Best Budget Smartphones in 2022

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - updated January 12th, 2022
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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.

Vivo Y11s

It is astounding what you can get for your money nowadays. The Vivo Y11s is the second most affordable option on our list, and yet it is jam-packed with features. 

This phone features a large 6.5 inch Halo FullView Display with an HD+ resolution. This provides a great display for immersive experiences in videos and gaming. This display also has a blue filter to keep your eyes healthy. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 processor combines with 3GM of RAM and 32GB of storage makes for a very solid performance at this price. The 5000mAh battery, with support from AI power-saving technologies, will comfortably last all day, even under some quite heavy use.

Something that is really awesome is that you get a dual-camera display on a phone for under $200! The main camera is 13MP, and is backed up by a 2MP Bokeh camera, that in tandem, produce well-exposed and very sharp photos. At the front of the phone, you'll get an 8MP camera, which is more than enough for decent selfies and video calls.

All of these features come together to make a great phone at a wicked price. The Vivo 11s even comes with Face Wake and a side fingerprint scanner!

Motorola Moto G31

One of the newest phones to the Moto lineup is the Moto G31, and it’s impressively capable for its price.

It features a 6.4-inch Max Vision HD+ display which is great for a phone that’s this cheap! It comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage which is easily enough to take on the essentials, and even could be enough 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 G31 will last you up to 36 hours on a single charge.

Despite it being a budget smartphone, the Moto G31 has a decent camera with three sensors on the back: a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. There’s also a 13MP selfie camera on the front of the phone.

For its extremely affordable price, the Moto G31 totally holds its own. You get a decent screen, 50MP triple camera, and a solid battery for less than $400 – what more can you ask for? All in all, the Moto G31 is great value for money.

Nokia C01 Plus

The Nokia C01 Plus is the most affordable phone on this list, coming in at under $150! Despite its pricing, it's pretty impressive how many features Nokia has managed to fit in.

This phone features a 5.45-inch HD+ display, which is enough for good quality video calls and some light browsing or media consumption. It comes with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage, though this can be expanded to 128GBby utilising the SD card slot. This combined with its humble UNISOC SC9863A processor means that the C01 Plus is far from the most capable phone when it comes to gaming, and other more intensive programs. However, this does mean that the phone really makes the most of its 3000mAh battery, capable of lasting two days with pretty heavy use.

The camera is a bit of a focus on this phone too, with HDR camera and flash for both the front and rear cameras! Perfect for capturing the moment, day or night. We all know the reputation Nokia has for durability, and the C01 Plus is certainly no different. It can handle all of the challenges every day throws at it and keep going with ease.

Naturally, at such a low price point, the Nokia C01 Plus can't boast quite the same slew of features some of the other budget smartphones on this list feature. What it does offer though is superb price-to-performance, and more than enough to keep connected.

Redmi 10s

Xiaomi is known for delivering great products at affordable prices, and the Redmi Note 10s is a fantastic example of that.

The Redmi Note 10s sports a 6.43-inch DotDisplay with a resolution of 2400 x 1080, delivering crisp, sharp images; and it’s got more impressive specs to follow. It’s powered by a speedy MediaTek Helio G95 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 10s has a large 5,000mAh battery that should last you most of the day. 

The Note 10s has a quad-camera array that includes a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. These cameras also give you awesome recording capabilities. You can record at a max resolution of 4K at 30fps, with 60fps video at 1080p resolution. 

The Redmi Note 10s has put some impressive specs on the table for a smartphone in this category, making it a superb choice for a budget smartphone!

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!

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