The smartphone market has been flooded with a lot of new releases this year. Most of them are great, but they cost a lot. There are some hidden gems between them, and we are going to reveal them in this article. We reviewed the 5 best budget smartphones that you can buy right now and get a great value in return.
1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 is the best budget smartphone on our list due to its remarkable performance and battery life. Besides those it packs an amazing rear dual camera array, that houses the whopping 48MP as the main camera, it has most of the features that the flagship phones have but everything at the budget price point.
It has a flat front that sits on the glossy plastic chassis delivering a good looking and durable phone in general, it is rather large due to its 6.3-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. It achieves the near edge-to-edge look with a teardrop notch that houses the front camera. The plastic body provides a solid housing for the phone and feels sturdy in general, something we do not see often in a budget phone, but unfortunately, it is not IP rated.
It lodges a 6.3-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 2340×1080, this puts in the same class as the high-end flagship phones in terms of sharpness. It lacks only the ample punch and pop of an AMOLED screen technology, the colors are not as warm and the brightness is unremarkable but other than those the viewing experience is excellent with plenty of details.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 is armed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of integrated storage, you will never feel underpowered with these phones in your hands, everything is optimized to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Split-screen multitasking and picture-in-picture video will work flawlessly and won’t overheat your phone, you will not notice any lag or stutter in any given situation. You can even play high-end games at lower settings with good framerates.
The phones dual rear camera works perfectly, it provides good images with great sharpness thanks to its 48MP lens and vibrant colors, it only lacks some high-end features such as the optical image stabilization and the laser autofocus.
With a powerful 4000mAh battery, it comes second only to the Moto G7 Power. When you look at everything that this phone offers you can easily mistake it for a high-end phone. I would say that it’s definitely one of the best budget smartphones out there.
2. Samsung Galaxy A9
In this budget smartphone list, we have a phone from Samsung, that has four rear cameras and it was the first phone to do so. Samsung has stated that this phone is ‘optimized for Instagram’, meaning that it is designed for the social media purposes mostly, but it also packs a great screen with remarkable performance specs and a decent battery to top it off.
When you first look at this phone it is easy to assume that it is a premium smartphone, with its beautiful looks and amazingly designed metal chassis with a glass front and rear, Samsung has not compromised in the looks right here. It is a slightly bigger screen thanks to its 6.3-inch screen, but its super light for such a large device at just 183grams. The glass back houses the fingerprint scanner and the vertically aligned quadruple-camera array, but the glass back tends to pick up dust and fingerprints, the camera array as well, so it is handy to keep a microfiber cloth for cleaning.
It comes with the aforementioned 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ panel with 2220×1080 resolution, for its price the image on the screen is sharp and impressive, but don’t expect the QHD panel quality that is apparent on the high-end Samsung phones. On the top and the bottom, it has some thin bezels steering away from the notch or teardrop design that other edge-to-edge phones use. Overall speaking the screen is pretty impressive, with a great amount of colors and brightness.
This model houses a lineup of four rear cameras, the 24MP primary camera, the 8MP camera with a120 degree wide angle lens, the 5MP depth-sensing camera, and the 10MP telephoto lens, and on the front, there is the 24MP selfie camera. All of the cameras provide amazing pictures and will please the social media users and photography enthusiasts.
On the performance department, the Galaxy A9 has an octa-core Exynos 7885 chipset and 6GB of RAM, that provides ample power for every day-to-day task and its even good for gaming.
When we take everything in the consideration it is not surprising to see why the Samsung Galaxy A9 is a serious option for budget buyers.
3. Motorola Moto G7 Power
We have seen that Motorola has been in some kind of revival in recent years, it has produced a good lineup of phones, the most prominent of them being the G7 series, that with its all-around decent performance and price have been attractive for the budget consumer. The Motorola Moto G7 Power is one of those phones, but it offers battery life and durability that no other phone can offer in that price range or higher.
Motorola Moto G7 Power to give that edge-to-edge feel and design it has gone with the notch design, rather than a teardrop-like the original G7, but the bezels on top and bottom are slightly thicker. In fact, the phone is a little thicker and heavier than the original G7, thanks to its huge battery, it is 9.3mm thick and weighs 198 grams. On the rear, you will find the mirror-like finished Marine Blue body that houses the Motorola logo that also acts as the fingerprint scanner, and the 12MP camera. The phone also has a P2i nano-coating water repellent, which works rather well.
