As much as we love playing with and testing the latest and greatest phones here at Android Central, there’s something we can universally agree on that we’re not fans of: paying full price for the best Android phones. So if you’re in the market for a quality Android phone, but don’t want to spend a thousand dollars, check out the best cheap Android phones, or grab one of the best-refurbished phones that offer a great experience at a fraction of what you’d typically spend. Here are our favorite options.
Still a stunner:
Google Pixel 4a Smartphone 128GB
Although the newer Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 series are already out, the Pixel 4a is still a fantastic value buy. The device sports the same primary camera as the Pixel 3a and 3 XL, along with a clean design. Plus, you’ll still get a few more major software updates down the line.
Sasmung Galaxy S20 FE
It’s tough to ignore the Galaxy S20 FE, regardless of whether you want to get a new phone or pick up a refurbished one. The S20 FE continues to be the best Android phone, and on the refurbished market, you can save a few more bucks to get a flagship experience for less.
Ahead of its time:
OnePlus 8 IN2017 5G
The OnePlus 8 has supplanted the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7T, bringing the value flagship experience we have come to expect from OnePlus. You’ll find a triple camera setup on the back, a solid 4,300mAh battery, and a gorgeous AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
Enter the Galaxy:
Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB+6GB RAM
Samsung does a few things well: its design and displays. The Galaxy S10e is the child of the standard S10 line and is arguably the most impressive of them all. This budget-minded device was a sleeper-hit in 2019, giving you almost all the flagship features at a fraction of the cost.
Great all around:
LG’s V60 didn’t receive much attention when it was released in early 2020, and that’s honestly a shame. While it isn’t the best Android phone ever created, it’s an excellent device in just about every regard. The metal + glass design looks great, the external speakers are insanely loud, and it has one of the highest-quality headphone jacks around.
Livin’ the stylus life:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 N970 6.3″
The Galaxy Note 20’s arrival opens the door for the Note 10 to see steeper discounts. However, despite being locked with a 60Hz refresh rate, that’s not the primary reason for grabbing a Note 10. The display itself is still gorgeous, Samsung has pushed updates to improve the camera, and it’s equipped with the ever-useful S Pen.
Powerful and cheap:
Unlocked Motorola Moto G Power (2021)
With three days of battery life on a single charge, along with a refreshed design and an improved primary camera, the Moto G Power (2021) has a lot to offer. Throw in the fact that you’re also getting a near-stock Android software experience, and the G Power makes for a rather enticing option.
Ignore the battery life:
Google Pixel 4 (Renewed)
For everything that Google did wrong with the battery on the Pixel 4, it’s still a great phone in just about every other facet. The camera system is still one of our favorites, especially with Night Sight, as newer devices just can’t stack up. You’ll just need to use some of the cash you’ve saved to pick up a portable charger.
Samsung – Galaxy S21 5G Smartphone
The Galaxy S21 is the latest flagship device from the Samsung camp, and it doesn’t disappoint. It forgoes the larger display in favor of a more pocketable experience, while providing all the power you want from a 2021 flagship.
A stupendous deal:
OnePlus 7T 6.55″
OnePlus regularly makes some of the best value flagships on the market, but if the OnePlus 8 Pro is a bit too rich for your blood, we recommend looking into a refurbished 7T. The OnePlus 7T’s design is still modern in 2022, thanks to its small waterdrop notch and sleek glass back. It has a Snapdragon 855+ CPU, 90Hz AMOLED display, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip SM-F700U1 Factory Unlocked
While much of the foldable world focuses on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 with its massive display, the Galaxy Z Flip is a bit overshadowed. This is a compact and lightweight smartphone that flips, and you won’t have to worry about carrying a tablet around with you wherever you go.
The Pixel 4a is the best-refurbished phone
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
When Google launched the Pixel 3a in 2019, there was much fanfare as it seemed that Google was changing up the game plan. However, after the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 arrived, it became clear that this is the case as Google is opting to take over the budget market instead of competing with the likes of Samsung and Apple and other flagship models. After conquering this segment, Google went back to the top with the launch of the mid and upper-tier Pixel 6 and 6 Pro devices.
The Pixel 4a packs an impressive wallop, providing the same camera on the Pixel 3a and 3 XL. It has a design that is comfortable to hold and still familiar to just about every Android user. Sure, the spec-sheet isn’t flagship-level, and the newer Pixel 5a has a better battery, but the 4a gets the leg up in the refurbished market. Plus, Google still plans on supporting this device until at least late 2023.
Want something a bit more flashy? Check out the OnePlus 7T or Galaxy S20 FE
Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central
If you’re someone who wants to save a few bucks and get a device that is flashy and will still turn heads, there’s no better way to go other than OnePlus or Samsung. The OnePlus 7T you’re getting a sleek design with a stunning AMOLED display equipped with a 90Hz display. There are no hole-punches to be concerned with, and the glass back has a texture that is simply comfortable to hold.
The camera system may not hold up against the likes of the 3a or the Note 10, but it will do the job just fine. The bigger benefit comes in the software department, as OxygenOS is one of the best Android skins available. At the very least, you will get Android 11 on the 7T, but OnePlus has an excellent track record of providing software updates for years. Just look at the OnePlus 5 and 5T.
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
Looking back at 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was really the phone that stole almost everyone’s hearts. The device proved that Samsung listens to its users, bringing with it a flat display, along with a matte plastic backplate so we wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with damaged glass. From a performance perspective, the S20 FE offered practically the same experience as the standard Galaxy S20.
In fact, the S20 FE was dubbed the “new flagship killer” in our review, with its modern flagship design and specs, without having to pay the flagship premium. The 120Hz display is a dream to use, and there are more than enough colors to mix and match your style. Plus, Samsung has upped the ante in the software department, promising up to three years of major Android software updates, along with the monthly security patch releases. So the S20 FE really is the complete package, no matter how you look at it.
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