The best budget Android phones under $400

best budget android phone 400usd

In a smartphone world that is experiencing annual price hikes like never before, the cool thing is that you still don’t have to spend close to upwards of $800 just so as to get your hands on best specs and even quality experience. If you look closely — and with our help — you can identify a damn good phone that can serve you very well, doesn’t compromise on camera and design, and still cost you just about $400. Or less.

The constant price increment year after year in the premium Android phone segment has given birth to a new crop of smartphones that bring along nearly all the bells and whistles you’d expect on flagship phones of $800 and beyond, yet priced reasonably between $300 and $500 or thereabout.

So, if your budget is about 400USD, or its equivalent of course, like INR 27,000, then you just need to check out the phones listed on this page for your next buy.

These are the phones we have got our nod to be the best among the all Android phones available in the $400 range, and we think they will greatly satisfy your needs. Read on.

Best Android phones under $400 [December 2018]

Android Phones U.S. Price UK  India Price
Xiaomi Poco F1 NA £330 INR 20,999
Nokia 8.1 Price to be confirmed Price to be confirmed Price to be confirmed
Xiaomi Mi A2 NA £240 INR 16,999
Nokia 7.1 $350 £320 INR 19,999
Huawei Nova 3i/Huawei P20 Lite $270 (P20 Lite) NA INR 20,990
Vivo V9 $320 £255 INR 18,990
Xperia XA2 Ultra $400 £349 INR 30,500
BlackBerry KEYone $350 £370 INR 31,990
Moto G6 Plus $320 £239 INR 22,499

The above table presents you the best Android phone you can get if your plan is to spend about $400.

They are listed in the order of preference, but we can help you further by categorizing them as per users’ needs.

Android Phone Why this phone Suitability
Xiaomi Poco F1 If you think of OnePlus as the flagship killer, think of the Poco F1 as the “flagship killer, killer”. Powerful specs, great camera, a long-lasting battery, the latest MIUI software with Android Pie promised in Q4 2018, but don’t expect any stunning looks on this device. Power users. It’s not about style, but raw power and performance.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Great value for money. The best camera, and the latest Android OS with faster updates directly from Google. Professional build and a great design. Being an Android One phone, Android Pie should be in the pipeline sooner than later. Though, if you want a stylish phone with a striking colorful glass back, you won’t find it here. Anyone, literally. Not for those, especially young boys and girls, who want a very stylish phone.
Nokia 8.1 A great piece of hardware that boasts the most premium midrange processor, a top-notch ZEISS-backed camera, a huge battery to match the equally huge display screen, and pure Android OS that promises timely software updates. And yes, notch lovers will have fun with this one. Android enthusiasts running on a budget, but clean software and timely updates are a top priority.
Huawei Nova 3i Best designed phone in the category. The stylish and elegant glass back catches the eye easily. Choose the blue color if you want a very trendy device. Gives even the $800 and up devices a run for the money when it comes to looks. Specs are pretty good while the camera and everything else is superb too for the price. You will need a case to protect the glass from fall and scratches but it is worth it. Young boys and girls, and Moms. Dads can pick up decent color, too.
Huawei P20 Lite Same as Nova 3i, but slightly, very slightly, inferior specs. Young boys and girls, even Moms. Dads can pick up decent color, too.
Nokia 7.1 Another superb device that looks great and performs very well. It may not look the most stylish, but it gets you a great device, great build quality, solid performance, impressive camera and great battery life. Did we tell you it has great software support too thanks to being an Android One device. Slightly costly though, but for folks in the U.S., it doesn’t get any better than this. Dad. And office goers who want a reliable and solid phone.
Moto G6 Plus This phone keeps alive what is known of the Moto G series by rocking a great build and specs. The camera is also great at its price and the fact that it runs near-stock Android Oreo out of the box and a promise to get Pie makes it one of the best in this segment. Of course, Motorola could have done better, especially on the battery capacity and probably processor, but still, you get long battery life and great performance Motorola has a somewhat loyal fan base, but anyone looking for a great phone without breaking the bank can grab this one too.
Vivo V9 Another great device, with good color options. Brings Vivo’s great hardware reliability and camera performance, which is why you should go for this. Not to mention the ease of buying it offline and getting it serviced if the need be, because Vivo dealerships and service centers are easiest to find. But if you want updates, don’t go with this one. May not be available in many countries. Anyone. Choose the blue color if you want a non-sober look.
Xperia XA2 Ultra Brings Sony’s Sony-thingies. For Sony fans, that’s it. And yes, ofc, your Dad.
BlackBerry KEYone Gets you a physical keyboard, and everything else is good, too. Anyone who must have a physical keyboard.

Xiaomi Poco F1

Poco-F1-smartphone

OnePlus gained popularity due to cramming as many premium specs they could lay their hands on in devices priced on the cheap. Well, this is the exact thing Xiaomi is doing with the Poco F1. The phone has premium hardware specs similar to what is used in the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, Xperia XZ3, LG G7 and so on, but to get to its asking price of just $300, Xiaomi had to take some shortcuts, the most prominent one being the design language.

