Smartphones kids will love at under £100
Your kids want a phone but you don't want to break the bank. Here are five great solutions...
So your kids have reached an age where a smartphone has become absolutely essential to them and, well, you think it's not a bad idea. After all, they'll be easily contactable wherever they should roam – and they'll also be able to reach you in times of emergency (or sudden requirement for a lift).
But while they'll undoubtedly beg and plead for an iPhone, a Galaxy S6 or some other top-of the range slab of technology, the thought of dropping north of £400 on something that's probably going to get smashed, squashed or left on a bus at some point probably doesn't really grab you.
What they need is a cut-price SIM-free mobile that won't embarrass them in front of their mates and will do everything those more celebrated handsets can manage. Do such mobiles exist? They certainly do: we've dug out five of the best, each of which weighs in at under £100.
Nokia Lumia 530
One of the main considerations when buying a phone for a child – particularly a younger child – is the size of its screen. Some of today's mega-screened mobiles are just too big to be comfortably used in smaller hands. This Windows phone has a four-inch screen that should be easy to use for any age, while inside is a quad-core processor and Windows 8.1 (with its free upgrade to Windows 10). On the back is a five megapixel camera, and there's plenty of storage space for snaps. The 4GB of on-board memory can be expanded up to 128GB.
Vodafone Smart Prime 6
Take a moment to think about everything that Vodafone's own-branded smartphone offers and then remind yourself that it will hit your wallet for just £80. For a start, it runs the latest version of Android, has an 8-megapixel camera and a five-inch screen. Then there's its 4G connectivity and a perfectly serviceable 1.2Ghz Qualcomm processor. It doesn't look like an old duffer's phone either – this is a smart and capable option for anyone grabbing a smartphone on a budget.
Sony Xperia E4g
This one is a good choice for any gamers. As a Sony handset, it can work as a companion to the PlayStation 4, enabling the streaming of games from that console directly onto its screen. But it's also got a decent enough processor to handle a bit of on-device gaming too, with a 1.5Ghz quad-core chip inside. Other features include a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a 2-megapixel snapper on the front and high-speed 4G internet connectivity, while Sony says the battery of the E4g can last for up to two days.
Rook from EE
The newly launched EE Rook can currently claim the title of being the UK's cheapest 4G smartphone – it costs a remarkable £49. If you're an existing EE customer, you can even get it for a tenner cheaper. Its guts don't scream 'bargain basement' though. The Rook's powered by a quad-core 1Ghz processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage that's expandable via microSD card. Its screen is a four-inch display, so it's another phone that's suitable for younger kids – particularly at this price.
HTC Desire 510
HTC's entry-level 4G handset comes in a bit more pricey than some of the other handsets here, at just a penny under a hundred quid. That price-tag gets you a mobile with a design that doesn't look typically budget, with a 4.7-inch screen. Again there's a quad-core (1.2Ghz) processor inside, which along with 1GB of RAM is enough to handle simple app usage rather than intensive gaming sessions. On the back is a 5-megapixel camera.