Finest Telephones Beneath $300 in 2024

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$200 at Amazon

Image of Moto G Power 5G (2023)

Finest for a giant media library

Moto G Energy 5G (2023)


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$320 at Amazon

Image of Google Pixel 6A

Finest telephone you need to truly get — so long as it is on sale

Google Pixel 6A


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Smartphones have been getting an increasing number of costly, particularly flagship units, however some wallet-friendly smartphones are on the market that provide a style of premium options for lower than $300. These funds telephones could make calls, ship texts, and run most apps and video games for a whole lot of {dollars} lower than the iPhone 15 or Galaxy S23. Inexpensive telephones additionally present entry to 5G, which is vital if you wish to maintain onto your gadget for some time, and a few even include a built-in stylus. In the event you’ve been on the lookout for the most effective telephones beneath $300, then hold studying.

I’ll degree with you: We now have but to make use of a telephone within the $200 to $300 worth vary that seems like a superb worth. The best possible picks on this class are usually costlier units which are steadily discounted to $299 when on sale. As an illustration, Google’s $349 Pixel 6A is among the many greatest telephones for beneath $500 and it is typically discounted to $299. That stated, there are some good perks on telephones which are commonly between $200 to $300 together with extra storage, sooner charging and first rate cameras. Many of those even include a headphone jack and expandable storage — each of that are uncommon in telephones that value $400 or extra.

What’s the greatest telephone beneath $300?

One of the best telephone you should purchase for beneath $300 if the Google Pixel 6A is not on sale is the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. The telephone’s 50-watt charging is really quick, capable of refill its battery from 0% to 100% in 45 minutes. The telephone comes with 128GB of storage with 8GB of RAM and has a big 6.72-inch 1,080p show with a 120Hz refresh charge. The telephone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chip is succesful sufficient to run most apps. Though the telephone does include a 108-megapixel foremost digicam, the images it takes are first rate however removed from spectacular. That latter level is a giant cause why the Pixel 6A is tempting when it is discounted since its Tensor chip and photograph processing make its 12.2-megapixel digicam take sharp, detail-filled footage. If the OnePlus Nord N30 5G finally ends up being what suits your funds, it is one of the feature-rich choices you may get for beneath $300.  

Finest telephones beneath $300

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G contains plenty of options for the cash, however its 50-watt charging pace is a standout for this worth vary. The telephone can cost from 0% to 100% in 45 minutes, and most different telephones that value $300 or much less want 90 minutes to 2 hours to do the identical factor. Its massive 6.72-inch 1,080p show runs at a 120Hz refresh charge and in addition makes apps, video games, web sites and streaming video animate easily.

It is price calling out that the 108-megapixel foremost digicam — regardless of being an astounding megapixel quantity on a telephone — takes images which are solely marginally higher than what I normally see from telephones on this worth vary. Meaning it might take good, detail-filled images in out of doors settings with loads of gentle. Photographs taken in darker settings are a wrestle for the N30, with indoor images wanting washed out or blurry.

The telephone may also solely get one software program replace to Android 14 together with three years of safety updates — which is a mean timeline for this worth vary, but nonetheless disappointingly quick.

Whereas the OnePlus does face stiff competitors from Google’s Pixel 6A — particularly when the Pixel is discounted to $299 — it does embody plenty of performance for its worth.

Professionals:

  • Actually quick charging
  • Massive 120Hz refresh-rate display screen
  • NFC for contactless funds

Cons:

  • Photographs are a combined bag
  • Quick software-update timeline

The Moto G Energy 5G is at the moment the most cost effective telephone I am conscious of that has 256GB of inner cupboard space. It is plenty of area and is ideal for somebody who downloads plenty of motion pictures and music to get pleasure from when you do not have a constant web connection. The telephone’s 6.5-inch 1,080p show runs at a clean 120Hz refresh charge too, making motion pictures, functions, web sites and video games look particularly good.

In the event you want much more area, you’ll be able to broaden it additional with a microSD card. Like many telephones within the $200 to $300 worth vary, the Energy 5G features a headphone jack.

Whereas Motorola makes the Energy 5G a media machine for its worth, it does reduce by way of its cameras. Like many telephones on this worth vary, it is good for out of doors images however is kind of unhealthy at getting particulars in low-light environments.

If what you want is a number of cupboard space above all else, the Moto G Energy 5G is price a glance.

Professionals:

  • Nice display screen for its worth
  • 256GB of storage
  • Works on all three US carriers

Cons:

  • Digital camera is mediocre
  • Gradual charging
  • No NFC for cellular funds

Reviewing the $258 TCL Stylus 5G was a journey for me final 12 months. Specs-wise, it has rather a lot that I loved. The telephone’s TCL NxtVision HDR setting supplied enhanced colours after I performed video games, TCL made minimal adjustments to Android 12 and I particularly loved the magnetic stylus that matches securely into its personal slot on the telephone.

