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What is the best budget smartphone of 2017?

Smartphones

So what is the best budget smartphone 2017 had to offer?

With premium smartphones getting more expensive and mid-range smartphones costing what the old premium smartphones did, you might think you cannot have a nice smartphone at a reasonable price. But luckily there is a budget category which is rapidly growing and has some really nice models in it. Many years ago a budget smartphone was a poor trade-off and could barely class as a smartphone. They would run some custom OS and might have looked quite good, but in reality were awful. But things have changed, and now a budget smartphone is running a full Android OS with features normally only found on more expensive models. A budget smartphone is ideal for someone who has only used a feature phone and wants to make a jump to something more sophisticated without spending a lot of money. Here is our list of the best budget smartphones of 2017.

Also, check out our 2017 top ten of the best premium and mid-range smartphones here and here and the best feature phones here.

  1. Motorola Moto G5S Plus

    Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    Motorola Moto G5S Plus

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    • OS : Android 7.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5.5″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 13MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 76.2mm × H 153.5mm × D 8mm
    • Weight : 168g
    • Pros : Lovely design, good battery life and excellent value for money.
    • Cons : Camera had a few quirks.

    Motorola for some time have made quality smartphones and indeed each new model surpasses the previous one. The Moto G5S Plus is no exception and gets our number one vote for the budget category.

    Its design and build quality is extremely good for a phone at this price. Specifications are good with a decent chipset, RAM and storage space. It handles most tasks with ease without the phone struggling. The display is nice and large and is a pleasure to look at and use.

    Camera quality is good giving nice pictures, but a few quirks spoiled the experience a bit. Battery life is pretty good and gives a lot of usage between charges, but it could have been a bigger capacity over the G5S model.

    The Motorola Moto G5S Plus is about as good as it gets with a budget smartphone. Phones in this category are  getting better and better and indeed the Moto G5S Plus has upped the game for the competition to match. For a budget purchase, you cannot really go wrong.

  2. Huawei Honor 7X

    Huawei Honor 7X
    Huawei Honor 7X

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : HiSilicon Kirin 659
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.93″ IPS LCD 1080 x 2160
    • Camera : 16MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3340mAh
    • Dimensions : W 75.3mm x H 156.5mm x D 7.6mm
    • Weight : 165g
    • Pros : Excellent looks, lovely camera and great value for money.
    • Cons : Okay Performance and average battery life.

    Honor, the brand created by Huawei is doing really well now and making some great smartphones. We had two in our mid-range category with the Honor 9 at number one. So for the budget category, the Honor 7X gets the well deserved number two spot. Honor really seem to be the brand to watch at the moment and future phones should do really well.

    For a budget smartphone, the Honor 7X ticks a lot of the boxes you would expect when spending a lot more money. It looks really amazing and likewise gives off a nice premium type feel. Performance wise, the specifications are fairly good and it can handle most tasks given to it with ease. The display is clear and easy to use with a nice thin bezel. Camera specifications are good and it produced great results with only a few quirks to deal with.

    Battery life is not bad but we found it could have been a bit better. The skin they put on Android is not the best but it is certainly very usable. All in all this is a very good phone and represents excellent value for money. Future phones from Honor should really hit the spot.

  3. Nokia 6

    Nokia 6
    Nokia 6

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    • OS : Android 7.1.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5.5″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 16MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 75.8mm x H 154mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 169g
    • Pros : Great design, good speakers and near stock Android.
    • Cons : Average performance and not the best camera.

    Like the Nokia 8 in our mid-range category, the Nokia 6 has made number three in our budget category. Android smartphones are certainly a good move for Nokia, and judging by their current models, future ones will be worth looking out for.

    For a phone in the budget category, the Nokia 6 has a really nice look and feel to it. The display is large with a minimal bezel and it is really nice to look at and use. Battery life was not bad and gave enough usage, but we found that charging was a little slow compared to other phones here. The Nokia skin on Android is very minimal giving a near stock appearance.

    The chipset is not the best here and we found its performance was lacking when it was pushed a little harder than normal. But for everyday tasks it will suffice. Camera specifications look good but in practice did not give the results we were hoping for.

