Top 10 Affordable Phones That Offer Great Value for Money

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Looking for a cheap phone without compromising on features? We’ve got you covered. Our list of the best cheap phones includes top picks from Apple, Samsung, Google and others. You can save a lot of money with the most affordable option starting at just $250.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on the latest iPhone or Galaxy to enjoy the latest version of iOS or Android, access to your favorite apps and games, or photography tools. The best cheap phones offer great value for money and are noticeably cheaper than their flagship counterparts.

Our top picks range from $250 to $500, which is still significantly cheaper than the top-of-the-line models. If you have a specific budget in mind, you can also check out our previous guides for phones under $300 and best phones under $150 lists for even more affordable options.

Top 10 Best Cheap Phones

Our list of the best cheap phones includes the Apple iPhone SE (2022), Pixel 6A, Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, Google Pixel 7A, OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, Poco X5 Pro, Nothing Phone (1), Redmi Note 11 Pro, Xiaomi 12T, and Realme 9 Pro Plus. Here’s an overview of each one of these smartphones.

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

iPhone SE (2022)

The iPhone SE 3 (2022) is considered Apple’s best-value smartphone. It may appear outdated, but its lower price makes it an appealing option. While Apple promotes the iPhone 13 as the preferred choice, the iPhone SE 3 offers better value for your money.

Although it costs over half the price, the iPhone SE 3 (2022) features the same fast A15 Bionic processor as the iPhone 13. Its camera is also capable enough. The only drawback is its relatively short battery life, but this can be resolved with the speedy 20W charging. Furthermore, if you’re not a fan of large-screened phones, the iPhone SE’s compact 4.7-inch display is ideal for one-handed usage.

If you’re unwilling to spend a significant amount on an iPhone 13 and don’t mind sacrificing a few camera features and a smaller design, the iPhone SE is undoubtedly the best-value Apple phone currently available.

Pixel 6A

Google Pixel 6A

Google’s affordable mid-range smartphone has made a comeback after a year-long break. It embodies the qualities we’ve come to expect from Google, offering excellent hardware at an unmatched price. With the powerful Tensor chipset, which is the same as the one found in the flagship Pixel 6, the Pixel 6a delivers exceptional performance. Additionally, its 6.1-inch display is impressively accurate in reproducing colors.

The standout feature of the Pixel 6a is its photography prowess. Despite its modest dual-camera setup, the Pixel 6a is capable of capturing stunning images with remarkable clarity and detail, even in challenging lighting conditions. It competes admirably with premium smartphones that cost four times as much. If you’re someone who frequently shares photos on Instagram, there’s simply no better option available at this price point.

It’s possible to find brand-new phones for less than $200, but phones priced under $400 typically come with some compromises. That’s why we recommend the Google Pixel 6A as our favorite best cheap phone. It has a fast processor, great cameras, and years of software support, all for just $349. To keep the price low, Google made smart compromises, such as a display that looks dim under direct sunlight.

The Pixel 6A is an excellent value for its price, and it takes crisp and colorful photos. You also get the same eye-catching design and Pixel-specific software features, like Magic Eraser and Live Translate. Although the Pixel 7A is also a great value at $499, the Pixel 6A accomplishes its intended purpose of providing a lot for less.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

The Samsung Galaxy series encompasses more than just the S and Note lines. The A-series offers flagship-like features at an affordable price, and the Galaxy A54 5G is a prime example of this. It is a remarkable and cost-effective smartphone that not only boasts an appealing design but also features an excellent screen and ample power that satisfies the needs of most users, despite its slightly less advanced processor compared to its siblings.

In addition, the Galaxy A54 5G delivers impressive camera performance considering its price range. Moreover, if battery life is a crucial factor in your smartphone purchasing decision, you’ll be pleased to know that the Galaxy A54 5G lasted nearly 27 hours in our battery life test. Whether you’re a Samsung enthusiast or simply seeking a reliable yet remarkable smartphone that doesn’t cost much, the Galaxy A54 5G might be the perfect choice for you.

