These days, the conversation about smartphones is dominated by expensive models equipped with the latest premium hardware. While features like 5G connectivity and foldable screens are impressive, mobile devices with four-figure price tags are not for everyone.
Thankfully, manufacturers understand this preference and have designed handsets that marry functionality and affordability. That means today’s budget phones have sharp displays, well-rounded camera systems, and competent chipsets.
In fact, cost-conscious consumers have more than a few high-quality options for under $300 to choose from right now.
Moto G Power – $219.99
The Moto G Power is highly recommended for users that hate when their phone dies before the day is half over.
The device’s standout feature is a 5,000 mAh power cell that Moto claims can last three days per charge. It houses an AI-enabled imaging platform that includes a 16MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP macro camera. It can also record video at 30fps in crisp 4K resolution. Plus, its 6MP quad pixel front-facing sensor makes the needs of diehard selfie-takers.
The Moto G Power is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. In addition, it has a 6.4-inch Full HD+ display that can serve as a first-rate viewfinder and personal media player.
With those technical specifications, the smartphone is not going to set any new performance records. But its battery life, camera system, crisp panel, and affordable price point make it a legitimate bargain.
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC – $254.99
Despite being a major player worldwide, Xiaomi does not have a high name recognition level in the United States. But the corporation’s comparatively low profile should not be taken as a sign that its handsets are not well made. On the contrary, its Poco X3 NFC might be the best budget smartphone available on the market today.
Xiaomi built it with a Snapdragon 732G platform, 6GB of RAM, 6.67-inch 1080p display, 120 MHz refresh rate, and 120GB of storage. Those attributes make it an ideal buy for gamers saving up for their next PC upgrade. It also has a Sony IMX 48MP central image sensor, a 5,160 mAh, and a 33W fast charger.
Users willing to take a chance on an unfamiliar brand name should definitely consider making this their primary driver. Purchasers will be rewarded with a mobile device that includes several flagship features at a non-premium price point.
Samsung Galaxy A51 – $299
Samsung has worked hard to make its Galaxy S flagship line among the world’s well-regarded smartphones. But the conglomerate strived to make the Galaxy A-series the global standard for mid-range handsets, and its Galaxy A51 upholds that legacy.
The product’s most notable element is its 6.5-inch super AMOLED screen, which is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. That means the device has a gorgeous, ultra-bright panel that is durable enough to stand up to everyday usage. It also comes with a quad HDR camera system, 32MP rear-facing sensor, and 4K video recording capability.
Under the hood, it has an Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery. As opposed to most contemporary handsets with these specs, it has a headphone port.
With its performance capabilities and features, the Galaxy A51 is essentially a more affordable Android counterpart to the iPhone SE.
TCL 10L – $249.99
TCL Technology is an electronics giant that is best-known in the American market for its HDTVs. However, the firm became a multibillion-dollar vendor by selling a host of products that do not leave consumers feeling cheated.
The TCL 10L is a perfect example of why the company could become the next Huawei. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 665 octa-core CPU, 6GB of RAM, and has 64GB of internal memory. It features a quad rear-facing optical system with a 48MP main camera, 8MP wide-angle lens, 2MP macro camera, and 2MP depth sensor. And its 6.65-inch FHD+ panel brings users’ digital photography to life with crystal clarity and vibrant colors.
The TCL 10L also has a 4,000 mAh battery, NFC connectivity, and face/fingerprint biometric security tools.
Because their developers spent so much time engineering them, the most expensive smartphones always get the biggest promotional push. But these four handsets prove consumers do not need to compromise on quality if they want a new mobile device for less than a month’s rent.