The best budget Android phones in 2023

The best budget Android phones in 2023
By: Posted: June 23, 2023

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Budget Android phones from 2022 and 2023 with their cameras showing in a fan arrangement.
The best budget Android phones can outperform some premium devices.

There is no better time to buy a budget Android phone, whether you’ve always bought phones in the budget category, or even if you’re used to more expensive flagship devices. 

These days, budget Android phones come with performance, camera quality, features, displays, and designs that surprise us for their price tags — in a very good way. 

When we say “budget” Android phones, we’re referring to devices that cost less than $500, with sub-$400 prices being preferable. We’re hesitant to recommend anything below the $200 price point, as phone performance and camera quality start to suffer beyond reasonable expectations.

Shopping for the best cheap Android phone isn’t as simple as looking at the price tag, as relatively higher prices don’t necessarily guarantee a better phone. For a more comprehensive look at the Android landscape, including premium devices, see our guide to the best Android phones overall

Our top picks for the best budget Android phones

Best overall: Google Pixel 6a – See at Amazon
The Google Pixel 6a delivers the perfect balance of performance, camera quality, features, design, and price for a budget Android phone. 

Best true budget: Samsung Galaxy A14 5G – See at Best Buy
Samsung’s Galaxy A14 offers solid performance and a decent camera with a large screen that outperforms its low price tag of $200.  

Best camera: Google Pixel 6a – See at Amazon
Google’s Pixel 6a cameras can’t be beat for the price — even spending three times more on a premium phone won’t guarantee better photos. 

Best battery life: Samsung Galaxy A54 – See at Amazon
Samsung’s Galaxy A54 has the best battery life on this list despite a medium-sized, 6.4-inch screen, and it supports up to 25W charging speeds.

Best large screen: OnePlus Nord N30 – See at Best Buy
The OnePlus Nord N30 has the biggest screen on this list while sporting excellent performance, good battery life, and an included 50W charger. 

Best budget upgrade: Google Pixel 7a – See at Best Buy
The Pixel 7a from Google is on the pricier side of the “budget” sphere, but its premium features can justify the added cost. 

Best overall: Google Pixel 6a

Side by side images of a person's hand holding the Google Pixel 6a phone, showing the front and back of the green Sage color option.
Google’s Pixel 6a is the best budget Android phone you can buy with its superb balance of performance, camera quality, features, and price.

Pros: Superlative price-to-performance ratio, excellent camera quality, premium design 

Cons: Mediocre battery life, 60Hz display, costs more for mmWave 5G model 

Google’s Pixel 6a earns the top spot, as no other phone can match the Pixel 6a’s balanced blend of performance, features, design, and camera quality for a $350 starting price. To top it off, the Pixel 6a can often be found in the $300 range, which makes it an even better deal.  

We’d encourage anyone looking to spend around $200 to stretch their budget for the Pixel 6a if possible. The extra $150 the Pixel 6a demands over the least expensive phone on this list, the Galaxy A14, is well worth it, as you’re getting a profoundly better phone in almost every regard. 

And while the Pixel 7a and Galaxy A54, which start at $500 and $450, respectively, are newer models with added premium features, like a high refresh-rate display, we feel their price tags are a tad high to be considered for the best budget Android phone overall.

The Pixel 6a’s performance breezes through the Android operating system and apps like a premium phone does, albeit with a standard 60Hz display that isn’t as smooth as the high refresh-rate displays on other phones on this list. 

Any points lost from a 60Hz display are quickly gained by the high quality of its dual-lens camera, which includes 12 megapixel main and ultrawide lenses that easily compete with many flagship phones. 

The Pixel 6a seems perfect all around, but some Android users who prefer large displays may find its 6.1-inch display is too small. With a smaller display comes shorter battery life than most larger or more expensive Android phones. Still, the Pixel 6a should easily last you a day of moderate usage. 

For those who actively seek a larger display and better battery life, Samsung’s Galaxy A54 or OnePlus’ Nord N30 are the next best options. 

Read our full Google Pixel 6a review.

Best true budget: Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G phone with screen on, app icons showing, held in a person's hand.
Samsung’s Galaxy A14 offers solid performance and a decent camera with a better screen than we’d expect for $200.

Pros: Large screen, smooth 90Hz display, good price-to-performance ratio

Cons: Slow 15W charging speed, ineffective macro camera lens

At $200, Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G is a true budget phone. That also means it has the performance and camera quality that you’d expect from a relatively inexpensive device. 

While the Galaxy A14 5G opens and runs apps surprisingly quickly, it’s not in a hurry like a premium phone, or even other budget phones on this list, for that matter. It falters while navigating around the Android operating system and with fast-paced usage by noticeable stuttering, but it’s not a dealbreaker for the price.

