We’ve tested more than 20 of the best budget Android phones since 2015, carrying each one for multiple days of hands-on testing, and the Motorola Moto G5 Plus currently offers the best combination of features for the price. It performs better than most other budget Android devices, works on every major US carrier, and has easy-to-use software. But everyone’s budget is different, so we also have picks for shoppers who can spend a little more as well as for those who need a decent smartphone for $100.
Last Updated: This month
We’ve added five unlocked Android phones that are newly available at cheaper rates for Amazon Prime members to the What to look forward to section below. All five phones are less than $200, but—like last year’s Moto G4 we recommended in our If you have only $100 section—will have lockscreen ads. We’re also working to name a replacement pick for the OnePlus 3T.
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Well-rounded and affordable
Motorola Moto G5 Plus
Excellent performance and build quality compared with other budget phones. Its interface is clean with no preinstalled bloat apps, and it works on all major US carriers—even Verizon and Sprint.
$230 from Amazon
$230 from Motorola
For the fifth year in a row, the best cheap Android phone comes from the Moto G line. For just $230, the Moto G5 Plus offers a 5.2-inch 1920×1080 LCD screen, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and a fast, accurate fingerprint sensor. The Moto G5 Plus is faster than most other budget phones thanks to its Snapdragon 625 processor, as well as Motorola’s solid software optimization. Moto’s Android 7.0 software is clean and fast, with no bloatware—it’s better than the software on many phones that cost two or three times more.
Unlike many cheap phones, the G5 Plus is unlocked for all US carriers, even Verizon and Sprint. It also trades the clip-on plastic shell of last year’s G4 for an aluminum back panel that adds some reassuring heft. We recommend the $230 version with 32 GB of storage. You can upgrade to 64 GB with 4 GB of RAM for $70 more, but the other specs are unchanged. If you’re on a tight budget, Amazon sells ad-supported versions to Prime members for $185 and $240, respectively.
$440 from OnePlus
The best $450-ish phone
The OnePlus 3T has a fast CPU, more memory than most flagship phones, a great aluminum body, and the best camera on any phone in its price range.
If you can spend more, the OnePlus 3T is an especially fast phone thanks to its Snapdragon 821 processor and 6 GB of RAM. That’s the sort of hardware we’re used to seeing in phones costing hundreds of dollars more, and it makes the OnePlus 3T noticeably faster than other midpriced phones. The 16-megapixel camera is optically stabilized and rivals the cameras on flagship phones such as the LG V20 (though not the cameras on iPhones, Pixels, or Galaxy phones). The fingerprint sensor is quick and accurate, and the software is very close to stock Android 7.1 Nougat. And although the 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen isn’t especially bright and has odd color calibration, the OnePlus 3T is still the best phone you can get for around $450. We’ll be testing its follow-up, the OnePlus 5, for our flagship Android phone guide.
The cheapest acceptable option (with ads)
Moto G4 Play
For its cost, the Moto G4 Play has solid build quality, an acceptable screen, and great software. It’s a great value, as long as you can cope with Amazon’s lock-screen ads.
Buy from Amazon
*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.
The cheapest acceptable option (without ads)
Moto G4 Play
For a slightly higher price, you can get the G4 Play without ads. It still has the same competent hardware and above-average software.
$150* from Jet
$140 from Amazon
*At the time of publishing, the price was $140.
If you need a good phone that costs as little as possible, get last year’s Moto G4 Play. It cuts the right corners to keep the price down without making the experience of using the phone unbearable. The G4 Play runs a clean, fast version of Android Marshmallow with a Nougat update (allegedly) on the way. It has a light-but-durable plastic frame and a grippy back panel that hides a removable battery, something you rarely see anymore in phones of any price. The display and performance are both good enough, though not what you’d get with a flagship phone or the Moto G5 Plus. The 8-megapixel camera isn’t great, but it’s better than what you get with other phones in this price range.
Like the G5 Plus, the G4 Play has two versions: a normal phone for $150 and an ad-subsidized $100 version for Amazon Prime members. We don’t love ads on phones, but at least the ads (which appear on the lock screen) are unobtrusive. It’s a great deal if every dollar counts.
source : http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-budget-android-phone