In the tech world, what once cost hundreds of dollars can now run you well over a thousand of your hard-earned bucks. But the technology within most of today’s smartphones has not changed radically over the past few years, and powerful budget smartphones are capable of doing just about everything an expensive flagship device can do.
That doesn’t mean it’s always smart to focus on price alone. Tap or click here to learn about six cheap gadgets that aren’t worth the money.
You won’t find Apple’s latest release on this list due to its cost, but we do have a budget iPhone recommendation for you. The rest are Android phones that will work with the carrier of your choice. Finding the right phone at the right price doesn’t have to be a chore, so read on to find the perfect device for you.
1. Apple iPhone SE
Think iPhone and budget doesn’t come to mind. The top-of-the-line Apple smartphones can set you back well over $1,000, but Apple’s iPhone SE changed all of this. Just like the original SE that debuted four years ago, the updated iPhone SE is powerful enough for most users without all the extras.
With the smaller size and screen real estate of an iPhone 8, the SE clocks in at $399 and comes with top-of-the-line iPhone 11 internals. It has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, Touch ID fingerprint security and a single-camera system that includes Portrait mode. It doesn’t have night mode for the camera or Face ID.
For most users, it’s a great little phone at a great price.
Samsung’s Galaxy line includes both flagship phones that will cost you a pretty penny and more budget-conscious options. The Samsung Galaxy A50 will run you less than $350. It includes 64GB of internal memory and has a 6.4″ Super AMOLED edge-to-edge screen, much like the design of the more expensive models.
With fast charging, all-day battery life and a meaty 25MP camera, the A50 is a great choice if you’re looking for the convenience and features of a high-end smartphone without the hefty price tag. If you don’t need the most powerful hardware, the A50 won’t disappoint.
While the A50 was built from the ground up as a budget option, the Galaxy S10e has many of the same features as the Galaxy S10 Plus, which retailed for $1,000 when it launched in 2019. This is a renewed, or refurbished, phone that has been professionally inspected and tested for functionality.
Buying refurbished is a great way to score a powerful phone at a more affordable price. Be warned it may have small dents or scratches, but a case and screen protector should cover those anyway.
If having a used phone doesn’t bother you, the S10e is an incredible deal for less than $450. It has a whopping 128GB of storage, an excellent camera, powerful internals, a slick design and useful features like wireless charging and a fingerprint reader.
If you’re not loyal to Amazon or Samsung, check out the Google Pixel 3a. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your Google needs. Coming in under $400, the Pixel 3a comes with unlimited Google photo storage and all your favorite Google apps built right in.
The Pixel 3a is no slouch when it comes to hardware and features, either. With a fast charging 7-hour capacity battery, HDR photo capability and Google Assistant support, the Pixel 3a covers all your bases.
Motorola might not come to mind when you think smartphones. It is the name behind some of the most popular cellphones, though. The Razr, anyone?
If you’re on a tight budget, the Moto G7 Power has unbelievable functionality for less than $200.
The G7 Power has a 6.2″ HD display, a 12MP camera and 8MP selfie-cam, a fingerprint reader and a massive 60-hour battery that will keep you going for up to two and a half days. From texting and calling to browsing the web or playing some casual games, the G7 Power can do it all without breaking the bank.
Once you’re hooked up with a reasonably-priced phone, let’s look at other ways you can save. Tap or click here for 6 simple tech hacks that will save you money.