Not everybody needs to spend upwards of $1,000 on their phone, especially those on prepaid carriers looking to cut down on spending wherever possible. Luckily, the best phones under $100 deliver reliable performance and useful features that make them a great choice. We think the Nokia 1.3 is the best phone in this price range, but if that doesn’t strike your fancy, there are plenty of other options out there.
1. Nokia 1.3: Best Phone Under $100
HMD Global has a standout option in the entry-level segment in the Nokia 1.3. This particular device is one of the best Android Go phones and comes with lightweight versions of Google services out of the box. Android Go is a great choice in this category as it is designed to run on low-end hardware, and the lightweight OS combined with Google Go apps ensures you don’t see any slowdowns.
The hardware on offer with the Nokia 1.3 is pretty decent, considering it is an Android Go device. You get a 5.71-inch HD+ screen, Qualcomm’s 215 platform with four Cortex A53 cores at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, an 8MP camera at the back, a 5MP front shooter, and a 3000mAh battery that lasts over a day.
Now, 1GB of RAM may not seem adequate for most devices, but it’s more than sufficient for Android Go. So if you’re looking for an entry-level Android phone and are interested in trying out Android Go, the Nokia 1.3 is an easy recommendation.
- Android Go with Android 10 out of the box
- 16GB storage with 1GB of RAM
- Great value
- All-day battery life
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi
Nokia 1.3 TA-1207 16GB GSM Smartphone
- $100 at Best Buy
- $90 at B&H Photo
Great overall value
With a large HD+ screen backed by all-day battery life, the Android Go-powered Nokia 1.3 has plenty to offer.
2. Samsung Galaxy A01: Best Prepaid Option
It isn’t the Galaxy A52, but the entry-level Galaxy A01 still has a lot to offer. It has a large 5.7-inch HD+ screen and modern design that’s in line with Samsung’s costlier devices, and the Snapdragon 439 chipset is one of the most powerful you’ll find in this category.
You also get 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, dual 13MP + 2MP cameras at the back, Bluetooth 4.2, FM radio, and a 3000mAh battery that lasts over a day. The device runs One UI 2.0 based on Android 10 out of the box and runs lag-free in day-to-day use.
The Galaxy A01 is available from various carriers, with the Verizon model available for $79. The Simple Mobile option is the most affordable, coming in at under $60 on Amazon. The value here makes the Galaxy A01 an exciting option in this category.
- Large 5.7-inch HD display
- Snapdragon 439
- MicroSD card up to 512GB
- All-day battery life
- 3.5mm jack
- MicroUSB charging port
Best Prepaid Option
Samsung Galaxy A01
- $53 at Amazon
A truly great choice
With decent hardware and excellent value, the Galaxy A01 is an easy recommendation in this category.
3. Ulefone Note 8: Best Display
The Ulefone Note 8 cranks things up a notch in this segment thanks to its vibrant 5.5-inch 720p screen with ultra-thin bezels. Save for the waterdrop notch for the selfie camera and small chin at the bottom; it’s all screen.
Flipping the Ulefone Note 8 over, you’ll find a 5MP primary camera along with 2MP portrait sensors to help you take the best-looking pictures possible. You’ll find a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128GB), and a 2700mAh battery under the hood. The battery size is quite generous, and the RAM should be more than adequate.
The Ulefone Note 8 is another device with dual SIM slots, making it easy to rock two numbers simultaneously. Also, while there is a face unlock feature instead of a fingerprint sensor, it’s only good for bypassing your lock screen. If you want to log into banking apps or password managers, you’ll need to enter a PIN/password.
Best of all, the Note 8 runs Android Go, so the hardware is quite fluid in day-to-day use.
- 5.5-inch display with thin bezels
- Android Go
- Decent 2700mAh battery
- Expandable storage
- Support for dual SIMs
- Lacks a fingerprint sensor
Ulefone Note 8
- $82 at Amazon
Good displays actually exist on a budget
For people that spend a lot of time playing games or watching YouTube videos, the Note 8’s large and bezel-less display is a joy.
4. BLU Studio Mini: Best Design
Exquisite design isn’t something you really see with Android phones within this budget, and while “exquisite” isn’t exactly the word we’d use to describe the BLU Studio Mini, it certainly stands out from the rest of the phones on this list. The Studio View’s back has a textured design that’s rather eye-catching, and you get decent hardware.
Joining that design is a 5.5-inch HD+ display, which is accompanied by slim-ish bezels. There’s also an 8MP selfie camera and 13MP rear camera, along with a 3000mAh battery. The quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, along with 32GB of internal memory, are among the best options you’ll find in this particular category.
In addition to the phone itself, BLU also gives you all of the accessories you could need right in the box. Included at no extra cost are a screen protector, silicone case, and a BLU sticker for you to place wherever.
- Eye-catching design
- Vibrant 5.5-inch display
- 2GB RAM and 32GB storage
- Comes with a case and screen protector
- Future updates are unlikely
BLU Studio Mini
- $70 at Amazon
It may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that the BLU Studio Mini design is bold and unique.
5. Moto E6: Best on Verizon
The Moto E6 has many exciting features, including a 5.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 435 chipset, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage with a MicroSD slot, 13MP camera, and a 3000mAh battery.
But the biggest advantage is that you get a clean Android interface, making the phone a delight to use. Another interesting feature is the splash-resistant coating, ensuring the Moto E6 can withstand the occasional splash of rain.
The unlocked variant of the Moto E6 costs $99, but the Verizon model is available for just $70, making it a fantastic choice.
- Clean build of Android
- Splash-resistant design
- Expandable storage goes up to 256GB
- All-day battery life
- Easy to use in one hand
- Large bezels
Best on Verizon
Moto E6 4G Smartphone
- $70 at Amazon
- $74 at Walmart
On Verizon? Check this out
When it comes to Verizon handsets, the Moto E6 offers all of the Android basics in a compact and splash-resistant package.
These are the best Android phones under $100
There are many junk Android phones that you can buy in this $100 price range, but there are also many great ones, as proven in this article. Overall, the Nokia 1.3 stands out as the best cheap Android phone we’ve found under that $100 threshold.
Every phone that you buy in this price tier is bound to come with compromises, but the Nokia 1.3 makes the smartest ones so that you still end up with a thoroughly enjoyable Android experience. The display looks good, the performance is fast enough for daily use, there’s a decently-sized battery, and you have expandable storage.
It has all the basics that you’d want from a quality smartphone, but Nokia manages to take things a step further in a way that other companies don’t. Being able to buy a phone like this and still rely on timely updates is a dream come true, and that’s exactly what you get with the Nokia 1.3. If you’re willing to stretch your budget a little, we’ve gathered the best Android phones under $200.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is a Senior Editor for Android Central and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to [email protected] or connect on Twitter @JoeMaring1!