Best entry level smartphones for May 2012

When we write this list normally we start with Android, go down by operating system type in alphabetical order. But for this list, we will look at the Windows Phone first. It is the most interesting of the entry level options.




Windows Phone -


Nokia Lumia 610

  • Cash: Php10,300 with an official Nokia Warranty 
  • Postpaid options: None

This might be the most interesting option in the entry level class.

  • Windows Phone 7.5
  • 3.7-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display, 65K colors
  • 8GB internal storage (about 5GB user available), not user expandable
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 800 MHz single core processor
  • Adreno 205 graphics
  • Qualcomm
  • 5 MP primary camera with a LED flash
  • No secondary camera
  • 720p video capture
  • HSDPA 7.2 Mbps connectivity
  • 1300 mAh battery

Pros. Windows Phone 7.5 has great Facebook integration in its people and messaging apps. It also comes with NDrive, which is the best free voice guided turn-by-turn navigation app for the Philippines, giving this phone truly excellent value.

Cons. The 65K display willturn off some. Some Windows Phone apps may not run on these specifications, but so far we do not know of any.


Android -


1. Sony Ericsson Neo V


  • Cash: Php11,800 with an Official Sony Warranty 
  • Postpaid options: None

The Sony Neo V has been on our list of top smartphones since it came out last year. Basically, a fast 1 GHz Android phone with a 3.7-inch (480 x 854) display at 13k made it a great bang for the buck proposition at the same time having specifications good enough that a buyer probably would not regret not having bought something more expensive. Now, the Neo V can be had for as low as Php11,800 with a Sony warranty and it migrates to the entry level category.

  • Android 2.3 upgradeable to Android 4.0
  • 3.7-inch WVGA (480 x 854) display
  • 320 MB of user available storage expandable via MicroSD card slot (2 GB MicroSD card included)
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 1 GHz single core processor
  • Adreno 205 graphics
  • Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset
  • 5 MP primary camera with a LED flash
  • VGA secondary camera
  • 720p video capture
  • HSDPA 14.4 Mbps connectivity
  • 1500 mAh battery

Pros. Unless you are a power user, you do not need a more expensive smartphone. Can be upgrade to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.


Cons. Nothing really to complain about at this price range but some users noted performance is a bit slowed with Android 4.0.


2. Cherry Mobile W900


  • Cash: Php9,999 with an Official Sony Warranty 
  • Postpaid options: None

We do not have much experience with Cherry Mobile phones and we do not know who manufactures the the W900, but the specifications are interesting enough for the price that we think you should give it a look. 


  • Android 2.3
  • 4-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display
  • 1 GB internal storage, of user available storage expandable via MicroSD card slot (8 GB MicroSD card included)
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 1.2 GHz single core processor
  • Adreno 205 graphics
  • Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset
  • 5 MP primary camera with a LED flash
  • VGA secondary camera
  • 720p video capture
  • HSDPA+ 21.1 Mbps connectivity
Pros. A 4-inch display at less than 10K with HSDPA+ 21.1 Mbps connectivity really gets out attention.


Cons. We are not sure how well Cherry Mobile will support this phone with updates. but at this price we do not expect great support from any brand.


3. Smart Netphone 701

  • Cash: Php4,990 with an official Warranty 
  • Postpaid options: Php4,990 from Smart

For those looking for something less expensive, Smart Netphone 701 is an excellent choice at its Php4,990 asking price.

  • Android 2.2
  • 3.5-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display
  • 150 MB internal storage, of user available storage expandable via MicroSD card slot
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 600 MHz single core processor
  • Adreno 200 graphics
  • Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset
  • 3.15 MP primary camera with a LED flash
  • No secondary camera
  • VGA video capture
  • HSDPA 7.2 Mbps connectivity
  • 1300 mAh battery

Pros. This phone is a circa 2010 design, but its low price and 3.5-inch 480 x 800 display keeps it on out list.


Cons. It works, but it is a based on specifications that were no cutting edge two years ago. Also it is only available on the Smart network.

 
May 2012 high-end smartphone buyers guide

May 2012 mid-level smartphone buyers guide