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Sony Xperia U NXT

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

The chunky budget baby of the new Sony Xperia range, the Xperia U shares the build and design of the Xperia P and Xperia S, reduced in footprint to house its excellent 3.5in screen. The 480 x 854 pixel screen feels narrow in use but it’s still the best on test. The 1GHz dual-core processor is also best in class.

Apps and games that suit the narrow screen fly but web browsing can be tricky and takes the shine off the experience, but no doubt you get used to navigating it over time. Typically, the battery only lasts a day with the demanding screen and processor. However, the 3.79GB of available storage is the big disappointment here. If you've a music and movie habit, you'll have to juggle things a bit – rather than fill and forget. Still, the supplied headphones are excellent and there's an Android 4.0 upgrade due this summer.

Sony Xperia U NXT Android smartphone

Reg Rating 85%
Price £199
More info Sony

ZTE Libra

RH Numbers

A decent, curvy body can’t hide the fact the the Libra is a low-powered Android with a 600MHz processor running Android 2.2 Froyo. The 3.5in 400 x 800-pixel screen and 5Mp camera are both standout advantages and the user interface is fast and the screen is responsive.

If you don’t use stacks of demanding apps or games, it’s a good option, especially as on-line prices drop below £149, as ZTE phone development moves on at speed. Storage is minimal with a 2GB MicroSD card in the box but this can be increased, of course. All in all, a good all-round smartphone for the first time Android user. ®

ZTE Libra Android smartphone

Reg Rating 75%
Price £149
More info ZTE

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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