Head to Head: The Best Phones Under £150

by Dan Forster - , Last Updated on May 15, 2015, Buying Guides

With top of the line mobiles seemingly getting ever more expensive, it’s not everyone that can afford a flagship device. Fortunately, there are some great budget buys on the market these days. And that’s why we’re here. We’re looking at three of the absolute best budget hand sets and putting them head to head to see exactly how they compare. If you’re shopping for a budget mobile, then check out our handy comparison to make your buying decision easier than ever!

The Contenders (and their prices)

Best Budget Phones

The Contenders

Alrighty, we’ve got three really great devices today. First up is the Motorola Moto G 2nd Generation, which is bang on budget at about £150. Second up is our Windows phone entry (who knew Windows phones were so cheap these days?): the Nokia Lumia 635, retailing at around £120. Finally, we’ve got the Sony Xperia M2, which again is right on budget at about £150. So let’s see how our contenders stack up.

The Screens

Obviously, screens are a big deal on smart phones, and in most cases the bigger the better. The Moto G comes out on top here with a full five inch screen, followed by the Xperia which gets 4.8 inches, and then the Lumia which has 4.5 inches.

It’s not all about size though, so what about those resolution specs? Again, the Moto G is our frontrunner, getting 720 x 1280 pixels for around 294 PPI. The Xperia gets 540 x 960 for about 229 PPI, and then the Lumia gets 480 x 854 for around 221 PPI. What that boils down to is that the Moto G is going to give you the sharpest picture with the best colour reproduction.

Under the Hood

What about power and performance though? Surprisingly, there should be little difference between any of these models. All three are running quad core 1.2 GHz processors, which is very respectable for budget hand sets and should provide plenty of speed. All three are also running 1 GB of RAM alongside those processors, so multi tasking and running tons of different apps really should be no problem at all. There’s nothing to choose between the three when it comes to performance, so you’re going to need to base your decision on something else…

The Cameras

When it comes to rear facing cameras, the Moto G and the Xperia are identical: they’ve both got 8 MP cameras, giving 3254 x 2448 pixel resolution, and both have the same autofocus and LED flash features. The Nokia falls a little behind here, giving you only a 5 MP camera that gets 2592 x 1944 pixels, though it does also get autofocus.

Up front the Moto G is the winner with a nice 2 MP front facing camera. The Xperia gets the regular VGA video calling camera that we’d really expect to see on a budget hand set, so nothing special there. And the Lumia doesn’t have a front facing camera at all…

What About Storage?

Alrighty, most of us want plenty of space to store our pics, music and apps, since no one likes having to constantly delete stuff from their phone. Built in storage is identical in all three phones, since you’ll be getting 8 GB of space on all of them, so there’s nothing to choose between there.

When it comes to additional storage, things get a little more interesting. All three models have Micro SD Card slots so you can add extra external storage should you need it. The Moto G and the Xperia will both give you up to 32 GB of extra space. The Nokia, however, will give you up to a massive 128 GB of storage, which is pretty impressive…

Connectivity Options

So far, the Motorola Moto G 2nd Generation has been offering some very exciting specs for a budget phone, and you might have already decided to go for it. But you might want to hold off on that decision when you hear this. All three mobiles are 3G capable, as you’d expect. However, both the Xperia and the Lumia are 4G capable, whilst the Moto G is not. That means if you’re looking for super fast mobile data speeds, the Moto G might not be the choice for you…

Portability

Looking for something that slides easily into your pocket? All three of these models are pretty small and light weight. The Moto G and Xperia both come in at around 14 cm by 7 cm (though the Moto G is thicker at 11 mm versus the Xperia’s 8.6 mm), and weigh in at around 140 grams. The Nokia however, is the more portable of the three, mostly due to that smaller screen. It measures around 13 cm by 6.5 cm, is about 9 mm thick, and weighs just 134 grams.

Operating Systems…

Obviously the Nokia is the odd man out here, since it’s a Windows phone, but it is running the most recent Windows 8.1 version. Both the Moto G and the Xperia are Androids. The Moto runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, but is upgradeable to the newest 5.0 Lollipop version once that becomes available for the model. The Xperia is a little older, runs 4.3 Jellybean out of the box, and can be upgraded to 4.4 KitKat. Whether or not you’ll be able to upgrade to 5.0 Lollipop is debatable, though you’ll probably have to wait for a while before it’s even a possibility.

And there we have it, all you need to know about the top three budget hand sets. Which one to choose? That’s going to depend on your priorities. All three are great models, and perform equally well, so you’re going to need to decide which of the differences is more important to you. It must be said that the Moto G is the newest of the group, though all three models were launched in 2014. But now you can get to shopping confident that you know what you’re getting!