    This may not be the best budget phone here, but it is made by a solid manufacturer with a lot of history. Other phones might be better, but this one will be rock solid and will be a good choice at this level.

  4. LG Q6

    LG Q6
    LG Q6

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    • OS : Android 7.1.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 435
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5.5″ IPS LCD 1080 x 2160
    • Camera : 13MP rear and 5MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 69.3mm x H 142.5mm x D 8.1mm
    • Weight : 149g
    • Pros : Good camera and nice specifications.
    • Cons : Okay design and no USB-C connector.

    The LG Q6 is a sort of cut down version of their mid-range G6, but it still manages to retain a mid-range feel for this budget category and price.

    Specifications are pretty good and can deal with most daily tasks. The camera gives great results and should satisfy most people looking at a budget phone. There are some quirks to it, but you can never have everything perfect on such a cheap phone.

    The design of the phone is okay, but is lacking a little compared to other phones here which look less budget like. Charging is via a Micro USB connector and not a USB-C connector that is find its way onto a lot of phones now. The speaker was okay but not great compared to others here.

    This is a good phone from LG, but it is lacking a bit compared to other budget phones here. But this is still a good choice with a decent price if that matters more.

  5. Sony Xperia XA1

    Sony Xperia XA1
    Sony Xperia XA1

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : Mediatek Helio P20
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5″ IPS LCD 720 x 1280
    • Camera : 23MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 2300mAh
    • Dimensions : W 67mm × H 145mm × D 8mm
    • Weight : 143g
    • Pros : Good battery life and a nice camera.
    • Cons : Low resolution display and old design.

    Like the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra in our mid-range list, the look of the Xperia XA1 here is a little bit old now and stands out from designs coming from other manufacturers, but it does have a very minimal bezel. If you are a fan of previous Sony smartphones, then this design could still be appealing to you.

    Right off the bat, this is not a phone that is going to stand out against the competition in this category. The main thing is the display, which is smaller than others here and offers a much lower resolution. But saying that, it is still nice to look at and use. The camera boasts a very high pixel rating and gives nice results, but not as amazing as you would hope for. There are also some quirks that spoil its use. The Battery like the Xperia XA1 Ultra is not the biggest, but it still gives a lot of usage between charging.

    This is definitely not the best phone here and other cheaper ones are offering more features. But if this can be had for a good price, then it might still be considered a good choice.

  6. Huawei Honor 6X

    Huawei Honor 6X
    Huawei Honor 6X

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    • OS : Android 6
    • Chipset : HiSilicon Kirin 655
    • RAM : 3GB or 4GB
    • Storage : 32GB or 64GB
    • Display : 5.5″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3340mAh
    • Dimensions : W 76.2mm x H 150.9mm x D 8.2mm
    • Weight : 162g
    • Pros : Lovely display and good battery life.
    • Cons : Okay camera.

    The Huawei Honor 6X is fairly similar to the Honor 7X at number two in this category, but with some reduced specifications. There are not loads of features or high specifications, but priced accordingly.

    The design of the Honor 6X is not bad, but it does lag behind some other phones here that have managed a higher profile look. The display is large and has a clear output which is nice to use. The specifications are good and provides excellent performance which is able to deal with most tasks. It comes with Android 6 but there is now an update to bring it inline with other phones here. The battery capacity is better than others here and gives a lot of use between charging.

    The camera has dual lenses and gives decent pictures that are better than most budget phones. There are a few nice camera features as well that you would not expect on a budget smartphone. This is a decent phone for the money, but the better Honor 7X can be had for not much more. Still a good choice if this is what you want to spend.

  7. Motorola Moto G5S

    Motorola Moto G5S
    Motorola Moto G5S

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    • OS : Android 7.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 32GB
    • Display : 5.2″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 16MP rear and 5MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 73.5mm x H 150mm x D 9.5mm
    • Weight : 157g
    • Pros : Nice build quality and good battery life.
    • Cons : Okay performance.

    Like the Motorola Moto G5S Plus at number one, the Moto G5S is more budget friendly version of the same phone. The specifications are similar with some features downgraded. Even though this is a cheaper phone in a number of ways, it still has a nice design and build quality.

