HTC Wildfire S
Incredibly light at 105g even though it looks chunky, the 3.2in, 320 x 480-pixel display on the Wildfire S is surrounded by solid HTC design and fits in all pockets with ease. Crucially, the screen is one of the most responsive on test. The HTC Sense UI Android overlays works brilliantly too.
The 5Mp camera excels at outdoor scenes and has clever image filters built-in for Instagram-style effects from the start. The 2GB MicroSD card and 600MHz processor aren’t headline features but the HTC Wildfire S feels faster than the spec and it’s a fun smartphone, if you can avoid upgrade envy and the new HTC Desire C.
Reg Rating 80%
More info HTC
Motorola Defy Mini
This pocket-sized smartphone looks toy-like in appearance but is actually a rugged, highly protected smartphone. The 3.2in screen is small compared to rivals and, from the go, this is a smartphone targeting active teenagers switching from a standard phone and entering the world of Android 2.3.
A 600MHz processor and 3Mp are budget concessions to the rock solid build quality. As a fringe benefit, it’s possible to get two days use out of the Defy Mini but the biggest downfall is the screen – the most unresponsive on test. You can get much better for the money but few smartphones are as tough.
Reg Rating 60%
More info Motorola
Next page: Motorola Motoluxe
In phone reviews I'd like to see the battery life measured for each one. Battery life of portable electronics is so important to me. Having gone from a Sony Ericcson P1i (3G, touchscreen with stylus) which gave me over a week to an HTC Desire which would give me a day and a half even when just sitting idle in my jacket. Changing to CyanogenMod extended that to a long weekend. But it's still not good enough.
Battery tech keeps improving but any advantages are negated by useless UI animation, fancy graphics and pointless cruft.
Not a single mention of how much space any of these handsets has for application storage which I'd argue is the most important bit of info to have when buying any Android phone, esp a cheap one.
Re: "The Samsung Galaxy Ace looks remarkably like an iPhone 4."
It's a rectangle with rounded corners and single button. Enough to inflame any manufacturer with insecurity problems
What No Ascend G300 ?
By far the best budget android phone.
Re: System storage???
My HTC desire suffered really badly from the lack of system memory for apps., but by rooting it, and installing a different rom that had better memory management and built in scripts to map SD card space as App storage space then limits on storage space was boosted from 120MB to2GB...
since then have installed CyanogenMod 7.2 rc3 and it works better than ever...