Good inexpensive smartphone: ranking of the best models

Budget gadgets sometimes compete on a par with overrated flagships. Not all models from the cheap segment can do this, so first you need to know reliable brands - those that maintain a price-quality balance. Next - a balanced choice of technical parameters, and to make it easier - there is a list of the best models of the budget category.

The best manufacturers of low-cost smartphones

The leaders in reliable budget gadgets are brands from China (Huawei, Xiaomi, Meizu) and South Korea (Samsung, LG). They offer models costing from 5,000 to 15,000 rubles, capable of competing even with expensive flagships. An alternative to them are manufacturers from Japan (Sony) and Finland (Nokia).

Xiaomi (with their Redmi sub-brand)

A favorite on the budget device market, producing low-cost Android smartphones with excellent features. Previously (until January 2019), their "folk" gadgets came out under the Redmi line, and today it is highlighted in the sub-brand of the same name. Xiaomi products are functional devices with a large memory supply, a powerful processor and a powerful video chip:

  • Xiaomi Redmi 6A;
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5;
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus.


The top South Korean brand, usually producing expensive devices. There are budget smartphones Samsung - they come under the line J. Their inexpensive gadgets are still inferior to Chinese competitors in popularity and availability:

  • Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini SM-J105H;
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017);
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016).

Huawei (with their Honor sub-brand)

Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, founded in 1987.

It holds the 3rd place in smartphone sales in the world, and the first in its homeland.

Examples of their popular budget devices:

  • Huawei Y3 2017;
  • Huawei P Smart;
  • Honor 8 Lite.


The company ranks second in the production of two- and single-SIM phones in China. Founded in 1985, it develops gadgets through the efforts of its 13 research centers (some of them are located in the USA and Sweden). ZTE also collaborates with MTS and Beeline, providing them with devices for their own branding. Popular among their low-cost devices are:

  • ZTE Blade A510;
  • ZTE Blade V9 Vita;
  • ZTE Blade A6 Max.


Taiwanese concern, whose low-cost branded gadgets compete on a par with Xiaomi. Cheap ASUS smartphones were remembered by customers due to their functionality, speed, reliable assembly and affordable price:

  • ASUS ZenFone Go;
  • ASUS ZenFone Live;
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1.


A Chinese manufacturer with interesting models of smartphones, the cost of which is sometimes overpriced. The strengths of their "budget" - quality assembly, wide functionality, stylish design and excellent cameras:

  • Meizu M5 Note;
  • Meizu M6 Note;
  • Meizu M6s.


The budget employees of this Japanese company are not bad. Only each of their new models comes at an unreasonably high price. Chinese counterparts are better in performance, shooting capabilities, and even cheaper. Sony for this reason is the unevenness of Huawei or Xiaomi, but on the other hand, the Japanese offer excellent displays, velvet sound in the headphones and an outstanding device design:

  • Sony Xperia J;
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Plus;
  • Sony Xperia L2.


South Korean manufacturer of equipment, whose devices are the second most popular in the homeland (after Samsung) and the sixth in the world. Inexpensive LG phones are, as a rule, gadgets with high-quality cases, cameras and displays:

  • LG Optimus G;
  • LG X power 2 M320;
  • LG Q6 M700AN.


Fifth in sales of phones in China and eighth in the international ranking. The design of budget Lenovo devices with a good camera is like a premium segment. Their weak point is displays (mediocre color rendition, meager brightness). Inexpensive models of their phones are:

  • Lenovo K5 Play;
  • Lenovo P780;
  • Lenovo S5.


Phones of the Finnish manufacturer are reliable and practical devices. Most of their "state employees" come with a fingerprint scanner and support for LTE, NFC. Only the pricing policy of the company is not as well thought out as that of their competitors. Nokia gadgets are inferior to some Korean and Chinese counterparts in terms of power, shooting quality, but are more expensive:

  • Nokia 3.1 Plus;
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus;
  • Nokia 6.


The French brand, now run by the Chinese corporation TCL. Gadgets from this manufacturer are attractive for their low price and good functionality. Budget Alcatel models are U, POP, PIXI. The disadvantages of all three lines are the inexpressive design, the small amount of RAM, and the weak processor. Examples of their inexpensive smartphones:

  • Alcatel U5;
  • Alcatel Pop S9 7050Y;
  • Alcatel Pixi 4 (5) 5010D.

How to choose a budget phone by parameters

A buyer who is looking for a good inexpensive gadget needs:

  1. Decide on a budget. With 5,000 rubles in hand, you can only rely on a simple “dialer” phone. The amount of 10,000 is enough to buy a functional device with a decent processor. Top devices in the budget segment will require up to 15,000 rubles.
  2. To overcome stereotypes about buying goods from China. The economy and production of the Celestial Empire are growing, the competition in its domestic market is enormous, so the gadgets from their eminent brands are no longer trash.

