cheap windows phone

Despite the fact that modern smartphones can easily take high-resolution photos and record videos, the quality of resulting footage and photos is still inferior to those made with specialized devices, such as bridge cameras or cameras for portraits. With that, wherever you use it keeping memories with a portable camera will be as easy as it will be exciting. So what are the best Cheap Windows Phone and windows phone 2020 models?

Windows smartphone is a phone running on a Windows mobile operating system, which, similar to its desktop PC and laptop version, has practically the same set of features and compatibility with various applications. Thus, a Windows-based phone offers the functionality analogous to the one of Android and iOS-based phones while using the same main hardware components. Many global brands opted to produce smartphones based on Windows OS as they found them to be in great demand. For example, such a popular feature as the One Drive that provides a free cloud service for storing your data greatly enhances the abilities of Windows phone users to save large data volumes and access them from virtually any location via their phones.

cheap windows phone

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL (RM-1085)

THE FIRST FLAGSHIP PHONE BY MICROSOFT

Soon after Microsoft introduced its new, improved Windows 10 operating system, it was highly appreciated by many users as it had a convenient and intuitive interface very similar to the one of Windows 7 OS. The popularity of this desktop OS gave impetus to further development and updating of the mobile version of this operating system for smartphones. It was this very Windows 10 Mobile that was preinstalled on the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL flagship smartphone. This smartphone model that runs on Windows can rightly carry a proud title of the flagship. The device proved to be very stylish and successful regarding its design. In terms of performance, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with 8 cores and 2.0 GHz provides very high calculating power. While the 3 gigabytes of RAM provide enough room for running even very demanding applications. The graphics chip of this Lumia Windows phone, Adreno 430, excels in the most cutting-edge games, showing a consistently high FPS. This means a quick launching of games and absence of any stutter and choppiness on the screen when gaming. For fast-paced action games, this advantage plays a key role. As any modern smartphone, this model can be used as a GPS navigator. With the A-GLONASS and A-GPS modules installed on Lumia 950 XL, you can quickly and accurately determine your current location on the map, also the smartphone is able to reliably lead you along a pre-defined route on the map. There is also a Bluetooth 4.1 adapter with BLE and NFC technologies support, which provide fast pairing with any compatible device. The statement is very easy to verify if you take, for example, a set of wireless headphones. For charging the built-in 3340 mAh battery, the manufacturer chose a slightly non-standard but gaining more popularity USB Type-C port, which is widely used in Apple products. The 950 XL smartphone is also equipped with a 3.5 mm port for connecting a wired headset. The most interesting feature of this model is its ability to be easily transformed into a mini PC: with the free docking station (requires Lumia offers app download when placing the order) and the Continuum technology you can connect a display and a keyboard with mouse to the smartphone.

Review of Microsoft Lumia 950 XL (RM-1085) Unlocked International Model

THE BEST COLORS

For any smartphone, the display is very important and the Microsoft is well aware of it. That is why the company decided to equip its Windows smartphone flagship with the best of the displays. This Lumia model got the 2K screen with the 2560×1440 pixels resolution and 5.7″ diagonal. For such an impressive size, the smartphone is quite grippy and does not slip out of your palm. And watching movies or simply working gets very comfortable with this display. The AMOLED panel used in the phone display provides a very accurate color and hue rendering, vivid images that almost come to life owing to their incredible realism and volume. However, this display is very good for both watching and shooting high-quality video content. Speaking of which, this Windows smartphone has a 20-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, which you can use almost immediately. The Lumia 950 phone can encode the video footages shot in the 4K format, which makes it being on par with modern professional cameras. Thus, the device turned out to be very balanced in all aspects offering all the necessary features for comfortable work and leisure.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL (RM-1085) Unlocked International Model in the use

HINT

Probably all those who used devices with a built-in battery at some point encountered the problem of the battery discharge when it was least expected. Luckily, there are such devices as power banks that effectively address this issue. With their compact size, you can carry it with you anywhere to have an alternative power source in case of unforeseen situations.

