This is the best smartphone under $500

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There are excellent alternatives to expensive premium models, which are almost as capable and cheaper.

Samsung, Google, Apple, and Google bring the same features found in their flagships to cheaper options. TCL and other brands are also looking to compete with more established brands by offering lower prices and premium features.

This makes it much more challenging to choose the best budget phone. At this price, it’s challenging to find a phone that does all the right things. You should prioritize the features you value most, such as 5G compatibility with particular networks, high-resolution screens, best camera quality, low price, and long-term software updates. Although it’s not easy to get all the features you want, you will find a phone you love. For the best price and portability, we recommend an unlocked phone. However, you may be able to get better deals if you buy through a carrier and sign up for wireless service.

The Apple iPhone SE 2022 edition is our pick for the most affordable iPhone. The iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch display will make it challenging to use in today’s world of extensive collections. However, the latest version of the Apple iPhone SE offers a low-cost entry to Apple’s iOS ecosystem and a device that can last up to five years if well maintained.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the top-rated budget Android phone. The screen is one of the most impressive in its class and features smooth scrolling and animations at a high refresh rate. The warranty policy for the phone is the longest among Android phones and includes five years of security updates.

iPhone SE (2022).
If it is well maintained, the 2022 iPhone SE can last five years. This is thanks to Apple’s impeccable track record of providing iOS updates for older devices. The 4.7-inch screen is too small and will be challenging to use in five years as apps and websites continue to be optimized for larger screens. 

                                         CLick To BUY Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The A53 5G is a great all-around device at $449 MSRP. It has solid performance, an all-day battery, a 6.5-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and an IP67 rating.


The 2022 iPhone SE is a low-cost entry point to the iOS ecosystem.

Photo by Allison Johnson 

The Best iPhone Under $500

The iPhone SE is still the best value smartphone on the market. The iPhone SE is still an excellent deal at $429, even though its price has increased to $30 over the second-gen model. This is when you consider that the device will continue to receive iOS updates for five, six, or seven years.

If you are looking to purchase an SE to get by for the next decade, then there is one thing to consider: how do you live with its tiny and outdated 4.7-inch screen. This is the same screen as the iPhone 6, and it’s beginning to feel cramped in an era when web pages and apps are optimized for larger screens. Although the SE’s large bezels look old, the most important thing to consider is the ease of use over the next few years.

Night mode is not available for photos with brighter colors in low light. This is a strange oversight.

This is the main problem with the SE. It’s otherwise a great mid-range device. The A15 processor of the iPhone 13 Pro Max is identical to Apple’s flagship iPhone 13 Pro Max. This makes it a great mid-range device. It has IP67 waterproofing, which is rare in this price range. Even though it uses the same 12-megapixel camera iPhones have used since their inception, it still takes excellent photos and produces high-quality videos. It doesn’t have a night mode that allows brighter images even in low light. This is quite a surprise. Other mid-range phones have low-light mode options. The processor of many other midrange phones is capable of doing this. Apple is going to Apple.

The SE generation does not offer 5G connectivity, but it does have low- and medium-band connectivity. This is acceptable. Although you won’t be able to get 5G at a speed of millimeter-wave, it is nothing to worry about. The battery life has been improved and will last for a full day unless you are doing many demanding tasks such as streaming video or gaming.

The 128GB model is recommended if you can live with the smaller screen and don’t mind the absence of night mode. You’ll regret spending $50 more for the 64GB storage on the base model. However, you’ll still be able to use this phone for many years.


The Galaxy A53 5G provides some uncommon budget-class features like waterproofing and a stabilized main camera.

Photo by Allison Johnson 

The Best Android Phones Under $500

For $449, the Samsung A53 5G is a great value. The Samsung A53 5G has the most impressive screens in its class, no surprise given by display manufacturer Samsung. It features a 6.5-inch 1080p LCD that offers a richer contrast than other LCDs in the same category. The top refresh rate is 120Hz, allowing for smooth scrolling and giving you a more premium experience.

The A53 5G’s battery can last for a whole day, and the Exynos processor handles daily tasks quite well. The primary 64-megapixel camera of the phone is an improvement on the average unremarkable cameras in its class. It also features optical image stabilization that helps get sharper shots in low light conditions.

The best thing about the A53 5G is its exceptional software support policy.

The A53 5G is a budget Android phone that stands out in many ways. But its best feature may be its outstanding software support policy. Samsung promises four years of Android OS updates and five years of security updates. This gives the A53 5G a remarkable shelf life, especially compared to other Android phones that receive two to three years of a security update. It is also IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, so it should last long.

However, it is worth noting that Google will launch its Pixel 6A in the summer. This is the only device that could challenge the A53. It’s a good phone, at least on paper. The company offers a five-year security support policy that matches Samsung’s. However, there are only three years of OS updates promised. The A53 is a high standard for the Pixel 6A, and it’s currently the best Android phone in its class.

TCL 20S

The TCL 20S has an usually vibrant screen for its class, thanks to TCL’s television display expertise.

Photo by Gloria Sin / The Verge

The Best Android Phones Under $500

For $449, the Samsung A53 5G is a great value. The Samsung A53 5G has the most impressive screens in its class, no surprise given by display manufacturer Samsung. It features a 6.5-inch 1080p LCD that offers a richer contrast than other LCDs in the same category. The top refresh rate is 120Hz, allowing for smooth scrolling and giving you a more premium experience.

The A53 5G’s battery can last for a whole day, and the Exynos processor handles daily tasks quite well. The primary 64-megapixel camera of the phone is an improvement on the average unremarkable cameras in its class. It also features optical image stabilization that helps get sharper shots in low light conditions.