The smartphone has a 6.2-inch IPS LCD screen with a 1520×720 resolution, this means that the screen has 271.2 pixels per inch, with an uncommon aspect ratio of 19:9. The IPS LCD screen and the lower resolution means that the battery will last longer, however, that also translates to a loss of sharpness. But fortunately the screen provides amazing colors, it manages to reproduce 123 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is pretty impressive for its price, and can produce 558 nits on max brightness.
Packed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 CPU with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of integrated memory that can be upgraded up to 512GB with a microSD. With that solid spec sheet, it performs very well in every day-to-day scenario smoothly, however, it won’t run the more demanding games very smoothly, other than that the experience will be seamless.
The battery life is the best that you can find everywhere, packing a 5000-mAh battery that will last more than 15 hours with continuous use.
If you want the longest-lasting phone with a decent performance the G7 Power is the choice.
4. Xiaomi Mi A2
The Xiaomi Mi A2 is another amazing option from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, it is right in the middle of the budget range and provides decent levels all-around and is a very refreshing package, just when the budget market needed a breath of fresh air Xiaomi has delivered again. They are still sticking to their ‘no more than 5% profit’ policy, the fan base is growing stronger every day.
In terms of design, the Xiaomi Mi A2 looks like a very generic budget Android smartphone, everything is functional and there are no flashy bits. The rear has a matte aluminum build which surprisingly doesn’t feel cheap and feels good, there is also the fingerprint scanner located just in the middle of the top part that is just right, on the top left is the vertically aligned dual-camera array. The device feels substantial at hand and has a decent quality in its exterior parts.
It has a large 5.99-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel which has an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 2160×1080, which provides pretty crisp details and good colors, it is a very solid screen for this price range. Unfortunately, it does not get very bright which may prove to be a problem for the more outdoorsy types. But generally speaking the quality of this screen is pretty good, colors don’t pop like on an OLED screen but they are pretty accurate and vivid enough, and the amount of sharpness is great providing a crisp image.
In the performance department, it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU that is definitely out of its price range, with a decent 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB of integrated storage that can be upgraded if needed. I have tried this phone in various scenarios and have seen that it provides an amazing performance that is pretty quick and responsive, you could play most of the games smoothly, and in day-to-day productivity, it doesn’t lag at all.
The 12MP and 20MP dual camera provide amazing pictures and videos with HDR capabilities. The battery is pretty good and should last about two days in moderate use. All these features make this phone a great all-arounder for a budget phone.
5. Honor Play
We are going to start our best gaming smartphones list with a Honor product. Mobile gaming has never been more popular than today with PUBG and Fortnite mobile being some favorites, the smartphone industry has refined its products to better suit gameplay. Honor Play is one of those, it offers great performance, attractive screen, and solid battery life among others while keeping a budget price tag.
Design-wise the Honor Play has chosen a more discrete path, wandering far from the traditional gaming looks, and has provided a more subtle, down to earth design. It has a nice body that is built with metal and that looks sleek but a little outdated on the rear, there you can also find the fingerprint scanner and the dual cameras. The front looks pretty good actually with a nearly edge-to-edge screen with just two thin bands on the top and bottom, the top houses the speaker and front camera and the bottom bezel features the Honor logo. Generally speaking, the Honor Play looks and feels quite nice, and has a nice build quality, it comes in Midnight Black or Navy Blue colors, which are both attractive.
It is not the compact of smartphones, due to its screen which is huge at 6.3-inches, it features a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and is comfortable to use with one hand due to its one-handed software. Despite being a budget gaming smartphone, the Honor Play provides great visual experience thanks to is extended Full HD+ IPS LCD that is very vibrant and sharp. It is also bright enough to use it comfortably outdoors, along with the Corning Gorilla Glass that protects it from crashes and slight falls, pretty durable and outdoorsy phone surprisingly.
In the performance department, the Honor Play packs a Kirin 970 CPU which is a flagship-grade CPU with high performance, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage upgradable to 256 via an SD card. With these specs the Honor Play doesn’t disappoint in gaming performance, running games smoothly and performing accordingly in synthetic benchmark tests. All this is done thanks to its GPU Turbo that Honor has upgraded and tweaked some of its technical bits.
One of the best budget smartphones in the gaming category.