Best Budget Smartphones in 2023

Budget Smartphones: Features, Pros, Cons & Prices.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
Best Budget Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones

With massive leaps in features and performance, budget phones have become incredibly compelling options that make premium flagships hard to justify. For just $200-$500, you can now get excellent budget smartphones with nice displays, good cameras, capable processors, modern designs, and long battery life.

In this guide, we dive into the top budget phone contenders across Android and iOS ecosystems based on critical factors like price, features, performance, camera quality, and battery life which will help you decide which phone fits your needs without emptying your wallet.

1. Google Pixel 6a

The Pixel 6a really stands out for its fantastic dual rear camera system, led by a 12MP main wide lens paired with a 12MP ultrawide lens. Together they capture stunning, detailed photos with excellent dynamic range in all lighting conditions. Powering the phone is Google's own Tensor chipset which enables smooth, responsive performance across the clean Android 12 interface. The vivid 6.1-inch OLED display looks bright and crisp at 2400x1080 resolution, while the centered punch-hole front camera and slim bezels give it a modern, minimalist look. The design is also sleek with a horizontal camera bar across the matte aluminum back. Battery life is decent though not best-in-class, averaging around 24 hours of mixed use per charge.


  • Superb image quality in daytime and low light

  • Clean Android experience with guaranteed 3 years of OS/security updates

  • Bright, crisp OLED display with slim bezels


  • No wireless charging support

  • Average battery life compared to competitors

Price: The Pixel 6a packs impressive camera capabilities and fast Google Tensor performance into a $319.99 package.

Buy Now!

2. Google Pixel 7a

The Pixel 7a features a bright 6.1-inch OLED display with a smooth 90Hz refresh rate that makes scrolling and animations look seamless. Powering the phone is Google's upgraded Tensor G2 chip, built on a 5nm process, which enables faster performance and improved power efficiency compared to last year's model. There's a ample 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage onboard. For photography, the Pixel 7a has a capable dual rear camera system consisting of a 64MP main wide lens and 13MP ultrawide lens, while the front-facing camera comes in at 13MP. Other notable features include fast 18W wired charging, 5W wireless charging support, IP67 water and dust resistance, Bluetooth 5.3, WiFi 6E, 5G connectivity, and stereo speakers.


  • Fast Tensor G2 performance

  • Upgraded cameras with new sensors

  • Sleek, durable design with water resistance

  • Fast wired and wireless charging


  • No telephoto camera

  • No mmWave 5G support

Price: The Google Pixel 7a brings premium features to a $449 budget price point.

Buy Now!

3. Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

The Galaxy A14 5G features a sizeable 6.6-inch LCD display with HD+ resolution and a speedy 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and animations. Under the hood, it packs a 5nm Exynos 1330 chipset, paired with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Photography is handled by a versatile triple rear camera system, featuring a 50MP main lens, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensors. There's also a 13MP front-facing camera for selfies and video chats. A large 5000mAh battery aims to deliver all-day usage per charge. Other key highlights include 5G connectivity, side fingerprint unlock, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi 5, 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB-C charging.


  • Affordable 5G connectivity

  • Large 90Hz HD+ display

  • Good general performance for price

  • Solid battery life


  • Underwhelming camera quality

  • Dated WiFi and Bluetooth versions

  • Cheap plastic construction

Price:  Samsung's budget 5G smartphone starting at just $173.

Buy Now!

4. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

The Galaxy A54 5G has a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 5. It is powered by a 5nm Exynos 1380 chipset, up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. For cameras, there is a triple rear setup (50MP main + 12MP ultrawide + 5MP macro) and 32MP front camera. The phone packs a 5000mAh battery with 25W charging and runs Android 13 with One UI 5.1. Other features include under-display fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, stereo speakers, IP67 rating, and plastic frame.


  • Smooth 120Hz AMOLED display

  • Capable Exynos 1380 chipset

  • Versatile triple camera setup

  • Good battery life with 25W fast charging


  • No telephoto camera

  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

  • Plastic frame feels cheap

Price: The Galaxy A54 5G starts at $315. It comes in Lime, Graphite, Violet, and White colors.

Buy Now!

5. OnePlus Nord N30 5G

The Nord N30 5G has a 6.72-inch IPS LCD display with FHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, 8GB RAM, and 128GB storage. For photography, there is a triple rear camera (108MP main + 2MP macro + 2MP depth) and 16MP front-facing camera. It packs a large 5000mAh battery with 50W fast charging and runs OxygenOS 13 based on Android 13. Other key specs include side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 5, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD slot, and stereo speakers.


  • Smooth 120Hz LCD display

  • Capable Snapdragon 695 5G chipset

  • 108MP main rear camera

  • Very good battery life with 50W charging


  • Basic ultra-wide camera missing

  • WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1 not latest

  • Plastic build doesn't feel premium

Price: The Nord N30 5G is priced at $269.99.

Buy Now!

6. iPhone SE (2022)

The iPhone SE 2022 retains the classic, small 4.7-inch Retina LCD display and Touch ID fingerprint sensor for affordability. But inside is the same blazing-fast A15 Bionic chip that powers the new iPhone 14 lineup for excellent performance. It has a durable glass and aluminum body, 12MP rear camera for quality photos, and runs Apple's seamless iOS ecosystem. Modern features include water/dust resistance and Qi wireless charging support. Battery life is just okay due to the small size.


  • Blazing fast performance from A15 chip

  • Wireless charging support

  • Great value for iOS ecosystem


  • Older, compact design

  • Below average battery life

Price: Apple's most affordable iPhone at $429, powered by the same fast A15 chip as iPhone 14.

Buy Now!

7. Moto G 5G (2023)

The Moto G 5G (2023) has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by the Snapdragon 480+ 5G chipset, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. For cameras, there is a dual rear setup (48MP main + 2MP macro) and an 8MP front-facing camera. It packs a large 5,000mAh battery with 15W wired charging and runs Android 13. Other key highlights include side fingerprint unlock, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 5, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD slot, Google Assistant button, and water-repellent design.


  • Smooth 120Hz IPS LCD display

  • Decent Snapdragon 480+ 5G chipset

  • Good rear camera setup for the price

  • Giant 5,000mAh battery


  • Only 15W wired charging

  • Dated WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1

  • Basic plastic build and design

Price: The Moto G 5G (2023) is priced starting at around $199.

Buy Now!


Budget phones have come a very long way, making expensive flagships harder to justify for many users. Standout options like the Pixel 6a, Galaxy A54 5G and iPhone SE 2022 prove you can get great performance, versatile cameras and nice displays without overspending. While sacrificing some extras like telephoto lenses or wireless charging, these affordable models deliver excellent overall packages, especially considering their reasonable prices. Based on your must-have priorities around things like software, camera, display size, and battery life, there's likely a budget phone that will meet your needs and budget. Given the capabilities of today's cheap phones, most people can save money and still get everything they want and need without paying flagship prices.

Explore more topics:

Latest Stories