Best Low Cost Android Phone

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How To Choose The Best Budget Smartphone For You

Affordable, not cheap: 8 best low-cost Android smartphones (2016)

Picking the perfect budget phone isnt easy, and there are all sorts of factors to consider when making your purchase. Before you head to the checkout, youll want to make sure you have all the bases covered. To make your decision a bit easier, weve highlighted the main criteria you need to look out for.

Should I buy a phone on contract or SIM-free?

Budget smartphones are, as youd expect, cheaper to buy outright than other handsets, with prices starting at around £50 in some cases. As a result, if you have the cash, we recommend you buy one SIM-free. You can then find the right SIM-only deal from any network and sell your phone when you want to upgrade. If you dont have the cash, youll need to go for a contract deal, but these dont tend to be great value for budget phones as you end up spending much more by the time your contract ends.

Which smartphone operating system do I need?

With budget phones, there isnt much choice when it comes to mobile operating systems. Bar one exception, every budget smartphone runs Googles OS, Android. Rest assured, though: Android is easy to use, whether youre a first-time user or mobile veteran. Just check which Android version the phone is running as older versions may no longer be supported with regular security updates and lack essential features.

What should I look for in a smartphone display?

Battery life and performance

How much storage do I need?

A Premium 5g Pick Under $500

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung packs quite a punch

Want a flagship Samsung phone without paying premium prices? Make sure to check out the Galaxy A52!

  • Can be a bit laggy with heavy use
  • “Fast” charging is only 15W

Samsung’s lineup of mid-tier Android phones has gotten a lot better in recent years, with one of the latest examples being the Galaxy A32 5G. This is at the mid-range of Samsung’s more affordable Galaxy phones, and it should absolutely be on your shortlist.

As hinted at above, this is the cheap Android phone to get if you care about cameras. The heart of the Galaxy A32 5G is its 48MP primary camera, and photos taken with it look excellent. There’s a lot of detail, good dynamic range, and vibrant colors. To help expand the types of pictures you can take, the A32 5G is also equipped with an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 5MP portrait camera.

Outside of the camera department, the Galaxy A32 5G is just as impressive. It delivers a quality 6.4-inch TFT display at 720p, decent performance in day-to-day tasks thanks to its MediaTek MT6853 Dimensity 720 5G, and a beefy 5,000 mAh battery that allows long endurance. Tie all of that together with USB-C charging and a headphone jack, and you end up with quite the package.

Why You Should Trust Us

Over the past 10 years, Ive written more than a million words about Android phones, tablets, and software on sites such as Wirecutter, Android Police, ExtremeTech, and Tested. Ive also lived with dozens of different Android phones as my daily drivers during that time. I use and review more phones every year than most people will own in their entire lives.

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Best Under $100 Phone: Moto E6

Why you should buy this: The Moto E6 is ultra-affordable, and though its lacking in some areas, it provides a satisfactory smartphone experience.

Who its for: Those who want a phone capable of texting, calling, web browsing, and running social media apps without paying more than $100.

Why we picked the Moto E6:

The Moto E6 is the most affordable phone Motorola offers, which means you have to accept a few compromises. For example, this phone isnt scheduled to receive the latest Android updates, and the camera isnt the greatest.

Under the hood, theres a Snapdragon 435 chipset and 2GB of RAM so scrolling through social media apps and browsing the web shouldnt be an issue. There are only 16GB of storage onboard, but a microSD card slot lets you boost this up to 256GB if need be. Theres also a headphone jack on the rear, but no fingerprint sensor. Theres also no USB-C charging, so youre stuck with a Micro USB port instead. The software experience is very close to stock Android without a lot of bloatware, running Android 9.0 Pie. NFC is also missing, which means no contactless Google Pay payments, but there is a handy splash-resistant coating that means the E6 should survive rainy days.

Theres a 3,000mAh removable battery inside and up to 29 hours of battery life promised, so you can expect it to make it through the day. As youd expect at this price point, the camera is nothing to write home about, but its perfectly serviceable, with a 13MP main and 5MP selfie cam.

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Affordable blowers for every budget

Unless youre a mob boss who doesnt believe in banks, you wouldnt normally walk around with a grand in your pocket. Yet buy a flagship smartphone now and thats basically what youre doing. So heres our selection of the best budget phones available today.

Dont feel like dropping a wad of notes on a fancy phone? Good news: you dont have to. From big-name budget blowers to affordable handsets from lesser-known mobile makers, the list below features a whole host of stellar smartphones all for less than £300.

Sure, youll have to accept a couple of compromises think plastic shells and sub-par secondary cameras. But smartphone quality has improved so much that the best cheap phones today benefit from brilliant screens, strong battery life and performance to put fear into the flagships.

So whether you want a main mobile for less or a backup blower than wont break the bank, youll find your ideal affordable phone in our best budget phone buying guide.

