Android Buying Guides

The 5 Best Cheap Android Phones in 2017

Megan Ellis 16-08-2017

Premium smartphones are becoming more advanced every year — but with these improvements, prices are soaring. Luckily, there are manufacturers who are using these technological advancements to deliver better hardware at lower prices.


A few years ago, $200 might have bought you something that barely qualifies as a smartphone. But things have changed drastically, especially with huge Chinese companies entering the mobile phone market Why Your Next Android Smartphone Should be Chinese For years, Chinese smartphones have gotten a bad reputation, but here's why you should really consider getting one now. Read More .

Here we take a look at some of the best cheap Android phones — ones with decent hardware and an even better price.

1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4


Not everyone outside of China is familiar with the Xiaomi brand, but in markets where they have a foothold, the company is known for high quality at low prices. Xiaomi made headlines when its latest flagship, the Mi 6, came close to the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S8 but at almost half the price.

But their Redmi range, a series of budget to mid-range Android devices, is also a part of the Xiaomi brand that shines. Their latest addition to the range is the Redmi Note 4, a device that is very similar to its predecessor, but has slightly improved hardware and design.


Among its features, the Redmi Note 4 boasts:

  • A 5.5″ Full HD display
  • A 13 MP main camera
  • 4100 mAh battery
  • A Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core processor
  • 3 GB of RAM

It also has a highly responsive fingerprint scanner, which has become a bit of a necessity — even for cheaper phones. The only downside to the Redmi Note 4 is that it has a 13 MP camera versus the 16 MP camera of the Redmi Note 3. But it makes up for this with a faster CPU and a slightly larger battery capacity.

Despite the only slight increase in battery capacity The 7 Best Battery Life-Stretching Phones Battery life is one of the most critical features in a new phone. Here are the best battery life phones available right now. Read More , the Redmi Note 4 lasts noticeably longer than the Note 3 due to the more efficient processor. This means you can easily go more than a day without charging the phone, depending on your usage. I found myself playing games on the phone frequently, but only charging it every third or fourth day.

Both phones however are known for outpacing more expensive competitors for a fraction of the price. The biggest thorn in the manufacturer’s side is availability, with different models and variants spread across different regions.


However, if the Redmi Note 4 is available in your region, you can expect it to be between $150 and $250. A 64 GB variant with 4 GB of onboard storage is also available for a slightly higher price.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 32GB Gray, 5.5", Dual Sim, 13MP, GSM Unlocked Global Model, No Warranty Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 32GB Gray, 5.5", Dual Sim, 13MP, GSM Unlocked Global Model, No Warranty Buy Now On Amazon

2. Hisense Infinity Elegance (E76)


Hisense is one of the more recent technology manufacturers to wade into the mid-range smartphone market, and so far, they’re doing a pretty good job. While the C30 Rock attracted attention for being a rugged phone with great design, it’s the company’s Infinity Elegance phone that embodies value-for-money.


Like many other mid-range devices, its design falls very much within the norm — essentially a variation on the general smartphone designs seen across the market.

The phone’s specs include:

  • A 5.5″ Full HD display
  • A 13 MP main camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • A Snapdragon 430 Octa-Core processor
  • 3 GB of RAM

Unfortunately, the Infinity Elegance isn’t readily available in several large markets such as the United States and United Kingdom. If you do manage to find one for sale, they usually go for around $250.

3. ASUS Zenfone 3

Some people are unaware that ASUS even makes smartphones, nevermind ones that are great quality for a low price. The company’s Zenfone 3 caught our attention Asus ZenFone 3 Review The Asus ZenFone 3 rivals similar phones like the OnePlus and the ZTE Axon 7 that offer high-end specs for several hundred dollars cheaper than other flagship devices. Read More because it is among the best-performing Android phones on the market, taking 15th place on benchmarking site Antutu’s global ranking. Considering that the Samsung Galaxy S8 is only in 10th position, this is an impressive achievement for a handset that was released last year and is only around $260.


While its design isn’t ugly, it isn’t quite on par with some of its competitors. But it makes up for this in performance and hardware. It also comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass screen — a relatively rare feature for budget and mid-range smartphones. There are two different versions of the phone, one with a 5.2-inch display and the other with a 5.5-inch display. Other than that and battery capacity, they are identical.

The other specs include:

  • Full HD IPS+ display
  • A 16 MP main camera
  • 2650mAh/3000mAh battery
  • A Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core processor
  • 3 GB of RAM

One of the most impressive aspects of the phone is the camera; it is quite advanced for the price bracket. Rather than being based solely on the hardware, ASUS has used software to increase the quality of photos — namely, PixelMaster 3.0. The 32-second exposure is also a nice touch for those who want to capture light trails or other long-exposure images.

But you may want to hold out for the company’s next iteration of the Zenfone: the Zenfone 4. The new handset is expected to be announced later in August. In the meantime though, the Zenfone 3 is definitely one of the best cheap Android phones on the market.

