It was only a few months ago we highlighted some of the best affordable phones on the market. But mobile moves quick, and our list has already changed. With the arrival of the OnePlus 3 and Alcatel Idol 4S, consumers have even better options to choose from.
Above, Jon shares a list of ten phones under $400—a price point that hovers right around impulse buy territory. The last several months have been exciting for big flagship releases, but even more exciting has been seeing good phones become more affordable. You can get an Android device for as little as $50 through Amazon, which would have been unheard of a few years ago.
The great thing about watching prices drop is that it makes smartphones accessible to everyone. It also proves that pricing for high-end flagship devices in the $600-$700 range is completely absurd. When flagship devices carry mid- to low-end prices, there is little reason to spend a few hundred more dollars on a device that’s only slightly better.
Our list below has been whittled down to five devices, with five others included under “honorable mentions.” Check it out below.
OnePlus 3 – $399
Phenomenal specs, excellent battery life, and a great camera aren’t the only reasons why we love the OnePlus 3. It also has one of the most beautiful designs, ditching its love of sandstone for the cold touch of aluminum. We still can’t believe this thing packs 6GB of RAM.
- 6GB of RAM
- Excellent Design
- Customizable software
iPhone SE – $399
The cheapest iPhone money can buy is also among the most powerful. And just because it’s small doesn’t mean it don’t punch above its weight. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, recycling old specs and an old design. But it packs a great camera and fast guts, which is about all some people need.
- Terrific camera
- Fast guts
- Last-gen Touch ID
Nexus 6P – $399*
There’s nothing in particular that stands out about the Nexus 6P. But it’s so well put together than it doesn’t need anything more than what it is: A beautiful flagship that takes good photos, performs well, and has excellent battery life. It’s a little big for my taste but I still consider it my favorite phone of the last twelve months.
- Gorgeous screen
- Solid design
- It’s larger than most phones
Check out our Nexus 6P review. *The Nexus 6P is currently $100 off.
Nexus 5X – $299
It’s not the most powerful, nor it is the most beautiful. But the Nexus 5X deserves plaudits for its size, decent battery life, and excellent camera. As the spiritual successor to the famed Nexus 5, it’s hard not to love the Nexus 5X, especially at such an affordable price. “All-around champ” indeed.
- Project Fi support
- Comfortable design, fingerprint sensor
- Stock Android
Alcatel Idol 4S – $399
Alcatel has mostly been known for offering devices in the low-end market, but the Idol 4S is a determined effort to aim higher. With a 5.5-inch display, 3GB of RAM, 3,000mAh battery, and a 16-megapixel camera, the Idol 4S has some very respectable specs. Oh, and it comes with a VR headset, which is a wonderful bonus.
- Comes with VR headset
- Zippy performance
- Good specs
The list of affordable phones is endless. The Moto X Pure Edition, for example, is cheaper than ever, while ZTE just released a phone that’s only $99. Check out Jon’s video above for a more thorough breakdown of the best phones under $400
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.