A number of good and reliable smartphones on a budget have made their way to market this year, with notable options from Motorola, Honor, Nokia, and more.
A few years back, most budget phones could barely handle basic tasks, let alone offer more advanced features, attractive designs, and good specifications. A lot has changed since then and the budget smartphone market has greatly evolved, with plenty of handsets to choose from without breaking the bank or sacrificing too much performance.
Sure, budget phones don't hold a candle to today's mighty smartphone flagships, but they're a fraction of the cost and they now come with significantly better specs than they used to, including more RAM, better cameras, and more powerful processors.
Without further ado, with 2018 now upon us, here's a list of the top budget smartphones released in 2017. They're all Android-powered because Android is the most popular mobile operating system, and, well, Apple doesn't make cheap smartphones.
Moto G5 Plus
Motorola's Moto G5 Plus is widely considered the best budget smartphone of the year, boasting impressive specifications for its price and category. It has a 5.2-inch full HD display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor.
It has up to 4 GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera with improved low-light performance, and a hefty 3,000 mAh battery, among the highlights.
Bottom line, this is the best sub-$250 phone you can buy today, and it's still a great device even if the price isn't a factor. With these specs, the Moto G5 Plus is basically the best smartphone under $250 currently available on the market. Moreover, Motorola is also offering financing options for those who don't want to get the smartphone outright.
Nokia returned to market under HMD Global's leadership and the Android-powered Nokia 6 is among its best budget offers. The handset comes with a 5.5-inch full HD display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor.
It has up to 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB or 64 GB of native storage, a 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front shooter. The Nokia 6 also sports a neat design for its category, a sturdy and durable build, a fingerprint scanner, and a 3,000 mAh battery to keep things up and running.
The smartphone costs $229.99 and it's available from a number of retailers in the United States, as well as globally.
Huawei's Honor brand launched the Honor 7X this year as the successor to the Honor 6X, marking a great upgrade without compromising affordability. Coming in at under $200, the Honor 7X sports a large 5.9-inch "FullView" display with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels and a Kirin 659 processor.
It also has up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 128 GB of native storage space, dual rear cameras (16MP + 2MP), an 8-megapixel front shooter, a 3,340 mAh battery, and EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0. It's a solid device and it's basically the best all-metal smartphone of the year.
Moto E4 Plus
Motorola's Moto E4 Plus is another solid option on a budget, offering good specs and features for its sub-$200 price point. The handset features a 5.5-inch HD screen (1,280 x 720 pixels), and a quad-core Snapdragon 427 processor.
It has 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB or 32 GB of storage, a 13-megapixel main camera, and a 5-megapixel selfie cam. It's main selling point, however, is its beastly 5,000 mAh battery, which can last two days or even more on a single charge.
For those looking for something even more affordable, the Moto E4 shares many specs with the Moto E4 Plus and it's notably cheaper at $129.
ZTE Blade Z Max
Lastly, for those looking for an ultra-cheap smartphone, the ZTE Blade Z Max might do the trick. It comes in at $99 and features a 6-inch full HD display, and a Snapdragon 435 processor.
It has 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage, expandable via microSD. Other specs include a dual rear camera setup (16MP + 2MP), an 8-megapixel front shooter, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a 4,080 mAh battery.