The 5 finest smartphones underneath $500: Ring within the financial savings

Samsung


The highest-of-the-line Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max has a beginning worth of $1,199, whilst you’ll pay $1,300 and up for the flagship Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely. However in case you’re on a price range, or do not need to pay high greenback for one of the highly effective smartphones available on the market, you might have loads of lower-priced choices. Our in-house workforce of tech specialists has curated this roundup of the 5 finest smartphones you should purchase outright for $500 or much less. And there is extra excellent news: Costs listed below are earlier than reductions and commerce in offers.


What’s the most effective low cost smartphone?

When you’re an Apple fan and wish an iPhone that is inexpensive, the iPhone SE is the one possibility that is priced under $500. In relation to Android smartphones, you might have many inexpensive decisions. 

There are some compelling causes to change from an Android telephone to an iPhone, simply as there are some nice causes to change from an iPhone to an Android smartphone. Whichever possibility you select, you need your telephone to be suitable together with your different cellular gadgets, together with your smartwatch and pill, plus simply have the ability to sync content material together with your computer systems.

Take note, whereas the retail worth of many widespread telephones, just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Samsung Galaxy S24, is nicely over $500, gross sales and promotions can scale back the value to nicely under that.


Finest smartphone underneath $500 total: Google Pixel 8a

Amazon


Working system: Android 13 | Show dimension: 6.1 inches | Show sort: Actua OLED | Show Decision: 1,080 x 2,400 pixels | Refresh price: As much as 120Hz | Processor: Google Tensor G3 (Titan M2 safety coprocessor) | RAM: 8GB | Storage choices: 128GB or 256GB | Battery: 4,492 mAh | Dimensions: 6 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches | Weight: 6.6 ounces | Charging choices: Wired or wi-fi | Entrance digital camera: 13MP | Rear digital camera: 64MP (extensive), 13MP (ultra-wide) | Water-proof ranking: IP67 | Max. display brightness: 2,000 nits

Out of all of the smartphones featured on this roundup, the Google Pixel 8a is the latest and probably the most superior. The telephone is modeled after the Pixel 8 Professional, which is Google’s flagship. It runs utilizing the identical processor and working system. It additionally integrates AI, so advanced duties occur on their very own and within the background. The telephone can mechanically compose responses to textual content messages, summarize Google paperwork and emails, translate textual content, and deal with picture and video modifying duties that only some different telephones — at any worth — can deal with.

In contrast with the Google Pixel 8 Professional, among the Pixel 8a’s options have been scaled down. The digital camera system is not as superior, and the telephone gives fewer storage choices. The show, whereas completely gorgeous (particularly for a telephone at this worth), is not as high-resolution because the Pixel 8 Professional.

We have lately reviewed the Pixel 8a and located it to be the perfect Android telephone for the typical consumer. It is also an incredible possibility for fogeys who need to give their children a smartphone, or for somebody making the change from an iPhone to an Android telephone. The Pixel 8a is highly effective and customizable and it gives a light-weight and sturdy design. It additionally comes with a pleasant assortment of apps and integrates seamlessly with Google Drive, Google Images and different Google providers. Between its design and total efficiency, the Pixel 8a gives a very nice worth and we extremely advocate it.


Finest Apple iPhone underneath $500: Apple iPhone SE (third Gen)

Walmart


Working system: iOS 17 | Show dimension: 4.7 inches | Show sort: Retina HD | Show Decision:  1,334 x 750 | Refresh price: 60Hz | Processor: Apple A15 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage choices: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB | Battery: 2,018 mAh | Dimensions: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches | Weight: 5.09 ounces | Charging choices: Wired or wi-fi | Entrance digital camera: 7MP | Rear digital camera: 12MP | Water-proof ranking: IP67 | Max. display brightness: 625 nits

The Apple iPhone SE (third Gen) just isn’t a brand new or cutting-edge telephone. Nevertheless, it’s the least costly iPhone mannequin and might deal with the entire identical core duties as any iPhone. It runs the identical model of iOS 17 (or later), comes with the identical assortment of apps, and works with the identical Apple providers (together with iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple Health+ and Apple Information) as all different present iPhone fashions. The iPhone SE may also works with an Apple Watch and might sync with an iPad and Mac.

