The Best Entry Level Phones – November 2012 (Part 5)

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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

PAYG devices are becoming less appealing now due to the competitive SIM free prices. However, if you shop about, as we did via places like Phones 4U or Carphone Warehouse you can find some pretty impressive deals in some ways better than the SIM providers themselves.

To be honest, the HTC with its larger brand name could be had on all the major networks, but its specs were still a little lacklustre in comparison to the Samsung, which was only an extra $60. Even so, its performance was not bad given its lower 600Mhz CPU, and it did have solid build quality.

Description: Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

On the flip side, the Sony was not quite as good in the build quality department, but ICS and a range of supplied apps made it a useful proposition for those on a budget although its CPU architecture did cause a few issues on some of the games.

As for the Motorola we felt this was a true entry level phone, but for all the wrong reasons. The screen and performance issues, due to older CPU architecture and feeble internal memory, would not provide long term enjoyment and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Description: Samsung Galaxy Ace 2


However, while the Samsung was expensive and the PAYG deals were limited to Orange and 02, it’s still $280 with a really good price to spec ratio. Its dual-core CPU, RAM combo and screen quality proved more than effective, but it was the reported Jelly Bean update that clinched its win - this is normally unheard of on an entry level phone.


Android 4.0.3

SonyXperia Miro

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2



Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon, 600 MHz Cortex-A5 CPU, Adreno GPU

Qualcomm MSM7225A, 800 MHz Cortex-A5 CPU, Adreno 200 GPU

NovaThor U8500, dual-core 800 MHz CPU, Mali-400MP GPU

MediaTek MT6573, single-core, 800 MHz CPU, PowerVR SGX531 GPU


512MB RAM, 4GB storage (upgradeable via micro SD card), 25GB Dropbox

512MB RAM, 4GB storage, (expandable via micro SD card)

768MB RAM, 4GB storage (micro SD card expansion up to 32GB)

512MB RAM, 512MB ROM (micro SD card expansion up to 32GB)


5-MP rear (no flash), no front camera, VGA video recording

5-MP rear (LED flash), VGA front camera, VGA @30fps video recording

5-MP rear (LED flash), VGA front camera, 720p @30fps video recording

3-MP, video 30fps


Android 4.0.3

Android 4.0.4

Android 2.3.6

Android 2.3.6



3.5-inch (165 ppi pixel density), 320 x 480 pixels

3.5-inch LED-backlit (165 ppi pixel density), 320 x 480 pixels

3.8-inch PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 480 x 800 pixels

3.5-inch (165 ppi pixel density), 320 x 480 pixels







107.2 x 60.6 x 12.3 mm

113x59.4x9.9 mm

118.3 x 62.2 x 10.5 mm

116 x 63.5 x 11.2 mm


Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, HSDPA, 14.4Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps

Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps

Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA

Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, HSDPA, HSUPA

Overall score






Top 10
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