If you are buying a new phone on a budget, you have good news: there are better and more affordable phones on the market than ever before. Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung are expanding the set of features for more affordable flagship options. Other brands like OnePlus are looking for ways to deal with already established manufacturers of budget devices who are making decent sacrifices to reduce costs.
The bad news is that it makes it difficult to choose the best budget phone. Keep in mind that it is not possible to buy a phone at this price that will do everything; Instead, prioritize the features that are most important to you. It will be easier for you to decide and get a good phone that you can use next year.
We chose the cheapest iPhone – the Apple iPhone SE 2020 Although more than a year old, we think it is the best choice for most people Although it handles everything well, it has the feature that if properly cared for, it should last four years or more.
If you are looking for the cheapest Android phone then Google Pixel 5A is our best choice right now. You won’t find bells and whistles here, such as a large pause screen or a quick refresh screen. Instead, you’ll get a phone that covers the basics well, plus IP67 water resistance and timely software updates – at a lower price than last year’s model.
Most people looking for a phone that costs less than $ 500 need a more expensive model: more battery life, a better screen, a better camera and a better display. It’s hard to find a top A grade in these categories, but if you can judge if you carry a random B grade, you’ve found the phone you want.
The best smartphone under $ 500 in 2021
1. Apple iPhone SE
Best smartphones under $ 500
The phone that maintains the right balance of camera, build quality, speed, battery life, software and durability is the Apple iPhone SE 2020. Even though it is more than a year old, it will give you a great return on your investment At $ 449 we recommend upgrading the model to 128GB storage, which is higher than the base price, but ultimately more expensive.
The iPhone SE follows a very tried and true formula. It has the same body and 4.7-inch LCD screen used by Apple iPhone 6. It has a display at the lowest end of today’s screen size and that means it is bigger than the phone bezel that is sold in the market. The high-resolution screen with smooth animation and scrolling has recently reached budget class and you will definitely not find it here.
It’s a classic look that doesn’t scream “modern” but you’ll get a lot of value in return. The 2020 SE is part of the iPhone 11 generation, so its A13 bionic processor is one year behind the latest and greatest. (This is the A14 chipset in the iPhone 12 lineup.) However, it is the fastest processor you can get on any phone, but especially in this bracket. Basically, we don’t prefer the phone at this price, but it’s good.
However, the reason this processor is so important is because of its durability in general. Apple has been supporting its phones with software updates for four years or more. (Unlike Android, which is still hard to find software updates for anything other than Pixel.) So, Apple’s choice of a faster processor means that, in a few years, the iPhone SE will still feel faster and faster. Supported with iOS updates.
Battery life is good but not the best in class. It will take about a day. Fortunately, this iPhone supports wireless subscriptions, which is still unusual for this price. And since it’s the same size as the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and 8, the charger and case have a lot of ambience. Unlike cheap Android phones, it’s easy to find compatible accessories for the iPhone SE.
The iPhone SE has a single camera on the back and a selfie camera on the front, 12 megapixels and 7 megapixels. Both are not good by 2021 standards, but they are both much better than what Apple has revealed on previous iPhones. This is also good for a phone under the 500 standard, although the Google Pixel 4A will win this category. You’ll find plenty of cameras on the iPhone SE with portraits and HDR, but unfortunately no night mode.
As a complete package, the 2020 iPhone SE is the best phone for most people below $ 500. If you think annually at a reasonable price, it tends to be more expensive than competition because it can take four to five years if you take care of it. Also important, it’s a great phone in its own right. You get access to a wide range of iOS apps, Apple’s powerful support network, and great ecosystems.
2. Google Pixel 5a
The best budget Android phone
The Pixel 5A has a 6.34-inch LED screen that is small for a fraction of the budget, but more so than the latest 6.2-inch Pixel 4A 5G. It also has a large, 4,680mAh cell battery that lasts for days of heavy use and other days if you’re a cleaner. The 5A IP67 also provides water resistance for peace of mind when you suddenly spit or fall into the water.
The 5A is an improvement over its predecessor, and it’s good. The 4A 5G is already fitted with midrange hardware and brings a new model based on the 5A. The dual-core / ultra-wide camera, the Snapdragon 765G processor, and the combination of 6GB RAM / 128GB of storage make the 4A 5G good and still offer a strong performance in this update.
5A is available in limited edition – US and Japanese only
To improve things we can rely on the Pixel phone of the program and the 5A only one. It shipped on Google’s Android 11 OS, and is free of the added hassle that sometimes exists. The Pixel 5A OS comes with a three-year warranty on basic updates and security updates, which isn’t the same as Apple’s or Samsung’s standard software support time, but it’s certainly more thanks to the many Android competitors.
Yes, there is also a 5G network. You don’t get a taste of the fastest MM radio with 5G support, but a limited connection is hard to come by. Okay, but there’s a strange question mark as to whether Google will always support AT&T and Verizon will start using C-band this year. Despite the support of the device, the company has not promised to update the software necessary to use it. This is a strange error in the 5A power series.
The 5A also has a limited edition-only available in the U.S. and Japan, and is not sold through major U.S. companies. With all that said, the Pixel 5A is the cheapest Android phone we have to offer to most people. It’s not fun, but it’s worth it and that’s what matters.
3.Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Best budget Android phone with fast refresh-rate screen
On the Android side, the Galaxy A52 5G is a good choice, despite the price tag discussed in this guide. There are unusual features on a budget phone, such as a fast renewal rate, IP67 waterproof and, at a minimum, four financial updates per month for cat repairs and early repairs.
