Wednesday 13 December 2017

The magnificent seven: the best phones to buy by price

Huawei Ascend G7 (€250 from operators)
Huawei Ascend G7 (€250 from operators)

Under €100

Vodafone Smart Prime 6

(€99 from Vodafone)

It used to be that sub-€100 smartphones were dinky pieces of tat that struggled to do half the things you asked of them. But this own-brand phone can do a reasonable amount of what rivals five times the price can do. The phone has a decent five-inch screen, is 4G-compatible and is pretty comfortably designed with more than a passing resemblance to Samsung's last-but-one Galaxy S4. It also has a memory card slot meaning you can back things up. It has a serviceable 8MP rear camera and a 2MP selfie lens in front. The battery's only okay, but you get what you pay for.


Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen

(€190 from operators)

With a 13-megapixel camera, five-inch HD screen, 4G and 5-megapixel selfie camera, this is a lot of smartphone for your money. The Moto G (3rd generation) also has a decent 2,500mAh battery and water resistant features. A nifty sensor feature within the rear casing also tells you when it isn't fully pressed closed and, thus, not water resistant. The phone is also very easy to use with a minimum of fuss because of its 'pure' Android operating system. It has just 8GB of storage but also an external memory card slot to expand this.


Huawei Ascend G7

(€250 from operators)

Huawei ('wow-way', not 'hoo-wow-way') is making phones with 90pc of the features of flagship rivals and selling them for 50pc of the price. The G7 is a perfect example. It's a very decent-looking 5.5-inch Android model with 4G, a good (13-megapixel) camera, a fast processor and 16GB of storage. Clever design tweaks include two built-in antennae which allow it to maximise the phone signal depending on which way you're holding it. This sounds minor but it's not in areas where the phone signal is patchy.


OnePlus 2

(€399 from

This 5.5-inch OnePlus 2 may be the best value phone on the market right now. Its 13-megapixel camera is a huge improvement on its predecessor's lens, with much better shooting in low light. It also captures 4K video and it has a front-facing 5-megapixel selfie camera. Aesthetically, the handset is beautifully designed, with tactile rear casing that makes it easy to handle. There's a clever switch on the side of the phone that allows you to switch off, or limit, interruptions from notifications. OnePlus is not a large company so its after-sales capability - including customer service - is much more limited than big rivals and their partners.


Sony Xperia Z3 Plus

(€570 from Vodafone)

Hovering just below the superphones is this superb model from Sony. The 5.2-inch Z3+ is supremely elegant, lightning fast and packs one of the best cameras (20 megapixels with 5MP selfie camera) you can get on a smartphone at any price. It's also almost waterproof, a feature that may be useful to some. It has a beautifully fluid, bright smooth full HD screen and probably the best battery life on the market. This is a really good deal for the money.


Samsung Galaxy S6

(€680 from Carphone Warehouse)

Samsung's S6 has a better camera, more power and more storage (32GB) than almost all rivals in this price category. It has a great 5.1-inch screen, too, and decent battery life. But its looks are what gives it the finishing touch: this is a metal affair, with plastic all but banished. This catapults it up to the lofty heights of the iPhone 6 in design aesthetics.

Over €700

iPhone 6S plus

(€870 from Compu b)

The top iPhone is always going to be hard to beat. And so it is with Apple's new flagship device: the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus. An improved 12-megapixel camera, brighter screen and much faster engine mean that this is the Mercedes of phones. It has the looks, it has Apple's latest iOS 9 operating system and it will be future-proofed for at least two to three years. This is top of the pile.

Irish Independent

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