Best Budget Android Phones – Top 7 Choices for Every Wallet
There are more than two million smartphones on earth running the Android operating system right now. Therefore, trying to find the best budget Android phone for your needs is hard work.
Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro starts at $1,097, while the Samsung Note 10 Plus starts at $1,099. These makers, along with carriers, offer monthly payment plans to help users accept these high prices, but no matter how you’ll buy it, the price of flagships is still a deterrent for many people.
Luckily, there’re some outstanding affordable options, and these alternatives have significantly improved over the past few years.
Read our top 7 recommendations for the most reliable budget Android phones on the market today.
1. Google Pixel 3a – Best Budget Android Phone
The Google Pixel 3a is a first-class package for the money. It features Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor inside with an ample 4GB RAM.
You also get a tremendous 5.6-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2220 x 1080 pixels. It’s sharp, with superb contrast, and you won’t find anything better in this class.
The Pixel 3a has a single lens 12.2-megapixel camera with all the same A.I. features you’ll find in the Pixel 3.
Google’s flagship’s camera is capable of capturing high-quality shots in a wide variety of settings. The front-facing camera is rated at 8 MP.
As the best Android budget phone with the very latest edition of Android, it guarantees fast version updates and a reliable supply of security patches.
You’ll also enjoy smart features such as Now Playing, which recognizes music playing in your vicinity, as well as Call Screen, which filters out incoming spam calls. Active Edge lets you squeeze your Pixel 3a to launch Google Assistant.
This device 3a includes 64GB of storage and comes with free unlimited photo storage in the cloud with Google Photos.
The phone has an audio jack, Bluetooth 5.0 support, and arrives with an uber-fast charger that can restore seven hours-worth of battery in just 15 minutes.
There’s also NFC support for Google Pay, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and a fingerprint sensor on the back.
Verdict – The Pixel 3a boasts far away the best camera, software, and display you can get in a $399 phone.
- Superb color-accurate display;
- Remarkable camera;
- It has a headphone jack;
- Includes Active Edge;
- Smart and helpful software, speedy updates;
- Good battery life.
- No internal or expandable storage options;
- Doesn’t use Pixel Visual Core ISP.
2. Moto G7 – Android Phone on a Budget for any Task
Moto G7 ($299) is an attractive phone with a fine glass form, a metallic body, and a teardrop notch carved out of the display. The Moto G7 includes a 6.2-inch display with a 2270 x 1080-pixel resolution.
It comes with one storage option of 64 GB. The device also supports microSD for expandable storage, up to 512 GB.
Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor inside with 4GB of RAM. Motorola adds few gesture shortcuts and apps like Moto Voice on top of Android 9.0 Pie.
This phone also has a dual-lens camera, coupling a 12 MP lens with an f/1.8 aperture, and a 5 MP secondary lens for depth.
It can capture some great shots, and the portrait mode is excellent for snapping shots of friends and family with blurred backgrounds. The front-facing camera is 8 megapixels.
Still, the Moto G7 lacks the same graphical power as its more expensive rivals, but most games play without issue, even at medium or high settings, since Android games are designed to play on the hardware of all sizes and prices.
Verdict – If you have a budget of $300, then the Moto G7 will give you the most for your money right now. It provides a big display, reliable performance, and a good camera wrapped in a stylish body.
- Massive display;
- Excellent design;
- Powerful internal components;
- Sophisticated camera;
- Easy-to-use software;
- Turbo-power charging.
- No wireless charging and NFC;
- Poor battery life.
3. Samsung Galaxy A50 – Best Value Android Phone
The Galaxy A50 ($349.99) has very impressive specs for the price with the Exynos 9610 processor inside with 4GB of RAM.
You’ll find 64GB of storage with space for expansion via MicroSD card. Plus, there’s a more expensive variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The device has a subtle gradient finish on the plastic back, and there’s no fingerprint sensor since it’s in the display. The big, 6.4-inch AMOLED screen features a 2,340 x 1,080-pixel resolution.
It almost totally covers the front of the device, saves for a thin bezel at the bottom with a teardrop carve at the top to accommodate a 25 MP front-facing camera.
Also, you get a triple-lens shooter here with a 25 MP main lens, an 8 MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 5 MP depth sensor. That’s an outstanding, versatile camera package for a midrange phone.
It includes a big battery, too, rated at 4,000mAh, and you get a 15W quick charging kit in the box. But, there’s no support for NFC, which means no Samsung Pay.
Verdict – Between the versatile cameras, bloat-free software, and excellent gaming performance, the phone will more than suffice for most future users.
- Excellent, modern-looking AMOLED screen;
- Good performance;
- Long battery life;
- Capable, versatile camera;
- MicroSD card slot.
