publishUpdated   Aug 17, 2019, 12:00 pm

In our Android Phone Guide, we rank the top 10 best phones you can buy. Naturally given the pace of phone releases we are updating that list on a near-monthly basis. Now in recent years, that means prices in the neighborhood of $1,000 (at least at launch). Not everyone needs or wants to spend that much on a phone and thankfully there are still strong options that are much more affordable than those absolutely top-end devices.

So as a companion to the Best Android Phones, we’ve created a list for the Best Cheap Android Phones. These phones can still deliver an excellent user experience for hundreds less than the competition.

1. Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL

If the pricing on the standard Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL was too rich for your blood then good news, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL deliver 90% of the experience for about 50% of the price. These phones still offer an awesome stock experience and reliable updates that Pixel fans have come to love. You lose the secondary wide-angle selfie camera, but the overall camera experience is remarkably close to the original Pixel 3 and absolutely the best to be had at this price point. While you can find better specs at this price, you aren’t going to find a better total package.

Price: $399/$479

Key Features:

  • Fast and reliable updates
  • Fantastic camera
  • Headphone jack

Buy Google Pixel 3a on Amazon

Buy Google Pixel 3a XL on Amazon

2. Moto G7

While Motorola hasn’t been able to compete in the high-end market for quite a few years now, the company has continued to churn out excellent mid-tier devices at affordable prices. The Moto G7 continues that tradition at literally one quarter the price of some flagships today the phone offers an absolutely solid experience throughout. The 6.2-inch FHD display looks great and features a 19:9 aspect ratio and teardrop notch that mirrors the look of much more expensive devices. The phone also features stock Android and Moto has been pretty reliable with updates again of late. The biggest trade-off versus something like the Pixel 3a or the real high-end devices is the camera, which is adequate for snapshots, but if you are at all serious about your smartphone photography you’ll want to look another step up.

Price: $269

Key Features

  • Solid Display
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Headphone Jack

Buy Moto G7 on Amazon

3. Nokia 7.1

Nokia may not exactly be back, but the name lives on and they are doing impressive work with low to mid-tier devices. The Nokia 7.1 is a beautifully designed phone with Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and back. The 5.9-inch FHD+ screen isn’t obviously on par with flagships, but it’s bright and clear with solid viewing angles. The available microSD slot will give you plenty of space if the 64GB onboard storage isn’t enough. The phone is also part of Android One so you get to enjoy stock Android and predictable upgrades. The camera is a notable step up from the Moto G7 if that’s a priority for you, but obviously still well behind the Pixel 3a.

Price: $299

Key Features:

  • Solid Camera
  • Stock Android
  • Beautiful Design

Buy Nokia 7.1 on Amazon

4. Alcatel 3V

If pricing is your top concern then it doesn’t get much better than the Alcatel 3V, which comes in at right around $120. Obviously, at this price it isn’t going to blow you away with its specs or design, but on both counts the phone does a good job with what it has. It offers dual rear cameras which enable some bokeh effect trickery like you will find on higher-end smartphones. The 16GB of internal storage is a little tight, but you can add up to a 128GB microSD card. Given the relatively low power of the device the 3,000 mAh battery will keep you going for a full day and into a second without a problem.

Price: $119

Key Features:

  • Big 6-inch Display
  • Dual Rear Cameras
  • Bargain Price

Buy Alcatel 3V on Amazon

5. ZTE Blade Max 2S

Another entry that comes in below the $200 mark, the ZTE Blade Max 2S is at a glance fairly similar to the Alcatel 3V with a 6-inch FHD screen and a similarly understated design. So what does the extra money get you? 32GB of internal storage is probably going to be enough for some users, but if it isn’t you still have a microSD card slot available to expand. The battery is a big jump up at 4,000 mAh, which paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 should easily push you into and possibly through two days of use.

Price: $165

Key Features:

  • Great battery life
  • Big 6-Inch Screen
  • Aggressive Pricing

Buy ZTE Blade Max 2S on Amazon