Finding the Best Cheap Smartphones

Last Edited: May 20, 2017 by

finding-the-best-cheap-unlocked-smartphones

Welcome to our monthly updated guide to the best unlocked smartphones on the market based on consumer feedback, expert reviews and raw value for money

Unlocked smartphones offer users the highest degree of freedom even compared to another popular cost saving alternative, the prepaid phone, which lets you choose your call and messaging services but still keeps you tied to a service provider. With an unlocked phone, you can use a SIM card from any carrier anywhere and there is no need to wait for activation, you can avoid steep roaming charges by using local SIMs while travelling abroad, and you can use the device for as long as you like and switch to a different device or carrier without having to worry about contract violations, because you already paid for your phone upfront. However, if you are absolutely sure about a carrier and find that their service package is reasonably priced to suit your calling, messaging or data connection needs, then you can certainly choose a contract smartphone. Keep in mind though that on-contract most people end up purchasing more services than they need, and if you decide to switch carriers before your contract expires, unlocking your device can be a big, expensive hassle.

There are many cheap unlocked smartphones available for users on a budget who want a new phone with no strings attached or a backup phone for travelling and emergency situations. Unlocked smartphones under $100 and under $200 generally have very plain designs, smaller screens, entry-level hardware, low quality cameras, older operating systems and support only 3G connections. However, due to the increasing competition in the budget segment some manufacturers offer devices with impressive specs such as a large 5-inch screen, Quad-Core processor, 8MP main camera and NFC support. Some renowned manufacturers even include the latest operating system and promise regular software updates for their budget offerings, which means even low tier customers can enjoy advanced software features. Below you’ll find our list of the best cheap unlocked smartphones available today.

Smartphone Buying Guide

Before you start going through our list be sure to checkout out buying guide on essential Smartphone hardware and the different types of Smartphones.

Cheap Unlocked Smartphones – Top Picks

Blue R1 HD

BLU-R1-HD-0

The Blu R1 HD is a budget smartphone that offers users great value for the money. The 1.3 GHz Quad MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor and the 2GB RAM allows for smooth day-to-day performances with very little noticeable lag switching between apps and even most games with higher requirements run smoothly (check this guy playing GTA:San Andreas). Its 5-inch IPS LCD display of 1280 x 720 resolution has a Gorilla Glass 3 panel protecting it, and users found that the resolution is clear and sharp. The R1 HD has a rear camera with an 8 MP rear camera and a front “selfie” camera of 5 MP, which also has an LED flash. The camera quality has received some criticism from various reviewers, finding that images can muddy, noisy and overexposed. Its runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and it is unfortunately loaded with some bloatware and lock screen advertising due to it being subsidized by Prime, which has predictably annoyed some of the Amazon customers. It has 4G LTE capabilities, which some customers thought to be a great bonus for this budget smartphone, and its build quality is top notch. It dual SIM support and it can take a MicroSD card. While the Advertising and poor camera performance may be a deal breaker for some, the Blu R1 HD performs day-to-day tasks well for a budget smartphone.

  • Mediatek MT6735 1.3 GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 64 GB (dedicated slot)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 8MP
  • 5.0 inch, 720 x 1280 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.31 lbs

Pros

  • 1.3 GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Excellent value for the money
  • 5” HD curved Gorilla Glass display
  • Decent screen resolution
  • Decent speakerphone quality

Cons

  • Average front and rear camera
  • Amazon Prime bloatware
  • lock screen advertising

Summary

The Blu R1 HD is great for simple day-to-day tasks, but the cameras and lock screen advertising may deter some buyers.

BLU R1 HD 16GB
$49.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:49 UTC) Details

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Motorola-Moto-G-Plus-4th-Gen-0

In 2016, Lenovo has given us not one but two Moto G budget smartphones; the G4 and the G4 Plus. But while you might expect an increase in screen-size to come with the Plus version, both of these devices are sized exactly the same. The design isn’t any different either and save for the small fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen, it is still the same simple device. Like with the Moto G4, if you prefer a small phone which you can easily slip in your pocket, this device is definitely not for you. For those who can handle it however, you get a delightful 5.5-inch Full-HD screen which is bright, colorful and needle-sharp, this makes it an amazing phone for watching videos, browsing the web and playing games. Leaving the screen aside, the software is another strong feature of the Moto G4 Plus. Like in the standard G4, Android 6.0.1 runs things here, Lenovo has opted for the clean stock Android interface with only few but useful additional software features. Equipped with a Qualcomm 617 CPU and 2GB of RAM, the G4 Plus is a snappy device. Apps open up instantly, animations are smooth and multitasking is often effortless. Save for a little drop in frames, even heavy games like Asphalt 8 run pretty smoothly and with decent loading times. Undoubtedly, the biggest upgrade from the standard Moto G4 is the camera. This device ups the 13MP sensor to 16MP, with the added benefit of phase detection and laser autofocus. It might not seem like a significant upgrade on paper but practically, you will find a great improvement in both detail and color accuracy. That said, the battery is the same 3000mAh cell, averaging a cool 16 hours of life on normal use.

  • Snapdragon 617 1.5 GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (up to 256 GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 16MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.34 lbs

Pros

  • Solid design
  • Lovely Full-HD screen
  • Stock Android
  • Decent performance
  • Excellent camera
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Bulky

Summary

For that much increase in price, the Moto G4 Plus might not be that different from the standard G4. Regardless, it still represents very impressive value for the money.

