One of the best things about the Android ecosystem is the availability of really affordable phones for as little as $150. By comparison, the cheapest iPhone is based on an outdated design and starts at $429. However, choosing the right one can be a bit difficult as cutting the price of the phone can sometimes lead to too many compromises. So to help you out, we’ve tested a bunch of the most popular options and compiled a list of our favorite cheap Android phones.

Editor’s Note (5/9/24): Google announced the Pixel 8a, its latest mid-range smartphone. The 6.1-inch phone starts at $499 and, as expected, takes many of its cues from last year’s flagship Pixel 8 series. We’ll have a full review in the coming days and update this guide accordingly. For now, you can check out our hands-on review for more details on what to expect. Google says it will continue to sell Pixel 7aour present boast choose at a discounted price, so it can continue to be worth it. However, most will have to wait until we get to test the new Pixel.

We tend to define a budget phone as costing between $150 and $350. Any lower and the device risks suffering from too many compromises, and above that you’re moving to more expensive mid-range phones (if you’re willing to spend more, we’ve called out a few of our favorites at the very end of this guide).

But for those with little freedom of movement, there are some things to consider. For example, a child may be better off with a less expensive device, especially if it is primarily for emergencies or texting parents (rather than social media). At the higher end of that price spectrum, phones under $350 have come a long way thanks to improved performance, better cameras, and nicer displays. This makes them a viable alternative to premium flagships, even if you have the freedom to spend more.

When it comes to affordable devices, you get what you pay for. Most phones in this price range are made of plastic, although the fit and finish of a particular model can vary greatly depending on the price. A bright screen is also important. You’ll typically get LCD panels with 60Hz or 90Hz refresh rates, but some phones may have OLED screens with increased color saturation. Long battery life is also crucial, so we tend to favor devices with larger power cells of around 5000 mAh. In this price range, performance can vary widely, so look for devices with at least 8GB of RAM and processors that can deliver stutter-free visuals. It’s also important to consider the duration of support, as periodic operating system and security updates can extend the life of your device, which will save you money in the long run.


Screen size: 6.72 inches | Storage capacity: 128GB + microSD | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front Camera Resolution: 16MP | Rear Camera Resolution: 108MP main, 2MP macro | Weight: 6.8 oz

When it first came out, Nord N30 it had pretty much everything you could want in a phone that cost $300. Its Snapdragon 695 5G chip delivers strong performance along with fast wireless connectivity that’s compatible with all major US carriers, not to mention good specs including 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a large 6.7-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which is rare for a budget phone as most competitors feature slower 60Hz or 90Hz panels. And thanks to its 50W wired charging, you can also recharge it quickly. But most importantly, the price of the Nord 30 recently dropped from $300 to $250, making it an undeniably good deal.

$250 at Amazon


Screen size: 6.5 inches | Storage capacity: 128GB/256GB + microSD | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front Camera Resolution: 13MP | Rear Camera Resolution: 50MP main, 5MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro | Weight: 7.05 oz

For only $200, Galaxy A15 5G is quite a remarkable device. It has a 6.5-inch display with a slightly slower 90Hz refresh rate compared to the Nord N30. However, because it has an OLED panel instead of an LCD display, it boasts better brightness and richer colors than almost all of its competitors. In addition, it can be configured with up to 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, and its 5000 mAh battery provides a very long life. And while its design isn’t too exciting, the polycarbonate Samsung used on the back has a nice matte finish that feels more like glass than cheap plastic. Finally, the A15 comes with four years of security updates and three years of OS upgrades, which is longer than most phones in this price range.

$200 at Amazon


Screen size: 6.5 inches | Storage capacity: 64GB + microSD | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front Camera Resolution: 8MP | Rear Camera Resolution: 50MP | Weight: 6.53 oz

For those on a really tight budget, 2024 Moto G Play covers all the bases well. It has a fast Snapdragon 680 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. And while that last number may seem small, the phone has a microSD card slot, so you can add more space if and when you need it. Its 6.5-inch LCD screen is also surprisingly sharp with a 90Hz refresh rate. The Moto G Play even has an IP52 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s not much, but it’s good enough to prevent an accidental splash or two. Sure, the G Play is basic, but it’s basic in a good way.

$150 at Amazon


Screen size: 6.1 inches | Storage capacity: 128GB | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front Camera Resolution: 13MP | Rear Camera Resolution: 64MP main, 13MP ultra-wide | Weight: 6.84 oz

For people looking to look at phones at the higher end of the budget bracket, there are some other contenders worth checking out. The Pixel 7a is our favorite mid-range phone, and while it cost $500 at launch, we’ve recently seen deals that brought it down to $375. That’s just $25 above our typical range, so if you’re looking for an affordable phone with good performance, handy perks like wireless charging, and the best cameras of any device in this price range, you’d be foolish not to consider Google’s most affordable handset .

$420 at Amazon

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Screen size: 6.7 inches | Storage capacity: 256GB | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front Camera Resolution: 32MP | Rear Camera Resolution: 50MP main, 50MP ultra-wide | Weight: 6.7 oz

Another contender we really like is Nothing Phone 2a, which delivers great specs, unique design and a lot of personality for just $349. The main reason it didn’t make our list is that it’s only available in the US as part of the Nothing developer program, which requires you to sign up (for free) before you can buy one. Also, the Phone 2a only supports T-Mobile’s 5G (via the N41 band), which means it’s not a great choice for anyone using AT&T or Verizon.

$349 for nothing