Summer 2012 Smartphone Buyer’s Guide

With the smartphone market now flooded with dozens of manufacturers and contracts to choose from, it can be easy to get confused when picking your next handset

With the smartphone market now flooded with dozens of manufacturers and contracts to choose from, it can be easy to get confused when picking your next handset. To help, Redbrick has compiled our summer 2012 smartphone buyer's guide, to advise you which phones are worth your time, and money!

Top Tier Smartphones

With so much competition in the smartphone space right now, it's no surprise that both the manufacturers and the networks are having to drop prices to compete. As a result, most of the latest smartphones can be picked up for free on a 24 month contract. We've picked out our current top 3 smartphone picks, and found the best deals to be had for each!

#1: HTC One X

HTC have always been one of the big names in the Android handset market. In fact they were the first manufacturer to get behind Google's project, and produced the very first Android powered smartphone, the HTC G1, way back in 2008.

Android phones have come a long way since, but HTC has consistently stayed ahead of the crowd with their reliable, stylish and powerful handsets, the HTC One X being the best yet. With its Tegra 3 Quad Core processor, the One X will undoubtedly be able to handle pretty much anything you ask of it, and its 720p display is arguably the best phone display on the market. Even though the phone is less than 9mm thick, the large 4.7" display does make the device quite a handful, so we recommend you try one in-store before committing.

For people who... want a device with a great screen, great performance, and can put up with a slightly larger handset.

Best Deals:
Carphone Warehouse, T-Mobile, 24 month contract
Free phone, £26 per month
300 minutes, Unlimited texts, 750MB data allowance
View Deal
Phones4U, Orange, 24 month contract
Free phone, £28 per month
600 minutes, 3000 texts, 1GB data allowance
View Deal

 

 

 

Best PAYG Smartphone Deals

#2: Samsung Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S3 is Samsung's latest flagship model and a worthy followup to last year's Galaxy S2. It offers a 720p screen, an 8 megapixel camera, and offers the best performance of any Android smartphone. Only the slightly cheap looking plastic body and lower quality screen keep the Galaxy S3 from beating the One X for the title of this summer's must have smartphone.

For people who… want a blazing fast Android smartphone with a great camera.

Best Deals:
Three.co.uk, Three, 24 month contract
Free phone, £34 per month
2000 minutes, 5000 texts, Unlimited data allowance
View Deal
Mobiles.co.uk, Vodafone, 24 month contract
Free phone, £31 per month
500 minutes, Unlimited texts, 500MB data allowance
View Deal

#3: iPhone 4S

Despite being released last October, Apple's latest iPhone is still one of the smartphone heavyweights. Offering an irrestible combination of sleek hardware and a thriving App Store, the iPhone 4S is still the device that many Android phone manufacturers are trying to beat. Though with a considerable redesign due in September/October, it's probably worth waiting to see what Apple's been working on.

For people who… want a hassle-free smartphone experience.

Best Deals:
Mobiles.co.uk, Vodafone, 24 month contract
Free phone, £31 per month
300 minutes, Unlimited texts, 500MB data allowance
View Deal
Three.co.uk, Three, 24 month contract
£49 upfront for phone, £33 per month
1000 minutes, 5000 texts, Unlimited data allowance
View Deal

Whilst there are some great deals to be had if you're willing to commit to a 2 year contract, what if you don't want to be tied to a phone for that long? Luckily, there are also some great smartphones to be had on Pay As You Go, all for less than £150!

Nokia Lumia 710Whilst Nokia has long been known for creating unbreakable smartphones that would survive a nuclear war, they recently cosied up to Microsoft to become a crucial partner for Windows Phone 7. The Lumia 710 is their mid-range device, but it performs just as well as its big brother, the Lumia 800. Low-end Android phones are known for sluggish performance, but Microsoft has prevented their budget devices from the same fate by enforcing rigid hardware requirements, ensuring buttery smooth performance on all Windows Phone 7 devices! Easily the top choice for a great PAYG smartphone.Best deal: £128.95, Vodafone, Phones4U View Deal

Sony Xperia U
Breaking the trend of budget Android phones feeling cheap, the Xperia U packs a 1Ghz dual core processor, and a 5 megapixel camera, all in a smaller chassis which makes the current Android heavyweights look like they were designed for giants. The Carphone Warehouse has a variety of good deals for this handset, but what makes the Virgin Mobile deal particuarly attractive is its offer of 12 months free mobile internet access, something you would usually have to pay extra for. Plus they have a handy 15% student discount!Best deal: £149.95, Virgin Mobile, CarphoneWarehouse.co.uk View Deal

Orange San Francisco 2
The Orange San Francisco was easily the best sub-£100 Android smartphone of last year, so it's only fitting that the updated version, the San Francisco 2, is also a great budget option. It has a 5 megapixel camera, a great screen, and can access all of the apps on the Android Play Store, such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.Best deal: £84.99, Orange, Orange.co.uk View Deal

Josh Holder

Josh Holder is the editor of Redbrick and a Mechanical Engineering student at the University Of Birmingham. He has written for the Guardian and The Independent (@Josh_H)



Published

28th June 2012 at 4:50 pm

Last Updated

9th October 2012 at 7:48 pm



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