The best budget smartphones under $200 to buy in early 2023

Top budget smartphones
Image source: Financialexpress

The smartphone market has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with the addition of new players and the introduction of innovative features at all price points. While the market was once dominated by Samsung, the introduction of Xiaomi, Realme, and Vivo has given consumers more choices than ever before, particularly in the entry-level smartphone segment. In this article, we will discuss some of the best budget smartphones that are available for under $200.

So, what are the best options for those looking for a quality smartphone under $200? Let’s take a closer look at some of the top devices available in early 2023:

Top budget smartphones under $200 to buy in 2023

Redmi Note 11

Redmi Note 11 and Note 11S

In a world where smartphones are becoming increasingly expensive, Xiaomi has introduced its Redmi Note 11 series to offer an affordable option for those who don’t want to spend a lot. Among the various models, the Redmi Note 11 stands out as an exceptional choice, offering great value for money. With a starting price of just $199, this phone boasts features that are often found in more expensive models.

The design of the Redmi Note 11 is simple and unremarkable, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The phone is comfortable to hold and has a classic look that won’t go out of style anytime soon. However, it’s the display that really stands out. Xiaomi has opted for a 6.43-inch OLED screen capable of displaying in Full HD+. This is impressive for a phone in this price range. Additionally, with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, the display is smooth and responsive, making it a pleasure to use.

Under the hood, the Redmi Note 11 is powered by a Snapdragon 680 processor that delivers great performance, even when playing games. It’s fast and responsive, allowing you to switch between apps without any lag. However, it’s the battery life that really sets this phone apart. With a 5000 mAh battery, the Redmi Note 11 can easily last for two days on a single charge. And if you do need to charge it, the 33W fast charge means you can get to 100% in just 1 hour and 15 minutes.

While the Redmi Note 11 is an excellent phone overall, there are some areas where it falls short. For instance, the camera is good but not exceptional. It’s fine for taking basic photos, but it’s not going to compete with the cameras found on more expensive phones. However, this is to be expected from a phone in this price range. Additionally, the MIUI 13 software is not without its faults. It can be buggy and slow at times. However, Xiaomi is known for providing regular software updates, so these issues can be resolved in the future.

Overall, the Redmi Note 11 is an exceptional phone for its price point. It may not have all the features of more expensive models, but it’s the best at this price point. The display is impressive, the battery life is excellent, and the performance is great. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly phone that can handle your everyday needs, the Redmi Note 11 is definitely worth considering.

Samsung Galaxy A13

Samsung Galaxy A13

Samsung has recently launched its affordable smartphone, the Galaxy A13, which has a lot to offer at its price point. Despite being an entry-level device, the A13 boasts a 6.6-inch Full HD LCD screen, providing a decent display experience. However, the phone’s build quality is made of premium plastic, which may not impress everyone.

One of the unique features of the A13 is its camera module, which is designed to embed the sensors in the shell. The back of the phone features four photo sensors: a 50-megapixel wide-angle, a 5-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, a macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While the photos produced by the phone are not exceptional, they are decent and fall in the middle range of phones in its price bracket. The phone is also capable of shooting Full HD videos at 30 frames per second, providing an adequate video shooting experience.

Under the hood, the A13 is powered by Samsung’s in-house chip, the Exynos 850, and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The phone’s performance is not outstanding but is sufficient for basic use.

The A13’s battery life is quite impressive, thanks to its 5000 mAh battery that supports 15 W charging. The phone’s battery can last for a day and a half under normal usage conditions, making it an excellent option for those who need a phone that can last long hours without charging. However, the fast charging feature may not be as quick as expected, taking more than two hours to fully charge the phone.

Despite its modest features, the A13 is a compelling choice for those who prefer Samsung devices and want to experience the company’s products without spending too much. The phone is available for less than $200, making it one of the most affordable devices in the market with decent features. The A13 can cater to basic user needs, such as browsing the web, social media, or making calls and texts, and is an excellent entry-level device for those who do not require high-end features.

Redmi Note 10S

Redmi Note 10S

One of the key selling points of the Redmi Note 10S smartphone is its solid battery life. With a 5000 mAh battery, the phone can often last for almost two days without needing to be charged, making it a great choice for people who are always on the go. Additionally, the phone is compatible with 33W fast charging, meaning that it can be quickly recharged when needed.

In terms of performance, Redmi Note 10S is powered by a MediaTek Helio G95 processor, which is capable of running demanding applications like Fortnite at high graphics settings. While there may be some delays in certain situations, overall these phones are quite responsive and can handle most tasks with ease.

