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The best phones you can get for under £20

Thursday, November 30th 2017 by Oprah Flash

We feel your pain, you’ve dipped into your savings over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend and now it’s nearly Christmas so you’re probably trying to scrimp on the pennies when buying a new phone at this time of year.

If you’re not bothered about having the ‘snazzy’ (expensive) iPhone X, there are several providers offering mobile phones for under £20.

We can’t promise that you can brag to your friends about these handsets, but you will make significant savings – and there's a lot to be said for a cheap, reliable phone even if it doesn't have all the fancy functions of a top-end device.

Nokia 3310

The one, the only, legendary Nokia 3310 is back! And takes pride of place at number one on our list of phones under £20.

Remember when you could leave your phone for weeks without having to charge it? You could be as clumsy as you wanted and the phone would just bounce back as new as the day you bought it? Well, you can relive the glory days as O2 is offering the new version of the Nokia 3310 for £19.99.

With this phone you'll have the same basic functionalties you had with the older model that means you can send texts, make calls and take pictures but there is a modern twist. You can now connect to 3G and access social media sites.

You can get the Nokia 3310 from O2 for £19.99

The upside? You can play the infamous Snake game in colour as well as send emails and connect to Facebook and Twitter.

The downside? The camera is only 2MP so won’t match the might of any of the higher end phones and there is only 128MB of internal storage so don’t expect to store many pictures or send lengthy text messages.

With all this considered you get what you pay for and for £19.99 there is not much to complain about.

When adding this phone to your basket on O2’s website you’ll see that you pay £19.99 upfront but will have to select a tariff to complete the transaction. The cheapest tariff O2 offers is for £10 and this will give you 2GB of data, 250 minutes and 1,000 texts. It’s up to you if you want to continue with this tariff for the second month or get the phone unlocked and get a SIM-only deal.

This price is only available until Wednesday 3 January and you get six months of discounts up to 40% on cinema tickets with O2’s Cinema Pass.

Alcatel Pixi 3 (3.5)

With the Alcatel Pixi 3 you get a smartphone for £20

The Alcatel Pixi 3 (3.5) is a cheap and cheerful way to get a hold of a smartphone. It runs on Android’s operating system so you can download apps, watch videos and scroll through your social media timelines with this device.

It has 4GB of internal storage, which is far more than the Nokia 3310 offers, but you may still struggle if you plan to store a lot of music and pictures on your phone. There’s a 2MP camera on the back of the phone so you can take pictures and share them with friends and family.

The screen is just 3.5 inches which is a lot smaller than many of us are used to. But the slight size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.

If you are looking for a phone that allows you to do the basics like make calls, send texts and post the occasion tweet, this is a good phone to get.

It could also be a good investment to make if you need a back-up phone when going on holiday or to a festival, when you need to keep in touch but worry about losing an expensive phone.

The pricing for the Alcatel Pixi 3 (3.5) from EE is a bit tricky to explain. EE says there is nothing to pay upfront for this phone so it’s technically free but there’s a catch. You have to top up by at least £20 and with this you’ll get 1GB of data, 250 minutes and unlimited texts.

All in all you’ll end up spending £20 on the nose which is a good price for an Android phone.

EE is giving away a three-month subscription to Google Play Music with this handset.

MobiWire Ayasha

The MobiWire Ayasha is good for basic tasks like calls and texts

We’re going back to basics with the MobiWire Ayasha for £5 from Vodafone. The expression cheap as chips doesn’t even work here as these days you end up spending almost a tenner for a portion of fish and chips.

Don’t expect any facial recognition features or wireless charging here but what you will find is a phone that allows you to keep in touch with your family and friends through calls and texts.

There is a camera but it’s not very powerful as it has a 0.1MP lens and no flash.

Still, it has all the essential features and makes the perfect present for family members who are in their prime and don’t want the fuss of technology but need a get-the-job-done phone.

Upfront the phone is a fiver from Vodafone but you’ll have to buy at least a £10 top up to go with it. With one of Vodafone’s £10 Big Value bundles you’ll get 1GB of data, 200 minutes and unlimited texts. Overall you’ll spend £15 to get the phone in your hands.

Doro Primo 805

O2 is offering the Doro Primo 805 for £19.99 on pay as you go

Nostalgic for a flip phone? Remember when you could be a diva and answer a call with the flick of the wrist? This phone may be music to your ears as the Doro Primo 805 allows you to do exactly that.

As with all the phones in this list, it’s a budget phone so you get what you pay for but for £19.99 from O2 you get a decent phone.

The main attraction to this phone is its low price tag, long battery life and cool flip design. It has a camera and FM radio so there are a few entertainment features but it’s not much to shout about. You’ll have all the standard features like being able to call and text plus the battery lasts up to 19 days on standby so there’s no need to worry about running out of charge.

Just like with the Nokia 3310 you’ll have to select a tariff to continue with the purchase. The £10 bundle gives you 2GB of data, 250 minutes and 1,000 texts.

As an added perk O2 has added the Cinema Pass with six months of discounts up to 40% on movie tickets.

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