Not Big Brand: Can You Get an Awesome Deal on a Non-Brand Name Phone?

When you're looking at buying a new mobile phone, chances are that you're looking at a handful of brands. Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Nokia, these are the names that we associate with great mobiles. But there are plenty of other mobile manufacturers around. Our question today is whether or not you might be better off going with a non big brand name phone. So we're taking a look at some of the best offerings on shelves right now that don't carry one of those big name tags. Can you get a great mobile that isn't made by one of the big companies? Read on to find out…

The ZTE Blade S6

ZTE is a Chinese manufacturer, better known in Asian markets than in the UK or the US. However, they do tend to offer high spec phones with low spec prices. Their newest offering is the Blade S6, which is due to hit shelves any day now. Let's take a look at what kind of specs you can expect on the Blade…

Alrighty, there's a solid five inch screen, which is fairly standard, though this isn't a high resolution display, being only 720 x 1280 (that's around 294 PPI). There is octo core processing power though, with a quad core 1.7 GHz processor and a quad core 1.0 processor, as well as the full 2 GB of RAM, so you're looking at something pretty speedy and responsive. You're going to be running the new Android 5.0 Lollipop version, and you'll have 16 GB of internal memory with a microSD card slot for up to 32 GB more. And there's a 13 MP rear facing camera, plus a 5 MP front facing camera too.

Price point? The exact pricing for the UK hasn't been released yet, though the Blade S6 will be selling for around $250 in the US, which translates to about £165. And frankly, that makes the Blade a bit of a steal. Yes, you're going to compromise a little on storage space and the low res screen. Other than that though, there's a lot of power in the Blade, and it's fast enough to match a lot of the more expensive models. Plus, there's great cameras on board too. Our verdict is that the ZTE Blade S6 is a bargain, and a phone that you should definitely be looking at…

The Xolo Q700 Club

Xolo is an Indian smart phone manufacturer, and they've been producing some excellent budget smart phones recently, proving themselves a worthy competitor to Huawei in this respect. Their newest budget hand set is called the Q700 Club, and for a low cost smart phone it ticks a lot of boxes…

There's a 4.5 inch screen, which is low resolution (480 x 854), but does have IPS for excellent viewing angles. The Club is driven by a quad core 1.3 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM, which is pretty powerful for a budget smart phone. You're looking at 8 GB of internal storage, plus that microSD slot for up to 32 GB. The Q700 runs Android 4.4 out of the box. And finally, there's a 5 MP camera, as well as a VGA front facing camera.

For those on a budget, the best thing about the Q700 Club is that it's selling for just £70. Yes, you read that right. And compared to other phones at that price point you're getting a lot of screen space and a lot of processing power. Sure, we'd like to see better screen resolution, but for £70 we're not going to quibble over that. As far as budget smart phones go, the Xolo Q700 Club is one of the best we've seen- and all for under £100.

The Micromax Canvas Selfie

Micromax is another Indian manufacturer, and they've been releasing some surprisingly high spec mobiles in the last year or so. With great specs, excellent build quality and low prices, it's tough not to love a Micromax. Their newest model is the Canvas Selfie, and it's due to be released later this month.

Spec wise you're looking at a 4.7 inch screen, with 720 x 1280 resolution (working out at around 312 PPI, so not high resolution but not bad either). There's an octo core 1.7 GHz processor on board, as well as 2 GB of RAM, so very speedy. Internally you're getting 16 GB of memory, plus the microSD for up to 32 GB more. You'll be running Android 4.4, but an Android 5.0 update won't be long in coming. And then there are two (yes, two, front and rear) 13 MP cameras. Well, with a name like Selfie, we'd expect a decent front facing camera…

In the UK the Canvas Selfie is going to sell for around £220, which is really a great deal. With that kind of processing power and those excellent cameras, the Canvas Selfie is an excellent mid budget choice, particularly if you're into photography.

Are They a Deal?

Alright, so are these phones really a deal? We're going to say yes. Compared to similarly priced big name phones you're getting higher specs, and therefore better performance. Yes, you're making a few compromises, especially when it comes to screen resolution, but that's sort of expected given the savings that you'll be getting. There is another downside to buying non brand name though.

These models can be tough to get a hold of through mobile operators in the UK, and you're probably going to find that you need to buy SIM free through a high street shop or even online. And in turn, that means getting these models as contract phones is going to be a no go. However, given the low prices, this could be an inconvenience worth putting up with.

With big brand name mobiles we're often paying more for the privilege of having that brand name stamped onto our mobile. And with so many new mobile manufacturers, particularly in India and Asia, starting to sell on UK markets you can find yourself getting an awesome phone for a low price, simply because that phone hasn't been made by Apple or Samsung. There will always be customers that prefer a big brand phone, whether because of fashion or just brand loyalty. But if you're interested in saving yourself a few pounds, then it might be worth considering a phone from one of the smaller manufacturers…

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