Where To Buy Cheap Smartphones
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where to buy cheap smartphones
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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.
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.
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.
It can be tempting to buy the absolute cheapest phone you can find, but doing so may give you a phone that needs replacing every year. Buying a good phone with a solid update promise will save you money in the long run, even if it does mean an initial hit to your pocketbook.
Even the best cheap phones don't have it all - that low price means there are almost always weaker elements, so the first step to choosing one is deciding which aspects are most important to you, and what you can live without.
Get one of the best cheap phones to ensure that you're getting a good all-rounder that's reliable and robust. There's always the risk of ending up with a junk if you're looking in the budget aisle, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there are budget options that punch above their weight.
Being on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice as much as you'd think. Often, such phones have one or two areas where they truly excel. Of course, that also means that you'll have to be a little more discerning and properly figure out which features are non-negotiable and which features who can compromise on.
Have a think about if you need a good screen or if you'd prefer a better quality camera. Long battery life essential? You can prioritize that in exchange for cutting back elsewhere. Once you know what's important to you, it'll easier to choose and get the budget phone that will see through your needs.
We've reviewed countless phones, including the best phones around, and we have it on good authority (ours!) that there are a number of cheap models that offer more than just an affordable price. While the ultimate decision is yours, we thought we'd give you a head start by gathering all the best cheap phones on this list.
Able to spend a bit more? One of the best Android phones, best iPhones, and best camera phones might be a more suitable fit. However, if you don't need all the extras, one of the best cheap phones below could be ideal for your needs. We've also included the best prices available so you know immediately if there's a good deal on that handset that's most intriguing to you.
And it's not just the screen that stands out, as the Poco X3 NFC also has a fairly powerful Snapdragon 732G chipset, which we found offered excellent gaming performance for the money. With a big 5,160mAh battery too (which we found offered up to two days of life with moderate use) this really is a remarkable cheap phone.
Xiaomi is becoming a major player in the best cheap phones, and handsets like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S show why. It has a big and - in our experience - long-lasting 5,020mAh battery, decent performance from its Snapdragon 720G chipset, and a great 6.67-inch 1080 x 2400 screen. You also get up to 128GB of storage, and a quad-lens camera, consisting of a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide one, a 5MP macro one, and a 2MP depth one.
Xiaomi continues its reign of offering some of the best cheap phones with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11. While it's not quite a match for the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC overall, this inexpensive phone isn't a good option if you want to take great photos but it looks pretty good. 041b061a72