As the smartphone wars continue to heat up, with handsets becoming ever thinner, and packing more processing power, the budget user without hundreds of dollars to spend seems to have been left behind. But if you don't need a colorful touchscreen and a million apps, there are still some rather affordable options, and we think we may have found the cheapest.
A visit to the Mingtong Digital Mall in Shenzhen, China by hacker Andrew "Bunnie" Huang revealed a mobile phone handset that costs just $12. The device is an unlocked, contract-free mobile phone that includes a charger, USB and microSD ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and a two-color OLED screen. There's no word on call quality or battery life, but even at minimal operational effectiveness, this is a pretty amazing piece of gear for such a low price point. (Although, for another $8, the Nokia 105 offers a lot of bang for buck, too. And it's from a reputable brand.)
The handset can also be built for free using components floating around China's version of the open-source community dubbed the "Gongkai," by Huang. According to Huang, buying one of these handsets is pretty difficult, but you can get a better look at the device's insides here.