Best Android Phones Under $300 TechnoBuffalo 2021
Over the past couple years flagships have reached maturation with just about every feature users could want, and in turn, manufacturers have nudged towards enhancing the low-end market with amazing devices under $300. This means there are a ton of fantastic smartphones that you can buy within a price-conscious budget. The Moto G7 is the best one on the market right now thanks to the crisp display and features that make using the phone easy.
- Our Pick: Moto G7
- Best display: Samsung Galaxy A7
- Best Compact Size: Huawei P20 Lite
- Best Large Screen: Honor 8X
- Best Battery: Moto G7 Power
Best Overall - Moto G7
The Moto G7 just sneaks under our $300 threshold, but it gets in and takes the top spot deservedly. We reviewed the Moto G7 and came away impressed by the totality of the product. It has a super crisp display for watching video, robust specs for a seamless software experience, and a premium body that feels substantial in the hand. Seriously, hold this phone in your hand and you'd think it costs closer to $500.
Motorola also made sure the software experience in the Moto G7 is great. Any tweaks it made to the stock Android are very minor, which leads to a fast and swift experience where apps load fast and switching between windows is smooth. The only major software features introduced are intuitive like Moto Actions and Moto Display that just make using the phone way easier.
Taking a complete look at the phone. It isn't perfect; the camera could be better and the display has the dreaded notch, but those are minor inconveniences and don't affect the overall experience people will have with the Moto G7.
- Gorgeous industrial design
- Stunning display
- Up-to-date software
- Moto Actions and Moto Display
- Ugly Motorola branding
- Camera is not the best
- Display has a notch
Best Display - Samsung Galaxy A7
Samsung is the Android king, but that title is mostly associated with its expensive flagships, not its robust budget phones that offer fantastic value like the Galaxy A7. The A7 carries on the trifecta of hardware, software, and camera, carrying over the pillars of its marquee devices that are rarely seen in devices under $300.
The AMOLED display, in particular, is amazing to stream content or browse through social media. The resolution alone, at 2220x1080 (411 pixels per inch), is something worth gawking at because it makes text and pictures look detailed and crisp. The overall quality is colorful and vibrant, which should come as no surprise because Samsung is the king of displays. It is also one of the few phones in this price range that offers an AMOLED display.
Moving to the back, you don't get just one or two cameras, you get three. That, too, is unheard in this price range. The main camera is a 24MP with f/1.7 that delivers amazing shots, and you also get a handy 8MP ultrawide shooter that takes in an insane amount of detail and a 5MP depth sensor for enhanced portrait mode images.
- Beautiful AMOLED display
- Top-notch Samsung hardware
- Powerful overall specs
- Three cameras!
- Display has sizeable bezels
- Questionable Samsung software
- No wireless charging
Best Compact Size - Huawei P20 Lite
As smartphones have gotten bigger, it has become increasingly difficult to find a great device that doesn't sport a display that's at least 6 inches. That's where the Huawei P20 Lite comes into play, offering a compact 5.8-inch display, which is the perfect size for a phone to have an expansive display but still fit in a compact body that's still easy to use with just one hand.
So-called budget phones have adopted really impressive build quality, and the P20 Lite is one of them. The body, made of a mixture of a glass display, plastic back, and aluminum frame delivers a sturdy and rigid feel. Needless to say, it's a stunning phone that's very comfortable to hold in the hand.
Another feature worth noting is dual-camera system — though it isn't the best camera performance you'll get in a phone under $300 — and headphone jack, which has become increasingly rare on smartphones in general. It's good to see it sticking around on the P20 Lite.
- Easy to hold with one hand
- High-resolution display
- Impressive industrial build quality
- Headphone jack
- Notch and thick chin
- Cameras are so-so
- Speakers don't get very loud
Best Large Screen - Honor 8X
Huawei's Honor line has been making noise in the low-end market for quite some time, and the Honor 8X is the one leading the charge right now. The plus-size device is a giant with a huge 6.5-inch display, perfect for those looking for the biggest screen possible in their smartphone.
Huawei certainly did something special with how big the display is thanks to the bezel-less design in part thanks to the slight chin and notch. This leads to a premium look that definitely catches the eye and can stand toe-to-toe with more expensive devices. It's also high quality, 2340x1080, which means anything you use it for will look great.
The Honor 8X is running Huawei's EMUI Android skin, which isn't the worst but it doesn't exactly get out of the way either. It does offer some nice customization, yet you'll end up wishing it was less obtrusive. Although you get a high-caliber display, you lose some of the value in the dual-camera, which is where some of the cost-cutting took place. However, the same applies to just about every phone under $300.
- Expansive display
- Display is crisp and vivid
- Build quality feels great
- It has a notch
- Cameras aren't the best
- EMUI isn't the best Android skin
Best Battery - Moto G7 Power
We've already included the Moto G7, but now its huskier and thicker brother, the Moto G7 Power, earns a spot on the list because of its gigantic battery. With a 5,000mAh battery, the Moto G7 Power is meant to last multiple days on one charge, if not more, making it a powerful alternative to other devices that require daily charges.
The only downside to the amazing battery life is that it makes the phone significantly thicker, but that's the nature of the beast when you want a big battery. It has to go somewhere, and that's a worthwhile trade off, especially for those seeking extra battery juice.
Like its smaller brother, the the G7 Power also carries an impressive design made of glass and metal and feels ultra-premium in the hand. Couple that with the fantastic software experience that is basically stock Android with a few extra additions like Moto Display and Moto Actions that are really useful, and it rounds out a very impressive smartphone that only costs a couple hundred bucks.
- Battery life lasts forever
- Hardware feels impressive
- Software is fast and out of the way
- Moto Display and Moto Actions
- Ugly Motorola branding
- Phone is really thick
- Display isn't high resolution
Whether you are looking for a phone that will just work great right away or one that specializes in a particular feature that most appeals to your needs, you should be able to find the right device for you.
The Moto G7 is the device that will best work for everybody. It checks off every mark people look for in a great smartphone: premium build quality, crisp display, agile software, and serviceable camera. If you want one phone that will work great without questions, this is that phone. There are other great options that don't quite reach the level of refinement as the Moto G7 but do specialize in one area that is better than it, be that display or battery.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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 the catalyst for his interest in writing. Down the road, the colorful iPod Mini jumpstarted his interest in technology and has been glued to it ever since.
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