Finding a reliable, low-cost smartphone (less than 200 Euros) was an impossible task only a few years ago. No longer is this the case. The introduction of Chinese manufacturers to Western markets, and Xiaomi in particular, has resulted in lower phone prices and more advanced capabilities. Once upon a time, Samsung dominated the budget-friendly electronics industry. Even while the dominant Korean manufacturer still provides budget-friendly handsets, its selection is typically less appealing than that of Xiaomi, Realme, or Oppo. Obviously, Apple is not included here, and Android phones take centre stage instead.
Even Realme and Xiaomi are at one other’s throats now. Our resident smartphone expert, Titouan, was curious about the success of Realme and how the company was comparable to his own.
A GOOD SMARTPHONE FOR CHEAP? IT CAN HAPPEN!
If your budget is really tight, there are things you can do. No surprise: there will have to be a lot of giving up, especially when it comes to photo and power. Also, don’t expect fast charging or revolutionary screen technology for this price range. It is also the best investment for a first smartphone at the start of the school year.
If you can spend a little more, smartphones under 300 euros offer better value for money. Our list of the best smartphones will give you a good idea of the market as a whole.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 The Best Cheap Smartphone
Xiaomi Redmi’s 11 series of smartphones are among the best in their price range. While the top-tier model costs 250 euros, the one with 64 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM is still reasonably priced at 199 euros.
The smartphone does not introduce any groundbreaking new design features. The Redmi Note 11’s offering is unparalleled at this price point, particularly in terms of the quality of its touch interface. A 6.43-inch OLED screen with Full HD Plus resolution is used by the manufacturer. It’s hard to find a better deal than less than 200 Euros for a 90 Hz refresh rate.
Whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, the Snapdragon 680 CPU never lets you down. With a massive 5,000 mAh battery, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is the undisputed champion of endurance. It can function flawlessly for two days. Also, because to its 33W charging capability, it can be fully charged in only 1 hour and 15 minutes.
To get your hands on a budget smartphone, you’ll need to make some sacrifices. The camera, although excellent in its own right, lacks some flexibility. The MIUI 13 software skin, which sadly slows down and collects faults, will be highlighted in particular. There are two problems that can be corrected with an updated programme.
Realme 8 The Best Cheap Smartphone
Developed from the Realme 8 Pro, the Realme 8 trims some extraneous features to bring the price down. Brand hasn’t learned from its past mistakes, such as printing fairly ludicrous phrases on the device’s rear. The phone’s design is polished and functional, yet more softened edges would have improved the experience.
An AMOLED display of respectable quality and a size of 6.40 inches comes as a pleasant surprise. The colours aren’t quite spot-on, but that’s minor criticism. The primary sensor produces sharp, detailed photographs. The sky, however, has some too vibrant colours. The ultra-wide perspective fails to impress due to obvious distortion and a severe lack of detail.
When compared to the Snapdragon 678, the Helio G95 CPU holds its own. To put it another way, this means you can play Fortnite at 30 frames per second, although with a little reduction in visual fidelity. The 5000 mAh battery can keep you going for almost 24 hours, and a full charge takes just an hour with the quick charger. Regarding connectivity, you’ll have to make do with 4G and Wi-Fi 5 only.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for sales on the Realme 9 (4G), the natural successor to the 8. The starting price is 279 Euros, but it may drop as low as 200 Euros. Even if your smartphone is top-notch in terms of performance and battery life, you will never be able to upgrade to 5G connectivity.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Low-cost High-performance Smartphone
Xiaomi is well-represented at price points typically less than 200 euros. Poco and Redmi are two brands that can be found at this pricing point. Up to that point, we suggested the Poco M3. But it’s becoming harder and harder to get your hands on the device, and in the meanwhile, the price of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10s has dropped to below €200.
The performance is where this low-cost phone really shines. True, the smartphone from Xiaomi boasts a powerful 5000 mAh battery, allowing it a life span of almost two days. Furthermore, it can be rapidly charged using a 33 W charger. The smartphone’s MediaTek Helio G95 chipset is capable of performing Fortnite’s animation at a reasonably high graphics setting. However, you may expect some lag time.
The phone’s AMOLED screen measures in at 6.43 inches, making it ideal for regular use. This provides a 60 Hz refresh rate and a Full HD resolution. The level of brightness is also suitable for usage in any environment. Not only is the content excellent, but the design is also top-notch. Its shape makes it easy to hold onto.
