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Top 5 Best Budget Phones You Can Buy Right Now

by Danny Zepeda | July 28, 2018July 28, 2018 6:00 am PST

There has been no shortage of fantastic flagship phones in 2018 and that isn’t changing in the second half of the year.

It’s very much the same story if you are looking for a budget phone. At one point, the thought of a cheap phone having solid specs, an impressive design and decent camera was unimaginable, but in 2018, that’s not the case.

I scoured to find the best budget phones and found five that caught my attention because they offer the complete package. Each is different in various ways but should appeal to anybody looking for a great phone without breaking the bank.

To select the phones on this list I looked at specs, design and feature set but most importantly, price. Some consider a budget phone to be at $500, but I disagree. I think somewhere around $200 is what a true budget phones is, so I only included phones that cost under $300 with some selections coming in under $200.

Here are the five best budget phones you can buy right now.

5. Xiaomi Mi A1

  • Price: $199
  • Notable specs: Snapdragon 625 and 4GB of RAM
  • Biometric sensor: Fingerprint scanner

The Xiaomi Mi A1 came out last fall and still holds up great. I had the opportunity to review this Android One device and was pleasantly surprised by all it had to offer. The iPhone clone costs under $200 and makes the most out of the Snapdragon 625 and 4GB of RAM thanks to the stock Android it runs on.

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4. Honor 7X

  • Price: $199
  • Notable specs: 5.93-inch 1080p display and 16MP dual camera
  • Biometric sensor: Fingerprint scanner

There’s no denying the Honor 7 (like the Mi A1) took inspiration from the iPhone but we’re not judging—it looks great. In fact, it improves upon the design by reducing the bezels to make way for a 5.93-inch 1080p display and placing the fingerprint scanner on the back. Huawei also included a dual camera and a slick blue color option that stands out impressively against the black display.

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3. iPhone SE

  • Price: $294
  • Notable specs: Apple A9 processor and 12MP camera
  • Biometric sensor: Touch ID fingerprint scanner

Cheap iPhones are hard to find and that’s why Apple introduced the iPhone SE two years ago—to give people an affordable option. Though the design is six years old, it still holds up due to its premium build quality and with Apple revamping the internals included a new A9 processor and 12MP camera, it’s one of the best budget phones around. Plus you’ll have access to all the benefits Apple’s smartphones offer including iMessage and FaceTime.

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2. Nokia 6.1

  • Price: $248
  • Notable specs: Snapdragon 630 and 4GB of RAM
  • Biometric sensor: Fingerprint scanner

Nokia had a hit on its hands with the Nokia 6 so with that in mind, instead of reinventing the wheel, it refined its winning design and out came the Nokia 6.1, another fantastic budget phone. I reviewed this phone earlier this year was impressed by everything it offered at such an affordable price. From its display (5.5-inch 1080p), camera (16MP), and specs (Snapdragon 630), Nokia did not skimp out on anything.

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1. Moto G6

  • Price: $235
  • Notable specs: All-glass design and 5.7-inch 1080p display
  • Biometric sensor: Fingerprint scanner

When I first held the Moto G6 in my hands, I could not believe how much it cost. It’s all-glass design conjures something like the Galaxy S9 or iPhone X to mind, not a phone that costs $235. Look even deeper and the Moto G6 only gets more impressive. The value Motorola packed into its budget flagship with the design, display (5.7-inch 1080p) and specs (Snapdragon 450, 4GB of RAM, 12MP dual camera) is something I hope all phone manufacturers do in the future.

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Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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