The Galaxy A14’s 6.6-inch, 90Hz, 1080p display is also surprisingly sharp and smooth for this price point, so everything you see on the screen is crisp and clear. Note, however, that it’s not the brightest display, which only affects viewability outdoors on a bright sunny day.

Camera quality is serviceable on the main 50MP lens, but the 2MP macro lens is a niche option and pretty much useless. The third lens is a depth sensor to help with portrait shots, and it doesn’t take photos. If camera quality is a priority, we’d recommend spending more than $200 on any other phone here.

Samsung is expected to support the A14 5G through two Android updates following Android 13, and with four years of security updates, giving it an exceptional support window for a phone in this price range. 

Best camera: Pixel 6a

Closeup of the Google’s Pixel 6a camera “bar” on the back of the phone.
The Pixel 6a takes photos that compete against phones that cost three times as much.

The Pixel 6a easily takes the best photos out of any phone in this list while maintaining a cost we’d comfortably consider “budget” at a starting price of $350.

The photos the Pixel 6a produces are sharp with an ideal balance of brightness, contrast, and color, which makes for beautifully rich images with more depth than many other phones, budget or premium. 

The Pixel 6a takes such good photos because, unlike many other phones, it doesn’t try too hard to make your photos “pop” with over-processing, which often leads to over-exposure, overly saturated colors, and flat-looking photos. 

It’s true that the Pixel 6a’s photos may look slightly darker overall than some competitors, but that’s the result of keeping details in bright areas, as well as darker shaded spots.

Read our full Google Pixel 6a review.

Best battery life: Samsung Galaxy A54

Side by side images of the Samsung Galaxy A54 showing the home screen with app icons, and a shot focusing on the rear cameras.
Samsung’s Galaxy A54 has the best battery life of any budget phone we’ve tested, and it has fast 25W charging for the price range, even with third-party chargers.

Pros: Excellent battery life, fast 25W charging for the price range, premium 120Hz display

Cons: Inconsistent performance and camera quality, niche 5MP macro camera disappoints 

The Galaxy A54’s $450 starting price is on the high side for a budget phone, but it obtained the best result out of all the phones in this list with 65% remaining after our battery test, which involves two hours of video streaming, one hour of music streaming while connected to Bluetooth headphones, two runs of the intensive 3DMark Wild Life Stress Test, and five runs of the Geekbench 6 benchmarking app. 

That’s an excellent result for a phone with a premium-quality, 6.4-inch OLED display with 1080p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It even nearly matches and beats some flagship phones with similar and larger displays, like the Google Pixel 7 (6.3 inches, 60%), the Galaxy S23 Plus (6.6 inches, 67%), and the Galaxy S23 Ultra (6.8 inches, 61%). 

The Galaxy A54 also supports up to 25W charging speeds. Though Samsung doesn’t include a charger with the Galaxy A54, any charger that supports at least 25W can be used to charge the phone at its full speed. 

The Galaxy A54 runs apps smoothly and quickly, but it lacks the confidence shown by Google’s Pixel 6a and Pixel 7a or OnePlus’ Nord N30 — occasional stutters marr the experience, and we would have expected smoother overall performance for the price. 

You’ll find three usable cameras on the rear of the Galaxy A54, including a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 5MP macro camera. The main and ultrawide cameras can deliver excellent photos with balanced colors and lighting as often as it can shoot rather mediocre ones, where colors are oversaturated and bright areas are overexposed. The 5MP macro camera takes better photos than the 2MP macro cameras on other phones here, but it’s still a niche option that isn’t especially impressive. 

Samsung is expected to support the Galaxy A54 with four years of Android version upgrades and five years of security updates, giving it one of the best support windows for an Android phone. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A54 review

Best large screen: OnePlus Nord N30

Side by side images of the OnePlus Nord N30’s front with the home screen showing app icons and a close up of the rear camera.
The OnePlus Nord N30 is easily the best budget Android phone with a large screen.

Pros: Large and sharp 120Hz screen, smooth performance, premium design, super-fast 50W charging with included charger

Cons: Short support window for Android upgrades and security updates, 2MP macro camera is virtually pointless

The OnePlus Nord N30 with its solid everyday performance, large 6.7-inch display running at a smooth 120Hz, surprisingly premium-looking design, and tempting $300 starting price tag was seriously considered for the top spot on this list. At the end of the day, it couldn’t beat the Google Pixel 6a and its superior cameras and overall value, but the N30 is easily the best budget Android phone with a big screen.

The N30 runs through the Android operating system, as well as basic apps and tasks with confidence, speed, and stutter-free smoothness — it was surprising to experience such performance considering it’s running on a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor that was announced in 2021. 

