Android isn't just about big screens, beefy processors and Gingerbread goodness, y'know. One of the reasons Google's smart phone OS is growing so fast is it's also available on cheaper mobiles you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for -- or even sign up to a monthly tariff.
Take the T-Mobile Pulse Mini for example. When it came out in the UK last year, it cost £100 on a pay as you go deal from the UK operator, making it one of the cheapest Android phones yet. Now its price has been slashed by four fifths, with T-Mobile selling it for just £19.99 on its website.
Okay, there's one rather large caveat: it's pink. It's only the pink version of the Pulse Mini that's being sold for this price, which instantly rules out... well, most of the phone-buying population, if we're honest.
It's a shame, because it's a very generous deal. The phone is still pay as you go, and while you have to buy a £10 top-up when buying it, T-Mobile is throwing in 100 free anytime voice minutes per month, a 2GB memory card, and six months of free Internet access.
As a reminder, the Pulse Mini runs version 2.1 of Android, and includes a 3.2-megapixel camera and FM radio. The screen is a small 2.8-inch touchscreen, but a resistive one rather than capacitive, so you have to press a bit harder sometimes to register an input.
When we reviewed the Pulse Mini, we came away disappointed with its processor performance, with the handset struggling to keep up when running several apps at once plus animated wallpapers. You can turn the wallpapers off and shut apps down, but we wonder whether everyone who picks up an Android phone for £20 will know that.
Well, you gets what you pays for. T-Mobile's deal makes us think there'll be others ahead. Every Christmas, the best-selling phone in the UK isn't a swanky smart phone -- it's usually a bargain basement feature phone sold for a few quid to everyone's mum. The prospect of that device being an Android handset in 2011 is certainly intriguing.