windows phone 2020

Nokia Lumia 1520

MULTITASKING

As consumer market trends show, modern smartphones are not enough to be designed to deliver a high performance in some specific software application, instead new devices need to ensure good multitasking performance. This requirement is conditioned by modern smartphone use scenarios and software environment. Previously, the devices that were running under Windows Mobile platform were not required to have a high-performance hardware, but with the release of new updates to the mobile platform by Microsoft, the powerful hardware became relevant and highly demanded. Nokia Lumia 1520 is an alternative to Android and iOS-based devices and has a powerful processor on the board and a great big display. You can unleash its potential virtually in any use scenario, whether working with office applications or playing games or watching movies. The more so the 6″ display of this Windows-based phone suits for any of these tasks perfectly. The IPS panel of the Lumia 1520 offers the Full HD resolution and displays the images at different angles with minimum color distortion, producing a well readable picture even in direct sunlight. But it is the way how the 6″ display is utilized in Windows Mobile OS that greatly improves the user experience with this Lumia smartphone. The operating system enables you to open multiple applications in separate windows and display them at the same time on the screen, which was not achievable with other mobile operating systems. The Nokia 1520 large display together with its multitasking-optimized OS makes it very convenient to create quick notes with a stylus, even on the go. This high-performance phone is excellent for both photo and video, as its 20-megapixel camera was manufactured using the PureView technology that greatly simplifies taking high-quality photos. The rear camera optics by Zeiss is among the best available and is resistant to scratches and abrasions, thus preserving the original appearance of the lens. With that, you will not experience a degradation of the quality of photos over the time. Regrettably, the performance of the front camera is not even close to those provided by the rear one. With its modest 1.2-megapixel resolution, the front camera of the 1520 smartphone model by Nokia is clearly inferior to front cameras of competing solutions.

Review of Nokia Lumia 1520 16GB Unlocked

A SUBSTITUTE FOR A DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER

The Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphone can easily substitute for a digital audio player with its rich audio processing capabilities and ability to play music from both the built-in speaker and the headphones connected. In terms of the sound quality alone, audiophiles may find the sound produced by this Nokia phone, as by the other analogous phones, somewhat lacking in the low register, and the soundstage to be a little narrow. The audio out for your hands free set or earphones is located on the top of the phone, which makes the smartphone blind operation in a pocket more convenient with earphones connected. The built-in 3400 mAh battery is sufficient for nearly a day-long operation, which means a whole day of using this smartphone that utilizes the Windows OS for your work or entertainment without a risk of the battery drain.

Nokia Lumia 1520 16GB Unlocked in the use

HINT

As a rule, the earphones that come with the most smartphones, offer a mediocre sound performance, so we recommend replacing them with better ones. We suggest buying a set of closed-type earphones or headphones for an optimal sound experience when used with mobile phones as such earphones produce a very detailed sound while providing a good isolation of ambient noise.

Nokia Lumia 1020

A SNAPSHOT OF PERFECTION

Looking for a powerful phone that can snap high-quality photos, run modern apps, and, at the same time, not make an Ohio-sized hole in your budget? Well, you could go for used models or risk it on a Chinese knock-off but we recommend the Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone instead. This is one of the flagship models of the Lumia lineup and you’ll see why real soon.

First things first we have to give high praise to the rear camera here. With 41 megapixels, this phone will net you the best picture quality you could reasonably hope for and that’s not all. You can do a 4x zoom to get up close and do widescreen shots of objects far from you. The advanced technology used by the camera won’t let any loss of quality through so you’ll receive a clear image in the end. This is helped by the optical stabilization feature that gets rid of blurring even if you have shaky hands or the object is moving.

Review of Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone

SEE MORE, DO MORE

Now, with that kind of camera to work with, you might want to go wild and snap hundreds of vacation photos. However, make sure you leave some space for the rest of your files. That might be a bit hard to do, though, since you only get 32 GB of internal storage with no slot for a memory card. It’s a bit disappointing but not a huge deal in the modern age of cloud storage.

Besides, the rest of the tech specs are pretty slick here. With 2 GB RAM and a powerful dual-core processor, this Windows phone might not rival a full-on modern computer but it certainly stands its ground against other smartphones and even some PCs and laptops from last gen. It can run apps without any stuttering or crashes, which is vital if you plan on using it for work (or games, we promise we won’t tell).

By the way, we want to quickly circle back to photos. They’ll be an absolute joy to look at on the 1920 x 1080 display of the Nokia Lumia 1020, especially since you can zoom in quickly thanks to the multi-touch feature. And the color and contrast settings give you room to work with so you can set the screen up to your liking quickly.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone in the use

A RARE CHANCE

If there’s one last complaint to make, we’d have to call the battery here a bit underwhelming. It’s not bad but it’s below what some of the other flagship models offer. Luckily, it’s just a black sheep amid a great specs list, so it’s not a cause for worry.

All in all, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is a prime example of an alternative to iPhones and their ilk. It’s a reasonably priced smartphone for those who like photography and want their gadgets to be advanced and elegant. This is a real bargain in terms of specs and quality so don’t let it pass you by.