Motorola Moto G4 Plus XT1644 4th Gen 5.5-inch
$249.99$169.99
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from BHPhotovideo
(as of 08-06-2017 11:59 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenFone 3 LaserASUS-ZenFone-3-Laser-0

As far as budget smartphones go, ASUS’ latest release; the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser has a lot going on for it. For starters, it is attractively designed and its carefully finished all-metal body makes it look a lot pricier than it actually is. Thanks to proper proportionality, the phone easily fits in one hand despite featuring a 5.5-inch screen. Speaking of the screen, the 1080 x 1920-pixel Full-HD resolution results in admirably vibrant and sharp visual output. Sunlight legibility is made easy by sufficient brightness and adjustable color temperature, and IPS technology provides great viewing angles. Powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor integrated with Adreno 505 CPU and 2GB RAM, the Zenfone 3 Laser is nothing short of a hard worker. Everyday performance is excellent and the phone cracks through even most demanding apps and games with minimal effort. ASUS did well to partner good hardware with an up-to-date Android v6.0 Marshmallow. Overlain with the critically approved, light, clean and uncluttered ZenUI 3.0, the software experience is exceptional. A number of third party apps come preinstalled, some of which are more useful than others but most of them can be uninstalled at will. The 13MP/8MP dual camera, which is one of the Lazer’s selling points performs superlatively. Pictures have a good amount of detail and decent color reproduction in both well and dimly-lit conditions, and the camera’s new laser autofocus technology locks focus in just 0.03 seconds. The battery is considerably less pleasing however, only lasting a little over 8 hours of continuous airplane-mode HD video viewing.

  • Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.33 lbs

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Good build
  • Large, bright and sharp Full-HD display
  • Commendable software experience
  • Decent performance
  • Excellent camera quality

Cons

  • Uninspiring battery life

Summary

The ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser offers excellent value for the money and is only let down by an average battery life.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser 5.5-inch
See Price at Retailer
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-05-2017 11:30 UTC) Details

blu-energy-xl-mobile

BLU Energy XL

The BLU Energy XL is one of the cheapest 6-inch smartphones in the market, but do not be fooled into thinking that size is all it brings to the table. For starters, the phone is exceptionally designed and with an all-metal build, well-cut aluminum edges and a smooth metal back, it is premium to the look and feel. Despite having a whopping 6-inch screen, a metal body and a huge battery, the BLU Energy XL is not too unwieldy. It is amazingly just 0.33-inches thick and it weighs an acceptable 7.3 ounces. As expected, the 1080p AMOLED display delivers rich colors and is reasonably sharp A Quad-HD would have undoubtedly served the BLU Energy XL better, but going by the price tag, there is really nothing to complain about. That said, complains regarding the software will be very acceptable. Despite having been released quite recently, it comes with the now dated Android v5.1 Lollipop, which is disappointing with Android N just around the corner. Additionally, the heavy custom UI alters pretty much everything, and even experienced Android users will find things frustrating. Thankfully, there isn’t much bloatware and the few pre-installed apps can be removed. Powering the Energy XL is the midrange MediaTek MT6753 and a decent 3GB RAM, both of which deliver fairly impressive performance. The phone’s 13MP rear camera takes clear, detailed photos in good lighting, but struggles a bit too much when the lights dim down. The most ground-shaking feature however is the battery, which with a remarkable 36-hour endurance is one of the best out there.

  • Mediatek MT6753 1.3GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 3GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (up to 64 GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Pros

  • Premium metal build
  • Relatively thin
  • Large and vibrant Full-HD AMOLED display
  • Decent performance
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • Old and heavily customized Android interface
  • Weak low-light camera performance

Summary

The BLU Energy XL might not have the best Android UI, and it is definitely not the cheapest smartphones out there. Regardless, when you consider the amount of tech you’re getting, it still offers remarkable value for money.

BLU Energy XL E0030UU 6-inch
$299.99
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from BHPhotovideo
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

moto-g-4th-gen

Motorola Moto G4 XT1625

The Motorola Moto G4 may not match the high-end specs of most of the phones here, but its impressive price and great value for money granted it a place on the list. The phone’s design is mostly functional, with a removable plastic back, and even though it is one of the best looking Motorolas, it cannot compete with the premium metal designs of other flagships. At 9.8mm thick and with a 5.5-inch screen, it is a bit bulky as well. The screen itself is only Full-HD, but it is sharp, colorful, and can be viewed at even the most extreme angles. It also performs quite well outdoors with decent brightness and fast brightness auto-adjust. Housing a Snapdragon 617 with 4GB RAM, the G4 performs exceptionally well while multitasking and gaming. Also, Motorola does add-on a heavy interface, and hence stock Android Marshmallow runs great, and allows the phone to easily last a full day of use. You get a 13MP camera that takes impressive pictures, selfies on the 5MP front camera are nice and bright as well. While the Moto G4 may not have the premium features and design found on flagships, it performs so well at such an impressive price that it deserves mention.

