As superior as flagship smartphones are, you need not shell out $1,000 to get a very good Android expertise today. In the event you want a brand new smartphone however solely have a funds of round $200, there are a large number of nice selections you’ll be able to think about. You may even be shocked to know that among the finest Android telephones underneath $200 supply issues like 5,000mAh batteries, multi-lens digital camera arrays, and years of software program updates.
We test all kinds of Android phones to make sure you get probably the most out of your system, with out working into surprises afterward. If we needed to choose one Android smartphone within the sub-$200 worth bracket (virtually), it might be Samsung’s latest Galaxy A15 5G. It has a 6.5-inch Tremendous AMOLED display, a giant battery with 25W quick charging assist, and way more. It’s also possible to think about Motorola’s Moto G Play (2024) in order for you a primary but useful system that’ll work effectively with all main U.S. carriers.
At a look
That includes a 6.5-inch Tremendous AMOLED panel, the newest model of Android, 5G connectivity, and extra, Samsung’s Galaxy A15 5G offers you an entire lot of bang in your bucks.
Finest unlocked telephone
With a classy design, environment friendly Snapdragon processor, and as much as 512GB of expandable storage, the Nokia G100 is an affordable telephone that does not really feel low-cost. Your pockets will thanks.
Best battery life
Finest battery life
It could not have 5G assist, however Motorola’s newest Moto G Play (2024) provides all the pieces from a giant battery to a clear software program expertise, all at a particularly inexpensive worth.
Uncommon for this worth vary, the TCL 40 XL comes with a vibrant 6.75-inch LCD panel, a big battery, and a strong Mediatek Helio G37 SoC. You additionally get a 5,000mAh battery and stereo audio system.
Finest digital camera
With the Moto G Energy (2022), you will get a flagship-level digital camera expertise with out paying flagship worth, together with a tremendous 90Hz show and strong battery life.
Samsung’s Galaxy A-series smartphones have come to be famend for providing unbelievable worth for cash, and the Galaxy A15 5G is not any exception. Certain, it is only a penny shy of $200 and can price you somewhat than that after taxes, however this factor provides so many goodies that we propose stretching your funds just a bit bit. Furthermore, you’ll be able to usually discover it accessible for a lot much less on main on-line retailers like Amazon.
As its identify suggests, the Galaxy A15 5G provides 5G connectivity so you can take pleasure in blazing-fast speeds for video streaming, net looking, and extra whereas on the transfer. The 6.5-inch show sports activities a 90Hz refresh charge, however what really units it aside is that it is a Tremendous AMOLED display, a giant improve in comparison with the LCD panel supplied by the previous-gen mannequin(s). Powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 6100+ chipset and 4GB of RAM, the smartphone is pretty able to dealing with on a regular basis duties with ease. You additionally get 128GB of inside storage, expandable by way of a microSD card slot.
The Galaxy A15 5G incorporates a triple-lens digital camera system on the again, comprising a 50MP major sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide unit, and a 2MP macro module. It is clearly not going to face an opportunity towards the best camera phones on the market, however ought to greater than suffice for taking just a few photographs each from time to time. So far as the software program is worried, you get the newest Android 14 with Samsung’s One UI 6 overlaid on prime.
Samsung Galaxy A15 5G is backed by a 5,000mAh battery that’ll simply final you a full day or two with average use. The 25W wired charging is not actually the quickest, however contemplating the top-of-the-line Galaxy S24 additionally expenses on the identical charge, we’re not complaining.
Finest unlocked telephone
Not one of the telephones on this record are thought-about costly, however if you happen to’re attempting to spend your cash on one thing dependable, the Nokia G100 is for you. Sitting in the direction of the decrease mid-range restrict of $200, it is the most effective unlocked telephone on this vary on the finish of the day. You will get quite a lot of worth from each greenback spent on the Nokia G100.
The Nokia G100 is provided with the identical 6.52-inch IPS LCD with an HD+ decision of 720×1600 pixels that was on the older Nokia G20. It is also bought a Snapdragon 662 processor, 3GB/4GB of RAM, and 32GB/128GB of expandable storage (as much as 512GB). Sadly, there is no quick charging, however you should not must mess with it an excessive amount of, because of the beneficiant 5,000mAh battery.
The Nokia G100 will get two years of Android upgrades and three years of month-to-month safety patches, which ought to get you thru 2025. The telephone ships with Android 12 and regardless that the replace scenario is not pretty much as good as we would prefer it to be, a minimum of the software program expertise is pleasant, since there is no bloatware and Nokia sticks to inventory Android.
