Looking for a cheap phone? Know that it is very easy to be tempted by low prices but very easy to end up with a wrong phone. Indeed, an attractive price does not always rhyme with a bargain.
If you do not know what to expect, we are here for you. We have already tested various types of smartphones: high-end, best battery life phone, good value for money, etc …
We will explain how not to be fooled by the price and find a good cheap 4G smartphone. But before that, we have some suggestions for you.
It is very easy to get caught up in the low prices and end up with a bad phone. This can lead you to make inaccurate judgments about the quality of certain manufacturers or the Android ecosystem as a whole.
Top 3 Best 4G Cheap Phones
If you are looking for a 4G model without exploding your budget, you have fallen. We have created a small selection of our favorite models especially for you.
1. Galaxy J5: a great deal
The Galaxy J5 is one of the popular and entry-level models of the Korean manufacturer Samsung. It offers characteristics going to the essentials. That is, it does not specialize in a particular feature but has a set that works in the right way.
First, there is the Exynos 7870 Samsung chipset. It incorporates a processor with eight hearts of 1.6 GHz. It also has a 4G + modem in class 6 300 / 50Mbps and the graphics processor Mali-T830MP.
In terms of storage, the J5 provides internal storage of 16 GB. You can expand the memory using a microSD card. As for the RAM, It is a 2GB RAM that we find. This is nothing crazy but the Nougat Android operating system has been well optimized to keep a certain fluidity for classic use. In contrast, the 3000 mAh battery is an excellent point.
The 13-megapixel main camera is good but it is not able to handle the difficult lighting conditions well. That said, outside, you will come to produce good photos. As for the quality selfie, she is very good.
Finally, the design of this cheap smartphone is impressive. It has been significantly improved compared to earlier J versions. There is a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED 720p screen with a good ratio and a fingerprint reader. The finishes are aluminum like the flagship models Samsung and the phone comes in 4 colors.
2 years after its release, the Galaxy J5 2017 remains a very good choice of smartphone 4G since it is really economical.
2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5: a powerful smartphone at an unbeatable price
The Redmi Note 5 is a 4G mid-range phablet very economical. In hand, it looks solid, balanced and the touch is really nice. The fingerprint reader is placed at the back. It is quite accurate and fast. It’s not an ultra-compact terminal, but inside, it hides a generous 4000 mAh battery without sacrificing aspects such as thickness.
It has a 5.99-inch screen and a full HD resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, giving us a density of about 403 pixels per inch. The screen is very well calibrated and bright.
Unlike the J7, this model is able to compete with a lot of much more expensive phones because of its performance. It has been equipped with 4 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, the excellent Snapdragon 636 processor and the high-performance Adreno 509 GPU. For mobile games and heavy applications, it is really good in the segment of cheap 4G smartphones.
For the environment, Xiaomi finally offers us a Redmi with MIUI 9.5 and Android 8.1 Oreo. It’s a consolidated layer that works well.
Finally, the Redmi 5 also offers excellent photo quality thanks to its main sensor of 12 megapixel aperture f / 1.9 and a secondary of Samsung with five megapixels with an objective f / 2.0. By day, the images have a good level of detail, the colors are correct and the light effects are well worked. But it also captures great night shots with good light management without a big loss of detail.
Of course, he is not perfect. For example, it is not compatible with the NFC, nor the fast charge and is not officially waterproof. That said, it’s one of the best options on the market today.
3. Honor 6X: a complete device
Aimed at the same market as Xiaomi phones, the Honor 6X is a handset that brings together the best features demanded by mid-range users. It is an elegant metal handset that retains important technical features. With an ultra-fast fingerprint sensor, it’s an impressive phone only 8.2mm thick and weighing 162 grams, not bad for a midrange device.
It features a 5.5-inch display with Full HD resolution, a Kirin 655 Octa-core processor, up to 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. It is a fluid device with Android Nougat 7.0 update and Huawei / Honor EMUI 5.0 overlay.
It comes with a powerful battery of 3,340 mAh. The latter is compatible with fast charging. In terms of autonomy, we can expect a battery life of a day. To complement it all, its dual camera system integrates a 12 MP sensor with autofocus and phase detection, accompanied by a 2 MP secondary sensor for depth of field in the images.
As you can see, the Honor 6X is a cheap smartphone and quite complete. He is promising for his product line. After testing it, we really enjoyed it. It is very hard to do better at this price!
Our Tips For Choosing The Ideal Product
There are three main criteria you need to pay attention to when looking for a super affordable Android smartphone. In just three points, you will see that it is possible to very effectively reduce the endless list of cheap Android phones.
Questions to ask before buying
As always, we advise you to adapt our advice to your needs. The first question to ask is the budget. Even for a cheap phone, it can have deviations of a hundred euros.
Then think of a specific specification you are looking for on your phone. Good autonomy? A decent picture quality? A consequent storage space? Remember that you do not have the opportunity to be too demanding.
Android logo When taking a cheap smartphone, you need to make sure it has a more or less recent Android version. The easiest way to do this is to check its version of the default operating system.
Try not to go beyond two updates. At the time of writing this article, the latest update is Android 9.0 Pie. But it is still quite rare and many devices will not have this update before the end of 2019. Android Oreo 8.0 is the most common. You can still point to Android Nougat 7.0 smartphones.
You should remember that the version of your Android operating system reflects the useful life of your device. The cheaper Androids rarely see operating system updates. And if your system is not up-to-date, you may end up with outdated and inefficient hardware.
A simple solution to check if the smartphone you are interested in is still worth it: look for the next scheduled updates. If there is none, you can more or less erase it from your list.
Smartphone featuresWe talked about not being too greedy at the level of features. However, everything will depend on your budget. There are two options.
The first is opted for an old high-end smartphone that is currently cheap. It is after about 2 years that an expensive phone sees its price lowered. This does not mean that you will not have to make concessions.
The second option is to choose a recent entry-level phone. And to tell you the truth, you are in luck since 2018 has really been a crazy year for this type of product. Many great devices under $ 200 are out. Including the side of Xiaomi and Honor.
But if you decide to go to the second solution, you will have to compare the features between the devices. Which requires a little knowledge. Here is a small list of things to watch:
- The processor
- RAM (RAM)
- Internal memory
- The external memory capacity
- The quality of the camera
- Screen resolution (secondary)
Pay attention to scams
Always compare the prices of a phone on different sites or stores. Just because a phone may not look expensive is not good business. You may be able to find it up to 30% cheaper elsewhere.
In the same way, watch out for fake good prices. Be sure to check for hidden fees. Some of the sites are doubtful on the internet. They generate additional costs for the guarantee, for the included accessories and especially for the delivery. Check the final cost of the product once you have accessed the online payment screen.
If a price seems too tasty, check customer reviews on Google. But the smart thing is not to buy anywhere.
Usually, you can find an Android smartphone that matches the descriptions above for between 120 and 240 € online, but prices are subject to change.
How to know if a cheap phone is good without testing it?
It is true that a smartphone is never a safe bet without having tested it. To help you, you can simply trust the reviews on the Internet. For example, we offer a series of smartphone tests.
Where to buy a cheap 4G smartphone?
If you want a good price and a guarantee of quality, we strongly advise you to buy your smartphone on online stores or recognized sales platforms.
The second hand is not more profitable?
Buying a used device can be a good deal. But considering the current price of a new phone, it is more profitable in the long run to choose this option. A new phone has a warranty and full use. A second-hand smartphone has, in general, no guarantee, has been used, and you have no idea how long it can work optimally.