Best budget smartphone 2019: our top cheap mobiles

Best budget smartphone
Image Credit: TechRadar

Welcome to our round up of the best budget smartphones available. We've painstakingly reviewed all the top cheap phones in 2019 so far, to bring you our definitive ranking on the very best, so you can find the best cheap phone for you.

Update: There's another new entry into our best budget smartphones line up, with the Motorola One joining the party.

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 S10, iPhone XS, Huawei P30 Pro and OnePlus 6T steal headlines around the world, there's a lot of intriguing (and cheap) stuff going on in the world of budget smartphones. 

Here are our favourite cheap phones that cost under £200 SIM-free.

  • Not worried about the cost? Check out our best phone list

Best cheap phone

Image Credit: TechRadar

1. Huawei P Smart (2019)

The best cheap phone you can buy right now

Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 155.2 x 73.4 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.21-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Kirin 710 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8/16MP

Slick design at great price
Ample storage
Only one speaker
Camera can overly process

The Huawei P Smart 2019 is the best cheap phone you can buy right now.

It packs a usable camera, plenty of storage and great battery life as well as a screen and design that punch way above their weight.  

There is very little between the Huawei P Smart and the Honor 10 Lite, they're practically the same device, but the P Smart tops our list with its slightly sharper design.

Read our full review: Huawei P Smart (2019)

Best cheap phone

Image Credit: TechRadar

2. Honor 10 Lite

A worthy runner-up to our best cheap phone

Weight: 162g | Dimensions: 154.8 x 73.6 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.21-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Kirin 710 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 24MP

Premium look for low cost
Great display
MicroUSB port is dated

The Honor 10 Lite is a little unlucky to find itself second in our best budget smartphone round-up, as it can make a strong case for being first as it's almost identical to the P Smart (2019).

If you're a frequent Snapchatter or selfie addict the 24MP front-facing camera on the Honor 10 Lite is the one for you.

Read our full review: Honor 10 Lite

Best cheap phone

Image Credit: TechRadar

3. Moto G7 Power

The best cheap phone for battery hogs

Weight: 193g | Dimensions: 159.4 x 76 x 9.3mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1570 | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Massive battery
Good gaming performance
Bulky design
Wi-Fi can be patchy

This is the best budget smartphone when it comes to battery, with the Moto G7 Power packing a mammoth 5,000mAh power pack.

It’s also awkwardly big, but for those who want two days (and sometimes more) from a single charge no other smartphone around can match the Moto G7 Power right now.  

Read our full review: Moto G7 Power

Best budget smartphone

Image Credit: Motorola

4. Moto G6

This former best cheap phone is still a good buy

Weight: 167g | Dimensions: 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 450 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP

Premium design for the price
Bright and clear display
Not waterproof
Slow camera

The Moto G6 is no-longer the best budget smartphone, but it's still a great buy for those looking for value for money.

It may not feel or run like a flagship phone, but it’s not pretending to be one. The Moto G6 offers a lot of solid features, plus extras including some fun camera features, fast charging and it all adds up to make one of the best budget handsets on the market.

Motorola has been a class-leader at the budget end of the mobile for a few years, and the pure Android software and solid build of the Moto G6 ensures you get a top smartphone experience without having to break the bank.

Read our in-depth Moto G6 review

Best budget smartphone

5. Huawei P Smart

A top cheap smartphone

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 150.1 x 72.1 x 7.5mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.65-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Smart looks at the right price
Background blur for both cameras
Uses micro USB not USB-C
Camera poor at night

Huawei had an extremely strong 2018 with its flagship handsets making waves at the top end of the market, but it didn't forgotten about the savvy, price-conscious shoppers.

The Huawei P Smart is a smart choice if you're after an affordable handset with a big 18:9 display, premium design and rear fingerprint scanner

Its camera isn't quite as good as the Moto G6, which sees it slip in just below in our best budget smartphone ranking - but this is still a top cheap phone. 

Read our in-depth Huawei P Smart review

Best cheap phone

Image Credit: TechRadar

6. Moto G7 Play

Moto's new entry-level smartphone is a top budget buy

Weight: 149g | Dimensions: 147.3 x 71.5 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1512 | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great battery life
Front-facing speaker
Occasional gaming lag
No NFC for payments

You’re unlikely to find many more compelling phones than the Moto G7 Play at its rock-bottom price. It’s well constructed, slim, has zippy internals, the camera is good when you factor in all the shooting modes and it lasts a full day. 

The lack of NFC is a bit of a disappointment, but if that doesn’t phase you and you’re not put off by the clunky looking notch and practical design, go forth and pick one up, you won’t regret it.

Read our full review: Moto G7 Play

Best budget smartphone

Image Credit: TechRadar

7. Honor 9 Lite

Flagship features at a bargain basement price

Weight: 149g | Dimensions: 151 x 71.9 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 8.0 | Screen size: 5.65-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP + 2MP

Premium design
18:9 full HD display
Glass is a fingerprint magnet
Poor low-light camera

The Honor 9 Lite is a bit of a steal. Not only do you get dual rear facing cameras, you also get dual front-facing cameras, along with a design that's taken from the flagship Honor 9.

There's also a fingerprint scanner, decently sized full HD display and the latest version of Android. Its cameras may not be the best in low light, but there's a lot of bang for your buck here.

Read our in-depth Honor 9 Lite review

Best cheap phone

Image Credit: TechRadar

8. Nokia 5.1

Pure Android with Nokia build-quality

Dimensions: 151.1 x 70.7 x 8.2mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: MediaTek Helio P18 | RAM: 2/3GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 2970mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great design
Handy fingerprint scanner
Not the slickest performance
Average camera

If you're after the best design and screen you can get for under £150, the Nokia 5.1 is best cheap phone you can buy. 

The rest of the specs are fine, it's not going to dazzle you with performance or camera quality, but it's how it feels and looks that make it stand out. 

Read the full review: Nokia 5.1

Best budget smartphone

Image Credit: Motorola

9. Moto E5 Plus

A big screen, long lasting battery and low price

Weight: 196.6g | Dimensions: 160.9 x 75.3 x 9.4mm | OS: Android 8.0 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 425 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Premium look
A big, big battery
Some slow loading times
Feels cheaper than it looks

The Moto E5 Plus offers up a big screen, long lasting battery and a low price tag, making it an excellent contender for the best budget smartphone on the market.

It just misses out on a top three spot thanks to its slightly weaker performance and lower resolution screen versus - but this is still a top budget buy.

Read the full review: Moto E5 Plus

Best Cheap Phone

Image Credit: Motorola

10. Motorola One

iPhone X looks for a fraction of the price

Weight: 162g | Dimensions: 149.9 x 72.2 x 8mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 5.9-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1520 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Modern iPhone X-like design
Fast, fluid Android One OS
Display only 720p
Doesn't feel as premium as it looks

If the design of the iPhone X has caught your eye, but the price tag is way, way, way off your budget, then the Motorola One could be your ticket to stylish smartphone nirvana.

With an iPhone-like wide notch and relatively slender bezels all the way around, the Motorola One looks pricier than it is, and while that premium pretense may be lost a little when you pick it up, it's a great budget smartphone.

The stock Android interface keeps its fresh and fluid under finger, there's a decent amount of power under the hood and the dual-lens camera is a nice addition at this price point.

Read our in-depth Motorola One review