Asus ZenFone 3 ZE520KL Unlocked Dual Sim Phone, 32GB, 5.2-inch, 3GB RAM - International Version (Moonlight White) Asus ZenFone 3 ZE520KL Unlocked Dual Sim Phone, 32GB, 5.2-inch, 3GB RAM - International Version (Moonlight White) Buy Now On Amazon

4. Nokia 6

Most of the phones on this list were released in 2016, but the Nokia 6 was announced and launched this year. Many people thought that the Nokia brand would die off following the lack of popularity of Microsoft’s Lumia phones, or that the brand would simply focus their efforts on feature phones Why I Ditched My Smartphone and Bought a Dumbphone Instead Smartphones may not be all they're hyped up to be. Read More only.

The Nokia mobile phone division was sold to HMD Global in 2016, who took great lengths to try revitalize the brand. They even revamped the classic and much-loved Nokia 3310 Nokia 3310 Review: Not as Good as We'd Hoped Read More , tugging on our nostalgia while establishing a modern foothold for the brand as a whole.

It looks like HMD is doing an admirable job so far, with critics praising the Nokia 6 and its other recently launched peers. The handset comes with stock Android, a welcome change for phone users who are tired of branded bloatware.

Like the Zenfone 3, the Nokia 6 is also equipped with Gorilla Glass. But it comes with a bit of extra RAM that is sure to be appreciated by users.

The Nokia 6’s other main specifications are:

  • 5.5′ Full HD display
  • 16 MP main camera
  • A 3000mAh battery
  • A Snapdragon 430 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM

Rather than attempting to inflate the price of the new handset, HMD has embraced the mid-range market. The phone retails for €229 (around $270), making it a strong competitor in the Android sphere.

5. Moto G5 Plus

Motorola is another brand that is a blast from the past, but like Nokia, the brand has also undergone a revamp. Going by the name Moto, the phone brand is now owned by Lenovo. Along with premium handsets, the company has also jumped into the mid-range and budget market.

You could call this venture a success, as the Moto G5 and the subsequent Moto G5 Plus have been widely acclaimed as great and affordable devices. So what do users get for the $229.99 price tag?

The Moto G5 Plus’s features include:

  • A 5.2″ Full HD display
  • 12 MP main camera
  • A 3000mAh battery
  • A Snapdragon 625 Octa-core processor
  • 2 or 4 GB of RAM

The company has also recently announced the upcoming Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus, which will offer slight improvements over the current models. The G5S Plus will also come with a dual lens camera, something that most mid-range phones have yet to implement.

What’s Your Favorite Cheap Android Phone?

While this list covers five of the best cheap Android phones, the mid-range smartphone market is brimming with many candidates. While Android phone manufacturers have truly made cheaper, high-quality smartphones a reality, there is still the issue of availability. Many of these brands only cater for certain markets, meaning that Android fans often miss out on the latest value-for-money devices.

For more options, take a look at some excellent bezel-less phones The 10 Best Bezel-Less Phones in 2019 Want a smartphone with lots of screen space? You need a bezel-less screen. Here are the best bezel-less phones available today. Read More .

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  1. Wessel
    January 29, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Where are the OnePlus devices?
    They're also great devices without a huge pricetag ¯\_(?)_/¯.

  2. Ken
    August 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    LG Stylo 3 Plus...... I couldn't find more bang for my $225.00 than what this unit had to offer: huge 1080 screen / removable pen built in for assorted functions / 32GB of storage / logical finger print reader / Android 7 / 13MP rear + 5MP front to name just a few.

  3. Nutren
    August 28, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I wish people would stop assuming that everyone wants a phone that is actually a mini tablet!

  4. Jim Van Damme
    August 28, 2017 at 1:22 am

    I have a Blu Dash X, and it does all I need. It was $70 a year ago.

  5. John
    August 18, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Moto E 4. Released in June. Amazing specs for $129.99. Unlocked. And you could get it cheaper through Republic Wireless (what I did and use), and even cheaper through Verizon (but the Verizon one is locked to Verizon).

    Best budget phone. At least, that's my opinion.

    • Megan Ellis
      August 24, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      I should definitely take a look at it. Sounds great. My region has unfortunately only seen a limited release of Moto phones

  6. Jay Estevez
    August 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    The Vodafone smart ultra 7 I have find it a good phone the only problem would be its camera

    • Megan Ellis
      August 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Is it a low quality camera? I find many budget phones suffer when it comes to this aspect. However there have been a few strides towards getting decent cameras on cheap phones.

  7. Casey
    August 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Tecno Camon CX and the Tecno Camon CX Air...really excellent phpnes...going at 160$ & 120$ respectively

    • Megan Ellis
      August 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Haven't heard of the brand before. Where's it from? :)

  8. Rudy
    August 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

    My daughter just bought a G5 Plus online for $179. What a great phone for the money.

    • Megan Ellis
      August 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      It's amazing what manufacturers are achieving for such low prices nowadays