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The Best Budget Camera Phones Available Now

Reasons to avoid

There really is no phone quite like the Redmi Note 10 Pro. For starters, youve got that camera with its huge megapixel count. 108MP is a huge number, let alone at this phones starting price. More than just empty specs, the Note 10 Pro takes fantastic photos with a shallow depth of field, grabs stacks of detail, and shoots video at up to 4K resolution.

Believe it or not, the imaging credentials of the Redmi Note 10 Pro get better when you factor in the secondary cameras. Theres an 8MP ultra-wide camera for GoPro style, expansive photos, and theres a telemacro camera, normally reserved for pricier phones. This 5MP sharpshooter might not pack the pixel-counts of the main or ultra-wide cameras, but for anyone who likes close-up photography, its a treat, capable of capturing glorious textures and macro photos inaccessible to most smartphones.

More than just a camera phone, the Note 10 Pro also matches excellent photography chops with a gorgeous AMOLED screen and sleek design. While it isnt a powerhouse, and it doesnt support 5G mobile data speeds, given everything it can do, those are two omissions from its spec sheet were okay with, especially if excellent photos on a budget is your number one goal when picking up your next smartphone.

Reasons to avoid

Perhaps the best low-cost all-rounder of 2021 is the Realme GT – it’s powerful, it charges quickly, and it has some pretty good cameras too.

Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid

Recommended By Our Editors

Stereo Speakers: A handful of budget-friendly phones have stereo speakers and even advanced features such as custom tuning and Dolby audio. Though no phone is going to sound as good as even an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker, it’s definitely an upgrade over a single driver.

Splash Resistance: Though we’ve yet to see a budget offering with an official ingress protection rating, a handful of affordable phones now feature splash resistance. They’re usually treated with a nanocoating such as P2i and can withstand rain and other minor splashes, but not a drop in the pool.

Strengthened Glass: If you’re spending more than $100 on a phone, it should have strengthened glass to protect the display from crack and scratches. Gorilla Glass 3 seems to be the standard for most budget models, but we’ve seen a few with Gorilla Glass 5. In general, each generation of Gorilla Glass is softer than the last phones with Gorilla Glass 5 displays are less likely to shatter when dropped, but they’re also more likely to accumulate hairline scratches.

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Best Under $200 Phone: Moto G Power

Why you should buy this:

Who its for: Anyone seeking a stylish budget phone with a big screen.

Why we picked the Moto G Power:

The Moto G range has been our go-to budget smartphone pick for the past few years, and while Motorola is facing more competition every year, the Moto G Power is still excellent value for the money. In fact, this years model is even cheaper than last years, starting at $199. We, however, suggest buying the $249 model, which ups storage to 64GB and RAM to 4GB. Its a great-looking phone, with a strong build and a hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera. And, it has a massive 5,000mAh battery, which should last at least two days of use.

Plenty of screen real estate is a definite draw for this phone and the Moto G Power boasts a 6.6-inch display. Even though it has a 720p resolution, that lower resolution should help make the battery last even longer and it still does the job just fine. Take a look under the hood and youll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor inside with either 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

The Moto G Power also has a triple-lens camera, with a 48MP main camera with an f/1.7 aperture, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. In good conditions with plenty of light, it can capture some lovely shots and the portrait mode is great for snapping shots of friends and family with blurred backgrounds. The front-facing camera is rated at 8 megapixels.

How We Test Cheap Phones

Affordable, not cheap: the 5 best low-cost Android smartphones (2015)

We evaluate budget-priced phones the same way we do flagships. We perform real-world testing and synthetic benchmarks over several days to evaluate it’s performance and value. This includes our own battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over cellular at 150 nits of screen brightness. The devices that make our best phone battery life list tend to last over 11 hours.

In terms of performance, we use Geekbench 5 to measure overall speed and compare versus phones in the same price range. And the same thing goes for GFXBench for graphics testing. We also perform our own video editing/transcoding testing using the Adobe Premiere Rush app to gauge real-world speed.

For evaluating cameras on cheap phones, we will take multiple photos in different conditions and will use other affordably priced phones in the same scenarios in order to make side-by-side comparisons.

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Excellent Performance For The Price

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

A Nord for North America

OnePlus finally brought a Nord phone to the U.S., packed with a quad-camera system, 90Hz display, and 5G compatibility.

  • Tons of bloatware
  • No NFC or official IP rating

POCO gained notoriety a few years ago as Xiaomi’s breakout budget brand and earned even more respect after outperforming many other flagships in MKBHD’s annual blind camera tests on YouTube. Its phones also typically have a flair for the dramatic in terms of their design. That is most certainly the case with the eye-popping POCO M3, particularly in its POCO Yellow color variant.

In addition to bold colors, the camera housing on the back of the M3 is visually distinct you’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it. It takes up nearly a quarter of the rear panel and houses a triple camera system with a 48MP primary lens, along with a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP portrait camera. In addition, you get an 8MP selfie shooter on the front, all powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 662 processor. The phone comes with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage.

The M3 is capable of 18W wired fast charging, but it’s not likely you’ll need to top up too much. This battery champ packs a 6,000mAh cell, which with its 1080p display and modest SOC, should keep you powered for up to two full days.

