There are only two possible reasons for why a gadget freak like you would want a cheap phone: you're either a very sensible person (who probably got mugged once), or you're saving up for the phone of your life. Oh, who are we kidding? We all want a nice phone for next to nothing, right? The legendary Motorola MOTOFONE came close, but check out these new bad boys -- the sub-$15 Vodafone 150 and the sub-$20 250, produced by TCL. Fine, they may look more like toys than your everyday eye candy, but you do get five hours of battery, SMS, two games on that mini monochrome screen, and even an LED torch on the back -- and what's more, the lowly 150 is claiming the holy grail "world's cheapest phone" title that every manufacturer with an interest in emerging markets would kill to own. For an extra $5 there's even a larger screen in color (!), not to mention FM radio. If you want one, you better start
flying walking to either India, Turkey or Africa where the phones will be launched over the next few weeks, or you can just gaze at Fonehome's hands-on video of the 150 after the break.
On a similar topic, ST-Ericsson has launched the U6715 mobile platform with 7.2Mbps HSPA modem for Linux-based OSes (Android and MeeGo, to name a couple), and expects participating manufacturers to deliver sub-€100 (about $137) smartphones in the first half of 2010. Apparently, the trick is to use "structurally-less expensive silicon, without compromising the end user experience." With a 1000mAh battery, the platform will deliver up to 40 hours to musical entertainment -- twice that of the Nexus One with 1400mAh -- and up to seven hours of 3G talk time on one charge. Pretty sweet at first blush, except there's no mention of what the CPU would be clocked at. Regardless, all we want is some smooth video playback from the "elegant and powerful multimedia engine" -- is that too much to ask?