10 best cheap phones 2016: our top budget mobiles

We compare the best budget phones on the market

Best budget phone

While handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S7, iPhone 6S, LG G5 and the HTC 10 are stealing headlines around the world, there's a lot of intriguing (and cheap) stuff going on in the world of budget phones.

Sadly smartphone innovation isn't cheap – and most of it is reserved for high-end contract handsets. There is however such a thing as a good cheap smartphone, and ever so gently all those amazing features from the flagship devices are slowly trickling down to the budget phones.

Here's a selection of our favourite budget phones that cost under £200. If you're looking to pick up a decent handset for not much cash, these are the top cheap phones your money can buy - even on a budget.

Moto G4

1. Motorola Moto G4

The best Moto G yet

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 617 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Bright Full HD display
Impressively powerful
Lack of Moto Maker options
No NFC

Motorola has made some major upgrades to one of its best phones you can buy right now - the Moto G.

The Moto G4 is the first time the phone line has adopted a 5.5-inch Full HD display and it's an impressively powerful device as well. Compared to some of the other phones to follow on this list, this is going to give you the best gaming performance below £200.

Battery life is impressive on the Moto G4, but it's not a perfect phone as there's no NFC and no customization options you get with other Motorola devices.

That said, the rest of the Moto G4 makes it our favourite cheap phone you can buy right now.

Read the full review: Motorola Moto G4

See the best Motorola Moto G4 deals

OnePlus X

2. OnePlus X

OnePlus has gone below £200 and it's paid off

Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 140 x 69 x 6.9mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 801 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2525mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

Attractive design
Bright display
No NFC or fast charging
Hard to get a hold of

OnePlus caught our eye with its first phone last year, but this new addition is even more jaw dropping as it has managed to go below the £200 mark.

It's not just an impressive spec. OnePlus has created a gorgeous design for its new budget range and it's beautiful to hold. Plus the invite system for the OnePlus X has now been dropped so it's even easier to grab one of these phones.

The OnePlus X is one of the best affordable phones in the world right now and if you're not after a Motorola phone this may be the best choice for you. You might want to act fast though, as OnePlus has stopped production of the handset and when the stocks gone, it's gone forever.

If you're looking for the cheapest price head to OnePlus.net where the OnePlus X will set you back just £189.

Read the full review: OnePlus X

Wileyfox Storm

3. Wileyfox Storm

A newbie comes in third

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 615 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2500mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great screen
Snappy performance
Average battery
Weedy buttons

Wileyfox has now dropped into third place, but that's still impressive as it's still its first ever phone called the Storm. Much like OnePlus has done, it blows all the previous competition away.

Here you get an incredible 5.5-inch Full HD display, 32GB of storage and a stunning 20MP camera. Put in an 8MP selfie snapper and it's a very impressive set up considering it costs less than £200.

If you want high-end specs at a cheap price, the Wileyfox Storm may well be the best choice for you.

Read the full review: Wileyfox Storm

See the best Wileyfox Storm deals

Oppo F1

4. Oppo F1

Oppo make another very cheap phone

Weight: 134g | Dimensions: 143.5 x 71 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 616 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2500mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

Stylish design
Decent camera
Plastic edges
Iffy auto brightness

You may not know much about Oppo, but that doesn't mean it's not making some of the best cheap phones money can buy right now.

The cheapest phone you can buy in the UK is the Oppo F1 and it's actually an affordable price for the level of spec you're getting.

It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. The display is a 5-inch 720p screen and it's still running outdated software in the form of Android 5.1 Lollipop, but it's still an impressive phone and may well be the best choice for you.

Read the full review: Oppo F1

See the best Oppo F1 deals

LG X Screen

5. LG X Screen

An always-on second screen

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 615 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2500mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 8MP

Solid build quality
Second screen
Poor front camera
Fake-metal is unnecessary

LG's latest budget handset comes with one major selling point - it has a second, always-on display. No other phone that's under £200 is going to be able to offer you that and that's one key reason to buy the LG X Screen.

The spec may not be as impressive as say the OnePlus X, but it still comes with 2GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 410 processor and a 13MP rear facing camera.

