There are plenty of cheap phones out there, but just because you want a budget smartphone doesn’t mean you have to compromise on features.
There are some really top budget phones under £200 – often so good that many won’t see why they should splash half a grand plus on a flagship phone.
Budget phones might not have the sharpest displays, or the most seamless metal designs, but a cheaper smartphone can still be good looking, offer decent specs, a good battery life and a solid performance while saving your pennies at the same time. Who can argue with that?
How we pick the best cheap phone
For this feature, we’re specifically looking at phones under £200.
If you have a little more cash to spend on a smartphone than that, then check out our best sub-£400 smartphone, or our big best smartphones feature that includes devices in all price ranges. For those that are on a budget though, this is right place for you.
Whether you are after an impulse replacement or you just can’t bear the thought of spending the best part of £700 or more on a device that lets you ring people (among a few other things) here are the best budget phones available to buy today for under £200.
The best budget phone
Here’s our choice for the best all-round Android budget handset on the market at the moment…
1. Motorola Moto G5
Motorola returns yet again, this time with the fifth generation of the popular Moto G, appropriately named the Moto G5. It offers a sturdy metal design that looks good for this price point, along with a great fingerprint scanner with effective gesture control options. It’s worth noting there is a new model of this device, the Moto G5S and although not available yet, you could hang tight till it is.
If you can’t wait though, the Moto G5 delivers a clean software experience, microSD expansion and although its more expensive brother, the G5 Plus, performs better, it offers fairly knockout performance for the money. If price is everything to you, then there’s nothing else on the market that will offer such a breadth of features and performance. Don’t expect a flagship phone by any means, but the G5 is still royalty among affordable phones.
Read the full review: Motorola Moto G5 review
And the best of the rest…
The Motorola Moto G5 or G5S might not be for everyone, and there are plenty of other great budget Android smartphones. Here are the ones that you should also consider:
2. Vodafone Smart V8
The Vodafone Smart V8 might be tied into the Vodafone network but it offers a very impressive design for the price, a Full HD display, a good enough camera and an all-day battery life with quick charging times.
It can be a little sluggish at times and the pre-installed Vodafone apps can get in the way, but overall, the Smart V8 is a very accomplished device for its asking price. Simply put, if £160 is right at the top of your budget and you’re happy to be tied into Vodafone, you’ll not find better than the Smart V8, or anything that’s closer to being an all-round great device.
Read the full review: Vodafone Smart V8 review
3. Honor 6A
The Honor 6A isn’t the flashiest Honor on the market, but based on our first impressions, it seems like a solid effort in the £150 phone category. Its metal build, neat design and operation are all plus points.
There’s no fingerprint scanner on board and it has some stiff competition from the likes of the Moto G and especially Vodafone’s Smart V8 device in terms of specs, but the Honor 6A does very little wrong. It might not have a stand out must-buy feature but the Honor 6A would make a savvy out-and-out purchase for someone who doesn’t want all the bells & whistles and, of course, associated costs of a higher-end smartphone.
Read the full preview: Honor 6A preview
4. Lenovo P2
The Lenovo P2 offers a slim design considering its huge battery life. It doesn’t have the best camera on the market and the combination of metal and plastic don’t offer the most seamless finish, but this device has unrivalled battery life. If your primary objective when looking for a phone is a handset that lasts seemingly forever on one charge, then look no further.
The P2 is also plenty capable in terms of gaming and all the usual daily tasks and apps. There are some minor quibbles, such as an occasionally oversaturated screen and long load times every now and then, but nothing else in the mainstream market comes close to the two-plus days that this Lenovo offers. The Lenovo P2 is the big battery boss.
Read the full review: Lenovo P2 review
5. Nokia 6
The Nokia 6 offers a great design and build quality for its price, along with a large display with a fingerprint sensor. It’s a little pricier than its competition, its battery life isn’t amazing and it has a slightly sluggish performance, but it does deliver great speaker sound quality.
If design is important, then there’s quality in the Nokia 6 that few rivals offer at this price point, plus that big display. At the same time, if you have budget concerns, then the Moto G5 is more wallet-friendly, while the Lenovo P2 is a longer-lasting proposition.
6. Nokia 5
Nokia returned to the smartphone market at the beginning of 2017 with a trio of devices, the Nokia 3 at the bottom, the Nokia 5 in the middle and the Nokia 6 sitting a little higher. The Nokia 5 is a fully-fledged Android smartphone with a full-metal body at bargain basement prices.
It’s not as good looking as the Nokia 6 but it’s an impressive, solid phone for the asking price. On the hardware front, things dip a little low but it runs pure Android software meaning no bloatware, which for some will be a real selling point. As we haven’t yet reviewed this device in full, we can’t tell you how it performs on a day-to-day basis but we will update this feature when we have.
Read the full preview: Nokia 5 preview
7. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
Sony introduced the Xperia M4 Aqua way back in March 2015 so it’s quite a bit older than the other devices on this list and it has also been replaced by the Xperia M5 which we’d recommend looking at based on our experience with the M4. As we haven’t played with the M5 in the flesh, we’ve included the M4 instead but we’d expect good things from the newer device.
The Xperia M4 Aqua meanwhile, is a lovely looking device with a decent battery, solid performance and most importantly, waterproofing. The lack of internal storage, along with an average display and average camera do bring it down a peg or two but the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is a good mid-range smartphone that is worthy of consideration, especially with its now lower price point given it is a couple of years old.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua review
- Vlogging to retro games, here’s our guide to half-term family fun on a budget — plus win a fantastic World Cup party
- Our Sun Savers Editor tried your money-saving tips – and she ended up chopping £17 off her weekly shop
- A $1,000 Day in Berlin for $100
- Tales from prom night
- OnePlus 6 review: Affordable iPhone X rival with great design and lots of speed
- So you want to enter the Indy 500?
- Beyond golden shower diplomacy: preserving a positive legacy