The Poco F1 isn’t the most beautiful phone in this category, but it’s the most powerful device this kind of money can buy.

Specs
  • 6.2-inch 19:9 FHD+ (2248×1080) LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB or 8GB RAM
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 20MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, upgradable to Pie

The Poco F1 was launched in India and has since found its way to other markets in Europe and Asia, but it won’t be sold in the U.S. officially. Of course, we expect to see the F1 on Amazon at some point, which is when we’ll update this post with the device’s purchase link in the country.

Nokia 8.1

Nokia-8.1-1

The Nokia 8 was a flagship phone that came with a premium price tag, but the story is different from the phone’s successor, the Nokia 8.1. You are getting a mixed bag of premium and midrange specs and features that blend perfectly to bring you a phone that should deliver on all fronts – be it design, performance, photography, battery life, and of course, timely software updates.

The Nokia 8.1, however, will unlikely come to the U.S. officially, but of course, with Amazon capable of pulling strings, we should get one available stateside probably before the end of 2018 or in 2019.

Specs
  • 6.18-inch 18.7:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 13MP main camera with ZEISS optics and OIS
  • 20MP front camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Rear-mounted FPS, Face unlock, 18W fast charging, etc.

If clean software is what you really want but the Nokia 8.1 seems a little overpriced at €400, well, there is the Xiaomi Mi A2 to turn to.

Xiaomi Mi A2

Mi-A2_10

Xiaomi’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 24 July 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
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB 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.

Related: Mi A2 camera port download for Redmi Note 5 Pro

Huawei Nova 3i

nova3i-listimage-black

Launched alongside the premium Nova 3, the Huawei Nova 3i is basically a Huawei P20 Lite with beefier hardware specs and features, but somehow still manages to keep the price affordable. Valued at INR 20,990, the Huawei Nova 3i is at the moment limited to the Indian market (although it’s already available in China too) and while Huawei hasn’t said a thing regarding the global availability, we should see the device’s wider availability kick off in the coming weeks.

  • 6.3-inch 19:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Kirin 710 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Dual 16MP + 2MP main camera
  • Dual 24MP + 2MP front camera
  • 3340mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

The Nova 3i is the first from Huawei to feature the new Kirin 710 chipset, the successor to the Kirin 659 that features on the P20 Lite and a flurry of other Huawei phones. The phone also promises great photography thanks to four AI-powered cameras and plenty of room to store the photos and videos you capture.

Huawei P20 Lite

Huawei another device, the P20 Lite, deserves a mention here. It’s only slightly inferior to the Nova 3i in the spec sheet, but on the outset, it’s almost the same design. This is an incredible device too, and if the Nova 3i is not available in your market, you should simply be looking at the Huawei P20 Lite — you get the stylish design that we find in the Nova 3i too, while its performance and specs are also top-notch for its asking price.

Get Huawei P20 Lite at Amazon USA


Nokia 7.1

Nokia-7.1Nokia’s decision to go with Android One is proving to be a masterstroke as many people, especially from the west, are gradually falling in love with the Finnish company, just like before Android took over the mobile phone industry. In the Nokia 7.1, you have a device that will leave you with little to regret, especially if you think of the amount you are paying to get the phone.

Specs
  • 5.84-inch 19:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • 3GB or 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB expandable storage, up to 400GB
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3060mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, Pie update available
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, rear-mounted FPS, etc.

At about $350 in the U.S. or INR 20,000 in India, the Nokia 7.1 offers an experience that is usually associated with devices valued at twice this amount. Whether it’s the build quality, snappy performance thanks to the capable Snapdragon 636 processor and clean Android OS, or even the trending display design that features a notch, the Nokia 7.1 has them.

Be it that you want a device that will get you timely software updates without spending the kind of money Google wants you to splash on the Pixel phones, a device that will last at least a day on a single charge or one that takes good enough photos for sharing on Instagram and other platforms, the Nokia 7.1 has plenty of answers for you.

Related:


Moto G6 Plus

Moto-G6-Plus

Motorola’s Moto G6 Plus is one of the best you can find in the midrange segment. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable options on this list, but you are still getting a solid device ready to offer great day-to-day performance. It also rocks the latest form factor with an 18:9 display aspect ratio, but the fingerprint scanner is still front-mounted.

Specs
  • 5.9-inch 18:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Snapdragon 630 SoC
  • 4/6GB RAM
  • 64/128GB of storage
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3200mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

The Moto G6 Plus is not the most powerful on this list, but it’s also not the most expensive. In fact, the device packs the same processor as the costlier Xperia XA2 Ultra, but the Sony midranger justifies its price tag with the inclusion of things like a better camera combination and a bigger battery unit.

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

Xperia-XA2-Ultra-1

Sony might be having a turbulent time in the smartphone industry, but the Japanese tech giant isn’t done yet. The year 2018 marked the company’s first major redesign for its smartphone lineup and this makeover was led by the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra.

