Could you walk into a shop today and buy a smartphone for over R10 000 without flinching? Many will be able to but many more will scoff at the idea. Especially with the likes of Chinese manufacturer Xioami bringing its considerable low price heft to the market today.

To our mind buying a phone that eats through your salary faster than you can spend it, is a bit silly.

This year has seen manufacturers competing to bring us phones that are even cheaper but still boast a number of features that the average user will love. This might not be the case but with the influx of cheap smartphones it’s hard not to think that. This can making choosing the best smartphone for you a bit difficult but never fear, we have a few pearls of wisdom for you, and four cheap handsets we’ve been bowled over by so far this year.

LG G4 Stylus for R3 999

The large screen and Stylus made this phone the perfect companion for the business professional on the move. LG’s multiview window works really well and typing on the handset is extremely comfortable. The monstrous 3 000 mAh li-ion battery lasted three day before giving up the ghost as well.

A thing of beauty that won't look out of place on your desk.
The LG G4 Stylus is a great workhorse with a nice big display.

The camera is not as great as we saw in the rest of the G4 series and the on-board storage is minimal meaning you will need a microSD card or cloud service to store any content that won’t fit on the 8GB’s inside.

Kazam Tornado 348 for R3 900

Windswept would be a great way to describe this smartphone. The Tornado felt so good in our hands it was difficult giving it back. The tiny 2 050mAh li-ion battery lasted 18 hours under light usage conditions and 12 hours under heavy use. The rear 8MP camera was surprisingly good and the 5MP selfie camera was even better.

Super thin and super feature packed.
Super thin and super feature packed.

Unfortunately the notable lack of support for LTE and NFC was a let down and the fact that we weren’t able to upgrade the 16GB on-board storage was a bit of a stickler for us.

Samsung Galaxy A3 for R3 999

The premium feel of the design bowled us over and reminded us a lot of its big brother the Samsung Galaxy S6. The more than adequate Snapdragon 410 processor means that navigating through the phone is simple and apps launch quickly.

It feels more like its big brother than a cheaper mid-ranger
It feels more like its big brother than a cheaper mid-ranger

We miss Samsung smartphones having a removable battery although this is becoming more common in smartphones today at any price point so we can overlook this transgression though it would have been nice.

Innjoo One 3G HD for R2 499

You won’t find much that offers the degree of features, functionality and just plain gorgeous design that Injoo packs into the One 3G HD. Other than that while we have lamented the fact that 16GB is very small in other phones we can make do with this for a phone that costs R2 499.

This smartphone is really better than it should be.
This smartphone is really better than its price suggests it should be.

The battery life can be a bit of a let down when you’re quite aggressive with it. The only other gripe we had is the lack of LTE connectivity but as we said, these phones make sacrifices so that other features can be added.

The best part of all these handsets is that while these prices are subject to change we don’t foresee them getting drastically more expensive and they will still be affordable long after the furore of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas rush have passed us by.

[Image – CC 2.0 BY Dan Moyle]