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The Bush brand name might not inspire confidence, but a few shortcomings aside, the Spira E3X is much better than it has any right to be – especially at £200.
The screen is excellent for a device in this price bracket, offering a 1080p resolution, bold contrast and decent colour replication.
There's also loads of storage, the processor is perfectly acceptable for day to day usage, and build quality is decent – sandpaper-textured rear panel aside.
Sure, the camera could be better, and the battery drains quickly under heavy use, but we're talking about a £200 phone here, not a £600 one.
Who’s this for?
If you crave cutting-edge smartphone features like a massive screen, fingerprint scanner and fast charging, but can't stretch to a Samsung, Sony or Apple flagship, then the Bush Spira E3X is for you.
If you're not concerned with having the very best camera, sound, and battery life, but simply want excellent value for money, then you're unlikely to be disappointed – just be aware that you'll have to endure the embarrassment of having a phone with "Bush" written on the back.
Should you buy it?
The Spira E3X offers an impressive package for the price, and if cash is a real concern then it comes highly recommended.
The screen is on a par with phones which cost twice as much, while the premium build and massive storage are almost unheard of in this sector of the market.
The Bush Spira E3X gives you a lot of phone for your money, but it's not the only high-quality budget phone. Here are three alternatives.
Motorola Moto G4
Motorola's Moto G4 is one of the Spira E3X's biggest rivals in this price bracket, and is blessed with a 1080p screen and plenty of power, but is hamstrung by the lack of a fingerprint scanner and no NFC.
That said, the E3X doesn’t have NFC either, and the G4 is slightly cheaper than Bush’s phone. It also comes from a more recognisable and respected brand, if that matters to you.
- Read our full Moto G4 review
There's also the Wileyfox Storm, which has an excellent 5.5-inch display of its own, snappy performance and a much better camera than the one found on Bush's budget offering. It costs almost exactly the same amount as the Bush Spira E3X too.
The average battery life and often fiddly open-source Cyanogen OS are downsides though, and there’s no metal on show.
- Read our full Wileyfox Storm review
Vodafone Smart Prime 7
Significantly undercutting the Spira E3X in terms of price is Vodafone’s Smart Prime 7, which retails for just £75 (around $90/AU$120). Incredibly for that price it includes a great screen and decent performance, but cuts corners on internal storage and the camera.
However, it's less than half the price of the Bush Spira E3X, and is a much better option if cash is tight.
- Read our full Vodafone Smart Prime 7 review
First reviewed: October 2016