A good inexpensive smartphone is not a flagship with all the features at once. So before you order a budget device in an online store with delivery, you have to prioritize.

For example, the most important thing for gamers is a powerful processor, and for lovers of photo and video shooting, a high-quality camera with 2-3 modules.

General tips for smartphone features are as follows:

  • Screen diagonal. A phablet (a gadget with a large display) is more pleasant for reading, playing games, watching videos and photos. Cons - it’s not always convenient to carry in your pocket and operate with one hand:
  1. "Dialers" have enough display for 3-4 inches.
  2. Internet surfing and reading - 4-5 inches.
  3. Gamers, lovers of photos and videos, preferably 5-6 inches and above.
  • Screen resolution. Higher value - sharper image. If the resolution is too low for some screen, then the user will notice an unpleasant "grain" on the display:
  1. Smartphones with a diagonal of 3 inches will be enough for 480x800.
  2. 4 ”devices need 960x540.
  3. 5 ”phones are optimally 1280x720 (HD).
  4. Phablets from 6 inches need a minimum of 1920x1080 (Full HD). Even better - 2560x1440 (Quad HD).
  • Operating system. There is little choice, because iPhones on iOS are not budget devices, and BlackBerry OS is really not widespread anywhere. Only Android and Windows Phone are left to search for inexpensive gadgets:
  1. Microsoft's OS is smooth and stable. More users will appreciate the familiar windows and folders that are like on a PC. The disadvantage of this platform is its software. Programs on Windows Phone lack quality, functionality, and variety.
  2. The Android does not know such problems, so most modern smartphones work on it. The Google Play service is a huge assortment of programs for any needs (study, work, sports, leisure, etc.). The system is often updated, so with the correction of old defects sometimes new ones appear.
  • Processor and video accelerator. Both components determine the power of the device:
  1. CPU. Responsible for the performance of the smartphone as a whole. Less power - more slowdowns when working with the gadget. The minimum number of cores for a "state employee" is 4, or even better - 8. The processor clock speed is also important (the number of operations that it can perform per unit of time). The optimal value for an inexpensive gadget is 1.5 GHz.
  2. Video accelerator. Built into mobile processors for graphic operations. The video chip in the eight-core Snapdragon 625 will ensure smooth operation in most modern games and video players. Its almost analogue is cheaper - Snapdragon 450.
  • Memory. Measured in gigabytes (GB):
  1. Operational. Stores temporary information from applications and the operating system. If it is not enough for some tasks, then the phone slows down. Therefore, a reasonable minimum of "RAM" for low-cost devices is 2 GB. Devices with 1 GB will cost less, but many applications on them (games, browsers with several open tabs) will not work smoothly.
  2. Constant. Storage for the operating system, programs and user files (videos, photos, e-books, documents, etc.). Large memory - more information can be downloaded to the phone.
  3. MicroSD cards. Additionally increase permanent storage. It is important to remember that not all gadgets support these advanced cards.
  • Camera. Main (rear) - for filming, front - for video communication and self-portraits (selfies):
  1. Resolution. The greater the value of the parameter - the higher the clarity of the received frames.
  2. Lens aperture (diaphragm, aperture). It is designated as f / 1.7-f / 2.8. A lower value is a higher aperture, which improves the quality of shooting in the evening and at night.
  3. Viewing angle. The bigger the value - the wider the space covered by the lens.
  4. Optical or at least digital stabilization. Compensates for camera shake in the hands when shooting, saving the photo from blurry, and video from twitching frames. Optical stabilization is more effective than digital.
  5. HDR shooting. Needed for realistic color reproduction in photos and videos. Improves detail in dark and bright areas of the picture.
  • Battery capacity. Measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). Affects the autonomy of the device (operating time from full charge to zero):
  1. Simple "dialers" have enough batteries for 2,000 mAh.
  2. Medium-budget gadgets need 3,000 to 4,000 mAh. The device will work 1-1.5 days with active use.
  3. The coolest phone (in terms of autonomy) is a model with a battery of 5,000 - 6,000 mAh or more. Such gadgets work for 2-4 days without recharging.
  • Support 3G and 4G LTE:
  1. 3G technology allows you to exchange data without connecting to Wi-Fi (calls, Internet). It is available in almost every inexpensive phone.
  2. 4G technology Transmits data faster and better than 3G. The downside for Russian users is that it does not yet operate across the country. Even before choosing a smartphone with 4G, you need to clarify on which bands your mobile operator and an attractive gadget work (they must be compatible).
  • The size of the smartphone. Thick cases are in the past, so now the dimensions of the device are determined by its diagonal:
  1. Compact (4.5-5 ”) - they are comfortable to hold with one hand, stored in your pocket and print text with just one thumb. Especially suitable for children and just people with small palms.
  2. Medium (5-5.5 ”) - it is still convenient to use such devices with one hand (if the palm is at least medium in size). Only they will not fit in every pocket.
  3. Phablets (6 ”and more) - The owners of such devices use them with two hands. It is better to store widescreen models in a bag or in a deep pocket.
  • Appearance. Beautiful design is a rarity in the budget segment. Most low-cost devices are made of plastic, although there are exceptions with metal elements. The rear panel of tempered glass or even ceramic gives a special charm to the device:
  1. The advantages of metal are strength and solidity. The most reliable smartphone is a device with an aluminum body, which is resistant to abrasion and falls from a height. Such material looks more respectable than plastic.
  2. Cons of metal - slippery and soiled. The body of this material is easily soiled, slips out of the hands. Especially for gadgets with a glass back panel. Owners of beautiful smartphones will need protective cases to protect their device from fingerprints and accidental drops.

