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iPhone 4 Rival Alert : Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S From £208

The fact that O2 allows you to downgrade after 12 months and even dump your data allowance in order to reduce contract prices, is a boon for those looking for an affordable handset that can be used on other networks.

The Sony Erisson Xperia Arc S white, for example, costs £21.50 on O2 with 100 minutes, 500 texts, 500MB data and unlimited Wi-Fi access.

However, buying it from Dialaphone (opens in new tab) means that you get £110 cashback automatically, dumping the data allowance from day one means that you also save £6 per month. In addition, O2 allows users to drop down a notch in their contracts after 12 months, saving another £5.

So while the suggested cost of the contract is £516, the various discounts enable you to drop it to £208 without any third party cashback offers.

The white Xperia Arc S is Sony Ericsson's top of the range handset; it is only a few months old and comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC clocked at 1.2GHz, 512MB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, a microSD card slot, a big 4.3-inch 854x480 pixel screen, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a super thin chassis and a five megapixel camera with pseudo-3D capabilities.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.