Sometimes, you need a new phone but can’t afford to break the bank while getting it. Overall, price matters a lot more than functionality, unique apps, or slick new perks in these cases. On the plus side, there are plenty of great cheap phones to purchase.
The problem? It’s tough to know what the best cheap cell phones are, especially if you don’t have hours to do research yourself.
That’s where we come in. Read on for a detailed breakdown of the seven best cheap phones to consider if you need a new and affordable mobile device.
What’s a “Cheap” Phone? Our Top Picks
What constitutes a cheap mobile device will vary from person to person. For some people, a phone is reasonable if it is less than $800. But for most folks, a cheap smartphone is between $200 and $400.
Generally, you won’t be able to get a new modern smartphone with a touchscreen and up-to-date features or inclusions for anything less than $200. Below that price range, you’re looking at a handset or a pre-owned unlocked phone.
Keep this in mind as you browse. That said, you can find plenty of high-quality, budget-friendly phones for around the $300 range, many of which are less than $300.
Cheaper phones are usually 1 to 2 years old and may run on older operating systems. In addition, they may not have as powerful processors or as good cameras as their modern counterparts.
Still, there are advantages to purchasing cheap phones; for example, if you buy a new affordable phone, you may be able to trade it in for credit when upgrading your old phone for a newer mobile device.
1. Google Pixel 6a
First up is the Google Pixel 6a. While the battery life is nothing to write home about, this stellar smartphone is reasonably cheap, considering everything packed into its chassis.
Like many Google Pixel phones, this model has excellent cameras. It’s no stretch to say that the Google Pixel 6a has the best cameras for any cheap smartphone.
It’s all thanks to computational photography technology. Unlike the iPhone SE, the Pixel 6a comes with a night mode so you can snap quality photos even in lowlight environments.
On top of that, the Pixel 6a comes equipped with a Tensor chipset, which ensures good multitasking capabilities.
This mobile device has a lot of value for money through and through, including a bright display and a reasonable screen size of 6.1 inches. However, it's not the most durable phone on the market, which is something to keep in mind.
2. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G. It comes with a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with 2400 x 1080 P resolution. Although it comes packed with 6 GB of RAM and an Exynos 1280 CPU chipset, its performance is mediocre.
That said, the excellent display boasts a 120 Hz refresh rate and expandable storage of up to 1 TB. On top of that, there’s no denying that the Galaxy A53 5G has an excellent design and aesthetic; it looks and feels great to hold in your hand.
Combine that with software support and a decent camera suite, and it’s clear that this is a great budget phone for fans of the Samsung Galaxy series overall. Of course, it also includes 5G connectivity and a charger for added convenience.
3. Apple iPhone SE
The iPhone SE 2022 model is the best cheap iOS device, full stop. Though it comes with a relatively small 4.7-inch LCD, it's highly affordable and perfect for those who need a functional pocket device that won't strain the wallet as much as the new iPhone 14 Pro.
This iPhone also features fast performance and processing capabilities, all thanks to an A15 Bionic chipset. It also has wireless charging capabilities.
On top of that, the front and rear cameras offer excellent photo-taking quality, at seven megapixels and 12 megapixels, respectively. But note that this phone’s camera system doesn't come with a night mode for low-light pictures or a headphone jack.
This is a very light budget-friendly smart device, as it only weighs 5.09 ounces. While it does have some trade-offs, there's no denying that the iPhone SE 2022 is a great cheap phone for fans of Apple products. Consider this if the iPhone Pro Max is a bit too costly for now.
4. OnePlus Nord N20 5G
The OnePlus Nord N20 5G is an excellent budget phone if your price limit exceeds $300. It runs Android 11 out of the box but is intended to upgrade to Android 12 in the future.
With a Snapdragon 695 CPU and 6 GB of RAM, it offers pretty stellar performance for the price point. It also comes with a 6.43-inch AMOLED display capable of providing up to 2400 x 1080 P resolution.
This lovely display is bolstered even further thanks to excellent battery life and USB-C charging, so you'll be able to stream your favorite shows or browse the Internet for hours before you need to plug it in again.
The phone comes with cameras, but they are pretty underwhelming compared to the phone cameras available on other budget devices in this roundup.
Storage starts at 128 GB, but it is expandable if you like to take many photos or download tons of files. All in all, it’s a tremendous sub-$300 phone through and through.
5. TCL 40 V 5G
The TCL 40 V 5G is an ideal budget phone for Verizon customers. Running on Android version 11, this Verizon-exclusive phone boasts an extremely long battery life, clocking in at nearly 12 hours when charged to full.
Unfortunately, this battery life does not translate to phenomenal performance, as the phone only comes equipped with a Snapdragon 480 5G chipset.
Still, the phone does have a reasonably big display at 6.67 inches. Combined with the long battery life, this could make the TCL 40 V 5G an excellent cheap phone for those who like to stream shows frequently and who don’t mind slow multitasking capabilities aside from this.
The phone starts with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. It has a series of front and rear cameras ranging from 50 megapixels to 2 megapixels in image quality.
It may be the best choice if you are committed to staying on the Verizon network and want a new cheap phone fast.
6. Moto G Power
The Motorola G Power is a 2021 mid-range phone with affordability and top-tier battery life.
This phone can last more than 11 hours from start to finish, at least in the beginning. It weighs 7 ounces, so it's only a little heavier than average and features a 6.6-inch display.
Unfortunately, this display is lackluster, with 1600 x 720 P resolution. The low price may still be enough to overcome this downside, however. For less than $250, you get a phone with a decent camera set and an attractive aesthetic.
The G Power further comes with rear and front cameras that do a decent job of capturing good detail and color in any light environment.
Remember that this phone has only benefited from one Android update, so it may not have the same software features or perks as newer Android phones.
7. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Should you be committed to the Samsung Galaxy series, another older budget option is the Galaxy A32 5G. This budget-friendly option is less than $300, and it has benefited from four years of security patches over its lifespan.
As a result, it's one of the most secure cheap phones on the market today.
It also comes with a 6.5-inch screen. While this is a decent size, it’s far from ultrawide, and the HD+ display leaves something desired for most. It does have a 90 Hz refresh rate, though.
Aside from this, the Galaxy A32 5G comes with a Dimensity 720 processor and a set of 48-megapixel to 13-megapixel cameras. This is a flexible and powerful device for its price range, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage.
Find the Best Budget Phone Today
As you can see, there are plenty of great budget-friendly options if you are looking for a new cheap phone.
We’ve barely scratched the surface — the Google Pixel 6, Apple iPhone 14 or iPhone 13, Moto G Stylus, Galaxy s22 Ultra, and plenty of other Samsung phones may also be ideal for your needs.
Whether your price limit is $300 or $500, there's a smartphone ready for your palm and your pocket. Retailers like Amazon and direct manufacturers like T-Mobile or AT&T also offer great deals that include unlimited LTE data plans.
You can learn even more about these phones with Navi’s Phone Navigator service.
On this page, you’ll be able to compare dozens of different phones to find the perfect smart device for your needs. Check it out today.
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