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Best cheap phones and accessories for Christmas

Looking for a great phone or accessory on a tight budget? Look no further! We've rounded up some of the best buys this Christmas.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Andrew Lanxon
1 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

EE Kestrel

With a turkey, a tree, a bumper pack of crackers and more wine than France can produce in a decade, Christmas is an expensive time of year. Worry not: if you're hoping to kit out your significant other, your sibling or yourself with a new mobile phone this Christmas, there's never been a better time to browse for a budget blower.

The days when "budget" was simply shorthand for "rubbish" are long gone. Phones packing the sort of kit tech nerds were dribbling over only last year are on sale for middling prices, while the bottom end of the market is now home to nippy little handsets that tackle your social networking every bit as well as the half-a-grand flagships.

To help you figure out where best to spend your cash, I've rounded up a selection of the best cheap mobile phones around, and some funky accessories too.

First up, the Kestrel from EE. This 4.5-inch Android phone has a slim design, a decent screen and is ready to make the most of super-fast 4G data speeds. Better yet, you can pick it up for only £99 on pay as you go, or for free on contracts starting at £14 per month.

It's exclusive to EE though, so you'll have to be an existing customer or switch networks. As it has the most comprehensive 4G coverage in the UK, switching to EE to get this phone isn't a terrible decision.

2 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET


Camera quality in phones has come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years and even budget mobiles pack cameras good enough to wow your Facebook friends.

If you want to take your photography further, the OlloClip is a great place to start. These clip-on lenses allow your phone to take a variety of close-up macro shots or extreme wide-angle photos.

The OlloClip is small enough to slip into your jeans with your phone and is available for the iPhone 4, 5, 6 and 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, costing £60.

3 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Motorola Moto G 4G

The original Motorola Moto G was one of my absolute favourite budget phones as it packed a solid lineup of specs for a price so low that no competitor could come close. It later received 4G -- as well as a small price bump -- allowing access to much higher data speeds.

Motorola has since replaced the 2014 4.7-inch model with a 5-inch version that lacks 4G. I'm not sure why. Although you can't buy the older model directly from Motorola, it's readily available on Amazon and is still one of the best all-round budget phones you can get.

4 of 9

Nokia MD-12

Smartphones are brilliant for finding new music, movies and TV shows, but they're mostly terrible at playing them out loud.

Nokia's MD-12 Bluetooth speaker won't be the heart and soul of your house party, but it's powerful enough to do justice to Breaking Bad, Sherlock or, er, Power Rangers on Netflix while you're cooking in the kitchen.

It's rechargeable, small enough to be carried in your pocket and can be paired using NFC, so long as your phone supports it. It's available now in a range of colours for £28.

5 of 9 Joby

Joby GripTight GorillaPod

If you want to experiment with slow shutter speeds or time-lapse photography on your phone, you'll need a tripod to keep it stable.

Demobilise your mobile with the Joby GripTight GorillaPod smartphone tripod. It has a clamp to hold almost any smartphone and its legs can be bent into any angle you want, or even wrapped around a pole.

It's on sale now for only £17.

6 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei Honor 6

Think getting a phone that packs top kit like a full HD screen and an octa-core processor means spending half a grand? Think again. Huawei's Honor 6 has a pin-sharp 5-inch display, oodles of power, and a decent camera too.

The Honor 6 is available SIM-free on Amazon for only £250 -- far cheaper than you'd typically pay for a phone with such elite specs. If you're shopping for a committed tech-follower, the Honor 6 is certainly worth a look.

7 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB drive

The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB drive is a flash storage drive with a regular USB connector on one side and a micro USB connector on the other.

It allows you to easily drag and drop music, photos or videos from your computer and transfer them to your Android phone.

Better yet, you can fill the drive up with photos and movies to play directly from the drive, meaning you don't have to fill up your phone's limited storage with media files.

Whether it's for backing up your holiday snaps from your phone or using it to house your media, the SanDisk Dual Drive is a handy gadget to keep hanging from your key ring.

It's on sale now in a variety of capacities, starting at only £7 for 16GB.

8 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Nokia Lumia 635

If you're tired of the slew of budget Android phones knocking about and fancy going for something a little different, cast your eyes over the Nokia Lumia 635. This 4.5-inch phone runs Windows Phone 8 -- an operating system that displays your apps as large, colourful tiles that show live information.

It's quick to learn and easy to use, making it a decent choice for smartphone newbies. Better yet, it has 4G, colourful, interchangeable cases and a host of Nokia software for photography and navigation. The Lumia 635 can be yours for £119 SIM-free, or free on contracts starting at £12 per month.

9 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Anker Astro 2 Portable Power Bank

With big, bright screens and powerful processors sucking up juice, you're lucky if you get a whole day of use from your smartphone.

If you're demanding of your phone but don't want the power to run out before you get home, keep the Anker Astro 2 Portable Power Bank in your bag.

It houses a 9,000mAh battery which will fully recharge your Galaxy S5 at least twice -- and have some more to spare if you run it down again.

It comes with a micro-USB cable to recharge any Android phone, but you can plug in a Lightning cable too to give power to your iPhone. The battery pack itself recharges over micro-USB.

You can pick it up now on Amazon for £30.

For loads more gift ideas, check out the rest of our Christmas Tech Gift Guide 2014.

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