Vodafone has just released news that it's updating its own-brand mobile range with three new handsets, which will be available to buy in time for the end of the year.

The company states that all three handsets, the the Vodafone 553 QWERTY side-slider, the Vodafone 945 Android smartphone and the refreshed Vodafone 543, are due in store "in time for the busy Christmas sales period".

Times certainly have changed, when you consider that when us Pocket-linters were little, we were happy with a couple of tin cans connected with a piece of string for our Christmas Day pressie or maybe even a couple of budget walkie talkies from Tandy.

First up is the 533, which gets a 2.8-inch rotatable touchscreen, whilst the QWERTY keyboard presumably makes communicating online slightly less of a chore. And communication seems to be what this phone is all about as it comes with Opera Mini 5.0 for mobile internet browsing, and shortcuts to social networks.

The 945 gets Android 2.1 and is a followup to the 845 launched in April 2010. Specs include a 3.2-inch capacitive multi-touch screen with haptic feedback, a 5MP camera with flash, WiFi and 300MB of built-in memory that can be built up to 32GB with a Micro SD card.

Finally we come to the 543, which gets a fashion makeover. It comes with all manner of customised covers and phone accessories designed in colourful, on-trend graphics, all of
which are reflective of the Miss Sixty highstreet brand. Sounds ghastly, but is sure to be a hit with the kids. The phone also comes with Vodafone’s innovative pre-pay balance indicator.

There's no word on pricing, but Vodafone says it will be "competitive".

Update: Pocket-lint has just spoken to our man at Vodafone and we were told that the 945 would NOT be coming to the UK. The reason being that the 845 is already available as well as a number of other budget Android handsets.

However, the 553 will arrive on these shores and there are also plans afoot to release budget Android handsets into the Vodafone PAYG range.