The best cheap phone in the UAE or Saudi Arabia can be a little tricky to pick, as it's not always going to be based around what phone launches with a low starting price. Some of the best cheap smartphones are actually older models with heavy discounts, while certain new phones offer killer value and the latest perks.
Another major factor that goes into finding the best cheap phone is the price. Cheap for one person isn't necessarily the same for another person. With flagship phone prices from Apple and Samsung flying up toward AED/SAR 4,000, some people may find anything under AED/SAR 2,400 cheap, while those with tighter budgets could be looking below AED/SAR 1,500 or even below for a smartphone.
Fortunately, no one gets left out when it comes to great cheap smartphones. Older phones from Samsung and Apple come in at prices that thrift shoppers can afford, and new phones from OnePlus, Huawei, Motorola, and more manufacturers that might have fallen off your radar can pack new technologies into affordable packages well worth considering.
We've assembled a ranked list of the best phones around AED 1,500. No matter your budget, we're recommending a smartphone for you based on these price categories.
1. Huawei P30 Lite
Solid performance, versatile camera and metal and glass build
Display: 6.15-inch full-HD LCD notched display | Processor: Kirin 710 SoC | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | OS: Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9 | Rear camera: 24MP + 2MP + 8MP | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 3340mAh
Apart from the teardrop notch and the colorful back designs, the P30 Lite has little in common with its siblings. The P30 Lite discards several key features from the higher-end P30 phones but aims to retain the spirit of the P30 series by offering a high-end striking design alongside an adept camera setup.
The phone can handle most tasks well enough for casual users. You can easily get a days worth of moderate use with the conservative battery capacity and if you happen to run out of juice the phone can charge up relatively quickly with the bundled fast charger.
2. iPhone 8
Still a viable iPhone, now a lot cheaper
Weight: 148g | Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 750 x 1334 | CPU: A11 Bionic | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 64/256GB | Battery: 1,821mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
You're never going to get a cheap iPhone if you opt for the newest models. But, if you dig a little deeper, you can get an older model at a good price. The iPhone 8 may have a dated design next to the iPhone X and 2018 iPhones – bigger bezels, fewer cameras – but it offers a strong price-to-performance value.
The A11 Bionic chipset inside of the iPhone 8 is still plenty powerful for anything you'll throw at it, and Apple keeps legacy devices supported for a long time. So you'll be able to update the operating system to iOS 12 and probably even to iOS 13 and beyond.
The rest of its specs aren't too shabby, with a 12MP rear camera, 7MP front-facing camera, 2GB of RAM and either 64GB or 256GB of storage. While the 1,821mAh battery isn't huge compared to flagships, it can change wirelessly.
Read the full review: iPhone 8
3. Samsung Galaxy S9
A former flagship gets a new value proposition
Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
The Moto G6 had a tough act to follow: itself, really, with the 2017 Moto G5 Plus. Thankfully, the latest budget smartphone from Motorola fully delivers on the hype.
When it comes to the flagship-level specs and features to be found here, this model touts an all-glass design, dual-lens rear cameras, an 18:9 aspect ratio display, headphone jack, USB-C charging and the very latest Android Oreo update.
Launching at AED 1,049, this phone is an unbeatable value. It provides decent specs with clean Android software, making this the best choice out there if you're looking for a new phone, but don't have loads of cash on-hand.
Read the full review: Moto G6
4. Nokia 7.1
Nokia's old champion mid-ranger
Release date: October 2018 | Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 150 x 71 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,060mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
That's right, Nokia still has phones coming out. Things where dicey for a while there, but the company has been making a comeback recently, and its Nokia 7.1 handset offers a strong value.
The Nokia 7.1 offers a big, bright screen with the notch we've seen on so many other smartphones in the past couple years. The display even supports HDR10 for superior contrast and colors. The Snapdragon 636 chipset isn't the most powerful, but will do for all but the most serious mobile gamers and power users. And, all of that is packed into an a aluminum and glass design the won't feel nearly as cheap as the phone is.
Read our in-depth review: Nokia 7.1
5. Moto G7
A budget champ with modern flair
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 172g | Dimensions: 157 x 75.3 x 8 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2270 | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP
When you're looking for a great budget smartphone, you should always see what Motorola is cooking up in its Moto G line. The family of smartphone almost always has something strong on offer, and the Moto G7 is no exception.
The Moto G7 has a capable is not incredible Snapdragon 632 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. And, it's fit into a modern looking chassis. The edges are aluminum, with glass on the front and back.
The screen really brings the Moto G7 into modernity, with a big, 6.2-inch display that has just a small teardrop notch at the top akin to the OnePlus 6T. You also get a fingerprint scanner on the back, dual rear cameras, a headphone jack, and light water resistance.
Read our in-depth review: Moto G7
- Looking for the best phones and not restricted to a budget? Here are our top picks.