Get Help

Best Cheap Smartphones For Those Who Don't Care About Brand Hype


Smartphones are more than just tools through which we communicate with others. For some, they are status symbols. The logo on the back of their smartphone means more than the features. 


But what if you don’t care about brands and just want a good smartphone?


Once you stretch beyond the main smartphone brands, there are so many ways to get value for money.



Huawei P8 Lite


1Huawei P8 Lite

Huawei is one of the fastest growing smartphone manufacturers in the world. Their expertise lies in mimicking the features of top smartphone brands and offering it for less.



The Huawei P8 Lite has a 5.2” HD screen, 8MP front camera and a 12 MP back camera. Under the hood lies an octave-core processor and Android 7.0 Nougat. Besides 3GB of RAM, it also comes with all the usual bells and whistles such as a fingerprint sensor, expandable storage, and a stunning, modern design.


Impressively, the battery is 3000 mAh which is enough for a whole day of intense use.


All this for £179 unlocked from giffgaff.




Nokia 5 - £159

2Nokia 5

Nokia dropped the ball a little after missing the start of the smartphone era. However, they are trying to launch a comeback. Much like a boxer with a bruised ego, Nokia is giving it their all.



The Nokia 5 follows the trend of thin bezels by having a 5.2” HD screen that sucks you in. Design-wise, Nokia have taken a note from Apple’s MacBook line. The body is made from a single piece of aluminium. This results in a smartphone which feels expensive.


Nokia has gone above and beyond with the front camera.  An 8MP front camera ensures that group selfies look vibrant and clear when shared on social media. An octave core processor provides a smooth Android 70 Nougat.


There is also a fingerprint reader on the home button which makes unlocking the phone secure and easy.


At £159 unlocked from giffgaff, this is really good value for money. Sure, the name “Nokia” doesn’t have the same ring; however, this is still a fantastic smartphone which should cost much more.



Motorola Moto G5 - £139






 The  Moto G5 is the best smartphone with regard to value for money.


Let me explain.


The Motorolla Moto G5 is made from aluminium. This gives it a high end feel. It comes with a 5-inch screen which is right on the Goldilocks sweet spot for smartphones. It isn’t so small that it feels like a toy and it isn’t so big that it looks ridiculous.


The Moto G5 comes with fast charging, wide-angle 5MP selfie camera, expandable storage, 2GB RAM (deep breath) and an octave core processor. Plus, it has all the bells, whistles and trimmings you would expect from a top smartphone.


At just £139 unlocked, the Moto G5 should cost at least double. Due to the design and features, this would make a good gift.



Sony Xperia XA1




Sony has a long history of making great cameras and music hardware. They also tend to go full throttle with their smartphones.


The Sony Xperia XA1 isn’t a flagship, but it has the features of one.


Let’s start with the frankly ridiculous 23MP camera. It has a wide angle which enables you to capture more. Shift to the front camera and you will find an 8MP camera with good performance.


As you would expect from Sony, the smartphone is beautifully crafted with a solid frame. The HD screen is full width with incredible detail.


Sony brought in many features from their high-end cameras and televisions. The camera processes each image in less than a second and balances it out to be more true-to-life. You can also capture video in HDR mode. Even when stretched to fit a 50” HD television, memories still look as detailed as the day you saw them.


3GB of RAM, Android 7.0 Nougat, and multiple sensors complement the phone. The battery is rated for 7 hours of video or up to 10 hours of talk time. Aside from all this, you aren’t missing out on a thing because all the standard high-end features are also present.



Final thoughts


A good smartphone isn’t necessarily one with a big name or huge marketing budget. We are lucky to live in a time when the means of production are plentiful. In fact, you could travel to China and get your ideal smartphone made in front of you.


Look past the hype and focus on the features and design language which matters to you. Hopefully, you found this post interesting. What is the best smartphone you have ever used? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments section below.

What are you waiting for?

Order your free SIMor see our Trade-in phones

WileyFox is my favourite. Now running on Nougat.


Wileyfox is a good choice... Same with Motorola G5!

Asus zenfone is another decent choice and same goes for the Honor! 

grand master

Sometime money metter, what you have in your pocket! Don't look towards other. 


Some excellent choices - thanks


Interesting mix of some of the more modest priced phones here, thanks.


I ordered a samsung galaxy S7 from giffgaff which I sent back as I change my mind and giffgaff have received the handset I now have received a text saying that rate seller will be collecting the montly payment of £22.04 as I have returned the handset I should no have to pay and I believe they still need to refund me the  £25 upfront payment 


Hi @karenadams1 giffgaff and Ratesetter are two separate companies. Please direct inquiries regarding any pay monthly plans to Ratesetter. They will be better placed to advise you on the terms and conditions you agreed to. 


In the future if you have any questions pertainig to giffgaff please feel free to ask a member or an agent at this link


I have the Moto G5 i've never had any problems with it


Lenovo P2.


Forget all the marketing gimmicks, the 5100 mAh battery is all I want in a smartphone now. Easily 2 full days, often 3 days of battery life, with moderate to heavy use.


It used to be £200 unlocked from Three, but not it seems to have been discontinued in the UK. What a shame, nothing comes close in terms of battery life. 



tommyvega worth a look maybe?  Doogee have a BL5000 (5050mAh) for under £200, think they just released an even larger battery phone a BL7000!
My Doogee DG2014 died last week, cost about £100 new and lasted over 3 years, really like the company and have been looking to replace it with one of their newer models.