Last week was a manic time for me, with much of the time in Berlin taken up doing various activities and eating great food, courtesy of Huawei to mark its release of the Force Touch enabled Mate S.

But I did have some time to wander around IFA to see what else was going on.

For some time, my interest in phones has been moving more towards more affordable devices, rather than simply fawning over the high-end stuff that has begun to offer things like curved displays and 4K displays. Along with eye watering price tags.

There’s nothing wrong with these phones obviously, but I’ve discovered – as more people hopefully will be every day – that you can now get phones that will do everything you want for a fraction of the price.

My current, still to be reviewed properly, Wileyfox Swift is one such example, and that’s at the lower end of an optimal price range that I see as being between £100 and £400. A price range that is being filled by Motorola, Huawei, Honor, OnePlus, Wileyfox, and many more.

If you do want something that’s a bit higher spec, perhaps with support for faster 4G, an octo-core processor, fingerprint reader, higher megapixel camera etc, there are now many choices than just looking to Samsung, Sony or LG. What’s more, you will likely pay significantly less.

German company Gigaset, a company you’ve probably heard of for its DECT phones (mostly sold by BT in the UK), has decided it’s time to give it a go in a very crowded market, putting good value at the forefront but without compromising on performance.

Gigaset_ME_Range-800x478
Left to right: Gigaset ME Pure (£249), Gigaset ME (£349), Gigaset ME Pro (£399)

The first phone is the Gigaset ME Pure. It’s the lowest spec model in the range, if you can call a phone with a 5-inch full HD display, octo-core Snapdragon 615 SoC, 13-megapixel camera (with 0.2-second autofocus), dual 4G SIM card slots with Cat 4 (150Mbps) support, 16GB internal storage plus card slot, and a USB-C port, low spec.

Jump to £349 and the same-sized Gigaset ME ups the processing power by switching to Snapdragon 810, boosting 4G speeds to Cat 6 (300Mbps) levels, while the camera takes a further jump to 16-megapixels and now with a dual-tone LED flash. Storage goes from 16GB to 32GB (but still with a card slot), RAM goes from 2 to 3GB and is faster too, jumping from DDR3 to DDR4 spec.

Finally, the Gigaset ME Pro ups the screen from 5-inches to 5.5-inches, and further boosts the camera to 20-megapixels. The price for the jump in screen size is £50. Oh, and you then get a 4,000mAh battery too.

dav

Other features available on all models includes a fingerprint sensor, dual-band Wi-Fi with 802.11ac support, a wide-angle 120 degree lens with 5cm macro function, a Focus Later feature that lets you choose the optimum image from a series of shots taken in quick succession at different focal lengths, high-end HD sound, and quick battery charging. Every phone also gets a front-facing 8-megapixel camera with 81.5 degree wide-angle lens.

The ME and ME Pro phones are also equipped to work with a range of sensors, such as a heart rate monitors and step counter, as part of Gigaset’s Health Centre app. A UV sensor can also measure harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Gigaset back

It certainly sounds like Gigaset hasn’t compromised, but obviously I can’t give much more detail until I’ve actually had a chance to properly use them and test out the claims of high quality audio, amazing imaging etc.

All three models go on sale this Autumn and more details should emerge soon on how you’ll be able to get your hands on one.

Once again, the consumer has never had so much choice and it’s a great time to be in the market for a new phone.

While there’s nothing wrong with a Samsung Galaxy S6, which seems to be the phone that shop staff will almost certainly steer new customers towards, the smart and savvy shopper will at least stop and look at what else is out there before getting their wallets out.

Full specs (provided by Gigaset)

