No matter how you cut it, the price of flagship smartphones is still a deterrent for many people, especially when some models are priced at $ 1,500 or more. Fortunately, there are some reliable alternatives available, and the days of cheap Android phones that barely work are long gone.

Various manufacturers, including many from China and Korea, have fascinating products that are becoming more popular when we reach the saturation of smartphones. We also see that Samsung, Google and Apple offer more affordable options, all three offering models that support 5G cellular connectivity. In particular, Google is committed to bringing its advanced camera technology to mid-range phones.

Camera performance has been a major difference between flagship and mid-range phones for the past few years, but even today’s affordable phones can help you take decent photos to share with family and friends or on social media. Let’s take a look at some of the best smartphones available for your budget.

You can read more tips for buying phones and how we make our recommendations here.

Also: Best Super Cheap Phones Under $ 100: Top Budget Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

The best cheap phone overall

Display: 6.5 inches with 90Hz refresh rate PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB | Internal memory: 64GB microSD storage Rear cameras: 48MP main, 8MP ultra wide, 5MP macro and 2MP depth sensor Front camera: 13MP camera Weight: 205 g | Battery capacity: 5000mAh

Samsung offers a range of A-series smartphones that are worth considering, with one of the most affordable in the US appearing as the A32 5G. That’s right, for just over $ 200 you get an Android phone that supports 5G mobile networks.

We also find a display with a high refresh rate, 90Hz, and if you’ve used something better than 60Hz, it’s hard to go back to something less than 90Hz. We also find fast charging, NFC and a very capable four rear cameras.

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is only available in great black, but one cannot be too picky about this price.

Professionals:

  • Low price
  • Possibility for display with high refresh rate
  • NFC
  • High capacity battery

cons:

  • Limited internal memory and RAM
  • Reported WiFi connection issues

Google Pixel 5A

Google’s Best Cheap Phone

Google Pixel 5A

Display: 6.34 inches (2400 x 1080 pixels resolution) PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G | RAM: 6GB | Internal memory: 128 GB storage Rear cameras: 12.2MP rear f / 2.0 camera Front camera: 8MP f / 2.0 camera Weight: 143 g | Battery capacity: 4620 mAh

Last year, Google released the Pixel 4A 5G, one of the most affordable 5G phones, for $ 499. Google updated this Pixel 5A phone for $ 50 less than 4A 5G, making 4A essentially obsolete. There are often special offers for the Pixel 5A with a phone priced at $ 399 or less, so watch out for those offers.

The Pixel 5A, see our full review, is aimed at people who want an affordable Pixel phone with Google’s stunning camera software. The 5A also has a 3.5mm audio port, stereo speakers, an aluminum body with IP67 dust / water resistance and at least three years of OS and security updates.

The phone is only available in black as an unlocked phone or with a service provided by Google Fi.

Professionals:

  • Google’s quality camera algorithms
  • Affordable price
  • 5G support
  • Timely and guaranteed software updates for years

cons:

  • Single rear camera
  • There is no support for mmWave 5G

Apple iPhone SE (3rd generation)

The best cheap iPhone

Apple iPhone SE (3rd generation)

Image: Apple

Display: 4.7 inch LCD (1334 x 750 pixel resolution) PROCESSOR: Apple A15 | RAM: Unknown Internal memory: 64/128 / 256GB options Rear cameras: 12MP main Front camera: 7MP camera Weight: 144 g | Battery capacity: Unknown

Apple satisfied those looking for a small phone a few years ago with the iPhone SE from 2016. In 2020, it introduced another SE model in a larger form factor, which continues the tradition of the front fingerprint sensor Touch ID. The 2022 iPhone SE (3rd generation) is now available at a very affordable starting price of $ 429 in three color options – Midnight, Starlight and PRODUCT Red.

Full review: Apple iPhone SE (2022): Fast as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but half the price

The latest model supports Sub-6 5G (mmWave not supported) and a new Apple processor with the same traditional display size, front Touch ID fingerprint sensor and single rear camera. The processor provides improved performance, longer battery life and improved photographic results with the same hardware.

The iPhone SE is still essentially an iPhone 8 with improved interior features to match the modern iPhone 13 range. For those who want a smaller and cheaper iPhone, this is the one to get. There are still many fans of Touch ID, especially if you wear a mask regularly.