In contrast with different present iPhone 15 fashions, what units the iPhone SE aside is the display is a bit smaller (and fewer brilliant), and the telephone’s processor is not as new or highly effective. Additionally, the digital camera system is not as superior. Essentially the most storage you will get on this smartphone is 256GB. 

Regardless of the methods Apple has scaled down the {hardware} configuration of this telephone, it is good for common customers, children getting their first smartphone, or anybody who simply would not want the facility of Apple’s higher-end Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max. The iPhone SE additionally has a smaller kind issue, so it matches properly in a hand or a pocket. 


Finest Android telephone underneath $500: OnePlus 12R

OnePlus


Working system: Oxygen 14 (based mostly on Android 14) | Show dimension: 6.78 inches | Show sort: AMOLED ProXDR | Show Decision: 2,780 x 1,264 pixels | Refresh price: 120Hz | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Cellular | RAM: 8GB or 16GB | Storage choices: 128GB or 256GB | Battery: 5,500 mAh | Dimensions: 6.43 z 2.96 x 0.35 inches | Weight: 7.3 ounces | Charging choices: Wired | Entrance digital camera: 16MP | Rear digital camera: 50MP (essential), 8MP (ultra-wide), 2MP (macro) | Water-proof ranking: IP64 | Max. display brightness: 4,500 nits

For an influence consumer who would not need to spend high greenback for a Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely or Google Pixel Professional, the OnePlus 12 is a good possibility, nevertheless it has a beginning worth round $800. However there may be excellent news. When you’re seeking to spend simply $500 on an Android telephone, OnePlus has you coated with the newer and scaled down OnePlus 12R.

With the OnePlus 12R, you continue to get an attractive and vibrant 6.78 inch AMOLED ProXDR touchscreen show with a 120Hz refresh price. And it runs utilizing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Cellular processor. This mixture makes the telephone nice for gaming, streaming video or viewing and modifying pictures. This telephone’s battery additionally supplies as much as two days of energy between prices.

When streaming video or utilizing graphic intensive apps, the OnePlus 12R helps HDR10+ and HDR Vivid, in addition to Dolby Atmos sound. And with regards to wi-fi connectivity, this is without doubt one of the few smartphones that already helps Wi-Fi 7. This telephone additionally has a inbuilt Sony digital camera system, with three rear-facing cameras, together with a 50MP essential digital camera. 

Regardless of its comparatively low worth, the OnePlus 12R is a feature-packed and highly effective telephone for somebody who needs greater than an entry-level smartphone, however who would not need to spend greater than $1,000 for a high-end telephone. It’s going to simply deal with your entire on a regular basis smartphone duties — from communications, to productiveness, leisure and extra.


Finest Android flip telephone underneath $500: Motorola Razr (2023)

Amazon


Working system: Android 13 | Show dimension: 6.9 inches (essential), 1.5 inches (exterior) | Show sort: OLED | Show Decision: 2,640 x 1,080 | Refresh price: 144Hz | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Cellular | RAM: 8GB | Storage choices: 128GB | Battery: 4,200 mAh | Dimensions: 3.47 x 2.91 x 0.62 inches (closed), 6.73 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches (open) | Weight: 6.65 ounces | Charging choices: Wired or wi-fi | Entrance digital camera: 32MP | Rear digital camera: 64MP | Water-proof ranking: IP52

The saying “every thing outdated is new once more” actually applies when describing the 2023 Motorola Razor. This can be a folding telephone modeled after the originals Flips from the late-Nineties, however this one is loaded with a lot newer expertise. It is a folding telephone that resembles the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, solely it is a bit much less highly effective and about half the value.

