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The best phones under £500 in the UK

Save yourself a nice stack of cash without sacrificing too much in the way of performance.
By
January 15, 2022
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G back panel in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

There are a lot of great phones on UK store shelves today, but many either cost £800 or more to buy outright or are tied to expensive two-year contracts. That might be a way to get hold of the latest and greatest, but it’s certainly not for everyone. These days, you don’t have to spend a fortune to pick up a great handset. Here are the best phones under £500 in the UK!

Read more: Where to buy phones in the UK | The best UK mobile network

Best phones under £500:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best phones under £500 regularly as new mid-range devices launch.


1. OnePlus Nord 2

OnePlus Nord 2 5G back standing on tree stump
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

OnePlus is back in the affordable smartphone game with its Nord 2. At £399, this device is significantly cheaper than the OnePlus 9 and brings OxygenOS to mid-range hardware. This is the latest device from OnePlus to feature a mid-range chip, and it’s gone with the MediaTek Dimensity 1200. Not only does this give the phone good performance, but also 5G capabilities.

The OnePlus Nord comes with a silky smooth 6.43-inch Full HD+ 90Hz AMOLED display, a total of four cameras, up to 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 4,500mAh battery, and 65W Warp Charging. 

The cameras aren’t perfect, but the OnePlus Nord is a great competitor in the ever-fierce mid-range space, and you can snag the top-tier 12GB RAM and 256GB storage model for just £469. 

For those looking for an even more affordable option, OnePlus also offers the Nord CE. This is a cut-down variant of the Nord with the Snapdragon 750G, up to 12GB RAM, and 30-watt fast charging.


OnePlus Nord 2 specs:

  • Display: 6.43-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Dimensity 1200
  • RAM: 6/8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE under £500 in the uk
David Imel / Android Authority

We will keep beating our drum for the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE until a new replacement arrives. It packs everything you could ask for in a high-end 2020 device without the high-end pricing.

In fact, the robust spec sheet and reasonable price are what landed the Galaxy S20 FE among our favorite phones of 2020. It carries a Snapdragon 865 chipset, which means you can tap into 5G speeds. With 6GB of RAM, it doesn’t pack the same power as the Galaxy S20, though you should still be able to work through most tasks. Samsung tapped a trio of rear cameras, topped off with 12MP wide and 12MP ultrawide options.

Samsung's blend of quality and pricing made the Galaxy S20 FE our 2020 phone of the year.

Another great reason to check out the Galaxy S20 FE is Samsung’s One UI. The days of TouchWiz are long gone, and One UI is one of our favorite Android skins — flaws and all. Right now, you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE for just under £500 in the UK.

Samsung has also announced its Galaxy S21 FE, but it retails at £599 so we’ll have to wait for a price drop before it makes our list.


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Nokia XR20

Nokia XR20 right rear profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Nokia’s XR20 is a slightly different phone for under £500 in the UK — it’s built with a rugged audience in mind. Don’t worry, it’s not a bulky monster of a phone, the XR20 walks a fine line between everyday style and work-ready design.

It packs excellent protection ratings against dust and water, and the battery life is excellent. The 4,630mAh cell is tough to wear through, and 18W wired charging should get you moving again quickly. Nokia opted for an entry-level Snapdragon 480 SoC on the XR20, which offers solid 5G support even if it’s not the most powerful.

Nokia found a perfect blend of style and strength for its latest rugged smartphone.

The XR20 also offers an impressive 6.67-inch Full HD+ display. It’s crafted from Gorilla Glass Victus, so it should put up with some wear and tear throughout your busy life. You’re looking at between 4 and 6GB of RAM as well as up to 128GB of storage that you can expand via a microSD card.


Nokia XR20 specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 480
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 13MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,630mAh
  • Software: Android 11

4. Poco F3 5G

Poco F3 Review Back of Phone Portrait Orientation
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Poco has been trying to recapture the success of its original F1 for a few years now. After a few misses, it seems to have found the right formula with the Poco F3, and it’s worth a look as one of the best phones under £500 in the UK. We praised the display, the chipset, and the build quality in our review, even if the whole package wasn’t perfect.

