Best cheap phones 2017: our top budget mobiles

If you're in the market for a cheap smartphone deal then you're in luck, as Black Friday is in full swing, ensuring there are stealing offers to be had right now.

[Update: Prices have changed and Motorola's new E4 series has shown up to mix things up in our best cheap smartphones rundown.]

In the past, the term 'best cheap phones' was usually a warning rather than a tempting proposition, with shoddy build quality, sluggish performance, laughable screen resolution and woeful cameras typically featuring on such handsets.

But this isn't the past, this is the present, and the market abounds with top budget phones.

While the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone 8, LG G6 and HTC U11 steal headlines around the world, there's a lot of intriguing (and cheap) stuff going on in the world of budget phones.

Here's a selection of our favourite cheap phones that cost under £200.

  • Don't need to worry about cost? Check out our best phone list

1. Moto E4 Plus

The best cheap phone to buy if you want great battery

Weight: 198g | Dimensions: 155 x 77.5 x 9.6mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: MediaTek MT6737 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Huge battery
Fingerprint scanner
Limited power
Iffy camera

First place in our list goes to the excellent Moto E4 Plus. It's a cheap phone that features phenomenal battery life, a fingerprint scanner and a premium feel design, plus it's a lot cheaper than the Moto G5 below.

It is a little limited with its power, but it makes up for it by being able to last for a whole two days from a single charge. If price and battery are the most important features for you, the Moto E4 Plus will suit you perfectly.

Read our full Moto E4 Plus review

2. Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus

Solid specs, strong camera and superb price

Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 143.7 x 71.9 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 720 | CPU: Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2700mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great design for a low price
Smooth performance
Screen is ‘only’ 720p
No HDR for camera

For a price tag that's comfortably under the £200 mark, Wileyfox has done wonders with the Swift 2 Plus. It looks and feels like a much more expensive phone, with an attractive aluminium build and smooth performance.

Its camera is capable of taking decent shots, its fingerprint sensor works well, and the UI is a genuinely thoughtful enhancement to the stock Android operating system.

Read the full review: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus

3. Moto G5

The former best cheap phone

Weight: 145g | Dimensions: 144.3 x 73 x 9.5mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 2/3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 2800mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Part-metal body at a low price
Crisp, vibrant HD display
Not the snappiest chipset

Motorola's Moto G5, a former best cheap phone in the world, has slipped a few places thanks to better priced alternatives, plus the introduction of the new G5S. The Moto G5 comes with a metal design, 1080p display and fingerprint scanner.

You won't get the fastest chipset on this list or NFC with the Moto G5, but as an all-round product the cheap Motorola phone will serve you well.

Read the full review: Motorola Moto G5

4. Moto G4 Plus

A bigger screen at a low price

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 7.9-9.8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Snapdragon 617 | RAM: 2/4GB | Storage: 16GB w/ microSD | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP

Great camera
Bright, crisp display
Plastic build

The spec for the G4 Plus is much the same as it was on the Moto G4, but it also comes with a fingerprint scanner and an improved camera.

The 16MP rear shooter is arguably one of the most impressive phone cameras at the sub-£200 mark. There's no NFC so you won't be able to use Android Pay on the Moto G4 Plus, but a bright display and strong performance is sure to make up for it.

Read the full review: Moto G4 Plus

5. Wileyfox Swift 2

Wileyfox does it again with this feature-rich budget blower

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 143.7 x 71.9 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2700mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great design
Android 7 out of the box
Camera poor in low light
Only 720p screen

Another Wileyfox device has made it onto our best cheap phone list, and this one costs even less than the Swift 2 Plus above. 

We love the Swift 2 for its combination of low price and good spec. There's a 5-inch screen, 13MP rear shooter and Android 7 software right out of the box, plus a premium design.

Read the full review: Wileyfox Swift 2

6. Honor 6A

A dependable budget phone that cuts a few corners

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 143.7 x 71 x 8.2mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 2/3GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 3020mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

Decent camera
Exemplary battery life
720 display feels like a step down
No fingerprint scanner

The Honor 6A comes with better battery life, more stable performance and an improved camera over the 5C it replaced.

It also features Android 7 Nougat software and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset that should give you a stable experience.

Read the full review: Honor 6A

7. Moto E4

Who knew the low-end could be so good?

Dimensions: 144.7 x 72.3 x 9.3mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: MediaTek MT6737 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2,800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Slick design
Fingerprint sensor
Weak performance
Isn't all metal in some markets

The Moto E4 isn't our favourite cheap phone - it's not even the best cheap phone from Motorola - but if you're looking for a truly cheap phone, it's worth a look. 

We particularly liked the slick design, Android 7 software, fingerprint sensor and the value of the phone. The only issues are the 16GB of storage and less than average performance, but get over those things and the E4 could prove a great choice.

Read the full review: Moto E4

8. LG X Screen

A cheap phone that has not one, but two screens

Weight: 120g | Dimensions: 142.6 x 71.8 x 7.1mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 4.93-inch | Resolution: 720x1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 410 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

Solid build quality
Slick performance
Second screen gimmick
Poor front camera

LG has created a well-balanced, affordable smartphone in the X Screen which boasts a party piece feature - somewhat of a surprise at this end of the market.

Wow you friends with your cheap phone's second display, but don't oversell it too much as it's just an extra bar above the main display, rather than a whole new screen on the other side.

Read the full review: LG X Screen