The 7 Best Budget Smartphones To Buy in 2017 For Under $300

Shop for the top budget smartphones on the market without breaking the bank

Not everyone wants to spend $700 for the fanciest smartphone on the market. What's more, people simply don’t need to spend that much. You can get an excellent budget smartphone for less than $300, and you can even tailor your search to match specific preferences—preferences like camera quality, battery life and design. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research. Here’s a list of the seven best affordable smartphones that can be found for less $300.

The BLU Pure XR is the company's flagship phone, and the Miami-based manufacturer brought its A-game this time, thanks to the device's sleek metal unibody design, 2.0GHz octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. The XR is compatible with both T-Mobile and AT&T’s LTE networks right out of the box and has support for two SIM cards.

Doubling as a fingerprint reader, the home button sits right below the 5.5” display that offers 1920 x 1080 (401ppi) resolution. Protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the display is tough enough that it can withstand basic scuffs and scratches. BLU also added “3D touch technology,” which allows for a press, long press, or push down on the screen to open up different menu choices through supported apps and options.

The 16-megapixel main camera offers a f/1.8 sensor assisted by 64GB of memory for capturing photos, plus an extra 64GB of memory through microSD storage. For the price, the camera is remarkably accurate in its color representation, macro mode and depth of field. The battery will get you through the day with room to spare, but if you're short on time to juice up, BLU included a quick charger that gets 60 minutes of talk time out of a 10-minute charge. Between the choice of carriers, great hardware and surprisingly great camera, the XR is more than worthy of its flagship title.

When you pair great hardware and affordable pricing, you get a smartphone worth talking about. The ZTE Axon 7 Mini, the follow-up to the Axon 7, is a supremely capable device with a 5.2” display (1920 x 1080 pixels), a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 processor and 3GB of RAM. Suffice to say, there’s more than enough power under the hood with this smartphone.

The hi-fidelity speaker offers superb audio quality, and the sleek and slim aluminum unibody design is excellent. The bezels feel ergonomic and comfortable in the hand and have an easy-to-reach fingerprint sensor. Inside, you’ll find 32GB of memory, a microSD slot for cards up to 128GB in size and LTE network connectivity that supports all four major U.S. carriers.

The 16-megapixel camera features max video resolution of 1080p alongside a suite of brightness and exposure tools to capture the perfect shot. The battery is said to deliver 15 hours of talk time, plus support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, which offers a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes. Between the premium-feeling hardware and affordable price, the Axon 7 Mini easily earns the runner-up, best value spot.

The Motorola Moto G is the best smartphone you can get for less than $200. Unlike other phones on this list, it doesn’t excel in any particular category, but rather does better across the board than others. It’s a well balanced machine for general users—and it has some decent specs to back it up.

Available on AT&T and T-Mobile, it features a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon 61 processor with a battery that’s sure to last all day, but if you are short on charging time, you can get six hours of power in just 15 minutes, thanks to TurboPower charging. It comes with either 16 or 32 GB of storage space, but can offer even more through the microSD slot. It’s not the best sub-$200 phone you can buy for battery, camera (13MP rear-facing), or gaming performance—but that’s sort of the point. For the general population, it checks all the boxes.

If you’re the type of person who tends to forget to charge your phone, or if you simply make a lot of calls and watch a lot of videos, you probably want something with a robust, long-lasting battery. The BLU VIVO 5 is the best sub-$200 smartphone you can get when it comes to battery life. The lithium-ion battery is pretty powerful, even for phones that cost three times as much, and professional reviews show the thing lasting more than six hours playing HD video at maximum brightness.

This iPhone-looking device includes a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 processor, an impressive 2GB RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 13MP rear-facing camera, and a 5.5-inch HD display. Once again, those specs place the BLU VIVO 5 among the best performing smartphones at this price point. Some people may find the UI a bit frustrating and counter-intuitive, but for most folks it’s a solid budget smartphone for any purpose.

The next generation budget phone from telecom giant Huawei has an impressive camera that far out performs its budget price. The 12MP primary camera on the Huawei Honor 6X captures vivid HD photos in both daylight and lowlight conditions, and an ultra-fast focus time of .3 seconds makes sure you capture the shot right when the moment strikes. The camera has a wide aperture range that allows for a high-grade depth of field, and the wide range gives blurred background, allowing for more creativity. The professional framing complements cutting-edge color quality and noise reduction thanks to DTI pixel-isolation technology.

The phone also has an alluring ergonomic look and feel, thanks to a slim 8.2mm body made from frosted material, as well as a 2.5D curved glass with premium texture design. It runs on an octa-core processor(16nm) and has 3GB RAM, while a third generation fingerprint scanner gives responsive touch technology that can unlock the phone in .3 seconds. Finally, photographers will love the camera’s high-density battery, which lasts over two days on a full charge and can take plenty of photos.

This budget offering from ASUS blends premium craftsmanship, high resolution audio and a seriously awesome camera to make one of the best-designed unlocked smartphones. It is called the Laser because of its incredible laser-powered focus technology that can auto-focus for instant clarity in .03 seconds and accelerates close-up photography to make sharp shots even at great distance. And with a 13MP sensor with aperture of f/2.0 and electronic image stabilization, you can expect blur-free brightly colored pictures and video.

You can view your shots in full HD resolution, thanks to the 5.5-inch display made of contoured glass that gently curves for an ergonomic grip that perfectly fits your hand. The ultra-slim 2.5mm bezel means that the camera has an attractive screen-to-body ratio. The metallic body is made with a hyperfine sand-blasting for an attractive polish, and the bright screen can be viewed even on the sunniest days.

The phone has a powerful 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor that handles even the most intense applications with ease. Other great features include a powerful battery, an intuitive rear fingerprint sensor and immersive audio from a unique five-magnet construction and metal voice coil.

Get into the Galaxy family on the cheap with the 32GB Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime, a capable phone that packs more features than its humble price tag suggests. It has 32GB ROM of internal storage and 3GB RAM and runs an Exynos 7870 Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 processor. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system.

In addition to the impressive hardware, the phone follows its more prestigious family members with a 13MP camera with aperture of f/1.9. It also has an 8MP front-facing camera for taking selfies. The phone has an attractive white and gold all-metal case with a beautiful Full HD 1080 x 1920 pixel IPS LCD screen with 401 PPI pixel density to make for attractive graphics.

Be sure to check to make sure the phone works on your carrier, because while it works with most including AT&T and T-Mobile, it doesn’t work with Verizon or Sprint.


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