The massive cause why my evaluation took 4 months is due to repetitive software program bugs that make the telephone in any other case powerful to suggest. I skilled frequent restarts whereas utilizing the telephone and Bluetooth connectivity points, the latter of which was finally fastened by means of a software program replace. This telephone can also be locked to T-Cell fully, so it might’t be used on different carriers and is full of T-Cell apps which are difficult to take away.

In the event you completely will need to have a stylus and your funds is beneath $300, this is likely one of the higher total picks. Be cautious of software program points, and keep in mind the telephone is just getting one main software program replace together with two years of safety updates.

Professionals:

  • Huge display screen, with good HDR mode
  • Clear model of Android 12
  • Magnetic stylus

Cons:

  • Software program bugs steadily affect usability
  • T-Cell bloatware
  • Fuzzy video high quality

The Mild Cellphone 2 is a really totally different form of telephone. It is meant for individuals looking for freedom from the fixed stream of notifications, however nonetheless need a telephone that appears good. Regardless of its considerably restricted performance, this telephone nonetheless prices $299.  

The Mild Cellphone 2 helps texts, telephone calls, music playback, podcasts, cellular hotspot performance and restricted GPS assist for instructions on its E Ink display screen. It doesn’t have a digicam, internet browser, e mail entry or different widespread apps like information or messaging apps.

My colleague Jessica Fierro gave the Mild Cellphone 2 a attempt, and she or he loved how the telephone helped her keep extra centered on the world round her. She discovered the slower texting pace on the E Ink show to be difficult to regulate to, and couldn’t totally make the change as a result of for work she wants a point of social media entry to remain up to date on tendencies. 

The absence of many trendy options is the whole level of the Mild Cellphone 2. It is a gadget for individuals who deliberately simply need important communications on a display screen that is extra like a Kindle’s show than the one you’d discover on a Samsung Galaxy gadget.

The Mild Cellphone 2 is actually not for everyone, but it surely might be price contemplating for somebody who desires their telephone to do much less. Followers of standard telephones ought to take into account the wealth of characteristic telephones and flip telephones that also exist first — which are sometimes free with a provider deal or accessible for beneath $100.

Professionals:

  • E Ink show
  • Lacks cameras
  • Lacks web connectivity

Cons:

  • Lacks cameras
  • Lacks web connectivity

Admittedly, I am dishonest by getting this telephone into the checklist, however Google’s Pixel 6A has been discounted to $320 rather a lot recently and is a simple advice when it has been discounted right into a funds telephone vary.

Usually $349, the Pixel 6A received our Editors’ Alternative Award final 12 months. In her evaluation, CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco praised the telephone for its nice digicam, Pixel-exclusive options like Magic Eraser, its colourful design and being among the many first to get new Android updates. 

Though Google has since launched the $499 Pixel 7A, the Pixel 6A remains to be getting two extra years of software program updates and 4 extra years of safety updates. This implies it is going to proceed getting new Android options and assist from Google, and that remaining timeline remains to be greater than you may see from new 2023 telephones that value between $200 and $300.

Professionals:

  • Nice digicam
  • Inexpensive worth
  • Premium design for a middle-tier telephone

Cons:

  • Dim show
  • Not as a few years of assured Android updates as Samsung
  • Video high quality is not pretty much as good because the images

The $300 Motorola Moto G Energy 5G is at the moment the most cost effective telephone with 256GB of storage. It is excellent for somebody who downloads plenty of motion pictures and music to get pleasure from after they haven’t got a constant web connection. The telephone’s 6.5-inch 1,080-pixel show runs at a clean 120Hz refresh charge too, making motion pictures, functions, web sites and video games look particularly good. Whereas Motorola makes the Energy 5G a media machine for its worth, it does reduce by way of its cameras. Like many $300 telephones, it is good for out of doors images however is kind of unhealthy at getting particulars in low-light environments.


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These cheaper units are likely to cut back considerably in a single space or one other in an effort to obtain these low costs. Mostly, these drawbacks embody restricted software program assist, provider assist or bloatware (preloaded apps that you simply by no means requested for). These trade-offs typically imply that these units shouldn’t be used after two to 3 years, particularly after safety replace assist ends.

It is also notable that whereas these telephones retail for $200 to $300, lots of them are sometimes accessible at a deep low cost — and even without cost — as a part of a provider subsidy deal. In case you are planning to stay with the identical wi-fi provider for 2 years, these telephones may simply grow to be a part of the price of your service.