The 6.5-inch A52 5G screen has an OLED panel and bright lights that are usually good for visibility. But the best part is indirect: the 120Hz refresh rate makes it more fun and enjoyable as you scroll and stream through menus and social media. We’ll see that this feature will soon hit most phones, but right now the A52 5G is one of the few in its class to offer more than the usual 60Hz screen and become a more user -friendly regular phone. Very good.
With a Snapdragon 750G processor and 6GB of RAM, the phone works well for the whole class. You may stumble upon procrastination or heavy work at times, but otherwise it’s easy to take the day off, change the application and drive. While it shows strong demand, the Galaxy A52 5G’s 4,500mAh battery requires you to spend at least a day on heavy use while charging another charge.
If you want to invest in a phone you can use a few years from now, the A52 5G is the best Android device right now.
One of the features of the A52 5G is Samsung’s current Android technology, which puts a lot of apps on your phone that you might not like and has special ads. Like a regular weather program. For cleaner skin or a better Android, check out Pixel or OnePlus. The Galaxy A52 5G’s camera is another consideration: it’s possible, but it leads to a more harmonious look. If you want your photos to look natural, the Pixel 4A is the winner.
There’s also 5G, a sign that we think you don’t need to buy a new phone, but it’s good to have support here – especially if you plan to keep your phone for a few years. The device doesn’t support the very fast mmWave 5G, but it’s hard to see that it’s not that great. Most importantly, it supports most of the time in the lower 6 GHz band and should be able to take advantage of the improved 5G network in the United States within a few years.
In the next few years, you may be able to buy more expensive equipment, and that’s good. But if you want to invest more in a phone you can use three or four years from now, the A52 5G on Android is the best bet for you.
4.Google Pixel 4a
The best “get it will you can” 6 of the most affordable Android phones
If you want to spend a little money or just want to get the best camera, Google Pixel 4A is an obvious choice. It has a small screen, no 5G support and no quick activation, but it has a clean Android filter and was the first to be updated by Google. 4A was released in August last year, but is guaranteed to receive a software update in August 2023. It comes in Black or Baby Blue with 128GB of storage at $ 349, but if you want one, you need to work fast – with the launch of Pixel 5A and Pixel 6 this fall, Google 4A will take a long time. It’s not for sale
The main explanation for the popularity of Pixel 4A is the camera. It is based on older technology, but is the best in its class and can handle phones worth $ 1,000 or more. This is because Google manages a lot of images in the app. (The device is very old and not very special.) This means that the Pixel 4A can take photos at night, take movies, and use photos.
Pixel 4a runs the Google version for Android, which means it’s easier to operate and there are no add-ons.
The other features of the Pixel 4A are good, but not great. It has a 5.8-inch screen, enough RAM to support programs in the back and a headphone jack. There are no phone charges, no open faces, and the body is plastic rather than a better mirror. Pixel 4A does not provide a waterproof IP address (but a waterproof device would be fine).
Pixel 4A runs the Google version of Android, which means it’s easy to use and there are no add-ons you might not want. But more importantly, it means that Google can provide software updates directly, without waiting for approval from the manufacturer or other ships, to make updating your Android a priority.
Unfortunately, over the years, the Pixel 4A has seemed to slow down. Android phones are often not as durable as iPhones because Android runs faster than older devices. The Pixel 4A processor is very fast now, though not boring, but over time, it may not be as slow.
But of all these, the Pixel 4A is probably the safest bet if you want to get less than 500 Android phones. You will get better software support and a better room for $ 350. Not bad – you can still get it.
5. Oneplus Nord 2
A great medium option if you live outside the United States
The OnePlus Nord 2 is not for sale in the US and is a loss, as this original Nord sequel checks all the good boxes at a price of 399 GBP / 399 EUR. Although better than last year’s model, the Nord 2 looks like a small flagship that covers all the basics well without (almost) nothing you need.
The Nord 2 offers a 6.43-inch display with a 90 Hz refresh rate – faster than the usual 60 Hz, but not as smooth as a 120 Hz screen. We were a little worried about the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI chipset that OnePlus chose for its proven Snapdragon processor, but when tested it was enough for everyday work.
The 4,500mAh battery allows you to use it all day and while the phone is not charged (not surprisingly at this price point), the OnePlus signature fast charge is supported. With a charger, you can fully charge your phone from zero in one hour.
NORD 2 comes with OxygenOS 11.3 and we expect it to come from OnePlus
Another strong point is the excellent OnePlus user interface. Nord 2 comes with OxygenOS 11.3 and we expect that confusing and embarrassing experience from OnePlus. The company says it will offer two system upgrades and three years of security support for the Nord 2, which is a good thing if not a good upgrade policy.
You won’t see the Hasselblad brand of the flagship OnePlus 9 on the Nord 2’s camera, and that’s no big deal. All you get is a capable camera system with a useful 2-megapixel monochrome sensor, which includes a 50-megapixel rear-facing camera, an 8-megapixel ultrasonic camera and a 32-megapixel selfie camera. Image quality is good everywhere – the original camera looks a bit overwhelmed, but not at all confusing. The pixels do not come with a light weight image, but work in a single drop.
It’s a shame that American customers can’t afford Nord 2 (technically you can order it, but it doesn’t work well with wireless bands, so it’s not recommended), because there are so many on the side. This is a standard wide-ranging tool. Our loss is the gain of the world.