Budget Thrills

Don’t worry if you can’t afford to fork out $800 for a flagship smartphone, the shops are teeming with cheap but feature-packed handsets. Here are four of the best.

By Laith Abou-Ragheb


OnePlus 2



OnePlus-2 smartphoneA follow up to the well-received OnePlus One, the imaginatively titled One Plus 2 continues with the same winning formula of a well built handset with great specs at a great price. It comes with an expansive 5.5 inch display, a zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, and either 16 or 64 GB of storage. There’s even a selection of removable back covers available, including a hard-wearing one made of Kevlar.

The Bottom Line: Even though it requires an invite to buy, the OnePlus 2 is one of the most impressive smartphones on the market at any price point.

Price: $330


Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen)



moto G smartphoneThe original Moto G, released back in 2013, really was the first smartphone to prove it was perfectly possible to get brilliance on a budget. The third generation Moto G ably demonstrates this once more. It boasts a crisp 5-inch 720p HD screen, an upgraded 13-mega pixel rear camera, and is even waterproof up to one meter.

The Bottom Line: Its price seems to creep up with each upgrade, but the Moto G remains a bargain buy.

Price: $250


Microsoft Lumia 640



microsoft_lumia_smartphoneEven though many insist on writing off Lumias as the smartphone world’s underachieving also-rans, there’s no denying the range includes some capable and keenly priced pieces of kit. Take the Lumia 640, for example, which comes with a decent 5-inch screen, a 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and an 8-megapixel rear camera. To sweeten the deal, it also comes packaged with a free one-year subscription to the Microsoft Office 365 Personal that’s worth over $90 dollars.

The Bottom Line: By producing impressive handsets like this, Microsoft prove they can still compete with the best on price and features.

Price: $240


Huawei Ascend G7



huawei_ascendChinese smartphone makers like Huawei are flooding the market with cheap but sophisticated handsets—a trend which has the likes of Samsung and Apple jumpy. Here we have the premium-feeling Ascend G7 that comes with 5.5 inch screen (which is edging into phablet territory), a 13-megapixel camera with HDR imaging, and a Snapdragon 410 processor.

The Bottom Line: With these sorts of specs and price tags, expect Chinese smartphones to become pretty commonplace soon.

Price: $370