vivo affordable phones

Vivo might be among the top 5 smartphone vendors in the world right now, but this is mostly because of its popularity in China, which has over 500 million smartphone users. The company has also made a strong case for itself in India and it’s slowly spreading to other markets across Asia, Europe, and Africa. Granted, getting hold of a Vivo phone in some regions can be an uphill task, but thanks to the internet and the many online shopping platforms we have today, it shouldn’t be a problem getting hold of one of these best vivo affordable phones that we have listed below.

vivo affordable phones

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition-4

The sequel to the largely experimental Vivo Nex is here. Dubbed Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition, the most outstanding feature of the phone is, as you may have guessed, the dual display design. The main screen has grown a little smaller than its predecessor, featuring a 6.4-inch OLED full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) display screen while the rear screen is a 5.5-inch 16:9 OLED panel with a 1080p resolution. The front screen leaves no bezels while the back panel sents you back to 2016 and before – an era of large bezels.

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, FHD+ (2340 x 1080) front display screen
  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED FHD (1920 x 1080) rear display screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 10GB RAM and 128GB non-expandable storage
  • Tri-lens 12MP + 2MP + TOF 3D main camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, 3D Face Unlock, in-display fingerprint scanner, 22.5W Fast Charging (10V/2.25A), single bottom-firing speaker, etc.

The secondary display panel not only works as a camera viewfinder, but also the main display, too. That’s pretty cool, although it remains to be seen how practical it is. What also remains to be seen is the global pricing and availability of the Nex Dual Display Edition, which starts selling in China on December 29th priced at CNY 4,998, an equivalent of about $725 or INR 52,000.

Vivo Nex S

There are two variants of the Vivo Nex – the entry-level Nex A and the high-end Nex S (wallpaper download). It is the latter that is of our concern, especially if you are looking for a high-end Vivo smartphone. Unlike the Apex concept that was showcased at the MWC 2018, though, the in-display fingerprint scanner on the Vivo Nex S doesn’t cover an extensive area, rather, it mimics the design of Vivo X21 UD (more in this below), which was the first smartphone to adopt this technology.

The Vivo Nex S trades the infamous display notch for a motorized section on the top bezel that slides out whenever you need to use the front camera. It is for this reason Vivo says the Nex S has a screen-to-body ratio of 86%, which is pretty impressive.

  • 6.59-inch Super AMOLED, FHD+ (2316 x 1080) display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 8GB RAM and 128/256GB non-expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 162 x 77 x 7.98 mm
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, in-display fingerprint scanner, fast battery charging, etc.

In China, the Vivo Nex S has a price tag of about $700 for the base model and up to $780 for the high-end variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

Vivo Nex A

If you really like the whole premise of the Vivo Nex but the price of the high-end Nex S is a little scary, there’s no going past it’s weaker brother, the Vivo Nex A. As you may have guessed, the fact that these two share a name means they also share a lot in terms of design, specs, and features. In fact, the only difference between these two is the processing power and fingerprint scanner placement, but everything else remains the same, as you can see below.

  • 6.59-inch Super AMOLED, FHD+ (2316 x 1080) display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
  • 6GB RAM and 128 non-expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 162 x 77 x 7.98 mm
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, fast battery charging, etc.

Unlike the Vivo Nex S, the Nex A has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, packs a weaker Snapdragon 710 processor and has 6GB of RAM. In China, the Nex A goes for an equivalent of $600 and can be purchased in either Black or Red flavor.

But what if neither of these two is within reach? Read on…

Vivo X23

Earlier this year, the Vivo X21 made headlines by becoming the first smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner. As expected from any novel idea, the functionality of the feature had some issues here and there. Vivo set out to make improvements to this technology by throwing it on several other handsets, but it is the return of the X21’s successor, the Vivo X23, that puts this feature back in the spotlight, but that’s not all you get on the X23.

  • 6.41-inch 1080×2340 19.5:9 Super AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB expandable storage (up to 256GB)
  • Dual 12MP + 13MP rear camera
  • 12MP front camera
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 3400mAh battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, Fast battery charging, microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, in-display fingerprint scanner, 4G LTE, etc.

The Vivo X23 is already selling in China priced at CNY 3498, which is about $510, but details about its global availability remain unknown. Still, the fact that its immediate predecessor, the Vivo X21, was sold outside China could mean the X23 is also coming to a shop near you.

Alternatively, you may also check out the Symphony Edition of the Vivo X23 that borrows the body of its slightly superior counterpart and swaps the processor with a Snapdragon 660 chipset and drops the RAM to 6GB. The main camera remains unchanged, but the front gets a massive 25MP shooter and as for the rest, including battery capacity and software, nothing changes.

In China, the Symphony Edition goes for CNY 2,789  in China, which is about INR 29,000.

Vivo X21 UD

Like the Vivo Nex, the Vivo X21 came with two variants: the standard X21 and the high-end X21 UD. Our concern is the latter version, which is the one that ships with an in-display fingerprint scanner while the standard model has a rear-mounted scanner. This is also a phone for lovers of the notch, something the slide-out camera on the Vivo Nex was out to eradicate.

