Leaps and bounds is the expression that springs to mind when I think about how far Chinese mobile device manufacturers have evolved over the past few years. There's no comparison between the smartphones and tablets from 2009 and the ones unveiled in the second half of 2013. These are almost on par with top of the range models.
China-based website Pandawill sells the ThL W8S smartphone for $280, which translates roughly into £210 once you include 20 per cent VAT. It is, to our knowledge, the cheapest smartphone on the market with 2GB of RAM, 32GB onboard storage, a four-core SoC and a full HD display.
It is roughly comparable to the Sony Xperia Z except that this one costs nearly twice the price (and is both dust and water proof). The W8S is powered by the Mediatek MTK6589T, one which is clocked at 1.5GHz and uses four Cortex-A7 cores.
Other features includes a 13-megapixel rear camera, Android 4.2.1, a card reader, a 5in display, a 5-megapixel front facing camera and a PowerVR SGX544MP GPU. Ote that it has two SIM card slots as well and has a 2,000mAh battery.
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