What’s The Cheapest Iphone
You’ll notice that we’ve made an exception in pricing here for the $399 iPhone SE. If you’re looking for an affordable new iPhone, it’s the one to get. If all you have is $200, that will get you a used iPhone 8. Don’t go older than that, as older models will start to lose compatibility with new software in the next year or two.
Apple iPhone SE
For more, see our in-depth explanation of which iPhone to buy.
Finally, see our stories on the best cheap phone plans and how to get the best price on a new phone. We also have a few other affordable options in our list of the best phones for seniors. And we’ll be adding new phones here as we review them, so make sure to check back soon.
Nokia 6300 4g: Best Budget
Nokia has been making some of the most popular phones for over a decade, and while its Android smartphones aren’t as well known as some other brands, its budget phones are among the best. The Nokia 6300 4G is a phone that will look familiar if you were a cell phone user before the rise of the smartphone, thanks to its physical number pad and navigational buttons.
Though this phone may look like something from the early 2000s and have a small 2.4-inch screen, it runs apps from 2022. With access to Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and more, you can still be in the know even on a budget. The camera onboard is ok and should be good enough for a quick pic, but it isn’t winning any awards.
A benefit to the smaller screen size is that you’ll have great battery life. Also, if you do happen to run out of battery and need to be at 100% immediately, you can swap it out for a fresh one. There is only 4GB of built-in storage, but it’s expandable up to 32GB. So if you want a speedy phone that will let you check in on your online social life but won’t weigh you down â the Nokia 6300 4G is one to consider.
How To Decide Which Budget Phone To Buy
It can be pretty difficult deciding which of the great budget phones available today you should buy. While the availability of fantastic phones under $500 has exploded over the past few years, you’re still unable to get everything you would get in a more expensive device that’s the compromise you must reach when deciding which device to get.
For most people, the question comes down to whether you want a device that “mimics” the flagship experience but with cheaper, lower-quality components, or whether you can settle for something that has fewer specs but ones that, individually, hold up well.
Perhaps a good example is something like the Google Pixel 4a. At $350, its 1080p display isn’t the best out there, but it’s very good and quite color-accurate for the price. But it lacks a high refresh rate, like the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, for example.
Similarly, its single rear camera is outstanding and will output by far the best photos of any of the other devices in this list. But that’s it there’s no ultrawide or telephoto option, so you’re limited in the kinds of photos you can frame.
It’s also made of plastic high-quality plastic, yes unlike some of the other devices on this list with a more premium fit and finish.
With that said, the Snapdragon 690 inside the N10 5G is faster in many ways than the Snapdragon 730 in the Pixel 4a. As a result, there are myriad reasons, including the aforementioned 5G support, to choose the OnePlus phone over the Pixel.
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How We Picked And Tested
After testing dozens of budget smartphones over the past few years, weve found that most of them arent worth recommending because of problems that outweigh their low prices, such as abysmal performance, bloated software, useless cameras, infrequent or nonexistent updates, or some combination. Here are the things we look for in a phone before recommending it:
Our Pick: Oneplus Nord N200 5g
The OnePlus Nord N200 5G only costs $240, but it has features that you would have paid twice as much to get just last year. Theres a crisp, bright smooth-scrolling 1080p screen, a brand new Snapdragon 480 processor with 5G, and a big 5,000 mAh battery that lasts multiple days. Its already on Android 11 while most other budget phones are still waiting for the update, and OnePluss clean version of Android is uncluttered and easy to use. The body is all plastic, but it feels solid, and the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is responsive. The camera is mediocre at best, but thats the case for any budget Android phone cheaper than the Pixel 4a.
OnePlus makes a clean, thoughtfully modified version of Android known as Oxygen OS. There are no extraneous apps or games preloaded on OnePlus phones, and it uses Google apps for basic functionality wherever possible. You can get this phone unlocked or from T-Mobile, and the carrier version will have a handful of extra apps, but youre never going to have to go through and disable a dozen free-to-play games or redundant messaging apps when setting up the Nord. Oxygen OS has a handful of extra features like password protection for apps and swipe gestures that let you launch apps, turn on the flashlight, and more without even waking up the phone, but its primary selling point is that its fluid and uncluttered.
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Is The Pixel 4a Fast Enough
Like everything else about the Pixel 4a, the phones performance is good enough for the money. You wont get flagship-level smoothness or the highest frame rates in Fortnite. You will get a nearly seamless, lag-free experience in day-to-day use, which is what most people who buy this kind of phone want and expect.
