Not everyone wants to spend $1,000 or more on a new smartphone. Thankfully, there are plenty of great budget phones on the market that won’t leave you wanting. The best cheap phones get you the most bang for your buck while still delivering on performance and features. Whether you prefer an Android device or an iPhone, we’ve curated a list of the best budget phones for under $600.
These affordable smartphones are equipped with enough battery life to get you through the day, solid cameras, and good-sized displays for your streaming pleasure. Keep in mind that although these devices are the best of the budget phones, they won’t have the premium features of top devices—such as 5G, professional-grade cameras, and huge, high-quality displays.
The best budget phones of 2020:
If you aren’t sure which budget phone you want, you can skip down to learn how to choose the best cheap phone for you.
1. Google Pixel 4a
Price: $349 – $379
Display: 5.8-inch OLED
Processor: Snapdragon 730G
Battery: 3140 mAh
The Google Pixel 4a is the best smartphone on the market for its price. Google’s latest budget phone is compact, lightweight, and easy to hold in one hand. Despite just having one rear camera (12.2MP), that camera delivers beautiful, impressive photos using Live HDR+ and Super Res Zoom. A bright OLED display and clean design make it an attractive choice for budget-minded customers. Where the Google Pixel 4a falls short is with its battery life—it will likely only last a day, but if you rely heavily on your phone, you probably won’t make it that long.
If you want the affordability of the Pixel 4a with 5G connectivity, you’ll want to check out the Google Pixel 4a 5G plans.
Compare Pixel 4a plans
Discounted Google Pixel phones
If you love Google Pixels, you’ll want to browse the best Google Pixel deals, which reflect the most up-to-date deals and discounts offered by major and small carriers alike.
2. iPhone SE (2020)
Price: $349 – $399
Display: 4.7-inch Retina HD
Processor: A13 Bionic
Battery: 1821 mAh
With the same powerful processor as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, it’s hard to believe the iPhone SE 2020 is a budget phone at all. The A13 Bionic chip is responsible for the iPhone SE’s incredibly fast performance as well as superb photography capabilities that many cheap phones lack, such as Smart HDR, Portrait Lighting effects, Depth Control, and Portrait Mode.
Given its size, iPhone SE is an ideal budget phone for customers who prefer smaller phones like in the early days of Apple. Much like the Google Pixel 4a, the iPhone SE’s battery life may have you reaching for your phone charger before the end of the day, especially if you like streaming, gaming, and scrolling on social media.
Compare iPhone SE plans
Best iPhone deals
If you’re an Apple fan through and through, you may want to compare all of the best iPhone deals for the week—we keep our deals page up to date to reflect all of the latest iPhone discounts out there, offered by both major carriers and MVNOs, so you can get the most, for less.
3. iPhone 11
Price: $599 – $699
Display: 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD
Processor: A13 Bionic Chip
Battery: 3110 mAh
The iPhone 11, Apple’s 2019 flagship device, is an incredible device for its price. Equipped with the A13 Bionic Chip, the iPhone 11 is faster and more power-efficient than its predecessors. Featuring a dual-camera system and an upgraded 12 MP selfie camera, as well as features like Smart HDR and Night Mode, the iPhone 11’s photos are bound to impress. Great battery life, beautiful display, and advanced 4K video editing capabilities— what’s not to like about the iPhone 11? Plus, since the iPhone 12 was just released, there are bound to be discounts on the iPhone 11, so now may be the perfect time for you to buy this impressive budget phone.
Compare iPhone 11 plans
4. Moto G Power
Price: $249 – $299
Display: 6.4-inch LCD
Processor: Snapdragon 665
Battery: 5000 mAh
If you’re looking for the best cheap phone with a long battery life, then look no further than Motorola’s Moto G Power. Boasting a powerful 5000 mAh battery, Motorola claims customers can go up to three days on a single charge with this budget phone. The only other phones you’d find lasting that long are the flip phones of the Stone Age, and that was because you couldn’t really do anything besides call and text. With the Moto G Power, you can take a photo shoot, stream videos, and go live on social media, knowing your phone is built to last. While the main draw for this budget phone is its battery, its triple rear camera system is decent, although not the best of the best, and you’ll get solid performance from the Snapdragon 665 processor.
Compare Moto G Power plans
6. Samsung Galaxy A51
Price: $400 – $449
Display: 6.5-inch AMOLED
Processor: Exynos 9611
Battery: 4000 mAh
The Samsung Galaxy A51’s sophisticated quad-lens camera system, attractive design, and small bezels make it one of the best cheap phones of 2020. That said, the cameras don’t perform well in low light settings, and the phone isn’t the greatest multi-tasker around, with apps sometimes taking a while to open. This is due to the Exynos 9611 processor, which isn’t as powerful as the Snapdragons and A13 Bionic Chips in the other cheap phones on this list. However, if you aren’t a frequent multi-tasker and you’d prefer the large, attractive display, then the Samsung Galaxy A51 might be a nice choice for you.
Like the Google Pixel 4a, the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a 5G version as well. If you want to save money while benefitting from the fast data speeds of 5G, you can check out the Galaxy A51 5G here.
Compare Samsung Galaxy A51 plans
7. Samsung Galaxy A20
Price: $150 – $299
Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED
Processor: Exynos 7904
Battery: 4000 mAh
Starting as low as $150, the Samsung Galaxy A20 gives you some nice features for your money. Aside from the Moto G Power, the Galaxy A20 has the longest-lasting battery on this list. And if you do happen to use up your battery, you have 15-watt fast charging, which will help you get back up and running quickly. The camera isn’t half bad, with a solid dual-camera system that includes Live Focus mode. Some drawbacks include somewhat slow performance and a design that scratches easily. If you want a step up from the Galaxy A20, you may want to check out the Galaxy A21, which includes a quad-camera system and a 6.5-inch edge to edge display.
Compare Samsung Galaxy A20 plans
Samsung Galaxy deals
If you’re a loyal Samsung customer, you’ll want to stay up-to-date on all of the latest Samsung Galaxy phone deals. Be on the lookout for buy one, get one (BOGO) deals, trade-in deals, and more.
Which budget phone is best for you?
When comparing budget smartphones, there are many different things to consider—but first, make a list of what you absolutely need in a phone versus what you’re willing to compromise. For example, if you want a cheap phone with a solid camera, consider the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, or Google Pixel 4a. If you want one of the cheapest smartphones around, then you may have to sacrifice super speedy performance and flawless display. On the other hand, if you want a bigger screen, particularly for a senior, you’ll want to compare budget phones with a 5.6-inch screen or larger.
Other factors to consider include:
- Battery life
- Which cheap phones your carrier sells
- Headphone jack
- Security (fingerprint sensor vs. face unlock)
- Operating system
- Water and dust resistance
- Wireless charging
Best prepaid phone plans 2020
While you’re saving money on your cell phone, you might as well save some money on your phone plan, too. Prepaid phone plans, which you pay for upfront at the beginning of each month, tend to be cheaper than postpaid plans and you’re usually able to bypass a credit check. Both major carriers and MVNOs offer prepaid phone plans that can save you money on your monthly bill. You can compare prepaid phone plans below or you can read our guide to the best prepaid phone plans.