The Best Budget Smartphones To Buy Right Now

Buying a smartphone doesn’t have to break the bank. While the upper tier of phones can cost eye-watering amounts of money, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to fork out that much cash to get a device that will serve you on a day-to-day basis. If you’re not looking to play intense 3D games on your phone or carry out epic multitasking, then you probably don’t need a device much more powerful than a modest budget can get you.

Whether you use personal loans to help you fund your phone or you pick up a contract, you’ll find that there are lots of phones out there that can give you what you want without costing the earth. Here are the best budget smartphones that you can buy right now.

Apple iPhone SE

Your mileage will vary on whether or not you consider this a “budget” device, but considering that high-end iPhones can cost over £1000, we think this one is a steal. The iPhone SE is a dinky yet immensely powerful device that crams in the same A15 Bionic chip you’ll find in the iPhone 13, giving it huge performance at a relatively low cost. If you do want a budget phone that can handle modern games with little problem, you’ll want to pick up an iPhone SE. Just make sure you’ve got a charger to hand, as the battery might struggle.


Moto G82

Motorola continues its dominance over the low-cost Android sphere with the G82. This phone boasts 128GB of storage and 5G capabilities, so it’ll download anything you want with lightning-fast efficiency. It’s also got a gorgeous OLED screen, which is pretty impressive for a device at this price point. There are some slight weaknesses; the processing power is, perhaps, not as impressive as we’d want, and the camera isn’t great, but if you’re looking for an ultra-budget device that does a lot of things right, the Moto G82 is definitely a solid option.


OnePlus Nord 2T 5G

These days, OnePlus’ reputation as a provider of flagship devices at relatively low prices has suffered somewhat, but many still look to OnePlus as the place to go for great mid-range phones, and nowhere is that more true than in the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G phone. With stereo speakers, super-fast charging, and a great camera, the Nord 2T 5G is an excellent device for everyday use, and as you’d imagine, it’s also got 5G capabilities. It’s a crowded market at this price point, but the Nord 2T 5G manages to stand out nonetheless, which is impressive.


Realme 9 5G

It is, perhaps, reasonable to expect 5G at a budget price point these days, but that doesn’t make the Realme 9 any less impressive for the cost. Boasting the Snapdragon 695 processor and a 120Hz refresh rate display, the Realme 9 is a zippy device that won’t feel like it costs what it costs. It’s also got huge battery life, so you’ll be able to get through a day or two on a single charge without issue, even if you’re doing a lot of streaming or gaming. The camera is nothing particularly special, but it’s solid, so aim for this one if you want a great all-rounder.


Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

This phone really must be seen to be believed. At a staggeringly low price point, the Redmi Note 11 boasts an absolutely massive screen, a Snapdragon 680 chip giving it a surprising amount of juice, and a 90Hz refresh rate. It just doesn’t feel like a budget phone, which is indicative of Xiaomi’s excellent engineering. Considering how much – or rather, how little – you’ll pay for this phone, using it on a day-to-day basis is a joy, and while it certainly will show a little slowdown when you’re trying to engage with super-intensive tasks, browsing and email will work a treat.


Google Pixel 6a

Much like the iPhone SE, the Pixel 6a isn’t a “budget” phone, per se; it’s on the higher end of low-priced devices, so it’s probably not one you’ll want to look at unless you’ve got just a little more to splash out on a phone. However, it does come with Google’s characteristically excellent engineering and stripped-back Android shell, so if you want a clean device that just “gets things done”, it’s hard to recommend any phone other than the Pixel 6a. Google’s flagship devices are impressive, but the Pixel 6a cramming so much into such a cost-friendly shell is even more jaw-dropping.


Nokia C21 Plus

Once upon a time, Nokia ruled the roost when it came to mobile phones. As the smartphone era dawned, Nokia found itself being left behind, but gradually, the company has clawed back a reputation, especially for lower-end devices that offer a huge amount of functionality for a low price. The C21 Plus is no exception; it has a massive battery that’s sure to keep you going on a single charge for days, as well as a clean operating system that brings to mind Google’s work with the Pixel series. This is a no-nonsense budget phone.


Samsung Galaxy A13

Last but not least, we have this budget offering from Samsung, the undisputed king of high-end Android devices. The A13 won’t cost you the earth, but its 6.6-inch screen and solid camera should make it an everyday workhorse worth holding onto. Like many other budget devices of its ilk, the A13 prides itself on excellent battery life, so it should be a day or two until you need to charge this one after a full recharge (although that will vary depending on how you’re using it, of course). Samsung’s name is well-known throughout the Android world, and that’s partly because of phones like this one.


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