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Android-based ZTE Racer Appears On 3 UK

UK's smallest independent mobile phone network 3 UK has launched the cheapest Android touchscreen mobile phone on the market, the Racer, a handset that comes courtesy of Chinese manufacturer ZTE.

The phone, which is available on £13 per month contracts, is the first Android handset that will be available for less than £100 on PAYG.

Cheaper touchscreen handsets are already on sale from Orange and T-Mobile but they all feature entry level operating systems like the Qualcomm Brew.

ZTE, which already provides 3 UK with the F102 handset, hasn't cut many corners with the Racer. There's a 2.8-inch touchscreen display (albeit a resistive one) that can display 320x240 pixels, HSDPA connectivity and a 3.2-megapixel camera without flash.

The Chinese manufacturer has also judiciously thrown in Android OS 2.1 OS without any customised user interface (unlike Sony Ericsson or HTC) and there's even a 2GB microSD card. This means that users will not have to depend on the manufacturer before upgrading their handsets, indeed, they will be able to install nightly builds if desired.

The cheapest contract comes with 300 anytime, any network minutes or texts with 500MB on a two year contract. Internet Talker 900 offers 900 minutes or text with 1GB worth of data for £18 per month while the One Plan contract increases the allocation to 2000 minutes, 5000 texts, 5000 3-to-3 minutes and 1GB internet.