There was a recent discussion in which I pointed out that while some phones are value for money – highly capable while being affordable –

Thinking value for money…

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There was a recent discussion in which I pointed out that while some phones are value for money – highly capable while being affordable – such devices still feature compromises here and there. I was reminded of that discussion today when I handled the Windows Mobile Samsung i780, a phone I once used.

The i780 is one of the best value for money devices I have ever used (take a look at the review here, and a head-to-head with the legendary Sony Ericsson P1i here).

The i780 cost far less than its fellow WinMo-powered smartphones and packed a wallop. The major compromise on the phone, however, was its camera. Sporting a 2 mega-pixel camera without a flash, the camera was more of a bonus.

That notwithstanding, the i780 is an excellent device. I played with it again today and found that over a year after I sold my unit this device is still very much in the game.

Samsung B7320
Samsung B7320

I have been looking around for smartphones that pack that kind of wallop and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Here is my list:

  1. Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
  2. Nokia E63
  3. Samsung B7320

All the above are smartphones that feature pretty much what most users will need. Of course, the compromises are there, but these phones are almost faultless. Anyone will be hard-pressed to find phones with all their capabilities and at their costs. They are all sub-fifty thousand in cost.

Of course, with a lot of people (myself inclusive) running more and more on a tight budget, such devices are bound to get noticed more than ever. Personally, I am currently eyeing the Samsung B7320. Could it be because of nostalgia for its older brother, the i780, or could it be because I am really not inspired by Symbian at the moment? Who knows? Who cares?

Feel free to make your nominations in the comment box below. If you are planning on changing your smartphone this season, what budget feature-packed smartphone are you ogling?

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  1. Good day Yomi. Have u seen the chaina clone of nokia e71? I learnt that it accepts java applications.

    I hope to see reviews on some of these chaina made phones soon on mobinaija.

  2. The samsung B7320 is my pick only because it has a qwerty keyboard and the nokia 5800 does not, although i dig the symbian OS of the 5800 but i just have to go for the samsung if given a choice between the two. I hope it has better specs too.

  3. I am using a nokia E63. I agree with u on the nokia express music phone.That one got me drooling of late. I just wonder if the sound quality can come near the ‘Oga’ of that department; sonyerricsson. That’s what is holding me back. Who has experienced both?

  4. I am new here but I couldn’t help but notice the informed, articulate and sensible discussions going on here. So here goes…

    I work with Visafone and I currently use the Moto Q on VisaMobile subscription (paid, not company freebie). This experience has opened my eyes to what smartphones can do and I must say I have been blind all along I had just seen phones as mere “make and receive call” gadgets.

    With my Moto Q I browse the internet, check my mails, even my office exchange mail and all this for just 4k a month!!!

    Now I want to buy a new Nokia GSM phone, preferably the E72 or E63 depending on my financial muscle. My issue now is if any GSM operator has such service as our VisaMobile, and if so how much does it cost monthly and what are the features? I wouldn’t mind changing my number to be on that network (currently on MTN).


  5. kay123,

    Yes; I have seen the E71 clone. Those copycat guys are bad. But the clone is not a smartphone at all. Java apps installation, yes. But even that is with some issues.

    Unfortunately, MobilityNigeria may never review any of those cloned devices. The illegality behind such devices is a key factor. We really think its bad enough that someone has copied the design line for line, but to also now slap “Nokia” and “E71” on it is a stretch.

    However, we will try to present you reviews of authentic Chinese brands such as Techno and others.

  6. Thanks for the info Yom. All these services, sure hope they will work on a smartphone without tethering to a laptop. What I need is a working connection for a smartphone to browse, check my exchange mail and do other stuff with. From all the info digested, I think I will give MTN a try since I am already on MTN network. However, all of them are really not cheap compared to the one I am using now.

    Anyway, thanks for the info and I think I’ll go for the E63 today; the only difference from the E71 is the GPS and the data cable not being bundled (if there is any other consideration, coming from a guru like you, please, please tell).


  7. Eze,

    All internet services from the GSM networks work directly on phone as a standalone device. You can also tether your phone as a modem, if it has a modem built-in.

    The E63 is a bargain choice. The compromises are the low-specs camera and lack of HSDPA/3.5G. It has 3G though, maxing out at 384 kbps. If you don’t mind 3G-only speeds, go for it.

  8. @Eze! I currently use a Nokia E65 on the Zain network, i get my mails on the exchange server on my phone real time & i use between 150-300MB monthly…almost all post-2007 E-series (& N series) nokias are compatible with mail for exchange.

    I’m looking @ upgrading to E55 (half qwerty), but Yom is making me rethink about, especially with ‘evangelism’ of windows OS…LOL!

    Nokia smartphönes are great though, however will like 2 try something else.


  9. I was at a Nokia dealer’s shop today to see about a new E63, but I saw this Samsung B7320 and it was love at first sight. I think WinMo is really the way to go with smartphones, at least for now. I think finally I will go for the Samsung B7320 soon, just that I need to do more research on it before purchase, as is usual practice when I want to buy tech stuff.

    I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of this website; it’s comforting to know I am not alone, and will never be – if I run into brickwalls with my gadgets. I plan to upgrade to WinMo 6.5 once I get the Samsung B7320; I love experimenting with tech stuff – computer operating systems, smartphone monster packs, etc. Right now I have three operating systems on my laptop – Windows 7 dual-booting with Fedora 10, with Mac OS X Leopard on VMWare. So you can see its going to be fun all the way with my new phone when I get it.


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