If you’re heading back to campus this autumn, there's every chance you're considering your upgrade options. This is probably in anticipation of ordering your new term texts from Amazon, chilling out with Netflix in bed on those slightly hungover mornings, or maybe even Instagramming your perfect Pot Noodle dinner.
Always happy to help, we’ve compiled the following smartphones from the best brands in town. All are perfectly geared toward the student experience; combining fantastic features with an affordable price tag that won't make too much of a dent in your loan.
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)
Samsung is one of the most successful manufacturers of Android phones, and the 2017 edition of the Samsung Galaxy J5 certainly doesn’t disappoint.
This superb smartphone arrives with both a 13MP rear-facing and 13MP front-facing camera, perfect for making memories in brilliant clarity on its 720p, 5.2-inch display. The specs under the hood are worth mentioning too – as it features a rapid Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage (plus a microSD slot) and a whopping 3,100 mAh battery that won’t leave you stranded.
Check out our range of superb Samsung deals.
Apple iPhone SE
One of Apple’s most affordable smartphones is the Apple iPhone SE; a slimmed-down version of the 6S. It’s firmly a pocket-friendly phone with a neat 4-inch display, super-fast A9 chip, 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM and a multi-tasking graphics processor. Anything but tiny, the SE offers massive features where it counts.
To the rear of the device is a 12MP camera capable of recording 4K video, while a selfie-friendly 1.2MP front-facing camera is ready to keep you in touch with the family back home, via 720p facetime calls.
Why not take a look at our awesome Apple iPhone deals or check out our guide to choosing the best iPhone for you.
Motorola Moto G5
Sleek, smart and premium through-and-through, you might wonder why the Motorola Moto G5 is so affordable. We’re still wondering the same - with a 5-inch HD display, fast-focus 13MP rear and 5MP front cameras, and a reliable 3GB of RAM, this is every inch a premium phone with a budget price-tag.
Behind the scenes, there's an octa-core snapdragon 430 chipset and a solid graphics chip for gaming, streaming and browsing without lag. And as it runs Android 7.0 out-of-the-box, you'll enjoy cutting edge Android features
Keep dropping your phone? The Nokia 3 is a sturdy mid-range phone with lots of features behind its tough gorilla glass screen. As well as running Android 7.0, you get two 8MP cameras that benefit from rapid autofocus, while 16GB of expandable memory, an octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM handle the heavy lifting.
Getting all of this at such an affordable price point is cause for celebration, especially with a smartphone this reliable.
HTC U Play
The HTC U Play is a 5.2-inch powerhouse that comes with HTC’s new Sense Companion personal assistant – perfect for reminding you about lecture start times, or when that all-important assessment is due.
There’s 4GB of RAM, an eye-catching 16MP camera and a whole 32GB of storage space too, giving this handset a bid for premium status. It’s also sturdy, thanks to a gorilla glass cover that guards its dazzling 1080p display.
Huawei P10 Lite (2017)
A noted manufacturer of affordable smartphones, Huawei has hit a home run with the Huawei P10 Lite (2017).
With 16GB of storage, the latest Android 7.0, two excellent cameras - 12MP rear and 8 MP front - and biometric fingerprint security, this smartphone is spot-on for anyone who wants premium features for a low price.
A reliable phone, the Alcatel A3 is a tremendous budget handset that combines neat looks, useful specs and a 13MP camera with LED flash, so you'll never be left in the dark.
You get a quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 13/5MP rear and front-facing cameras too. You also get 16 GB of storage plus a micro SD slot that allows you to expand the storage by up to 32GB - perfect for saving your work, music and videos.
Sony Xperia XA1
Love taking pics? The Sony Xperia XA1 is one of the best phones around for photography fans, featuring a massive 23MP rear-facing camera for truly stunning shots, as well as an 8MP lens to the front for the benefit of selfie-lovers everywhere.
Inside, there’s 3GB of RAM and a fast octa-core processor, made all the faster with Android 7.0. There's also 32GB of storage which is perfect for housing all your high-res happy snaps. These super specs all come wrapped up in a desirable metallic frame that screams premium.