Technology

Top 8 favorite phones under $500





This yr, many big-time cellphone makers launched inexpensive telephones, just like the iPhone SE, the Pixel 4A and the Galaxy A51. Now greater than earlier than, cellphone patrons on a decent price range have extra choices to select from. Along with these new telephones, there are many dependable handsets from 2019 as properly — and all of them value about $500 or much less. And regardless of their low costs, budget smartphones are getting more advanced and even pack options akin to a premium cellphone, like superb cameras, quick processors and modern-day software program options. 

To see our high picks of the perfect price range smartphone, take a look at the checklist under (which we’ll be updating usually), and skim CNET’s opinions. Be aware that we have linked to the unlocked model of every cellphone, and they need to run on a lot of the massive 4 US wi-fi carriers, until specified in any other case.


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With a four-year gap between the 2020 iPhone SE and the previous one, Apple packed its latest budget phone with a bunch of upgrades. That includes wireless charging, better camera specs and water resistance. (Unfortunately, for wired headphone users, it doesn’t have a headphone jack.) If you’re looking for a new iPhone but want to save as much money as possible, the $399 (£419, AU$749) iPhone SE is your best bet.

Read our Apple iPhone SE (2020) review.

Angela Lang/CNET

Google’s Pixel 4A costs $349 (£349, AU$599). The 5.81-inch phone only comes in one color (black) and one size (as in there’s no Pixel 4A XL unlike past years). It features a headphone jack, a slightly larger screen and a bigger battery than the Pixel 4 and 128GB of storage right off the bat.

Read our Google Pixel 4A review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In addition to its main Galaxy S20 phones, Samsung has a more cost-conscious A series line of phones. This year it launched the Galaxy A51, another phone that costs $399, though we’ve seen it go on sale for as low as $230. (There is also a 5G variant that costs $499). The device has four cameras, an in-screen fingerprint reader and expandable memory.

Read our Galaxy A51 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re looking for a cheaper Note 20 alternative, the $300 Moto G Stylus features a stylus that you can store inside the phone along with a built-in Notes app to help with productivity. The phone also features triple-rear cameras, 128GB of storage and a robust 4,000-mAh battery.

Read our Moto G Stylus review.

Angela Lang/CNET

Although the Galaxy A50 came out last year (and is the predecessor to the A51 phone mentioned above), it’s still a great phone that has been heavily discounted as low as $180. This Samsung phone has a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, an in-screen fingerprint reader and a headphone jack.

Read our Samsung Galaxy A50 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Moto G Power is a tad cheaper than the G Stylus at $250, but it packs a robust 5,000-mAh battery. During our testing, it lasted an impressive four days without a charge. The phone has three rear cameras (one of which is a macro lens), a 6.4-inch display and expandable memory.

Read our Moto G Power review.

Josh Miller/CNET

It’s been two years since its launch, but the Galaxy S9 is still worthy of consideration. Discounted at about $400 to $500 from Samsung and other retailers, the phone is water resistant, has wireless charging, expandable storage and a headphone jack. Plus, its curved OLED display screen lends the phone a modern-day look that still endures.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S9 review.

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