  • Snapdragon 617 1.5 GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (up to 256 GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Pros

  • Solid design
  • Big and beautiful Full-HD screen
  • No intrusive bloatware
  • Decent performance
  • Reliable camera

Cons

  • Bulky

Summary

The Moto G4 sure is bulky, but for the money, few can match the amount of tech it comes with. With a little extra cash, you can upgrade to the Plus version and get a better camera, a fingerprint sensor and turbo charging. But if you’re on a budget, this one is still a decent option

Motorola Moto G4 XT1625 5.5-inch
$129.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:39 UTC) Details

Huawei Honor 8 4Ghuawei-honor-8-4g

Closely resembling the the Huawei P9 means the Honor 8 inherits most of the nice design perks we loved with the company’s flagship smartphone. However, instead of the P9’s metal back, the Honor 8 features an all glass finish. Admittedly, it looks very good, but it leaves you wondering just how well it will cope with drops, which are more of a “when” than an “if” given the slippery nature of the glass. The front of the phone features another, more pleasant type of glass; a 5.2-inch Full-HD panel. The resulting 423ppi is sharp enough for multimedia usage and web browsing. To make the experience even more pleasant is a blue filter mode called “Eye Comfort”, which tweaks the screen’s temperature for comfortable low-light viewing. Despite running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Honor 8’s software is arguably its weakest point; a result attributed to Huawei’s Emotion UI overlay which completely overshadows the stock Android version. Worse still is the amount of bloatware that comes with the phone. Most of these unnecessary apps can be uninstalled, but it is an arduous process that you shouldn’t be subjected to. The Honor 8 tries to make up for its software woes with a praiseworthy internal hardware set that includes Huawei’s own HiSilicon Kirin 950 octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM, so at least it is not a slow device. Also impressive is the dual camera arrangement, which uses the lens combination to create punchier, more contrast-packed photos, and thanks to a very capable 3000mAh battery, running out of juice while in the photogenic outdoors will not be a concern.

  • HiSilicon Kirin 950 [View Benchmarks]
  • 4GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 12MP
  • 5.2 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.33 lbs

Pros

  • Stunning looks
  • Fingerprint scanner that doubles up as a programmable key
  • Fast charging
  • IR blaster
  • Great dual-camera setup

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Unattractive, heavy interface

Summary

The Huawei Honor 8 has some solid features and great performance, with a striking design that makes other phones in the same price range look downright ugly.

Huawei Honor 8 4G LTE Sapphire blue
$399.99$329.68
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:33 UTC) Details

Samsung Galaxy J7Samsung-Galaxy-J7-SM-J700-GSM-Factory-Unlocked-Smartphone-Android-51-55-AMOLED-Display-International-Version-0

The Samsung Galaxy J7 is a bigger, more powerful version of the Galaxy J3, and it sports the usual Samsung design language. The build quality feels decent enough and the phone is fairly comfortable to hold in the hand, despite its phablet size. The 720 x 1280 resolution on the 5.5-inch screen looks rather stretched and dull, but the overall quality is acceptable, thanks to AMOLED technology which ensures that colors are as vibrant and blacks are as deep as possible. Sound output is just about what you would expect at this price tag, with only a hint of bass, and some distortion at maximum volume. The Galaxy J7 does well in the software department, thanks to a new update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. However, while buying the phone unlocked does rid you off a good amount of bloatware, there are still a number of useless apps and features, most of which can’t be uninstalled. Nonetheless, everything runs smoothly with the J7, thanks to a capable hardware set that includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 and 2GB of RAM. The 16GB internal storage is also decent, and Samsung has been generous enough to include a microSD card slot for further expansion. The 13MP rear camera doesn’t offer anything particularly dazzling, but both picture and video quality are commendable in favorably lit environments. Perhaps the strongest feature of the Galaxy J7 is its 3300mAh battery, which in addition to offering up to 23 hours of 3G talk time is removable for easy replacement.

  • Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617 [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.37 lbs

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Up-to-date Android version
  • Decent performance
  • Expandable storage
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Modest screen quality
  • Bloatware
  • Average camera quality

Summary

The Samsung Galaxy J7 is well-priced, generously feature-packed mid range phablet that offers very good value for the money.

Samsung Galaxy J7 5.5-inch
$202.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:49 UTC) Details

ALCATEL-OneTouch-Idol-3

Alcatel One Touch Idol 3

The Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 is a reasonably priced smartphone that even includes some features found on premium smartphones. Its plastic body is only 7.4mm thin with rounded edges wrapped in faux metal. While not as sturdy as the higher-end competition, the Idol 3 feels comfortable and light in your hand. The brushed plastic back is smooth but still has sufficient grip, and features a large “Idol” branding on the back. The dual front-facing JBL speakers on the top and bottom of the display pack serious punch and are almost as good as speakers found on HTC smartphones. The 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display gets insanely bright and is readable even under direct sunlight. The colors are accurate and text appears just as sharp as on any high-end screens.  With microphones on the top and bottom and a reversible screen mode, this smartphone can be used as normal even when it’s upside down. It is powered by a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM along with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for expansion. While not the fastest, it should handle day-to-day activities well, but could suffer under heavy load.  The 13 MP shooter on the back is adequate but colors can sometimes appear faded, while the 8MP front camera produces great selfies. The Idol also supports modern connectivity features like dual-band Wi-Fi, LTE and NFC, and its 2910 mAh battery keeps the device running all day. If you are a moderate user who wants a device primarily for media consumption, the One Touch Idol 3 a perfect mid-range device for the price.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 1.5GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (Max 128GB)
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.31 lbs

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Some unique Android tweaks
  • Impressive sounding dual speakers
  • Sharp Full HD screen

Cons

  • Can get laggy while multitasking
  • Low-light photography is poor
  • No quick charging

Summary

While not the fastest, the IDOL 3 is a thoughtfully designed mid-range device built particularly for users who primarily want an excellent screen and sound for an affordable price.

