Spending $800 or more for a smartphone? You don’t have to. The best cheap phones are so good that you won’t feel like you’re settling. 

For less than $400, you can get a big screen, enough performance to run the most popular apps and even a metal design. Storage capacity isn’t always as generous as you’d get from a more expensive device, but if the phone has a microSD slot, you can move your apps to an SD card.

Our top pick overall for the best cheap phone is Google’s Pixel 3a. It delivers amazing camera quality in a compact design for hundreds less than the latest flagship phones. You also get Google’s latest Android 10 software. 

Another great option is the Moto G7 Power, which offers more than 15 hours of battery life on a charge based on our web surfing battery test. In fact, it’s one of the longest-lasting phones you can buy.

As you shop around, make sure that the model you choose works with your carrier. Many unlocked phones are GSM-only, which means they’re compatible with providers like T-Mobile, AT&T and MetroPCS but not Verizon and Sprint. However, the very best cheap phones like the Moto G7 Power work with all of the major networks. 

Samsung has released two new cheaper phones in the Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite, but it’s not yet clear how much they cost.

These are the best cheap phones you can buy right now.

Best cheap phones you can buy now

Google Pixel 3a

(Image credit: Future)

1. Google Pixel 3a

The best unlocked phone overall

Screen: 5.6-inch LCD (2280×1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 670 | Cameras: 12 MP (Rear);8 MP (Front) | RAM: 4 GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB/No | Weight: 5.2 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 11:59

Powerful Camera

Sub-$400 Price

Long battery life

OLED display

No wireless charging

Display could be brighter

No water resistance

The best cheap phone overall, the $399 Pixel 3a delivers the same great camera as Google’s pricier phones but at a much lower cost. This includes Google’s amazing Night Sight feature for low-light shots. The Google Pixel 3a is available directly through Verizon and T-Mobile. You can also buy the Pixel 3a unlocked from Google’s online store, and take it to any network you like. 

The Pixel 3a also delivers the best battery life ever from a Google phone, lasting nearly 12 hours on our test. You will make some trade-offs on processor speed and the brightness of the OLED display with the 3a, but if you want the best unlocked phone, this the cheap phone to buy.

Read our full Pixel 3a review.

Moto G7 Power

(Image credit: Future)

2. Moto G7 Power

The best cheap phone overall

Display Size (Pixels): 6.2-inch LCD (1512 x 720 pixels) | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 3GB | Storage / Expandable: 32GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 12-MP / 8-MP | Weight: 6.9 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 15:35


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