For less than a hundred dollars, Huawei's offering Android 2.2 for the tightest of budgets (and presumably margins) with the bargain-priced IDEOS X1.
While smartphone players such as Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC focus almost exclusively on the mid to high-end range of the market, Chinese telecom giant Huawei continues its sweeping pursuit
of entry-level buyers with this bargain-priced Android handset announced today.
The IDEOS X1 launches July 1 on Optus pre-paid and will set you back a measly $99. We've seen such aggressive pricing on a new-to-market smartphone before, most notably with Telstra's Smart-Touch
released back in March, but while that was an unbranded effort with a resistive touchscreen and Android 2.1 (Eclair), Huawei's offering ups the ante with capacitive touch and the newer (if not newest) Android 2.2 (Froyo).
Other specifications are similar to last year's brightly coloured IDEOS U8150 range. The IDEOS X1 features a 2.8in QVGA (320 x 240) TFT display, a 3.2MP camera, a MicroUSB port, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and 256MB internal memory (luckily expandable by microSD). All up, it's clearly not a power user's device, but compared to similarly priced feature phones, we know which one we'd be picking.
If the specs stop a little short of your ideal feature set, Huawei's IDEOS X5 bumps things up a notch and is currently available for $299
through Dick Smith. Of course, that's another slightly older model, and Huawei is previewing the rest of its new 2011 handset lineup tomorrow, so the smart money (budget-range or otherwise) may be on sitting still for now - and watching this space.