ALCATEL OneTouch Idol 3 – 16GB
$210.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:23 UTC) Details

Motorola Moto G Play (4th gen)Motorola-Factory-Unlocked-Phone-White-0

From afar, the Moto G4 Play looks a lot like its siblings in the 4th generation range of Motorola’s G-smartphones, but a closer look gives its budget nature away. Regardless, the phone’s simple design suits it well, and makes it a comfortable device to hold in the hand. The display on the G4 Play has an average resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels, which is made somewhat bearable by the relatively small 5-inch screen size. That said, it does get sufficiently bright for use in the outdoors and, viewing angles are decent enough for versatile multimedia usage. Output from the single front-facing speaker isn’t too bad, although the sound does get distorted as you approach full volume. You’ll probably want to plug in a pair of headphones for extended periods of music listening or video watching for better sound. Using the phone is a very pleasant experience, thanks to a largely untouched Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Stock Android is overlain by Motorola’s custom UI, which other than offering a few additional features and touch-ups, keeps things clean and uncluttered. Performance is offered by the mid range Snapdragon 410 processor 2GB of RAM, and as expected, the G4 Play is snappy when it comes to everyday usage. It is of no doubt that average smartphone users will be very satisfied. Even more satisfying is the 16GB internal storage, which can be expanded up to 256GB with microSD cards. Nothing particularly good can be said about the 8MP rear camera, and as such, it is best to reserve our good words for the battery, which easily lasts a day of daily usage.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 1.2GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 8MP
  • 5.0 inch, 720 x 1280 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.30 lbs

Pros

  • Durable build
  • Impressive Android experience
  • Acceptable performance
  • Expandable storage
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Average screen quality
  • Modest audio output
  • Poor camera

Summary

For those looking for an Android smartphone with just the essentials at a friendly price, the Moto G4 Play is very much worth considering.

Motorola Moto G Play (4th gen.) 5.0-inch
$99.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:49 UTC) Details

Huawei Honor 5X

Honor-5X-greyLess than a year ago features like a metal body and a fingerprint reader were reserved exclusively for high-end smartphones. The $199 Huawei Honor 5x includes both of those features while retaining the mid-range hardware found on most smartphones in its category. The design of this device closely resembles that of the higher-end HTC smartphones with brushed silver backs and polished edges. There are dual speaker grills on the bottom, of which only the right one actually outputs audio. The fingerprint scanner on the back is just as fast and responsive as the ones on Nexus 6P or Nexus 5x. The volume and power buttons are located on the right, while a combined nano SIM/microSD slot is on the left. It supports LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but doesn’t include NFC. The 5X’s 5.5-inch Full-HD IPS display is just as sharp as the one on the Zenfone 2. Users can also manually tweak the text brightness and color temperatures for an optimum viewing experience. The phone’s specs include a mid-range Snapdragon 616, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. Overall, the performance in general use is as good as expected, and users won’t have any lag issues unless they try out heavy multitasking. The Honor 5X also has a solid battery life and a surprisingly good 13MP rear camera that takes excellent pictures when there’s sufficient light.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2 1.7GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1080 x 1920 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 0.34 lbs

Pros

  • Metallic design
  • Decent camera
  • Expandable storage
  • Dual-sim slots

Cons

  • Not the fastest device at this price range
  • Colorful user interface

Summary

In a sea of budget smartphones with boring colors and flimsy designs, the all-metal Huawei Honor 5x is perfect for budget users seeking a premium look and feel.

Huawei Honor 5X – 16GB
$169.99$166.49
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:33 UTC) Details

BLU-VIVO-5-Smartphone-55-4G-LTE-GSM-Unlocked-32GB-3GB-RAM-0

BLU Vivo 5

Going by expectations, phones this cheap should come with major compromises, not only with the hardware on the inside, but especially in how they are designed on the outside. With the BLU Vivo 5 however, this is far from fact. Featuring a full metal body, well-chamfered edges and flat surfaces the device is a true beauty. With a 5.04-ounce weight and 0.27-inch depth, it is also remarkably light and thin. Now, when you’re done ogling the design, switch the device on and you will clearly see where it actually matches its price. While even budget phones are opting for at least 1080p resolution when screen size is this big, the Vivo 5 sports a 720p AMOLED display. Details are sufficient from a normal viewing distance but do not expect the luminance, vibrancy and color accuracy that is common with AMOLED panels in higher-end devices. Some users might find this enough given the phone’s price tag, but with similarly-priced devices like the Honor 5X featuring 1080p resolution, that really shouldn’t be an excuse. The BLU Vivo 5 runs BLU’s own interpretation of Android 5.1 Lollipop which eliminates the apps drawer and places everything of the home screen. There are a few unique tricks all over the interface, making the Android experience generally smooth and enjoyable. Powered by an Octa-core MediaTek 6753 64-bit processor, and 3GB RAM, the BLU Vivo 5 is more than capable of handling basic tasks. With a modest Mali T720GPU however, it is under-equipped for graphics processing so don’t expect it to be a gaming machine. Nevertheless, the device still sports a capable 13MP rear camera and 32GB internal storage space; rare features in this price-range. Want more? Its 3150mAh cell will last a whole 24 hours of moderate to heavy use on a single charge.

  • Mediatek MT6753 1.3GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 3GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (up to 64 GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Pros

  • Very attractive design
  • Thin and light
  • Enjoyable Android experience
  • Sufficient internal storage
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Below average display quality
  • Modest graphics performance
  • Non-removable battery

Summary

Sure the BLU Vivo 5 has its weaknesses but if you are one to appreciate a large and beautifully designed budget-friendly smartphone, it is well worth a look.