The telephone comes with a beautiful textured again accessible in a single blue colour and in addition boasts a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. You get a triple-camera setup, together with a 13MP major digital camera that’s surprisingly first rate. Nokia has packed simply the fitting options into this value-rich system.
Finest battery life
It is close to unimaginable to speak about inexpensive smartphones with out mentioning Motorola, and the Moto G Play (2024) exhibits why. The most recent member of the corporate’s G-series packs in a truckload of options at a worth that is simply too good to withstand.
The Moto G Play (2024) comes with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a refresh charge of 90Hz. Though the decision continues to be HD+ (720×1600 pixels), the 90Hz refresh charge ought to make interacting with on-screen content material a clean affair. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset underneath the hood, together with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inside storage. Though the SoC solely provides 4G connectivity, it is a large enchancment over the MediaTek Helio G37 of the last-gen mannequin had. Android Central’s Derrek Lee was quite disappointed with the previous-gen Moto G Play (2023) in his overview, primarily due to the smartphone’s sluggish efficiency. Contemplating that the newer mannequin sports activities an additional gig of RAM and sooner UFS 2.2 storage, the Moto G Play (2023) ought to do pretty effectively in day-to-day utilization.
Apparently, the Moto G Play (2024) solely has a single 50MP lens on the again. The shortage of an ultra-wide module is a bit disappointing, however we’re glad Motorola did not embody a type of ineffective macro models simply to pad up the spec sheet. The smartphone runs Android 13 with Motorola’s minimal My UX baked on prime and may get a minimum of Android 14, if not additional.
Motorola Moto G Play (2024) sports activities a 5,000mAh battery – identical as its predecessor – however the charging velocity has now been upgraded to 15W. The previous-gen mannequin had pretty first rate battery life and we’re fairly certain this one would a minimum of match, if not exceed that.
It could not have probably the most cutting-edge specs, however do not you sleep on the TCL 40 XL. Below $200, you will not discover a extra charming show than this telephone’s 6.75-inch vivid LCD panel. The waterdrop notch appears somewhat dated, but it surely’s your complete package deal as an entire that bolsters the value of this telephone.
TCL offers you a pleasant deal together with all that display actual property. You get a number of reminiscence, with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that may be elevated as much as a whopping 512GB. There’s additionally a fingerprint scanner on the aesthetically pleasing aspect of the telephone. The TCL 40 XL has a beneficiant 5,000mAh cell that tops up fairly rapidly, owing to its 18W charging velocity.
You get a pleasant set of triple cameras that includes a 50MP major lens. On the software program aspect of issues, the TCL 40 XL is powered by Android 13. Below the hood, you can find a Mediatek Helio G37 chipset to maintain your complete telephone afloat. What prevents this telephone from being our primary choose is the shortage of any future platform upgrades or any method of waterproofing. TCL does promise two years of safety updates although.
Finest digital camera
Let’s begin with the positives, lets? The Moto G Energy (2022) has the most effective digital camera in its class, delivering crisp, clear photographs all through the day and even in low-light conditions. It is no Pixel but it surely’s actually spectacular for a telephone underneath $200. Even the macro digital camera is spectacular — one thing you will virtually by no means see on this worth vary — letting you get tremendous up-close to things for some attention-grabbing, ‘Grammable imagery.
It is also bought incredible battery life that’ll simply get you thru the promised 3 days per cost. Our Moto G Power (2022) review confirms the longevity, though it’ll take a number of hours to cost it up because it solely helps 10W charging.
However the kicker is that to attain this type of battery life, Motorola went with an extremely weak MediaTek processor within the Moto G Energy (2022). Merely put, if a sluggish UI and lag when switching between apps is a deal breaker for you, think about one thing with a greater CPU. The Moto G Energy has a Mediatek Helio G37 chipset that was by no means going to interrupt any information.
At the least the display is comparatively giant at 6.5 inches and may even run at 90Hz if you happen to’re doing mild sufficient work that the chipset can sustain. It runs Android 11, which is not frequent for this worth level anymore. When you think about what number of different telephone makers are committing to updates on cheaper telephones, like Samsung, it is undoubtedly a significant weak spot. Nonetheless, absolutely anything it’s worthwhile to do on this telephone ought to work with out difficulty on this older model of Android.
Placing a case on the telephone is a wonderful method to make sure it stays protected all through your every day use, however some telephones have been designed to be rugged and sturdy proper out of the field. One such telephone is Blackview’s BV5200 Professional, and if you happen to’re susceptible to clumsiness or work in a bodily demanding surroundings, the BV5200 Professional is a strong selection.
