However, it is not perfect. It’s easy enough to ignore the low-resolution screen, but it doesn’t get very bright, so reading the screen on sunny days can be difficult. The device itself feels very sticky and attracts a lot of fingerprints on the back, so you’ll want to clean it regularly. The main camera can take decent photos during the day, but in low light it is rather bland. All in all, these flaws do not detract from the value of the Galaxy A13 5G. It’s a pretty cheap phone that just works.
Operates on all three major US carriers.
OnePlus North N20 5G
This OnePlus (7/10, WIRED recommended) doesn’t work on Verizon and only supports 4G LTE on AT&T, but it’s an otherwise excellent 5G phone that delivers impressive specs. That includes an AMOLED screen (rare at this price) and great performance. It has a headphone jack, NFC and a MicroSD card, and it will get three years of security updates. cons? The cameras are only decent and the A13 only updates to Android 12.
Best under $200 (and best battery life)
Do you want the longest possible battery life? Two days is pretty good from the Pixel 5A or Galaxy A32 5G above, but Motorola’s Moto G Power (2021) can last about three full days on a single charge, thanks to its 5,000 mAh battery. It used to be on sale for $250, but is now almost always $150, making it an even better value.
The Snapdragon 662 chip inside with 4 gigs of RAM is perfectly adequate; you can run all your apps and most games just fine. The 720p LCD isn’t as pretty as our other picks, but it still gets bright enough to see it outside in sunny conditions. Likewise, the rear camera system does a good job during the day, but it’s not as good as the Pixel 5A in low light.
It comes with only 64 gigabytes of storage, so you’ll want to use the MicroSD card to add more space. There’s also a headphone jack and fingerprint sensor, but no NFC. That means you can’t use this phone to make contactless payments with services like Google Pay. The biggest drawback? Motorola has only been offering security updates for one year and this device will not be updated to Android 12. This could be a deal breaker for you, and it’s completely understandable.
You might be wondering why I didn’t recommend the newer Moto G Power 2022. That’s because after running benchmark tests, I confirmed my suspicions that performance on the newer handset is significantly worse than the 2021 version (Motorola switched to a lesser Mediatek chipset). It’s very slow and the camera results also felt like a downgrade. It will last for three full days, but as long as the 2021 Moto G Power is still available, I think it’s a better buy.
Operates on all three major US carriers.
Moto G Stylus 2022
Not to be confused with the Moto G Stylus 5G, the Moto G Stylus 2022 is the lesser version that lacks 5G support and NFC for contactless payments. It’s an otherwise fine phone, as I noted in my review, but it’s in no way an upgrade over its predecessor. It performs well enough to run most apps and games, you get nearly two days of battery life, and it gets three years of security updates (just one OS upgrade to Android 12).
There are only two phones in this guide that support wireless charging: the iPhone SE 2022 and the Nokia XR20 (7/10, recommended by WIRED). If you want the convenience of not having to plug in a charger to charge your phone, that’s a good reason to jump for the XR20. (Read our guide to the best wireless chargers for some recommendations.) It’s also a rugged smartphone without looking too flashy or bulky. I dropped it on the sidewalk three times during my testing and it barely got damaged (though that’s no guarantee it will survive every drop).
It regularly drops to $500 or less, which is why it has found a place in this guide. I was positively surprised when I tested the XR20 at the end of 2021. You get pretty reliable performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G, a battery that lasts all day, a bright LCD screen and support for two SIM cards, which is not common on most phones sold in the US. There’s even a headphone jack, which you’ll rarely find on more expensive phones, along with an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
This post 10 Best Cheap Smartphones (2022): iPhone, Android, 5G
was original published at “https://www.wired.com/story/best-cheap-phones/”