BLU VIVO 5 5.5-inch
$159.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

BLU Life One X2BLU-LIFE-ONE-X2-4G-LTE-Unlocked-Smartphone-64GB-4GB-RAM-Rose-Gold-0

Like its predecessor the BLU Life One X, the BLU Life One X2 offers an admirable combination of features and performance for the price. One thing that is different with the new version however, is that it is now made entirely of polycarbonate, unlike the original, which had metal touches along the edges. While rather chunky in the thickness department, the phone is generally more compact than most other devices nowadays, thanks to a well-sized 5.2-inch IPS screen. Touching base on the screen, its Full-HD 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution works out to a sharp 424 pixels per inch. The panel also gets sufficiently bright and offers good viewing angles. Below the screen is a home button-fingerprint scanner combo, which is faster and more responsive than the one on pricier competitors like the Moto G4 Plus. The Life One X2 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow which comes with all its pleasantries. However, BLU’s custom interface is not among the best out there, and most of its unique modifications impact the general Android experience negatively rather than positively. Equipped with a pretty average Snapdragon 430, the Life One X2 is not exactly a fast device. Luckily, you do get a generous 4GB RAM, which speeds things up significantly. Both the 16-megapixel rear camera and the 8-megapixel front sensor perform fairly well, especially in well-lit situations, and if you want to take full control, manual settings are also at your disposal. Battery-wise, the Life One X2 is able to last a good 7 hours of full-screen video streaming over LTE, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 is present for fast-charging capability.

  • Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 4GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 64 GB
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 16MP
  • 5.2 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.36 lbs

Pros

  • Commendable build quality
  • Sharp Full-HD display
  • Highly-responsive fingerprint scanner
  • Decent cameras
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • Uninspiring custom UI overlay
  • Somewhat slow Snapdragon 430 SoC

Summary

With no unbearable shortcomings, the BLU Life One X2 has just about everything you can want in an affordable unlocked Android smartphone.

BLU Life One X2 5.2-inch
$144.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:49 UTC) Details

blackberry-leap-unlocked

BlackBerry Leap Unlocked

Blackberry Limited now has only a small chunk of the smartphone cake it used to control, but that doesn’t mean it has given up the fight. In fact, the Blackberry Leap is a strong attempt to make a mark in the budget-smartphone market. Blackberry devices have never been famous for their beauty and the Leap is no different. Although it tries to reach for an attractive design with flat panels and chamfered edges, it ends up falling short. Like all of its predecessors however, it looks and feels professional. The textured pattern on the back also keeps the phone fairly grippy. We were expecting the Leap’s 5-inch 720p display to be miserably disappointing, but it surprisingly looks great for its price. Colors are accurate and clear and although brightness could be better, viewing angles are decent enough. Blackberry 10 is in no way Android or iOS, but its focus on productivity will not let down business users. Typing is very fast and accurate, and features like Blackberry Hub and Blackberry Assistant prove very useful. To sweeten the deal some more, users get a taste of Android apps from the Amazon app store, but only a taste since the store is woefully limited. With the dated Snapdragon S4 Plus and 2GB RAM, the Blackberry Leap is no stallion. General use is smooth, but expect lags and slouchy response when you launch a demanding 3D game. The phone does better with the rear-camera, whose ability is amazing, despite only having an 8MP sensor. Thanks to average hardware, the 2800mAh exceeds all expectations, capable of up to 24-hours of moderate usage on a single charge.

  • Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 Plus 1.5 GHz Krait [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (up to 256 GB)
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 8MP
  • 5.0 inch, 1280 x 720 pixels (TN)
  • BlackBerry 10
  • 0.37 lbs

Pros

  • Vibrant display
  • Productive BB10 OS
  • Versatile camera
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Boring design
  • Modest performance
  • Scarcely populated Amazon app store

Summary

For Blackberry enthusiasts, the Blackberry Leap’s shortcomings are not unforgivable, especially when you consider its very friendly price tag.

BlackBerry Leap STR100-2 5-inch
$129.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

Motorola-Moto-G-(3rd Generation) -Black-8-GB

Moto G 3rd generation

The Moto G 3rd generation sports a curved back design with a textured finish like of the Moto E, which prevents the device from easily sliding from the hands or any smooth surface. The device is IPX7 certified, meaning it won’t suffer any damage while submerged in water up to 1-meter deep for half an hour. In the front, you will find two grills above and below the display, but there is only one speaker on the bottom. The audio is clear and loud with minimal distortion even at higher volumes. The screen is a 720P display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. This display resolution is quite low for today’s standards but still provides a picture that is crisp and clear. This year’s Moto G is equipped with a Quad-Core Snapdragon 410 processor and an Adreno 306 GPU. The entry level model has only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of Storage, you can double those specs by adding $40, which is recommended if you plan on running a large number of apps. Like other Motorolla devices, it runs the vanilla Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Android 6 Marshmallow update rolling out soon. The 13MP rear camera and the long lasting battery are two of the best features of this device. The 2,470mAh battery provides over 10 hours of juice in moderate usage, which is longer than its budget competitors and most high-end smartphones. However, the Moto G though weaker in benchmarks and lacking in some modern features, is still a solid choice due to its blend of a sturdy design, a solid camera, and clean Android OS.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 1.4GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 8GB
  • Removable Storage: mircoSD (Max 32GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.0 inch, pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.34 lbs

Pros

  • Bright screen
  • Good GPS performance
  • Decent Camera
  • Expandable storage
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Only 8GB of storage
  • No NFC
  • Low system memory on base model

Summary

All in all, budget buyers in the market for an unlocked smartphone with LTE capability and the latest vanilla Android software won’t go wrong with the Moto G 3rd Generation.