Its solid performance pairs beautifully with the N30’s large 6.7-inch 120Hz display, which animates everything with fluid smoothness, like a premium phone does. Its sharp 1080p resolution is the same as phones that cost three times as much, and the N30’s display also gets bright enough to comfortably use in bright sunlight, and content is still easily viewable.

While the N30 doesn’t use a premium OLED panel, its LCD panel still delivers vibrant colors and excellent contrast.

The N30 ended our battery test with 62% remaining, which is an above average score compared to other phones with similar screen sizes. Still, OnePlus includes a super fast 50W charger with the N30, which is a rare inclusion these days. Just note that the N30 charges at a much slower 18W when using any other third-party charger, even those that support 100W charging speeds. 

The N30 has a decent main camera with a whopping 108 megapixels. It also has a 2MP macro camera, which is a largely niche option that isn’t very good. It technically has a third lens, but it’s a depth sensor that’s purely dedicated to helping with portrait mode photos for the main camera. 

Our biggest complaint is that OnePlus will only support the N30 for one Android version upgrade, and three years of security updates, which realistically gives the N30 a comparatively short three-year lifespan. 

Best budget upgrade: Google Pixel 7a

Side by side images of the front and rear camera module of Google’s Pixel 7a in the blue color option.
Google’s Pixel 7a is certainly on the higher end of the budget price range, but it offers a surprisingly premium experience for hundreds less than a premium phone.

Pros: Fantastic performance for its price, stellar two-camera system, a bright 90Hz OLED screen, solid battery life, premium design, offers wireless charging

Cons: Heavy for its size, pricey for a budget phone, costs more for mmWave 5G model 

You can easily settle for the Pixel 6a if you’re looking for the best balance and value, but if you’re looking for a more premium experience without going overboard on cost, the Pixel 7a with its $500 starting price could tempt you to stretch your budget.  

To justify the $500 price tag over the Pixel 6a’s $350, Google gave the Pixel 7a two meaningful premium features, a smooth 90Hz display and wireless charging, on top of the newer processor and upgraded cameras.  

To be transparent, the Pixel 7a’s Tensor G2 processor doesn’t offer significantly better performance than the original Tensor processor in the Pixel 6a. And while the Pixel 7a’s cameras come with higher megapixel counts than the Pixel 6a, you’d be hard-pressed to find much of a difference in quality.  

Worthy of note, Google will keep upgrading the Pixel 7a with new versions of Android until October 2025, and security updates until October 2027 — just three months more than Google’s support for the Pixel 6a. 

Read our full Google Pixel 7a review.

Best budget Android phones compared


Google Pixel 6a

Samsung Galaxy A14

Google Pixel 7a

Samsung Galaxy A54

OnePlus Nord N30

Starting price







Google Tensor

Samsung Exynos 1330 

Google Tensor G2

Samsung Exynos 1380

Qualcomm Snapdragon 695

Release date

July 2022

January 2023

May 2023

March 2023

June 2023


6.1 inches, OLED, 1080p 60Hz

6.6 inches, LCD, 1080p 90Hz

6.1 inches, OLED, 1080p, 90Hz

6.4 inches, OLED, 1080p, 120Hz

6.7 inches, LCD, 1080p, 120Hz

Rear cameras

12MP main, 12MP ultrawide

50MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth

64MP main, 13MP ultrawide

50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro

108MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth



64GB, upgradeable with microSD card


128GB, 256GB, upgradeable with microSD card

128GB, upgradeable with microSD card

Best budget Android phone FAQs

What is the best cheap Android phone?

The best “cheap” Android phone is Google’s Pixel 6a, which starts at $350 — it’s a budget Android phone that almost behaves like a premium device. There are less expensive Android phones out there, but none come close to the Pixel 6a and its stunning balance of performance, camera quality, screen quality, and value. 

If $350 is more than you’re planning on spending, you should know the Pixel 6a is often discounted to around $300.

If $300 is still more than you’re willing to spend, Samsung’s $200 Galaxy A14 is your best bet. The Galaxy A14 has serviceable performance and camera quality while offering a large, smooth 90Hz display. 

Are Android phones cheaper than iPhones?

The short answer is yes, there are many Android phones that are less expensive than even the cheapest iPhone, which is Apple’s $430 third generation iPhone SE, released in 2022. 

Additionally, many Android phones in the iPhone SE’s price range offer significantly better value in terms of camera quality and screen size, like our top budget Android phone pick, the $350 Google Pixel 6a

Some premium Android phones, like Samsung’s $1,200 Galaxy S23 Ultra, can be more expensive than even Apple’s most expensive iPhone, the $1,100 iPhone 14 Pro Max

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