The passing year was very abundant in smart devices. In additional to successors of the most popular phones which we expected to see at some point in 2015, we also witnessed a few surprise launches – devices that appeared out of nowhere and immediately won our hearts. A few days ago we compiled a list of the best Android smartphones of 2015 that you might want consider buying this holiday season. The thing is, though, that most of these top phones can cost a pretty penny. If you don’t need a bunch of gimmicks in your phone and can settle for slightly more modest hardware, here’s a list of the best cheap smartphones of 2015.
Best Cheap Smartphones Released in 2015
Moto G 2015
This is an absolute hit among affordable phones, which proves that you don’t need to sacrifice decent specs for a budget-friendly price. Currently priced at $179, the Moto G 2015 sports a 5-inch 720p display, a respectable 13-megapixel main camera, IPX7 water resistance (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes), stereo speakers and a capacious 2470mAh battery. Moreover, the device runs near stock Android and, like its Moto X cousin, can be customized through the Moto Maker site.
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3
Alcatel can be considered one of the leaders on cheap Android phones market. The company’s OneTouch Idol 3 combines affordable pricing with modest, yet still pretty solid specs such as large, sharp screen, loud speakers and “reversible” mode for using the OS upside-down. The camera is also nothing to complain about as is the design. The phone is available in two sizes – a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen with the latter having a tad better specs. The prices start at $179 for the smaller model.
Moto X Pure Edition
The Moto X Pure Edition is not exactly the cheapest device on the market, however, compared to other flagship phones, its price to specs ratio comes out very favorably. The Moto X Pure Edition starts at $399 and for this price you will get, among others, a QHD display, amazing 21-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash, large 3000mAh battery and near stock Android.
Moto E 2015
This member of the Moto family is the most affordable of them all but also the most modest. The design resembles the Moto G, but the set of specs puts the phone a few notches below. The Moto E comes with just 1GB of RAM, not even HD display, and rather slow processor, but it does offer satisfying battery life, LTE connectivity and stock Android. For $99 you can’t really ask for more.
Asus Zenfone 2
Asus arrived on the smartphone market quite recently and so far hasn’t launched many phones that managed to catch out attention. The Zenfone 2, however, is a device that can’t pass unnoticed, mostly because of its amazing 5.5-inch Full HD display, a massive 4GB of RAM and great 13-megapixel main camera. Such awesome specs can be found on the 64GB variant, but the most basic 16GB mode is still good value for the money, even though it cuts down on RAM and processor speed. The Asus Zenfone 2 starts at $229.
Sony Xperia M2
Flagship phones manufactured by Sony have made it to the top 10 list for many years now, proving that the Japanese company is all about quality. The Xperia M2 is not a flagship device, but it does come with a number of features that deserve your attention, for example great battery life and clean, classy design which has become Sony’s trademark. Moreover, the operating system runs seamlessly, which is often an issue in cheap phones. The Xperia M2 costs about $200.
The Nexus 5X is a long overdue successor of the Nexus 5 which was launched way back in spring 2013. Two and a half years later, Google and LG finally made Nexus fans’ wish come true and released the Nexus 5X. The phone brings improvements in almost every aspect, for example faster processor, better camera (both rear and front) and larger battery, and even adds a fingerprint scanner. Of course, like all Nexus devices, the 5X runs stock Android of the latest iteration that is 6.0 Marshmallow. Prices start at $329.
HTC One A9
The One A9 is HTC’s contribution to higher mid-range sector and a pretty successful one we must add. It’s not the most affordable offering, but the price is well justified. For $499 you get an eye-catching design with metal unibody and 2.5D glass on the front, 13-megapixel main camera with OIS and dual-LED (dual tone) flash, up to 3GB of RAM, Full HD display, battery with quick charge technology and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Moreover, HTC is one of the few manufacturers that still offer expandable storage in their phones.
Huawei P8 Lite
Huawei has made a number of great phones and the P8 Lite certainly deserves a spot on the best cheap phones of 2015 list. Even though it’s clearly a mid-ranger, the device gives the impression of being a high-end model thanks to its stunningly beautiful design which looks like aluminum and glass, though it’s nothing more than plastic. Moreover, the phone sports a respectable camera and a number of software tricks which can make your life much easier. The Huawei P8 Lite starts at $199.
OnePlus 2 has been deemed a “flagship killer” and indeed, in many aspects it can compete with premium devices, although it fits in affordable category. For $389 you will get a super fast Snapdragon 810 processor, a massive 4GB of RAM, great 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and laser autofocus, as well as a capacious 3,300mAh battery. It does miss some important features such as NFC, but when it comes to price to specs ratio, the OnePlus 2 is definitely among the winners.
These are the devices we thought deserved to be on the list, but of course there were many more great affordable phones launched this year. We wonder what you would add to the list.