There are some users that think spending more than $250 on a smartphone is not wise. There are others that already have an expensive flagship smartphone, but also need a cheap entry-level device that they can use on the go. There are also some whose budget for a smartphone is not more than $200 – $250. If you are in any of these groups, you should read this article to the end. We have the top 9 entry-level smartphones from AnTuTu which are the best performing devices. These devices have a launch price of less than 1,499 Yuan ($223).
Please note that these scores should not be the only criterion for purchasing a phone. However, it will help in making a choice. Also, note that this list is inspired by the recently released AnTuTu list of top-performing entry-level smartphones for October 2020. Some of these devices are considered mid-range phones technically.
Top 9 entry-level smartphones for October 2020 and their AnTuTu scores
- Redmi 10X 5G – 281.4
- Redmi 9 – 253.1
- Redmi Note 8 Pro – 244.0
- Honor 9X – 220.4
- Redmi K30 5G – 217.2
- Redmi K30i 5G – 213.3
- Redmi 10X 4G – 204.7
- Honor Play 4T Pro – 203.8
- Vivo Y5s – 134.1
Redmi and Honor dominate the entry-level segment
In the flagship and mid-range segment, we saw the dominance of Chinese phones from Redmi, Honor, iQOO, Oppo, and Vivo. Here, it’s a two horse race between Redmi and Honor. In fact, of the nine spots, Redmi claims six spots while Honor has two with Vivo taking the remaining spot. There is complete dominance of Redmi phones which occupies the top three positions.
Redmi 10X 5G
The top three spots on the top 9 entry-level smartphone list is gradually becoming Redmi’s birthright. This brand has been dominating this segment for many months and it is top again this month. Its average score is 281.4, which is a significant increase relative to the average score of the previous month. This device remains one of the few smartphones that come with the Dimensity 820 5G chip. This explains why this smartphone has been top of the entry-level segment. In fact, the Dimensity 820 5G SoC is sometimes considered as a mid-range SoC. Thus, listing the Redmi 10X 5G as an entry-level device is a downgrade by the company. No doubt, this smartphone will remain on top of this list for many more months.
The second position is occupied by the Redmi 9 with an average score of 253.1. This smartphone comes with the Mediatek Helio G80. This smartphone was released in June this year and it has slowly become one of the most cost-effective smartphones. According to AnTuTu’s measurements, this device easily crosses the 200 benchmarks. This makes it one of the strongest entry-level smartphones in the industry for now. Nevertheless, it is still behind the Redmi 10X and may not have many admirers because it is a 4G smartphone. Although this smartphone performs well, there are a couple of entry-level devices that support 5G. So, this is a major down point for this device.
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Redmi Note 8 Pro
Third on the list is the Redmi Note 8 Pro with an average score of 244.0. This smartphone also comes with a Mediatek SoC but this time, it uses the Helio G90T. Many may be surprised why the Pro model is using a MediaTek chip. Of course, we already know that the regular Redmi Note 8 comes with a Qualcomm processor. However, it is usually not about the chip manufacturer but the chip performance. The Helio G90T performs better than the Snapdragon 665 on the Redmi Note 8. This is a major plus for the Pro model. However, like all 4G smartphones presently, this device may lose its relevance because of the lack of 5G support.
This is the first Honor smartphone on the list and it well crosses the 200 points benchmark. On the mid-range ranking, there were a lot of Honor smartphones. However, for the entry-level segment, Honor phones are not so popular. Honor 10X is a 2019 smartphone and it is interesting that it is still making the list. This device comes with a HiSilicon Kirin 710F which is a 12nm process chip. We can now understand why this device is in the entry-level segment. Presently, the price of this device varies widely because of retailer impact. However, you can easily grab this smartphone for less than $200.
Redmi K30 5G – 217.2
On the fifth position is “Redmi’s Golden Boy”, Redmi K30 5G. This device is one of the most cost-effective 5G devices in the industry. If you need this smartphone, you need a $250 budget. However, know that you can get this device as low as $200 in many outlets. This depends on the availability of promotions and price cuts. This smartphone comes with the Snapdragon 765G chipset which is optimized for gaming.
The listed devices above are the top 5 entry-level devices and as you can see, some of them support 5G. In the sixth position is Redmi K30i 5G which also supports 5G connectivity. However, the remaining three smartphones that make up the top 9 entry-level smartphones are Redmi 10X 4G, Honor Play 4T Pro, and Vivo Y5s and they are all 4G devices.
Mid-range 5G smartphones are now popular
It is interesting to note that 5G entry-level smartphones are slowly penetrating the market. However, for the mid-range segment, it’s a done deal. All the top 10 AnTuTu mid-range smartphones are 5G devices. This shows that 5G SoC in the mid-range market has already been popularized. Also, the price is getting lower but there is still room for cheaper 5G devices to arrive in the smartphone market. As the competition intensifies, chip manufacturers and smartphone brands will reduce their prices. Already, chipmakers are already working on 5G chips for entry-level devices. When this materializes, we will have cheaper 5G phones in the smartphone market.
There is a rapid development in the smartphone market. Specifically, since the advent of 5G, there has been consistent development of cheaper 5G SoC alternatives. Phone makers no longer have to rely on the flagship Snapdragon chips to release 5G smartphones. In fact, flagship 5G chips are quickly losing their relevance. The Mediatek Dimensity lineup is putting up a good fight in the 5G market. It has two new mid-range chips, Dimensity 690 and 720. Presently, these chips are on sale and several manufacturers have adopted them. Already, we have a plethora of low-priced 5G smartphones with these chips. The prices seem to be more friendly, so in the second half of the year, it is worth looking forward to.
Again, Chinese manufacturers dominate the top 10 entry-level smartphones list just like it did the flagship/mid-range list. Redmi is made for the entry-level/mid-range market while Huawei (especially Honor) has a good grip on the mid-range market too. Just like we said earlier, the top 9 entry-level smartphones from AnTuTu should not be the only criterion for choosing a smartphone. The powerful performance is only based on user experience. However, it does not provide feedback on other key factors such as photography, battery life, charging speed, body material/hand feel, etc. Users should comprehensively assess a smartphone before making the purchase.