The best cheap phones for 2024

It may be fashionable to spend $1,000 on the latest flagship smartphones when they’re first released, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t even need to spend $500 to get a decent phone these days, as there are plenty of options under $160 to suit your needs. But navigating the budget phone market can be tricky; options that look good on paper may not in practice, and considering that many phones have limited storage, some phones will cost you more. At Engadget, we spend most of our time testing and reviewing medium for high end phoneswe’ve tested the latest budget phones on the market to see which ones are really worth your money.

What to look for in a cheap phone

Our top picks for this guide are between $100 and $300. Anything less and you could end up with a dumb phone or a high-end calculator instead. Because they are designed to be more affordable than flagship phones and even mid-range phones, budget smartphones involve compromises; the cheaper the device, the lower your expectations for performance and experience should be. For this reason, the best advice I can give is to spend as much as you can afford. In this price range, even $50 or $100 more can get you a better product.

Second, you need to know what you want most from a phone. When buying a budget smartphone, you have to sacrifice a decent camera for a long-lasting battery or buy a high-quality display for a faster processor. This comes with the territory, but knowing your priorities will make finding the right phone easier.

It’s also worth noting that some features may be hard to find on cheap phones. For example, you won’t need to look for a device with all-day battery life, but if you want to have a great camera, you’d better pay attention to one of our recommendations. mid-range smartphone guide, all of which come in at $600 or less. Wireless charging and waterproofing are also hard to come by in this price range, and forget about the fast processor. On the bright side, all of our recommendations come with headphone jacks, so you won’t need to buy one wireless headphones.

iOS is also off the table because The $400 Apple iPhone SE is the most affordable iPhone in the series. That leaves Android as the only option. Thankfully, there’s little to complain about with Google’s OS in 2024 — and you might even prefer iOS. Finally, keep in mind that most Android manufacturers typically offer less robust software support for budget devices. In some cases, your new phone may only receive one major software update and a year or two of security patches after that. This applies to the OnePlus and Motorola recommendations on our list.

If you want to keep your phone as long as possible, Samsung has the best software policy of any Android manufacturer in the budget space. four years of security updates on all their devices. That said, if software support (or device longevity in general) is your main focus, consider spending a bit more $500 Google Pixel 7ais our favorite mid-range smartphone scheduled software updates via Mid 2026.


Screen size: 6.72 inches | Memory capacity: 128 GB + microSD | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front camera resolution: 16MP | Rear camera solution: 108MP primary, 2MP macro | Weight: 6.8 oz

300 dollars OnePlus Nord N30 5G it offers the best value of any smartphone on our list. No phone in its price bracket has a processor as fast as the N30’s Snapdragon 695 5G. Plus, OnePlus has specced the N30 with 5G connectivity in addition to a generous 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, meaning you won’t need to budget for a microSD card or cloud storage. It is equipped with a 120Hz IPS display which is great for both gaming and everyday use. Best of all, the N30 comes with a 50W power adapter, using which you can get a full day of battery life in 30 minutes. It would be almost perfect if the N30 was waterproof and if OnePlus committed to pushing more than one major Android update to the phone. – Igor Bonifacic, Contributing Reporter

$250 on Amazon


Screen size: 6.5 inches | Memory capacity: 128GB/256GB + microSD | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front camera resolution: 13MP | Rear camera solution: 50MP main, 5MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro | Weight: 7.05 oz

For only $200 Galaxy A15 5G it’s quite a remarkable device. The Nord has a 6.5-inch display with a slightly slower 90Hz refresh rate than the N30. However, since it has an OLED panel instead of an LCD display, it has better brightness and richer colors than all its competitors. It can also be configured with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and its 5,000mAh battery provides a ton of longevity. While the design isn’t all that exciting, the polycarbonate Samsung uses on the back has a nice matte finish that feels more like glass than cheap plastic. Finally, the A15 comes with four years of security updates and three years of OS updates, which is longer than most phones in this price range. – Sam Rutherford, Senior Correspondent

$200 on Amazon


Screen size: 6.5 inches | Memory capacity: 64GB + microSD | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front camera resolution: 8MP | Rear camera solution: 50MP | Weight: 6.53 oz

2024 for those on a really tight budget Moto G Play covers all the bases well. It has a fast Snapdragon 680 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. And while that last number may seem small, the phone has a microSD card slot so you can add more space if and when you need it. Its 6.5-inch LCD display is also surprisingly sharp with a 90Hz refresh rate. The Moto G Play even has an IP52 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s not much, but it’s good enough to protect against an errant jump or two. Sure, G Play is basic, but basic in a good way. — SR

$150 on Amazon


Screen size: 6.5 inches | Memory capacity: 64GB | SIM card type: Nano-SIM | Front camera resolution: 8MP | Rear camera solution: 50MP | Weight: 6.9 oz

200 dollars Motorola Moto G Stylus it offers something that none of the other options on this list do: a built-in stylus. If you like to take and record notes, this is a cheap phone to buy. Thankfully, there are a few other things going for it. The Moto G Stylus has a large and responsive 6.5-inch display and a long-lasting 5000 mAh battery. Moreover, it is available in two beautiful colors: midnight blue and glamorous pink.

As with other variants in this price range, it would be nice if the Moto G Stylus came with a more capable camera, fast charger and better water protection. One word of advice: Avoid the Moto G Stylus 5G. It doesn’t offer enough improvements to be worth the $400. – PU

$130 on Amazon

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