If you're on a tight budget but in need of a phone upgrade, there are many solid smartphone options that cost $300 or less. Several of our favorite mobile phone devices are from Motorola, which is unsurprising given that the company has made feature-rich budget phones for years now. In addition to its newest phones, the Moto G Stylus and G Power, Motorola's G phones from 2019 are also still available for cheap. On top of that, there are a couple of Android phone handsets from other phone makers that we recommend as well.
A budget phone may be less expensive, but many of these still offer features that enthusiasts crave, including wireless charging, a great front camera and rear camera and even an elusive headphone jack! To see our top picks, check out the list below and read CNET's reviews. We'll update this list as we review new phones. Note that we've linked to the unlocked version of each phone, and they should run on most of the big four US wireless carriers, unless specified otherwise.
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Motorola Moto G Stylus
If you're looking for a cell phone that serves as a cheaper Note 10 alternative, the $300 Moto G Stylus device features a stylus that you can store inside the phone along with built-in Notes app to help with productivity. The phone also has a triple-rear camera, 128GB of internal storage and a robust 4,000-mAh battery. Read our Moto G Stylus review.
$300 at Amazon $300 at Motorola $250 at Best Buy
Samsung Galaxy A50
Angela Lang/CNET ED I T O R S ’ C H O I C E Aug 2019
Although the Galaxy A50 came out last year (and is the predecessor to the newly announced A51 phone), it's still a great phone. Plus, at $250 it's even cheaper than when it first launched. The phone has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, an in-screen fingerprint reader and a headphone jack. On the back, the three cameras include a wide angle lens as well as a "depth lens," which is used to take portrait shots with blurry, dramatic backgrounds. Read our Samsung Galaxy A50 review.
$300 at Amazon $300 at Samsung
Motorola Moto G Power
The new Moto G Power is a tad cheaper than the G Stylus at $250, but it packs a robust 5,000-mAh battery. During our testing, it lasted an impressive four days without a charge. The phone has three rear cameras (on of which is a macro lens), a 6.4-inch display and expandable memory. Read our Moto G Power review.
$250 at B&H Photo-Video $250 at Motorola $250 at Best Buy
Available for under $200, the midrange LG K40 debuted in 2019 and features a 5.7-inch display, a fingerprint sensor and a 13-megapixel camera. The phone is powered by an octa-core processor and a 3,000-mAh battery. Read the LG K40 hands-on.
$180 at LG
Motorola Moto G7
Angela Tang/CNET ED I T O R S ’ C H O I C E Apr 2019
The Moto G7 may not be as cheap as its G7 Play (see below) counterpart, but at $300, it's still a good deal. Though its single speaker doesn't offer the greatest sound, and it takes mediocre low-light photos and video, the Moto G7 has a rear dual camera setup, an enduring battery life and a sleek design. It also charges quickly, which is useful when you need to juice up while on the go. Read our Motorola Moto G7 review.
$300 at Amazon
Motorola Moto G7 Play
The often discounted Moto G7 Play is one of our favorite affordable Android phones. Like the Moto G7, it has a Snapdragon chipset and a water-repellent coating. But the G7 Play features a smaller 5.7-inch display and a single 13-megapixel camera. For those who like to take a lot of selfies, on the front of the phone you'll find a selfie camera flash to brighten up all those memorable moments. Read more about the Moto G7 Play.
$130 at Best Buy
Motorola Moto G7 Power
As the phone with the longest-lasting battery that we tested in 2019, the $250 Moto G7 Power can last you the whole day through. Though it doesn't have dual rear cameras like the Moto G7 flagship, the G7 Power's 5,000-mAh battery lasted 23 hours, 10 minutes. Read ZDNet's review of the Moto G7 Power.
$250 at Amazon
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