When it comes to upgrading your budget Smartphone, you might think you have to break the bank just to keep up with the latest trends and fashions but this simply isn’t the case any longer.
Every year, smartphones are becoming more advanced but the market is also progressing with affordable options alongside the most expensive choices.
As long as you steer clear of the biggest names and the models that capture attention all over the world, you might just find yourself a bargain.
For many, they research the latest models of the iPhone and the Galaxy Note only to find they’re the most expensive option around. Unfortunately, these are the most popular and offer the most features which is why you’ll have to pay extra just to own one.
If you’re tired of these two dominating the market, we’re here to suggest superb devices that offer everything you need but without the hefty price tag. For each suggestion, we’re actually going to place them into a category so you know for whom they would be perfect!
For the Display and Camera: Samsung Galaxy J5
As the cheaper and lesser-known younger sibling to the other Galaxy models, the J series has been gaining attention recently and the 2017 model has improved the name even more.
Firstly, you’ll notice the super AMOLED display with stunning colours. After this, you should also notice the fantastic battery life; it takes us back to the good-old days where a full charge would last longer than half a day.
With the 2017 model, Samsung clearly placed their focus on the camera as this has seen a huge improvement.
This, coupled with the beautiful display, means you have a great device for Instagram and capturing memories. Depending on your budget, you might find the Galaxy J5 a little expensive at £240 but it’s still nothing compared to the £1,000 iPhone X.
Ultimately, this model is the perfect balance between budget smartphone and superb display/camera.
For the Features: Vodafone Smart N8
Vodafone; a name that doesn’t get too much attention as a manufacturer these days. If you came into contact with last year’s model, we urge you to wipe it from your memory when judging this one because it deserves to be judged on its own merit.
Although many actually liked the Smart Prime 7, Vodafone has improved its game with a new fingerprint reader and a stronger camera.
Available for just £85, the handset uses Android Nougat and offers many of the features we’ve come to expect from the platform and the manufacturer.
Unfortunately, the only disappointing feature is the battery life but it suits the asking price and it needs to have one drawback at £85, right?
For the Children: Alcatel Pixi 4
At first, you might be put off this £59 device, one of the cheapest models on this list, but keep reading because you might just be impressed. With a 5-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera, and Android Marshmallow, this one actually puts many of the more expensive models to shame.
If you’ve got a smartphone for work, this acts as the perfect second phone or even a first phone for your children.
While the manufacturer isn’t exactly an industry leader and you won’t be using the camera too much, you won’t find a better option available for under £60.
For the Money: Vodafone Smart E8
With another Vodafone model (and a third still to come), we have the very definition of ‘budget smartphone’.
Found for £50, this device is cheap but it has some tricks that may impress you including Android 7.1 Nougat (better than the £59 Pixi 4 and its 6.0 Marshmallow). After this, the battery can last for well over ten hours which is solid for a cheap mobile.
If we continue the comparison with the Pixi 4, it’s actually a very similar model which means the camera will leave you wanting more but, although we’d hate to overstate this fact, it only costs £50.
For Battery Life: Lenovo P2
If you’re looking for a device that’ll last the longest without looking for the charger, we recommend the Lenovo P2 since one charge can last for up to 30 hours (amazing, right?).
Even amongst the more expensive models we’re avoiding here, you’re unlikely to find a budget smartphone that offers 30 hours of charge.
Previously, this title was held by the Motorola Moto Z Play but even this famous model can’t compete and loses out by five hours.
Compared to others, it carries a little more weight but this is something you can easily let go considering the work it’s doing with the battery. If you have a budget of £200, the Lenovo P2 would be one of the first we recommend because it offers more than just an extended battery life too.
With a high-quality display and good overall performance, it’s an affordable model that can compete with most mid-range smartphones.
For First-Time Buyers: Vodafone Smart Prime 7
Just in case you’re wondering, we aren’t sponsored by Vodafone…but we do have a third model from this manufacturer and it’s because they seem to have mastered the affordable niche.
For those who tried the Smart Ultra 6, you might have been put off by the size and this was true for many.
However, for just £75, Vodafone has come back with the Smart Prime 7 and it’s impressive for those with little experience in this market.
With easy-to-use apps, it’s easy to manage your bill and keep on top of your allowance.
If you struggle for signal at home, you can even set up the device so texts and calls come through your browser. With this addition alone, it makes it easier than ever to keep up with your family and friends.
If it wasn’t for another model we’re going to see a little later, this device would win the best overall category.
With a fantastic design and sharp display, you’ll pick this budget smartphone up for under £100.
If you’re going to choose this one, please bear in mind that you’ll likely need a microSD card since the phone itself holds just 8GB of storage. If you like to hold even a little music with your apps and photos, the free space will soon disappear.
For the Camera: Moto G4
Just in case you didn’t know, the Moto G4 is back and much larger than last years’ attempt. All things considered, the model is an improvement and the octa-core Snapdragon 617 chip helps with this.
In terms of speed, there aren’t too many smartphones that could compete with the Moto G4 and we’re including the most expensive models in this too; the processing power is quite phenomenal.
If you’re looking to buy any budget smartphones released within the last six months, forget it because the Moto G4 is faster and available for £169.
Compared to the previous generation, the camera has also seen vast improvements and this is despite the fact it’s a similar 13-megapixel sensor.
Additionally, the battery lasts longer than most with the full HD screen making your pictures look great after capturing them.
For an All-Rounder: Motorola Moto E (2015)
Finally, we’re going to bring this guide to a close with the best affordable all-rounder and it comes in the shape of the second-generation Motorola Moto E from 2015.
Despite being close to entering its fourth year on the market, the performance is strong, the camera does the job, the screen is enjoyable despite the low resolution, its battery life extends to over 13 hours, and this is all available for a great price.