Virgin Mobile flogs Samsung Monte, Nokia X2 on £8.50 monthly contract

Virgin Mobile has added some new phones to its £8.50-per-month range, including decent handsets from Nokia and Samsung.

Virgin Mobile has added some new phones to its £8.50-per-month range. That's good news if you don't want to spend a fortune on a phone contract and you don't mind settling for a lower-spec handset.

The newly added phones are the special-edition Nokia 5230 Chrome, the  Nokia X2 , the  Samsung Monte in pink or black, and the Samsung Tocco . The  Nokia 6700 Slide  in silver or pink will also be made available in November. 

Virgin's tariff gives you a free phone, and 100 minutes and 100 texts, for £8.50 per month, but you'll have to sign up for two years. You'll also pay 30p extra per day if you want up to 25MB of Internet usage. Once you go over that limit, the cost increases to £1.99 per day. 

Bear in mind that all of these phones can be bought unlocked and SIM-free for around £100 to £150. You may find buying them SIM-free saves you money in the long run, even though Virgin's tariff is so cheap.

The Nokia 5230 is an acceptable entry-level smart phone, but design quirks, cheap styling and a lack of Wi-Fi meant we could only give it two stars out of five. The Nokia 6700 Slide earned three stars, offering decent build quality and ease of use, but a disappointing 2.5mm headphone socket and camera. The X2 is the best Nokia offering on the table, earning three and a half stars. It sports a good music player and camera, but falls down on its lack of 3G connectivity and problems with the Symbian operating system.

Way back in 2008, the Samsung Tocco earned three stars. It's responsive and offers good battery life, but it lacks 3G. The Samsung Monte is probably the best of all the phones on offer, with its 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity earning it a four-star rating.

 

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