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) – 8GB
$139.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:23 UTC) Details

Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 5s

Released more than 3 years ago, the iPhone 5S is no longer the powerhouse it once was. However, its price has plummeted a great deal and that is why it makes it onto our guide. One thing that will probably surprise you when you hold the phone now is that it doesn’t really feel as tiny as you’d expect. Thanks to clever ergonomics, the phone still remains one of the most comfortable devices to hold. Moreover, the aluminum finish makes it appear stylish while also being strong and durable. The 4-inch IPS Retina display might be a little too small compared to today’s standards, but with a 640 x 1136-pixel resolution, it is remarkably sharp and color reproduction is excellent. The iPhone 5S still comes with iOS 7 out of the box, but Apple has been generous enough to keep it pleasantly updated, with the latest version, iOS 10 being available to the 5S as well. The new OS doesn’t come with as many significant upgrades as with later devices, but you still get several updated apps including iMessage and Music, more functions for the Touch ID and a bevy of other minor improvements. Despite packing the now dated Apple A7 chip and 1GB of RAM, you will never have any problems with the iPhone 5S’s everyday performance. iPhones are known to outshine the competition when it comes to cameras, and the 5S easily outdoes the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5, which were its main competitors in 2013. The battery is also up to par with the latest standards, especially with the latest iOS version installed.

  • Apple A7 chip 1.3GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • Removable Storage: None
  • Cameras: Front 1.2MP, Rear 8MP
  • 4.0 inch, 1136 x 640 pixels
  • iOS 7
  • 0.24 lbs

Pros

  • Touch ID
  • Apple eco-system
  • Decent camera
  • Great performance
  • Premium design and build quality

Cons

  • Battery life
  • iTunes
  • 4-inch screen is a bit small
  • Limited storage
  • No AC WiFi

Summary

The Apple iPhone 5S offers great performance and a decent camera for everyday photos. But the 16GB of storage space is a bit limiting and it has to be used in conjunction with iTunes.

Apple iPhone 5s – 16GB
$224.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

Motorola_Moto_E_2nd_Generation

Moto E 2nd Generation

Featuring a bigger and brighter screen, 4G LTE support, a faster processor, larger internal storage and the new Android Lollipop Operating System, the Moto E 2nd Generation is a solid upgrade over its predecessor. Based around a 4.5-inch display, the new Moto E has a compact build, but at 12.3mm it is a little thicker than premium smartphones. The chassis is similar to last year’s model, featuring a unibody chassis with a coating making it water-repellant and splash proof and you can even customize the look with different color bands. The 4.5-inch display runs at only 960 x 540 qHD resolution, a sacrifice Motorola made to improve the price. It’s an adequately bright and color accurate IPS screen which fares well indoors but is hard to read outside. While it doesn’t run stock Android 5.0, the Motorola interface is free of bloatware and adds useful features exclusive to Motorola users. The Moto e’s overall performance is acceptable thanks to a Quad-Core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor along with 1GB of RAM that handles most tasks well when they’re done separately. One benefit of being underpowered is that this devices has a great battery life. If you want a cheap Android phone without getting tied to a lengthy carrier contract, the Moto E 2nd Generation is a good choice for its stable software, sturdy design and fast LTE support.

  • 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 8GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD
  • Cameras: Front 1.3MP, Rear 5MP
  • 4.5 inch, 960 X 540 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.31 lbs

Pros

  • Grippy frame
  • Sharp display
  • LTE connectivity
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Poor camera
  • Struggles to play graphics intensive games

Summary

The Moto E stands out in the budget segment because it runs pure Android, makes minimum compromises in hardware and is more reliable in performance than many of its competitors.

Moto E 2nd Generation (Unlocked)
$58.99
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from Walmart.com
(as of 21-05-2017 11:18 UTC) Details

Google-Nexus-5

Google Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 is currently one of the best unlocked  smartphones on the market. It is fast, sleek, includes many best in class features and costs less than other high end smartphones like the HTC One, iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4. This new Nexus is minimalistic in looks and feels sturdier in the hand compared to previous Nexus devices. The vertical “Nexus” logo placement on the back is similar to the Nexus 7 tablet. The phone goes big this time with a 4.9-inch screen protected by the latest Gorilla Glass 3. Unlike other similarly priced smartphones, the Nexus 5 doesn’t make compromises in screen quality. It has a 444ppi pixel rich Full-HD display for a pleasing viewing experience. However, the iPhone 5s and HTC One screens beat it in terms of brightness. Powered by a Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, the Nexus 5 is a powerful device that is neck and neck with devices like the LG G2 and Note 3. As a Google product, Nexus 5 comes with the Android Lollipop OS, upgradable to Android Version 6.0 Marshmallow and being a Nexus, it will probably receive continuous firmware updates in the near future. This makes the Nexus 5 even more valuable than many mid-range smartphones from Samsung and HTC. However, some features of the Nexus 5 don’t match up to the 2014 leaders. It has no microSD slot, the 8MP camera produces lackluster images in low light and the battery life is only average. These minor limitations however do not make the Nexus 5 less compelling but it is still one of the best devices you can buy if you prefer an unlocked smartphone.

  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Cameras: Front 1.3MP, Rear 8MP
  • 4.95 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • 4.59 lbs

Pros

  • Sleek Design
  • Sharp Full-HD Display
  • Inspiring Performance
  • Guaranteed frequent software updates

Cons

  • No microSD slot
  • Poor cameras
  • Average battery life

Summary

Minor drawbacks aside, the Nexus 5 still remains one of the best devices you can buy if you prefer an unlocked smartphone.

