SINGAPORE - The entry of smartphone players, like Alcatel, Oppo, Xiaomi and ZTE, on the regional and global stage has created a vibrant smartphone ecosystem.
Does more competition mean better prices for consumers? While a race to the bottom of who can offer the most or best for the least money is not always good, in the case of the lower mid-range tier products where the offerings do not differ widely, it seems to benefit the consumer.
When we first started compiling data on budget 4G smartphones last year, most were priced around $600 and offered 4.3-inch screens, dual-core processors, 8GB internal storage and even 8MP cameras.
A few months ago, we managed to round up budget 4G phones that were mostly below $500 and offered 4.7-inch screens, mostly quad-core processors and 8MP cameras.
Today, you can go below $300 and get yourself a decent 4G smartphone with a few small compromises: an average screen size of 4.5 inches, most with quad-core processors, 5MP camera modules, and slightly less storage and battery capacity.
Still , some manage to offer a little more in certain areas, like the Asus ZenFone 5.
Here is a look at six of the latest compact 4G smartphones under $300.
ASUS ZENFONE 5 LTE EDITION
This is the third variant of the Asus ZenFone 5 reviewed in recent months and it is still one of the best smartphones of its class.
The ZenFone 5 ticks almost all the right boxes: design, build quality, handling, interface, overall user experience and imaging performance.
The only two drawbacks are a non-removable battery and the lack of dual-SIM support.
Available from $249, the ZenFone 5 is a good fit for any consumer looking for an affordable 4G smartphone today.