If you need to make your next phone purchase on a budget, we have some pretty good news for you: There are some excellent options that won’t crush your bank account. This year, you can have the high powered, luxury smart phone experience, without the high end cost. These are the 8 best phones under $500, and we think you’re really going to love them!
Who makes affordable phones, anyway?
Typical names like Apple, Samsung, Googel Pixel and Moto G appear on the list with some eyebrow-raisingly inexpensive, but gorgeous, smooth running devices. Be sure to read all the way through, because there’s going to be an unexpected jaw-dropper or two.
Let’s find your phone.
The most widely capable budget phone of 2020 is still the best Phone under $500 on the market.
Specs: Display – 5.81 inch OLED (2340×1080) CPU – Snapdragon 730 G RAM – 6GB Storage – 128 GB
Why Buy: The OLED display is larger, clearer and brighter than the other phones at the top of the list. The camera is top notch for budget phones and the Pixel 4a has pretty great processing power, featuring the Snapdragon 730 G, for what we feel is the best overall deal this year.
Why not Buy: Poor battery life is the biggest flaw of this otherwise perfect budget phone deal. The processing abilities are not as impressive as the higher priced entry we have at #2.
Google Store $349
Mint Mobile $379
Best Buy $349
2. iPhone SE
To be honest, this could easily be at the very top of the list. Choosing which budget phone is the best for you ultimately comes down to your own preferences. With superior processing power of the A13 Bionic chip, and a camera that in most ways is comparable if not better, it makes sense to us why plenty of shoppers would jump on the iPhone SE, first.
Specs: Display – 4.7 inch LCD (1334×750) CPU – A13 Bionic RAM – ??? Storage: 64, 128, 256 GB
Why Buy: The lowest price Apple iPhone doesn’t feel like a budget phone at all. This is the best computer on the list, and it costs less than 500 bucks!
Why not Buy: We personally prefer the display on the Google Pixel 4a, by a pretty wide margin. The iPhone SE’s camera lacks a night mode, and the bezels are quite big.
Apple Store $399
Mint Mobile $399
Best Buy $399
Fans of the Galaxy Note will love this much more budget-friendly, stylus-packing alternative!
If you find having a phone with a stylus invaluable to your workflow, consider the Moto G Stylus. Coming in around $400, and sporting an awesome display, and very strong battery life, many productive types have flocked to this inexpensive smartphone.
Specs: Display – 6.8″ LCD (2400×1080) CPU – Snapdragon 480 RAM – 4GB Storage – 128 GB
Why Buy: A stylus may very well be a deal-breaker for you, if you have gotten used to one. Couple that with 5G connectivity and its no surprise why this already is, for many, the preferred phone under 500 dollars.
Why Not Buy: The screen is frustratingly dim. Stylus experiences some lag, at times.
Best Buy $349
This sharp, modestly priced Samsung phone has a pretty awesome screen for this price range!
OLED! The Galaxy A51 has a pretty decent camera, too.
Specs: Display – 6.5″ OLED (2400×1080) CPU – Exynos 9611 RAM – 4GB Storage – 128GB
Why Buy: This phone looks great, sounds great and feels great. The battery life is very good, and the quad-lens camera gets the job done!
Why Not Buy: This phone feels just a little cheaper than the ones listed above it. It’s sturdy, but unrugged. The display is very good, but the processor is lacking and often slow-running. Low light settings are quite problematic for the A51’s camera.
Mint Mobile $429
Best Buy $399
5. Moto G Power
It looks good, costs less, and the battery lfe is incredible!
This phone checks a lot of boxes, and the price tag is eye-catching. (In a good way.)
Specs: Display – 6.6″ HD (1600×720) CPU – Snapdragon 8-core RAM – 3 and 4 GB Storage – 32 and 64 GB
Why Buy: Motorola claims 3 day battery life and the overall design really looks impressive. You really can’t get a nicer looking phone for this price, not even close.
Why Not Buy: When you consider what just 150 more dollars can get you, it’s a good bargain, but other affordable smartphones might pull you in another direction.
6. TCL 10L
You can’t find too many phones with displays this good for under 500 bucks. The TCL 10L can be found for less than $300.
Even as we get down the list, there are still cheap phones with impressive, luxurious features. The TCL 10L has a state-of -the-art design, at an insanely budget-friendly price.
Specs: Display – 6.53″ LCD (2340×1080) CPU – Snapdragon 665 RAM – 6GB Storage – 64 GB
Why Buy: If you’re the type who mostly just streams videos, and scrolls through social media on your phone, you may consider saving a bunch of cash, without sacrificing too much, by giving the TCL 10L a shot.
Why Not Buy: Beyond its attractive design and solid display, you may find this phone lacking in too many areas, such as processing power, camera quality, and sound capabilities.
Best Buy $249
5G connectivity, and a large screen, plus a nice low price make this mid-level Samsung a worthy addition to our Best budget phones list.
Specs: Display – 6.6″ OLED (1600×720) CPU – Snapdragon 750 RAM – 4GB Storage – 128GB
Why Buy : At this price point, its just about figuring out what you need, and what you can live without. If 5G and a big screen to stream and watch videos are your highest priorities, why spend more?
Why Not Buy: The aforementioned large, 6.6″ OLED display is too low resolution. Lower-quality build than most that ranked higher.
For a $300 phone, this isn’t a bad deal, at all. Remember live headphone jacks?
However, the Nord N10 doesn’t really compare to the seven above it, 5G not withstanding.
Specs: Display – 6.46″ LCD (1080×2400) CPU – Snapdragon 690 Ram – 6GB Storage – 128
Why Buy: The price would probably allow you to smile through its minor lagging issues. Just don’t scroll too fast.
Why Not Buy: You didn’t come here to see the best phone under $300.