Microsoft Lumia 650 (RM-1154)

METAL TO THE PEOPLE

Soon after the Microsoft company revealed their flagship Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones to the public, the budget Lumia 650 model was introduced. That was the first entry-level smartphone by the company with the newest Windows 10 operating system, which is installed on the flagship models. However, the phone developers decided not only to equip the phone with the fresh operating system but to add a metal case, which use is very beneficial for the phone operating life and gives users a peace of mind. The speaker, which is located on the back for the most of the smartphones, in this case is located on the bottom of the front panel. Such speaker arrangement a very convenient and thoughtful solution that will let you hear the incoming call or message more clearly. Even when you watch videos, the sound does not disperse but reaches your ears unmuffled. The detachable back cover is removed very quickly and easily, uncovering a removable battery, SIM card slots, and a microSD memory card. The components of this Windows phone is rather modest in terms of a raw performance, with the smartphone not intended for a heavy-load use scenario. The 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of the onboard storage clearly demonstrate this approach. However, the internal storage, as we mentioned, can be expanded using the microSD slot. The internal storage can be expanded to 200 gigabytes, which was hardly credible only a few years ago. This capacity is more than enough to store a large library of books, tons of music and video content on your Lumia 650. The more so since the 5″ display of the smartphone makes viewing such media content very comfortable. With that, the display diagonal size makes the smartphone feel comfortable in your hand, enabling its single-handed operation and preventing its slipping out, which can’t be said about the models with larger displays.

Review of Microsoft Lumia 650 (RM-1154) Unlocked International Model

MADE FOR WORK

The Lumia 650 is aimed at maintaining a fluent and effective workflow. The 650 model is useful both on the road and at home. There are two factors in proof of this statement. The first being the capability of using services of two mobile operators owing to the two SIM card slots available. The SIM cards installed have to be of Nano-SIM size to fit the phone slots. The second factor is the seamless integration of this Lumia cell phone in your working environment in case you are an MS Windows or Office user, as you will not need to learn how to use third-party applications and will be able to work with Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents directly in MS Office on your phone. With this Lumia model, you are able to maintain the Office document workflow or prepare for a press conference while on the road.

Microsoft Lumia 650 (RM-1154) Unlocked International Model in the use

HINT

As you know, you can not only work but have a rest on a trip. And what is one of the best ways to spend your time on the road if not listening to your favorite music? The music brings positive emotions and gives you a powerful charge of energy for the whole day. The best way to enjoy high-quality music is to use a mp3 player or a DAP, which can unleash the whole potential of your headphones or earphones and to submerge yourself in the world of music.

Nokia Lumia 640 LTE (RM-1072)

A BUDGET-FRIENDLY AFFORDABILITY

It is no news that most of the modern smartphone users wish to have a device that offers a seamless integration of a device for work with an entertaining one. In the entry-level segment, the Microsoft company managed to produce such a device – the Lumia 640. The model combines an attractive price with a set of all the basic features and applications for a comfortable use in both scenarios. An effective utilization of the Lumia 640 hardware is achieved by the use of the mature Windows 8.1 Mobile platform, which unique Lumia Denim customized version is installed on the phone. The onboard quad-core CPU is capable of delivering a smooth and stable running of all preinstalled applications, thus allowing you to perform user tasks with the device with no issues. The 1 GB of RAM installed is not much for a modern device, but given the budget cost of this Windows phone and the OS optimization, this is quite acceptable. The components are encased in a plastic body with a matte back cover, which provides a better grip and prevents the device from slip out of your palm accidentally. The back cover is removable, thus you can quickly access the SIM card and microSD card slots. Among the cell communication features supported, there is the 3G communication standard that ensures a quick Internet access and info search from any location covered by the cell network. This connectivity makes it even easier to work when away from your office. The device operation is also facilitated by the 5″ touchscreen covered with the protective Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display supports a four-point operation, which makes it possible for a quick text entry in instant messengers, so you can exchange the information with your friends or colleagues instantly.

Review of Nokia Lumia 640 LTE (RM-1072) International Version

AN ADDITIONAL CONVENIENCE FEATURE

Any modern smartphone is as convenient and useful as its software. Owing to the applications installed, the possibilities of the device conceived as primarily a phone are greatly enhanced, allowing you to use it in a wide range of situations. The Nokia Lumia 640 is no exception and makes both your work easier and the rest more fun. For example, you can use the Glance onscreen feature to personalize the screen saver and configure the settings of the screen clock, incoming messages display and backlight activity scheme. These measures allow you to optimize the battery use and increase the phone operation on a single charge in some measure. You can make use of the alternative ways of controlling your Lumia smartphone, for example, by using a double-tap on the display to wake the phone up without touching the power button. Therefore the Lumia 640 model offers the functionality and performance that are sufficient for performing basic work tasks and provide a fun experience.

