Published on : 21 January 202110 min reading time
Are you opposed to the prices of Apple’s and Samsung’s latest flagship products ? Consider one of these affordable alternatives. From $400 to free, our choices even include a few phones with a stylus and one with three rearview cameras. Sorry, no 5G.
No matter how you slice it, the price of the top products is still a deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are some great affordable alternatives that have improved considerably over the last few years. Various manufacturers, including many from China and Korea, offer compelling products that are becoming more and more popular as we reach saturation in smartphones.
Google and Apple are also entering the budget market with the Pixel 4a, 3a and iPhone SE models at under $400.
Camera performance has been a major differentiat or between flagship and mid-range phones over the past two years, but even today’s affordable phones can help you produce decent photos to share with family and friends or on social networks. Let’s take a look at some of the cheaper options. These phones are ranked from the lowest to the highest price.
Google Pixel 4a
After the release of a few mid-level devices in recent years, Google recently launched the Google Pixel 4A. This year wedon’t see two models, one larger than the other, because Google has opted for a single device approach. Google will also soon release a new Pixel 5 model.
The Pixel 4A is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor with 5.81-inch screen, 12.2MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, stereo speakers and 3140 mAh battery. This is for the masses and with Google’s great camera software, thisis a hard to beat phone at the low price of $349.
There is only one color option, black, so your choices are limited to operator service, unlocked or Google Fi.
Earlier this year, TCL launchedits first branded phones in the United States. The TCL 10 Pro, see our magazine, and the TCL 10L are entering the market at $450 and $250. Both are excellent phones with displays made by TCL themselves.
The TCL 10L can be one of the most complete phones you will find at the lowprice of $250 with a 6.53 inch screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, 6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage with a micro SDcard slot, four rear cameras, a 16MP front camera and a high capacity 4000 mAh battery.
TCL’s user interface is mainly Android and works well. The color Mariana Blue of the phone is fantastic and TCL even includes enhanced features such as Super Bluetooth to connect up to four external speakers at once.
The CoolpadLegacy (seemy review) is designed with a large screen, a high-capacity battery with Quick Charge 3.0, high-quality plastic and glass materials, a microSD expansion card, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and even launches with Android 9 Pie out of the box. There must besome compromises at the price of $130 (free on Metro by T-Mobile), but they are well hidden on the CoolpadLegacy.
It’s a great first phone, for someone who needs a phone battery that will last a few days on a single charge, or for someone who wants a large, easy-to-read screen.
It has modern features and solid design aspects while working reliably to help you get things done. I am always amazed at the low price of this phone and I didn’t expect it to be this good.
Moto G7 Play
The G7 Play Moto has a full retail price of $159.99, down from an MSRP of $199.99. It can be found on Amazon or directly from Motorola at this discounted price.
The Moto G7 Play features a 5.7-inch screen with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB of internal storage with a microSD expansion card slot and a fairly large 3000 mAh battery. It has some water resistance and retains the 3.5 mm audio jack.
The price of the Moto G7 Play is lower than most insurance policies for flagship phones, so if you need a low-cost phone or backup, then this maybe the one to consider. Motorola also does a great job of providing a standard Android experience that also receives fairly regular updates.
Power Moto G7
The Moto G7 Power (see our complete review) is available on Amazon for only $200 or at Motorola for $250.
Jason Cipriani of ZDNetsaid the Moto G7 Power is the economical phone you’ve been looking for, with its long battery life, solid performance and affordable price. Photo quality won’t match the flag ship products that cost five times as much, but the photos are still good enough for sharing on social networks.
The Moto G7 Power features a 6.2-inch screen, 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB of internal storage with a microSDcard slot and a huge 5000 mAh battery. It is a mid-level phone available at an entry-level price.
LG Pen 5
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is one of the best performing devices for the business, but the models also start at $1000 and growfromthere. If youstillwant a penexperience at a much more affordableprice, LG’s Pen Series is worth considering.
The LG Pen 5 is available as an unlocked smartphone with a 6.2 inch screen, 3 GB RAM, microSDcard, 3500 mAh battery, 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor.
You can use the included stylus to take notes, create illustrations, draw discussion messages, etc. Like the latest Galaxy Note devices, you can also drag the stylus and capture hand written notes as you move around with the screen turned off.
Moto G Power (2020)
Moto’s latest economy phone emphasizes a very long battery life with three days of advertised use on a single charge. The Moto G Power features a 5000 mAh battery, 1080p LCD display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor to help itachieve long battery life.
