Smartphones that cost $1000 and upwards have quickly become commonplace in the market, and for anyone on a budget, those steep prices can quickly induce a headache. Thankfully, cheap smartphones are still plentiful with more great options to choose from than ever before. If you need a new handset but only have $200 to spend, these are your best options.
One of the best
Motorola’s Moto G6 may not be the newest Moto G phone around, but it’s still a really capable handset that’s now more affordable than ever. Reaching the very top of our price range, the Moto G6 delivers a large 5.7-inch Full HD+ display, 12MP + 5MP dual rear cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and a 3,000 mAh battery with Motorola’s TurboPower fast charging. The phone is unlocked and works on all major U.S. carriers.
$160 at Amazon
Perfect for Cricket customers
Nokia 3.1 Plus
The Nokia 3.1 Plus is exclusive to Cricket Wireless in the States, and while that does limit its availability, it’s a seriously great purchase if you’re on or switching to Cricket. The Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers a 5.99-inch HD+ screen, 13MP + 5MP rear cameras, a fast fingerprint sensor, a huge 3,500 mAh battery, and an incredibly well-built polycarbonate body.
$160 at Cricket
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
A phone under $200 that you probably haven’t heard of is the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite. Powered by Android 9 Pie with Google’s Android One program, the Mi A2 Lite has a lot going for it — a 4,000 mAh battery, Full HD display, and dual 12 + 5MP rear cameras. You can buy the Mi A2 Lite in the U.S., but just be aware that it’s lacking some of the country’s LTE bands and doesn’t have a manufacturer warranty.
$175 at Amazon
Top of our budget
Moto G7 Play
At the tip-top of our budget is the Moto G7 Play. This is one of the latest entries in Motorola’s popular G series and gives you a lot for your money. There’s a 5.7-inch 1512 x 720 HD display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and Android 9 Pie is ready to go out of the box. We’re also big fans of the snappy Snapdragon 632 processor and 3,000 mAh battery that charges via USB-C.
$200 at Amazon
Built like a tank
Want a Nokia phone that you can use on carriers other than Cricket? The Nokia 6 works with AT&T, T-Mobile, and their respective MVNOs. It has a 5.5-inch Full-HD display with 2.5D curved glass, 16MP rear camera, expandable storage, and is running Android 9 Pie. We also really love the body that’s made out of 6000 series aluminum and the front-facing fingerprint sensor.
$179 at Amazon
Still a good choice
Although the Moto X4 is getting up in age, it’s still a really solid smartphone that’s now selling at an incredibly low price. The glass back and aluminum frame makes the Moto X4 feel like a much more expensive phone, as do its 12MP + 8MP dual rear cameras, IP68 dust/water resistance, and 5.2-inch Full HD screen. As for network compatibility, the phone works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.
$120 at Amazon
The Moto G6 is the best overall option
Hands down, the Moto G6 is easily one of the best phones you can buy in this price range. From a design standpoint, it looks like a modern handset thanks to a glass back and a narrow 18:9 display with slim bezels. Under the hood, it impresses with a capable Snapdragon 450 processor, a solid battery, and wide carrier compatibility.
It may be a year older than the new Moto G7 Play that’s also on this list, but from a specs-to-price ratio, it’s the best bang-for-your-buck thanks to price cuts that have brought it down considerably from the original MSRP.
Get the Moto X4 if you have a particularly tight budget
As much as we love the Moto G6, we also understand that $160 may be more than some people are able to spend on a new phone. For those of you that want to stay as far away from that $200 limit, the Moto X4 is a fantastic choice even almost two years after its initial release.
The phone has a fantastic metal and glass design that feels ultra-premium, reliable dual cameras, and a front-facing fingerprint sensor that works like charm. Its design is a bit ancient by 2019 standards, but its software is up-to-date as it’s now running Android 9 Pie.