May 16, 2022
Best buy phones under $500
Best buy phones We've compiled a list of the best Android phones under $500 for you to consider. Google pixel 5, Tcl 20 pro 5g
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Over the previous several years, the inexpensive smartphone market has evolved significantly. Even sub-$500 Android phones may now deliver a wonderful experience, proving that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a flagship to have good performance. This year has seen a slew of outstanding low-cost smartphones arrive, so if you’re in the market for a new phone, now is a wonderful time to buy. We’ve compiled a list of the finest Android phones under $500 for you to consider.

Here are some of the best cheap phones you can buy right now in the US. We’ll also sneak in some non-US devices that are good enough to actually be worth importing, although we’ll mostly focus on devices that will work in the American market

Google Pixel 5a is the best overall.

Best android phone under $500

Our recommendation for the best Android phone under $500 is the Pixel 5a. The phone has all of the features you’d expect from a mid-range smartphone, and none of its flaws are deal-breakers. You get a Snapdragon 765G SoC that has been shown in several devices that it can handle whatever you throw at it. Google has also included a bigger 4,680mAh battery to address one of the Pixel phones’ major flaws. It’s the Pixel phone with the biggest battery.

The Pixel 5a has the same camera system as the Pixel 5, so you get the highest photo quality in this price range. Another area where the phone shines is software, and because it’s a Pixel, you can expect regular software upgrades. There’s also IP67 dust and water protection for further piece of mind.

The Pixel 5a’s major flaw is its 6.39-inch Full-HD+ OLED screen, which is stuck at a 60Hz refresh rate, but other than that, it’s a solid all-arounder with a straightforward approach.

The Pixel 5a has everything you need for an excellent performance, from a capable processor to a large battery

best buy phones

Best enthusiastic Oneplus Nord 2 (honorable mention)

Best android phone

The OnePlus Nord 2  is a standout choice for us when working within a budget of 500 pounds or dollars.

In terms of display, you’ll get a 6.4-inch screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, making it one of the fastest phones for gaming.

This phone’s camera includes a 50MP primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP mono lens, all of which should result in high-quality images.

The OnePlus Nord 2  comes with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and the MediaTek processor gives you a lot of power for your money.

The OnePlus Nord 2 had some large shoes to fill, and it did so admirably. It’s an excellent mid-range phone. The main issue is that, like its predecessor, the phone is exclusively available in Europe and India. As a result, the phone has been relegated to honourable mentions instead of being one of our top picks. Furthermore, if you want to use the phone in the United States, you’ll have to import it, which is inconvenient and expensive.

The OnePlus Nord 2 is an excellent replacement for the original Nord. It performs admirably, but it is not yet officially available in the United States.

best buy phones

APPLE IPHONE SE 2020 (2ND-GENERATION) 

Best phones under $500

For most people, Apple’s iPhone SE 2020 (2nd generation) strikes the right balance of camera, build quality, speed, battery life, software, and durability. Even though it’s been over a year, it should still provide a good return on investment. Upgrade to the model with 128GB of storage for $449, which is $50 more than the base model but well worth it in the long run.

The iPhone SE adheres to a well-proven formula. Apple has been using the same body and 4.7-inch LCD screen since the iPhone 6. As a result, the display is on the smaller end of today’s screen sizes, and the phone’s bezels are larger than anything else on the market. Screens with a higher refresh rate and smoother animations and scrolling have been trickling down into the budget class recently, but you won’t find one here.

Because the 2020 SE belongs to the iPhone 11 generation, its A13 Bionic processor is two years old and will not win any benchmark races. (In the iPhone 13 lineup, that would be the A15 chipset.) It’s still quite capable, though, and it’s often difficult to tell.

For most individuals, Apple’s iPhone SE 2020 (2nd generation) strikes the appropriate blend of camera, build quality, speed, battery life, software, and durability. It has the same A13 Bionic chipset as the iPhone 11 but is smaller and comes with Apple’s four-year software support.

best buy phones

SAMSUNG GALAXY A52 5G

Best android phone under 500$ 

The $500 Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is a terrific option for future-proofing your phone if you’re seeking for the best display for your money. It’s at the top of this buying guide’s price range, but it’s definitely worth it.

The 6.5-inch OLED screen on the A52 5G is bright, has decent contrast, and is generally pleasing to the eye. The finest feature, though, is a 120Hz refresh rate, which delivers animations and information a significantly smoother appearance as you swipe and navigate through menus and social feeds. This technology will most likely make its way into more budget phones in the near future, but for now, the A52 5G is one of the few phones in its class to provide a screen that is faster than the typical 60Hz, which improves the whole experience.

