Grab a decent smartphone and tablet for less than £300

Grab a decent smartphone and tablet for less than £300For some reason, while contemplating a suitable introduction, my brain was inundated with clichés. Behold: this feature “does what it says on the tin”; “at the end of the day, you get what you pay for”. Sorry, clearly I’ve been spending too much time watching The Apprentice.

Aye, so, anyway, it occurred to me that you can kit yourself out with a fairly decent smartphone and tablet for – as I said in the title – less than £300. True story. Admittedly you’ll hardly be the envy of iPhone and iPad-toting posers, but who cares what they think?

Actually, an iPad and a SIM free iPhone 4 could easily set you back over £1,000. Even going with the bottom-of-the-range 16GB models, you’re probably still looking at over £900. That’s crazy money, man.

Instead, you could go with this duo, and save yourself over £600. That’s enough to buy yourself, well, all sorts of treats. A holiday? A second-hand car? An Xbox and a PS3? The possibilities are endless*.

(*possibilities must cost less than £600)

Orange San Francisco

It’s fair to say that this chap, the Orange San Francisco, is adored over on Hot UK Deals, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s cheap, and it’s very, very good. What more could you ask for?

A common problem with budget handsets is the low resolution. The original HTC Wildfire, for example, weighs in with a meager 240 x 320, meaning some apps aren’t compatible. The Orange San Francisco, meanwhile, has a significantly meatier resolution of 480 x 800.

Grab a decent smartphone and tablet for less than £300The Orange San Francisco – or ZTE Blade, to use the name on its birth certificate – doesn’t scrimp on screen size either. At 3.5in, its display is the same size as the iPhone’s.

As with all phones running Google’s ubiquitous OS, Android version is a concern. The Orange San Francisco ships with Android 2.1 (Eclair), but with a little tinkering it’s possible to get some Android 2.2 (Froyo) action on the go. Indeed, you’ll inevitably be glad to see the back of the Orange bloatware.

The lack of flash on the 3.2MP camera is the only other negative that springs mind. Otherwise, the Orange San Francisco gets the proverbial job done. And the best part? You can grab one for less than £100.

Advent Vega

In Japan, Vega is our M. Bison, Balrog is our Vega, and M.Bison is our Balrog. Sagat is the only one of the original four Street Fighter bosses whose name remains unchanged in the west.

If you haven’t played Street Fighter – in fact even if you have – I apologise for that largely (i.e. entirely) irrelevant introduction to the Advent Vega. Actually, you could watch the Street Fighter Movie on your Advent Vega, if you were so inclined. There we go.

In a world where all the big-name manufacturers have decided that the best way to combat the iPad 2 is to price their tablets identically (I’m no marketing guy, but that seems idiotic to me), the Advent Vega carries a sub-£200 price tag.

Admittedly cheapo tablets are becoming increasingly common, but the Advent Vega is different in the sense that, well, it’s not cheap crap.

How does Advent keep the cost down? Well, it forsakes a rear camera for starters. But seriously, how many people do you see walking around taking pictures with a 10in tablet?

Grab a decent smartphone and tablet for less than £300It also opts for a cost-effective plastic body, and the storage is an incredibly modest 512MB (ahem), but otherwise the specs are pretty sweet.

The Advent Vega has a 10.1in display (1,024 x 600), 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, USB and HDMI ports, Flash support, a front-facing camera, and runs Android 2.2 (Froyo). Not too shabby, huh?

Again, you can pick one up for less than £200. You heard me.

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 1 comment

tryptase  Jul. 22, 2011 at 09:01

Unless the advent can run Honeycomb I will steer clear


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