A smartphone that runs on Android for under £100 is always going to be an eye-catching offering, and in some areas the Racer is a highly competent device. But some will find the cheap touch-screen interface and small screen a hindrance to quick, efficient use, and will be more than happy shelling out for a high-end device from Apple, HTC or Samsung.
Cheap; simple Android OS; all basic functions included despite low price; light; solid battery life
Touch screen can be unresponsive and hard to use; small screen makes reading text difficult; cheap build quality in some areas.
100g, 512MB memory, 256 RAM, Android 2.1 OS, 600 MHz Qualcomm, 3.2-megapixel camera, HSDPA 7.2 internet connection
Can you really get a good smartphone for below £100? ZTE believes so, and the firm's Racer phone is on sale for £99.99 on pay-as-you-go with Three.
It's also being offered on various contracts, such as the Internet Talker contract which provides 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 500MB of browsing and 300 off-network minutes for £15 a month.
But the killer question is whether £100 gets you much bang for your buck in the smartphone department (or punch for your pound, to be more accurate).
Running on Android 2.1 Éclair sees the Racer off to a good start, given the huge popularity of Google's platform, and on first powering up the device it's clear this was a good move, as the layout is intuitive and easily mastered. However, while it appears straightforward at first glance, in reality it is a bit of a pain.
This is because the 2.8in QVGA 320 x 240 screen feels very cheap, as if the layer of plastic is resting on top of the phone, so that touch-screen gestures feel as if you're pressing through the screen, rather than on it.
Simple actions like swiping and inputting text feel awkward and more like hitting the screen than anything else, especially for texting which feels a bit like a return to the days of Morse code such is the force of the tapping required at times.
The scrolling functionality can be irritating too, seeming to have a mind of its own. A deft flick of the screen will send the widget menu reeling like a fruit machine display to bring up the screen you require, while a seemingly identical gesture will accidentally open a widget.
For £100 (the obvious defence for any criticisms) neither of these problems are impossible hardships, and long-time users of the device will probably build a love-hate relationship with these quirks, but for most it could well prove too irritating.
Touch-screen troubles aside, the interface is clear with widgets easily identified by their icons, and the front-screen layout can be easily customised with a choice of widgets, both pre-installed on the device from ownership or downloaded as you go.
The icons can then be easily moved around for optimum locations depending on the user's preference and easily removed or added as and when required.