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-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.
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, 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, 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.