Professionals:

  • This is an iPhone … for $ 429
  • Solid battery life
  • Excellent software support
  • Small phone
  • IP67 dust / water resistant

cons:

TCL 30 V 5G

The best cheap 5G Android smartphone

TCL 30 V 5G

Image: TCL

Display: 6.67 inches (2400 x 1080 pixels resolution) PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 | RAM: 4GB | Internal memory: 128GB microSD storage Rear cameras: 50MP basic, 5MP ultra wide, 2MP macro Front camera: 16MP camera Weight: 200 g | Battery capacity: 4500mAh

TCL 30 V 5G is Verizon’s cheapest Android smartphone with 5G support, so if you’re a Verizon customer, this phone serves as a solid gateway to 5G service. The full price from Verizon is $ 299.99 with available and monthly payment options. The phone supports 18W fast charging and can also be used as a WiFi hotspot.

TCL is known for its display technology and carries NXTVISION technology in the phone with TCL 30 V 5G, so you can experience high quality streaming video content over the Verizon network or local WiFi connection. Dual speakers also help enhance the experience.

Professionals:

  • Affordable price
  • Good quality, large display
  • High capacity battery
  • 3.5 mm audio port
  • Reliable rear fingerprint sensor

cons:

TCL 20SE

Smartphone with the best price

TCL 20SE

Display: 6.82 inches (1640 x 720 pixel resolution) PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 | RAM: 4GB | Internal memory: 128GB microSD storage Rear cameras: 48MP main, 5MP ultra wide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor Front camera: 13MP camera Weight: 206 | Battery capacity: 5000mAh

TCL 20SE is not a gaming phone or a phone that will help you easily take award-winning photos. As a TCL phone, it is focused on the display experience and the basics. It has no 5G connectivity and will receive 18 months to 24 months of Android security patches, probably released on a quarterly basis. It is also a very large phone – with a 6.82-inch display and a thickness of 9.14 mm.

All this costs only $ 189.99. There aren’t many phones priced under $ 200 and the TCL 20SE seems to be well built with a pretty cool modern design. I enjoyed using the large messaging display and enjoying Google TV movies, so there are definitely ways to enjoy the optimized visual experience of your phone.

Professionals:

  • Low price
  • Good quality, large display
  • High capacity battery
  • Attractive, well-built design

cons:

  • Great phone
  • No NFC
  • Mediocre camera results

Which is the best cheap phone?

Samsung’s Galaxy A32 5G is the best budget phone. We tested a wide range of budget phones and analyzed the processor, cameras, battery life and more. Galaxy A32 5G comes out on top with many impressive features and a price below $ 220.

Phone

Price

OS

Storage

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

$ 280

Android

64GB

Google Pixel 5A

$ 442

Android Snapdragon

128 GB

Apple iPhone SE 3rd Gen

$ 429

iOS

Up to 256GB

TCL 30V 5G

$ 199

Android

128 GB

TCL20SE

$ 190

Android

128 GB

Which cheap phone is right for you?

The best cheap phone depends on what you need to do. If you take a lot of pictures or use it to play music while working out or in the gym, you will want a phone with a lot of internal memory to handle everything. If you just want a functional phone that can make both traditional and video calls, as well as Internet access, you don’t need so much internal memory; but you need to choose the latest 5G and Wi-Fi connection to be able to take full advantage of your new phone.

Choose this …

If you want…

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Well-surrounded affordable smartphone

Google Pixel 5A

Affordable Google-based smartphone

Apple iPhone SE 3rd generation

Cheap iPhone for brand loyalty

TCL 30 V 5G

Budget phone with Android

TCL 20SE

Phone with the best price for the price

How did we choose these budget phones?

We have chosen a variety of cheap smartphones with different operating systems to cater to customers with different preferences and tastes. We chose both iOS and Android-based phones with price tags that will easily fit almost any modest budget.

Which is the best cheap Samsung phone?

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is Samsung’s best cheap phone. It has an impressive processor and camera and even comes with 5G capabilities for less than $ 250.

Which is the best budget iPhone?

The best budget iPhone is the iPhone SE (3rd generation). It comes with all the best features of Apple: sleek design, iOS and long battery life – without the high price.

Are there any alternative cheap phones that are worth considering?

There are many options if you are looking for an affordable smartphone; Whether you want to upgrade your current phone cheaply, you want an affordable home phone for your teens or a cheap smartphone for your older parents. Here is a short list of other cheap smartphones that we thought were a great choice:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-cheap-phone/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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