  • 6.28-inch FHD+ (2280 x 1080) Super AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor
  • 6GB RAM and 128GB expandable storage (up to 256GB)
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP rear camera
  • 12MP front camera
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 3200mAh battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, Fast battery charging, MicroUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, in-display fingerprint scanner, 4G LTE, etc.

From a specs point of view, the Vivo X21 UD is a great phone with just about everything you can ever want in a smartphone. However, the major deal breaker for many will be the use of a microUSB port instead of the new USB-C port. An awkward decision indeed, but if you are a fan of the UD, you may have to live with it. On the brighter side, Android P beta is already available for download, which is a great positive to take home.

In India, the Vivo X21 UD can be yours for INR 35,990, which is about $520.

Vivo V11 Pro

The Vivo V11 Pro is the latest midranger the company has brought to India, obviously as a successor to the still-capable Vivo V9. As a result, it comes just below the Vivo X21 in terms of raw power and even pricing, but you’ll be coming across a lot of familiar internals, including the in-display fingerprint scanner that has now become a thing for many Chinese vendors and not just Vivo.

  • 6.41-inch 1080×2340 19.5:9 Super AMOLED display, 402 PPI
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor
  • 6GB RAM and 64GB (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 25MP front camera
  • 3400mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port, in-display scanner, IR face unlock, etc.

The Vivo V11 Pro is available in India priced at INR 25,990 (about $360) and can be had in any of Starry Night, Dazzling Gold or Nebula color variants.

Vivo V9

What if you are in the market for a Vivo smartphone with a huge notched display screen, a powerful processor, the latest software, and top of the line photography, yet either of the Vivo X21 UD or Vivo Nex handsets is doing any favors to your pocket? Well, your answer lies in the Vivo V9.

  • 6.3-inch 19:9 FHD+ (2280×1080) LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Dual 16MP + 5MP main camera
  • 24MP front camera
  • 3260mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port, rear-mounted scanner, Face unlock, Portrait Mode, Ultra HDR mode, selfie lighting, etc.

Vivo says the taller than usual aspect ratio led to a 90% screen-to-body ratio, but one thing that makes the Vivo V9 stand out is the massive 24MP front camera. Still, this is not to say the dual-lens setup on the back doesn’t deliver. In fact, it is the combination of these three camera lenses alongside a bunch of other software-related tweaks that drove us to do a comparison between the Vivo V9 and Apple iPhone X to determine which one is better in photography.

In India, the Vivo V9 can be yours for INR 22,990, which is approximately $350. For all that the Vivo V9 has to offer, many will agree that this is the right price for this handset. Or shall we just call it Vivo’s jack of all trades?

Vivo V9 Youth

As the name suggests, this is a trimmed-down version of the Vivo V9 (also known as Vivo Y85), but on a second look, there isn’t much about this phone that will make anyone look down upon it, really. You are getting the same design language as the Vivo V9, the same display screen, memory, software version and even the battery capacity, among other stuff. But there are also certain things that make the Vivo V9 Youth what it is, as you can see in the specs sheet below.

  • 6.3-inch 19:9 FHD+ (2280×1080) LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
  • 4GB RAM and 32GB (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Dual 16MP + 2MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3260mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port, rear-mounted scanner, etc.

In India, the Vivo V9 Youth has a price tag of INR 17,990, which is about $260.

Vivo Y71

On the bottom end of the spectrum is the Vivo Y71. Unveiled in April 2018, the Vivo Y71 is an entry-level device and there are quite a good number of things that justify this tag. You are getting a massive 6-inch display screen with a super tall aspect ratio of 18:9, but the resolution is of an entry-level device.

The specs under the hood also typify an entry-level handset, but the phone has the latest software on board alongside a big enough battery to see you through a day or two, depending on how you use it.

  • 6-inch 18:9 HD+ (1440×720) LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 3GB RAM and 16/32GB (expandable up to 256GB)
  • 13MP main camera and 5MP front camera
  • 3360mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port, FM radio, etc.

The Vivo Y71 dons a glass-made front panel while the rest of the body is made of aluminum, a rare combination in the Y71’s price category. You are also getting the latest Android 8.1 Oreo with support for Project Treble out of the box.

In India, the Vivo Y71 has a modest price tag of just INR 10,990, which equates to about $160.

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
  • forward
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
Android 10/ OneUI 2Android 10/ OneUI 2iOS 13iOS 13Android 10/ OneUI 2Android 10Android 10/ OneUI 2Android 10/ ColorOS 7.1iOS 13Android 10
Snapdragon 855Snapdragon 865A13 BionicA13 BionicSnapdragon 855Snapdragon 855Snapdragon 865Snapdragon 865A13 BionicSnapdragon 855

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


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


  • 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

Buy from Amazon

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


  • Great cameras
  • Incredibly powerful
  • Fantastic screen


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

GalleryClick to expand

iphone xs max review in hand front

Buy from Verizon

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


  • 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


  • 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

Buy from Verizon

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


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


  • 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

Buy from Amazon

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


  • Powerful processor
  • Excellent battery life
  • Huge screen


  • 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

Buy from Amazon

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


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


  • 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

Buy from Amazon

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


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


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

GalleryClick to expand

lg g8 thinq

Buy from Verizon

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


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


  • 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

Buy from Amazon

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.

Leave a Comment