Those who thought that 2015 was full of great cheap Android smartphones were surely surprised by choices in this niche offered in 2016. This year we could witness premieres of handsets like the Moto G4, ZTE Axon 7, OnePlus 3 and many others. All of them are devices that can compete with the latest flagship smartphones in terms of specs and design, but simultaneously cost half of their prices.
Mobile market is full of powerful Android phones that cost a little. Here are nine of the best Android-based phones that will be a great tool of work and entertainment and will be easy on your wallet.
If you don’t need a premium Android-based smartphone, you can still get yourself a pretty capable phone without ruining your budget. The market offers multiplicity of affordable phones to those millions of customers worldwide who want to take a cheaper route. Remember you don’t have to bind yourself with a two-year carrier’s agreement, or pay setting you back $600 to fully enjoy the smartphone functionality.
High-end smartphones like the iPhone 7, Galaxy S7 or the Google Pixels are undoubtedly excellent devices, but their over $600 price tag makes them out of reach for many of us. Conscious of that Motorola and other mobile makers put all their efforts to deliver phones that combine both solid specs and budget-friendly pricing. This resulted in fact that the budget niche of mobile market offers more choices than ever.
As the end of the year is everyday closer we can finally make a list of the best Android phones that you would never dare to expect to be so cheap. Interestingly, we don’t talk about little-known Asia-based manufacturers, but big brands like Motorola, ASUS, LG and Huawei. Pricing of those phones, which was one of the most decisive factors we had in mind when creating the list, ranges from $200 to something round $440.
Except for pricing, when selecting phones for our rating, we also took into account user’s experience. A decent smartphone has to meet all requirements of modern communication technologies. Therefore, you need to be aware that many cheap phones distributed by small regional carriers or even big retailers like eBay or Amazon for less than $120 will satisfy only some the basic needs. Such devices are usually outdated and don’t provide decent experience.
Phones chosen by us are both affordable and capable devices surely worth the money. Knowing that every user is different and has different needs, we tried to keep our list as varied and objective as possible. Moving on to the point, here’s the Cheap Phone’s ranking of the best Android smartphones released in 2016 that won’t make your wallet suffer.
First in the list, the Moto G4 is the Motorola’s most popular smartphone since 2013. Priced at $199 the fourth generation of the famous affordable line is a highly-customizable handset housing a 5.5-inch Full HD screen, and a common for flagship devices fingerprint scanner for improved data security. Driven by an 8-core processor coupled with 2-3GB RAM the phone offers microSD expansion and sharp photos delivered by a 13MP primary camera and a selfie snapper with front flash. Alternatively, if you can’t afford the Moto G4, you can opt for the Moto G4 Play which is up for your grabs for $85, or $35 when on sale.
ASUS ZenFone 3
Following the Motorola’s Moto G success, in 2015 ASUS released the ZenFone 2, which at the time of its debut was considered one of the best handset for the price. But the company didn’t rest on laurels and created the ZenFone 3 – a handset that you would never think that such a premium phone may be so cheap. The 5.5-inch phablet combines beautifully-crafted metal body, big Full HD display, and a fast Snapdragon 625 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Powered by a pretty massive 3,000 mAh battery, the device features a 16MP camera with 5MP front-facing sensor, 4G LTE and offers several different models – from the ZenFone 3 Laser sold for $199 to the most luxurious variant for something round $400. All these makes the ZenFone 3 Deluxe one of the best mid-rangers.
Huawei P8 Lite
Moving on, third place in our list belongs to the Huawei P8 Lite. Gaining on popularity in the States, the Chinese company released a really impressive dual-SIM budget smartphone with a 5-inch HD screen panel, 13MP rear camera, 5MP selfie shooter and microSD expansion. Working on an 8-core Snapdragon 815 processor coupled with 2GB RAM, the phone supports 4G LTE connectivity and runs Android 4.4 Kitkat with Android Marshamllow update somewhere on the horizon. Dressed in an attractively looking aluminum-like body shell, the phone may now be yours for $249. But, still if you don’t need the slim premium design, the Moto G4 is a better choice for this money.