The best thing about the A53 5G is its exceptional software support policy.

The A53 5G is a budget Android phone that stands out in many ways. But its best feature may be its outstanding software support policy. Samsung promises four years of Android OS updates and five years of security updates. This gives the A53 5G a remarkable shelf life, especially compared to other Android phones that receive two to three years of a security update. It is also IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, so it should last long.

However, it is worth noting that Google will launch its Pixel 6A in the summer. This is the only device that could challenge the A53. It’s a good phone, at least on paper. The company offers a five-year security support policy that matches Samsung’s. However, there are only three years of OS updates promised. The A53 is a high standard for the Pixel 6A, and it’s currently the best Android phone in its class.

TCL 20S

                                                     Click  to Buy TCL 20S

A $250 phone can be a delight to use, too. This TCL 20S has a bright 6.67-inch 1080p screen, 128GB storage, and a 5,000mAh battery.


The Moto G Stylus has an approachable stylus feature set.

Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

The best budget phone with a stylus

It’s slim pickings if you want a new budget phone with a stylus. With LG exiting the smartphone market and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Note Ultra in a much higher price bracket, there’s only Motorola’s Moto G Stylus left to hold the line.

This year’s edition of the 4G-only Moto G Stylus continues to offer an excellent balance of features and cost-saving measures. It’s a good phone for the price, whether you’re a stylus devotee or just stylus-curious.

It has a big 6.8-inch LCD display at 1080p resolution, good battery life with its 5,000mAh cell, and ample internal storage with 128GB of capacity. With a capable MediaTek Helio G88 processor and a healthy 6GB of RAM, the G Stylus performs well with everyday tasks. The cameras, though flawed, are good enough to get by. You won’t find an amazing night mode or top-notch picture quality here, but for a sub-$300 phone, it does the job just fine.

The Moto G Stylus’ stylus is built into the device like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Popping it out brings up a quick menu of shortcuts to stylus-friendly apps, like its coloring book app. It’s a feature set intended for a more casual user than the likes of the S22 Ultra and, as a result, feels more approachable.

It is a bit of a drawback that this version of the G Stylus doesn’t offer 5G (Motorola offers a higher-spec’d, midrange model that does) and 5G networks on all US carriers will improve substantially over the next few years. But if you’re perfectly happy with 4G speeds and you’re looking for a good deal on a phone with a big screen, this is a great option.

                                   Click Buy a Motoralla Moto G Stylus (2022)

The Moto G Stylus complements its namesake feature with good everyday performance and a big 1080p display, though it doesn’t include 5G connectivity.


Moto G Pure phone.

Plan to add a microSD card to your purchase to complement the Moto G Pure’s paltry 32GB of built-in storage.

Photo by Gloria Sin / The Verge

The best 4G phone under $200

The Motorola Moto G Pure gets a lot right for its very low price: just $140, permanently marked down from $160. It’s a 4G-only phone, and its biggest weak point is a slower processor — everything from opening a web page to switching apps takes just a beat longer than on most other budget phones. But as a tradeoff, it includes a capable 13-megapixel rear camera and good battery life that should take most users through a full day and well into the next.

The Moto G Pure only includes 32GB of storage, and that’s not really enough, considering the Android OS will take up almost half of that. Thankfully, you can add more storage via the microSD card slot. If you don’t have one already, just plan on budgeting an extra $15 or $20 for a microSD card with the purchase of this phone.

Motorola Moto G Pure

                                              Motorola Moto G Pure

Motorola’s Moto G Pure is good enough for most casual users. Despite its slower performance and paltry 32GB of storage, it has a very capable main camera and works on all the major 4G networks in America.


The N20 5G includes a 1080p OLED screen, with richer contrast than the LCDs common in this class.

Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

The best budget phone on T-Mobile

The OnePlus N20 5G is a $280 phone that feels like it should cost a lot more. It offers a 6.4-inch screen with good 1080p resolution. Better yet, it’s an OLED panel in a category where lower-contrast LCDs are much more common. As a tradeoff, you’ll have to make do with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. But unless you’re coming from a phone with a faster 90Hz or 120Hz screen, you won’t know the difference. Refresh rate aside, it’s a good screen that’s enjoyable to use. Plus, there’s a good fingerprint scanner under the display that makes unlocking the phone a frustration-free experience.

The N20 5G is equipped with a good Snapdragon 695 processor and generous 6GB of RAM for very good daily performance. A charger is included in the box to support the phone’s fast 33W wired charging — another feature you’d be hard pressed to find in any of the N20’s competitors. You can charge the phone from 0 to 30 percent in just 20 minutes, which is really helpful if you’re in a jam and need a quick battery boost.

Camera quality is a bit of a weak point for the N20. The main rear 64-megapixel camera is fine; the other two cameras (a low-res macro and a monochrome sensor) are best ignored. The phone also ships with Android 11, which is a version behind most other new Android phones at this point.

At launch, it’s only available through T-Mobile, where it supports the carrier’s sub-6GHz 5G. OnePlus will sell it unlocked at some point, but it’s unlikely to offer any kind of meaningful 5G support at AT&T or Verizon. For the moment, though, it’s a great budget option if you’re on T-Mobile.

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

The N20 5G includes a 6.4-inch 1080p screen with a fast fingerprint sensor as well as fast wired charging with the included in-box charger.

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Aizaz khan
Aizaz khanhttps://myelectricsparks.com/aizaz-khan/
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.

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