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.
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 slowly all those amazing features from the flagship devices are trickling down to the 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 G5
The best cheap phone right now
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
Motorola's latest Moto G is now our best cheap phone in the world right now. The Moto G5 comes with a new metal design as well as a 1080p display and a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone.
You won't get the fastest chipset on this list or NFC with the Moto G5, but as an all-round product the new cheap Motorola phone will serve you well.
Read the full review: Motorola Moto G5
2. Moto E4 Plus
The 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
Second place in our list now goes to the Moto E4 Plus that features phenomenal battery life, a fingerprint scanner and a premium feel design, plus it's a lot cheaper than the Moto G5 above.
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
3. Nokia 6
Premium affordability from an iconic name
Weight: 169g | Dimensions: 154 x 75.8 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP
Nokia is back and the Nokia 6 sits in third place in our list of the best cheap phones right now. It comes with a gorgeous, premium-feel design, a fingerprint scanner in a comfortable position and a great camera.
If you want to buy one of the new Nokia phones, you want to go for the Nokia 6 as it features the highest spec and works the best out of all the new handsets. We particularly like the price tag for the Nokia 6 too considering what it offers for your money.
Read our full Nokia 6 review
4. 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
For just £170, 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 Cyanogen UI is a genuinely thoughtful enhancement to the stock Android operating system.
Read the full review: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus
5. Moto G4 Play
Another phone raising the budget bar
Weight: 137g | Dimensions: 144.4 x 72 x 9.9mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 410 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 8GB/16GB | Battery: 2800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
This is the lowest price phone out of all the Moto G products available right now. It features a 720p screen, but despite that the spec on this Motorola phone is still good including 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing selfie shooter.
The best part is it's running Android 6 Marshmallow software and Motorola has confirmed it will soon be upgraded to Android 7. That means you'll have the latest software, something many high-end and expensive phones are still waiting to get.
Read the full review: Moto G4 Play
6. Moto G4 Plus
The high-end of Motorola's budget line
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
You may be wondering why we haven't included the Moto G5 Plus before the Moto G4 Plus in our best cheap phones list, but that's because Motorola raised the price for its latest Plus model, making it less of a bargain.
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
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
The Moto E4 isn't our favourite cheap phone in the world right now... it's not even the best cheap phone from Motorola - those are the Moto G5, Moto E4 Plus, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play.
But if you're looking for a truly cheap device, the Moto E4 is still worth a look. We particularly liked the slick design, Android 7 software, fingerprint sensor and the value of the phone.
There's still the issue of it only having 16GB of storage and the performance isn't fantastic, but if you can get over those things the Moto E4 could prove a great choice.
8. 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
Another Wileyfox device has made it onto our best cheap phone list, and this one costs even less than the Swift 2 Plus listed 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.
Our highlight of this phone is the design - it feels premium, while coming with a low price point. If you're looking for a lot of features for not much money and you like the design of the Swift 2, we'd recommend this as your next affordable phone.
Read the full review: Wileyfox Swift 2
9. LG X Screen
An always-on second screen
Weight: 120g | Dimensions: 142.6 x 71.8 x 7.1mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1280 | CPU: Snapdragon 410 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP
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 Moto G4, but it still comes with 2GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 410 chipset 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 LG G6.
Read the full review: LG X Screen
10. 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
The Honor 6A seems like a bit of a downgrade compared to the Honor 5C that was available before it, but it comes with better battery life and an improved camera.
It also features Android 7 Nougat software and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset that should give you a stable experience.
Sadly there's no fingerprint scanner, like there was on the Honor 5C, and the screen has been bumped down to HD rather than 1080p, but this is still a good handset to go for if you're looking for something on a budget.
Read the full review: Honor 6A
Upcoming cheap phones
Should you wait for a new cheap phone to be announced? There's sure to be many more upcoming budget phone announcements in 2017.
Motorola has released both the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus, but both phones are too expensive to rank in this list as each is over £200. We've just reviewed the Wileyfox Spark X, but that didn't make the cut for our best cheap phone list.
If we see alternative budget handsets soon we'll be sure to take another look at this list and keep it up to date with the latest best cheap phones.
- Happy to spend more on your phone? Read our best phone of 2017 guide