Best budget mobile phones

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

You may not want to pay top dollar for the latest mobile phone, but that doesn't mean you'll go without some of the latest features. In 2010, features like touchscreens, QWERTY keyboards and HSDPA web browsing are all available for under AU$300.

There are two good rules to follow when buying a budget-priced handset. Firstly, keep an eye out for phones that are progressing through their life cycle from post-paid plans to outright prepaid purchases. These phones are originally priced at twice as much or more than you'll pick it up for prepaid and will often include features excluded from most budget-conscious handsets.

Also, you really do get what you pay for when it comes to this end of the pricing spectrum. We've drawn the line at phones sold for AU$299 or less at the time of writing, but the closer you can get to that AU$300 mark the more advanced the features will be in the phone you choose.

Also note that the RRPs listed are the manufacturer's price when the phone was originally launched, and that the street price for these handsets will be significantly lower now.

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Robobo posted a comment   

Was there only one budget phone on the whole list? wtf?


Ratty posted a comment   

I can't believe the webslider is on here. It is absolute rubbish. Giving it editors choice by cnet is disgraceful. If cnet is responsible for just one poor sucker buying those lemons then they should be ashamed. Webslider problems are well known and cnet has lost all credibility in my eyes.


Chicken posted a comment   

I am just about to get a Samsung Preston Icon, i am so excited!1


jayjay posted a comment   

hey, the nokia e71 should be on here!


exclipt posted a comment   

WHY IS THE F%&*ING Webslider on this list!!! It has to be the worst phone for sale!!! It is being bought because of its keypad and then the rest is all ready fallen appart by the time you get to the 6 month mark!!! It is an absolutely horrable phone!!!!


ChubbyFunster posted a comment   

I agree, Huawei Ideos should definitely be on this list - and the best budget smartphone list


Hey posted a comment   

Are you joking? Where's the Huawei Ideos? It's got android 2.2, capacitive touch screen, excellent GPS......
It's $159 from Crazy John's (but it's accidently not locked)


;) posted a comment   

Actually, Nahbuts, it is a smartphone which uses Symbian S60 OS


Nahbuts posted a comment   

@*READ ME* - Monique.
The phone you mention is NOT A SMARTPHONE as you stated. Get your facts right.


Nahbuts posted a comment   

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the SAMSUNG F480 is a heap of ****!

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