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Each telephone on this checklist has been totally examined by CNET’s professional opinions group. We truly use the telephone, check the options, play video games and take images. We assess any advertising and marketing guarantees that an organization makes about its telephones. If we discover one thing we do not like, be it battery life or construct high quality, we let you know all about it. 

We study each side of a telephone throughout testing:

  • Show
  • Design and really feel
  • Processor efficiency
  • Battery life
  • Digital camera high quality
  • Options

We check all of a telephone’s cameras (each back and front) in quite a lot of circumstances: from open air beneath daylight to dimmer indoor locales and nighttime scenes (for any accessible night time modes). We additionally examine our findings in opposition to equally priced fashions. We now have a sequence of real-world battery checks to see how lengthy a telephone lasts beneath on a regular basis use.

We take into consideration further telephone options like 5G, fingerprint and face readers, styluses, quick charging, foldable shows and different helpful extras. We additionally weigh all of our experiences and testing in opposition to the value so whether or not a telephone represents good worth or not.

Learn extra: How We Check Telephones


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What about Apple’s iPhone?

Apple doesn’t at the moment promote any iPhone choices between $200 and $300. The most affordable new iPhone you may get is the iPhone SE at $429. That iPhone is a superb worth for its quick processor and nice digicam, however held again by its dated design that harkens again to the iPhone 6, 7 and eight.

In the event you do not thoughts getting a preowned gadget and wish one thing with a much bigger display screen, as of this writing Verizon sells a 64GB iPhone 11 for $275.

You may also get the 2020 model of the iPhone SE as a refurbished mannequin between $200 and $300 on web sites like Amazon and Finest Purchase, however beware of every retailer’s insurance policies for refurbished units. Be particularly certain to test that the refurbished gadget features a guarantee for repairs, since with out one you might have to pay Apple or one other retailer a excessive worth for a display screen restore or different unintentional injury.


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Finest telephones beneath $300: OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. Moto G Energy 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G vs. Google Pixel 6A

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OnePlus Nord N30 5G Moto G Energy 5G (2023) TCL Stylus 5G Google Pixel 6A
Show measurement, decision 6.72-inch FHD (1080p decision); 120Hz refresh charge 6.5-inch LCD show; 2,400 x 1,080 pixels; 120Hz refresh charge 6.81-inch FHD+ show (1,080 x 2,400 pixels) 6.1-inch OLED; (1,080 x 2,400); 60Hz
Pixel density 391 ppi 405 ppi 395 ppi 429 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 6.51 x 2.99 x 0.32 in. 6.41 x 2.94 x 0.33 in. 6.67 x 3.01 x 0.35 in. 6.0 x 2.8 x 0.35 in.
Dimensions (millimeters) 165.5 x 76 x 8.3 mm 163 x 75 x 8.45 mm 169.6 x 76.5 x 8.9 mm 152.2 x 7.18 x 8.9 mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 6.97 oz. (195 g) 6.52 oz. (185 g) 7.51 oz. (213 g) 6.3 oz. (178 g)
Cell software program Android 13 Android 13 Android 12 Android 12
Digital camera 108-megapixel foremost, 2-megapixel macro, 2-megapixel depth sensing 50-megapixel (foremost), 2-megapixel (macro), 2-megapixel (depth sensor) 50-megapixel (foremost), 5-megapixel (extensive), 2-megapixel (macro), 2-megapixel (depth sensor) 12.2-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel extremely extensive)
Entrance-facing digicam 16-megapixel 16-megapixel 13-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video seize 1080p at 30fps 720p at 60 fps 1080p at 30fps 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 MediaTek Dimensity 930 MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G Google Tensor
RAM/Storage 8GB + 128GB 4GB RAM + 128GB; 6GB RAM + 256GB 4GB/128GB 6GB RAM/128GB storage
Expandable storage Sure Sure As much as 2TB None
Battery/Charger 5,000 mAh (50W wired charging) 5,000 mAh (15W wired charging pace, 10W adapter included) 4,000 mAh; 18W charging 4,410 mAh capability; 18W quick charging (adapter bought individually)
Fingerprint sensor Facet Facet Facet fingerprint sensor Beneath show
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Sure Sure Sure None
Particular options 50W SuperVooc quick charging, 108-megapixel foremost digicam, sport mode, twin stereo audio system Estimated 38-hour battery life, Moto Gestures, stereo audio system Stylus with built-in storage, producitivity software program, NxtVision HDR mode 5G-enabled, 18W quick charging, WiFi 6E, safety updates for five years, Android OS updates for 3 years, twin SIM, IP67 water resistance
Value off-contract (USD) $270 $250 $258 $349 ($299 when on sale)
Value (GBP) Converts to £238 Converts to £240 £349
Value (AUD) Converts to AU$443 Converts to AU$445 AU$599



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