With the holidays soon upon us and the inevitable family chin-wag in-tow, the International Business Times UK offers you five affordable Android smartphones sure to keep you and your family in touch no matter how many miles there are between you.

5) Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro
A nice tiny handset ideal for handbags and skinny jean's pockets.

Without a doubt one of the smallest smartphones on the market the Xperia Mini Pro builds on last year's X10 Mini Pro, fixing many of the device's shortcomings to create a great pocket sized smartphone.

Packing a slightly larger screen the Mini Pro is still an insanely tiny device, measuring in at just 92mm tall and 52mm wide. Yet despite its size, Sony Ericsson still managed to pack some pretty reasonable tech into the tiny-titan.

The new Mini Pro packs an impressive 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor and generous 512MB of RAM. While the spec isn't on-a-par with that of high-end devices like the Xperia Arc, the tech does handle basic functions nicely.

The device's only short-coming -- which depending on the person could also be its biggest selling point -- was the Mini Pro's tiny screen. While the addition of a flip out qwerty keyboard does make typing on the device easy, the tiny screen does detract from the user's experience when checking Twitter and watching a video on YouTube

Sim-Free Price: £210

4) Huawei Blaze

The Huawei Blaze
Get ready to see a whole lot more of Huawei in 2012, the company is expanding rapidly.

One of the new kids on the block, while pretty much all of Huawei's devices are all good value for money, the Blaze sets itself apart, retailing for £100 sim-free.

While the Blaze is no iPhone or Galaxy SII killer, it sets itself apart by managing to offer the complete Android 2.3 experience on a shoe-string budget.

The Blaze houses a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen and 3.2 megapixel camera. The only trouble with the device stems from its sub-par 600MHz processor, which at times can stutter with even the most basic of tasks -- still, for £100 what do you expect?

Sim-Free Price: £100

3) HTC Wildfire S

HTC Wildfire S
The HTC Wildfire S is one of the nicest looking affordable smartphones on the market, shame about its processor.

Offering the same solid design and build that made the original Wildfire great, HTC released the upgraded Wildfire S mid-way through 2011.

Standing 101mm tall and 59mm wide with a metal back the Wildfire S is a pocket friendly smartphone that, were it not for its underpowered processor, would have ranked far higher on this year's International Business Times UK top five chart.

Running off Android 2.3.3 the Wildfire S remains underpowered, housing a piddly 600MHz processor that really impedes the device's ability to take advantage of the Android Marketplace.

That said, those simply looking to surf the internet and check their Facebook status will be happy with the device and its pricier than it really is design.

Sim-Free Price: £150

2) Samsung Galaxy Ace

Samsung Galaxy Ace
The Ace looks really, really nice, but the poor screen resolution lets it down.

Without a doubt the most affordable entry into Samsung's Galaxy range, the Ace looks and feels more expensive than it is.

Despite only housing an 800MHz single-core processor, the Ace manages to remain nippy, handling most tasks quickly and easily. Another of the device's strong points is its 5-mega pixel camera, which is equipped with up to 2x Digital zoom, Flash (LED) and auto focus features.

The only downside stems from the Ace's slightly out-of-date Android 2.2 operating system and sub-par 480x320 3.5 inch screen.

Sim-Free Price: £180

1) ZTE Skate/Orange Monte Carlo

ZTE Skate/Monte Carlo
Minus Orange's bloatware the Monte Carlo is the best affordable handset on the market.

The spiritual successor to its popular San Francisco handset, the Monte Carlo -- also known as the Skate -- boasts several improvements over its older brother.

Running off Google's Android 2.3 gingerbread and housing a pretty nice 5-megapixel camera and large 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen, the Monte Carlo is one of the few budget devices to offer the big-screen smartphone experience for less that £250.

Finishing up in first place, like most budget smartphones, the Monte Carlo's only real shortcoming is its processor. Powered by a slightly budget 800MHZ single-core processor, the device does at times feel noticeably under-powered, sometimes chugging while playing apps -- in our case Angry Birds.

Sim-Free Price: £230 -- £120 pay-as-you-go via Orange