Nokia Lumia 640 LTE (RM-1072) International Version in the use

HINT

Since the amount of the smartphone internal memory is limited to only 8 gigabytes, we recommend expanding it. This can be done with the help of micro SD cards, luckily there is a plenty of manufacturers and the products available.

Top 9 Mobile Phone Brands in the World

  1. Samsung – There’s a Samsung for everyone, from the bargain-basement J series and the excellent mid-range A series to the flagship S and Note series
  2. Apple – The iPhones are almost unmatched when it comes to hardware quality, and the company continues to set the benchmark for design
  3. Google – Despite being newcomers to the manufacturing market, Google’s recent phones are true flagship devices with market-leading features
  4. OnePlus – Continues to offer flagship features at mid-range prices, with high-end features and performance and impressive hardware
  5. Huawei – Security concerns aside, it’s impossible to deny the Chinese company makes some of the most impressive phones on the market
  6. Motorola – It’s had a hard few years, but still knows how to knock out a top quality mid-range phone
  7. Nokia – Once consigned to the smartphone graveyard, Nokia is back with a vengeance with a killer low- to mid-range lineup
  8. LG – Formerly a smartphone giant, LG’s handsets have struggled to find an identity in a crowded marketplace
  9. Sony – Another brand that’s fallen on hard times, Sony has lost the initiative on design and offers a truly baffling range of phones

The smartphones market has never been more competitive, and all of the phone brands mentioned above have some fantastic (and not so fantastic) devices to choose between.

In the table below, we’ve rounded up our top choices for the best phones you can buy at the moment across a range of top phone brands:5 out of 10

  • backward
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PriceScreen sizeScreen typeScreen resolutionOperating systemBattery sizeProcessorVerizon PlansAT&T Plans
Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusSamsung Galaxy S20iPhone 11 ProiPhone 11Samsung Galaxy Note 10 PlusGoogle Pixel 4 XLSamsung Galaxy S20 UltraOppo Find X2 ProiPhone 11 Pro MaxMicrosoft Surface Duo
$849$749$999$699$1,099$899$1,399$1,350$1,099$1,399
6.46.25.86.16.86.36.96.76.55.6-inch/8.1-inch
AMOLEDAMOLEDOLEDLCDAMOLEDP-OLEDAMOLEDAMOLEDOLEDAMOLED
1440×30401440×32001125×2436828×17921440×30401440×30401440×32001440×31681242×26881800×2700
Android 10/ OneUI 2Android 10/ OneUI 2iOS 13iOS 13Android 10/ OneUI 2Android 10Android 10/ OneUI 2Android 10/ ColorOS 7.1iOS 13Android 10
4100400030463110430037005000426039693577
Snapdragon 855Snapdragon 865A13 BionicA13 BionicSnapdragon 855Snapdragon 855Snapdragon 865Snapdragon 865A13 BionicSnapdragon 855
VerizonVerizonVerizonVerizonVerizonVerizonVerizonVerizon
AT&TAT&TAT&TAT&TAT&TAT&TAT&TAT&T

We also look at the best phone brand by budget. So whether you’re looking to spend less than $300 or three times that, we’ll help you find the perfect phone.

Phone Brands Compared

No phone brand is perfect, and each comes with a set of pros and cons. Samsung phones have great hardware, but sometimes have issues when it comes to Android and its own UI. Apple, by contrast, has fantastic integration between hardware and its own operating system, but its phones are notoriously expensive.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each phone brand:

Samsung Phones

The Korean brand manages to produce brilliant phones across a range of prices – something few other companies can achieve. Whether you want to splurge on a wallet-busting Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy S20, or scrimp on a Galaxy A10, there’s something for everyone.

Samsung Galaxy S20

While there are three S20 models on sale, we think the S20 is probably the best choice. It has the same 120Hz refresh rate screen tech as the other phones in the series, as well as a lot of the same camera tech. However, at $999, it is significantly cheaper than the other S20 models — the S20 Ultra, for example, costs a whopping $1,399.

Plus, it has 5G as standard. The S20 is undoubtedly one of the best phones on sale at the moment (just don’t tell Samsung it’s better than the more expensive versions).

