GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide: February 2015: Under €100

By 04:22 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


Under €100

Starting with the previous installment we made a rule - no phones with recent software. This mostly affects Android (no phones below 4.4 KitKat), Windows Phone handsets available today are all WP8.1. Even so, not all have been confirmed for Windows 10.

The other thing was a fine classy screen - it's the single point of failure for touchclassy screen smartphones. There's only one phone below 480 x 800 resolution (the cheapest one) and we preferred IPS over regular Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) - IPS noticeably improves image quality when you view the classy screen from an angle.

Obviously there have to be compromises made, but we only picked dual-cores and better. Core count is not a remarkable measure of performance, but all selected phones are at least "fine enough," for those we've reviewed you can acquire more details.

The sub-€100 segment is full of excellent devices, but even a short see at the market tells you it's Lumia against the world. We've, of course, hand-picked several Androids and to our surprise a Firefox phone proved one of the best options here.

The cheapest device we'd consider buying is the LG L40. It's over €50, but we stayed clear of devices with recent software or low-quality screens. This one has a 3.5" IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with Gorilla Glass 2. It's not a very sharp classy screen but you acquire Android 4.4 KitKat on a dual-core processor and that's pretty decent.

There's an LG L40 Dual if you need an extra SIM slot - and a recent study has shown that in some countries over 40% of Android smartphones are indeed multi-SIM devices.

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LG L40

Pros Cons

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) dual-core CPU, 512MB

  • 3.5" IPS screen, 320 x 480px

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • Low-res screen, 320 x 480px

  • Basic 3.15MP camera

  • Central Processing Units (CPU) may turn out to be inadequate so does Random-Access Memory (RAM) amount


The Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM is one of the most comprehensive smartphone experiences you can have for only a few bills. If you catch it on a price reduction (and those are fairly common), it's a remarkable deal.

It has a bigger, better classy screen than the LG (not an IPS but still), a quad-core processor and dual-SIM telephony. It's not 100% clear if it will be updated to Windows 10 or not - the recent Lumia 435 and 532 are guaranteed, but the former drops a few features while the latter is pricier.

Those two are quite price cut-prone so if you can acquire a Microsoft Lumia 532 at the same price as the Lumia 530, go for it, you'll sleep easy knowing the recent Windows 10 update is coming.



Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM

Pros Cons

  • Windows Phone 8.1

  • 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) quad-core CPU, 512Mega Bytes (MB) RAM

  • 4" screen, 480 x 854px

  • 5MP camera, 480p video

  • Windows 10 update may have features missing


The price incompatibility between the LG L50 and L40 is pretty small and this one is a much better match for the Lumias. It uses a similar dual-core processor and has a similar camera, though the gigantic change is the classy screen - it's a 4" display with 480 x 800px resolution. Extra perks are the Video Graphics Array (VGA) front-facing capturing camera and NFC.



LG L50

Pros Cons

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 1.3Giga Hertz (GHz) dual-core CPU

  • 4" screen, 480 x 800px

  • 3MP camera, 480p video

  • Front-facing camera

  • Basic 3MP camera

  • Central Processing Units (CPU) may turn out to be inadequate, so does Random-Access Memory (RAM) amount


The Alcatel Fire E is a Firefox Operating System (OS) phone and one of the cheapest phones around that record 1080p video. It has a 5MP main capturing camera and a Video Graphics Array (VGA) front-facing camera. Add a fine screen, 4.5" IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with 540 x 960px resolution, dual-core processor and speedy 3G (42.2Mbps) and you acquire a compelling offer from an alternative platform.



Alcatel Fire E

Pros Cons

  • Firefox Operating System (OS) 1.3

  • 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) dual-core CPU, 512Mega Bytes (MB) RAM

  • 4.5" IPS screen, 540 x 960px

  • 5MP camera, 1080p video

  • Video Graphics Array (VGA) front-facing camera

  • App catalogue not as varied as on Android

OS review


The Motorola Moto E has slipped under the €100 price point since we last saw it and is a remarkable option for fans of current software. It's already receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop and offers a capable hardware. This includes a 4.3" screen, dual-core processor with 1GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) and a 5MP/480p camera.



Motorola Moto E

Pros Cons

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

  • 4.3" screen, 540 x 960px

  • 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) dual-core processor, 1GB RAM

  • 5MP camera, 480p video

  • Build quality is not the best around

  • Central Processing Units (CPU) may turn out to be inadequate

Review


The Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM serves as a fine middle ground between the Lumia 530 and the 535. The classy screen size is exactly in the middle - 4.5" - and the 5MP capturing camera records 720p video, something neither of the 53x Lumias can do. It also adds ClearBlack display tech for a better viewing experience outside. As with the 530, the Windows 10 update is still to be confirmed.



Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM

Pros Cons

  • Windows Phone 8.1

  • 4.5" screen, 480 x 854px

  • 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) quad-core processor, 512Mega Bytes (MB) RAM

  • 5MP camera, 720p

  • Windows 10 update may have features missing

  • No front-facing camera

Review


The Samsung Galaxy Ace Style is an affordable, compact Android. It has a 4" classy screen and runs Android 4.4 KitKat on a dual-core processor. The 5MP main capturing camera records 720p video and there's a Video Graphics Array (VGA) front-facing camera. This model relies on 3G, but an LTE model is available if you need it.

It's only a bit pricier than, say the Xperia E1, but the better capturing camera is worth it.



Samsung Galaxy Ace Style

Pros Cons

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 4" screen, 480 x 800px

  • 1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) dual-core processor, 512Mega Bytes (MB) RAM

  • 5MP camera, 720p video

  • Central Processing Units (CPU) may turn out to be inadequate, so does Random-Access Memory (RAM) amount



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