cortex-A7s found in most cheap quad-cores, plus the chipset brings the updated Adreno 306. The recent GPU offers the same performance as the 305, but uses less power.

The Ascdiscontinue Y550 currently runs Android 4.4 KitKat, but should it acquire updated to Lollipop, it will see alleged speed enhancements related to its 64-bit nature, which would remain out of reach even for some current flagships. The classy screen on the Ascdiscontinue Y550 isn't as impressive as that of the Honor 3C Play though.



Huawei Ascdiscontinue Y550

Pros Cons

  • LTE

  • 64-bit quad-core 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) processor

  • 4.5" 480x854px display, IPS

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 5MP camera, 720p video

  • 2,000 mAh


While 720p screens are available in the €200 price range, most devices create do with qHD or less. The LG G2 mini fits a 4.7" IPS display with qHD resolution in a fairly compact body. Like the gigantic G2, this phone uses the tradeimprint button arrangement on the back.

The phone packs a Snapdragon 400 chipset, running Android 4.4 KitKat, LTE connectivity, an 8MP/1080p capturing camera and a relatively gigantic battery in its smallish dimensions. The LG G3 was updated to acquire Lollipop before certain Nexus devices, so LG G2 mini's update future is looking good.

Note that there are some regional variations with dual-SIM (and no LTE) or with a Tegra 3 chipset.



LG G2 mini

Pros Cons

  • LTE

  • 4.7" 540x960px display, IPS

  • Quad-core 1.3Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 8MP camera, 1080p video

  • 2,440 mAh

  • Screen is not the best LG has put out


The HTC Desire 510 isn't as compact as the G2 mini and the still capturing camera goes down to 5MP, but in Europe it comes with the recent Snapdragon 410 chipset, same as the Ascdiscontinue Y550. It's pricier than the Huawei, but it records 1080p video with the main capturing camera and you acquire other perks like double the storage (8GB), NFC (region-dependent) and HTC's brand familiarity and design.

Note that in the US the Desire 510 is based on Snapdragon 400, so there you'd be better off with the more compact LG G2 mini.



HTC Desire 510

Pros Cons

  • LTE

  • 4.7" 480x854px display

  • 64-bit quad-core 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) processor

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 5MP camera, 1080p video

  • 2,100 mAh

  • Regular Snapdragon 400 chipset in some regions

  • Camera and classy screen not as fine as G2 mini's

Review


From a mini to a phablet - the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G stretches the Redmi 1S to a 5.5" 720p classy screen and adds LTE connectivity plus Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) 802.11ac. It has a slightly better 13MP/1080p capturing camera and is powered by the same Snapdragon 400 chipset, but with 2GB of RAM. There are non-LTE versions with octa-core MediaTek chipsets too.



Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G

Pros Cons

  • LTE

  • 5.5" 720p display, IPS

  • Quad-core 1.6Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU, 2GB RAM

  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, KitKat on the way

  • 13MP camera, 1080p video

  • 3,200 mAh


At the upper discontinue of the €100-€200 segment are to Moto G's - the Motorola Moto G (2014) and the Moto G 4G. The recent model has a 5" 720p classy screen surrounded by stereo speakers and is quickly getting updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop. It has a slightly better capturing camera than its predecessor - 8MP/720p - but the same Snapdragon 400 chipset.



Motorola Moto G (2014)

Pros Cons

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • 5" 720p screen, IPS

  • Stereo speakers

  • Quad-core 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • Android 4.4 KitKat, Lollipop soon

  • 8MP camera, 720p video

  • 2,070 mAh

  • No LTE

Review


The older Moto G 4G is smaller with a 4.5" 720p classy screen and while it may lack the stereo speakers, it has LTE connectivity. Both the Moto G (2014) and Moto G 4G have microSD card slots (the original G did not). This one is on KitKat currently and will be getting Android 5.0 Lollipop later on as well.



Motorola Moto G 4G

Pros Cons

  • LTE

  • 4.5" 720p display, IPS

  • Quad-core 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • Android 4.4 KitKat, Lollipop planned

  • 5MP camera, 720p video

  • 2,070 mAh

Review


If you want an alternative to the dual-SIM version of the Moto G (2014), you can check out the Asus Zenfone 5. It packs a 5" 720p classy screen and an 8MP/1080p camera. Regional differences can be quite gigantic though - it has either a 1.6Giga Hertz (GHz) or 2Giga Hertz (GHz) processor (a dual-core Intel Atom in both versions) and 1GB or 2GB of RAM. Pricing also varies quite a bit by region so you'll need to do a bit of research before deciding in favor of the Zenfone 5 or the Moto G (2014).



Asus Zenfone 5

Pros Cons

  • Dual-SIM phone

  • 5" 720p display, IPS

  • Dual-core 1.6/2Giga Hertz (GHz) CPU

  • Android 4.3, 4.4 KitKat update available

  • 8MP camera, 1080p video

  • 2,110 mAh

  • Some regional variations have merely 1GB of RAM

  • No LTE

Review



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