Best Cheap Smartphone

Best Cheap Smartphone – 01 Best overall: Pixel 6a 02 Galaxy A53 5G 03 Moto G Stylus 5G 04 Galaxy A32 5G 05 iPhone SE 06 Galaxy A13 5G 07 Nord N200 08 Galaxy A03s 09 Best outside the US 10 What to look for in a good phone market FAQ 11

High-end Android phones can come with bells and whistles, but if you temper your expectations, you can get a great phone for very little. Our team has tested countless smartphones in all price ranges over the years, and for this list, we have selected eight of the best budget smartphones on the market. These phones offer the best value for money, from $450 to $140. Check out our buyer’s guide if you’re not sure what to look for, or just keep reading to see our pick of the best cheap phones to buy in 2022. Looking for phones under $450, we still have the best list. A phone under $300.

Best Cheap Smartphone

Best Cheap Smartphone

The Pixel 6a packs some of the best features of the Pixel 6 into a smaller, more affordable package. It sports Google’s powerful Tensor chipset, a great camera, and great software.

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The Pixel 6a may stretch the definition of a cheap phone to $450, but we found it totally worth it. We like fast and convenient phones, often forget that it is a budget mobile phone. We’re also impressed with Google’s commitment to improving the phone, which means this is an investment that will stay with you for years.

The camera is also the best you can find in this price range and even compared to flagship phones. Every photo we took was bright and sharp, with Night Sight mode that didn’t disappoint. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the ultra-wide rear camera supports Night Sight, which most phones we’ve tested in this price range don’t. We also found the camera app to be simple, but that’s fine if you just want good point and shoot performance without unnecessary bells and whistles.

One of the main reasons that the Pixel 6a can achieve great results is Google’s proprietary Tensor processor. Without going into details, this is the most powerful processor we’ve tested on this list, except for the iPhone SE (but no Android phone can compete with it). We experienced almost no stuttering when performing daily tasks such as email and social media. However, we found that it heats up quickly, even under light load.

All that energy has a cost, and that cost is battery life. In our tests, the 4,210mAh battery struggled to last all day, usually requiring a recharge before going to bed with normal use. When you play games or stream for hours, expect to need a top-up mid-day. The Pixel 6a maxes out at 18W, which in our tests was fully charged in about 1 hour 45 minutes. However, there is no charger in the box, so if you don’t have one, check our charger guide for compatible options. No wireless charging here.

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In terms of actual phone usage, Google’s software is as clean as it gets. You won’t find any bloatware or ads anywhere (unless you have YouTube Premium). You can get some pre-installed Google apps to expand the 128GB storage, which most competitors can’t do. We found the Pixel UI update to be the easiest to adjust, even if you’re new to Android phones. The phone also has Pixel-specific features like Magic Eraser to edit photos, real-time offline translation, audio captions on videos and more. The list of special features will also grow over time as Google releases software updates.

The Google Pixel 6a packs some of the Pixel 6’s best flagship features into a more affordable package.

Physically, the Pixel 6a is a pretty small phone by modern standards with a 6.1-inch display. We found it more than small enough to be comfortable to use with one hand We also like the decision to choose a flat screen instead of a curved waterfall screen. It’s easier to use with one hand because you don’t have to worry about accidentally touching both sides of the screen. The screen itself has nice colors, but we think the 60Hz refresh rate is a little low at this price. The Galaxy A53 5G below offers a 120Hz screen for the same price.

Best Cheap Smartphone

On the network side, the Pixel 6a is ready for 5G connectivity, although the unlocked mode is limited to the slower sub-6GHz connection. There is an mmWave compatible version from Verizon, but it costs another $50. Outside of major US cities, it’s unlikely to make a difference, so we recommend going with the standard model. This chipset also supports Bluetooth 5.2, but there is no headphone jack.

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Ultimately, the Pixel 6a is our top pick for those looking for an affordable phone. It’s not the cheapest you can buy, but it offers great value for money and plenty of features you won’t find on any other phone at any price.

We recommend the Pixel 6a to most users, but it might not be for everyone under the sun. To widen your options, we’ve picked 7 more cheap phones that might suit your needs, budget or otherwise better. Here is the best of the rest:

In addition to good battery life and a reasonable price, it is the first Galaxy A phone to offer a four-year Android warranty and five years of security updates.

Samsung has long dominated the budget segment in the US, and for good reason. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is one of our cheapest phones, giving the Pixel 6a some stiff competition. While it’s still on the upper end of the budget at over $450, we found it to be one of the best-rounded phones you can buy, with 5 years of industry-leading software support to keep it going longer than other options.

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While it doesn’t quite match the pace of the Pixel 6a when it comes to camera performance, it does have a quad camera setup that we consider to be one of the most versatile in this price range. The camera hardware is very good, and while it lacks some of the Pixel’s brilliance, we were overall impressed with the color accuracy. It also lacks the oversaturation that has plagued Samsung phones in the past. That said, macro lenses are not as useful as prime, ultra-wide, or photo lenses used in everyday life.

Another thing we like about this phone is the battery life. In our tests, we got nearly two full days of use from a single charge. Mainly because of the 5,000 mAh battery. Charging is also quite fast at 25W. It took about 85 minutes for our test, which is impressive considering the size of the cell. However, again there is no charger included in the box so you will need to purchase a compatible charger.

The display is one area where the Galaxy A53 5G has others unclear at this price point. We found the 120Hz Super AMOLED display to be sharp, bright and fast, with more options to configure to reduce performance and save battery – although we only ever found battery life to be an issue.

Best Cheap Smartphone

The only real downside is performance. The Exynos 1280 processor didn’t really respond to our benchmarking tests, although we found it fast enough for everyday use. It also comes with 128GB of storage in the base model, with the added benefit of a microSD card slot for easy expansion.

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Motorola already has the Moto G Stylus phone on the market, but this new device is meant to beef up the vanilla version by adding a 5G-capable processor and a bigger battery. There is nothing else that differentiates the two cell phones apart from the design tweaks. A little bit.

If you’ve always wanted to try a premium smartphone with a stylus like the Galaxy S22 Ultra but never had a deep enough pocket, the Moto G Stylus 5G might be for you. It’s actually our favorite S22 Ultra option on the market, despite being less than half the price.

The eponymous stylus fits neatly into the body of the phone, which we noted is relatively large in our review with a 6.8-inch screen. We didn’t think the FHD+ LCD screen itself was particularly impressive, although the 120Hz refresh rate offered a smooth scrolling experience in everyday use.

One thing the Moto G Stylus 5G does really well is battery life. Like the options above, it has a 5,000mAh battery that lasted a day and a half in our tests. Performance is also solid, with the Snapdragon 695 5G delivering smooth performance and solid frame rates in demanding games like Asphalt 9 or Genshin Impact during our testing period.

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