  Gigaset ME Pure Gigaset ME Gigaset ME Pro
Operating System Version Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
Dimensions 144.5×69.4×7.8mm 144.5×69.4×7.7mm 156x76x7.7mm
User interface Gigaset UI Gigaset UI Gigaset UI
Weight 140 g 160 g 195 g
Framework Aluminum frame Stainless steel frame Stainless steel frame
Color black black black
Surface Front: glass (2.5D), rear: No glass (aluminum frame) Front: glass (2.5D), back: glass (2.5D) Front: glass (2.5D), back: glass (2.5D)
Chipset MSM8939 MSM8994 MSM8994
CPU Snapdragon 615, LTE4 octa-core, 64 bit Snapdragon 810, LTE6 octa-core, 64 bit Snapdragon 810, LTE6 octa-core, 64 bit
CPU speed 1.5GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz
GPU Adreno 405 GPU Adreno 430 GPU Adreno 430 GPU
RAM DDR3 2GB, 16GB eMMC DDR4 3GB, 32GB eMMC DDR4 3GB, 32GB eMMC
Screen Type Incell IPS Incell IPS Incell IPS
Technology allows viewing angle up to 178 ° allows viewing angle up to 178 ° allows viewing angle up to 178 °
Screen Size 126mm / 5 inches 126mm / 5 inches 139mm / 5.5 inches
Resolution 1080 x 1920 (Full HD) 1080 x 1920 (Full HD) 1080 x 1920 (Full HD)
Pixel density 443 PPI 443 PPI 401 PPI
Capacitive Touchscreen Multi-Point (up to 10 touchpoints) Multi-Point (up to 10 touchpoints) Multi-Point (up to 10 touchpoints)
Contrast 1000: 1 1000: 1 1000: 1
Brightness 500cd / m² 500cd / m² 500cd / m²
Battery Capacity 3320mAh / 3.8V 3000mAh / 3.8V 4000mAh / 4.4V
Charge indicator 3-color LED 3-color LED 3-color LED
Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Yes Yes Yes
Main Camera (Photo) Resolution (Photo): 13MP, Aperture: f2.0, pixel size: 1,34μm, Market-leading SLR-level autofocus system, Quick AF: 00:16 sec, High CRI flash, CMOS sensor: OV 13860, photography fingerprint, macro shots up to 5 cm, 6 layer lens (for sharper photos) Resolution (Photo): 16MP, Aperture: f2.0, pixel size: 1,34μm, Market-leading SLR-level autofocus system, Quick AF: 00:16 sec, High CRI flash, CMOS sensor: OV 16825, photography fingerprint, macro shots up to 5 cm, 6 layer lens (for sharper pictures), sapphire crystal lens (anti-scratch) Resolution (Photo): 20MP, Aperture: f2.2, pixel size: 1,12μm, Market-leading SLR-level autofocus system, Quick AF: 0.2 sec, dual-color LED flash (with hot and cold light) CMOS Sensor: Sony IMX230 , Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), photography by fingerprint, macro shots up to 10 cm, 6 layer lens (for sharper pictures), sapphire crystal lens (anti-scratch)
Main Camera (Video) Resolution: 2k video, time-lapse function:…. 0.5 sec / 1 sec / 2 sec / 5 sec, slow playback, supports 2k video (H.263 / MPEG-4 / H.264) Resolution: 2k video, time-lapse function:…. 0.5 sec / 1 sec / 2 sec / 5 sec, slow playback, supports 4K video (H.263 / MPEG-4 / H.264) Resolution: 2k video, time-lapse function:…. 0.5 sec / 1 sec / 2 sec / 5 sec, slow playback, supports 4K video (H.263 / MPEG-4 / H.264)
Front Camera Resolution (Photo): 8MP, resolution (video): 1080p Full HD, Aperture: f2.0, pixel size: 1.4 microns, up to 120 ° wide-angle Resolution (Photo): 8MP, resolution (video): 1080p Full HD, Aperture: f2.0, pixel size: 1.4 microns, up to 120 ° wide-angle Resolution (Photo): 8MP, resolution (video): 1080p Full HD, Aperture: f2.0, pixel size: 1.4 microns, up to 120 ° wide-angle
Camera Features Quick camera unlock, software effects, filters functions (eg blur filter) Quick camera unlock, software effects, filters functions (eg blur filter) Quick camera unlock, software effects, filters functions (eg blur filter)
Audio Features Surface conduction, closed glass front, dual microphone solution noise reduction chip, Hi-Fi Chipset AMK4375, BOX speaker design, Supports AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MIDI; I-melody / WAV / MP3 / AAC, Dirac HD (Premium software for better sound quality), HD Voice support, CSR aptX® Audio technology enables BT transmission in CD quality. Surface conduction, closed glass front, dual microphone solution noise reduction chip, Hi-Fi chipset ES9018, BOX speaker design, Supports AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MIDI; I-melody / WAV / MP3 / AAC, Dirac HD (Premium software for better sound quality), HD Voice support, CSR aptX® Audio technology enables BT transmission in CD quality. Surface conduction, closed glass front, dual microphone solution noise reduction chip, Hi-Fi chipset ES9018, BOX speaker design, Supports AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MIDI; I-melody / WAV / MP3 / AAC, Dirac HD (Premium software for better sound quality), HD Voice support, CSR aptX® Audio technology enables BT transmission in CD quality.
