Top 10 Best Selling Pay As You Go Phones this Christmas

November 26th, 2010

As we approach Christmas 2010, we outline 10 of the best selling Pay As You Go handsets this season.

The annual ritual of finding the perfect Christmas gift for friends and family has begun again. In a previous article, we outlined some of the top technology gifts this Christmas. In this article, we outline some of the best selling Pay As You Go phones this Christmas. They range from fully featured Android smartphones such as the HTC Wildfire and Orange San Francisco which can do everything under the Sun all the way to basic handsets which can’t do much more than call and text. We’ve also listed the key specifications for each phone and listed the networks from which you can buy the handsets.

1. HTC Wildfire

Summary: An affordable entry-level Android phone. Based on the more powerful HTC Desire, the Wildfire cuts down on screen quality and processing power. This means computationally intensive applications such as games may run more slowly. Comes with free GPS navigation.

Key specifications: 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch (240×320 resolution), Android 2.1, 5 megapixel camera with flash, 7.3 hours talk time, supports wi-fi & 3G. Full specifications on the HTC website.

Good for: Access to 100,000+ Android Market apps, integrated Facebook social networking, free Google Maps GPS navigation.

Network availability and prices:

2. Orange San Francisco

Summary: For the 10 phones reviewed for this article, this is my personal highlight. The San Francisco is a phenomenal budget Android handset with a high-resolution and responsive 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen. Comes with free GPS navigation.

Key specifications: 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen (480×800 resolution), Android 2.1, 3.15 megapixel camera, 4 hours talk time, supports 3G and wi-fi. Full specifications in the Orange newsroom.

Good for: Great screen, access to 100,000+ Android Market apps, free Google Maps GPS navigation.

Network availability and prices:

3. Nokia C3

Summary: A “Blackberry-style” phone from Nokia with a QWERTY keyboard and built in social networking features. Unfortunately, although it supports wi-fi, there is no 3G support so browsing whilst on the move is likely to be slow.

Key specifications: 2.4-inch screen (320×240 resolution), hardware QWERTY keyboard, 2 megapixel camera, 7 hours talk time, supports wi-fi but lacks 3G support. Full specifications on the Nokia website.

Good for: Hardware keyboard, half the price of the Blackberry Curve 8520.

Network availability and prices:

4. BlackBerry Curve 8520

Summary: Very similar to the Nokia C3 specification-wise but more expensive. The Curve 8520 features Blackberry’s trademark hardware keyboard but again lacks 3G support so browsing on the go may be slow. Please be aware that Blackberry features often require an extra subscription.

Key specifications: 2.4-inch screen (320×240 resolution), hardware QWERTY keyboard, 2 megapixel camera, 4.5 hours talk time, supports wi-fi but lacks 3G support. Full specifications on the BlackBerry website.

Good for: Hardware keyboard, access to BBM.

Network availability and prices:

5. INQ Chat 3G

Summary: Only available on Three, the INQ Chat 3G is designed as a social mobile. The phone integrates Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger and Skype into the interface.

Key specifications: 2.4-inch screen (320×240 resolution), QWERTY keyboard, 3.15 megapixel camera, 9.5 hours talk time, supports 3G but not wi-fi. Full specifications on the INQ website.

Good for: An affordable phone with social networking built-in.

Network availability and prices:

6. Samsung Monte Slide E2550

Summary: A basic and affordable slider phone. Some internet features such as a bundled Facebook application for social networking but the 1.3 megapixel camera and small screen makes this a poor choice for multimedia.

Key specifications: 2-inch screen (128×160 resolution), slide-out number pad (T9 predictive text), 1.3 megapixel camera, 9.5 hours talk time, lacks both wi-fi and 3G support. Full specifications on the Samsung website.

Good for: A very basic and affordable phone which gives you access to Facebook whilst on the move.

Network availability and prices:

7. Nokia 1661

Summary: An ultra-cheap handset which doesn’t really do much more than make calls and send texts. Supports FM radio, polyphonic ringtones. Great for somebody who wants a mobile phone just for emergencies.

Key specifications: 1.8-inch screen (128×160 resolution), number pad (T9 predictive text), no camera, 4 hours talk time, no internet support. Full specifications on the Nokia website.

Good for: Somebody who isn’t into gadgets or technology and wants a simple mobile phone which just does the basics.

Network availability and prices:

  • Orange – £20 from Amazon.co.uk (includes £10 airtime)
  • Vodafone – £20 from Amazon.co.uk
  • SIM Free – £25 from Amazon.co.uk (SIM-free and unlocked)

8. Nokia 2330 Classic

Summary: Another cheap, basic phone from Nokia but with some more advanced features such as a VGA camera, basic GPRS web access and an MP3 player.

Key specifications: 1.8-inch screen (128×160 resolution), number pad (T9 predictive text), 0.3 megapixel camera, 4 hours talk time, basic internet browser and GPRS support. Full specifications on the Nokia website.

Good for: Somebody who isn’t into gadgets or technology and wants a basic mobile phone.

Network availability and prices:

9. Samsung Genio Touch S3650

Summary: An affordable touchscreen phone from Samsung. It’s not a smartphone by any measure but there is a basic Facebook application. Available in a range of colours such as yellow, pink, white and orange.

Key specifications: 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen (240×320 resolution), 2 megapixel camera, 9 hours talk time, supports web browsing over GPRS. Full specifications on the Samsung website.

Good for: An affordable phone which gives you access to Facebook on the move.

Network availability and prices:

10. LG Cookie Fresh GS290

Summary: An affordable touchscreen from LG with a decent touchscreen. Again, it’s not a smartphone but it comes with a basic Facebook application.

Key specifications: 3-inch resistive touchscreen (240×400 resolution), 2 megapixel camera, 5.5 hours talk time, lacks both 3G and wi-fi support. Full specifications on the LG website.

Good for: An affordable phone which gives you access to Facebook on the move.

Network availability and prices:

Your suggestions…

What Pay As You Go phones are you buying for your friends and family this Christmas? Drop us a comment below: we’d love to hear from you!

    

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About Ken

Ken Lo

I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.

Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.

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