Looking at the landscape of smartphones, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of devices. You’ve got your premium flagships that cost $999 and there is also a surprisingly rich array of devices that cut the price in half and come in at under $500.
These are the devices we’re going to look at today. It’s easy to forget about these devices, because they don’t always get the proper amount of coverage. Some people automatically associate cheap with bad. However, though they don’t boast the best specs available, their price makes them worth considering.
Here are the 5 best smartphones under $500 you can buy right now.
5. Motorola One
- Price: $349
- 5.9-inch LCD display (1520 by 720)
- Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM, 3,000mAh battery
- Dual-camera system: 13MP and 2MP shooters
Motorola once made a living by offering some of the market’s most premium devices, but it made a strong pivot into more affordable handsets that have brought on devices like the Motorola One. In short, it’s one of the best smartphones you can own right now. It only costs $349, yet offers a premium glass design and specs that deliver powerful performance. [Best Buy]
4. iPhone 7
- Price: $449
- 4.7-inch Retina display (1334 by 750)
- A10 Fusion, 2GB of RAm, 1,960mAh battery
- 12MP camera with f/1.8
This list would not be complete without an iPhone. Sure, Apple is not known for making affordable phones, but since its older devices still hold up well and it pushes out timely updates, you don’t need to drop $1,000 to get a good iPhone. The iPhone 7 is the best, most affordable iPhone available right now at just $449. It can handle everyday tasks like social media, and it has Touch ID and a terrific 12MP camera. [Apple]
3. Nokia 7.1
- Price: $349
- 5.8-inch LCD display (2280 by 1080)
- Snapdragon 636, 4GB of RAM, 3,060mAh Battery
- 12MP camera with f/1.8 and Zeiss optics
Nokia has been making some really terrific Android One devices for a while now and the Nokia 7.1 is the best one yet. Unlike previous versions that look like budget phones, the Nokia 7.1 adopts an edge-to-edge display that looks modern and premium. It’s an incredible achievement, considering the Nokia 7.1 will only set you back $349.
2. Moto Z3 Play
- Price: $369
- 6-inch OLED display (2160 by 1080)
- Snapdragon 636, 6GB of RAM, 3,000mAh battery
- Dual-camera system: 12MP and 5MP shooters
Motorola already made it onto this list but it’s back for a very good reason. Simply put, the Moto Z3 Play is one of the best smartphones under $500 you can buy. With a 6-inch OLED display and impressive specs that include 6GB of RAM, it’s an affordable powerhouse. It also has support for Moto Mods for some added functionality.
1. OnePlus 6
- Price: $429
- 6.27-inch OLED display (2280 by 1080)
- Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, 3,300mAh battery
- Dual-camera system: 16MP and 20MP shooters
The king of budget phones is OnePlus, so it comes as no surprise the OnePlus 6 takes the top spot for best smartphones under $500. Though the OnePlus 6T is already the new kid on the block, it’s only a slight improvement yet it costs more. You’re not missing out on much if you go with the OnePlus 6.