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

The S10 Plus is arguably the best phone on sale at the moment, and certainly our favorite. Its screen is brilliant, the cameras are top-drawer, and its performance is staggering. It is expensive at $999, but it’s way better value for money that some similarly-priced phones (we’re looking at you, Apple). Read our full S10 Plus review for more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

The Note 10 Plus is huge but brilliant phone. It has a dazzling 6.8-inch display with a small hole punch front camera. As ever with Note-series phones, it comes with a built-in stylus, but also packs four rear cameras and serious performance with a Snapdragon 855 processor and 12GB of RAM on tap. If you need a phone that could feasibly replace your laptop, this is the one to go for. Read our full Note 10 Plus review for more.

Verdict – Quality across the board means that Samsung has something for everyone

samsung galaxy s10 plus screen

Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusArguably the best phone on sale today5In Short

Pros

  • Fantastic screen
  • Great-looking design
  • Strong cameras
  • Speedy processor
  • OneUI is a huge improvement over previous Samsung skins

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Samsung can be slow to issue OS updates
  • Bixby isn’t very helpful

GalleryClick to expand

samsung galaxy s10 plus screen
samsung galaxy s10 plus screen

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Apple Phones

The one you love to hate, or indeed, love to love. Apple stands out from the crowd, being the only manufacturer on this list not to use Android. Its phones are unashamedly expensive, although that doesn’t seem to put anyone off buying one.

Not sure which iPhone to get? See our simple guide, Which iPhone Should I Buy?

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

The follow-up to the XS, the 11 Pro is (in our mind, at least) the best iPhone to buy. You get a pin-sharp 5.8-inch screen, high quality materials, and typically blistering performance. It might cost $1,000, but the 11 Pro is closer than ever to being able to justify that price. We’re big fans of its new triple rear cameras and improved front snapper, while the screen is better than ever. However, Apple is being a bit stingy offering just 64GB of storage as standard.

Apple iPhone 11

The new cheap iPhone is actually $50 cheaper than the phone it replaced. At $699, you get a 6.1-inch LCD (boo) display and the same rapid performance as the 11 Pro and Pro Max. You also get some upgraded cameras over last year’s XR and a brilliant choice of color options. Most pleasingly, though, you also get a larger, longer lasting battery compared to the XR. All told, it’s a good phone that almost everyone will be smitten with.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

The largest of the new iPhones, the Pro Max is a bit of a beast. It has a 6.5-inch AMOLED display and a very large 3,969 mAh battery. Compared to the 11 Pro, however, there aren’t too many differences beyond the larger screen and battery. As a result, we’d probably opt for the cheaper phone. That’s not to say the 11 Pro Max is bad, just that we’d rather save $100 and have a just-as-capable phone.

Verdict – Apple iPhones may be expensive, but they’re excellent across the board

iphone 11 front

iPhone XSIt’s still great but for $100 more, we’d still choose the iPhone 11 Pro4.5In Short

Pros

  • Great cameras
  • Incredibly powerful
  • Fantastic screen

Cons

  • Still expensive
  • Might be a touch too big for some

GalleryClick to expand

iphone xs max review in hand front

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Google Phones

It sounds surprising, but the current crop of Google phones is only the company’s third attempt at making a phone itself. However, the search engine giant excels in software, and it shows in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, with the powerful Google Assistant and excellent cameras making for awesome Android phones.

Google Pixel 4 XL

The Pixel 4 XL is, in our mind, a great phone. However, it’s proven to be one of the most controversial phones of 2019 with large bezels and decent, but not impressive battery life, and stingy storage space. Despite these concerns, it packs the best cameras of any current phone (despite the lack of ultra wide-angle lens) and remains as easy to use as all the previous Google phones.

Google Pixel 3a XL

The Pixel 3a XL is a new cheap version of a Google phone. You still get the same excellent camera quality, but it costs $420 less. The Pixel 3a XL isn’t the fastest phone on sale, and it loses the glass rear case found on the more expensive Pixel phones. But the Pixel 3a XL is still a remarkably good phone for just $479. Read our full Pixel 3a XL review to find out more.

Google Pixel 3a

Like the above, but smaller and even cheaper. Starting at just $399, the Pixel 3a is one of the best value phones on sale. The screen is smaller at 5.6-inches but it’s still a 1080p, OLED unit. Plus, you get the best phone camera on the market for a remarkably low price. Read our full Pixel 3a review here.

