If you want to buy a decent mainstream dual core smartphone but don't want to fork out £200 or so for the product, you can always try the cheapest alternative pay monthly option.
The Xperia U from Mobiles.co.uk (on Talkmobile) can be had for £204.99 using that method, only £15 more expensive than its cheapest SIM free option. Note that Mobiles.co.uk, which is a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse, is likely to stock unlocked Xperia U anyway.
The phone comes with a rather decent package, ideal for lightweight users. The Smart Plan includes 250 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB data and an initial fee of £24.99.
As for the phone itself, it packs a dual core ST-Ericsson Novathor U8500 processor clocked at 1GHz, 512MB of RAM, 4GB onboard storage, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich, a 3.5in Reality Display with a 854 x 480 pixels resolution, a 5-megapixel camera and a VGA front facing one.
The Sony Xperia U is, with the Huawei Ascend G300 and the Orange San Diego, the best value smartphones on the market for the first half of 2012.
Source : Mobiles.co.uk