You can never have too many affordable options when it comes to devices so it's always good news to hear when budget smartphones are released. Some of the newest to hit the market are from ZTE, the Solana 2 and Maven, being carried by Cricket Wireless and AT&T, respectively.

ZTE has produced a complete range of mobile devices, ranking as one of the top manufacturers for mobile handsets around the world. Many members of its lineup are unknown in the United States, but ZTE has been slowly but steadily making its presence felt in the country, its latest effort bringing the budget-friendly Sonata 2 and Maven as reliable alternatives in the smartphone market.

Sporting a 4-inch display with a WVGA resolution at 480 x 800 pixels, the Sonata 2 is the cheaper option of the two, available for just $29.99. It runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and 1GB RAM, and is fitted with a microSD slot boosts internal storage to 32GB, a 2MP front camera, 5MP rear camera and a 1,650 mAh battery. Bonus point: uses scratch-resistant Dragontrail Glass for its display.

As for Maven, it is available from AT&T for $59.99. It features a 4.5-inch TFT LCD display with a FWVGA resolution at 480 x 854 pixels, a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB RAM, expandable internal storage up to 32GB with a microSD card, a VGA front camera, 5MP rear camera and a 2,100 mAh battery. Bonus point: runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop.

To avail of the Sonata 2, customers must qualify for required monthly service plans with Cricket. Eligible plans include the Basic, Smart and Pro plans.

Maven, on the other hand, is part of AT&T's GoPhone offer which will end on September 24 or while supplies last. Customers taking advantage of the offer may get up to three smartphones and must add money to their accounts within 26 days of being activated to avoid cancellations. At the same time, the GoPhone offer cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts from AT&T.

Both the Sonata 2 and Maven are available in stores and online and support 4G technology, 802.11 b/g/n wireless connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0.

Photo: Emily Hildebrand | Flickr

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