The best smartphones you can buy right now for $300 and under (GOOGL, AAPL)


iphone SE

  • Smartphones have become increasingly expensive in recent years, but you don’t need to spend nearly $1,000 when shopping for a new phone.
  • You can find compelling options from companies like Samsung and Apple for under $300.
  • These budget-friendly phones require you to make some sacrifices, but they’re plenty capable of covering the basics.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

The newest smartphones from Apple and Samsung can cost upwards of $900, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend nearly $1,000 when shopping for a new mobile device.

There are plenty of options worth considering that you can get for a fraction of the price of today’s flagships. If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit when it comes to camera and display quality, it’s worth checking out budget options from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Apple. 

Here’s a look at some of the best choice out there if you’re shopping on a budget of $300 or less. 

Read more: The biggest differences between Samsung’s giant new Galaxy Note 10 and Apple’s iPhone XS

SEE ALSO: Here are all of the new products Apple is expected to launch by the end of the year

Motorola Moto G7

At just $250, the Moto G7 is definitely a budget phone, but it certainly doesn’t seem like one. The Moto G7 has a dual camera with 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors and high-resolution zooming.

It also has a large full HD+ 6.2-inch screen that’s nearly borderless, matching the design that’s become popular on most high-end smartphones in recent years.

But it doesn’t offer NFC, so don’t count on using Google Pay to pay with your smartphone instead of a credit or debit card at the checkout counter. 


Samsung Galaxy A7

While cameras with three lenses are becoming increasingly common on high-end smartphones, Samsung has brought this feature to its budget Galaxy A7 as well. The Galaxy A7, which is available for $260 on Amazon, comes with three cameras, including a 120-degree ultra-wide angle lens. That’s almost as wide as the 123-degree ultra-wide-angle lens on the Galaxy S10.

Otherwise, the Galaxy A7 has a 6-inch screen with a 2280 x 1080 resolution and a 24-megapixel front-facing camera. It’s also one of the few smartphones you can buy today that still has a headphone jack.

However, it has a micro USB port instead of the more modern USB-C, which has become the standard on most smartphones. And the phone’s two additional cameras have 5-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors, which is considered low compared to today’s smartphone cameras. 

Nokia 7.1

Nokia’s 7.1 Android phone offers a 5.8-inch screen, making it about the same size as the iPhone XS, and a dual-lens camera for $300.

You’ll have the option of choosing between 32GB and 64GB storage capacities, and like the Galaxy A7 it also comes with a headphone jack. Similar to the other phones on this list, the Nokia 7.1 also features a nearly bezel-free design that’s become common on today’s pricier smartphones.

But the phone’s second camera only as a 5-megapixel sensor, which isn’t nearly as sharp as what you’d find on a more expensive phone. 

Nokia 3 V

If you’re really on a tight budget, you might want to consider the Nokia 3 V, which costs just $168 and is available through Verizon.

It has a spacious 6.2-inch display with a 13-megapixel camera and a 4,000 mAh battery that Nokia claims will last for two days. But given its very low price, there are some drawbacks worth taking into account. 

The screen resolution of 720 x 1520 is much lower than that of many similar-sized smartphones, the sensor on the selfie camera is only five megapixels, and it only comes with 16GB of storage. However, you can add up to 128GB by purchasing a micro SD card separately.

The Nokia 3 V is worth checking out if you store most of your photos and videos in the cloud and want a cheap, basic Android phone for primarily for using apps, checking email, and browsing the web.  

Apple iPhone SE

Apple’s iPhone SE may be three years old, but if you’re an iOS fan shopping on a strict budget it’s your best (and only) choice. 

The iPhone SE, which now starts at $250, doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Apple’s latest smartphones. So don’t expect to unlock your iPhone with your face or capture bokeh-style photos with Portrait Mode.

But its specifications are still good enough to cover the basics: it comes with a single 12-megapixel camera and 4-inch screen with a resolution of 1136 x 640. It’ll also get Apple’s iOS 13 update when it debuts this fall, so you’ll still be able to access all of the company’s latest software-based features. But its front-facing camera has a 1.2-megapixel sensor, which means selfies might not be as crisp and clear as you prefer. 

Still, it’s much cheaper and more compact than most smartphones you’ll find today. And it has a headphone jack, so you won’t have to part with your favorite wired headphones or use a dongle.