Yes, those headline-grabbing flagships such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 are wonderful and all, but we don’t have to spend top-dollar for a great smartphone experience anymore.
Looking to save money on your next smartphone upgrade or is this your first phone, well here are some of the best budget smartphones of 2017.
– Lenovo P2
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625; Display: 5.5in 1,920 x 1,080; Storage: 32GB ; Camera: 13-megapixel; Operating system: Android 6.0.1; Weight: 177g
Lenovo’s P2 has the best battery life of any smartphone, lasting almost 30 hours on a single charge. It weighs 177g, but it’s a small price to pay for the longest-lasting smartphone on the market. It isn’t just the battery life either; the Lenovo P2’s display, performance and overall build quality are all top-notch, giving those pricier mid-range handsets a run for their money.
– Alcatel Pixi 4
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1GHz Mediatek MTK6735M; Display: 5in 480 x 854; Storage: 8GB ; Camera: 5-megapixel; Operating system: Android 6.0.1; Weight: 169g
Alcatel’s Pixi 4 may be the cheapest phone on this list, but don’t let that fool you – You get a 5in touch display, Android Marshmallow and a rear 5-megapixel camera. It’s the perfect phone as a second device or a first phone for the kids. Sure, its performance is hardly industry leading – and its camera is a bit naff – but you canget this if money is tight, and you wouldn’t be disappointed.
– Moto G4:
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617; Display: 5.5in 1,920 x 1,080; Storage: 16GB ; Camera: 13-megapixel; Operating system: Android 6.0.1; Weight: 155g
The Moto G is back and it’s better than ever. It might be significantly larger than last year’s Moto G, but this new model is a huge step forward. With an octa-core Snapdragon 617 chip at its disposal, its speed is streets ahead of every other budget phone you can buy today, giving it as much processing power as phones that are twice the price. Its camera is also a step up over the third-generation Moto G, despite using a similar 13-megapixel sensor, and its huge battery provides plenty of staying power. Throw in a beautiful Full HD resolution screen and you’re absolutely laughing.
– Motorola Moto E
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410; Display: 4.5in 960 x 540; Storage: 8GB ; Camera: 5-megapixel; Operating system: Android 5.0.2; Weight: 145g
If you’re looking for an extremely low-cost and compact Android phone, the second-generation Motorola Moto E is an excellent choice. This phone has respectable performance, a great screen and its battery life of 13hrs 30mins is also fantastic for its price.
– Wileyfox Swift 2
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 3.0, USB-C and Snapdragon 430 CPU; Display: 5-inch 720p screen; Storage: 8GB ; Camera: 16-megapixel
The metal built phone has a 720p 5-inch display, sleek design and Snapdragon 430 CPU that seems to constantly get the job done. On the back the 16-megapixel sensor is decent, but not stunning in low-light and battery will easily get you through the day.
– Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
Key specs – Display: 5.5-inch 1080p display; Processor: MediaTek Helio X10 CPU; Screen: 4.5in 960 x 540; Storage: 2 or 3GB; Camera: 13-megapixel; Dual SIM, Fingerprint sensor
Xiaomi is one of the Chinese brands that sells a lot of phones worldwide. And most of them are good, some are even great. It’s a big phone, but it has a Moto G4 matching 5.5-inch screen with a 1080p resolution and it looks good. It’s a strong performer, too, thanks to the MediaTek Helio X10 CPU and either 2 or 3GB RAM.
Like many of the phones on this list, the camera is one of the biggest differentiators between it and the flagships. It comes loaded with a 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture that is capable of taking social media worthy snaps – though colours are often a bit muted and there’s severe shutter-lag when the lights aren’t on.
Software could be an issue for some, especially if you prefer your phone running a light skin. Xiaomi is one of the worst offenders when it comes to completely reworking Android and almost all of Google’s Material Design has been covered up on the RedMi Note 3. It’s not ugly, but it feels more like iOS 9 than Lollipop.
The battery life is impressive and it’s one of the only all-metal phones in this round-up.
– Oppo F1
Key specs – Display: 5.5-inch 1080p display; Processor: Snapdragon 616 CPU; Storage:16 GB; Camera: 13-megapixel and 8MP selfie; Operating System: Android 5.1.1; Great selfie camera; Weight : 134g
Constructed from metal and glass, the Oppo F1 manages to far outweigh its meagre price tag. It’s also one of the only phones on this list to come with 3GB RAM, making for a smooth multitasking experience. Qualcomm provides the CPU, in the form of the 616. The camera setup impresses, too, with the front 13-megapixel sensor capturing bright snaps and the 8MP selfie cam proving one of the best.
So, we’ve got good performance and a strong camera; what’s not to like?
It comes with a 5-inches and 720p, which is starting to get a tad dated, and while pixels can be tough to spot it’s not perfect outdoors and the auto-brightness setting is jarring. Oppo’s heavily skinned custom interface is old-fashioned and full of childish icons, plus it’s outdated and only running atop Android 5.1.1.
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– Wileyfox Swift 2 X
Key specs – Display: 1080p display; Processor: Snapdragon 430 CPU; Display; 144 x 72.2 x 8.8 ; Storage:32GB ; Camera: 16 Meapixel and 8MP Selfie; Operating System: Cyanogen OS: Weight: 155g
Wileyfox may still be a young player in the smartphone market, but its latest flagship, the Swift 2 X, is one of the best affordable phones around. For your cash you’ll get a super-clean 1080p screen, all day battery life and capable Snapdragon 430 CPU which is more than powerful enough for regular use.
It’s also one of the prettiest looking affordable smartphones around. The metal chassis makes the Swift 2 X look and feel significantly more expensive than it is and is a marked step up on the polycarbonate used on most cheap phones.
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– Moto G5
Key specs – Display: 5-inch, 1080p screen; Processor: Snapdragon CPU; Storage: 16GB RAM; Camera: 12-megapixel; Operating System; Weight; 145g
The king of budget phones is back, and better than ever. Even though Motorola is now officially part of Lenovo, it hasn’t changed its direction and the Moto G5 still offers unparallelled bang for your buck.
The Moto G5 is well equipped in almost every area. The 12-megapixel camera is reliable and gets the job done, while the Snapdragon CPU and 2 or 3GB RAM is a smooth mid-range combination that ensures there’s very little slowdown. The removable 28000 mAh battery will also get you through the day. 16GB of storage comes as standard, but there’s a microSD card slot, too. Unlike older models the G5 isn’t water-resistant and there’s also no NFC.