Google Pixel 7A

Google Pixel 7a

Google has released a new phone in 2023 called the Pixel 7A. It is a budget phone that offers many of the same features as the more expensive Pixel 7 but at a lower price point. One of the key features of the Pixel 7A is that it runs on Google’s Tensor G2 processor, which allows for advanced photo editing and language translation capabilities.

The Pixel 7A also boasts a 64-megapixel camera that takes excellent photos, comparable in quality to the Pixel 7’s camera. While the Pixel 7 is still a great phone, the Pixel 7A’s lower price makes it a better choice for most people. Only those who specifically want a larger screen and are willing to pay the extra $100 should consider the Pixel 7.

In terms of differences between the two phones, the Pixel 7 has a more durable build, slightly faster charging, and the ability to wirelessly charge compatible accessories. Additionally, the Pixel 7 has a larger camera sensor that is more sensitive to light, according to Google. However, CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco did not notice a significant difference in photo quality between the two phones.

Overall, the Pixel 7A is a strong contender in the budget phone market, offering many of the same features as the more expensive Pixel 7 at a lower price point.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G

OnePlus Nord 2T

Looking for a smartphone that won’t cost much? Look no further than the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G. With its 5G capabilities and powerful MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset, this phone is lightning-fast. And don’t worry about running out of juice – it can last almost a full day on a single charge.

But what really sets the OnePlus Nord 2T apart is its value. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest flagship phones, but it more than holds its own in the mid-range category. Plus, it costs a fraction of the price.

If you’re looking for a great all-around phone that won’t cost a lot, the OnePlus Nord 2T is definitely worth considering. Its upgrades may be modest compared to previous models, but the performance and value are unbeatable. So why spend more when you can get the most out of your purchase with the OnePlus Nord 2T?

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Poco X5 Pro

Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro

Looking for a budget-friendly smartphone that performs like a high-end device? Look no further than the Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro. While the brand may not be well-known in the UK, the Poco X5 Pro offers unbeatable value for money, outperforming smartphones priced twice or even three times as high.

At a fraction of the cost of the latest and greatest handsets, the Poco X5 Pro boasts impressive features like a 6.67-inch Full HD AMOLED screen, a 5G-compatible Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset, a large 108MP camera sensor, and a long-lasting battery with quick 67W charging.

But don’t be fooled by its low price point – the Poco X5 Pro doesn’t skimp on quality. In fact, there are very few compromises to be made when it comes to this smartphone. Its affordability is just the cherry on top of an already impressive package.

If you’re on a tight budget but still want a phone that can keep up with your needs, the Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro is a no-brainer. With its top-notch features and unbeatable value, you’ll wonder why you ever considered spending £700 or more on a smartphone in the first place.

Nothing Phone (1)

Nothing Phone (1)

The Nothing Phone (1) has generated a significant amount of buzz, as it has the potential to bring new life to the smartphone industry. Every few years, a device like this emerges, revitalizing the market. What sets this mid-priced handset apart is its unique approach to smartphone design. It features a transparent back construction and an interface called “Glyph,” which is heavily reliant on LEDs. These LEDs serve multiple purposes, such as providing ringtones and notifications, acting as a charging indicator, and serving as a fill light for the rear camera. This innovative design element is truly delightful.

However, the Nothing Phone (1) is not merely a phone packed with gimmicks. It offers a plethora of appealing features in other areas as well. For instance, it boasts a 6.55-inch FHD+ OLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, ensuring smooth and vibrant visuals. Powering the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus processor, known for its impressive speed and efficiency. Additionally, users can choose from various storage and RAM configurations to suit their needs.

To enhance the overall user experience, the Nothing Phone (1) comes with a clean installation of Android 12, providing a streamlined and user-friendly interface. Furthermore, it is equipped with a pair of 50MP rear cameras that capture high-quality images. These features make the Nothing Phone (1) a dream come true for tech enthusiasts, living up to the immense hype surrounding it.

