Flagships from the likes of Samsung and Apple are not exactly cheap and not everyone can afford to (or wants to) splash out close to a grand on the Galaxy S9 or the iPhone X. The good news is that there are way more smartphones on the market than you’re probably aware of that really are good enough, at a much lower price. Sure, they might not have all the bells and whistles but they probably have everything you wantin a smartphone. So, if you’re looking to buy a new handset and want to spend no more than £300 then I’ve got you covered.
Apple don’t really cater for people looking to buy entry level or mid-range smartphones. The iPhone SE, however, is a slight exception to that. Apple produced this model specifically for people looking to spend less than the average iPhone costs. Currently, you can get the 32GB model for £229 and you get a good number of features for that price too.
For people that aren’t too keen on big phones then the SE might just be perfect for you with its 4” Retina display. It’s definitely smaller than your average smartphone display size today but it could just be what you’re looking for. I don’t really need to go into the design because it’s very similar to that of the iPhone 5 and 5s and we already know that the iPhone holds a beautiful design, no matter what model it is.
Looks aside, the SE is feature-packed. It runs Apple’s A9 chip, so you can expect speedy and responsive performance. It boasts a 12MP rear camera to capture those momentous moments and it even has the ability to record video in 4K. Now that’s awesome.
In terms of security, you get Touch ID which is more than just a touch better than a 4-digit passcode but it’s not just for unlocking your phone; you can also use it as a way to pay because why waste time getting your wallet out when your phone is right in your hand?
One thing Samsung do that Apple don’t is produce a range of smartphones at different price points and the Galaxy A range is the perfect example. Specifically, this Galaxy A3 2017 model. It’s only around a year old and a whole £51 under the £300 budget. That’s awesome but the phone actually is too.
It’s made up of a premium metal and glass body and has a nice 4.7” Super AMOLED display, which totally beats a standard display (if the name didn’t give it away already). It also boasts two fantastic cameras. The front one is 8 Megapixels and the rear camera is 12 Megapixels and both have an aperture of f1.9. So, you’re bound to get some really amazing photos from it.
As with almost all Android devices, it supports microSD cards to allow you to expand the storage space up to 256GB, from the internal 16GB. As for the battery, it holds a capacity of 2,350mAh, which is still really good for this day and age. I might just add that it beats the capacity of the battery in the iPhone X, not that the battery alone can put these two head-to-head at all.
To top it off, the A3 2017 has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, which is usually a feature found in the mid-range to top-end phones but it’s also starting to become the norm now. Either way, it’s another cool feature to add to the list. Not bad for £249.
You can always count on Sony to offer affordable handsets, packed with goodness and the XA2 has a lot of that.
It comes in Black as well as Pink, which is very much like Rose Gold with a twist. It rocks a 5.2” full HD display, which uses Gorilla Glass 4 and has an incredible 23MP rear camera. That’s a whole lot of pixels and you can record video in 4K too. Not to mention that it also boasts an 8MP front-facing camera, which has a 120-degree wide-angle lens by the way for them groupies. Oh yeah.
It runs a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset under the hood and a 3,300mAh battery powers this beast, so you’ll easily get a full day’s use out of it. What’s even more impressive is that it rocks the latest USB Type-C and supports Quick Charge 3.0. For £279, that’s pretty sweet. Go Sony.
Motorola are not as big in the mobile industry as they once were but they’re still producing great smartphones at great prices. Ideal for an Android fan, looking to only spend a couple of hundred pounds, the Moto G5S Plus makes a good candidate.
It’s made up of an all-metal body and is available in a Blush Gold finish and it comes with a 5.5” full HD display, which I personally think is a great size for a smartphone display. Anything bigger is only perfect if the bezels are thinned or removed completely.
Under the hood, it has a 2.0GHz Octa-Core processor, 3GB of RAM and is powered by a 3000mAh battery. The G5S comes with a TurboPower charger, which provides 6 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes. That’s so awesome and incredible that a phone at this price can offer something like that. I mean, even the big boys don’t give you this.
The fingerprint sensor gives that extra level of security that we all need and it has dual 13MP rear cameras as well as an 8MP wide-angle front-facing camera with flash. Are you stoked? I mean, this has a bundle of amazing features and a brilliant price tag. It’s got to be a consideration for anyone looking for an Android smartphone that is feature-packed and budget-friendly (this totally is).
It’s incredible just how much good features you can actually get out of smartphones that cost less than £300. It’s amazing and almost makes you think how the big guys get away with it but, of course, there’s a lot to it. Regardless, these smartphones are very much targeted at any one that wants the perks of a modern-day smartphone with a low price point.
People looking for a low-budget iPhone don’t have much choice other than the iPhone SE, unless you go down the route of acquiring a newer model second-hand. Android users, on the other hand, have far more choice and have an advantage in that respect.
So, now that I’ve highlighted some of the top smartphones for under £300, which one would you pick? I’d go for the iPhone SE if I had to choose just because I prefer iOS. If I went down the Android route, I think I’d go for the Sony Xperia XA2 but I’d want the Moto’s Turbo Power. Let me know what you would do.
Thanks for reading
Sadia produces tech reviews, tech tips & tutorial videos at XALIRATE and posts here on Wednesdays and Saturdays