The 7 Best Budget Smartphones To Buy in 2018 For Under $300

Shop for the top budget smartphones on the market without breaking the bank

Not everyone wants to spend $700 for the fanciest smartphone on the market. What's more, people simply don’t need to spend that much. You can get a high quality budget smartphone for less than $300, and you can even tailor your search to match specific preferences—preferences like camera quality, battery life and design. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research. Here’s a list of the seven best affordable smartphones that can be found for less $300.

When you pair great hardware and affordable pricing, you get a smartphone worth talking about. The ZTE Axon 7 Mini, the follow-up to the Axon 7, is a supremely capable device with a 5.2” display (1920 x 1080 pixels), a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 processor and 3GB of RAM. Suffice to say, there’s more than enough power under the hood with this smartphone. 

The hi-fidelity speaker offers superb audio quality, and the sleek and slim aluminum unibody design is excellent. The bezels feel ergonomic and comfortable in the hand and have an easy-to-reach fingerprint sensor. Inside, you’ll find 32GB of memory, a microSD slot for cards up to 128GB in size and LTE network connectivity that supports all four major U.S. carriers.

The 16-megapixel camera features max video resolution of 1080p alongside a suite of brightness and exposure tools to capture the perfect shot. The battery is said to deliver 15 hours of talk time, plus support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, which offers a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes. Between the premium-feeling hardware and affordable price, the Axon 7 Mini easily earns the top spot.

Honor is an off-shoot of parent company, Huawei, which has become a major contender in the smartphone market. And its 5X device is one of the best budget phones you can buy.

The 5.5-inch phone is made of aluminium alloy with a brushed metal back, where you’ll also find the fingerprint scanner. One of our favorite features of the 5X is that you can program different fingers to launch different apps. And while the phone itself looks good, its light weight gives it away as a budget phone. This dual-SIM smartphone has slots for microSD, microSIM and nanoSIM, allowing up to 128GB of expandable storage space, which might come in handy if you want to supplement its 16GB internal storage. Inside, it runs a Qualcomm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor and Android 5.1, making it sufficiently fast to run all your favorite mobile games. It’s fully compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, but unfortunately you’re out of luck if you have another carrier.

With a fast 4G LTE speed, a 16 MP camera and gorgeous 5.5” full HD display, this unlocked Nokia phone is an excellent value. Unlike other budget electronics, this phone isn’t going to break down right after you buy it. It is built with 6000 series anodized aluminum with bright diamond-cut edges and an attractive polish. It has a full HD IPS laminated display with up to 85 percent color reproduction, displaying kaleidoscopic images and video. And watching movies is a treat, thanks to loud sound and deep bass from dual Dolby Atmos speakers with a 7.2W peak output.

The Amazon exclusive gives you connection to the media and organizational Amazon app suite. Save up to 32GB of files and browse the best of Android with Android 7.1 Nougat.

This is another Amazon exclusive phone that is also an excellent value. It has a 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM, which is fast enough to handle all games and apps on the market or to multi-task while using the brand-new Android 7.1 Nougat split screen view. It also comes with 32GB of memory, plus up to 512GB of microSD expandable memory, which is more than you will need.

Other nice features include a built-in fingerprint sensor for quick unlocks and the latest Google Assistant. Photos are a bit behind other higher-end models, but a 12MP camera will put you on par with the most expensive device of a couple years ago. The slim sleek metal design and 2.5D glass body also give a premium look for a value price tag.

The next generation budget phone from telecom giant Huawei has an impressive camera that far out performs its budget price. The 12MP primary camera on the Huawei Honor 6X captures vivid HD photos in both daylight and lowlight conditions, and an ultra-fast focus time of .3 seconds makes sure you capture the shot right when the moment strikes. The camera has a wide aperture range that allows for a high-grade depth of field, and the wide range gives blurred background, allowing for more creativity. The professional framing complements cutting-edge color quality and noise reduction thanks to DTI pixel-isolation technology.

The phone also has an alluring ergonomic look and feel, thanks to a slim 8.2mm body made from frosted material, as well as a 2.5D curved glass with premium texture design. It runs on an octa-core processor(16nm) and has 3GB RAM, while a third generation fingerprint scanner gives responsive touch technology that can unlock the phone in .3 seconds. Finally, photographers will love the camera’s high-density battery, which lasts over two days on a full charge and can take plenty of photos.

The latest Moto G phone packs an all-day battery that can charge six hours of use time in just 15 minutes. The battery life comes courtesy of the hard-working Snapdragon 625 CPU that runs efficiently without wasting unnecessary battery life. The IPS screen provides nice HD visuals without the extra battery draining and GPU usage of QHD phones, giving you a longer lasting device than even some top models. The 2.0GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM give you nice performance, while a 12MP camera takes fun pictures. The camera is bolstered by Dual Autofocus pixels, giving 10x more pixels on the sensor for 60 percent faster autofocus, the first camera in the budget class to have this feature.

Design is certainly a subjective category, but we love the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 because you’d be hard-pressed to find another phone of this size under $300. Its 6.1-inch display plants it firmly in the phablet category, and while it might be too big for some, it makes reading articles and watching videos an enjoyable experience. It has a 1,280 x 720 pixel HD resolution, which isn’t quite as good as 1080p full HD, but in this budget price range, you can’t complain.

The phone comes equipped with a five-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, plus a microSD card slot below the back cover, to expand storage from 16GB up to 32GB. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which isn’t the most up-to-date, but you’ll still benefit from voice-activated search, Google Now and even a Glove Mode that makes the screen more sensitive. Under the hood, it has a 1.6GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and a fixed 3,900mAh battery, which yields a whopping 25 hours of power on just one charge. All in all, the Mate 2 definitely makes a statement.

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