The best Android phones under $100 budget

best cheap Android phones

Not everyone is after a humongous smartphone with flagship specs and features or maybe it’s just a first-time smartphone buyer looking for something perfect to test the waters. These are the people that will be okay with a $100 smartphone, which is why we are here to help you pick out the best of them all.

When going for anything that costs $100 and below, you’ll have to forget about the flashy designs we are used to seeing on $400+ smartphones, speedy performance, near DSLR-quality photos, and premium features like wireless charging, fast charging, IP6X certification, biometric authentication, and so on.

Still, you won’t be short of great phones that will get the job done, even with some still managing to throw in one or two of these premium features.

In this regard, here are our top picks for the best Android phones you can buy at $100 and below.

Best Android phones under 0 [September 2018]

Nokia 2

Nokia-2-1Nokia’s return to the smartphone industry has been welcomed by many, especially die-hard Android fans with a special place in their hearts for clean software. Like the typical Nokia we know, the company has already left a mark in every price category in the smartphone market and at the bottom end is the Nokia 2 (there’s also Nokia 1, but there’s no reason to buy it when you can have something better at nearly the same price), which offers clean software, good performance, a huge battery and a promise for regular updates at just under $100.

Specs
  • 5-inch HD LCD display
  • Snapdragon 212 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB expandable storage
  • 8MP main camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 4100mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat

The Nokia 2 might not be the most powerful device in this price category, but it gets the job done. What the device enjoys and others on this list don’t is the promise of regular software updates that include Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition) and even Android P (Go edition). The fact that the Nokia 2 is also available for purchase in multiple markets, including the U.S., also makes it our top choice for the best phone under $100.

→ Buy Nokia 2: USA | UK | Europe | India

Related: The best Nokia phones to buy in 2018


Moto E5 Play

Moto-E5-PlayMotorola is another company that rides on the back of clean software and this is exactly what you get on the Moto E5 Play. Although it doesn’t match the design language of the other Motorola phones released in 2018, that is, the 18:9 display aspect ratio, you get more powerful hardware than the Nokia 2 as well as the latest Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

Specs
  • 5.2-inch HD LCD display
  • Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB expandable storage
  • 8MP main camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2800mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

Unlike the Nokia 2, though, the Moto E5 Play has a smaller battery unit and won’t be a regular when it comes to software updates. In fact, there won’t be an update to Android P for this device, but given that several U.S. carriers are selling it at greatly reduced prices ($70 on Verizon, $80 on Boost Mobile and $100 on Cricket Wireless), you can’t really complain.

Even more interesting is that the Moto E5 Play comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, supports fast charging technology and the battery is also removable, which is a rarity today. It might not be easy getting hold of a Moto E5 Play handset outside the U.S., but there’s an Android Go variant headed to Europe and Latin America.

→ Buy Moto E5 Play: USA 

Related: The best Motorola phones to buy in 2018


Alcatel 1X

Alcatel-1XThe Alcatel 1X is the first from the company under Google’s Android Go initiative, which also makes it one of the few devices available in the U.S. at under $100. In fact, you might be blown away with what you get on this device for this price tag, among them the trending 18:9 aspect ratio, a fingerprint scanner, and support for LTE and NFC connectivity, among others.

Specs
  • 5.3-inch 18:9 (960x480p) LCD display
  • MediaTek 6739 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB expandable storage
  • 8MP main camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2460mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

Note that the Alcatel 1X is only compatible with GSM carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T, so make sure you confirm with your carrier before grabbing one of these. For those in Europe, you might get the non-Go edition, which runs on full-blown Oreo 8.0.

→ Buy Alcatel 1X: USA | UK | Europe

Related: The best Android Go phones to buy right now


Xiaomi Redmi 6A

Redmi-6A-2

Folks in the U.S. don’t have such a huge collection of $100 smartphones, but other markets like Asia, Europe and Africa are spoilt for choice. Top of the list is the Xiaomi Redmi 6A, a device that offers a full version of Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box (with a promise for Android Pie later), a solid build, a decent battery unit, and top-notch specs for its price tag.

Specs
  • 5.45-inch 18:9 HD+ LCD display
  • MediaTek Helio A22 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB expandable storage
  • 13MP main camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, upgradable to Android Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, face unlock, 4G LTE, etc.

The Redmi 5A can be had for less than $100 in various markets the device is sold officially, but for those in the U.S. and other markets that Xiaomi doesn’t have established channels and still wish to grab one of these, the likes of Amazon and GearBest are your safest bet. Unfortunately, the Redmi 6A has yet to arrive in most markets following its official launch in India in September 2018, but we’ll update this post with download links for other markets if and when we get them.

You can read more about the Redmi 6A here and here.

→ Buy Redmi 6A: India

Related: The best Xiaomi phones to buy in 2018


Infinix Hot 6

Infinix-Hot-6

You’ve probably never heard of a Chinese company by the name Infinix Mobility. Well, there’s always a first time and there’s no better way to test the waters than going for the Infinix Hot 6, the latest of the many budget smartphones it sells in parts of Asia and Africa.

Specs
  • 6-inch 18:9 HD+ LCD display
  • Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB expandable storage
  • 13MP main camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

Besides getting a solid specs sheet, the Infinix Hot 6 also packs a bunch of cool additions, among them a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, face unlock, fast battery charging technology, dual speakers, and Dirac Audio Technology. The icing on the cake is that the Oreo 8.1 version is based on Android Go, which makes it a perfect match for the modest performance specs on board. Unfortunately, the Infinix Hot 6 won’t take you past 3G in terms of connectivity, but still, this is a steal for first-time smartphone owners at just $100.

Getting hold of the Infinix Hot 6 can be a problem and unless the company has established channels in your market, you might miss out on this gadget. Still, this list should be enough to take care of your sub-$100 smartphone needs.


What’s your pick for the best Android smartphone priced at below $100? Share with us in your comments below.

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A fan of all things Android. Not the geeky stuff, but the cool stuff. If not buried deep into the latest trends in technology, you'll find me enjoying a game of football. Real football. Oh, and I'm a staunch Chelsea FC fan.

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