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Andrew White
Andrew White

Buy Good Phones For Cheap


The best cheap phones won't give you premium features like the 200MP main camera on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. But you will find enough high-end capabilities to make you feel like you're getting plenty for your money by opting for a less expensive handset.




buy good phones for cheap


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After testing multiple phones that cost less than $500, we believe that most shoppers can find everything they need in these lower-cost devices, whether you're looking for an affordable iPhone or an inexpensive Android phone. No matter the model, no one needs to spend upwards of $800 on a flagship device when you can easily find a handset that delivers comparable features while costing hundreds of dollars less.


Those on a budget will find that the best cheap phones offer capable cameras, big-enough displays for watching video and playing games and plenty of battery life to get you through most of the day. And 5G connectivity has become standard for cheap phones, so you're not sacrificing connectivity for a lower price.


Expect a shakeup among the best cheap phones, with new models slated to appear in the coming months. Galaxy A54 specs have already leaked, giving us a hint as to what Samsung's planning for its next midrange phone. The Pixel 7a from Google should follow later this spring.


We're anticipating a spring release for new Galaxy A series phones, with the rumored Galaxy A54 replacing the Samsung's Galaxy A53. Still, the likely arrival of its successor doesn't mean this $449 handset does just about everything well. It has a nice 6.5-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. (Our Pixel 6a vs. Galaxy A53 face-off goes into greater detail on the differences between these best cheap phone contenders for Android fans.)


The iPhone SE 2022 takes cheap phones to the next level of performance by including Apple's powerful A15 Bionic chip. This is the same processor found in the iPhone 13, and it blows all Android phones away, whether you're playing games or editing video on the go.


The latest iPhone SE features the same design as before, so that means a small 4.7-inch display and big bezels, but some may prefer the old-school Touch ID button for quickly unlocking the device. Despite some trade-offs, the iPhone SE 2022 is a great choice for people who like small phones. With rumors circulating that an iPhone SE 4 likely won't ship until 2024, it may be your best option for a cheap iPhone for the foreseeable future.


But a long-lasting battery isn't the only reason this device is on our best cheap phone list. The Moto G Power offers a large 6.6-inch display with full HD resolution, and fairly capable cameras with triple lenses, including a 48MP main camera, a 2MP macro lens and 2MP depth sensor.


All on its own, the Motorola Edge 2022 would be a fine choice for a midrange phone that delivers some premium features without costing you more than $500. Yet, at $498, it's brushing up against the ceiling for what the best cheap phones should cost. (Many retailers list the 256GB version of the phone, which costs $599.) Even more worrisome, it can't really top the Pixel 6a or Galaxy A53, making it hard to pick over those phones.


As is typical of TCL phones, you get a big, expansive display with accurate colors. The Snapdragon 480 5G silicon powering the phone doesn't exactly offer blazing performance, but that's a trade-off you make for a cheaper device. You will be pleased with the phone's battery life, which hit 11 hours and 46 minutes in our testing.


Generally, one area in which phone makers cut back for budget models is materials. They'll use plastic for the phone's case instead of metal and glass. Cheaper phones may also turn to LCD panels instead of OLED screens, though that's becoming less frequent among some of the best cheap phones running Android.


One other area to consider is software updates and support. We've seen cheaper Android phones either ship with older versions of Android or promise very few upgrades to future versions. Samsung has one of the better upgrade policies with its Galaxy A lineup, and the iPhone remains a standout for usually supporting five years of iOS updates.


We evaluate budget-priced phones the same way we do flagships. We perform real-world testing and synthetic benchmarks over several days to evaluate it's performance and value. This includes our own battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over cellular at 150 nits of screen brightness. The devices that make our best phone battery life list tend to last over 11 hours.


In terms of performance, we use Geekbench 5 to measure overall speed and compare versus phones in the same price range. And the same thing goes for 3DMark's Wild Life Unlimited for graphics testing. We also perform our own video editing/transcoding testing using the Adobe Premiere Rush app to gauge real-world speed.


For evaluating cameras on cheap phones, we will take multiple photos in different conditions and will use other affordably priced phones in the same scenarios in order to make side-by-side comparisons.


Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() if (window.sliceComponents.authorBio === undefined) var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -9-5/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); else triggerHydrate(); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate, 1500); else console.log('Could not lazy load slice JS for authorBio') } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Mark SpoonauerSocial Links NavigationMark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.


Choosing the best budget smartphone for you is deciding which aspects are most important to you and what you can live without. Even the best cheap phones don't have it all - that low price means there are almost always weaker elements.


Cheaper phones typically have less advanced cameras or just the one rear and one front camera setup. But, if having a powerful lens is important to you, there are a handful of budget smartphones with excellent cameras.


The iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra may get all the media attention, thanks to being some of the best phones around, but cheaper handsets are often better value for most people. And, while companies typically only have one or two flagships, they often release a larger selection of affordable handsets, which means there are many models to choose from.


We've tested and reviewed a huge number of smartphones over the years, so we know exactly which cheap phones are the best value and which ones aren't worth your money. We gathered all the best cheap phones for you below, along with the best phone deals available.


If you're looking for the best cheap Samsung phone, the Samsung Galaxy A53 is certainly the one to beat. Hardly cheap-looking despite its affordable price, this attractive budget phone boasts an impressive screen and even more impressive cameras. Trust us; during our tests, we found it to take such bright and vibrant images that there's very little need for editing before rolling them out on social media.


Apple's best cheap iPhone is as budget as you can get if you're an iOS fan. With the launch of the iPhone 14, Apple is still selling some older iPhones cheap, but the iPhone SE (2022) is still the best bargain for iPhone fans, and it's still available at Apple's store.


Once in a while, you come across a smartphone that punches above its weight. For those who are looking for something that's less than $300, that phone is the OnePlus Nord N20, which we found to be an easy recommendation for budget-minded consumers looking for a cheap Android phone.


If you want one of the latest Moto G-series phones but need to go for an even lower price, the Moto G Fast is a compelling option. It still has the Snapdragon 665 chipset powering the more expensive Moto G-series models, but it comes at a price well below the others. Its 3GB of RAM is nothing special, though, and its baseline 32GB of storage is extremely low.


Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews. Alex is currently holding out hope for the Pixel Watch's success and is excited for the advancements coming to the world of foldable phones in the near future.","contributorText":"With contributions from","contributors":["name":"Michelle Rae Uy","role":"Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor","link":"href":"https:\/\/www.techradar.com\/author\/michelle-rae-uy"]}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() if (window.sliceComponents.authorBio === undefined) var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -9-5/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); else triggerHydrate(); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate, 1500); else console.log('Could not lazy load slice JS for authorBio') } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Alex Walker-ToddSocial Links NavigationSenior Phones EditorAlex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews. Alex is currently holding out hope for the Pixel Watch's success and is excited for the advancements coming to the world of foldable phones in the near future. 041b061a72


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