    The display is decent and a nice size and is pleasing to look at and use. Performance is pretty good and it can manage most tasks, but it is no powerhouse and other phones here are better in this respect. The camera gave good results and should satisfy most people, but there are some shortcomings, and at this price you can expect this. Battery life is very good and without hard use it should manage well over one day of use between charging.

    At this price you are never really going to have everything perfect. This is a very good phone and despite some of its shortcomings, it is still worth a look.

  8. Nokia 3

    Nokia 3
    Nokia 3

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : MediaTek MT6737
    • RAM : 2GB
    • Storage : 16GB
    • Display : 5″ IPS LCD 720 x 1280
    • Camera : 8MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 2630mAh
    • Dimensions : W 71.4mm x H 143.4mm x D 8.5mm
    • Weight : 140g
    • Pros : Great design and excellent value for money.
    • Cons : Average performance and low resolution display.

    The Nokia 3 is getting about as cheap as it gets with a budget smartphone. But this does not mean it is really bad. Nokia as usual have made a decent job of it, and its design and build quality is really good and it looks more expensive than it actually is.

    The specifications are not going to set the world on fire, but at this price you could not really hope for much better. Its performance is not the best, but it will tackle most daily tasks just fine, and a power user is not really going to be looking at this level of phone. The camera is on the lower end of the scale here, but still produces some decent pictures to keep a budget buyer happy. Battery life is okay but nothing outstanding, but it should get you though the day.

    On the whole this is not a bad phone for the money. You cannot be too critical with it as other phones here are better, but they also cost more. For a budget friendly purchase, this would satisfy most people.

  9. Samsung Galaxy A3 2017

    Samsung Galaxy A3 2017
    Samsung Galaxy A3 2017

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    • OS : Android 6.0.1
    • Chipset : Samsung Exynos 7870
    • RAM : 2GB
    • Storage : 16GB
    • Display : 4.7″ AMOLED 720 x 1280
    • Camera : 13MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 2350mAh
    • Dimensions : W 66.2mm x H 135.4mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 138g
    • Pros : Almost premium feel, AMOLED display and good battery life.
    • Cons : Low resolution display and not the cheapest here.

    So as we near the end of this list, we are also getting to the bottom of the specifications for a budget smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 is a budget smartphone with some features to match. Samsung are making really nice phones now, and even at this low specification, it has a nice almost premium feel to it and looks like a more expensive phone.

    Performance is okay but quite average compared to other phones here, but it will handle tasks just fine that a budget user will perform. The the display is a lower resolution than most of the others here and it is also a bit smaller, but benefits from having AMOLED technology. The camera for such a budget phone has some nice features and produces decent pictures for this price range. Battery life is very good and with not too much heavy use, you can get nearly two days.

    For a budget smartphone, this has fairly low specifications and its price is not the cheapest here. Although a very good phone that should satisfy most budget users, there is better to be had for a similar price. But still a good choice if a budget Samsung phone is what you want.

  10. LG K8 2017

    LG K8 2017
    LG K8 2017

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    • OS : Android 6
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
    • RAM : 1.5GB
    • Storage : 16GB
    • Display : 5″ IPS LCD 720 x 1280
    • Camera : 13MP rear and 5MP front
    • Battery : 2500mAh
    • Dimensions : W 72.1mm x H 144.5mm x D 8mm
    • Weight : 144g
    • Pros : Nice design and good value for money.
    • Cons : Low resolution display and okay performance.

    Last but definitely not least is the LG K8 2017 at number 10. It would be easy to be critical of this phone for lower than usual specifications and lacking in features. Like the Nokia 3, you cannot really expect a lot more at this price.

    Performance is what you would expect and not earth shattering, but capable for tasks required by a budget user. The display resolution is lower than normal, but inline with the Nokia 3 and Samsung Galaxy A3 2017. The camera is not bad and produces nice pictures for this price. Battery life is good and over one day is easily achieved before charging. It comes with Android 6 but there is now an update that brings it up to version 7.

    On the whole this is not a bad budget smartphone. It looks nice for the money and most budget users will probably be more than satisfied. Budget users looking at this lower end of the scale either just prefer a cheaper and more basic phone, or they might have upgraded from a feature phone. Either way, this is good value for money.

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