The best budget smartphones under $300 should offer a good combination of specifications, performance, and features at a reasonable price. While that may sound like hoping for too much, there are actually a significant number of mid-range phones on the market that manage to provide beautiful screens, decent cameras, and solid performance without breaking the bank. There are some design compromises most of the time, and some cutting-edge features are occasionally missing, but in most ways, you can get a lot of phone for not much money.
Best Smartphones Under $300
If your budget is more flexible and you want to see other options, check out our list of the best smartphones of 2020. Otherwise, read on to see the best budget smartphones under $300 to buy.
Moto G Power
Motorola launched a few different Moto G phones for 2020, but the one that stands out as the best choice for most people is the Moto G Power. This is a phone that takes all the basics out of the box, has a very affordable price, and a cool trick up its sleeve – battery life. A 5,000 mAh battery is included in the Moto G Power, which means you can use the phone between two and three days before you need to charge it. This is currently the best smartphone under $300.
In a world where a lot of $1,000 flagships have to be put on the charger every night, that’s damn impressive. Besides the long endurance, the Moto G Power also shines with its 6.4-inch Full HD+ screen, reliable performance, and three rear cameras that are great fun to shoot with. The icing on the cake of the Moto G Power is its compatibility with all major American carriers. Whether you rely on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon for your mobile service, the Moto G Power works without problems.
You may be familiar with TCL for its cheap televisions, but did you know that the company also makes Android phones? The TCL 10L is one of the first American handsets we’ve ever seen from TCL, and surprisingly, it’s one of the most rounded devices you can get in this price range. Speaking of TVs, one of the best parts of the TCL 10L is the display. It features a 6.53-inch LCD screen with Full HD+ resolution, and thanks to TCL’s custom NXTVISION technology, you’ll be treated to increased sharpness, more vivid images, and lifelike colors.
We also appreciate the slim edges and perforation cutout for the selfie camera. Under the hood, the TCL 10L has a Snapdragon 665 processor and 6GB of RAM, which is one of the most impressive setups on this list. The 4,000 mAh battery provides really good endurance, you get an NFC chip for Google Pay support, and TCL’s software is clean and fun to use. What’s more, you get a Smart Key – an extra physical button that you can customize to do what you want. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $300 that you can buy right now.
Nokia has established itself as one of the market leaders for affordable Android phones, and one of its most compelling handsets is the Nokia 5.3. The Nokia 5.3 distinguishes itself for a few different reasons, but its strongest point is the software. The Nokia 5.3 comes with Android 10 straight out of the box and, like all Nokia phones, offers a clean and Pixel-like user interface that’s fast and smooth.
Even better, the Nokia 5.3 is supported by two years of major OS updates and three years of monthly security patches, providing a level of software support that is far too rare in this price range. On the hardware side, the Nokia 5.3 gives you a 6.55-inch HD+ screen, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 processor (the same one found in Moto G Power and TCL 10L), a generous 4,000 mAh battery, and even has NFC for Google Pay.
The Moto G7 is a mid-range phone from Motorola that continues that company’s tradition of mixing solid performance and features at a reasonable price. It takes on some of the design features of high-end phones, such as high and narrow scratches and minimized bezels. It has a 6.2-inch display at 1080p. The panel is large and bright, providing sharp images and text. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, a lower mid-range chip.
The phone has 4GB RAM and runs smoothly with Android 9.0 Pie. The camera performance is good, but the 12MP sensor does not match phones in the higher segment, especially when it comes to low-light performance. Battery life is solid and fast charging is supported, but not wireless charging. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $300.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S
The American smartphone market has plenty to choose from, but if you get a little bored with our options here, there are even more international phones you can buy – one of them is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S. If you look at the price of the Note 9S and everything it brings to the table, it’s crazy to think that it costs as little as it does. The 6.67-inch display is the first thing you notice, with a sharp 2400×1080 resolution, a high 20:9 aspect ratio, and slim edges with a small hole-punch recess for the selfie camera. A total of four cameras are treated around the back, including 48MP primary, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth cameras.
Under the hood, the Redmi Note 9S is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720 processor, 4 or 6GB RAM, 64 or 128GB storage space, and a huge 5,020 mAh battery. That large battery makes the phone quite bulky, but it’s more than worth it. That’s all great, but you have to keep in mind that buying an international phone comes with some peculiarities. Especially the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S has no U.S. warranty and does not work with Verizon or Sprint. If you have AT&T or T-Mobile it should work fine. But overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $300.
Moto G7 Power
For a budget phone that doesn’t sacrifice battery life, the Moto G7 Power is the answer. It’s a large phone with a 6.2-inch 720p screen and 5,000mAh battery life. The combination of a large but approachable screen and a huge battery means the phone can last for 48 hours with a single charge. That’s a pretty incredible runtime and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another device that can beat it.
In terms of other hardware, the phone has a lower mid-range Snapdragon 632 processor like the G7 and 3GB of RAM running on Android 9.0 Cake. It’s reasonably smooth for browsing, media, tweeting, emails, and other purposes, but it will struggle with 3D gaming. However, if your needs aren’t too demanding, you won’t be disappointed.
Samsung Galaxy A50
The Samsung Galaxy A50 is a sleek and attractive mid-range phone that manages to retain much of Samsung’s design thrives and features of the high-end flagship. It has a large screen, minimized edges, although it is made of plastic. The screen is a bright and colorful 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel that looks almost as bright and bright as Samsung’s flagships.
Under the hood, you look at an Exynos 9610 chipset with 4GB RAM. It is not the most powerful processor, but it is suitable for browsing and opening apps. It even works reasonably well with games. The triple camera sensor on the back also turned out to be surprisingly good, although it won’t be as detailed as higher-end phones. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $300.
If you’re willing to spend around $300 but are also willing to spend a little more on a premium phone experience, then you should definitely take a look at the Nokia 7.1. This Android phone is one of the best you can find in this price range. One of the first things our tester noticed was the beautiful high-contrast 5.84-inch HDR display. He thought videos and other content looked great. Under the hood, the Nokia 7.1 has 4GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, which means it can run any app you can throw at it. For charging, it has a quick rechargeable USB-C port.
It also has a stunningly good dual-lens camera for a mid-range phone, with a 12-megapixel camera and a 5-megapixel camera on the back that make for great photos. For software, the Nokia 7.1 runs the latest version of the Android OS and is part of the Android One program, which means that the phone runs the Android stock and you also get two years of Android updates and three years of security patches. Although the Nokia 7.1 is not quite under $300, it is very close to – and bumping above its weight class in terms of price.