Best cheap phone 2022: six smartphones for under $500 - The Verge

Looking for the best cheap phone? There are lots of great smartphones for less than 500 bucks these days. Whether you want an iPhone, a big-screened TCL, a tricked-out Samsung, or a low-cost stylus phone, here are the best options.

You can expect a lot from a midrange phone these days. Apple, Samsung, and Google all offer devices with many of the core features of their pricier phones, like top-of-the-line processors, weatherproofing, and software support for five or more years. You can’t have everything, of course, but $400 or $500 goes a long way.

There are great options for $300 and under, too. You can find a bright, high-definition OLED screen or a built-in stylus or a battery that lasts for days. If you can hone in on the one or two features that are most important to you and you’re willing to compromise elsewhere, you can get a phone that suits your needs for half the price of a flagship. What compromises can you expect from a budget phone? Some combination of the following: slower processors, less storage, and lousier cameras than flagship phones, almost across the board. Many have lower-resolution screens, and most lack official water-resistance ratings, wireless charging, and NFC chips for contactless payment.

And while we usually recommend buying unlocked phones to maximize flexibility, you might find better deals — and much lower up-front costs — by buying through a carrier and signing up for a wireless plan.

The best inexpensive iPhone is the 2022 Apple iPhone SE. Its 4.7-inch display is starting to feel very cramped in this era of giant displays, but otherwise, the SE does exactly what the previous generations have done: offer a low-cost entry point to Apple’s iOS ecosystem and a device that will last upwards of five years if you take care of it.

If you’re looking for the best budget Android phone, then the Google Pixel 6A is your best bet right now. Like the SE, it offers the same processor as Google’s pricier flagship models, so overall speed and performance is top-notch. It doesn’t have the very best screen in the class — take a look at the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G if you’re looking for a big fast-refreshing display — but it has a great camera, good battery life, and a long five-year software support policy.

Post ID: 06cd82c4-dcd4-4c54-bb13-f32fcb75fb02
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Updated: 1 week ago
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