T-Mobile starts punting free Android phones on £10.21 monthly contracts

The UK operator wants to give you an X10 Mini Pro, Galaxy Apollo, LG Optimus One or Xperia X8 with few strings attached, and a monthly contract barely more than a tenner.

Good news for Android -craving skinflints: T-Mobile wants your business, and it's bending over backwards to give you a Google-powered phone for just over a tenner a month.

The UK operator has kicked off a pay-monthly deal on four Android handsets: the Samsung Galaxy Apollo , LG Optimus One Navigation Edition , Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 .

All four phones are free if you sign up to a 24-month contract paying £10.21 per month. It's worth digging into the details though: for that price, the basic deal gives you just 100 voice-call minutes, a piddling 100 texts and a 500MB data limit.

You do get a free flexible booster, however, which lets you choose between unlimited texts, unlimited calls to landlines or other T-Mobile phones or more data (although the difference between this and the free fair-use policy is very opaque).

You can add more of these boosters for another £5.10 each, any one of which would bring the tariff up to the price of a normal contract. Still, if you want an Android phone on the cheap and you aren't a heavy phone user, the offer is worth a look.

As for the handsets, the Galaxy Apollo is a more affordable version of Samsung's Galaxy S , offering many of its best features, with a decent-enough 667MHz processor, although the 3.2-inch touchscreen feels a tad on the small side.

The LG Optimus One is another handset that's always been targeted at a budget Android audience. It's rather plasticky, also with a 3.2-inch screen, but it'll serve you well enough.

Sony Ericsson's X10 Mini Pro has a teeny-tiny 2.5-inch display, but manages to cram in a slide-out Qwerty keyboard. When we reviewed it last July it was running the venerable Android 1.6 OS, but it's been updated to 2.1 since , although is unlikely to progress much further.

We were none too keen on the Xperia X8, though. It felt dated when we tested it in November, and a few months of new Android phones haven't changed our opinion.


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