Rating of inexpensive smartphones with good features

Knowing the personal needs and technical parameters of gadgets, you can proceed to the selection. The final top smartphones with the best price-quality balance at the beginning of 2019:

Price segment


The amount of RAM / permanent memory (GB)

Cost (p.)

Up to 5,000 rubles

ZTE Blade A520

2 / 16

4 790 - 5 490

Huawei Y3 2017

1 / 8

4 987 - 5 770

Alcatel PIXI 4 Plus Power

1 / 16

5 120 - 5 840

Up to 10,000 rubles

Xiaomi Redmi 6A

2 / 16

6 400 - 7 090

2 / 32

7 370 - 8 300

3 / 32

7 250 - 8 800

Meizu M6 Note

3 / 16

8 140 - 9 590

3 / 32

10 000 - 11 000

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

3 / 32

9 750

4 / 64

10 449

Up to 15 000 rubles

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1

3 / 32

11 490

4 / 64

12 990

4 / 128

15 490

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

3 / 16

11 990 - 14 590

Huawei P20 Lite

4 / 64

14 700 - 15 790

Android phones costing up to 5000 rubles

ZTE Blade A510 (China)

Compact inexpensive device from the ultra-budget segment. Cope with simple tasks (calls, watch videos, surf the Internet), bypassing cell phones for a variety of functions. Useful as a “dialer” for an adult or child.


  • OS: Android 7.0.
  • Screen diagonal: 5 ".
  • Resolution: 1280x720.
  • Pixel Density: 294 ppi.
  • Processor: MediaTek MT6737 (4 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Mali-T720 MP2.
  • RAM: 2 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 16 GB + a combined slot for microSD up to 128 GB.
  • Rear camera: 8 MP.
  • Front: 2 MP.
  • Battery capacity: 2400 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • Bright screen.
  • The smooth operation of the interface.
  • Nice camera.
  • 2 GB of RAM (most ultra-budget solutions come with only one).
  • Loud speaker.


  • Mediocre performance in 3D applications.
  • Low autonomy (works less than a day with active use).
  • There is no OTG support - you can’t work with a USB flash drive on this device.
  • Unreliable build quality.

Huawei Y3 2017 (China)

The device is used as a children's smartphone or just an inexpensive gadget with the minimum necessary functionality. Cope with calls, surfing the Internet, even the rear camera is good for such a cost. But here it is better for gamers and selfie lovers to look for a device more expensive.

Technical characteristics of the model:

  • OS: Android 6.0.
  • Screen diagonal: 5 ".
  • Resolution: 854x480.
  • Pixel Density: 196 ppi.
  • Processor: MediaTek MT6580M (4 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Mali-400 MP1.
  • RAM: 1 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 8 GB + slot for microSD up to 128 GB.
  • Rear camera: 8 MP.
  • Front: 2 MP.
  • Battery capacity: 2200 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: no.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • Good color display.
  • High-quality shooting on the main camera (only in daylight).
  • The smooth operation of the system.
  • High-quality assembly.


  • Low quality photo on the front.
  • Display grain (pixels are clearly visible on the screen).
  • Small viewing angles (if you look at the screen at an angle, the colors in the image are distorted).
  • The battery lasts only for 5-6 hours of active use.