Verdict – Camera lovers and Android purists can rejoice, as Google Pixel delivers

google pixel 4 xl screen

Google Pixel 4 XLAn improvement over the Pixel 3 XL, but some problems remain4.5In Short

Pros

  • Stunning camera
  • Impressive screen quality with new 90Hz refresh rate
  • Snappy Face Unlock tech
  • Significantly better battery life than Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 4
  • Stock Android interface is easy to use

Cons

  • Design might not be to everyone’s taste
  • Gesture controls feel a bit gimmicky at the moment
  • No ultra wide-angle camera lens

GalleryClick to expand

google pixel 4 screen

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OnePlus Phones

Probably the first surprise entrant on the list, OnePlus has been quietly cranking out good phones for a while. It’s most recent 7 and 7 Pro models are its most expensive ever, but they’re still pretty good value compared to a lot of flagship phones.

OnePlus 7T Pro

OnePlus is famed for cramming all manner of headline-grabbing features into its phones and it’s managed to outdo itself with the 7T Pro. It has a 6.7-inch super-sharp AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and video playback. It also packs in a Snapdragon 855+ processor and 8GB of RAM. It doesn’t end there though, with triple rear cameras, and a motorized pop-up 16Mp selfie snapper. It was also one of the first phones to use Android 10. Our only sticking point is the lack of waterproofing and the $865 price tag.

OnePlus 7T

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the 7T is an updated version of the 7 which launched back in June. However, OnePlus effectively ripped up the script and started again. You get a larger screen with that all-important 90Hz refresh rate. It gets a new ultra wide-angle lens to give three rear facing in total, plus it gets a larger battery (3,700 mAh vs 3,800 mAh) and even faster fast-charging.

OnePlus 7

The 7 might feel like an ugly duckling in the company of the 7T and 7T Pro. However, it’s still a top quality phone with an AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855, and dual rear cameras including a 48Mp lens. In light of the newer models, the 7 has also had a price cut. It now costs around $410, making it a seriously impressive piece of kit for the price. Read our full OnePlus 7 review for more.

Verdict – Compelling flagship-killer phones at lower prices

oneplus 7 screen

OnePlus 7A seriously impressive phone for the price4In Short

Pros

  • Blisteringly fast
  • Good screen
  • Great cameras
  • Faster updates than bigger manufacturers
  • Cheaper than most similarly-specced rivals

Cons

  • OnePlus phones are becoming more expensive
  • Construction feels a little bit plasticky
  • No waterproof rating

GalleryClick to expand

oneplus 7 home screen
oneplus 7 rear case

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Huawei Phones

Huawei’s had some difficult times recently. In fact, its most recent flagship phones — the Mate 30 and P40 series — were banned from being able to use Google-made apps. This means no Play Store for your favorite apps and no integration with wider Google services. As a result, we can’t really recommend these phones. Fortunately, 2018’s Mate 20 series models are still available and still have access to Google services, and they’re cheaper than ever.

Huawei Mate 20

Another fabulous cut-price Android phone. The Mate 20 comes with an unusual square arrangement for its three rear cameras, a tiny notch and a pin-sharp OLED screen. It also comes in a range of delightful colors and packs the super-speedy Kirin 980 processor.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Mate 20 Pro is a real flagship rival with a Google and Samsung-rivalling price tag. It has a big 6.4-inch OLED display, runs the latest version of Android, and is available with either 6GB or 8GB Ram. You get the same triple-camera set-up at the rear, with one 40Mp, 20Mp and 8Mp lenses. It’s well worth considering if you’re in the market for an Android flagship.

Huawei P30 Pro

The P30 Pro is a true powerhouse. It has a 6.47-inch OLED display, four rear cameras, the speedy Kirin 980 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a huge 4,200 mAh battery. If you need a phone to power through games and multitasking, while also lasting all day — the P30 Pro might be for you (if you can get one).

Verdict – Excellent phones, subjected to unusual geopolitical pressures

huawei mate 20 pro medium

Huawei Mate 20Lacks some top-end features but excells at the core jobs expected of a smartphoneIn Short

Pros 

  • Powerful processor
  • Excellent battery life
  • Huge screen

Cons 

  • LCD display isn’t as sharp as the Pro
  • Might be too large for some
  • Not as water or dust-proof as many phones

GalleryClick to expand

huawei mate 20 small

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Motorola Phones

You might think of Motorola as a brand relegated to the smartphone cemetry, but you’d be wrong. The brand that gave us the iconic RAZR is still knocking out some incredible mid-range phones, which are well worth taking a look at.

