Published in Mobiles

In late 2014, even €149 buys you a whole lotta Android

by on19 December 2014

1080p phones and Cortex A15 tablets go dirt cheap

Smartphones and tablets have been commoditised in just a few years and we are already seeing dirt cheap devices even in supermarket aisles.

A couple of months ago we took a look at the cheapest Windows 8.1 tablets available in Europe and at the time we pointed out that even €199 models have a lot to offer.

The Android camp is much bigger, hardware requirements are lower, so the low-end starts at €50+ for smartphones and tablets based on Google's OS.

€149 for a quad-core 2560x1600 tablet

Most of these cheap devices feature underpowered processors and terrible screens, but that doesn't always have to be the case. Some of them sport a decent spec and the Kobo Arc 10HD tablet is a good example.

The device is priced at €149, yet it sports a Tegra 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB flash, micro HDMI and a 10-inch 2560x1600 IPS display.


It's not exactly a thing of beauty, but it's marketed as a high-resolution digital reader and it got some nice reviews on TNW and Engadget.

Reviewers praised the 1600p IPS display and at this price point it's hard to complain about the spec. 

How about a dirt cheap 1080p phone?

The market for low-end Android phones is insanely competitive these devices have come a long way over the past few years. Motorola was quick to realise the trend, so the Moto G be company's fastest selling phone ever - and it was followed by the even cheaper Moto E.

However, there are loads of alternatives and Alcatel's One Touch Idol X, available in Germany for €149+, is a good example. 

The phone is based on a quad-core Mediatek Cortex-A7 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, but sadly there's no microSD slot which would make it even more appealing for kids. The Idol X sports a 5-inch 1080p IPS display, 2000mAh battery and there's even an FM radio on board. The camera is a 13-megapixel affair and the front snapper has a 2-megapixel sensor.



Like the cheap Kobo tablet, the Alcatel also got glowing reviews from many European tech news outlets. It looks pretty good, too.

Commoditised Android devices needn't be bad

Although Fudzilla tends to focus on high-end silicon, we also like to keep track of other markets. The past 12-18 months saw a shift in attitudes toward entry-level Android devices and we see this is a good thing.

Instead of buying a €50 feature phone for your kids, old folks or as a second, backup phone, you can now get decent Android phones for €50-€100. At €150 you're looking at much more ambitious devices like the LG L9, Moto G and the aforementioned Alcatel.

The tablet space offers even more deals and with no carrier plans, cheap tablets tend to make even more sense than cheap phones. There are literally hundreds of 7-8-inch tablets that cost less than a dinner for four. High resolution devices are cheap and you can pick up 2048x1536 or 2560x1600 devices for €120-€170. These include brand name devices from Toshiba and let's not forget the LG G Pad 8.3, which goes for €199.

We like the trend. Not everybody needs a high-end device and – realistically – most of our baby boomer mums and dads wouldn't know the difference between a Moto G and Moto X, or a Nexus 9 and LG G Pad 8.3.

Last modified on 28 December 2014
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