Our resident chiphead Rob Triggs benchmarked the Pixel 4a and noted that its fast enough for a modern mid-range handset when it comes to the real world. The real world part is key in his testing, Rob found that the Snapdragon 730G processor simply doesnt hold up to intensive use like long gaming sessions. The processor starts to slow down after about 25 minutes of heavy use.
See also:The Snapdragon chipset guide
In normal, non-gaming use, the Pixel 4a performs fairly close to phones equipped with the next fastest Snapdragon tier, the 765G.
To wrap up, the Pixel 4a is good enough for most use cases, but dont get it if you want to run high-end games or other processor-intensive apps. If you plan to keep your next phone for more than two years, then you might want to choose a more future-proof Snapdragon 765G-equipped phone.
What To Look For In An Affordable Phone
While budget-friendly phones don’t have all the perks that come along with midrange or flagship models, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a perfectly capable device to suit your needs. Let’s start with the features we believe are absolutely essential when choosing a cheap phone. Keep in mind that most of these recommendations are for smartphones, so if you’re in the market for a flip phone, many of these tips don’t apply.
Battery Life: There are lots of variables to consider when it comes to battery life, but ultimately you want your phone to last at least until the end of the day. If you’re shopping for a phone with a screen smaller than 6 inches, look for a battery capacity of 3,500mAh or higher. For phones with larger screens, you’ll want to look for a minimum battery capacity of 4,500mAh.
Chipset: In Qualcomm’s busy processor line, avoid any number lower than a Snapdragon 460, unless it’s a flip/voice phone. Mediatek’s Dimensity 700 line is also good, with the company’s Helio line being a bit less appealing.
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Defining A Cheap Android Phone
Of course cheap is a relative term. So its worth being more specific about the price range were contemplating here. While $500 is half the price of the typical flagship phone, its hardly cheap. While the cutoff points are a bit arbitrary, phones in the sub-$200 segment are closer to what someone is often looking to spend in this case.
That still leaves plenty of price points however! There are phones at the $50 price point that run stripped-down versions of Android and offer only basic smartphone functionality. For the purposes of this article, lets assume youre still looking for the full Android and smartphone experience.
That leaves the sweet spot somewhere between $100 and $200. Most people would probably consider an Android phone priced at $100 cheap, so its this bracket thats under scrutiny here.
Shop For The Top Budget Smartphones On The Market Without Breaking The Bank
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Buying the best budget smartphone under $300 doesn’t mean compromising on what you want.
Those days are over, and for most people, our experts think you should just buy the Motorola Moto G Power. It costs much less than $300, and has long battery life, a good screen, and plenty of power.
Our roundup has plenty of options to help you find what you’re looking for, but you should also take a look at our general overview of the best smartphones to see your other OS options. If you are dedicated to the iPhone world, youll have to go used because theres nothing in Apples product line up that goes down to $300.
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Samsung Galaxy A32 5g Review: Performance
MediaTek-powered phones arent that common in the US, so seeing one from Samsung of all places was a bit of a shock. The Galaxy A32 5G uses the Dimensity 720 system-on-chip paired with 4GB of RAM. Its not a powerhouse, but this chip lines up well with some of Qualcomms lower-tier offerings like the Snapdragon 480 5G found in the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. In day-to-day use, the Dimensity 720 does well enough, but anything more intensive than browsing social media and checking your messages is where youll notice slowdown.
Gaming can be a chore sometimes on the A32, especially if you need to drop graphics settings to get any sort of reasonable performance. Lighter games will be fine, but anything that requires heavy lifting like Genshin Impact will make the phone noticeably struggle. Thats not surprising.
In Geekbench 5, the Galaxy A32 5G scored 1,642 in multicore. The OnePlus Nord N200 5G managed 1,602 in the same test, so the phones are pretty close to one another. In the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited graphics benchmark, the A32 managed an average of 7.3 frames per second. The Nord N200 scored a lower 5.8 FPS.
Samsung Galaxy A52 5g Compromises Compromises
Look, to get a 5G phone sold down to $500 with this high-quality build and internals requires some compromises. The Snapdragon 750G is mostly a solid chip that performs well in whatever primary app is on-screen, but you’ll notice an extra second or two when switching between apps. I’m not sure how much of this is due to the overly-aggressive closing of background apps on One UI 3.1 and how much is due to the processor with 6GB of RAM, I know memory is not the problem but it’s here and unless you’re an app-switching fiend like me, it’s probably fine.
This screen is made for the great indoors .