In addition to long battery life, this economical Motorola phone features 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage with a micro SDcard slot, a water-resistant design and a 3.5mm headset jack. It has a triplerear camera system with the ability to capture close-up macro photos.
Although Motorola doesn’t have the best track record for regular updates, it offers a pretty complete experience with useful motorcycle utilities to help you be a little more efficient.
Samsung Galaxy A50
While we tend to focus on the Samsung Galaxy S and Note series, Samsung is making waves with its high-performance A series. The Samsung Galaxy A50 is available through various operators, with the cheapest option being the $249.99 unlocked version of Samsung’s A50.
The Samsung Galaxy A50 (see our full review of the Xfinity Mobile model) features a beautiful 6.4″ Super AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage with a microSDcard and a Samsung Exynos 9610 processor. There are three cameras in the back: 25MP, 8MP and a 5MP depthsensorwith a huge 25MP front camera. A very large 4000 mAh battery keeps this beautiful phone powered on.
An optical finger prints ensorunder the screen works very well, while we also have a 3.5mm headset jack and a USB-C port. The Galaxy A50 is a very good phone and will give you an appreciation for the A series.
Motorola One Action
The Motorola One Action stands out from the pack of affordable phones with a triple rear camera design that brings an ultra wide angle camera of 117 degrees, a standard 12MP camera and a 5MP depth sensing camera lens at a price well below that of the flagship products. with three lenses. Jason Cipriani of ZDNet was very impressed with the release and I am personally considering one for a test phone.
The Motorola One Action is powered by a Samsung Exynos 9609 processor with Android 9.0 Pie, a 6.3-inch screen, 4GB RAM, 128GB of internal storage and a 3500 mAh battery.
A unique feature that we haven’t seen from others is the ability to shoot landscape videos while comfortably holding your phone in portrait orientation. You can also enjoy media on the large screen with a smallperforated front camera.
There’s minimal water resistance, a 3.5 mm audio jack, Bluetooth 5.0 and more inside. This is a capable phone available at a very affordable price.
Motorcycle Stylus G
Some people stillfind a stylus to be an extremely useful input device, but also don’t want to pay $1000 for a Samsung Galaxy Note. Motorola offers the Moto G stylus with a built-in pen that helps you navigate, enter text, draw and capture notes. It’s not as complete as the S Pen experience on a note, but you can buythree Moto G Stylus phones for the price of a new Galaxy Note.
In addition to the built-instylus experience, the Moto G Stylus has 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage and a microSDcard slot. Its triple rear camera system includes the unique Moto Action Cam thatletsyou shoot landscape video content while holding your phone in portrait orientation.
Seeour full review for all the details on this affordable pen phone.
The large 6.4-inch display and Snapdragon 665 processor combine with a 4000 mAh battery to provide nearly twodays of battery life. Moto actions also help you work efficiently.
Google Pixel 3a
Google’s range of Pixel phones competes with the flagship products of Apple, Samsung and Huawei. Google revealed the Pixel 3a at only $399 a few months ago and the press was extremely pleased with its performance. This is a mid-level phone, but the exceptional Pixel 3 camera is included, so if you want the absolute best phone for under $400 that will be upgraded for years, you can’t go wrong with a Pixel 3a in Just Black, Violet-ish or Clear White.
Even better for the masses, Google sells them in T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint stores. Stay tuned as Google prepares to announce Pixel 4 in October.
Pixel 3a runs Android 9 Pie and is guaranteed to be upgraded to Android 10 in due course. It features a 5.6 inch screen with a 12.2 MP rear camera and an 8 MP front camera with Google’s fantastic image processing software.
A Snapdragon 670 powers the Pixel 3a with 4 GB RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 3000 mAh battery and stereo speakers. A fast rear finger print scanner unlocks the phone while maintaining a 3.5 mm headset jack.
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Apple satisfied those who were looking for a small phone a few years ago with the iPhone SE 2016. This year, it has introduced another SE model in a larger form factor that continues the tradition of the finger print sensor before Touch ID. The new iPhone SE 2020 is now available for a very affordable price of $399 and is on our Top 10 list of smartphones.
Jason Cipriani of ZDNet spent a few days with the iPhone SE and offered four quick thoughts on the new iPhone. I chose one of them because I didn’t have an iPhone and it’s more than enough to meet my iOS needs at the moment. It’s a small smartphone with performance that rivals the best Android phones.
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