Though you could spend upwards of $1,149.00 for a phone like the iPhone X or $819 for the Samsung Galaxy S9+, you don’t have to spend that much to get a decent smartphone. In fact, Consumer Reports tested the iPhone X and found the iPhone 8 is a better buy for the features. Plus, the fragility of the new iPhone X has become an issue, changing Clark’s mind on his longstanding advice about extended warranties — something he typically tells people to avoid!
And while many cell phone providers such as Verizon and T-Mobile are offering big discounts and BOGO offers on the newest smartphones right now, these deals are often tied to monthly installment plans. If you buy a phone outright without being tied to a monthly installment plan, the iPhone 8 will still run you about $600 from a provider like Boost Mobile or $699 from the Apple store. And though the iPhone 7 is a great option for the features according to Consumer Reports, you’ll end up spending about $549 for one right now.
If stashing some cash is more your thing instead of buying the latest and greatest, here are a few smartphones that’ll get the job done, all under $200! (Note that due to variable or dynamic pricing, prices on these phones may fluctuate.)
Great smartphones under $200
Huawei makes great smartphones at an affordable price. Available at Amazon right now starting at $179.99, the Huawei Honor 6X garners an average review of at least 4.5 stars. Customers note the price, camera and great features. This unlocked smartphone can be used on GSM networks like T-Mobile, AT&T and Cricket Wireless, and it’s available in gold, grey or silver, though the price may differ depending on the color.
- Dual-lens 12MP camera
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- EMUI 5.0. Octa-Core processor(16nm) and 3GB RAM
- 32GB storage capacity
- 2.15 days of battery usage, and 1.5 days of very heavy usage, on a full charge.
- If two SIM cards are inserted, one SIM card at a time is set as 4G/3G/2G, the other slot will be set to only support 2G networks.
Though this is not the newest Moto G smartphone, it’s definitely one of the most popular. Clark is a big fan of the Moto G line of phones since they work on all 4 major networks, so if you happen to need to switch providers to get a better deal or due to something else, you should be able to do so without a hitch. TechRadar gives it an average review of 4 out of 5 stars, noting the impressive power and says it “may well be the best phone you can buy on a budget.”
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa-core processor
- 5.5″ full HD 1080p IPS display
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- MicroSD card slot (up to 256GB)
- 13MP rear + 5MP front-facing cameras
- 3000 mAh battery (non-removable)
- Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (upgradable to 7.0 Nougat)
As the upgrade to the Honor 6X smartphone, Huawei is offering the Honor 7X smartphone for $199.99. This GSM smartphone receives good marks for the display, cameras and performance, though the battery may not be quite on par with other smartphones.
- 16-megapixel primary camera and a 8-megapixel front camera
- 1.7GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor
- 4GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card
- Android 7.0
- 3340mAh battery
You’ll find the 32GB version of the LeEco LE PRO3 phone starting at $138. This phone has great battery life and performance, but reviewers say it’s heavy and the camera is slightly lacking. If you need more space, the 64GB version is selling for around $188.
- 5.5″ 1920×1080 IPS display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- 16MP main + 8MP secondary cameras
- Fingerprint sensor
- Quick charge 3.0 + USB Type-C port
- 4070mAh battery
- Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Buying refurbished can save you big! This refurbished unlocked 32GB Samsung Galaxy S7 is selling for $184.99 at eBay right now, and the seller Buy Spry offers free 30-day returns. According to the product description, this phone is in great cosmetic condition and has been professionally restored to working order by a carrier-approved vendor. It works on GSM wireless providers such as T-Mobile and AT&T.
- 4K video recording
- Air gesture
- Dual rear cameras
- Fingerprint sensor
- Internet browser
- Music player
- Near field communication
- Wi-Fi capable