Virgin Media has announced a new member of its budget phone family, the VM202, which packs in a fair whack of tech for only a few notes.

For £29.99, users will get 300 texts when bought with £10 of talk time on pay as you go, with Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messenger and email all offered onboard.

Opera Mini is also included for web browsing, and a 1GB microSD memory card (from Virgin Media, not included by manufacturer Alcatel) for MP3 playback through the 3.5mm headphone jack, and MP4 video playback.

Sliding fun

The main selling point of the new phone is the slide out QWERTY keyboard, with a 'soft to the touch' key system and full numeric keypad on the front of the phone. However, the camera is only VGA quality, which you'd expect on a phone coming at this price point.

"The VM202 is a great new addition to our pay-as-you-go range and we're delighted to be first to bring this stylish, affordable device to our customers," said Jonathan Kini, director of mobile at Virgin Media.

"With easy access to Facebook and Twitter plus great multimedia features, the handset is perfect for teenage socialites on the go or as a great messaging device for existing Virgin Media families to take advantage of with huge call savings to be made with free calls between Virgin home phones and Virgin Mobiles."