The design of the BV5200 Professional makes its ruggedness unmistakable, and it has sturdiness scores to again it up. Not solely is there an IP68 and IP69K mud/water resistance ranking, however you additionally get a MIL-STD-810G certification. This implies the BV5200 Professional has been examined to outlive drops of as much as 5 ft.
Transferring past its design, there are many different highlights for the BV5200 Professional. It has a large 5,180mAh battery, USB-C charging, a Mediatek Helio G35 chipset, and NFC for contactless Google Pay funds. There’s additionally 4GB of RAM together with 3GB digital RAM, including as much as 7GB whole, and 64GB of storage that may be expanded as much as 1TB. You may miss out on any platform upgrades previous the pre-installed Android 12 and there is no fingerprint sensor, however you do get face unlock.
The design of the BV5200 Professional actually is not for everybody, however if you happen to’re somebody who is aware of you’d profit from a ruggedized handset like this one, it is undoubtedly price a very good, arduous look. Though Blackview BV5200 Professional makes quite a lot of compromises, its rock-bottom price ticket makes it a really engaging deal.
Which is the most effective smartphone underneath $200?
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Only a few years in the past, $200 could not purchase you a lot in the way in which of the best Android phones. Lately, nevertheless, it is fairly shocking simply what number of choices you’ve got in such a low-price phase. There are many “cheap” Android phones which might be fairly nice.
We predict the most effective Android telephone underneath $200 is the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G out of all the pieces at present accessible. For the common particular person purchasing for a brand new telephone, the Galaxy A15 5G is superb. It is bought strong cameras, a Tremendous AMOLED show that’ll get the job accomplished, 5G, and, most significantly, years of software program updates that’ll hold it protected and related for so long as you need to hold it.
Samsung’s software program replace promise is unmatched within the business, with solely Google having exceeded it just lately with the Pixel 8 sequence. This is not simply essential for getting new options and retaining your telephone feeling comparatively new, but additionally for safety. With out correct safety updates, older telephones is usually a ticking timebomb for malware or hackers.
In the event you’d somewhat go along with an unlocked system, the Nokia G100 is our second favourite selection. The show appears ok, the efficiency is nice for many apps and lightweight video games, the three rear cameras are a bunch of enjoyable to make use of, and that 5,000mAh battery is a lifesaver. That stated, the G100 is a bit outdated at this level. In the event you’d somewhat go for one thing latest, look no additional than the Moto G Play (2024). It comes with the newest Android 14, a giant 5,000mAh battery, and the software program expertise is clear and minimal, even when it in all probability will not get a lot by way of updates.
It additionally provides 4GB/128GB reminiscence choices, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, quad cameras, and underrated options like face unlock. Let’s not overlook the elegant inventory Android expertise with assured upgrades to Android 13 in addition to Android 14.
How to decide on the fitting telephone underneath $200
While you’re on a good funds, shopping for a brand new telephone isn’t the simplest factor to do. Most telephones within the under-$200 class look very comparable, however what manufacturers are you able to belief and what must you look out for?
At underneath $200, it’s unusual to get a telephone that isn’t made from plastic. There’s simply no method round this because it’s an enormous cost-saving measure most producers take. In any other case, you’ll be spending extra for an costly telephone physique and the corporate should reduce elsewhere.
It’s additionally quite common to seek out telephones with a normal HD show — often known as 720p — as an alternative of a Full-HD 1080p or larger decision. Some telephones, such because the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G, supply a 1080p show that appears considerably higher than others on this class.
However, usually, that decrease decision is preferable for 2 causes. First off, most telephones underneath $200 don’t have a strong processor. With out that additional processing energy, a higher-resolution show will find yourself making the telephone really feel a bit laggy when so much is happening. Second, a lower-resolution show helps hold the telephone’s battery going for a very long time on a single cost.
Most telephones on this class solely function 3-4GB of RAM, which is usually high-quality with these lower-resolution shows. The lower-power processors can’t multitask significantly effectively, so having a ton of RAM isn’t going to assist issues a lot. However, in sure circumstances, having additional RAM might assist make your telephone really feel a bit speedier. Numerous telephones also can use some a part of their inside storage as a ‘digital’ RAM that can be utilized to make issues barely higher.
