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cheap budget smartphones

5 Best Smartphones budget-friendly

These 5 budget smartphones will make you wonder why you would ever want to spend more than $500 on a phone ever again. Some of them from the list can be found for even less than half of the price we just mentioned.

Cheap budget smartphones have come a long way and are not just a nice headline scammers use to take your money anymore. This is mainly due to the saturation of the smartphone markets. Long story short, there are a lot of manufacturers competing for a portion of the market share, so this competition will naturally be visible in the price too.

The following are the 5 best budget smartphones we would recommend to buy in 2021, in no particular order. Regarding the prices, we are using as reference, so the actual prices will vary if you buy directly from the manufacturers. All phones shown here have 5G capabilities, unless otherwise specified.

Google Pixel 4a – $480

Google is long past the point where it needs any introduction. The same applies to the Pixel series, as it has proven itself a useful and popular series, even though it couldn’t really be classified as “budget-friendly.” That has, however, changed recently.

  • Display: 5.81 inches
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 730G
  • CPU: Octacore – 2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold and 6×1.8 GHzz Kryo 470 Silver
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Camera: 12.2 MP with 4K at 30 fps
  • Battery: 3140 mAh

General thoughts: Very good components that can allow for gaming and movie watching; camera can’t be classified as ‘professional‘ by any standard, and the battery is average.

iPhone SE 2 ~ $400

iphone se cheap budget smartphone

As the main player in the smartphone market, Apple is known for their flagship devices, so it came as a surprise when they announced the iPhone SE, a budget smartphone.

  • Display: 4.7 inches
  • Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic
  • CPU: Hexacore –  2×2.65 GHz Lightning & 4×1.8 GHz Thunder
  • GPU: Apple GPU
  • Storage: 64-256 GB
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Camera: 12 MP with 4K at 30/60 fps
  • Battery: 1821 mAh

Since it is Apple, we should be grateful they even have the word ‘budget‘ in their vocabulary, otherwise the components are nothing to wow about. The camera is quite impressive though, as is the case with all iPhones.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 – $230

Xiaomi has quietly creeped its way out and become one of the leading manufacturers of budget smartphones. The Redmi Note series is a great example of this phenomena, managing to compete with Huawei counterparts in the low and mid-end sectors.

  • Display: 6.43 inches
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 678
  • CPU: Octacore – 2×2.2 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver
  • GPU: Adreno 612
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Camera: 48 MP with 4K at 30 fps
  • Battery: 5000 mAh

This smartphone has a big screen with great overall components and thus, performance. For average, day-to-day use and the occasional photos, this can be a great option for anyone seeking cheap budget smartphones.

OnePlus 7T – $430

OnePlus has become known for integrating some of the best hardware the market has to offer with their new flagship devices every year, so you can expect very good overall performances from this phone. This includes games, viewing and taking photos and videos.

OnePlus phones consistently rank high up in the benchmarks, right up there with the flagships of Apple, Samsung and Sony.

  • Display: 6.55 inches
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855+
  • CPU: Octacore -1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485
  • GPU: Adreno 640
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Camera: 48 MP with 4K at 30/60 fps
  • Battery: 3800 mAh

Excellent hardware that is sure to provide anything an average user would need. The largest display out of all the phones presented. The OnePlus series is also known for having one of the smoothest and streamlined Android versions on the market, so it makes for a superb alternative for those who aren’t fans of Xiomi’s MIUI.

Huawei P40 lite ~ $300

With their latest controversies, Huawei has suffered some losses in clients, but is still standing strong. The biggest impact was of course the removal of Google services from their phones. This budget smartphone was also affected by the change, so beware!

  • Display: 6.5 inches
  • Chipset: Kirin 820 5G
  • CPU: Octacore – 1×2.36 GHz Cortex-A76 & 3×2.22 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.84 GHz Cortex-A55
  • GPU: Mali-G57
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Camera: 64 MP with 4K at 30 fps
  • Battery: 4000 mAh

Again, this type of hardware is excellent for a normal user, however non-flagship Huawei phones are not the best when it comes to the camera.

So, as you can see, there are plenty of option for less than $500 which are actually quite viable, provided you are looking for a decent smartphone and not something to brag about (we all did that at some point). All the Android smartphones mentioned come with, or can be updated to Android 11.