Features Colors: Black with gray metal, in-ear headset with microphone, TPE elastic anti-winding flat wire (easy to unravel), remote condition with 3 keys Cable length: 120 cm Colors: Black with gray metal, in-ear headset with microphone, TPE elastic anti-winding flat wire (easy to unravel), remote condition with 3 keys Cable length: 120 cm Colors: Black with gray metal, in-ear headset with microphone, TPE elastic anti-winding flat wire (easy to unravel), remote condition with 3 keys Cable length: 120 cm
Sensor Types Fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor, distance sensor Fingerprint sensor, UV sensor, heart rate monitor, pedometer, infrared transmitter / receiver, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor, distance sensor Fingerprint sensor, UV sensor, heart rate monitor, pedometer, infrared transmitter / receiver, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor, distance sensor
Network GSM / WCDMA / TD-SCDMA / TDD / FDD multiband support, LTE Data CAT4 support, Max download speed 150Mbps, global roaming, Smart Share (1 GB video transmission in 1 minute 35 seconds), Max download speed:. Up 150Mbps (LTE Cat 4), Max upload speed:. to 50 Mbps (LTE Cat 4), CSFB support GSM / WCDMA / TD-SCDMA / TDD / FDD multiband support, LTE Data CAT6 support, Max download speed 300Mbps, global roaming, Smart Share (1 GB video transmission in 1 minute 35 seconds), Max download speed:. Up 300Mbps (LTE Cat 6), Max upload speed:. to 50 Mbps (LTE Cat 6), CSFB support GSM / WCDMA / TD-SCDMA / TDD / FDD multiband support, LTE Data CAT6 support, Max download speed 300Mbps, global roaming, Smart Share (1 GB video transmission in 1 minute 35 seconds), Max download speed:. Up 300Mbps (LTE Cat 6), Max upload speed:. to 50 Mbps (LTE Cat 6), CSFB support
WIFI Dual Band (2.4G & 5G support), 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Supports 802.11ac (up to 780 Mbps), support WAPI (China), Soft AP Support, Wireless Display support Dual Band (2.4G & 5G support), 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Supports 802.11ac (up to 780 Mbps), support WAPI (China), Soft AP Support, Wireless Display support, WiFi MiMo Dual Band (2.4G & 5G support), 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Supports 802.11ac (up to 780 Mbps), support WAPI (China), Soft AP Support, Wireless Display support, WiFi MiMo
BT Version 4.1, BT profiles A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, GOEP, HFP 1.5, HSP, OPP, PBAP and SDAP, MAP, PAN, DUN Version 4.1, BT profiles A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, GOEP, HFP 1.5, HSP, OPP, PBAP and SDAP, MAP, PAN, DUN Version 4.1, BT profiles A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, GOEP, HFP 1.5, HSP, OPP, PBAP and SDAP, MAP, PAN, DUN
Connectivity Dual SIM (2 x Nano-SIM or 1 Nano SIM + microSD 1) SIM type (nano-SIM), microSD card (max. 128 GB, hot-plugging capability, supports both SD3.0), Micro USB Type-C, CTIA 3.5mm;HiFi compatible (headphone jack) Dual SIM (2 x Nano-SIM or 1 Nano SIM + microSD 1) SIM type (nano-SIM), microSD card (max. 128 GB, hot-plugging capability, supports both SD3.0), Micro USB Type-C, CTIA 3.5mm;HiFi compatible (headphone jack) Dual SIM (2 x Nano-SIM or 1 Nano SIM + microSD 1) SIM type (nano-SIM), microSD card (max. 128 GB, hot-plugging capability, supports both SD3.0), Micro USB Type-C, CTIA 3.5mm;HiFi compatible (headphone jack)
Navigation Features GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, WiFi, radio network GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, WiFi, radio network GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, WiFi, radio network
Equipment Headphones, Fast Charger, USB 3.0 USB Type-C cable Headphones, Fast Charger, USB 3.0 USB Type-C cable Headphones, Fast Charger, USB 3.0 USB Type-C cable
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Written by Jonathan Morris

Writing about technology, with a focus on mobile, since the early 1990s! Former editor of What Mobile magazine, writer for The Telegraph, Stuff, Know Your Mobile, Pocket Gamer, Smart TV Radar and more. Regular Tweeter, occasional YouTuber, keen amateur photographer and forum moderator. If you like what I write, please consider deactivating your ad blocker or making a donation via PayPal to help fund this site.

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