The best Android phones under $300

best android phones USD 300

Not everyone is at ease when it comes to spending $700 on a smartphone. Even though this amount will hand you some of the best there is in the market, you don’t really have to spend this much when the market has plenty of sub-$300 smartphones that offer top quality for their price tag.

The good problem with this market, though, is it’s highly competitive and it’ll leave you spoilt for choice, which further makes it quite complicated when it comes to picking the right phone. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve done the dirty work and here, in this post, we present to you the best Android phones that you can buy at below $300 and still get the best bang for your buck.

Xiaomi Poco F1

Poco-F1-image-13

Xiaomi’s Poco F1 is the ultimate flagship killer. The device packs high-end specs and features that are usually associated with $1000 smartphones, but you can have it for as little as $300. We are looking at specs like Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor alongside 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. The Poco F1 also ships with a dual-lens camera on the back that doesn’t look impressive on paper, but the 20MP selfie shooter looks promising, especially with the plenty of MIUI-baked AI camera customizations.

Specs
  • 6.2-inch 19:9 FHD+ (2248×1080) LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 20MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, upgradable to Pie

The Poco F1 has multiple variants, but it is the entry-level variant that fits the bill of the context in question. In India, the base model can be had for INR 20,999, which is about $290. At this price, you can get nothing better than the Poco F1, especially if performance is key to your smartphone search.

→ Buy Poco F1: India | UK | Europe

Huawei Honor Play

Honor-Play-1

Huawei’s Honor sub-brand has a familiar business model that focuses on delivering the best value for money. In the Honor Play, you have a true definition of what the best value for money is. The phone brings you all the might of the Huawei P20, but at about $275 (INR 19,999), which is less than half the launch price of the flagship P20.

Specs
  • 6.3-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Kirin 970 chipset
  • 4GB or 6GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 16MP + 2MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3750mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, Fast charging, LTE, rear-mounted scanner, etc.

Of course, to cram all these premium specs in the Honor Play and still price it at under $300 means that Huawei had to cut some corners. Still, there is really nothing to complain about when paying INR 19,999 for such a powerful device, problem is that in India, getting hold of the base model is quite a task, but there’s a high-end variant that also comes at a price.

In markets like the USA, you may end up paying nearly twice the phone’s asking price in India. Sorry folks!

→ Buy Honor Play: USA | India | UK | Europe

Xiaomi Mi A2

Mi-A2_10Xiaomi’s first Android One smartphone was a hit and it’s definite the second-generation Xiaomi Mi A2 is even better. The phone was launched on July 24, 2018 and has yet to start selling in most markets, but Xiaomi says at least 40 countries will be able to get one of these locally.

Like many other Xiaomi phones, the Mi A2 is almost perfect as far as design and specs are concerned, but the lack of NFC is once again set to be a major pain among many who’ll be getting this one. Even worse is the missing 3.5mm audio jack, but on the brighter side, you are still getting things like USB-C, fast charging technology, a fingerprint scanner, an improved dual-lens camera, and a promise for timely software updates at just €250.

Specs
  • 5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Snapdragon 660 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB storage
  • Dual 12MP + 20MP main camera
  • 20MP front camera
  • 3010mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: LTE, Fast charging, USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, Rear-mounted scanner, Face unlock, etc.

Unlike last year, the Mi A2 has a partner in the shape of Mi A2 Lite. Essentially, this device packs just about the same hardware as the Mi A1 or Redmi 5 Plus for that matter, but with a few tweaks here and there. It also joins Xiaomi’s notch camp and even though the display is smaller than its counterpart, you get a massive 4000mAh battery, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a disappointing microUSB port. You can check out everything there’s to know about the Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite in the link below.

Xiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite won’t be sold officially in the U.S., but once the devices start selling globally, availability in the U.S. shouldn’t be a problem thanks to Amazon and co. The story should be the same for markets outside the 40 stipulated by Xiaomi. The Mi A2 starts selling in India on August 8, which is when we’ll know pricing details.

→ Buy Xiaomi Mi A2: Europe | India

RelatedXiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite: All you need to know

Huawei Honor 8X

Honor-8X-1-1

Huawei fans will agree that the Honor 7X was and still is one of the best budget phones, but compared to other devices on this list, it was always going to lose the battle. But that’s not true for the Huawei Honor 8X. The phone has a stylish design that resembles Huawei’s premium phones and the screen size maxes out at 6.5 inches. Similar to its predecessor, you get a full HD+ resolution, but the notch means that the aspect ratio ends up at 19.5:9 and for the raw power, its way more powerful than the 7X thanks to a new Kirin 710 chipset that brings AI capabilities we’ve gotten used to seeing on the likes of Honor 10 and Honor Play that have the Kirin 970 chipset on board.