Moto G8 Plus

Motorola’s G-series phones have long been regarded as the best cheap phones on sale and, with the G7 Plus, the company has created another cut-price classic. It runs Android, a 6.3-inch 1080p display, triple rear cameras, and a tiny notch. It costs just $310 — yes, you read that correctly. Read our full review for more.

Motorola One Zoom

The One Zoom was launched at IFA in Berlin packing four (yes, four) rear cameras while costing just $449. That array of rear-facing lenses include a depth-sensor, a 117-degree ultra-wide angle lens, and a telephoto lens — meaning you should get great photos whatever the conditions. Find out more about the One Zoom here.

Motorola One Vision

The One Vision costs the same as the g7 Plus but is a very different phone. Firstly, it’s tall — the screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio, making it three times taller than it is wide. Secondly, it takes incredible photos with dual rear cameras (including a 48Mp lens). Thirdly, it uses Android One, a version of Android that gives you speedy updates and minimal bloatware. It’s an unusual but impressive phone.

Verdict – The cheap G-series are a solid option for those one a budget, while its Android One series keeps getting better

motorola g8 plus rear case

Motorola Moto G8 Plus ReviewOne of the best cheap Android phones gets even better4In Short

Every year, it feels like we say the same thing. The latest phones from Motorola’s G-series are great, and arguably the best value for money phones on the market. And believe it or not, 2019 is no different. The Motorola G8 Plus is a great phone, and it costs just north of $300. When a phone this good is this cheap, why would you buy anything else?GalleryClick to expand

motorola g8 plus screen
motorola g8 plus rear case

Nokia Phones

Recently resurrected, Nokia has come back to life with a flurry of activity, launching some seriously impressive mid-range Android phones. They’re certainly not flagship killers – leave that to OnePlus – but they provide a compelling alternative to Samsung’s cheaper options.

Nokia 8.3 5G

The 8.3 is Nokia’s first 5G-enabled phone and starts from around $640 in the US — that’s cheap for a 5G device.

However, the 8.3 is more than just a 5G phone. It has a 6.8-inch display that upscales content into HDR-compatible formats for better clarity and contrast. It has four rear cameras: a 64Mp wide angle lens, a 12Mp ultrawide lens, a 2Mp macro lens for close-up shots, and a 2Mp depth sensor. Plus, it has a large 4,500 mAh battery for extra long battery life.

Nokia 7.2

The 7.2 is a very impressive budget option if you’re looking for strong camera quality. Costing $349, the 7.2 comes with a 48Mp main camera, an 8Mp ultrawide lens, and a 5Mp depth sensor. Plus, these cameras use Zeiss optics for the best clarity and image quality.

The 7.2 is powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor and 4GB of RAM, meaning it should be more than fast enough for most people. The 6.3-inch Full-HD+ display means it should be perfect for streaming TV shows and movies.

Nokia 3.2

The 3.2 is a remarkably cheap phone, costing just $150. It’s not perfect, with slightly sluggish performance and a finnicky face unlock system.

However, it has remarkable battery life — thanks to its efficient processor and large 4,000 mAh battery. It’s also extremely well-built, unseemingly so for a phone at this price.

If you’re looking for the perfect backup phone, the 3.2 might be the perfect fit. Find out more in our full Nokia 3.2 review.

Verdict – Buyers on a budget should definitely take a look at Nokia

Nokia 8.3 5G

Nokia 9 PureViewA left-field alternative with innovative camera set-upIn Short

Pros

  • Great cameras
  • Impressive pOLED screen
  • Stock Android
  • Powerful processor and healthy Ram figure

Cons

  • Battery isn’t the biggest at 3,320 mAh
  • Only IP67 is waterproof-rated, despite not having a headphone jack

GalleryClick to expand

nokia 9 pureview medium

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LG Phones

LG’s mobile division has fallen on hard times, and has failed to grab the imagination at the top end of the market. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some phones worthy of consideration, though.

LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen

LG has taken a different approach to folding phones compared to Samsung and Motorola. Instead of one screen which folds up, LG has decided to give its flagship phones two screens — no creases of reliability problems here — via a unique case attachment.

It costs $899 and, although you get the option of two screens, the rest of the spces aren’t that impressive. The primary screen has a 1080×2460 resolution — which is sharp, but not as sharp as other flagship phones. It has a large 5,000 mAh battery and uses a Snapdragon 865 processor. It gets three rear cameras including a 64Mp main lens, a 13Mp wide angle lens and a time-of-flight sensor for depth perception.

