The budget smartphone market is increasing in popularity and competition. Chinese firm, ZTE, is known for making cheap mobile phones but Kis 3 is the most affordable we've ever seen. See also: The best budget smartphones 2014: What's the best budget smartphone?

Available at just £39 to buy the device outright, it's hard to believe the Kis 3 is a smartphone. This makes is cheaper than rivals such as the Motorola Moto E, EE Kestrel and even the Nokia Asha 503.

The handset looks like a relatively old smartphone with a chunky and fairly unattractive bezel around the screen and an obvious hole for the microphone in the plastic frame.

There are some attempts at style though and we quite like the dark blue colour of our review unit and there are silver strips down the sides which actually don't look too bad.

Needless to say, at this price, the build quality is distinctly plastic and the device certainly feels cheap and somewhat flimsy.

Due to fairly large bezels, the ZTE Kis 3 has a pretty small screen at just 4in. It has a low resolution of 480 x 800, dull colours and very poor viewing angles. We didn't really expect anything more and on the plus side it's surprisingly responsive.

There's just 4GB of storage, of which about half is available so it's not a great situation. However, if you want to store a decent amount of stuff then there's a microSD card slot which can accept up to 32GB.

In charge of providing power is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM and we weren't shocked at a score of 599 in GeekBench 3 – slightly lower than the Moto E. But somehow, the Kis 3 beat the HTC One mini 2 in GFXBench with 12fps.

Overall performance is perfectly usable, if you keep to the basics. The most frustrating element is how long some things take to load. Web browsing is surprisingly smooth.

The relatively small but removable battery will get you through a day of normal usage. Again, we expected no more.

There's little else to talk of in terms of hardware at this price with just basic Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS on-board.

Like the Moto E, a money saving technique is to only have a rear facing camera so you can still take selfies, it's just a lot harder. The ZTE Kis 3 has a 3Mp camera with no LED flash and it's a pretty bad piece of kit.    

One of the reasons why the ZTE Kis 3 is able to offer reasonable performance is the choice to run an almost completely stock Android, and it's remarkably the latest version, 4.4 KitKat.

There are only minor differences such as the lockscreen and pre-loaded Virgin Media apps.
Despite on-screen buttons now pretty standard for Android smartphones, ZTE sticks with capacitive ones below the display.

If you want a smartphone to do the basics at the cheapest possible price, the ZTE Kis 3 is the phone for you. It's surprisingly decent considering how cheap it is. Forget the camera, but performance is good and it doesn't look too bad either. It's the best smartphone under £50.