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Three Launches £99 Pre-pay Android Smartphone

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Got big love for Android, but no budget to show it? Here's a solution...

Three has teamed up with handset maker ZTE to announce the 'Racer', the first Android smartphone to be available in the UK for under £100 on pay as you go. It will also be available free on monthly contracts from just £15.
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Naturally with this sort of RRP you'd think the Racer would be a technological car crash, but it actually is a pleasant surprise with a 2.8in QVGA touchscreen, 7.2Mbit HSDPA connectivity, a 3.2MP camera and bundled 2GB microSD card. Interestingly the Racer also comes with Android 2.1 - a newer edition than is featured on many premium handsets (the Dell Streak ships with v1.6, the Xperia X10 with v2.0) and it is a vanilla install meaning no third party skins which should make future firmware upgrades a lot easier. It's reasonably attractive too.

On the downside the Racer inevitably uses a resistive touchscreen which will never be as responsive as the capacitive panels used on more expensive devices.

The Racer does look like being just the first of a rush of cheap Android handset though, with ZTE making the ballsy claim that it plans to almost triple its UK market share from three to eight per cent over the next 12 months. Keep producing tech bargains like this and it may just succeed...

Link: Three UK

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