Google Nexus 5
$219.99
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from Amazon
(as of 24-06-2017 22:49 UTC) Details

LG G4 – 32GB

LG G4 H815 Brown Leather

The G4, LG’s flagship smartphone for 2015 stands-out with a premium looking design and a robust build that feels like it can withstand anything. It’s 5.5-inch display rocks a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, which makes it immensely sharp and vibrant. Viweing angles are decent, thanks to IPS technology, and brightness is sufficient for outdoor usage. Processing power is served by the Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808, which works well with the 3GB RAM onboard for stellar performance overall. In terms of storage, the G4 Stylus boasts 32GB of internal memory, and users can use microSD cards to increase the storage up to 256GB. The OS that is pre-installed on the phablet is Android 5.1 Lollipop, and users can upgrade to version 6.0 Marshmallow. The rear panel of the device hosts a 16MP camera laser autofocus. Picture output is commendable, although there is far too much noise on photos taken in low light. The secondary camera has a 5MP resolution and delivers decent selfies. The phone comes packed with a large battery with a capacity of 3000mAh. It is a removable Li-lon cell that provides enough juice for the device to keep it running for up to 440 hours in stand-by. The LG G4 is a great budget-friendly device for users who enjoy working with phablets.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 1.8GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 3GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (Max 256GB) | microSDXC (Max 2TB)
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 16MP
  • 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 0.34 lbs

Pros

  • Color-rich display
  • Excellent camera performance
  • Strong specs
  • Removable battery and MicroSD card slot

Cons

  • Still made of plastic
  • Speaker is weak
  • Battery life is average

Summary

All in all, the G4 has all the features everyone wants out of a high-end smartphone- a great camera, a colorful display and a modern design at a reasonable price.

LG G4 – 32GB
$285.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:23 UTC) Details

ZTE-Axon-Factory-Unlocked-Phone-Retail-Packaging-Phthalo-Blue-0

ZTE Axon

When it comes to budget smartphones, Chinese OEM ZTE is one of those players that have been in the game for quite some time. Their latest flagship is the ZTE Axon and it is yet another immensely impressive bargain. Because the body is all metal, you get to give away the pleasures of a light phone for a device that naturally feels very solid and dense. 0.37 inches is a a lot of waist, but a little of this is offset by a gently arching back that will settle comfortably into your hand. As with many phones with metal casings, you will not find a microSD slot anywhere and the 3000mAh battery is non-removable. Thankfully, the battery can comfortably get you through the day and you have a good 32GB of internal storage to play with. Speaking of what’s inside, the ZTE Axon is powered by a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which should be enough to handle basic tasks and some moderately demanding 3D games. Gaming is arguably not really one of the Axon’s strong suits, but its 5.5-inch 1080p Full-HD screen definitely is. Colors are punchy and very well saturated, and brightness and viewing angles are commendable. Software-wise, the Axon comes loaded with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and thankfully, nothing much has been added onto it other than some different icons and a custom time/weather widget. Most basic apps work wonderfully, including the camera app which albeit simple, is well-populated with features. The cameras themselves are even more impressive and the phone implements its 13MP + 2MP dual camera on the rear to capture very high detail, even with tricky lighting. The 8MP front sensor is no slouch either and is capable of delivering very clean selfies.

  • Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 801 2.3 GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: no
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Pros

  • Premium metal design
  • Large and vibrant Full-HD display
  • Clean Android experience
  • Reliable cameras
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Non-removable battery
  • No MicroSD card slot

Summary

While not perfect, the ZTE Axon manages to strike the right compromises, resulting in an impressive phone that offers great bang for the buck.

ZTE Axon A1G123 5.5-inch
$144.50
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

HTC One A9

htc-one-a9

HTC have always been known for making top-class devices but if we’re being honest, 2015 was not their year. It’s HTC One M9 was not the flagship we were all expecting, and even their fallback, the mid-range HTC One A9 didn’t quite get the wheel turning again. Nonetheless, it is still an impressive smartphone for the price. The design is far from unique, and you don’t need to look too closely to see just how much the A9 resembles Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6S. That said, it plays the imitation pretty well, with a well-refined metal casing and a thin, light feel which makes it very comfortable to hold. It is unusual for HTC to fit an AMOLED screen on its devices but the A9 has one; a 5-inch, Full-HD panel, which produces rich blacks, punchy colors and excellent contrast. The brightness can be a little inadequate while in the sunny outdoors, and the whites do look a little washed out and gloomy, but all these are tolerable. While Android Marshmallow is now in many devices, the HTC One A9 was the first to come shipped with it. HTC Sense, being one of the few actually good custom interfaces integrates well with Google’s latest OS to provide a very intuitive and enjoyable Marshmallow experience. Thanks to great optimization, everything runs smoothly, despite employing a rather modest Snapdragon 617 CPU and 2GB RAM. The 13MP rear camera also performs well as long as it is nice and bright outside, but nothing can help with the battery, which only averages about 8 hours of life on moderate use.

  • Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617 4x1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (up to 256 GB)
  • Cameras: Front 4MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.0 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.31 lbs

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Rich and colorful Full-HD AMOLED screen
  • Latest Android version
  • Commendable performance

Cons

  • Design is far from unique
  • Terrible battery life

Summary

The HTC One A9 may not have a lot going for it and many will call it overselling to put it among the best budget smartphones. However, if you’re a fan of HTC devices, you will definitely appreciate the value it offers.

