Best budget phone 2021: Cheap phones for $200/£200 or less
(Pocket-lint) – Just because you want a cheap phone, doesn’t mean you have to totally compromise on the available features. There are plenty of bargain phones under £/€/$200 – often so good it seems bizarre a flagship phone costs at least four times as much.
Budget phones might not have the sharpest displays or the most pristine designs, but an affordable smartphone can still be good looking, offer decent specs, a good battery life, and solid performance, while saving your wallet at the same time.
Who can argue with that? Here’s our guide to the best budget phones around. If you have a little more to spend, check out our sub-400 guide.
Moto G9 Power
Motorola managed a super impressive feat with the Moto G9 Power, bringing down the price compared to predecessors with an even bigger battery.
You won’t be too surprised to learn that the screen and performance aren’t exactly stellar compared to a real flagship, but they’re extremely respectable at this price, and the fact it’ll last for days should count for something.
On this budget, there’s nothing else out there that can really compete.
Motorola Moto G8
There are a lot of Moto G series handsets out there, and the standard G8 is still a serious contender.
No, it doesn’t have the best cameras going compared to some other models in the range, but for the money you still get a lot: great battery life, smooth software, ample performance (gaming is no problem), and a refined design compared to earlier equivalents too.
Redmi Note 9
Redmi is the more affordable brand of Chinese company Xiaomi and its Note 9 offers a solid design and build for its price, coupled with enough power to do most things (despite being on a MediaTek platform), and a camera that will take a decent enough photo.
It might have software that’s a little less preferable compared to the likes of the Motorola devices on this page, but it does deliver a great battery life and it is a great budget phone that delivers a lot of performance for your money.
The Nokia 5.3 offers a great battery life, versatile camera system and a clean and always up to date software experience.
It has a cheap build compared to others on this list, the macro camera isn’t brilliant and there is some performance lag, but if you don’t have a huge budget to spend on a phone, the Nokia 5.3 will tick most of the boxes for you.
Oppo is certainly onto something with its Realme brand. This phone’s battery life is exceptional, with near two-day life; its screen is large; and its processor is ample for tasks and gaming alike.
That said – and while we can forgive the screen for not being the highest resolution at this price point – the so-called ‘quad camera’ is an oversell that you’ll need to take with a pinch of salt.
Where the Realme 5 really excels is in delivering a balanced experience for the money.
Writing by Britta O’Boyle.