If you're a fan of LG, the X Screen may well be the best product you'll be able to buy right now if you don't want to shell out on a flagship phone like the G5.

Read the full review: LG X Screen

See the best LG X Screen deals

BQ Aquaris M4 5

6. BQ Aquaris M4.5

A small triumph

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 615 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2500mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great battery life
Good speakers
Middling performance
No Gorilla Glass

You may not have heard of BQ before, and this is the first time the company has made it into our best cheap phones list. It's still quite a small company, but the Aquaris M4.5 does feel like a step in the right direction for budget handsets.

It comes with a bright 4.5-inch screen that while not Full HD is still an impressive set up and has two decent cameras as well as good battery life.

Read the full review: BQ Aquaris M4.5

See the best BQ Aquaris M4.5 deals

Smart Prime 7

7. Vodafone Smart Prime 7

For under £100

Weight: 128g | Dimensions: 144 x 72.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 210 | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8GB | Battery: 2540mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Nice clear screen
Runs smoothly
Camera is weak
8GB of internal storage is not enough

Here's one of the few UK exclusive devices on our list of the best budget phones you can buy right now and this one is from one of the country's biggest networks.

Vodafone is making some very impressive devices right now and if you're after a phone that costs less than £100 you'll be hard to go wrong with the Smart Prime 7.

The camera isn't great and it doesn't come with much storage, but if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful smartphone you'll like this with its clear screen and smooth performance.

Read the full review: Vodafone Smart Prime 7

See the best Vodafone Smart Prime 7 deals

Moto E

8. Motorola Moto E

The new Moto E packs LTE and a few sweet upgrades

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 615 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2500mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 8MP

Solid design
Great low price
Some display issues
Not enough storage

The second generation Moto E shows that Motorola isn't messing around when it comes to budget smartphones, as it continues the legacy of its predecessor as one of the best affordable handsets you can buy.

A whole host of new features have been added to the Motorola Moto E (2015) including 4G LTE connectivity and a decent – though not exactly premium design.

It also ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop, making it one of the cheapest smartphones to come with Google's latest mobile operating system straight out of the box.

The Motorola Moto E isn't quite as good as the slightly more expensive Motorola Moto G (2014) which, spoiler alert, appears later on in this list, but for the low, low price you'll be hard pressed to find a better smartphone.

Read the full review: Moto E

See the best Motorola Moto E deals

Lumia 650

9. Microsoft Lumia 650

The new Moto E packs LTE and a few sweet upgrades

Weight: 122g | Dimensions: 142 x 70.9 x 6.9mm | OS: Windows 10 Mobile | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 212 | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2000mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Great screen
Good camera
Missing Continuum
Slow processor

Microsoft's latest budget phone has just squeezed its way onto the list of the best cheap phones you can buy right now.

It's an impressive set up with a high-end spec including a 5-inch 720p display, a Snapdragon 212 processor, 16GB of storage and Windows 10 Mobile software.

It won't be able to do everything that the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL would offer you, but it's still an impressive choice if you're looking for a Windows Phone handset that doesn't break the bank.

Read the full review: Microsoft Lumia 650

See the best Microsoft Lumia 650 deals

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

10. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

This is the mid-range waterproof marvel we wanted

Weight: 136g | Dimensions: 145.5 x 72.6 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 615 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 8GB | Battery: 2400mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Great waterproof design
Very good battery life
Poor performance in some areas
Only 8GB internal memory

Sony's latest mid-ranger is a big improvement on the M2 Aqua, but a lot of competition has jumped in and knocked it down to tenth place. If you're looking for a little more check out the newer Sony Xperia M5, but it doesn't fall into our low-cost bracket.

That said, this is still a cracking phone. It's the only one on the list you can take in the bath with you as it has IP68 waterproof technology that means it won't frazzle the internals.

There's also a great 720p 5-inch screen and some of the best battery life we've seen on a mid-range phone for quite some time. If you like Sony phones, this is the best you can get for under £200.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

See the best Sony Xperia M4 Aqua deals

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