Alcatel PIXI 4 Plus Power (France)

The device offers a long work without recharging, bright design and a nice price. Suitable for children and undemanding users who need good functionality with high autonomy. Only the PIXI 4 Plus Power dialer lacks support for LTE networks.


  • OS: Android 6.0.
  • Screen diagonal: 5.5 ".
  • Resolution: 1280x720.
  • Pixel Density: 267 ppi.
  • Processor: MediaTek MT6580 (4 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Mali-400 MP2.
  • RAM: 1 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 16 GB + slot for microSD up to 32 GB.
  • Rear camera: 8 MP.
  • Front: 2 MP.
  • Battery capacity: 5,000 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: no.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • Nice screen.
  • Excellent autonomy (the device can withstand 2 days of active use, 4 with moderate).
  • Outstanding design.
  • Reliable assembly.


  • Low-quality photos and videos (the camera takes 7-8 megapixels, and not the claimed 13).
  • Missing 4G LTE.
  • Slow performance.

Inexpensive models up to 10,000 rubles

Xiaomi Redmi 6A (China)

The sixth series of Redmi caused bewilderment among buyers - the smartphones of this line were equipped with MediaTek processors instead of the usual Snapdragon, which are faster and more energy efficient. The remaining characteristics are good, the price tag of the gadget is not overpriced.


  • OS: Android 8.1.
  • Screen diagonal: 5.45 ”.
  • Resolution: 1440x720.
  • Pixel Density: 295 ppi.
  • Processor: MediaTek Helio A22 (4 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: IMG PowerVR.
  • RAM: 2/3 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 16/32 GB + slot for microSD up to 256 GB.
  • Rear camera: 13 megapixels.
  • Front: 5 megapixels.
  • Battery capacity: 3000 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • Bright saturated display.
  • The smooth operation of the interface.
  • Optimized power consumption (a fully charged battery is enough for a day of active use).
  • Decent shooting quality on the rear and front cameras.
  • A separate microSD slot (you can install an expansion card and two SIM cards at the same time).
  • Reliable assembly of the device.


  • Mediocre performance in games.
  • Plastic, cheap-looking case.
  • There is no fingerprint scanner.
  • NFC is not there either.

Meizu M6 Note (China)

The first dual-SIM gadget of the company, released on the Snapdragon chip. Another important achievement - the smartphone was finally equipped with a dual camera, which previously was not in the inexpensive Note line.Finally, a metal case made without plastic inserts is bribed, and the price is minimal for such parameters.


  • OS: Android 7.1.
  • Screen diagonal: 5.5 ".
  • Resolution: 1920x1080.
  • Pixel Density: 401 ppi.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (8 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Adreno 506.
  • RAM: 3 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 16/32 GB + combined slot for microSD up to 128 GB.
  • Rear camera: dual, 12/5 megapixels.
  • Front: 16 MP.
  • Battery capacity: 4000 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • A screen with good color reproduction and a clear image.
  • Productive processor.
  • Decent photo and video quality.
  • A capacious battery (a full charge lasts for 1.5 days of operation).
  • Nice all-metal case, reliable assembly.


  • Mediocre display brightness.
  • The interface sometimes slows down.
  • NFC is missing.
  • No wireless charging included.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (China)

An inexpensive high-quality smartphone that has earned popular love.

The processor and screen at the device level for 30-35 thousand rubles.

The charge holds for a long time, and even it is relatively cheap. The rear camera is approximately the same as the more expensive Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) or Sony Xperia XA2. The best phone according to user reviews looking for the perfect balance of price and quality.


  • OS: Android 8.1.
  • Screen diagonal: 5.99 ”.
  • Resolution: 2160x1080.
  • Pixel Density: 403 ppi.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (8 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Adreno 509.
  • RAM: 3/4 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 32/64 GB + combined slot for microSD up to 128 GB.
  • Rear camera: dual, 12/5 megapixels.
  • Front: 13 megapixels.
  • Battery capacity: 4000 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • Bright display, clear image.
  • High-quality shooting of the rear and front cameras.
  • Great gaming performance.
  • Good autonomy (the battery lasts 1.5 days with the active use of the phone).
  • Reliable assembly.


  • Case materials give cheapness.
  • NFC is not provided.

Fashion phones costing up to 15,000 rubles

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Taiwan)

Inexpensive smartphone with a large display, excellent performance and a slim body. The gadget competes on equal terms with Redmi Note 5 in terms of functionality and technical parameters. Upset only high power consumption, flaws in the photo and video.


