Though you could spend as much as $1,449 for the newest iPhone XS, you don’t have to spend that much to get a decent smartphone. And though many cell phone providers such as Verizon and T-Mobile offer big discounts on the latest smartphones, 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 (a better buy than newer iPhones, according to Consumer Reports) will still run you about $500 from a provider like Boost Mobile or $599 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 $449 for one right now, or around $360 for a refurbished one, depending on the capacity.
But, there’s no need to spend that much! 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 budget-friendly smartphones
The Moto G6 has dropped significantly in price since it was first released. Clark is a big fan of these phones since they work on all four major networks! You’ll find the 64GB version of this phone for $199.99 at Amazon for Prime members, or get the 32GB version for $179.99 for non-Prime members.
- 5.7-inch; 2,160×1,080 display
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel camera
- 1.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
- 3,000mAh battery
As the upgrade to the Honor 6X smartphone, Amazon is offering a refurbished Honor 7X smartphone for $159.44. This GSM smartphone receives good marks for the display, cameras and performance, though the battery may not be quite on par with other smartphones. If you prefer, you can find the brand new phone for $206.99 on Amazon as well.
- 16-megapixel primary camera and an 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
The Moto X4 smartphone is a great price right now through Google Fi. Note that you’ll have to use the Google Fi service to get this deal! This matches the price for the 32GB version at B&H Photo and Video. The Moto X4 is compatible with GSM and CDMA carriers. You’ll also find the 32GB version for $49.99 at Best Buy with activation on the Sprint network.
- GSM + CDMA / 4G LTE Capable
- Compatible with all major US carriers
- North American variant
- 12 + 8MP rear cameras + 16MP Front
- 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 630 Octa-Core CPU
- 32GB storage capacity + 3GB RAM
- 5.2″ IPS LCD touchscreen display
- FHD 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
- microSDXC memory card slot
- Android 7.1 Nougat
TechRadar gives the Xiaomi Mi A1 smartphone a positive overall review and says it offers “a premium feel on a budget.” This collaboration between Xiaomi and Google brings consumers “a potential hydrogen bomb for the budget smartphone market” due to its hardware, software and design aesthetic. It’s available in the gold version for this price.
- Dual Main Camera: Wide angle lens 12MP and Telephoto lens 12MP
- Chip: Snapdragon 625, octa-core 2.0GHz
- Display: 5.5″ FHD 1920×1080, 403 PPI
- Memory: 64GB ROM, 4GB RAM
- Compatible with GSM carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile
You’ll find the 64GB version of the LeEco LE PRO3 smart for $199.99 at Fry’s Electronics. This phone has great battery life and performance, but reviewers say it’s heavy and the camera is slightly lacking.
- 5.5″ 1920×1080 IPS display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor
- 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
- 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 $147.95 at eBay right now, and the seller Bidallies 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. This one works on Verizon’s network, but you can also find refurbished models that work on other carriers.
- 4K video recording
- Air gesture
- Dual rear cameras
- Fingerprint sensor
- Internet browser
- Music player
- Near field communication
- Wi-Fi capable
This iPhone, though refurbished, saves you big on the cost of a new smartphone and offers a ton of storage space. Initially receiving an average 4.5-star review from TechRadar for its great design, better battery and improved keyboard, the iPhone 6S has come down quite a bit since it’s initial price of $299.
- Operating System: iOS 8
- Processor: A9 Chip, M9 Motion Coprocessor
- Memory: 2GB RAM DDR3
- Storage: 64GB
- Camera Resolution: 12.0 MP
- Battery: Non-removable 1810 mAh
- Display Size: 4.7″
- Display Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels
- Connectivity: 3G, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC
- Height: 5.44″
- Width: 2.64″
- Depth: 0.27″
- Weight: 5.04 oz.
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