Specs
  • 6.5-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ LCD screen
  • Kirin 710 chipset
  • 4GB or 6GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • Dual 20MP + 2MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3750mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4 and 5GHz), GPS, GLONASS, etc.

The Honor 8X hasn’t started selling in markets outside China, but locally, it’s available for an equivalent of about $205 or INR 14,700, so we expect pricing in the U.S. and India to range there.

As you wait for the Honor 8X, you can check out the Huawei P20 Lite below that shares the same processor as the Honor 7X, but with a promise to receive Android 9 Pie update.

Huawei P20 Lite

P20-Lite-1

Huawei’s tri-lens heroics on the P20 Pro might have cast a shade on the Huawei P20 Lite, but you are getting a great device at a good price, especially now that it has already seen some discounts since launch. The device favors notch lovers and doesn’t disappoint with its flashy design. Its processor is not as fast as the P20 and P20 Pro, but this is what you get when you don’t pay a premium.

  • 5.84-inch FHD+ LCD display
  • Kirin 659 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • 16MP + 2MP rear camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

In India, the Huawei P20 Lite has a price tag of INR 20,000 and even though not officially sold in the U.S., Amazon has it priced at about $285.

→ Buy Huawei P20 Lite: USA | UK | Europe | India

Related: Best Huawei phones | Best Honor phones


Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (5 Pro in India)

Redmi-Note-5-Pro-best-phone

Outside India, Xiaomi has a device known as Redmi Note 5. No, this isn’t the same as the Redmi Note 5 sold in India, rather, it’s some kind of a rebadged Redmi Note 5 Pro with trims here and there. On the outside, the global Redmi Note 5, which sells by the tagline “AI Dual Camera Beast,” is the same device as India’s Redmi Note 5 Pro: be it the screen size and resolution, the placement of cameras and fingerprint scanner, as well as buttons. However, changes are on the inside, as seen in the specs sheet below.

Specs
  • 5.99-inch 18:9 full HD+ display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset
  • 3GB or 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB expandable storage, up to 128GB
  • Dual 12 MP + 5MP main camera
  • 13MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1. Oreo

The global Redmi Note 5 boasts plenty of AI capabilities that Xiaomi is using as a selling point and while some are gimmicky, you are paying a mere $190 for this powerful device. Even better is that it comes with Oreo 8.1 out of the box and is eligible for Android P, which may arrive later this year.

In India, the global Redmi Note 5 is available as the Redmi Note 5 Pro (the standard Redmi Note 5 in India is actually known as Redmi 5 Plus elsewhere) and can be yours for INR 14,999.

Redmi-Note-5-Pro-2

The difference between the global and Indian variant isn’t much, but the Indian Note 5 Pro gets you a 20MP sensor (slightly better?) for the selfie camera while it doesn’t have a 3GB RAM model available. It comes only in 4GB and 6GB variants. The Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched with Android 7.1.1 on board but now has been upgraded to Android 8.1, the version that powers the global variant out of the box. Rest of the specs sheet remains all the same.

→ Buy Redmi Note 5 (Note 5 Pro): USA | UK | Europe | India

Related: Best Xiaomi phones


Motorola Moto G6

moto-g6-best-budget-phone

One unfortunate thing about most of the phones above is that their availability in the U.S. isn’t official. In fact, the U.S. market is quite starved when it comes to the sub-$300 smartphone category. Still, Motorola has the Moto G6 available for purchase at $250 and when all things are said and done, this is by far one of the best sub-$300 smartphones that are officially selling in the U.S.

  • 5.7-inch 18:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC
  • 3GB or 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

It’s unfortunate the Moto G6 Plus isn’t sold in the U.S. Even so, this model has a steeper price tag that sits above the $300 mark, but of course, those in India can also grab this model at INR 22,499, which is a little over $300.

→ Buy Moto G6: USA | UK | Europe | India

Related: Best Motorola phones


Samsung Galaxy J7 2018

Galaxy-J7-Refine

Another device that those in the U.S. may have no otherwise but to settle for is the Samsung Galaxy J7 2018. Obviously, the phone is here to replace the outgoing Galaxy J7 2017, but one little problem is that not all carriers have stocked the device. Also, the fact that the Galaxy J7 2018 rocks a design that comes from 2016 is a bit disappointing, but according to Samsung, the J7 2018 focuses “on the key features that users love: sharp displays for movies and apps, great-low-light cameras that let them make the most of every moment, expandable memory for more storage, and battery life that powers their phones all day.”