Redmi Note 11 Pro

Redmi Note 11 Pro (2023)

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G has specifications that can be considered flagship-class. Despite this, it is offered at a reduced cost compared to other options. The phone is highly impressive due to its exceptional performance, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset. Additionally, it boasts an exemplary triple-camera array, which includes a massive 108MP sensor. This camera setup allows for high-quality photos and videos.

Another highlight of the Redmi Note 11 Pro is its 120Hz Full HD display. This feature enables smooth scrolling and high frame rate mobile gaming. The display is highly immersive and provides an excellent viewing experience.

If you are on a tight budget, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is an excellent option to consider. It offers exceptional value for money, given its impressive specifications and features. Thus, if you are looking for a smartphone that performs well and has an excellent camera and display, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G should be at the top of your list.

Xiaomi 12T

Xiaomi 12T

While it may be the most expensive handset on the list, the Xiaomi 12T offers incredible value for its price. If you’re willing to spend a little extra money, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most feature-rich smartphones that can compete with some of the top-of-the-line flagship devices.

During testing, the Xiaomi 12T stood out with its stunningly sharp and color-accurate 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display. Additionally, it boasts a MediaTek Dimensity 8100-U chipset that delivers respectable power and performance. But what really sets it apart is its incredibly fast 120W charging, which allowed it to go from empty to 68% in just 15 minutes and fully charged in 20 minutes during tests.

The 108MP camera is also impressive for its price, producing top-quality photos regardless of the lighting conditions. In fact, the Xiaomi 12T can easily be mistaken for a flagship device, but without the exorbitant price tag.

So, if you’re looking for a high-end smartphone that won’t cost much, the Xiaomi 12T is definitely worth considering. It offers exceptional value for its price, and its impressive features and capabilities are sure to impress even the most demanding users.

Realme 9 Pro Plus

The Realme 9 Pro Plus is a smartphone that offers flagship-level features at an affordable price. With its Super AMOLED display, the visuals are stunning and the 90Hz refresh rate ensures that everything runs smoothly. Additionally, the phone’s battery life is impressive, lasting over 25 hours on a single charge.

When the battery does eventually run out, the included 60W fast charger can bring it back to 100% in just over 40 minutes, which is incredibly convenient. Under the hood, the Realme 9 Pro Plus is powered by MediaTek’s latest Dimensity 920 5G processor, which has proven to be a top performer in all benchmark tests.

While the phone does have some drawbacks, such as the lack of an IP rating and the underwhelming performance of the ultrawide camera, it is still an impressive all-rounder that offers excellent value for money. In fact, it is the mid-range handset to beat when it comes to balancing performance and affordability. Overall, the Realme 9 Pro Plus is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality smartphone that does not cost much.

Bonus: Honor Magic 5 Lite

If you’re someone who values long battery life when choosing a new phone, there’s only one phone on this list that you should pay attention to. And that phone is the Honor Magic 5 Lite. In fact, the Magic 5 Lite managed to last an incredible 28 hours in standard looping video test. This is quite impressive considering that many phones that cost two or three times as much as the Magic 5 Lite couldn’t even come close to this level of battery endurance.

Moreover, the Honor Magic 5 Lite supports 40W fast charging, which means that you can quickly recharge your phone when its battery is finally exhausted. However, it’s important to note that there’s no charger included in the box.

Moving on to the display, the Honor Magic 5 Lite features a vibrant OLED panel that measures 6.67 inches. The colors are punchy, and the contrast is essentially perfect, which means that everything looks great on the screen. Additionally, the 120Hz refresh rate makes for smooth and lag-free activity.

When it comes to performance, the Honor Magic 5 Lite is decent enough, although it may not be the best you can get at this price range. Finally, the camera suite on the Magic 5 Lite falls down when it comes to low-light photography. Nevertheless, these are small concessions when you consider the incredible battery life that you’re getting with this phone.

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