Specs
  • 6-inch 16:9 FHD LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset
  • 4GB RAM and 32/64GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • 23MP main camera
  • Dual 16MP + 8MP selfie camera
  • 3580mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo, eligible for Android Pie

In the Xperia XA2 Ultra, you have an excellent 6-inch display screen with a 1080p resolution, but the trademark bezels on Sony phones are no more, but it’s still far from a bezel-less design. The device’s sheer size means that it can also accommodate a huge battery unit of 3580mAh and as usual, Sony’s take on Android doesn’t leave the interface cluttered but minimal and fast.

This time around, you get a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a beastly 23MP shooter on the rear panel backed by a dual 16MP + 8MP front camera with OIS and autofocus, making it one the best in the business. But since the Xperia XA2 Ultra only works with GSM carriers, those on the likes of Verizon and Sprint will miss out on this great device.

Right now, you can grab the Xperia XA2 Ultra from Amazon and other retailers for a little under $400. If you are not a fan of big screens, you can as well grab the 5.2-inch Xperia XA2 that basically comes with the same specs and features as its bigger counterpart but with a few sacrifices here and there, hence the cheaper price tag of about $320.

RelatedXperia XA2 Ultra: All you need to know


Vivo V9

Vivo-V9

Vivo will go down in the books of history as the first smartphone vendor to unveil a smartphone with an in-display fingerprint scanner. There’s the Vivo X21 and the Vivo Nex S. While the former can easily be had at about $500 or thereabout, what made it lose a spot on our list of the best Android phones at $500 and below is the undisputed OnePlus 6. The two have the same price tag and while the OnePlus 6 lacks the game-changing in-display fingerprint scanner, it offers the best bang for your buck when all is said and done.

On the brighter side, there’s the Vivo V9, a phone that has a lot to offer, especially in terms of photography, as seen in the specs sheet below.

Specs
  • 6.3-inch 19:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • Dual 16MP + 5MP main camera
  • 24MP front camera
  • 3260mAh non-removable battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

At slightly under $350, the Vivo V9 offers a lot more than you can imagine. Backed by the impressive Snapdragon 626 processor alongside 4GB of RAM, the V9 promises great performance no matter what you throw at it. It gets even better when matters of photography come into play and this is even evident when you look at the camera specs, on paper. But you don’t have to rely on on-paper specs because we have a full review right below.

Related:


BlackBerry KEYone

BlackBerry-KEYone

What if you want something out of the norm? Well, the BlackBerry KEYone is what to go for. This, by all means, is a niche device that not so many will want to have as their daily driver, but if you miss having a physical keyboard on a phone, there’s no other that is as good as the KEYone at below $400. This is also a device that productivity junkies will have little to regret about because it also comes with a decent hardware package under the hood coupled with a big battery to last you a full day or more on a single charge.

Specs
  • 4.5-inch FHD LCD display
  • Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 3GB or 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat, upgradable to Oreo

Even though the BlackBerry KEYone doesn’t come preinstalled with Android Oreo like other phones on this list, it has an update to Android Oreo ready for you. However, the phone’s Android P update status remains unclear, but security updates should keep flowing in at least for another year or so.

Wrapping up

Despite the ever-increasing smartphone prices, you don’t have to spend an arm and leg just to get a phone that does all you want in the most satisfying way possible. While this category is quite overcrowded, it also means that confusion is bound to happen, especially for those who don’t really know what they are looking for in a phone.

But with this list of the best Android phones priced below $400, we believe we’ve solved your problems. If anything, these are the devices that are here to define what a premium budget phone really is.


What if I can spend about 10% more?

We also have a few flagship phones from yesteryear that have now been massively discounted and can make good daily drivers despite their age. They aren’t exactly under $400, but they are near that figure and thus deserves your attention. And yes, if you so decide to raise your budget by merely 10%, to $440, there are some great choices available. But before that do check out coverage of best Android devices for $300 and $500.

So, if you decide to spend up to $450, let’s see what we have.

High on the list is the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which may run just about $420 approximately, but is worth for the quality camera, superb display, and it even has the Oreo update available. Given Samsung strong network and support center, S7 is a good choice. So, if you are not a pro user, the S7 may still serve you well, but we do have an even better alternative right below, that upgrades the specs by a notch.

If you can add a few dollars more to your budget and are comfortable spending about $450, then buying an Essential phone could be the best choice. It comes packed with the same processor as the Galaxy S8, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, and gives you a stunning body, and an incredible display size in a very small body. It’s totally worth the $450.

You can also check out the phones selling for $400 and around at the Best Buy (or similar website for your country) to get more idea of the best phones available in this range.

Lastly, if none of the devices above meet your needs to your satisfaction, then you may be better off looking at what spending $500 on Android smartphones can get you. There are some incredible options in Asus ZenFone 5Z, the Honor View 10 and Honor 10, etc. handsets that easily justify the extra $100 asked.

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