  • 5.5-inch 16:9 HD TFT display
  • Exynos 7884 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 13MP front camera
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

So far, the Galaxy J7 2018 is available on Sprint and Boost Mobile as the Galaxy J7 Refine and T-Mobile is selling it as the Galaxy J7 Star. We expect to see the device arrive on other carriers too, but chances are it might do so under different names. Pricing starts at $230 but varies on different carriers. The J7 2018 has yet to be launched outside the U.S.

→ Buy Galaxy J7 2018: USA (Sprint, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile)

Related: Best Samsung phones


Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

ZenFone-Max-Pro-M1_ZB601KLZB602KL_Deepsea-Black_02Launched in India on April 23, the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) has the trending 18:9 design on a massive 6-inch panel and of course, a dual camera is also on the back. Asus says the phone is made of “a stylish 180g-light metallic body with diamond-cut edges” and has a 2.5D curved glass on top of the massive 6-inch full HD+ display screen. Despite the huge display, the company says the phone has the same physical size as a typical 5.5-inch handset.

Specs
  • 6-inch 18:9 FHD+ screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • 3/4GB RAM and 32/64GB storage
  • Dual 13MP + 5MP back camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

Looking at the ZenFone Max Pro M1 pricing, which starts at INR 10,999 (about $165), there’s no doubt Asus is here to take on Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro in the budget segment. But it’s not even the price that makes this phone even more interesting, it’s the fact that it runs a clean version of Android 8.1 Oreo. No ZenUI skin on top! Honestly, if you can get hold of this piece of hardware at its asking price in India, you won’t have a thing to regret about. Unfortunately, for the rest of the globe, GearBest is selling the 4/64GB variant at $280, which is still a great deal.

In Spain, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 has been listed at €250 for the 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM variant, meaning the base model could easily end up at under €200.

→ Buy ZenFone Max Pro M1: India | Europe

Related: Best Asus phones


Nokia 6.1

nokia_6_2-the_design-2

The OG Nokia 6 remains to be one of the best-selling devices in Nokia’s short Android history. However, the phone had one major downside – a weak Snapdragon 430 chipset. In 2018, the second-generation Nokia 6 (2018) takes care of this problem while at the same time refining the design of the handset, yet it keeps the same price tag.

The Nokia 6 2018 has a price tag of $270 in the U.S., £229 in the UK and INR 16,999 in India.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch 16:9 LCD display screen with full HD resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset
  • 3GB or 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • 16MP back camera
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One)

Thanks to Android One, Nokia 6.1 users in China are already testing Android P beta. This implies the device will receive the stable version somewhere in late Q3 or early Q4, which isn’t your daily dose with devices priced at below $300.

→ Buy Nokia 6.1: USA | UK | Europe | India

Related: Best Nokia phones

Moto One

Motorola-One

Fans of Android One have one more device to pick as their next device – the Moto One. Launched at the IFA 2018, this is the second Motorola phone under the Android One program and specs-wise, it falls just short of beating the Moto X4, but it equals the Nokia 6.1, mostly.

Specs
  • 5.9-inch 19:9 HD+ LCD display
  • Snapdragon 625 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 13MP + 2MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

At just €299, the Moto One has the trending notched display screen, a powerful Snapdragon 625 midrange processor with ample memory options and a dual-lens camera on the back. Being an Android One device, Motorola says the One will get Android Pie update soon after it goes official in October or thereabout, but availability could be limited to some parts of Europe, Asian Pacific, and Latin America.

LG Stylo 4

LG-Stylo-4-unlockedLike the name suggests, the LG Stylo 4 has a stylus and even though you won’t get the same features and capabilities as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen, it’s the closest you can get. Besides, at such an affordable price tag, you shouldn’t be expecting anything more than what is on offer, right?

It’s worth noting that the LG Stylo 4 comes in several variants and (names) depending on your carrier and region and there’s also a U.S. unlocked variant that works on all carriers.

Specs
  • 6.2-inch 18:9 FHD LCD display
  • Snapdragon 450 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB expandable storage
  • 13MP back and 5MP front cameras
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

The LG Stylo 4, which sells in other countries as the LG Q Stylus, is already available on T-Mobile and Cricket Wireless and as an unlocked variant. The latter is compatible with all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon and Sprint.

→ Buy LG Stylo 4 (LG Q Stylus): USA (Amazon, Unlocked) | UK | Europe 


Wrapping up

Moto-G6-Best-Phone

As noted from the beginning, the sub-$300 smartphone category is one of the most congested thanks to a flurry of devices from Chinese vendors like Huawei (and Honor), Vivo, Oppo, the heavily-featured Xiaomi, Lenovo, and many others.

However, we can’t have all of them on this list, but if you feel you have reason to believe your favorite sub-$300 smartphone hasn’t featured, the comment section is yours to rant all you can and we’ll listen.

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