The Best Budget Android Phones

The Best Budget Android Phones

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Our pick

Nokia 6.2

Nokia 6.2

Great hardware, fast updates

This model offers a bright, vibrant, 6.3-inch 1080p display, as well as two good cameras, solid build quality, and software updates through late 2021. But it doesn’t work on Verizon or other carriers that use CDMA network technology.

Buying Options

$250 from Amazon

The Nokia 6.2 runs Android with no extraneous software, and because it’s an Android One phone, it will receive prompt software updates for at least two years after its release (so until at least late 2021). It has a sturdy glass and aluminum design, capable cameras, and great performance. Its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is fast at reading a finger to unlock the phone, and there’s an NFC sensor for contactless payments. And its 1080p screen is brighter and more vibrant than those of other phones in this price range.

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Runner-up

Motorola Moto G Power

Motorola Moto G Power

A big battery and Verizon compatibility

The Moto G Power has a huge battery that allows for two days between charges, an attractive display, and a clean version of Android with useful extras. It works on all types of cellular networks, and it’s the best budget Android phone to get if you use Verizon.

Buying Options

$220 from Motorola

If the Nokia 6.2 is unavailable or is incompatible with your cell phone carrier, the Motorola Moto G Power offers the next best experience. It has a large edge-to-edge screen, and it works on all cellular networks regardless of the technology they use. This phone also goes on sale more often than the Nokia 6.2, and it’s available directly from Verizon. When it comes to the display, performance, and camera, the G Power is on a par with the Nokia 6.2, but the Moto has much better battery life even if you crank up the screen brightness. Motorola’s version of Android is low on clutter and comes with some useful extras, but it will get updates later and less often than Nokia phones.

Upgrade pick

Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a

Flagship features, budget price

The Google Pixel 4a offers the same phenomenal camera and software as the flagship Pixels, but it costs just $350.

Buying Options

$350 from Google
$300 from Best Buy

Google’s Pixel phones have never had the best hardware, but that’s not a problem when the price is right. The Pixel 4a is still better than the competition in almost every way, provided you can spend a little more money. For $350, the Pixel 4a has one of the best cameras on any smartphone, even ones that cost more than twice as much. The software experience is also smoother and more pleasant than what you can get from Nokia or Motorola. Google guarantees both security updates and Android software updates until summer 2023. However, the soft-touch plastic back does pick up oils from your hands, and the battery life is just average.

Budget pick

Moto E (2020)

Moto E (2020)

The cheapest acceptable option

The 2020 Moto E has much better build quality and performance than other ultra-budget phones, and it works on all cellular networks.

Buying Options

$130 from Motorola

At around $150, the Moto E (2020) is the least expensive phone you can buy that you won’t regret, thanks to surprisingly good performance, a huge display, a fingerprint sensor, and solid build quality. It’s the same Android OS that you get on the more expensive Moto G Power with useful extras like Moto Actions gestures and Peek Display notification management. This phone has a light, durable plastic design, but it uses a slow-charging Micro-USB port rather than USB-C, and the camera is barely usable in low light.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Budget Android Phones

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