With a Snapdragon 750G engine and 6GB of RAM, the phone performs admirably in its class. With intensive work, there may be some stuttering or reluctance, but everyday browsing, app switching, and navigating are all simple. Even with a power-hungry display, the Galaxy A52 5G’s 4,500mAh battery should last at least one day of moderate to heavy use before requiring recharging.

One of the A52 5G’s less-than-stellar features is Samsung’s current version of Android, which instals a slew of pre-installed apps you definitely don’t want and even allows you to delete them.

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is the company’s most affordable 5G device, including a Snapdragon 750G engine, quad cameras, and 5G support across all US carriers. If that’s your thing, you can also have it unlocked.

best buy phones

Best Newcomer: TCL 20 Pro 5G

Best android phone under $500

Tcl 20 pro

TCL may not be the first brand that comes to mind when considering a smartphone, but they’re bigger than you think. They recently manufactured a number of BlackBerry devices, as well as the newest Palm ultra-small Android phone. They’re creating phones under their own brand this time. We first met TCL last year with the TCL 10L and TCL 10 Pro, both of which were released in the United States, and while they’ve been out for a few months and successors are already on the way, I’m still counting TCL as a “newcomer” because their brand name is still pretty much unknown. TCL has re-entered the market with the TCL 20 Pro 5G.

THE $250 TCL 20S IS A SOLID CHOICE FOR THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.

While the camera system on the 20S isn’t particularly impressive, its 64-megapixel main camera and 15-megapixel front camera are both capable to taking detailed photos in bright light — just don’t use them for night or macro photography.

The 20S has no discernible lag in speed for a cheap phone, thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor and 4GB of RAM. It comes with 128GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, a 3.5mm audio input, and a 5,000mAh battery that lasts for two days without needing to be recharged by default.

Best android phone

If you’re on a tight budget and want the most bang for your buck, the $250 TCL 20S is a good option that should function on all major 4G networks in the US.

With a Snapdragon 750G, quad cameras on the back, a gorgeous display, up to 256 GB of storage, and 5G compatibility, the TCL 20 Pro 5G offers outstanding value for money. We can see why it’s a fan favourite on Amazon.

best buy phones

ONEPLUS NORD N10 5G

Best Android phone under $500

Best phone under $500

The OnePlus N10 5G, which costs $299, delivers 5G and some premium features to a budget phone.

While the screen isn’t spectacular, the huge 6.46-inch LCD does have a faster-than-average 90Hz refresh rate. The phone’s rather “tall” 20:9 aspect ratio, which is strange at first look but makes it significantly narrower and simpler to use with one hand, is worth noticing. Its processor is powerful, yet it occasionally displays its limitations and only supports 5G networks with a frequency of less than 6 Hz. It debuted with Android 10 installed.

ON THIS MODEL, DO NOT EXPECT TO GET ANDROID 12.

OnePlus has already issued the Android 11 upgrade. But that’s it; don’t hold your breath for Android 12 on this device. In addition, OnePlus is providing two years of security updates.

On the photography front, the N10 has a 64-megapixel primary camera that performs admirably in both daytime and fairly low light. There’s also an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera, as well as macro and monochrome cameras that aren’t worth mentioning. The N10’s main camera isn’t as good as the Pixel 5A’s, but it shoots good images in the appropriate light if you don’t push it too hard.

The N10 5G offers good all-around performance and 5G as a bonus.

If you like Samsung phones, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is also worth considering for two reasons: it’s a little less expensive at $279, and it’ll get security updates for the next four years. However, it lacks some of the nicer features of the N10, such as a higher refresh rate screen, superior cameras, and a better Android implementation. If you want to keep your phone for as long as possible, the A32 5G is a better choice, but the N10 is a more appealing gadget altogether.

The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G has a big 6.5-inch 720p LCD display, is ready for C-band 5G, and will be supported with security updates for the next four years.

What if you can’t afford both the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, but you still want a 5G-ready phone in this price range? Fortunately, the unlocked OnePlus Nord N200 5G costs $240 (or less from carriers) and comes with a slew of cool features. A 1080p display with 90Hz refresh rate and a 5,000mAh battery are included, but there is only 64GB of internal storage. Yes, it’ll only run on T-sub-6GHz Mobile’s 5G network, but it’ll also work on Verizon and AT&T as a 4G phone. It’s not a bad way to get in on all the 5G activity for the price.

