There was a time when owning a powerful smartphone required a two-year contract or you would be expected to pay as much as $600 – $800. Thankfully this has changed considerably in the last few years. There are now several manufacturers that offer handsets that bring quality specs and are priced low enough. In this article, lets take a look at some of the best cheap Android phones on the market.
1. Moto G4
Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Octa-core 1.5GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
- Bright Full HD display
- Impressively powerful
- Lack of Moto Maker options
- No NFC
Motorola has made some major upgrades to one of its best phones you can buy right now – the Moto G.
The Moto G4 is the first time the phone line has adopted a 5.5-inch Full HD display and it’s an impressively powerful device as well.
Battery life is impressive on the Moto G4, but it’s not a perfect phone, as there’s no NFC and no customization options you get with other Motorola devices.
That said, the rest of the Moto G4 makes it a great cheap phone you can buy right now.
Weight: 112g | Dimensions: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 4-inch | Resolution: 1,136 x 640 | CPU: Dual-core 1.3 GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 1,560mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
- Touch ID is easy and secure
- Great camera on a budget
- Battery could be better
It’s really difficult to fit an Apple phone on a cheap phones list but there has to be at least one that’s inexpensive enough for iOS fans who refuse to try Android.
The cheapest is the iPhone 5S. Through the Apple Store it costs $450 without a contract until the iPhone SE replaced it and that was way too expensive to consider here.
It comes in space gray or silver, has Touch ID, an impressive 8MP camera and runs iOS 10.
Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.8mm | OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Octa-core 1.8 GHz | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
- Beautiful, bright display
- Lots of features for the price
- Tends to get warm
- No NFC, microSD or fast charging
Every OnePlus device is angled to the consumer as a “flagship killer”. Although there are more powerful phones available today, the OnePlus 2 still represents a fantastic value for light users, as well as the more hardcore users.
It may not have the features of high-end phone like NFC, fast charging, or microSD support but it’s still the most capable smartphone.
Sony Xperia XA Ultra
Weight: 201g | Dimensions: 162 x 79 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB w/ microSD | Battery: 2,700mAh | Rear camera: 21.5MP | Front camera: 16MP
- Sturdy, minimalist design
- Average selfie camera
- Average battery
- Hefty size
The Sony Xperia XA Ultra is a bold phone for being mid-range. It’s powerful enough to handle everyday tasks.
It’s front-facing camera feels like a unique trait and one that comes back in the future.
If you’re in need of a solid performer that won’t empty your pockets then you might have just found your next phone.
Moto G4 Plus
Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 7.9-9.8mm | OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Octa-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2/4GB | Storage: 16GB w/ microSD | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
- Great camera
- Bright, crisp display
- Plastic build
- No NFC
Lenovo has seamlessly continued Motorola’s good work refining this popular budget range and elevating expectations about what you can reasonably expect in a relatively cheap Android phone.
If you’ve been looking for something with a big screen and a good camera, the Moto G4 Plus is definitely a good buy.
For a similar price, Moto is upping the ante with a refreshed design and a few extra software goodies included.
HTC One A9
Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 145.7 x 70.8 x 7.2mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Octa-core 1.5/1.2GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2,150mAh | Rear camera: 13MP
- Stunning design
- Light overlay on stock Marshmallow
- Poor battery life
The HTC One A9 does look like an iPhone but that isn’t it.
Inside of this beautifully-crafted device HTC has packed in a surprising amount of power for the price and we love the Sense overlay on Android Marshmallow because it doesn’t mess with the stock experience too much.
The battery is pretty small for today’s standards but the general experience will impress those who are on a budget, yet want a stylish smartphone.
Asus Zenfone 2
Weight: 170g | Dimensions: 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Quad-core 1.8 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
- Spacious display for cheap
- Customizable interface
- Cheap look and feel
- Dim screen and camera
Its roomy 5.5-inch display, 1080p resolution and Android software tweaks are the real highlights. Screen brightness and camera aren’t really impressive but you can’t win them all with a cheap phone.
Intel is powering both variants, and this phone has a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z3560 quad-core chip, ditching the more commonly used Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
Microsoft Lumia 650
Weight: 122g | Dimensions: 142 x 70.9 x 6.9mm | OS: Windows 10 Mobile | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1,280 x 720 | CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2,000mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
- Good screen, camera
- Low price
- Slow processor
- Small selection of apps
The lovely in-hand feel, the dependable camera, the decent battery life, the surprisingly good speakers and the mostly smooth day-to-day operation are all key to what a good smartphone experience should be.
The poor processor selection is all that holds this device back from real greatness. If Microsoft had followed the competition and gone with the likes of a Snapdragon 616, 652 or 617, or maybe doubled the RAM, the Lumia 650 would’ve been a hit.