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When it comes to the display, Redmi Note 10S has a 6.43-inch AMOLED screen that offers a Full HD resolution and a refresh rate of 60Hz. This makes for a great viewing experience for everyday use, with good brightness and clarity even in different lighting conditions. The design of the phones is also well thought out, with a form factor that allows for a comfortable grip.

However, there are some limitations to consider when it comes to the Redmi Note 10S smartphone. The camera quality can be a bit lacking, especially in low light conditions, and the back of the phone can be prone to collecting fingerprints and smudges, which may require frequent cleaning.

Overall, the Redmi Note 10S smartphone is an excellent option for people looking for a budget-friendly phone that can still deliver strong performance and functionality. While there are some minor drawbacks to consider, the overall value offered by this device makes it a great choice for many consumers.

Redmi 10

Redmi 10

Xiaomi has been making a buzz for offering budget-friendly devices that provide excellent value for money. One of their latest offerings under $200 is the Redmi 10, a smartphone that has caught the attention of many consumers looking for a good budget device.

Starting with the display, Xiaomi opted for a 90 Hz LCD panel that offers excellent contrast and controlled colorimetry. While the brightness could have been higher, it is not a major drawback. However, what surprised many is the audio system of the Redmi 10, which boasts two speakers, allowing for rare stereo rendering at this price level.

Under the hood, the Redmi 10 runs the MediaTek G88 SoC, which delivers an overall fluid system and applications that work well. However, it’s not the best at handling games, with Fortnite not even launching. On the plus side, the 5000 mAh battery provides good autonomy of up to a day and a half. However, fast charging takes about two hours to bring the phone back to 100 percent, which is not glorious.

In terms of the camera, the Redmi 10 has four sensors, but only the main one stands out thanks to its correct daytime rendering. It’s not the best camera out there, but it gets the job done.

Overall, the Redmi 10 does exactly what we expect it to do – offer a balanced experience without major flaws while not draining your savings. It’s the perfect smartphone for those looking for a budget-friendly device with its own set of faults and qualities.

Overall, the Redmi 10 is a confirmation of Xiaomi’s commitment to delivering budget-friendly smartphones without compromising on quality. While it may not be perfect, it offers excellent value for money. And is a great option for anyone looking for a decent experience with a smartphone without paying too much.

Realme 9i

Realme 9i - best budget smartphones 2023

The Realme 9i is a more affordable version of the Realme 9, which boasts similar traits, and is worth considering for those in search of a budget-friendly smartphone.

The Realme 9i comes equipped with a 6.6-inch Full HD+ LCD panel that can reach up to 90 Hz. While the screen is not the best in its category, it is still impressive for the price range. It does, however, suffer from a lack of brightness and somewhat fanciful calibration. Additionally, the phone comes entirely in plastic, which makes it feel rather light in the hand.

When it comes to connectivity, the Realme 9i has several features worth mentioning. Firstly, it has a headphone jack, which is a rarity in today’s smartphone market. Additionally, it comes with a microSD card slot, which allows for additional storage if needed.

Under the hood, the Realme 9i is powered by a very standard Snapdragon 680. Which is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the base version. It’s worth noting that this is the 4G version, and the 5G version is equipped with a Dimensity 810 chip. The Realme 9i’s battery life is similar to its competitors. Lasting a little over 10 hours of screen on time on a single charge. Additionally, it charges at an impressive 33W, which allows for a full charge in less than 1.5 hours.

Finally, the camera is an aspect worth considering. While it doesn’t necessarily stand out, the main sensor of 50 MP remains respectable under good lighting conditions. However, it is not the phone’s strongest feature, and those who prioritize photography may want to consider other options.

Overall, the Realme 9i is a budget-friendly option that offers several features worth considering. While it may not be the best smartphone in its category, it provides impressive value for the price range. Its fast charging capabilities and microSD card slot are features that are particularly noteworthy. Ultimately, it’s a good option for those looking for an affordable smartphone that can meet their basic needs.


In conclusion, finding a quality smartphone under $200 is no longer the challenge it once was. With major players like Xiaomi, Samsung, and Realme all offering impressive devices at affordable prices, there are more options than ever before for those on a budget. Whether you’re in the market for a sleek and powerful device like the Redmi Note 11, or a dependable and affordable option like the Samsung Galaxy A13, there’s sure to be a smartphone on this list that meets your needs and budget.

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