It should go without saying that budget smartphones cost what they do for a reason. After all, there has to be something that separates a $150 device from a $900 one – and it’s actually a few things. Whether or not any of these compromises are deal-breakers depends on your individual needs and preferences.
Also important is the fact that not all cheap smartphones are made equally. Some manufacturers do the bare minimum and use poor-quality components, while other brands strive to provide genuine value with their low-cost offerings. So, does that make (the right) cheap smartphone a good buy for budget-conscious adults? Let’s find out.
There are numerous factors that determine the price of a smartphone. This ranges from hardware such as the display and chipset to software features and support. In terms of physical parts, cheaper devices may have:
- Smaller screens that are lower resolution
- Less memory and storage
- Lower capacity batteries
- Poor quality cameras
- Weaker processors
They might also lack common features such as fast charging and protection against dust and water. When it comes to software, budget smartphones often run Android under a third-party skin with ads and bloatware. The operating system might also lack support and be running an outdated version.
Having said that, keep in mind that the extent of these compromises varies between manufacturers. For example, a good budget smartphone might be equipped with high-end hardware from a few years ago, which means it’s still reasonably capable and can handle tasks like gaming.
You might not be able to play the latest titles, but you can still enjoy older games or online casino games in the browser. Check out this guide for mobile casino Canada sites if you’re interested in the latter.
It’s not all bad, though. There are considerable advantages to spending less on your handset. Not only are they highly affordable, but even the cheapest smartphones are still fully capable of performing basic functions like calling and messaging. Plus, unlike most modern devices, they retain their headphone jack, making them perfect music players.
As we will find out below, cheap smartphones have improved significantly in recent years, and now make for a far more compelling buy than they did in the past.
Brands to Consider
If you’re looking for minimal compromises and you have between $400 and $500 to spend, the Google Pixel 4A and 2nd generation iPhone SE are excellent choices. They might be on the smaller side, but they have the latest versions of their respective operating systems and are completely free of bloatware.
In the $300 and under category, the Galaxy A series and Motorola Moto G range are popular choices. You can also check out Nokia’s budget offerings, which have incomparable software and quality designs. For those who want to spend even less, devices from Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Oppo are worth a look.
As long as you don’t expect the latest and greatest features, cheap smartphones are likely worth the money you save. Take a look around and see which device best suits your preferences.