Most newly released smartphones cost an arm and a leg nowadays. The sky-high price tags are totally not worth it because the smartphone will be outdated in a year. Instead, try to buy a smartphone that offers great functionality for the price and lasts a long time. Here is a list of best budget smartphones for you to consider. When compiling this list, we’re looking for phones that have most of the latest features that you’d expect from a smartphone without a hefty price tag. We felt $100 would be a good upper limit (although our #1 product is currently a little over that price). All the phones are $100 or less:
10 Best Budget Smartphones – 2017
1. BLU R1 HD
This is a little over $100, but we had to include this product. This is the best budget smartphone money can buy in our book. It has a speedy 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory. OS is Android Marshmallow. This is a dual SIM phone so it’s highly convenient. The screen is 5 inches and has vibrant HD display. The screen is Gorilla Glass 3 protected. The rear camera is 8MP and the selfie camera is 5MP. These specs are quite solid for a long-lasting smartphone. The only downside is that it comes packed with bloatware that you should delete before downloading your own apps.
2. Kata C2
This smartphone has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, 8GB of ROM, and 5.5-inch super HD display. All these specs come for a retail price of less than $100. Phone storage is expandable to 32GB. Also, you get access to Kata Cloud with 35GB of free storage. The exterior design of the phone is also sleek and quite stylish as well.
This phone comes unlocked so you don’t have to pay a premium buying a plant. It offers the basic necessities in specs: 1.5 GHz processor, 8GB internal memory, Super Amoled Advanced display, 8MP front facing camera with HD video and memory card slot. It works well and lasts long. The only downside is that there is no physical on/off button. Also, the screen is not backlit so it’s hard to see it in bright sunlight.
This sleek and stylish phone has a large 5-inch HD IPS display with 1280 x 720 screen resolution. So, if you want to watch movies or play games, this budget phone will be perfect. It runs on Android Lollipop, and you might be able to upgrade it by about 2 versions. External storage can be expanded up to 32GB. The processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 1.2 GHz Quad-Core MSM8916. Though not as fast as the latest Snapdragon, it’s fast enough to pay casual games.
This phone is rather small. It has a 4.9 inch screen. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 PRO APQ8064 Quad-core 1.5GHz processor, an HD IGZO touchscreen and a 16.3 Megapixel HD Camera. It also has a micro USB port to connect an external keyboard. Overall, this is a solid product for all the basic smartphone needs plus some casual gaming. The only thing I disliked about this phone is the battery, which only has 2320mAh capacity. You may need to carry a power bank around with this phone.
Remember when Microsoft Lumia used to be one of the hottest phones around? It is still one of the best budget smartphones. Set aside your preconceived notions and you’ll find out that this phone is adequate for all your needs. It runs on Windows 8.1, but you can upgrade to Windows 10 without an issue. The chipset is Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon 200. It only slows down when you have multiple apps running. Considering the less than $50 price tag, this phone is more than worth the price.
This smartphone has a beautiful exterior that looks as if you paid $300 for it. In reality it costs a lot less. This is a great phone for browsing the web and streaming content. It has a 5 inch HD screen with color reversal tech. That means you can see the screen from any angle. The phone supports multiple languages too. If you want a posh looking phone for a fraction of the price, this is definitely it.
The Tracfone does not look like much, but it’s very durable and comes packed with features. I have dropped this phone once or twice and it did not even crack. You get excellent basic specs like a 1.3 GHz dual core processor, a 2MP camera and a responsive touchscreen plus physical keys. A single charge gives talk time close to 6 hours. The only downside is that the screen is not really suited for watching movies. Otherwise, everything else is good.
This shiny and sleek smartphone supports dual SIM. It comes unlocked so you can upgrade or replace it easily without being constrained by a contract. It’s compatible with SIM cards from all major carriers except Verizon and Sprint. It’s a great phone for watching movies and playing games. The phone supports 4G HSPA+ connections.
This phone has a stunning exterior and a large 7-inch screen perfect for watching movies. It has a 2MP selfie camera and a 5MP rear camera. The phone has a quad-core processor that runs on Android Marshmallow. It supports dual SIM and cards from all GSM and MVNO carriers in the U.S. You can get global coverage for international SIM cards in over 120 countries. Overall, this is a great phone you can buy for cheap.
Tips for Buying a Cheap Smartphone
Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for the best budget smartphones:
Start liking Android. The cheapest smartphones are usually Android ones. Also, Android gives users better hardware and app choices than iPhones. You cannot buy an iPhone for cheap unless it’s used or refurbished.
Smartphones with cameras with larger screens are usually more expensive. Buy a 5-inch screen phone to stay on budget. The screen isn’t ultra small either.
Ignore the megapixels when considering the camera. What matters is the pixel size and aperture. Pixel number should be big as possible, and the aperture should be as small as possible.
Gamers should buy a smartphone with a Snapdragon 820 processor and at least 4GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 615 processor is adequate for mild gamers.
Try to buy a smartphone with at least 3,000 mAh battery capacity. Smartphones with less will need to be charged a lot more, especially if you use apps a lot and play games.