Phones like the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are all fantastic gadgets, but you'll need to stick to a contract or splash out over R5000 to own them.
Still, there are plenty of quality Android smartphones out there at affordable prices, so we picked a few of the best models. We made use of popular retail website Expansys for pricing as well, unless otherwise specified.
The world's biggest manufacturer of Android smartphones has plenty of devices to suit every price range, all offering a pretty compelling user experience.
Samsung's lowest priced Android phone is the Galaxy Pocket, available for just under R1000 at most retailers. Equipped with Android 2.3 and an 830Mhz processor, the Galaxy Pocket is still pretty capable.
The company's Galaxy range plays host to more wallet-friendly phones, such as the Galaxy Y range. Featuring the touchscreen-only Galaxy Y, dual-sim equipped Galaxy Y Duos and the QWERTY-equipped Galaxy Y Pro, both phones can be found for under R2000.
The Galaxy Ace devices are slightly more expensive, costing R2800 via 8ta, but offer a larger touchscreen than the Galaxy Y.
The Taiwanese maker has come up with some compelling offerings lately, including the well-received HTC ONE range. However, its back-catalogue plays host to some fantastic entry-level and mid-range devices.
The HTC ChaCha (R2500) is still one of the best handsets in its class, offering a QWERTY keyboard, Android 2.3 and a dedicated "like" button.
The HTC Wildfire S (review) is another great entry-level purchase, coming in at R2600, featuring Android 2.3, a 3.2-inch touchscreen and five-megapixel camera.
The Sony Ericsson partnership has spawned plenty of notable handsets, ranging from the classic Walkman phones to the Xperia Play. However, as Sony goes forward alone, there are still plenty of great handsets to be had.
The partnership created some great budget-conscious smartphones, with the Xperia X8 coming in at R3000 according to WantItAll. Featuring Android 2.1 and a 600Mhz processor, it's not the latest and greatest, but it gets the job done.
The Xperia X10 range is another entry-level series, featuring the touchscreen-only Mini (for R1600 via Expansys) and the Mini Pro (R2300), equipped with a slide-out keyboard.
Behind the first major Android phone in the form of the Droid, Motorola's partnership and subsequent acquisition by Google has produced the goods.
The company's DEFY range differentiates itself from other budget handsets by being water- and dust-resistant. With a recommended retail price of R1999, the DEFY Mini is worth a look thanks to the durable design and 3.2-inch touchscreen too.
For people wanting a beefier experience, the Motorola DEFY+ might be for them, touting a 1Ghz processor, 3.7-inch touchscreen and five-megapixel camera. The recommended retail price is R2899 – not bad for such a decent phone.