However, there are a few minor flaws in the product that should be mentioned despite the overall positive experience. In low light, the camera’s capabilities are severely limited. Moreover, the product’s reverse side is notoriously untidy and requires constant cleaning.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10s, on the other hand, is a fantastic low-cost smartphone that we heartily endorse.
You’ll need to choose for the model with 64 GB of storage if you want to pay less than 200 Euros for it. The price rises to 220 Euros when you add 128 GB of storage.
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Straightforward, Productive, and Cheap
As much as we’d want to keep recommending the Redmi Note 10, it’s becoming more difficult to buy this smartphone for less than 200 euros. Therefore, the Redmi 10 is now our top pick. It’s cheap, but it’s surprisingly well-designed and, for a change, pretty serious.
Xiaomi opted for a 90 Hz LCD panel for the screen. We think the contrast is great and the colours are well balanced. Light levels might have used an increase, but overall they weren’t terrible. Unexpectedly for the price, we get two speakers and, therefore, an uncommon stereo presentation.
Since the MediaTek G88 utilised is an appropriate SoC, we should be able to expect a smoothly operating system and reliable software. A little disappointment, but he’s not a great gamer (and Fortnite hasn’t even come out yet). However, when combined with the 5000 mAh battery, it offers excellent autonomy—roughly 1.5 days. The fast charging feature isn’t great since it takes two hours to fully charge the phone.
Even though there are four photo sensors in the module, accurate daylight rendering makes only the primary one stand out.
The Redmi 10 delivers just what we need: a well-rounded experience free of significant problems that doesn’t break the bank. Although it may not be the most cutting-edge smartphone, it serves our needs well. We tell you more in our examination of the Xiaomi Redmi 10.
Realme 8I Powerful Battery
Xiaomi is not the only company providing options in the low-cost smartphone market. The Realme 8i, like the aforementioned model, offers comparable characteristics to the base model of the same name. The brand’s motto has been ditched in favour of a more subdued approach.
The phone’s excellent independence is its primary strength. Our Viser test found it to be among the longest-lasting devices of its kind, with a runtime of 16 hours and 40 minutes. However, the ugly design and weak internal power are the price to pay for such remarkable longevity. The 8i is very bad at games.
A serious flaw given that the phone’s touch screen is its main selling point. Sure enough, the manufacturer-installed 6.6-inch LCD screen boasts an unheard-of feature for less than 200 euros: a refresh rate of 120 Hz, meant to reach its full potential in the context of video games.
The Realme 8i, available for €159, is a competent smartphone in its price range and offers a satisfactory user experience overall without trying to cover up its flaws. Although it lacks certain features, it has enough going for it to be a great low-cost phone.
FAQ How to Choose a Cheap Smartphone?
What Can You Do With A Smartphone Under 200 Euros?
There has been a dramatic increase in the efficiency of budget and midrange CPUs in recent years. Web pages load instantly, videos play smoothly, social media apps function normally, and so do some basic games. However, while playing demanding 3D games like PUBG mobile or Fortnite mobile, we quickly come to realise their limitations.
Are Smartphones Under 200 Euros Worth It?
Manufacturers are beginning to significantly reduce features in order to achieve such cheap pricing. The camera circuitry is usually the first to go, with the CPU following quickly after. But contrary to what occurred just recently, fairly accurate models may be found below this psychological threshold. They aren’t going to help you win any photography contests or engage in any avaricious activities, but they’ll get the job done quite well indeed.
If you’re looking for a high-end gadget, but can only afford one that was introduced in the last year, don’t be afraid to take advantage of discounts. Its features will typically be superior to those of the best smartphones of the year that are priced at less than €150.
What Should I Sacrifice to Afford This Cheap?
Companies in this price range often forego the camera and display. OLED displays are quite uncommon and often have poor resolution. Even when we come across attractive designs, the materials utilised are often less than ideal: plastic, metal, and very seldom glass. We can’t overlook the fact that we need to think about the ancillary features, such wireless charging and water resistance.
Which Brand to Trust For a Cheap Smartphone?
For the most part, the answer is “yes,” but only at the very top end. The finest smartphones under 200 euros are always changing, and yesterday’s leaders may not be tomorrow’s. Therefore, it is essential to consult up-to-date purchasing guidelines, such as the one we provide on our site. Yet, Xiaomi, Realme, and Samsung are constants among our top selections.
What Cheap Plan Should I Get with My Low-Cost Smartphone?
You may get a cheaper plan after spending less on your phone, especially if you look into no-obligation deals. Using our cell plan comparer, you can quickly find the best deals available right now.