Top 10 mobiles for under £100

Nokia 5310 XpressMusic  £80 up against the W880i takes some wantons, but while this slender muso lacks 3G, it gets o

Nokia 5310 XpressMusic  £80

Going up against the W880i takes some wantons, but while this slender muso lacks 3G, it gets one over on the Walkman player with a handy integrated 3.5mm headphone jack and dedicated music controls. Its anodised metallic finish feels classy and the interface is as easy to use as any other phone you’ll see. Its marathon 18-hour music playback is also impressive for a slimliner.

Stuff says: Five stars

Sagem my721x ‘So Ice’ £80

Sagem is clearly raising its production values with its latest stylish slimline candybar. Gone is the dowdy plastic and in comes an upmarket brushed metal finish, for that added touch of silvery luxury you wouldn’t have thought you could get on prepay. Using its flat, mechanised keypad is like thumbing ?a Motorola SLVR (that’s a good thing), while there’s even space for a basic but still impressive 3.2MP snapper. Who wants a contract now?

Stuff says: Three stars

Orange SPV E610 £100

A Windows-powered smartie on prepay? Has Christmas come early? Naturally there are a few compromises – there’s no Wi-Fi or 3G, and if you were hoping for a  touchscreen, keep on hoping. The OS may be only version 5.1, but you still get some great functionality for your money. Business bods can still easily sync with Outlook, have push email delivered and speed-message with ease on the highly thumbable QWERTY keypad.

Stuff says: Four stars

Alcatel OT-V770 £40

Alcatel’s slender but wider-than-average music phone displays a bit of design derring-do for a budgeteer. Its shiny thumb-loving mechanised keypad is the star here and makes fiddling a pleasure, while the music player sounds incredibly warm, if a little soft. The V770 may not be a marquee phone, but it’s got some neat flourishes and a mighty battery. You can talk for ages, should you be so avant-garde as to make calls on it.

Stuff says: Three stars

Samsung J700 £50

Samsung’s gloss-and-glamour-on-a-budget skater lives on its looks, clearly taking its curvaceous design cues from the G600. And while this stylish and soundly built blower weeds out on the camera front with an almost insulting 1.3MP snapper (not to mention its equally shameful rudimentary music features), at least you get to wield an elegant handset for a minimal outlay.

Stuff says: Three stars

Sony Ericsson W880i Walkman £90

The original slimline music phone is still quite a catch, despite celebrating its one-year anniversary and being superseded by the W890i. It’s the only phone on test packing rapido 3G speeds while its Walkman MP3 player is class. And don’t believe the dissenters, either; its tiny tab keypad is still easy on fat thumbs – those shovel-handed people just aren’t trying hard enough.

Stuff says: Five stars

Fly Mobile SL600 £40

If your purse strings are tighter than Iggy Pop’s leather kecks then check out this pint-sized slider. Sure, the SL600 may lack distinct design chops but it’s simple to use and rammed with features: there’s a 2MP snapper, music player, recordable FM radio and  a MicroSD card slot – and all for just 40 notes.

Stuff says: Three stars

LG KE970 Shine £70

It may be over a year and a half old but this metal-bound blower hasn’t lost its lustre. This slider oozes quality from its steely solid pores while the old-school navigation roller is surprisingly lucid to use. At £70 the Shine is a bargain, made even sweeter by an autofocus-loaded 2MP camera.

Stuff says: Five stars

Nokia 6300 £70

Its clean lines, metal rear plating and lean figure make the 6300 an everyman classic. This simple-to-use Nokia also sports a 2MP camera, a bright 16-million-colour display, and enough juice reserves on standby

that you could take it to Spain for a fortnight without your charger.

Stuff says: Five stars

Motorola U9 £70

The delightfully compact and curvy PEBL gets a glossy feminine makeover and some nifty musical moves. It’s perfect for the song snacker about town, with a receptive, touch-sensitive front and extensive equaliser modes for a warm sound. It’s also a joy to use; there’s not one whiff of Moto’s previous thorny interface.

Stuff says: Fours stars

See the full feature in the latest issue of Stuff Magazine, out 1st August.