The cell phone market is dominated by the big boys. You’ve got Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola and even Sony Ericsson. There are some great devices out there and in general a big name manufacturer gives you some peace of mind that you will be getting a decent product, however, that’s not always the case.
In this guide we are throwing out a few names that get little attention. We have a range of cell phones for your perusal, mostly from the budget end of the market. You’ll find honest reviews of smartphones and basic cell phones from lesser known manufacturers like Huawei, Sharp, Casio and Blu.
Huawei is probably not a name you recognize, but they have been making inroads with some budget Android smartphones and the Ascend II is a prime example of their wares. It is more compact and lighter than its predecessor and you can find out what else is new in this review.
You probably have heard of Sharp, but not as a cell phone manufacturer. Well they do make the odd one and this one’s called the Jump. It’s very basic in terms of features, but the screen does slide sideways to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard and it’s super cheap. Could be a winner for budget conscious text addicts.
This basic feature phone has a BlackBerry style form factor with a small screen and a full QWERTY keyboard below it. The main selling point is the fact that this is a dual SIM phone so it can support two numbers – one for business and one for pleasure.
Here’s another name you’ve probably heard, but once again not in connection with mobile phones. The bizarrely named G’zOne Commando is a rough and tumble device that has been designed to withstand everything the outdoors can throw at it. It could be the toughest Android phone around.
Forget about good specs, features and a great operating system, the Sonim XP3300 Force is indestructible. It’s not pretty and it can’t do much, but if you need a phone that can withstand punishment and still work then you need to take a look at this one.
They might be a big name in computing, but when it comes to the smartphone market Dell hasn’t really made a dent. The Venue is actually a pretty solid Android smartphone with an 8 MP camera and a nice 4.1 inch touch screen.
Not everyone can afford an iPhone but you can buy a cheap knock-off. This round-up covers some blatant iPhone clones with much lower price tags. Just remember – you get what you pay for.
This is a fairly decent mid-range Android smartphone. It won’t blow you away, but it has all the necessary features for you to enjoy the Android platform and it’s cheaper than most of the competition.
You may have been tempted by a cheap Acer laptop in the past. Well, this is a cheap Android smartphone with solid specs and an attractive design. Get the full lowdown.
Here’s another cheap Android option from Blu, but you probably won’t want to make the mistake of buying it. Find out what’s wrong with this budget offering.
Sanyo is a name you don’t see so often anymore. The Incognito is like a stepping stone towards a real smartphone. It flips open to reveal a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard and the design is pretty odd. Learn more about it in this review.
HP bought Palm, but they haven’t exactly been covering themselves in glory since then. The Veer is like a mini-Palm Pre, but is it too small?
This cell phone has been designed specifically for the elderly. It has a big, easy to read keypad and a simple display. Features are extremely minimal, but it is reasonably priced and very accessible.
The Domino is dirt cheap, but that doesn’t make it worth investing in. Learn what makes the Domino such a bad buy in this detailed review.
Better known for SatNav devices Garmin has also released a couple of smartphones. This one is an Android device with Garmin’s GPS software built-in. The specs are dated, but if you want your smartphone to double as a navigation device then you might be tempted.
That’s it for our round-up of lesser known mobile phones. Got a favorite of your own? Or perhaps you know of a real dud that you want to warn people not to buy? Post a comment and let us know.