Flagship smartphone prices often push the $1,000 mark these days. That’s a lot of money to spend on a phone and many folks around the world might not be willing to shell it out. For some, $300 might seem like a reasonable amount of money for a halfway decent device, but what are the best phones under $300?
Luckily, there actually are a whole slew of new phones out there that stay under the $300 price tag. They may not be the best devices on the market with the flashiest designs and features, but they will be new and get the basics done for you.
Additionally, last year’s flagships are this year’s bargains, and there are some pretty great deals you can find if you’re willing to shop used. Some of the best phones under $300 will be phones that once cost $800 only a year or two earlier.
Below, you’ll find our breakdown of the best devices you can get right now that stay under $300. Since there are some smartphone brands that aren’t available in the United States, we’ve separated the new device suggestions into two sections: one for the US and one for outside the US. We’ve also given some great tips on buying used smartphones.
Best phone under $300: New in the US
Here in the United States, we don’t have access to some of the best cheap Android handsets. That’s because many different Chinese brands — including Honor, Xiaomi, Redmi, Oppo, and more — have little-to-no presence here. That being said, there are still plenty of good choices.
As far as we’re concerned, the Motorola Moto G7 is one of the best phones under $300 you can get here in the States. The device starts at $299 and is incredibly easy to buy. You can buy it unlocked directly from Motorola and use it on pretty much any carrier, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The Moto G7 is also available in most Verizon stores, just walk in and grab one.
The Motorola Moto G7 doesn’t have much about it that makes it stand out from the crowd, but it delivers a solid set of specs in an attractive design. It even has a headphone jack and a microSD slot, two features that most flagships have long abandoned. This not only makes the Moto G7 one of the best phones under $300, but one of the best mid-range phones in general at the moment.
Motorola Moto G7 specs:
- Display: 6.2-inch, FHD+
- Chipset: Snapdragon 632
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Cameras: 12 and 5MP
- Front camera: 8MP
- Battery: 3,000mAh
- Software: Android 9 Pie
Not a fan of the Moto G7? No big deal, we have a couple of other suggestions. Give a look to the Samsung Galaxy A20, which doesn’t have the same crisp display or amount of memory as the Moto G7 but does offer a bigger battery. That device starts at just $250. Also, give a look at the Nokia 6.2. That device delivers a triple-lens rear camera system while still keeping the price at a very reasonable $249. Keep in mind, though, that the Nokia 6.2 will only work on GSM carriers.
Best phone under £300: New international
Outside of the US, smartphone buyers have so many more choices. In fact, the phone our objective testing determined was the best of 2019 isn’t available in the US — and it starts at just £359 (~$476) in the UK! Granted, that prevents it from being one of the best phones under $300, but it’s indisputable that people around the world have so many more cheap phone choices as compared to the US.
Since the rest of the world doesn’t use US dollars, we’re going to give you the best phone you can get for under £300, and as of today, that is undoubtedly the Xiaomi Mi 9T (which is a rebranded Redmi K20). This device offers some incredible specs for what you’ll pay for it while also offering a killer design, a triple-lens rear camera, and a pop-up selfie shooter. All of that sets you back just £265 (~$351).
If you ignore the weaker 700-series processor and the relatively small amount of internal storage, the Mi 9T could handily go up against 2019 flagships that cost three times as much. That’s saying something.
Xiaomi Mi 9T specs:
- Display: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
- Chipset: Snapdragon 730
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 64 or 128GB
- Cameras: 48, 8, and 13MP
- Front camera: 20MP
- Battery: 4,000mAh
- Software: Android 9 Pie
If you don’t care for the Xiaomi Mi 9T, don’t worry: there are plenty of other options. We recommend also taking a look at the Honor 8X, which has a list price of £250 (~$331). That device offers plenty of power inside a premium design. Don’t neglect to also check out the Huawei P30 Lite. While it doesn’t offer the same specs and features as the powerhouse Huawei P30 Pro, the P30 Lite is still a terrific phone, especially when you take into account you’ll only pay £230 (~$305) for it. And don’t worry, the device was launched before the Huawei ban took effect, so it should still receive fairly regular updates.
Best phone under $300: Used around the world
If you don’t care about getting a new phone it becomes even easier to find the best phones under $300. By buying used, you can sometimes get top-of-the-line flagships that are only a year or two old, and those phones will usually still out-power a new budget or mid-range device.
Here in the US, a terrific resource for finding used phones within your budget is Swappa. Using the site’s search feature, you can find phones within your price range and even add filters so you know you’re getting a phone that’s as close-to-new as possible.
We found 2018 flagships such as the OnePlus 6 available in “mint” condition for just under $300. That device, in particular, is a solid buy even in 2020 because OnePlus will continue to offer software upgrades for quite some time, with even Android 11 likely. We also found 2017 flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for under $300. Those devices aren’t seeing updates from Samsung anymore, but they both will still have Android 9 Pie, solid battery life, and great cameras.
If you don’t care about having something in mint condition, you can hit up eBay and find plenty of smartphones under $300 in all manners of conditions. You might even luck out and find a terrific phone from a seller who doesn’t know the value of the item. Amazon also has a slew of used listings for phones in various conditions. If you’re ready to do some work, one of the best phones under $300 could be a barely-used flagship from just last year.
If you do intend to buy something used, we highly recommend reading our guide to doing so here. There are a lot of great tips there for avoiding getting a lemon or getting scammed.
That’s our roundup of the best phones under $300. We’ll update this post in the future as more phones hit the market.