The best cheap phones you can buy in 2020: Flagship features for any budget

Matthew N. Henry

No make a difference how you slice it, the rate of flagships is however a deterrent for many people. Luckily, there are some excellent economical alternatives that have noticeably improved about the previous several decades. A variety of manufacturers, including many from China and Korea, have compelling products that are getting extra popular as we achieve smartphone saturation.

Camera overall performance was a main differentiator in between flagships and mid-vary telephones about the previous few of decades, but even present day economical telephones can enable you produce respectable pictures to share with household and pals or on social media. Let us get a look at some of the least expensive-priced alternatives. These telephones are in order from least expensive to greatest rate.

Disclosure: ZDNet may possibly earn a fee from some of the products featured on this web page. ZDNet and the creator ended up not compensated for this independent critique.

Selling price: $a hundred thirty rate (cost-free on Metro by T-Mobile)


The Coolpad Legacy (see my review) is built with a big display screen, massive potential battery with Brief Demand three., superior-excellent plastic and glass supplies, a microSD growth card, a three.5mm headphone jack, and even launches with Android 9 Pie out of the box. There have to be trade-offs made at the $a hundred thirty rate (cost-free on Metro by T-Mobile), but they are hidden properly on the Coolpad Legacy.

This is a wonderful very first mobile phone, a single for an individual who demands a mobile phone battery that will very last a few of days on a solitary demand, or an individual who wants a significant display screen that is easy to examine.

It has present day functions and reliable structure aspects even though performing reliably to enable you get items performed. I am however shocked by the very low rate of this mobile phone and did not count on it to be this fantastic.

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Selling price: $a hundred and sixty


(Image: CNET)

The Moto G7 Play has a entire retail rate of $159.99, down from the MSRP of $199.99. It can be observed on Amazon or specifically from Motorola at this lessened rate.

The Moto G7 Perform has a display screen with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, 13MP rear digital camera, 8MP front-struggling with digital camera, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of inner storage with a microSD growth card slot, and a fairly big three,000mAh battery. It has some h2o resistance and retains the three.5mm audio jack.

The Moto G7 Perform is priced at less than most insurance policy procedures for flagship telephones, so if you will need a very low-expense mobile phone or a backup, then this may possibly be the a single to look at. Motorola also does a wonderful career of delivering a stock Android practical experience that will get quite typical updates, as well.

See Now at Motorola

Selling price: $two hundred


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The Moto G7 Electricity (see our full critique) is accessible at Amazon for just $two hundred or at Motorola for $250.

ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani stated that the Moto G7 power is the spending plan mobile phone you are seeking for, thanks to its incredibly lengthy battery lifestyle, reliable overall performance, and economical rate. The photo excellent will not likely match flagships priced five times better, but pictures are however fantastic more than enough for social media sharing.

The Moto G7 Electricity has a 6.two-inch display screen, rear 12MP digital camera, an 8MP front-struggling with digital camera, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of inner storage with a microSD card slot, and whopping 5,000mAh battery. It is a mid-degree mobile phone accessible at an entry-degree rate.

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Selling price: $two hundred


Image: LG

The Samsung Galaxy Observe series is a single of the most capable units for the organization, but designs also begin at $one,000 and go up from there. If you however want an practical experience with a stylus at a much extra economical rate, LG’s Stylo line is well worth thinking about.

The LG Stylo 5 is accessible as an unlocked smartphone with a 6.two-inch display screen, 3GB of RAM, microSD card, 3500 mAh battery, 13MP rear digital camera, and 5 MP front-struggling with digital camera. It’s run by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor.

You can use the provided stylus for notice-taking, artwork, drawing chat messages, and extra. Like the most current Galaxy Observe units, you can also slide out the stylus and capture handwritten notes on the go with the monitor off.

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Selling price: $250


Although we are likely to concentration on the Samsung Galaxy S and Observe series, Samsung is making waves with its exceptionally capable A series. The Samsung Galaxy A50 is accessible from various carriers with the minimum costly choice remaining the unlocked version at $249.99 from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy A50 (see our full critique of the Xfinity Mobile product) sports a lovely 6.4-inch Tremendous AMOLED monitor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of inner storage with a microSD card and a Samsung Exynos 9610 processor. There are 3 cameras on the back: 25MP, 8MP, and a 5MP depth sensor with a whopping 25MP front-struggling with digital camera. A incredibly big 4,000mAh battery keeps this lovely mobile phone run up.

An optical fingerprint sensor underneath the display screen works incredibly properly even though we also however have a three.5mm headset jack and USB-C port. The Galaxy A50 is a incredibly fantastic mobile phone and will give you an appreciation for the A series.

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Selling price: $280


The Motorola A person Action stands out from the pack of economical telephones with a triple rear digital camera structure that provides a 117-diploma extremely-large-angle digital camera, 12MP common digital camera, and a 5MP depth-sensing digital camera lens at a rate much less than flagships with 3 lenses. ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani was very impressed by the release and I individually am thinking about a single for a exam mobile phone.

The Motorola A person Action is run by a Samsung Exynos 9609 processor with Android 9. Pie, a 6.three-inch display screen, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of inner storage, and a 3500mAh battery.

A person special perform we haven’t seen from other folks is the capacity to film online video in landscape even though holding your mobile phone comfortably in portrait orientation. You can get pleasure from media on the significant display screen with a little gap-punch front-struggling with digital camera as well.

There is a small degree of h2o resistance, a three.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth 5., and extra inside. It’s a capable mobile phone accessible at a incredibly economical rate.

See Now at Motorola

Selling price: $400


Google’s Pixel line of telephones has been competing with flagships from Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. Google disclosed the Pixel 3a at just $399 a several months back, and the push has been exceptionally delighted with its overall performance. It’s a mid-degree mobile phone, but the standout digital camera from the Pixel three is provided, so if you want the complete greatest mobile phone for underneath $400 that will be current for decades, then you cannot go incorrect with a Pixel 3a in Just Black, Purple-ish, or Obviously White.

Even much better for the masses, Google is promoting these in T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint suppliers. Stay tuned as Google will get ready to announce the Pixel 4 in October.

The Pixel 3a is functioning Android 9 Pie and is certain of having current to Android 10 on a well timed basis. It has a 5.6-inch display screen with a rear 12.2MP digital camera, and a front 8MP digital camera with Google’s great picture processing program.

A Snapdragon 670 powers the Pixel 3a with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a three,000mAh battery, and stereo speakers. A fast rear fingerprint scanner unlocks the mobile phone even though it also however retains a three.5mm headphone jack.

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