You’ll get a near flagship-grade Snapdragon 870 to work with, as well as up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Poco added a crisp 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution and smooth 120Hz refresh rate for good measure. The F3 5G charges at up to 33W, which should fill the 4,520mAh battery in no time.

The Poco F3's build quality is among the best, even if the software can't keep up.

Unfortunately, we haven’t always had the best luck with Poco’s Android skin. It tends to be buggy and features ads throughout. We weren’t necessarily impressed by the overall camera setup, either, but you tend to get what you pay for.


Poco F3 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 870
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,520mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. Motorola Edge 20

Motorola Edge 2021 right rear profile on rocks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Motorola introduced its Edge series in 2020 as a premium flagship device. The Edge 20, known as the Edge (2021) in the United States, is back with a slightly more mid-range approach.

For starters, it runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC and comes with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You’ll also notice the Nebula Blue finish immediately, thanks to its eye-catching shine. Motorola packed a considerable 5,000mAh cell into its Edge 20, and 30W TurboCharge is some of the company’s most efficient yet.

Motorola polished the Edge 20's specs.

The Edge 20 offers a sharp 108MP primary lens backed up by 8MP ultrawide and 2MP depth options. On the front, you’ll find a 32MP punch hole for all of your selfie needs.

Finally, Motorola capped off the Edge 20 with a massive 6.8-inch Full HD+ LCD panel. It features a remarkable 144Hz refresh rate and a tall 20.5:9 aspect ratio. 


Motorola Edge 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 778G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. Motorola G100

moto g100 phone under £500 in the uk
Motorola

Motorola has long been a leader in the affordable smartphone sphere, and now it’s pushing those limits with the G100. It’s available for £449, yet it packs a Snapdragon 870 SoC, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable storage to keep you moving. The G100 is Motorola’s first offering to adopt an 800-series Snapdragon chip.

Motorola chose a 6.7-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate to star the show, and while it’s not the fastest refresh, it does support HDR10. You’ll find a 64MP main lens on the back, but the most attractive choice is a macro shooter with a ring light similar to the Motorola One 5G. The G100 packs two front-facing cameras as well, in case you need to capture ultrawide selfies.

Overall, it’s one of Motorola’s best phones under £500 in the UK, especially if you want beefed-up internals.


Motorola G100 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 870
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Camera: 64, 16, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16 and 8MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Samsung Galaxy A52/A52s

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G in hand rear in color
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung brings up the rear of our list with its Galaxy A52 5G. There’s a lot to like about the phone. Along with a quad-camera array, a 6.5-inch AMOLED display, and a sizable 4,500mAh battery is 5G connectivity, 25W fast charging, microSD expansion, and a headphone port. Samsung’s OneUI 3.1 makes an appearance on this phone, running on top of Android 11. 

The Galaxy A52 5G is styled as a perfect companion to the S21 family.

If aesthetics are your thing, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G doesn’t disappoint. It has thin bezels all around and a centered punch-hole at the top. It also comes in a myriad of “Awesome” colors: Awesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue, and Awesome Violet.

The Galaxy A52 5G is a solid option if you want a cool-looking, 5G-capable smartphone for under £500 in the UK. If you want a slightly updated version, you can also check out the Samsung Galaxy A52s. It swaps the Snapdragon 750G for a more powerful Snapdragon 778G and adds a few new colors to choose from.


Samsung Galaxy A52 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 750G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE

xiaomi 11 lite ne 5g phone under £500 in the uk
Xiaomi

Xiaomi enjoys adding new members to existing smartphone families, and that’s precisely where this Xiaomi 11 Lite fits in. It packs 5G speeds, and the NE stands for, simply, “New Edition.” It boasts a 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Gorilla Glass 5 display, complete with a 90Hz refresh rate.

Under the hood, Xiaomi’s new device is packing a Snapdragon 778G with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Its 4,250mAh battery is one of the smallest on our list, but the 33W fast charging means it should be easy to bring back to speed. Xiaomi even tapped a 64MP main lens to lead the charge with an 8MP ultrawide and a 5MP telemacro to round out your options.

It comes in quite a few colors, including Diamond Dazzle, Tuscany Coral, and Jazz Blue, and it’s a strong choice if you want a phone for under £500 in the UK.


Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 778G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,250mAh
  • Software: Android 11