HTC One A9 5-inch
$234.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

Huawei P8 Lite

Huawei-P8-lite

The Huawei P8 Lite is a low spec version of the original P8. Despite its underpowered hardware and a low price tag of $199, it offers a comfortable design and performs just as well as its pricier sibling on day-to-day tasks. The P8 Lite looks almost identical to the P8, but instead of glass and metal frame on the latter, it has all-plastic case with a faux-aluminum finish. It feels much classier than the Zenfone 2 and feels sturdier than the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3. However, the price and the design are the only two things where the P8 Lite has an upper hand over its competitors. It runs a heavily skinned version of Android 4.4 KitKat while the majority of its competitors run a near stock version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. The P8 Lite’s 5-inch display is only 720P while the Zenfone 2 and Idol 3 both have Full-HD screens. Fortunately, due to the smaller screen on the P8, the lower number of pixels does not significantly impact its sharpness. The P8 Lite is powered by a Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core 1.5GHz processor with 2GB RAM and has 16GB of storage expandable via microSD. The phone is fast, responsive and can run most games in the Google Play Store. However, too many background apps can cause the system to slowdowns.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 1.5GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (Max 32GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.0 inch, 1280 x 720 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 0.29 lbs

Pros

  • Solid premium design
  • Impressive camera
  • Dual-SIM

Cons

  • Average display quality
  • Heavily skinned Android interface

Summary

Although it is a significant depth lower in the spec-scale than the Huawei P8, the P8 lite is still a premium-looking device that offers more than is acceptable for its price.

Huawei P8 Lite – 16GB
$129.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:36 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE551ML 64GB

ASUS-Zenfone-2-64GB

The ZenFone 2 is one of the top selling Android smartphones of the past year, featuring a sharp 5.5-inch display and decent hardware that brings modern features such as fast charging, NFC and LTE to the budget line. While it is plastic, the brushed metal look gives it a high end appearance usually only found on more expensive phones. The power button, for whatever reason, has a somewhat awkward position on the case, but there is a double tap wake feature meaning you won’t have to use it very often. It is powered by a 1.83 Quad-Core Intel Z3560 processor and 2GB of RAM along with a PowerVR G6430 GPU, you will get hardware fast enough to handle most apps today, although far from the most powerful in the smartphone world. It includes 16GB of storage but also includes a microSD card slot that allows you to expand your storage up to 64GB. The battery on this device lasts over 6 hours in normal use and only about 4 hours in heavy use. However, using a fast charger it can be fully charged within 1.5 hours. On the software side, it runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with the Zen UI, a clean interface with additional features like Zenmotion for gesture controls. The 13MP rear camera supports full Manual mode and takes good pictures with adequate lighting while the front facing 5MP camera is also adequate for selfies and video chats. All in all, if you are looking for some of the best Android has to offer while staying on a budget, the ZenFone 2 could be the perfect match.

  • Intel Intel Atom Z3580 2.33GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 4GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD card slot
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.37 lbs

Pros

  • Outstanding value
  • Full-HDscreen
  • Decent battery life
  • Powerful hardware

Cons

  • Average camera
  • ASUS Bloatware
  • Maximum screen brightness is low

Summary

If you’re looking for high-end performance and modern connectivity features for a mid-range price, the ZenFone 2 is worth a look.

ASUS ZenFone 2 – 64GB
$299.00$289.50
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from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:23 UTC) Details

BLU Energy X Plus

BLU-Energy-X-Plus

The latest in BLU’s offering is a series of low-price smartphones targeted at specific types of users. The Vivo Selfie came with a superior camera for mobile photographers while the Studio 6 HD offered a large 6-inch screen for budget users. The Energy X Plus is an equally capable performer but it doesn’t have a great camera like the Vivo Selfie. However, the X Plus packed with a 4000mAh battery can run for almost 2 days on a single charge with moderate use. Despite a huge battery under the back cover, it’s a relatively thin device measuring only 0.31mm thick. The plastic build isn’t high quality but looks and feels solid, and it’s available in three exciting colors- silver, grey and gold. The rest of the hardware keeps up with the standards. It has 720P HD screen that is adequately sharp, bright and colorful. Powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek Quad Core processor combined with 1GB of RAM, it’s a smooth performer but not the most powerful when it comes to gaming and multitasking. It has 8GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 64GB via microSD card. Like most BLU products, the Energy X Plus bundles extra accessories including a silicone clear phone case, a screen protector and earbuds that don’t sound so great. All in all, Energy X Plus is an attractively priced phablet that looks more expensive than it is, performs on par with competitors and offers a class-leading battery life.

  • Mediatek MT6582 Cortex-A7 1.3GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 8GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD (Max 64GB)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 8MP
  • 5.5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.37 lbs

Pros

  • Large HD screen
  • Smooth performance
  • Dual-SIM slots
  • Extra long battery life

Cons

  • Poor camera
  • No 4G LTE support

Summary

The Energy X Plus is a great budget device that looks and acts like its more expensive counterparts, and it’s a top choice for anyone looking for a large screen smartphone with a very long battery life.

BLU Energy X Plus – 8GB
$139.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-06-2017 22:32 UTC) Details

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Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our guide to the best affordable unlocked smartphones, and we are certain you are now well informed about the best phone deals around. The devices in this guide are all unique in their own way, but the one thing they have in common is their cheap price. It is therefore up to you to choose the smartphone that best suits your needs and your wallet. For additional research on the world of smartphones, feel free to go through our other guides, such as the best unlocked smartphones, best prepaid smartphones and best cheap prepaid smartphones. Any questions or feedback? Hit us up! We’ll be happy to hear from you.

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