- Slow fingerprint sensor;
- Lack of water protection.
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4. Alcatel 1X – Ultra Cheap Android Phone
If you search for cheap Android phones just to make calls, browse the web and social media, and take a few photos of average quality, the Alcatel 1X ($100) is a good option.
It runs Android Go Edition, a scaled-back version of the operating system that’s optimized to run well on low-level hardware.
Its 5.3-inch display is refreshingly easy to use in one hand and features a high 18:9 aspect ratio for squeezing in as much content as possible.
You get a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, too, and it’s compatible with both T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks.
The 8MP f/2.0 rear camera is not going to serve up depth information to the 13MP primary camera, so it’s not there for zoomed-in or wide-angle shots. But you have to remember this is the cheapest Android phone on this list.
It features an HDR mode that appears to make everything overly bright and takes photos much longer. Also, Alcatel has included its own facial recognition system in Face Key, which works pretty reliably.
Verdict – A robust, ultra-budget-friendly phone that can handle applications and basic games, along with delivering good-enough cameras and a decent design.
- Decent 5.5-inch display;
- Lightweight Android Go software;
- Pleasant design;
- Solid design;
- Poor camera;
- Old Android version.
5. Honor 10 Lite – Best Cheap Android Phone for the Business
The 10 Lite runs on the latest version of Android 9.0 Pie, topped with Honor’s own Emotion UI 9 overlay. It’s the best budget smartphone with mid-range power, courtesy of a Kirin 710 processor paired with 3GB RAM.
It also provides a feature-packed UX, offering tons in the way of customization, along with AI-enhanced premium features like integrated local image search via the phone’s HiVision tool. There’s even a headphone jack, which grants the phone FM radio functionality.
Its dual 13/2-megapixel combination takes good shots in most conditions, with built-in AI scene recognition for automated settings adjustment.
The Honor 10 Lite ($160) also includes a dedicated portrait mode, fantastic night mode, and a rich gallery of beauty tools for selfie-fans who make use of the 24 MP front-facing camera.
The device has plenty of storage, also. Most phones in this class feature just 32GB storage, but the 10 Lite provides a generous 64GB, of which about 50GB is available to the user.
Verdict – The 10 Lite has to be one of the slickest-looking smartphones the Honor has released yet. It’s skinny, shiny, and has a display that’s impressively bezel-free.
- Customizable and feature-rich UI;
- Good loudspeaker;
- The Kirin is 710 is an excellent performer;
- Excellent ergonomics and nice grip;
- Bright display;
- Gaming performance.
- No fast charging;
- No 4K video recording.
6. Nokia 7.2 – Best Budget Android Phone for Photographers
Nokia 7.2 ($349) continues the brand’s legacy of exceptional build quality with an ultra-strong polycarbonate frame — and the green colorway is even more beautiful in real life — that seems like metal but withstands scratches and drops much better.
A Snapdragon 660 processor powers the Nokia 7.2, along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which ensures it’s going to last well in the future.
Nokia also puts Android One on all of its phones, ensuring at least two platform updates and regular security patches. But, the real reason to choose the Nokia 7.2 is its 3-camera setup, which involves a massive 48MP primary camera.
You can also use the ultra-wide camera for impressive landscape shots, or make some incredible portrait photos with the dedicated depth sensor.
Verdict – It has an excellent screen, a capable camera, and all the advantages that come with Android One software.
- Classy design;
- Android One software;
- Bright display with accurate colors;
- High screen-to-body ratio – 81.11%;
- Solid battery life;
- Class-leading portraits.
- Doesn’t include a temperature sensor or a barometer;
- No wireless charging;
7. Honor Play – Affordable Android phone for Gaming
The Honor Play, despite being marked as a mobile gaming powerhouse, is also a great all-round Android phone that delivers a powerful package for about $300.
You’ll get several high-tech features in the Honor Play, including the fast Kirin 970 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a huge 6.3-inch FHD screen.
Robust dual rear cameras and a single selfie camera are combined with 64GB of internal storage space, while the phone’s in-built GPU Turbo tech means that mobile games run incredibly well, as well.
And, with immersive 7.1 Histen audio and an 89% screen-to-body ratio, playing those games, or any other media is a super enjoyable experience. The Honor Play seriously makes you question why anyone would spend more on a smartphone, which in some premium models means a price 3 or 4 times that of this device.
Verdict – The Honor Play excel as a gaming phone apart from its powerful components, but with a huge screen and a great look makes it the best inexpensive smartphone on this list.
Inexpensive Android phones are quickly becoming commonplace—for as low as $100, you can get a reliable, initially-impressive handset that you’re free to take to plenty of different carriers. Of course, it’s not always the right solution since each situation is different, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide what’s the best option for your usage.