Huawei Honor 8
The P8 Lite isn’t the only great affordable phone delivered by Huawei. In fact here in the US the company is known better for the Honor series. The best of the line, released this year, the Honor 8 is a real beast when it comes to internals. Basically, the phone is like a carbon copy of the Galaxy S7, but costs 50 percent less. The handset proves that the flagship phone doesn’t have to be expensive, and provides budget users with specs like a 5.2-inch Quad HD scree, quad-core processor coupled with 4GB RAM and advanced optics represented by a set of dual 12MP cameras. Furthermore, built of premium materials the phone is a real good looker.
Huawei Honor 5X
Another member of the Honor family, the Honor 5X arrives with a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is driven by an 8-core Snapdragon processor paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB of built-in expandable storage. Priced at $199, the phablet packs a fingerprint scanner, which is a feature rarely found in this price sector. Other than that made entirely out of metal the phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s own UI on the top and hides a 13MP rear camera. Available since January 31st the phone is compatible with all major US 4G networks like T-Mobile, AT&T, Metro and Cricket Wireless.
Next in our list is an option proper for those on a really tight budget – the Moto E 2016. Costing just $149 the phone offers a decent quad-core processor with 4G LTE and runs Android Lollipop. Moreover, this compact device houses a 4.5-inch 960x540p display. Perhaps the phone isn’t as powerful as others in the list but it is the cheapest one. However, if you can spend $30 more we recommend buying the Moto G.
Just like Huawei, One Plus also try to mark its position on the US mobile market. And to tell you the truth they’re pretty successful. During last few years they managed to launched phones that can rival with the noble competition, beating them in terms of price-to-specs ratio. Released in 2016 the OnePlus 3 is a premium device that provides its users with benefits of a 5.5-inch display, a fast Snapdragon 820 processor with 6GB RAM, sharp photo experience, long battery life, fast charging mode and a fingerprint scanner. This hybrid of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 comes dressed in an aluminum case and costs just $399. What’s more, it also offers customization we appreciated so much in Motorola. In other words, if you can allow yourself to buy the Google Pixel, buy the OnePlus 3 instead. You won’t be disappointed.
ZTE Axon 7
Moving on, the ZTE Axon 7 is another device worth your consideration if you’re looking for an affordable phone. It offers a beautiful aluminum device and a package full of high-end specs like loud dual front-facing Dolby speakers and a fingerprint scanner. Housing a 5.5-inch Quad HD display the phablet features 4GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 20MP primary camera and an 8MP front sensor. Kept alive by a 3,250 battery with quick charging mode the Axon 7 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. What’s more, priced at $399 the handset is also one of the very first Google Daydream VR ready devices available on the market, which makes this powerful phone a perfect choice for those who want to immerse themselves in virtual reality.
Last on our list but surely not least is the OnePlus 3T. Released on November 15th the phablet is a little revamped version of the OnePlus 3 costing just $40 more than the original model. But the improvements make the phone even more stunning and surely worth those few bucks more. The phone isn’t just prettier than the OnePlus 3, but also offers faster performance, better battery life, sharper optics and doubled storage.
Priced at $439 the OnePlus 3T is considered to feature one of best the price-to-performance ratio and will be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. No wonder, as for less than $500, you will get a 5.5-incher with 1080p AMOLED screen that works on the newest Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with 6GB RAM. If you not familiar with the topic, exactly the same processing parameters may be found in one of the most expensive smartphones – the Google’s Pixel. Kept working by a 3,400 mAh battery the phone packs two 16MP front and rear cameras and a fingerprint scanner.
Closed in a shiny aluminum shell the phone is available in two new, eye-catching color options: Gunmetal Grey and Soft Gold. Running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and the latest Oxygen OS the OnePlus 3T is accessible in two ROM configurations: 64GB and 128GB.
Hope that you find the list helpful and that it will disperse your doubts concerning purchase of a phone at least partly. Remember everything here depends on what you need the phone for. You don’t need the OnePlus 3 if you looking for a nice gift for your kids. On the other hand, if you expect your new affordable phone to be a power beast then the Moto E shouldn’t be your choice.