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Which Is The Cheapest Cell Phone Company
OnePlus has announced a new version of our current pick, the $300 Nord N30 5G. We’ve added information about the new phone to What to Expect.
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High-end Android phones can cost $1,000 or more, but cheaper models can still offer almost every phone feature you could want. After a few days of testing half a dozen phones, we’ve come to the conclusion that the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is the best budget Android phone out there. It’s fast enough for most people, has a bright OLED screen, a good battery, and even 5G connectivity, amazing features for a phone that costs just $300.
The OnePlus Nord N20 5G has good performance and a bright 1080p OLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner, a feature usually reserved for more expensive phones.
The OnePlus Nord N20 5G is more powerful than Samsung’s budget phones, and its 1080p OLED display is sharper than other phones in its price range, which often have lower resolution and contrast LCD screens. The N20 5G even offers an in-display fingerprint sensor, a rare feature for budget phones. It comes with the Android 12 update and three years of security updates (until spring 2025). But it doesn’t work on Verizon network.
Samsung’s cheapest 5G phone is better than most phones in this price range, and Samsung offers an impressive four-year software upgrade warranty.
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The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G has a boring overall design, but for just $200, it’s more responsive than you’d expect. The display takes more fingerprints than more expensive phones, but it’s big and bright, and the A14 5G runs Android 13. Samsung is also promising more updates in the future, unexpectedly supporting updates for four years (until early 2027). Most budget phones are lucky to see half that.
The Pixel 6a offers the latest Android software, a great display and a camera that rivals phones at half the price.
Like Google’s previous budget phone options, the Google Pixel 6a has good software, but adds more powerful hardware. The Pixel 6a beats the budget competition in almost every way, making it a great choice if you can spend a little money. For $450, the Pixel 6a offers one of the best cameras on a smartphone, including phones that cost more than twice that. Plus, the software experience is smoother and nicer than what you’ll find on OnePlus or Samsung phones, and the Pixel 6a has the same powerful Tensor processor as the more expensive Pixel phones. Google also guarantees security updates until 2027. summer However, the Pixel 6a lacks other battery life options and a headphone jack.
The Samsung Galaxy A03s has better performance and update support than other ultra-cheap phones and works on all mobile networks.
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At just $160, the Samsung Galaxy A03s is the cheapest phone in Samsung’s current lineup, but it doesn’t look cheap. The A03 is fast enough for web browsing, texting and playing simple games. And despite the phone’s low price, Samsung doesn’t skimp on updates: the A03 will receive updates until 2026. beginning, that is, all four years from the launch, which is unheard of for such a cheap phone. The build quality is lower compared to the Galaxy A14 5G, the camera is not very good and this model does not support 5G, but the battery life is very good.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve written over a million words about Android phones, tablets, and software on sites like Wirecutter, Android Police, and ExtremeTech. During that time, I’ve also lived with several different Android phones as “daily drivers.” I use and review more phones every year than most people will own in their lifetime.
The best smartphones have never been more expensive, but you can have almost the same phone for less than a quarter of the price of a flagship phone. You only give up some nice features like water resistance, wireless charging or multiple camera modules. Budget phones often can’t compete with quad-HD (1440p) screens or high-end flagship phone processors, but you don’t need those things to have a good experience.
Cheap phones make great first smartphones, especially for kids and teenagers or the mortally clumsy. If you lose or break a high-end phone, especially one that you’re still paying your carrier for, you might have to shell out money to replace it — usually $500 or more. If you don’t have insurance, you can pay for the rest of the phone you no longer have, plus the cost of the new phone.
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We also like that cheap phones are usually unlocked by buying online or directly from the manufacturer; You can use these phones on AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon networks in the United States and many other networks around the world. More importantly, you can use an unlocked phone with a prepaid mobile virtual network operator (MVNO); these low-cost carriers operate national networks, but tend to impose additional data usage restrictions or call restrictions. You can use an MVNO, and if there’s a better deal, you can put another carrier’s SIM in your phone and get on with life.
Cheap phones are great for first-time smartphone buyers, especially kids and teenagers, or the deadly clumsy.
It’s worth sticking with a more reputable budget phone maker with a strong US retail presence, as such companies are more likely to run into problems with easy-to-install security patches. Choosing a phone from a big company like Google or Samsung means you’re less likely to encounter major security flaws.
After testing a number of budget smartphones, we’ve found that most of them aren’t worth recommending, either because of low prices, poor performance, bloated software, useless cameras, not always being updated or not, or some combination of issues. Here are the things we look for in a phone before we recommend it:
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OnePlus gets where it is by offering big performance for little money in its phones, and that’s exactly what it does with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G. While most budget Android phones have a mediocre 720p LCD screen, the N20 5G has a sharper 1080p OLED. The N20 5G’s processor is also a step up from the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, and its impressive battery life is further supported by 33W fast charging. But camera performance is poor even for a budget phone, and OnePlus only offers three years of security updates, compared to four and five years for Samsung and Google, respectively.
As component prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, we’ve seen budget phones move away from mid-range processors to cheaper, less reliable options. In keeping with this trend, the N20 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor, which is more powerful than MediaTek’s Galaxy A14 5G chip. The N20 5G also has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which is faster than you’ll find on the Galaxy A14 5G or Galaxy A03s, as well as a microSD card slot. When loading complex web pages, running 3D games, and installing and launching apps, the N20 5G performs better than other budget 2022s we’ve tested. in phones, except for the more expensive ones. Google’s Pixel 6a. The N20 5G also has NFC for mobile payments, a feature often missing from budget phones.
1080p screen resolution used to be common on phones under $300, but supply chain issues related to the pandemic have made it a rarity today. On the N20 5G, OnePlus brings a great 1080p OLED display that’s sharper than the 720p LCD on the Galaxy A13 5G, though not as bright or sharp as the OLED Pixel 6a. The N20 5G display is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, lower than the A14 5G’s 90Hz refresh rate. However, the N20 5G easily supports a 60Hz refresh rate during operation, while the A14 5G sometimes drops below 90Hz, making its first advantage less useful. And for phones in this price range, resolution is more important than refresh rate.
The 4,500mAh battery is enough to keep the N20 5G going all day, no matter how hard you try to drain it. Depending on usage, two days are possible on a single charge, and this phone’s 33W charging is more than twice as fast as the A14 5G (15W); The N20 5G even outperforms the Pixel 6a (18W) in this regard. A full charge takes less than an hour. And this
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