  • OS: Android 8.1.
  • Screen diagonal: 6 ".
  • Resolution: 2160x1080.
  • Pixel Density: 402 ppi.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (8 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Adreno 509.
  • RAM: 3/4 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 32/64/128 GB + slot for microSD up to 2048 GB.
  • Rear camera: dual, 13/5 megapixels.
  • Front: 8 MP.
  • Battery capacity: 5000 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • Bright display with decent color reproduction.
  • High performance processor.
  • Pure Android.
  • Separate microSD slot, not taking up space for a second SIM card.
  • NFC is provided.
  • Metal case, excellent build quality.


  • The cameras need to be improved (HDR images are darkened, portrait ones are blurry, the contrast in the video is excessive, there is no panoramic mode at all).
  • Excessive charge consumption - it lasts maximum for a day of active use (competitors with 4000 mAh batteries give the same indicator).
  • NFC can sometimes fail.
  • Slippery easily soiled body.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 (South Korea)

A stylish phone that looks like top-end flagships. The display is high-quality, the sound in the headphones is excellent, the cameras shoot well and the power consumption is low. The disadvantage of a smartphone is its low speed, when compared with cheaper Chinese counterparts.


  • OS: Android 7.0.
  • Screen diagonal: 5.5 ".
  • Resolution: 1920x1080.
  • Pixel Density: 401 ppi.
  • Processor: Exynos 7870 (8 cores).
  • RAM: 3 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 16 GB + slot for microSD up to 256 GB.
  • Rear camera: 13 megapixels.
  • Front: 13 megapixels.
  • Battery capacity: 3600 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • AMOLED screen with excellent color reproduction.
  • Always On Display function (time, date, battery and alerts are displayed even when the display is off).
  • Phone with a good camera.
  • Autonomy (the battery is enough for a day of active use and moderate for two days).
  • Separate microSD slot.
  • NFC is provided.


  • There is no stabilization when shooting movies.
  • Mediocre gaming performance.
  • Fast charge is not supported.
  • Low-quality speakerphone.

Huawei P20 Lite (China)

Inexpensive smartphone with good features, positioning itself as a lightweight budget flagship. The gadget is suitable for those who want to get closer to the premium segment for cheap. The device imitates the design of the iPhone X, perfectly captures videos and photos. His autonomy is ridiculous, there is little power for games.


  • OS: Android 8.0.
  • Display diagonal: 5.84 ”.
  • Resolution: 2280x1080.
  • Pixel Density: 432 ppi.
  • Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659 (8 cores).
  • Video Accelerator: Mali-T830 MP2.
  • RAM: 4 GB.
  • The amount of permanent memory: 64 GB + combined slot for microSD up to 256 GB.
  • Rear camera: dual, 16/2 MP.
  • Front: 16 MP.
  • Battery capacity: 3000 mAh.
  • Support 4G LTE: yes.
  • Number of SIM cards: 2.

The main advantages:

  • High quality display.
  • Great dual camera.
  • Premium design.
  • NFC module.
  • USB Type-C Connector
  • Reliable build quality.


  • Weak gaming performance.
  • Low autonomy (battery lasts for 5 hours of active use).
  • Mediocre acoustics.
  • Marked and slippery glass case.

Best budget big screen smartphones

Top 5 phablets from the ranking of good inexpensive devices:

  1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 - 5.99 ”;
  2. ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 - 6 ”;
  3. Huawei P20 Lite - 5.84 ”;
  4. Meizu M6 Note - 5.5 ";
  5. Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) - 5.5 ”.

Criteria for choosing a good touch phone

To know the characteristics, reliable brands and successful models you need only for one task - to solve your needs. Conventionally, they can be divided into three categories:

  • Calls, instant messengers, internet. The simplest smartphones with Wi-Fi and 3G are useful here, and better - 4G LTE. A powerful processor is not required for these tasks, an advanced camera is also useless. The display can be selected in any diagonal, but preferably 4.5-5 ”. This makes it easier to use the touch keyboard.
  • Multimedia. View video, photos, books and documents more conveniently on the display from 5.5 ". High-quality color reproduction and a large margin of brightness are required. Fans of shooting will need a rear camera with autofocus, flash and a resolution of 16 megapixels minimum. Active users of Instagram need a front camera of at least 8 megapixels. Multimedia also consumes a lot of permanent memory, so it is advisable to immediately buy a microSD-card (the smartphone should have a slot for it).
  • Mobile gaming. The graphics in 3D applications are complicated from year to year, so it requires powerful hardware to process it. Gamers are recommended to buy gaming phones with large memory (64 GB permanent and 3-4 operational), a productive chip (Snapdragon 625 or at least 450) and a capacious battery (from 4,000 mAh). A microSD card is also welcome.

Watch the video: Best BUDGET Smartphone 2019!? (February 2020).