Now, with all that stated, it is best to by no means count on to get a number of main working system updates on a telephone on this worth class. Whereas most telephones see a single large OS replace — generally from Android 12 to Android 13, or one thing comparable — some telephones will simply get safety updates for just a few years and be accomplished. Whereas main OS updates are a nicety, they don’t all the time make sense for a telephone with a lower-power processor as new options usually require extra processing energy to truly be good to make use of.
These safety updates are what it is best to really take note of, and that’s why Samsung bought the choose of the litter on this class. Samsung’s promised 4 years of safety updates for the Galaxy A13 is double that of another producer on this web page. Whereas lower-power processors don’t all the time maintain up effectively for that lengthy, it’s nice to know that your telephone gained’t be weak to cyber-attacks or malware for so long as you personal the telephone.
Do you have to select a SIM-free or contract telephone?
At underneath $200, many telephones supply the simple choice to decide on between shopping for them outright — often known as SIM-free since they don’t include a provider’s SIM card — or simply including them to your telephone plan as a part of your month-to-month invoice. Whereas many telephones on this record gained’t price something in any respect from great wireless carriers reminiscent of T-Cell, it could be price simply shopping for them outright for numerous causes.
First off, at underneath $200, all of those telephones are fairly inexpensive. Most of the telephones on this record can be found at round $150, making them even simpler to afford outright — particularly when in comparison with flagship smartphones, which frequently price $600 or much more to purchase outright.
Second is the truth that placing a sub-$200 telephone on a contract means you’re caught with it for twenty-four months till the contract is up. Whereas your provider may supply a method to pay it off early, it’s doubtless for a better worth than it might have price to purchase it outright from Amazon or Finest Purchase.
Third is the truth that most sub-$200 telephones are likely to get a bit sluggish over a 24-month interval, and that’s assuming you bought the telephone proper when it got here out. Working example, if you happen to have been to decide on the older Moto G Play (2021) proper now, you’ll be utilizing a telephone that’s already over 2 years outdated, which means it’s in all probability not going to be good to make use of for all that for much longer, a lot much less 24 months from now.
Are Android telephones underneath $200 any good?
Sure, $200 (or much less) Android telephones could be good for a lot of several types of individuals. However simply how good can a telephone be if it’s 1/fifth of the value of premium telephones like a Samsung Galaxy S24? Clearly, you’re lacking out on one thing by saving a ton of cash, proper?
Shopping for an Android telephone underneath $200 is a bit like shopping for an affordable automobile in your every day commute. That automobile’s whole aim is to get you to and from your own home or place of job or faculty and never way more. Equally, a sub-$200 telephone goes to perform your every day wants and possibly not an entire lot extra.
In each eventualities, it is best to count on to forego fancy options and different bells and whistles while you decide to save cash. Don’t go right into a smartphone buy anticipating a display that’s tremendous shiny in direct daylight or to be amazed by each photograph you’re taking with its cameras. You gained’t get autopilot or a backup digital camera with an excellent inexpensive automobile, both.
Likewise, make sure you’re setting your self up for efficiency expectations when shifting into both class. An inexpensive automobile isn’t going to achieve freeway speeds straight away, and it is best to by no means count on to race one. Likewise, a $200 or much less telephone gained’t play video games very effectively and won’t multitask between apps very effectively, both.
In a nutshell, it is best to count on that listening to music, scrolling by way of social media, watching a video on YouTube, or simply looking Android Central on the go might be a very good general expertise on one in every of these telephones. Virtually all of those telephones get multi-day battery life, too, which is a large benefit of this lower-priced, lower-power class.
How lengthy do Android telephones underneath $200 final?
On common, customers who spend lower than $200 on an Android telephone will discover that their buy can final them round two years earlier than the telephone begins to really feel a bit sluggish or outdated. That’s most frequently why producers solely promise one main OS replace, as some new options might find yourself slowing the telephone down an excessive amount of.
Throughout that two-year possession interval, it’s essential to decide on a producer that guarantees common safety updates. Oftentimes, producers on this worth vary will promise to ship quarterly safety updates to make sure that no large safety vulnerabilities crop up in your telephone. Telephones with latest safety patches are far much less more likely to fall prey to malware or different forms of cyber assaults.
As a result of most sub-$200 telephones will solely get one main Android replace and two years’ price of safety updates, it’s most essential to decide on a more recent telephone that also has many months of assist left.
When taking these measures into consideration, the weakest hyperlink on our record is the Blackview BV5200 Professional, which can doubtless by no means see one other replace. Whereas that’s high-quality in some circumstances, you’ll must be additional aware to avoid scenarios that might find yourself placing malware in your telephone.