Best phones under $500

The OnePlus Nord N200 is a budget 5G phone. It offers a 6.49-inch Full-HD display with 90Hz refresh rate, a large 5,000mAh battery, with fast charging. These price cuts are for the unlocked version only.

best buy Phones

Best Bang for the Buck: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Best android phone under $500

Best phones under $500

While all of our selections offer good value for money, the Galaxy A32 5G is the best android phone for you if you really want the most bang for your buck. It comes with a slew of features that are nearly unheard of at this price point. There’s a big 5,000mAh battery with 15W quick charging and sub-6GHz 5G compatibility, as well as a 90Hz HD+ screen. The inbuilt MediaTek processor delivers consistent speed, and the 4GB RAM is more than enough to keep things going.

Samsung has also put a fingerprint sensor on the side, NFC for contactless payments, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. Finally, there are four cameras on the back of the camera. Despite the lacklustre secondary cameras, the primary camera can take decent photos in good lighting.

The Galaxy A32 5G was originally priced at $280, but it has recently been discounted to $240, making it an even better deal.

The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G has a big 6.5-inch 720p LCD display, is ready for C-band 5G, and will be supported with security updates for the next four years.

Best android phones

Best Performance: Xiaomi Mi 10T

Best buy phones

Best phones under $500

The Xiaomi 11 and Xiaomi 11T lineups are already available, with Snapdragon 888 processors and other top-of-the-line features. Because prices have dropped, last year’s Mi 10 series is more appealing than ever, and the Mi 10T is one of the most brilliant devices in the lineup. It’s one of the few sub-$500 smartphones with a full-fledged flagship-grade Snapdragon 865 chipset — and, of course, 5G connectivity. It also has a 144Hz display for silky smooth operation.

It isn’t an ideal phone. It lacks water and dust protection, wireless charging, and a 3.5mm headphone port, and the display is LCD rather than AMOLED (although quite frankly, expecting a 144Hz AMOLED at this price point is probably a long shot). It’s also not available in the United States, so if you want to try it, you’ll have to import it. But if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind jumping through hoops to get your phone to work with your carrier, this could be one of your only options. It’s one of the best buy phones under $500, and unquestionably one of the best-performing, if not the best, on the market.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T offers unrivalled performance to a more affordable price point, and it’s likely one of the only Snapdragon 865 devices available for under $500 right now. It also has a punch-hole 144Hz display and adaptable cameras.

best buy phones

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro (Honorable Mention)

best buy phones under $300

Best phones under $500

There’s no other way of putting it. Xiaomi’s Redmi sub-brand is arguably the best way to go if you really want a phone with a good price-to-performance ratio. In India, the Redmi Note 10 Pro (also known as the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max) provides exceptional performance for the price. If you don’t have a big budget, this smartphone can’t go wrong: it boasts a Snapdragon 732G CPU, a 120Hz AMOLED display, and a 108MP camera, all of which give exceptional smoothness, performance, and camera prowess for the price.

The reason for this phone’s inclusion in our honourable mentions is because it is difficult to obtain in the United States. If you do decide to import one, check to see if it’s compatible with your carrier, as we did with the Mi 10T. You’ll get Android 11 with MIUI 12, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, a 5,020 mAh battery, and 33W fast charging capabilities. It’s a shame that no phone in the United States can match this phone’s value for money. While others, such as Nokia cellphones, come close, they fall short.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is Xiaomi’s greatest Redmi Note series smartphone to date, as well as the most feature-packed, including several features found on more costly Xiaomi flagships, such as a 108MP camera and a 120Hz AMOLED display, for an excellent performance-price ratio.

best buy phone

TCL 20S (Honorable mention ) 

THE BEST ANDROID PHONE UNDER $300

Tcl 20s - Best phones under $500

The TCL 20S shows that a nice phone can be purchased for $250 without making many concessions. It just hits all of the essentials that anyone looking for a phone should look for: decent performance, a good screen, and long battery life, all at a reasonable price.

The TCL brand is well-known for its affordable smart TVs, and the TCL 20S’ vivid, 6.67-inch 1080p screen is no exception. The rear of the 20S is covered in a layer of fingerprint-resistant “micron-sized prismatic crystals,” which gives it a faint shine. It boasts a rapid fingerprint sensor incorporated into the power button, as well as the option of using face unlock.

While the camera system on the 20S isn’t particularly impressive, its 64-megapixel main camera and 15-megapixel front camera are both capable to taking detailed photos in bright light — just don’t use them for night or macro photography.

The 20S has no discernible lag in speed for a cheap phone, thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor and 4GB of RAM. It comes with 128GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, a 3.5mm audio input, and a 5,000mAh battery that lasts for two days without needing to be recharged by default.

If you’re on a tight budget and want the most bang for your buck, the $250 TCL 20S is a good option that should function on all major 4G networks in the US.

best buy phones

These are the best android phones we can propose for various requirements under $500. Do you agree with the decisions we’ve made? What would you pick for each of the categories? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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