As Christmas approaches, we’re seeing a glut of sub-$100 Android phones. Vodafone rolled out a $99 model from Huawei last week, and now Telstra-owned Boost Mobile is selling a similar Alcatel OneTouch model for $99.
The Boost Mobile View boasts a 5-inch screen, a 1.3GHz quad core processor and a 5MP camera, and runs Android Jelly Bean (4.2). That gives it slightly better hardware specs than the Vodafone offering (which has a 4.5-inch screen and a 1.2GHz processor), although the Vodafone model does offer 4G network access and runs KitKat (4.4) rather than Jelly Bean. Boost uses Telstra’s older 3G-only network, and its $40 unlimited plan includes a slightly miserly 2.5GB of data.
Whichever network you choose, there are some disadvantages to these cheaper models: their performance is likely to be sluggish for more processor-intensive activities such as gaming, and they’ll be locked to specific networks. However, if you only want a phone for basic apps and communication, it’s good to not have to spend several hundred dollars or be locked into a contract.