If you’re on a tight budget, we’ve got some good news for you: there are more amazing, affordable phones on the market than ever before. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung are bringing the abundance of capabilities seen in their flagship phones to lower-cost models. Other companies, such as OnePlus, are attempting to take on more established manufacturers with low-cost devices that will let the users make sensible choices.
The unfortunate thing is that this makes choosing the best cheap phone much more difficult. Remember that at this budget point, it’s hard to have a phone that does everything; instead, prioritise the things that are most important to you. You’ll have an easier time making a decision, and you’ll end up with a fantastic phone that you’ll be able to use for many years.
The majority of people want the same qualities in a sub-$500 smartphone as they do in a more costly model: a long battery life, a good screen, a good camera, and respectable performance. It’s tough to obtain straight A’s in all of those categories, but if you can decide where you’re willing to accept the occasional B, you’ll find a phone you’ll enjoy.
The best budget Android phone for under $500 in 2021
1. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
The Galaxy A52 5G is a remarkable Android phone. It has several unique features for a budget phone, such as a fast-refresh rate screen, IP67 water resistance, and, at least for now, monthly security upgrades enabling quick access to bug fixes and improvements.
The 6.5-inch OLED screen on the A52 5G is bright, has decent contrast, and is generally easy on the eye. The finest feature, though, is a 120Hz refresh rate, which delivers animations and information a significantly smoother appearance as you swipe and navigate through menus and social feeds. This functionality will most certainly make its way into other low-cost phones in the near future, but for now, the A52 5G is one of the best. The Samsung phone has a Snapdragon 750G processor and 6GB of RAM. The display is powerful but the Galaxy A52 5G’s 4,500mAh battery should get you through at least a day of moderate to heavy use before needing another charge.
2. OnePlus Nord
Although the OnePlus Nord isn’t available in the United States and the business has no plans to sell it there, it’s technically incorrect to suggest it costs less than $500. However, if you live in a market where it is accessible, the OnePlus Nord is the type of phone that aims for a solid B in every category rather than a perfect A in one or two. It’s a safe Android bet at £379 / €399.
Support for sub-6 5G networks and a high refresh rate 90Hz display are two capabilities found on the OnePlus Nord that are generally reserved for considerably more expensive phones. You may notice higher download speeds if you live in a region where 5G is being rolled out. The display, though, will have a greater impact on your day-to-day experience. It makes things feel more fluid and pleasant.
There are a lot of cameras on this smartphone, you can even say there are too many. There is a standard camera, a macro camera on the back and a selfie camera as well. You will get decent photos in decent light but fall down a bit in the dark. OnePlus Nord is certainly a good phone to go with!
3. OnePlus Nord N10 5G
The N10 5G is priced substantially below the threshold for this category at $299. Given its price, you’d expect OnePlus to make some big compromises compared to a $400 or $500 phone, and it has. But they’re clever trade-offs that result in a device that’s surprisingly good for the money.
The screen is 6.4 inch and comes with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. The phone also has a 64-megapixel camera which is really good in daylight. You can take good photos in the right light.
4. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is also a good phone to consider. It is less expensive but the phone lacks some of the features i.e. good refresh rate and good camera. However, the phone is a smart choice if you are low on budget.
These above-mentioned phones are some of the amazing smartphones of 2021 and whatever you buy, it will be a good choice.