Top 5 Bestselling Pay As You Go Phones: Christmas 2011

December 2nd, 2011

We look at the top 5 bestselling Pay As You Go phones this Christmas.

Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, and what better gift is there for your loved ones but a new mobile phone? The ultimate gadget, the modern mobile phone is an all-in-one gadget which can be used to take photos, surf the internet, listen to music and play games as well as making phone calls and sending text messages. In this article, we review and compare the 5 best selling mobile phones this Christmas according to the Carphone Warehouse. There’s a large range of different designs and prices and so we hope it’ll come in handy in pointing you in the right direction.

If you’re looking for a technology gift other than a mobile phone, see our guide to the top 10 bestselling gadgets this Christmas.

1. Samsung Tocco Icon – from £65

Available from £65 on Orange, the Samsung Tocco Icon is a low-cost touchscreen phone designed for social networking. Samsung’s “Social Hub” is integrated into this phone making it easy to keep in touch with your friends via SMS, Facebook and Twitter and the “T9 Trace” enabled keyboard makes it easy and quick to enter your messages into the device. The Tocco Icon also comes with a 3 megapixel camera and wi-fi support meaning that it can be used for free when at home without needing to add an additional data plan onto your Pay As You Go package. For use on-the-go, the phone is slightly hindered by it’s lack of 3G connectivity. This makes it difficult to download large files or videos when on the move.

Samsung Tocco Icon
Display 3-inch capacitive touchscreen
Operating System Samsung Proprietary
Storage Supports micro-SD card (up to 16GB)
Camera 3.15 megapixels
Battery 1000mAh, up to 8.3 hours talk time
Supports 3G? No
Supports Wi-Fi? Yes
Lowest Price £65 on Orange Pay As You Go

The Samsung Tocco Icon is available on the following networks:

Samsung Tocco Icon: Network Availability

Not available

£80

£65 (lowest price)

£80

£70

2. BlackBerry Curve 9300 – from £150

Available from £150 on O2, the Curve 9300 is a entry-level smartphone from BlackBerry. With a full QWERTY keyboard and a 2.5-inch display, the BlackBerry Curve is great for texting, e-mailing, social networking and instant messaging through BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). The Curve runs version 5 of the BlackBerry operating system (upgradable to version 6) and you’ll have access to applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps and more through the BlackBerry App World application store. The emphasis of this phone is on communication rather than multimedia: this can be seen in the 2.5-inch display and the 2 megapixel camera – both are relatively low-spec for a smartphone.

BlackBerry Curve 9300
Display 2.5-inch TFT display (not touchscreen)
Operating System BlackBerry OS v5 (upgradable to v6)
Storage 256MB internal & Supports micro-SD card (up to 32GB)
Camera 2 megapixels
Battery 1150mAh, up to 5.5 hours talk time
Supports 3G? Yes
Supports Wi-Fi? Yes, also supports UMA on Orange
Lowest Price £150 on O2 Pay As You Go

The BlackBerry Curve 9300 is available on the following networks:

BlackBerry Curve 9300: Network Availability

£160

£150 (lowest price)

£160

£180

£175

3. HTC Wildfire S – from £150

The HTC Wildfire S is a popular Android-based smartphone available for £150 on all five of the UK’s major Pay As You Go networks. It features a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, Android 2.3 with free GPS navigation and access to 200,000 apps through Android Market, a 5 megapixel camera and support for both 3G and wi-fi connectivity. This makes the HTC Wildfire S a great entry-level smartphone: whilst it runs slower than flagship devices such as the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II and has a smaller display, it’s more compact and can run all of the same applications. One downside of the HTC Wildfire S is the lack of internal memory (512MB). A 2GB micro-SD card is included but for those with a large music collection, it’s worth buying an additional micro-SD card.

HTC Wildfire S
Display 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen
Operating System Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Storage 512MB internal & Supports micro-SD card (up to 32GB)
Camera 5 megapixels
Battery 1230mAh, up to 5.8 hours talk time
Supports 3G? Yes
Supports Wi-Fi? Yes, also supports wi-fi hotspot tethering
Lowest Price £150 on multiple Pay As You Go networks

The HTC Wildfire S is available on the following networks:

HTC Wildfire S: Network Availability

£150

£150

£150

£150

£150

4. BlackBerry Curve 8520 – from £120

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is older brother of the BlackBerry Curve 9300. It’s available for just £120 on Pay As You Go (compared to £150 for the Curve 9300) and shares some very similar specifications. The key difference is the Curve 8520 lacks support for 3G connectivity and so downloads on-the-go will be slower.

BlackBerry Curve 8520
Display 2.5-inch TFT display (not touchscreen)
Operating System BlackBerry OS v5
Storage 256MB internal & Supports micro-SD card (up to 32GB)
Camera 2 megapixels
Battery 1150mAh, up to 4.5 hours talk time
Supports 3G? No
Supports Wi-Fi? Yes
Lowest Price £120 on T-Mobile Pay As You Go

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is available on the following networks:

BlackBerry Curve 8520: Network Availability

Not available

£140

£130

£120 (lowest price)

£130

5. Samsung Galaxy Y – from £90

The Samsung Galaxy Y is Samsung’s entry-level Android handset. Available from just £90 on Pay As You Go, it is the cheapest smartphone out of the five bestselling phones. The Samsung Galaxy Y has a 3-inch display with capacitive touchscreen, a 2 megapixel camera and runs Android 2.3. Like with the HTC Wildfire S, you’ll get free GPS navigation and access to 200,000 apps through Android Market. The Galaxy Y also supports both 3G and wi-fi connectivity so you’ll have access to high speed downloads whether you’re at home or on-the-move.

Samsung Galaxy Y
Display 3-inch capacitive touchscreen
Operating System Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Storage 180MB & supports micro-SD card (up to 32GB)
Camera 2 megapixels
Battery 1200mAh, up to 6.3 hours talk time
Supports 3G? Yes
Supports Wi-Fi? Yes, also supports wi-fi hotspot tethering
Lowest Price £90 on O2 Pay As You Go

The Samsung Galaxy Y is available on the following networks:

Samsung Galaxy Y: Network Availability

Not available

£90 (lowest price)

Not available

Not available

£100

Source: Carphone Warehouse: List of Bestselling PAYG phones (28th November 2011)

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

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