What’s less fine is how quickly this screen gets blown out outdoors. I mean, my screen standards are pretty low, but less than an hour outside in the Florida sunshine shocked me with how washed it looked, especially compared to my Pixel 4a, a display that itself doesn’t get all that bright. I’m a “dark mode everything all the time” girl, and I had to disable it just to try and read the screen while walking around EPCOT. Inside, in full shade, or around sunset, the screen looks nice and vibrant, but if you spend a great amount of time outdoors, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Galaxy A52 5G and Pixel 4a screens at max brightness in the shade
The other letdown here is that 5G compatibility is limited to sub-6. Granted, I wasn’t expecting there to be UWB support here considering even the Galaxy S21 didn’t get it, but mmWave would have been very nice to see.
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Moto G 5g Plus: The Best
Price: £240 l
If you’re in the market for a 5G phone, and you’re lucky enough to live in a 5G area, then the Moto G 5G Plus is the absolute cheapest way to access the faster mobile network. Undercutting other 5G phones by a particularly wide margin the next cheapest, the Galaxy A90 5G, is double the price the Moto G 5G Plus proves that you don’t need to pay top dollar for 5G connectivity.
Even if you aren’t fussed about 5G, the Moto G 5G Plus is perhaps one of the most well-rounded smartphones we’ve ever tested. Its battery life is excellent, the cameras are exceptional for the price, and the large, 90Hz screen is an added bonus too. If you don’t want to spend more than £300 on your next smartphone, then the Moto G 5G Plus is a serious contender for your cash.
Read our full Moto G 5G Plus review for more details
Key specs Processor: 2.4GHz Snapdragon 765 Screen: 6.7in, 2,520 x 1,080 Camera: 48MP, 8MP , 5MP , 2MP Storage: 64GB, 128GB Operating system: Android 10
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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Pixel 4a Vs Pixel 3a: Whats New
Compared to the Pixel 3a, the Pixel 4a is very much an incremental update. Thats visible in the familiar design but also throughout the spec sheet.
The key updates concern performance and memory. The Snapdragon 670 processor on the Pixel 3a has been replaced with the 730G, which offers better overall speed and slightly improved graphic performance. RAM and storage have been bumped up to 6GB and 128GB, up from 4GB and 64GB on the Pixel 3a. Thats a welcome update, though its basically the bare minimum Google could get away with in 2020 and beyond.
The screen is slightly larger and slightly taller , while the resolution stays the same. The Pixel 4a definitely looks more modern, giving up the Pixel 3as chunky top and bottom bezels.
Cameras are very similar, and the battery has received only a slight upgrade, to 3,140mAh, up from 3,080mAh. That said, battery life is notably better on the Pixel 4a, thanks to the newer processor.
Cheap Smartphones For Kids
If your child is at the age when they now need a phone to keep in touch, there are plenty of options available not only for cheap phones for kids but also for cheap kid-friendly phone plans that you can pair with a new device.
For younger kids around 10 years old, it might not be the best idea to choose a more expensive smartphone. While they may start using more apps and social media around this age, they might also damage or even lose their phone, so you might be best looking at smartphones around that $200 price mark.
Older children, particularly teenagers, might be a bit more demanding about what type of device they want, and while you might be tempted to give them the latest iPhone theyve been begging you for, keep in mind that many of the mid-range phones have the same great features but with a cheaper price tag. Consider the Samsung Galaxy A series rather than the Galaxy S series, or perhaps OPPO or realme over an iPhone.
There are also some kid-specific smartphones designed specifically with online safety in mind, so its worth putting in some research to see whats available for your budget. Ultimately the choice is yours and youll know what type of phone is best for your child.
The following table shows a selection of Woolworths Mobile postpaid plans from Canstar Blues database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.
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Best For Gaming And Audio
If you spend a lot of time on your phone playing mobile games, then you might benefit from using Asus’ latest gaming phone . It has two touch-sensitive buttons on the edges you can use to map to any game, so you don’t need to tap the screen and block it with your fingers. Alternatively, use Asus’ Kunai 3 Gamepador an Xbox, PlayStation, or Stadia controllerto map physical buttons to all your games. It makes for a much more ergonomic mobile gaming experience.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s one of the most powerful Android phones around, especially when you toggle on X Mode, which enhances performance. It has excellent speakers, not to mention a Quad DAC for the audio jack so you can get high-quality audio with your favorite corded headphones. It also does a great job of dissipating heat and keeping the phone cool if you buy Asus’Aeroactive Cooler 5, you can comfortably game for even longer. And the 6,000-mAh battery allows the phone to keep up.
It has the usual gaming phone flaws, like a camera system that won’t knock your socks off. It also lacks wireless charging, is bulky and heavy, and is not supported on Verizon. It’s also often out of stock. But if you’re a veritable mobile gamer and you wish more phones had headphone jacks, the ROG Phone 5 is for you.
Works on AT& T and T-Mobile