ZTE Blade Q Mini is a £60 Jelly Bean bargain on Virgin

This Android 4.2 dual-core effort is just £60 from Argos, locked to Virgin as a pay as you go phone. How does it measure up to the Moto G?

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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Sub-£100 Android phones have generally been ropy old tat, and poor value for money, but Chinese companies such as ZTE are making low-cost phones more worthwhile. Its latest effort, the Blade Q Mini, looks perfectly respectable.

It's only available on Virgin Media as a pay as you go phone, from Argos today and later from Sainsburys, for just £60.

What do you get for your three score? There's a pretty decent 800x480-pixel 4-inch screen, giving you 233 pixels per inch -- not retina-quality like the iPhone, but certainly legible and a step up from last year's phones at this price.

Don't expect a quad-core powerhouse -- its 1.3GHz dual-core chip, backed up by 1GB of RAM, won't give any high-end phones sleepless nights. But it should competently run its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software, and is even capable of running 4.4 KitKat, should ZTE ever update it.

Storage is where it cuts its corners. There's a fairly pitiful 4GB included, expandable by 32GB with a microSD card. A mediocre 5-megapixel camera and average 1,500mAh battery round out its specs. It doesn't have 4G, and comes in black and white.

Our favourite sub-£100 phone at the moment is the £60 Huawei Ascend Y300, from June last year. The game has moved on in six months and the Blade Q Mini comfortably bests the Y300 in specs, with more storage, a better chip and a more up to date version of Android, although they have the same screen.

Splash out a few more quid though and you could be rocking the Moto G, with its juicy quad-core processor, 720p screen, 8GB of storage and Android 4.4. It's occasionally on sale for as little as £100, so you keep your eyes peeled.

Could the Blade Q Mini give the Moto G a run for its (meagre) money? Or is it always worth spending that little bit more? Give me your cheapo mobile tips in the comments, or over on our money-saving Facebook page.