Just because you want a cheap phone doesn’t mean you have to compromise on features. There are plenty of bargain phones under £200 – often so good it seems bizarre a flagship phone costs at least three times as much.
Budget phones might not have the sharpest displays or the most seamless metal and glass designs, but a cheap smartphone can still be good looking, offer decent specs, a good battery life and a solid performance, while saving your pennies at the same time.
Who can argue with that? Here’s our guide to the best budget phones around.
How we pick the best cheap phone
For this feature, we’re specifically looking at phones under £200.
If you have a little more cash to spend on a smartphone than that, then check out our best sub-£400 smartphone, or our big best smartphones feature that includes devices in all price ranges. For those that are on a budget though, this is right place for you.
Whether you are after an impulse replacement or you just can’t bear the thought of spending the best part of £700 or more on a device that lets you ring people (among a few other things), here are the best budget phones available to buy today for under £200.
Our pick of the best budget phones
Here’s our choice for the best all-round Android budget handset on the market at the moment…
Motorola Moto G7 Power
The Motorola Moto G7 Power delivers an outstanding battery life with a genuine two-day battery life per charge. The design isn’t as premium as the more expensive Moto G7 and G7 Plus that are part of the same family, but it has a refreshed design over the G6 models, with a notched display.
The display quality isn’t the best, nor is the camera, but the G7 Power offers great value for money. Like other Motorola handsets, the G7 Power has a clean software experience, delivering almost vanilla Android with minimal bloatware, and it offers performance that will suit many just fine.
And the best of the rest…
The Motorola Moto G7 Power might not be for everyone but there are plenty of other great budget Android smartphones. Here are the ones that you should also consider:
Realme 3 Pro
Realme is a sub-brand of Oppo and its Realme 3 is a real budget smartphone winner. It offers a solid battery life, crisp and neutral display and it comes in a number of attractive colour options.
The ColourOS software might put some off and its performance is a little stutter at times, but it offers VOOC fast-charging to alleviate any battery anxiety and it offers few compromises for its asking price.
Motorola Moto G7 Play
The Motorola Moto G7 Play isn’t quite as appealing as the G7 Power and its huge battery, but it still offers a great battery life, a simple and practical design and a clean software experience.
The screen isn’t the brightest around – though still fine – and the camera isn’t brilliant, but the Moto G7 Play is all about affordability. If you’re not interested in gaming and don’t have a lot to spend, it’s a great safe bet.
Motorola Moto G6
Motorola’s sixth generation of the popular Moto G, appropriately named the Moto G6, has now been succeeded by the Moto G7, though the G6 is still worth consideration. It offers a premium looking design for an affordable device, along with an 18:9 aspect ratio display, which means a big screen in a manageable footprint.
The Moto G6 delivers a clean software experience, microSD expansion and although its more expensive brother, the G6 Plus, performs better, the standard G6 offers fairly knockout performance for the money.
Redmi Note 7
Redmi is the more affordable brand of Chinese company Xiaomi and its Note 7 offers a solid design and build for its price, coupled with enough power to do most things and a camera that will take a decent enough photo.
It might have buggy software compared to the likes of the Motorola devices and it doesn’t have NFC, nor a particularly great speaker, but it does deliver a great battery life and it is a perfectly useable phone for its price.
Honor 9 Lite
The Honor 9 Lite offers striking looks well beyond its asking price, delivering a degree of flagship quality. It also has an 18:9 aspect ratio like the Moto G6 and it comes with dual cameras on the front and rear, as well as a well-placed fingerprint sensor and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Battery life isn’t amazing and the touchscreen occasionally lacks responsiveness, while the camera performance isn’t the best out there, but if you want a good looking and decent performing phone that you can buy outright, without getting locked into a contract, then the Honor 9 Lite is a genuine contender.
Motorola Moto One
The Motorola Moto One offers a good looking design with some flagship features including a glass rear, fingerprint scanner and trim bezel. It’s cameras aren’t the best in low light and the screen should be a higher resolution but this devices offers fuss-free software and it is an excellent price.
Some others on this list offer stronger specs, but the battery life of this Moto One is absolutely fantastic so well worth considering.
Motorola Moto G6 Play
The Motorola Moto G6 Play offers a whole lot of goodness for its modest asking price. Its real win is battery life, which goes on and on, but it offers a modern design and display too compared to previous generations.
Its performance isn’t always brilliant and it has a 720p resolution display, as well as a Micro-USB port which is a little old fashioned but it is cheaper than the Moto G6 so it’s a good option for those with a lower budget. It’s worth considering it’s successor, the Moto G7 Play, too – a little further up this list.
Huawei P Smart
The Huawei P Smart features a solid and stylish design, a crisp and natural display and a well-placed fingerprint sensor for rapid login. It also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a feature many smartphones now leave off their spec list.
The performance isn’t always perfect and battery life could be better, but the Huawei P Smart is worth considering, even if we would recommend the Honor 9 Lite as a better device that’s cheaper too.