The best budget smartphones for under $300

Smartphones between $200 and $300 mark the entry into the highly competitive mid-range segment. With several smartphone models vying for your attention, selecting the right sub-$300 smartphone in the U.S. is not as easy as it sounds. But hey, that’s why we are here for! In this article, we list all the phones under $300 that we think are worth buying in 2022.

Editor’s choice: The best smartphone under $300 is…

The Galaxy A33. It is the only model we have tested here on NextPit for this list, but you can’t go wrong with it in this price range. The Samsung smartphone still offers the best update policy when it comes to Android versions. No rival Android phone for less than $400 (outside of the Pixel phones) promises four years of security updates.

Samsung Galaxy A33

And the spec sheet is no slouch either, with 5G support, and decent daily performance for social media and other apps. Just don’t expect much from the camera module. On the other hand, the display shows Samsung at its best, with crisp images on the AMOLED panel.

OnePlus Nord N20: Living in a hurry

OnePlus Nord N20 5G specs price features

Fast is not a word usually associated with the lower mid-range phone market. But OnePlus aims for the title of the fastest phone in its category… At least in the charging department. While its rivals make do with 15 to 18 W charging, the Nord N20 offers 33 W of wired charging, cutting recharging times in half when compared to the other models on this list.

The rest of the specs are as good or better than the competition in the price range, including 5G support and a “good enough” Android update policy (although not as good as Samsung’s). The main downside, however, is the camera module, with the auxiliary sensors limited to only 2 megapixels.

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)

Part of Lenovo increasingly complicated naming standard for the US market, the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) is a beefy upgrade in comparison to the 2021 edition. Most importantly, the manufacturer promises an update to the Android 13 version. Buyers shouldn’t hold their breath for further upgrades, though, as Motorola is still trailing its rivals when it comes to software support.

Update policies aside, the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) offers a snappy processor, futureproofing with 5G support, and its most distinctive feature: the included stylus. Take notes, draw and control the phone using the included pen, without having to spend three times as much on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Nokia G400

Is the Nokia G400 as tough as feature phones from 20 years ago? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop HMD Global from evoking toughness in the phone’s marketing materials. The Finnish mid-ranger ticks all of the modern features in the mid-range market, with a fast refresh rate screen with 120 Hz, triple camera, and 5G support.

And even though the processor used lags behind the components used on the other models on this list, the Snapdragon 480 should sip energy to provide the promised two-day battery life.

What can you expect from a phone under $300?

Thanks to players like Xiaomi, Realme, and Oppo, you can get a really capable phone for under $300 if you live in Asia or Europe. That, unfortunately, isn’t the case with the U.S. where almost all the devices in the $200-$300 segment are sold for less than $200 in other parts of the globe. Still, here is what you can typically expect from $300 smartphones currently sold in the U.S.

  • Full HD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate displays
  • Large battery with support for up to 30W fast charging
  • Snapdragon 7 series or 6 Series SoC, Mid-range SoCs from MediaTek
  • Quad or triple rear cameras
  • No wireless charging
  • No IP rating

Alternatives to buying a new phone

If it doesn’t necessarily have to be a new smartphone, you can also reach for older, more expensive second-hand smartphones. Refurbished models are a highly recommended option, as these are used devices that have been checked and refurbished by specialists.

These refurbished devices are especially attractive when resellers offer you an extended warranty. This way, you can be sure that you’re buying a smartphone that won’t give up on you after a few weeks.

Of course, you do not have this advantage when buying a used smartphone from private owners on platforms such as eBay, eBay classifieds, or other portals. However, used devices can be found for significantly reduced prices here, as there are no additional costs because the middleman has been cut out. With the so-called ‘sale’, you also secure older models that online shops still carry in new condition but which are no longer in production.

Promotions and Sales

Towards the end of the year, each consumer electronics device that you purchase is accompanied by an even greater risk of stumbling upon a cheaper offer just a few weeks down the road. This can be attributed to sales like Black Friday and its associated Black Week, Amazon Prime Day, Singles Day, and Cyber ​​Monday, all of which are discount days in the months of October and November, which are meant to prime the economy before the Christmas shopping frenzy begins.

Since smartphones are one of the most popular consumer electronics devices in the market, you should keep your eyes peeled for great deals. You can check out the dates for this year’s sales and promotions in the table below:

What do you think of this selection? Do you think we missed a model that should REALLY have been on this list? Well, say it out loud and we will definitely include it in the list when we update it.


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