LG G8 ThinQ

The G8 ThinQ is LG’s answer to the leading flagship phones on the market. It packs a sharp 1440×3120 6.1-inch P-OLED display, a Snapdragon 855 processor for top-notch performance, and dual rear cameras. Price? At $849, it isn’t the cheapest, but it is certainly capable.

Verdict – LG is a bit of a leftfield choice, but not necessarily a bad one

LG G8 small

LG G8 ThinQ ReviewUnusual features but a way behind the compeitionIn Short

Pros

  • Interesting features such as HandID and in-display speakers
  • Decent battery life and cameras
  • Decent OLED display
  • MicroSD carad and headphone jack support

Cons

  • Fluctuating price makes it a difficult value proposition
  • Not as powerful as other rivals
  • Sluggish OS updates

GalleryClick to expand

lg g8 thinq
image 421

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Sony Phones

Sony has been stuck in a rut for a while now. However, with its new lineup of Xperia 10 phones, and the flagship Xperia 1, it’s look to change that. The phones are certainly head-turning, with overly tall displays. But are they actually any good?

Sony Xperia 10

The Xperia 10 seems like a pretty standard low- to mid-range phone. It has a Snapdragon 630 processor, dual rear cameras, and a 6-inch 1080p display. But that screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio and is, basically, just a bit too tall for one-handed use. Still, it’s good for watching films and it’ll set you back $299. Intrigued? Read our full review.

Sony Xperia 10 Plus

Like the above, but even bigger. It has a whopping 6.5-inch and it’s frankly too tall and heavy to be used with a single hand. Still, like its smaller brother, performance isn’t bad and that screen is great for watching TV shows and films, or playing games. There’s a significant price bump for that extra screen, though, as the Xperia 10 Plus costs $429.

Sony Xperia 1 II

The confusingly named Xperia 1 II is Sony’s latest flagship phone. Its main selling point is the 6.5-inch 4K 21:9 OLED display. This makes it perfect for watching movies or TV shows, as you’ll have plenty of screen real estate, as well as pin-sharp pixels.

However, you’ll pay a small fortune for that screen quality — the Xperia 1 II is expected to cost $1,300 when it goes on sale in the US.

Verdict – Sony produces decent phones at a range of prices

sony xperia 10 screen

Sony Xperia 10 ReviewA decent mid-range phone with an unusual screen3.5In Short

Pros

  • Tall screen makes watching some stuff better
  • Not too expensive

Cons

  • Plasticky design doesn’t feel brilliant
  • Underwhelming battery life

GalleryClick to expand

sony xperia 10 screen
Sony Xperia 10 screen
Sony xperia 10 plus rear
Sony Xperia 10 side on

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Phone Brands by Budget

These are the best phones you can buy, whether you have $300, $500 or over $1,000 to spend!

Best Phones Under $300 (Or $20 per month)

It’s safe to say that if you only have $300 to spend on a phone, you’re not going to be getting an iPhone. However, some brands offer great phones for budget-conscious buyers.

You should consider a phone from Motorola — anything from the G8 series would be perfect — or Nokia. Rather than looking to cut costs on the features and components, these companies produce phones that you could happily use every day. Some of the materials might not match those at the top of the market, but they have to save money somewhere.

motorola g8 plus screen

Best Phones under $500 (Or $30 per month)

While flagship phones now cost twice as much, there are some great phones to be had for under $500.

For this budget, we’d struggle to look past the Google Pixel 3a XL. It has strong performance, guaranteed software updates, and the best camera of any phone, at any price. If you’re not keen on a Google phone, you could look at a Samsung Galaxy A50.

Best Phones under $750 (Or $40 per month)

The $500-750 phone market doesn’t have the choice that you’d perhaps expect nowadays, with the market becoming polarized towards increasingly expensive or cheap phones – but that’s not to say you won’t find some good phones.

Again, in this price range, you’ll struggle to find a better phone than the OnePlus 7. However, if you’ve currently got an iPhone, we’d probably opt for the new 11.

oneplus 7 rear

Best Phones around $1,000 (or $50+ per month)

If you’re lucky enough to be able to drop a grand on a phone, you’ve got plenty of options. Not all of them are as good as others, though.

Of course, we’re now really entering iPhone territory. The 11 Pro is a great phone, though we’re not sold on the 11 Pro Max. If you don’t fancy something from Apple, we’d go Google or Samsung. If you need the best cameras, get the Google Pixel 4 XL. If you need incredible all-round capabilities, get the Samsung S20.

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