1. Samsung Galaxy A51
The Galaxy A51 is probably the best mid-ranger you can get from Samsung. It sports a great display and a fantastic build quality, considering the price of the phone. It also has dual-SIM capabilities and four rear cameras that take decent photos.
The handset comes equipped with a headphone jack and a microSD card slot. The battery has a capacity of 4,000mAh and should get you through the day. Other specs and features worth mentioning include a punch-hole display, Android 10 with Samsung’s One UI on top, and 128GB of storage.
However, the performance of the device isn’t the best, which you can read more about in our review here. Additionally, the in-display fingerprint scanner is slow and often unreliable. Despite these drawbacks, the Galaxy A51 is still one of the best cheap phones you can get.
2. Google Pixel 4A
Google took everything we loved about the 2019 Pixel 3A and made it even better with the Pixel 4A. First off, it’s cheaper. It’s rare to see a phone improve and drop in price. The 4A also has a spectacular camera (the same main sensor as the flagship Pixel 4), allowing it to compete with phones three times its price. You can’t find another device in this bracket that can take the kind of low-light photos the Pixel 4A can
That’s not the only reason why the Pixel 4A, at its $350 price, is our favorite Android phone. It’s also speedy, the battery lasts a full day, and the 5.8-inch OLED screen looks ultra-modern. It’s compact too! Google slimmed down the bezels (the edges around the display), and it makes this one of the best small Android phones around. Other perks include a plastic body (which means the rear won’t shatter if you drop it), NFC for Google Pay, and a headphone jack. This phone will also get monthly security updates and Android version upgrades for three years, which isn’t guaranteed even on pricier phones.
3. Nokia 7.2
What makes the Nokia 7.2 one of the best cheap phones you can get is a combination of decent specs, an eye-catching design, and a great software experience. The handset is part of the Android One family, which means it runs a stock version of Google’s OS.
The mid-ranger is powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset that’s backed by 4GB of RAM in the US. It features three cameras at the back and a fingerprint scanner that sits below it. Other specs and features worth mentioning include a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a notch, a 3,500mAh battery, and a headphone jack. You can check out the rest of the specs below.
The Nokia 7.2 ships with Android Pie onboard but can be upgraded to Android 10. You can get the phone from Amazon via the button below.
4. iPhone SE 2nd Gen
The iPhone SE is perfect for people who want an affordable phone from Apple without all the bells and whistles on its higher-end models. If you’re OK without features like Face ID for authentication or a large screen, the SE works great. It relies on your fingerprint with Touch ID to unlock, and yes, that means the home button is back.
It’s also a tiny thing, similar in size to the Pixel 4A—not as compact as the 4-inch iPhone SE from 2016 or the iPhone 12 Mini, but the 4.7-inch screen still is very small compared to other phones today. You do get some modern amenities like wireless charging and IP67 water resistance, but sadly the headphone jack didn’t make the cut.
5. Moto G Power
Known as the Moto G8 Power in some markets, this phone’s USP is its battery life. It packs a 5,000mAh cell that can last up to three days, according to Motorola. The battery should be good for 150 hours of music playback or 27 hours of video binging. Not bad!
The G Power is a mid-range smartphone packing the Snapdragon 665 chipset under the hood along with 4GB of RAM. It has a modern design with a punch-hole display and comes with three rear cameras. It also sports a headphone jack and supports expandable storage. All these things combined make the Moto G Power one of the best cheap phones you can currently get.
6. Nokia 5.3
You have to lower your expectations for any smartphone that starts at $200, but that’s when the Nokia 5.3 swoops in to impress. Unlike Motorola’s budget phones, you get NFC so you can pay at select stores with the phone via an app like Google Pay, and HMD promises two years of Android version upgrades and three years of monthly security updates. That kind of software support on a phone this cheap is rare.
The 6.55-inch LCD screen doesn’t have the sharpest resolution, but it gets decently bright, and the battery lasts a full day with average use. You also get other perks like a headphone jack, fingerprint sensor, and MicroSD slot to add on to the 64 gigabytes of storage that come with it. What you do lose out on are capable cameras—results are OK in daylight, but you’ll have a tough time getting anything usable in low light. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Verizon’s network, either.
If you’re on AT&T or T-Mobile and don’t use your phone much—mostly for light messaging, social media browsing, video streaming, or music—then this Nokia will do the job. It’s usually on sale for less than $180 too.
7. TCL 10 Pro or TCL 10L
You might know TCL for its affordable TVs, but now it’s selling affordable phones. Don’t worry, it’s not the company’s first rodeo
The 10 Pro has excellent performance with the Snapdragon 675 chip inside, and its 6.5-inch OLED screen is sharp and bright, even in broad daylight. The 4,500-mAh battery keeps it running for a full day, and the four-camera system does well in a variety of lighting conditions, though it’s still not as good as the Pixel 3A. It feels more premium because it’s a glass sandwich, but that also makes it fragile. .
Its battery can go past a full day, and while it can take some nice photos during daylight hours, the lack of a night mode on this model means your low-light shots are going to look quite poor.
The plastic-backed 10L is more durable and has similarly good performance, even if it uses the slower Snapdragon 665 processor
8. Moto G Fast
Things start to get a lot similar as we get further down this list. The Moto G Fast is another excellent addition from the king of the affordable segment, but it shares a lot in common with the Nokia 5.3. Not only is it priced the same for now, but the specs are largely identical as well.
The Moto G Fast comes with a 6.4-inch HD+ display, is powered by the Snapdragon 665 processor, and also comes with a 4,000mAh battery. The Nokia 5.3 has the advantage in terms of storage and RAM and the camera setup (on paper). However, G Fast does have a water-repellent coating, which comes in handy if you get caught in the rain.
At the end of the day, both are excellent options if you’re looking for one of the best cheap phones you can get right now.
9. Moto E
If you just need a smartphone to do smartphone things and don’t want to spend much money, take a strong look at the Moto E.
The phone is aimed at undemanding users and comes with a 6.2-inch HD+ display, a 3,550mAh battery, and just 2GB of RAM. Other specs and features worth mentioning include the Snapdragon 632 chipset, a headphone jack, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
There’s only 32GB of storage available, but you can expand it with the help of a microSD card. The Moto E runs Android 10 with Motorola’s light skin on top, which almost makes you feel you’re using a stock Android device. It’s definitely one of the best cheap phones you can get, although it’s not for everyone.
10. Nokia 2.4
This is the last and cheapest phone on this list. The Nokia 2.4 takes the place of its predecessor on this list and offers as much bang for the buck as the latter. That said, this phone won’t impress you with its specs, but it’s the price point that makes it attractive. It also comes with a few important upgrades compared to the Nokia 2.3.