The biggest downsides to the phone are a lack of NFC, no official IP rating, and it ships with Android 10. On the plus side, though, you do get a built-in headphone jack!

Samsung Galaxy A52 5g: Samsung’s Best

Despite what Samsung’s slick adverts would have you believe, your smartphone buying options aren’t limited to £1,000+ flagships. Yes, some expensive Samsung phones make this list, but if you’re after something with a softer impact on your wallet, then the Galaxy A55 5G is just the ticket.

The Galaxy A51 is a 6.5in handset with swish looks and features that are more befitting of handsets that cost twice the price. It’s powered by a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor, and it also has a 64MP camera with a 12MP wide and a pair of 5MP macro and depth sensors. Big, powerful, and good-looking, Samsung’s Galaxy A52 5G is a no-brainer for the budget-conscious buyer.

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Best For Scrapes: Rca Low Cost Android Phone

If you want nothing but a phone that is convenient, this rca low cost android phone is certainly a right investment. The rca low cost android phone is portable, is very intuitive, it is strong and has a nice design. Phone, charger, headphones, usb cord, screen protector , battery, user manual, quick start guide, and a free protective case. Also, the cost of the phone is great, is unknown, It allows for more storage and has a very good design.

The cost comes with 1 year us based warranty service. Above all, the rca low cost android phone has face unlock and has a solid design.

Most buyers agree that the phone features work fine, plus they have done it often enough. Moreover, a few say that the cost features, etcgoogle command is little of a nuisance, however. In addition, they also found that the costs are mistaken, or at& t lied, it is 4g.

Top Customer Quotes:

  • This is made in China at a low cost.
  • This works with the mobile and the gsm network.
  • This will accept any service requiring a sim card.
  • This is perfect for its intended purpose.

Moto E: Best On Verizon

Selling HIGH Quality Products For LOW Price

The Moto E6 has many exciting features, including a 5.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 435 chipset, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage with a MicroSD slot, 13MP camera, and a 3000mAh battery.

But the most significant advantage is that you get a clean Android interface, making the phone a delight to use. Another exciting feature is the splash-resistant coating, ensuring the Moto E6 can withstand the occasional splash of rain.

The unlocked variant of the Moto E6 is a bit more expensive. However, the Verizon model is available for under $90, and the TracFone variant comes in at $40, making it a fantastic choice.

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Should You Buy A Cheap Phone Or Wait For Last Years Flagship To Get Cheaper

Flagships have been climbing in price recently, but if youre willing to wait and look at flagship phones from a year or two ago, then you can get them much cheaper. Almost all Android phone manufacturers offer discounts on older flagships and those discounts get deeper the older the phone gets. On the other hand, the general quality of budget phones has improved greatly in recent years and phone design moves very quickly, so a midrange device today will likely match a two-year-old flagship on performance and may boast a more modern design.

Best For People: Tracfone Low Cost Android Phone

Best part: tracfone low cost android phone costs comparatively cheap and it is available to ship in 24 hours. The tracfone low cost android phone is designed for sound quality, has a charging port and it works well with a removable battery. You do not need to buy a separate sim card. This phone does come with a sim card that is ready to activate.

Above all, the tracfone low cost android phone is great for unlimited talk, is worth the money and it is impressive.

Most buyers agree that the phone comes with free airtime and also makes more expensive models too. In addition, they strongly agree that the cost is used to apple but it is easy to use. Also, they also found that the cost comes with 30 days, 60 days or 120 days of service. Overall, for almost all customers, it was just what they wanted.

Top Customer Quotes:

  • These features will not work.
  • This is a great phone for people on a budget.
  • This is great for an mp3 player for outdoor bluetooth speaker.
  • This is getting better and it is very simple.

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Best Battery Life: Moto G Power

Motorola

Why It Made The Cut: While it may lack the technical luster of pricier models, it can run up to three days without needing to be plugged in.

Specs: Dimensions: 6.6 x 3 x 0.4 inches Screen: 6.4 inch FHD+ Max Vision display Refresh Rate: 90Hz Camera: 16MP Rapid-Focus, 2MP Macro Vision, 8MP 118-degree ultra-wide angle RAM: 4GB

Cons: Outdated graphical capabilities

No matter how much money you spend on an Android phone, there are going to be at least a few instances a week where you scramble for your charger as your devices battery dips into the red. Motorola designed an entire Android phone to alleviate this anxiety with the Moto G Power.

Not only will this phone charge up and stay charged, but it will hold it for up to three days. Thats a stark difference against even the most premium models, which will last for a single day, in the best cases. For a phone that puts battery life above all else, its capabilities are still impressive. The Qualcomm 665 processor and 4GB of RAM is enough for quick app usage, and even a fair amount of gaming capabilities. Even the 16MP camera is way better than it needs to be. The place the Motorola lacks power is in its screen, which is not only 720p, but even looks pixelated from certain angles. As ancient as the visuals feel, its a sturdy and powerful workforce. And its so affordable that it may be prudent to invest in one to use in emergencies.

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