Most people will not spend $ 1000 on a phone. Around the world, the average selling price of a smartphone is closer to $ 300. It used to mean buying something that's a pain to use. But in recent years, some of these cheaper smartphones have become surprisingly good.
In many ways, these cheaper phones are even more important. It is through phones in this price range that a large number of people will take pictures, check the email, read news and interact with the world. So how great these phones are – much .
For this article, we especially look at phones under $ 300, without any contracts or additional fees. We are also focused on phones that you can purchase in the United States, with a US warranty. Many of these phones are available worldwide and will be good choices; but some countries like China and India also have a number of popular sub- $ 300 phones that we have not included here because they are not sold in the United States.
This article is constantly updated as new phones have been released and reviewed, so be sure to check back if you are not in the market right now.
The best phone under $ 300, without much competition, is Motorola's Moto G6. And make it even better, it only costs $ 250.
The Moto G6 looks and feels like a phone twice the price. It has a bright, crisp and colorful 5.7-inch screen that fills most of the phone. And despite the big screen size, the G6 still feels relatively slim, small and easy to hold.
The G6 is also just nice to use. In testing, performance was never a problem – many phones in this price range stuck at times, especially when you roll through apps – and my battery lasted me long for a day's use. The phone contains the latest version of Android, Android Oreo, and it is promised an upgrade to Android P as well. Motorola provides just a few, most helpful tweaks to Android, so the experience here is clean and familiar.
Motorola contains some other important features that are not necessarily standard: a headset connector, a fingerprint sensor, and a USB c port for charging, which is better to use than Micro USB. The phone is also available unlocked and operates on all major US carriers. One thing it would be nice to see Motorola add is NFC, for mobile payments; It is not a big loss in the United States, but they are far more prevalent in many areas of the world. (Actually, the European model of the phone contains it.)
The biggest boy on the G6 is its front and rear cameras, which gives some nice pictures in bright daylight but becomes Slow, blurry and boring in lower light, including just indoors. Unfortunately, it is the norm for phones in this price range; so while this is still very disadvantaging, the G6 cameras are about as good as it gets without spending significantly more.
Picking a phone under $ 300 usually involves a few departures. But it does not feel like the Moto G6. It's simply a great phone and it's hard to beat without spending much more.
Apple does not sell an iPhone under $ 300. The cheapest, iPhone SE, sells regularly for $ 349. But that's not the case everywhere: many prepaid carriers sell iPhone SE for under $ 200, subject to locking in service. And at that price there is a lot.
iPhone SE is two years old at this time, but it still goes incredibly well out of the box. It's going to get iOS 12 this fall, which will offer further performance improvements, and it's very good to have a year (or more) of OS updates, which is more than any other phone in this article may say. And while the camera tends to render images that are a bit dry, captures clear images that are the best you'll find in this price range.
Actually, it's only a disadvantage to the iPhone SE: It's really, very small, with just a 4-inch display. Most seem to prefer much larger phones, and the iPhone SE feels a bit like a toy in comparison. The keyboard is small and harder to write on, and it's almost stupid to look at the pictures on the small screen.
If you're looking for a small phone, this is a great choice and you should definitely get it. iPhones are also quite reliable and have a strong support network, should you ever need to get it repaired. IOS also has better apps, and it gives you access to services like iMessage.
When you get under $ 200, you have to start making some significant compromises. Perhaps you get solid performance, but a worse display. Perhaps you get a better screen, but no fingerprint sensor.
The best phones in this price range do a good job of handling these exchanges, and the one that works best right now is the LG K30.
The K30 has a relatively good display, a decent speaker and a solid building. It runs smoothly in daily use, and it even uses a Snapdragon processor (an older version of the model used in the Moto G6). Viewing angles are one of the obvious weak points. If you look from an angle, the brightness begins quickly. It also lacks support for 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks, which is frustratingly true for most phones under $ 200.
Your phone is running Android Nougat, which is one year old but standard in this price range. LG has added some tweaks to Android that make the home screen look a bit more like an iPhone and also includes a handful of apps. You can not remove them, but some of them – like a voice recorder and a radio show – are useful additions. Unfortunately you are probably stuck on Nougat; LG is slow to update even its high-end phones, so it's unlikely that K30 will get Oreo (let alone P).
The camera is among the better options in the phone box below $ 300. Pictures look great as long as they're zoomed out on your phone;
The real thing that gives the K30 edge in this field is the fingerprint sensor: many phones below, but it's obvious when zooming in that the camera is struggling to extract quite a bit of detail. $ 200 does not have one, which is a big mistake. Smartphones must be secured, and fingerprint sensors make it incredibly easy for everyone to do it. Not only that, but they only do to open the phone more conveniently, since all you have to do is touch the sensor.
K30 sells for $ 180 and works on all major US carriers. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can also get a Prime Exclusive version for $ 140, which includes half-storage (16GB) and a bunch of non-removable Amazon apps. The apps are a fair tradeoff; Storage can be a major issue for you, but it can be expanded with a Micro SD card if you need more.
There are a huge number of other options out there, and you have to be careful because many they're just doing bad . You can find some other strong choices from Motorola, and Samsung also has good low cost phones. But in general, anything in this price range that is stronger in one area has given up something in another, so be sure to look up for big mistakes if you consider anything else.
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