Best Budget Smartphones in 2021

Kim Jong By Kim Jong - April 29th, 2021
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If you’re on the hunt for a new smartphone on a small budget, we’ve got great news for you! There are plenty of budget-friendly options on the market to choose from, and they’re worlds better than what you’d get for these prices ten years ago.

Not everyone wants to spend exorbitant amounts on their smartphones, and luckily, smartphone providers are aware of this and have put out some cracking smartphones at great prices. Here are six of the best budget smartphones you can get in 2021.

Samsung Galaxy A12

Samsung has been making cutting-edge innovation more accessible with their Galaxy A range that offers fantastic value for money across the board; and the entry-level Galaxy A12 is the most affordable option yet.

The Galaxy A12 comes with a 6.5-inch HD+ Infinity-V display that offers enough real estate for an immersive user experience. It sports a stylishly designed quad rear camera which features a 48MP main camera, a 5MP ultra-wide camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. It also has an impressive 5,000mAh battery that will keep you going all day.

Perhaps what’s most impressive is that despite some solid specs, this smartphone costs less than $300. The Galaxy A12 is an excellent option for a budget smartphone, and it’s probably the best cheap Samsung phone you’ll get.

Motorola Moto G10

One of the newest phones to the Moto G lineup – and also the cheapest – is the Moto G10, and it’s impressively capable for its price.

It features a 6.5-inch Max Vision HD+ display which is great for a phone that’s this cheap! It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is easily enough to take on the essentials, though not ideal for someone who likes to play a lot of games on their phone. If games don’t matter to you, the relatively modest hardware makes the battery life all the more better! With a 5,000mAh battery, the Moto G10 will last you at least two days on a single charge.

Despite it being a budget smartphone, the Moto G10 has a decent camera with four sensors on the back: a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. There’s also an 8MP selfie camera on the front of the phone.

For its extremely affordable price, the Moto G10 totally holds its own. You get a decent screen, 48MP quad camera, and a solid battery for less than $300 – what more can you ask for? All in all, the Moto G10 is great value for money.

Redmi Note 9T 5G

Xiaomi is known for delivering great products at affordable prices, and the Redmi Note 9T 5G is a fantastic example of that.

The Redmi Note 9T 5G sports a 6.53-inch DotDisplay with a resolution of 2340 x 1080, delivering crisp, sharp images; and it’s got more impressive specs to follow. It’s powered by a speedy MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor that not only supports 5G, but performs fast enough to match smartphones that are double the price! To keep up with its impressive performance, the Note 9T has a large 5,000mAh battery that should last you most of the day. According to Xiaomi, you should get approximately 15 hours of navigation, 18 hours of video playback or 11 hours of gaming on a single charge.

The Note 9T has a triple camera array that includes a 48MP main camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. Although it’s missing an Ultra-Wide camera, it makes up for this with its video recording capabilities. You can record at a max resolution of 4K at 30fps, with 60fps video at 1080p resolution. There’s also image stabilisation available at 1080p, 30fps.

The Redmi Note 9T has put some impressive specs on the table for a smartphone in this category, making it a superb choice for a budget smartphone!

Redmi 9T

Xiaomi delivers once again with the Redmi 9T setting a standard for great value budget smartphones. The phone features a 6.53-inch FHD display, with a resolution of 2340x1080 for crisp and clear images.

It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor that’s supplemented by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a massive 6,000mAh battery that will keep you charged for a couple of days. In addition, the phone has a high 1,000 charge cycle count meaning it can be used daily for more than 4 years without any notable degradation of the battery.

A budget smartphone doesn’t mean you have to forgo a decent camera, and you’ll find one in the Redmi 9T. It sports a 48MP main camera, a 2MP ultra-wide camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor which all allow for some great shots. The Redmi 9T is a great value smartphone that offers solid specs at an affordable price. It has a great display, fantastic battery life, and a decent camera. It’ll easily keep up with most of your needs, but if you’re big on games, it’s big brother the Redmi Note 9T 5G will perform better in that department.

Motorola Moto G30

The Moto G30 is the older sibling of the Moto G10 and for an extra $50, you get a slight upgrade in specs. It has a 6.5-inch Max Vision HD+ Display with 720p+ resolution just like the G10, but improves in most other areas.

The Moto G30 has better performance than the G10, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor that’s supported by 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage (with the capability to add up to 512GB more with a microSD card). It also has a 90Hz refresh rate which will give a smoother experience while scrolling or playing games.

The Moto G30 is equipped with four sensors on the back including a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP macro camera, and 2MP depth sensor. It has a 5,000mAh long-lasting battery that should last you about two days. Unlike the Moto G10 which only has 10W charging, the Moto G30 has 20W fast charging which will get you back to a full charge much quicker.

The Moto G30 is an all-around decent smartphone that offers good performance, battery life, and camera. It’s pretty close spec-wise to the Moto G10, but you do get some upgrades for the little bit extra you pay.


We’re finishing the list with the ultra-affordable OPPO A15. This smartphone is very modest in terms of components and spec, but it delivers the basics at a super affordable price.

The Oppo A15 is powered by a humble MediaTek MT6765 processor, supplemented by 3GB of RAM. With such modest components, it’s a no-frills smartphone that’s just here to deliver the essentials; and it likely won’t keep up with some games and apps.

When it comes to the camera, it does what it’s supposed to and takes some basic photos. It has a triple camera set up that includes a 13MP wide camera, 2MP macro camera, and 2MP depth sensor. It also has a 5MP front camera so you can still get some selfies.

If you’re after a no-nonsense smartphone that simply does all the basics, at a very affordable price, the Oppo A15 could be the one for you.

If you're looking for a budget smartphone, these phones are a great place to start. With NZ's largest range of smartphones though, PB Tech's got a massive range for you to choose from - check out the massive smartphones section to see all that we have to offer today!

Written By

Kim Jong

The one from NZ, not NK.

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