This Motorola telephone has a vibrant, 6.9 inch OLED show on the within, and a smaller (1.5 inch) OLED show on the surface. The primary display’s decision is a powerful 2,640 x 1,080 pixels and it gives a surprisingly quick 144H refresh price. The telephone’s processor — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Cellular — is a bit older, in comparison with what you may discover in higher-end telephones, however what the 2023 Razr gives is greater than satisfactory for common customers.

When you’re searching for an inexpensive folding telephone that runs Android and simply matches in a pocket, it is a viable possibility. It is available in 4 colours — sage inexperienced, cherry blossom, summer time lilac or vanilla cream. While you buy the telephone from Amazon, it comes unlocked, so you possibly can activate it with whichever mobile service supplier you select. The largest limitation is that the Razr gives simply 128GB of inner storage.


Finest smartphone underneath $500 for prolonged battery life: Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

Samsung


Working system: Android 14 | Show dimension: 6.6 inches | Show sort: Tremendous AMOLED Infinity-O | Show Decision: 2,340 x 1,080 pixels | Refresh price: 120Hz | Processor: Exynos 1380 Octa-Core | RAM: 6GB | Storage choices: 128GB | Battery: 5,000 mAh | Dimensions: 6.37 x 3.07 x 0.32 inches | Weight: 7.03 ounces | Charging choices: Wired | Entrance digital camera: 13MP | Rear digital camera: 50MP (extensive), 8MP (ultra-wide), 5MP (macro) | Water-proof ranking: IP67 | Max. display brightness: 1,000 nits

Arms down, our high decide for the most effective Android smartphone available on the market is Samsung’s flagship telephone, the Galaxy S24 Extremely which has a beginning worth of $1,100 on Amazon. Nevertheless, in case you do not want the facility and superior capabilities of this high-end telephone, however nonetheless need an Android telephone from Samsung, we propose the Galaxy A35 5G.

This telephone gives simply 128GB of inner storage and is available in simply two colours — navy or lilac. Nevertheless, it does supply three rear-facing cameras (together with a 50MP extensive digital camera) and a 13MP front-facing digital camera. You additionally get a vibrant 6.6-inch, Tremendous AMOLED Infinity-O touchscreen show. This implies it is nice for streaming video, viewing and modifying pictures and gaming. This show gives a most brightness of 1,000 nits and a 120Hz refresh price.

The largest stand-out function of the Galaxy A35 5G is its battery life. The built-in 5,000 mAh battery will preserve this telephone operating for as much as two full days between prices. And when the telephone requires charging, it gives Samsung’s quick charging function. We additionally like that the telephone has a inbuilt microSD reminiscence card slot, so it is easy to broaden the telephone’s 128GB of storage everytime you select. General, you possibly can anticipate spectacular efficiency from this smartphone that is priced lower than $400 (earlier than any gross sales, promotions or a trade-in).


Are low cost smartphones value it?

When buying a lower-priced smartphone, you will have to make some concessions. The processor inside these telephones will sometimes be slower, the show will not be as sturdy, the digital camera system is not going to be as superior, and the inner storage choices will typically be smaller (in comparison with the high-end smartphones from corporations like Apple, Google and Samsung).

That stated, for the typical smartphone consumer, any of the sub-$500 gadgets on this roundup can be greater than satisfactory to deal with on a regular basis calling, texting, net browsing, e mail administration, video calling, gaming, pictures, videography, or no matter duties you depend on your telephone to deal with. And with options constructed into the telephone’s working system and non-obligatory apps from the Apple App Retailer (iPhone) or Google Play Retailer (Android), there are numerous methods you possibly can customise and personalize your new telephone.


To be taught extra concerning the newest smartphone choices, remember to take a look at our protection of the finest Android smartphones and finest folding smartphones. You can too take a look at our full evaluation of the favored Apple iPhone 15 Professional MaxGoogle Pixel 8a and Pixel 8 Professional and OnePlus 12 smartphones.


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