These Are the Best Affordable Smartphones of 2023

These Are the Best Affordable Smartphones of 2023

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Finding a smartphone that’s both full-featured and affordable isn’t nearly as impossible as it used to be. In fact, many of the more budget-friendly and mid-range devices on the market today are leaps and bounds better than flagship models released only a few years ago. But with all those improvements come a ton of different options—so how do you know which affordable smartphone is the best for you?

Here are some of the best “budget” smartphones to buy in 2023, ranging from cheaper devices under $200, to more expensive, but still affordable mid-range options.


Recommended products:

My three most recommended budget-friendly smartphones:


Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, $200

A half-decade ago, I would have told you to stay away from the budget offerings from Samsung and other big-name companies. While those devices were budget-friendly, they weren’t designed to give you great performance along with that affordable price tag. That’s all changed in recent years, though. Certainly the budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is an amazing smartphone, considering it retails for less than $200.

The Galaxy A14 5G is more than powerful enough to handle mobile gaming, take care of basic smartphone tasks , and even connect to 5G. It has a vibrant 6.6-inch Infinity-V display, which can stand alongside some of the higher-end smartphone displays out there. It’s also equipped with a triple-lens camera, which is exactly three times the cameras most “cheap” phones used to ship with.

Budget phones used to sacrifice battery life to help cut down on price, but the Galaxy A14 5G is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery that will last a day with moderate use. Best of all: While the Galaxy A14 5G lists for $199.99, you can often find it on sale for as little as $99.99, making it an exceptional value.

Google Pixel 6a, $350

The A-series has always been Google’s attempt to provide more affordable devices without too many compromises. While it’s more than a year old at this point, the Google Pixel 6a continues to be one of the best midrange devices on the market. It’s powered by Google’s Tensor chip, and showcases the capability of a phone built entirely by Google for use on its version of Android. This device typically lists for $349.99, though you can often find it on sale for much cheaper. (The newer Pixel 7a, which offers a better Tensor 2 chip, wireless charging, and upgraded cameras, is also an exceptional value; it usually retails for $499, though, which is edging out of the “affordable” price range.)

Equipped with a 6.1-inch OLED display, Google’s midrange Pixel 6a uses machine learning to help deliver fantastic performance and improved image capture. It includes 128GB of internal storage, as well as 6GB of RAM, so it can stand up to your everyday needs, including light mobile gaming. The included 4,306mAh battery means you can expect all-day battery life with average use.

iPhone SE, $429

If you prefer Apple’s iOS ecosystem over that of Android, then you can also find some more affordable options from the iPhone maker. (No, really.) Perhaps the best choice is the iPhone SE, a new model of which was released in 2022 and typically retails for $429 in the lowest storage option. It doesn’t have as large of a display as many of the more affordable Android devices; its 4.7-inch retina screen is more akin with the iPhones of old (as are those bezels and that physical button).

It’s made of aluminum and glass, giving it that premium Apple feel, and the included A15 Bionic chip is the same one found in the iPhone 13. It’s a solid device, and lets you take advantage of Apple’s ecosystem without breaking the bank. (Alternatively, if you are willing to by a refurbished device, you can pick up the slightly older (but still excellent) iPhone 12 for closer to $300.)