Best Android phones under $100 in 2022

BLU G51S smartphone in hand
(Image credit: BLU)

Not everybody needs to spend upwards of $1,000 on a new phone, especially those on prepaid carriers looking to cut down on spending wherever possible. Luckily, the best phones under $100 deliver reliable performance and useful features that make them a great choice. We think the Galaxy A03s is the best phone in this price range. While there are a few other options to pick from in this price range, these days, the choices are getting harder and harder to come by.

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A render of the Samsung Galaxy A03s showing the front and back of the phone in two colorways

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A03s

Best overall

Reasons to buy

+
Best update policy of any phone on this list
+
Good everyday performance for the price
+
Excellent battery life
+
Surprisingly good cameras
+
Scheduled to receive One UI 5 (Android 13)
+
Fingerprint sensor

Reasons to avoid

-
Processor isn't great for gaming
-
Few extras included in the box

It's hard to believe that $60 can get you a phone like the Samsung Galaxy A03s, especially since it debuted for nearly twice as much last November when it first shipped. In addition to that, Samsung has already updated the phone to Android 12 with One UI 4.1, giving this phone the honor of being the only Android 12-powered phone on the list.

Samsung's One UI 4.1 (opens in new tab) is a powerhouse of an operating system, giving users tons of useful features, customization out the wazoo, and software support like you won't find from any other company. The best part is that the phone is scheduled to receive One UI 5 in February 2023.

The phone's design itself is pretty standard fair for this price range — a full-plastic body and a small camera cut-out on the front display — but Samsung offers a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and cameras that are better than you might expect from just a $60 phone.

The MediaTek Helio P35 processor inside is the same one that powers the Galaxy A12 — a phone that's nearly twice the price — and offers plenty of performance for everyday use. The $60 version of the phone sold at places like Best Buy includes 3GB of RAM, which is enough to run two apps at once in some cases, but the 4GB upgrade could be worth it if you think you'll be doing a lot of multitasking.

While the Helio P35 is a great everyday processor, it's not the best for 3D games. That's not different from most other phones on this list, but it's still worth noting that the phone will certainly struggle to deliver a smooth gaming experience in those cases.

But the phone won't struggle with battery life, which is a huge advantage of phones in this category. A single charge could get you 2-3 days of use, which is good because the 7.5W charger included in the box will take several hours to juice things up. Best charge it overnight and just enjoy using it while you're awake!

BLU G51S

(Image credit: BLU)

BLU G51S

Great all-rounder

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant 6.4-inch display
+
4,000mAh battery
+
Android 11 (Go edition)
+
Fingerprint sensor
+
Comes with a case and screen protector

Reasons to avoid

-
Future updates are unlikely
-
Only 2GB RAM

Exquisite design isn't something you see with Android phones within this budget, and while "exquisite" isn't exactly the word we'd use to describe the BLU G51S, it certainly stands out from the rest of the phones on this list. The eye-catching textured blue design on the back is bold and bright. Plus, you get decent hardware. The budget Android phone runs Android 11 (Go edition), so the performance is as smooth as can be hoped for in this price bracket.

Joining that design is a beautiful 6.4-inch HD display that is easily the best screen in any sub-$100 phone today. There's also an 8MP selfie camera, a 13MP rear camera, a fingerprint reader on the back, upgradable storage, and a sizable 4,000mAh battery. The octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM, along with 32GB of internal memory, are among the best options you'll find in this particular category.

In addition to the phone itself, BLU also gives you all of the accessories you could need right in the box. Included at no extra cost are a screen protector, silicone case, charger, cable, and a BLU sticker for you to place wherever.

Ulefone Note 8 in hand, running a mobile game

(Image credit: Ulefone)

Ulefone Note 8

Enjoy browsing with one hand

Reasons to buy

+
5.5-inch display good for one-handed use
+
Android Go
+
Face unlock
+
Expandable storage
+
Support for dual SIMs

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks a fingerprint sensor
-
2GB of RAM

The Ulefone Note 8 cranks things up a notch in this segment, thanks to its vibrant 5.5-inch 720p screen with thin bezels. There's a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera and a relatively small chin at the bottom. The handset fits perfectly in one hand, which is something you won't find in modern flagships anymore.

Flip the Ulefone Note 8 over, and you'll find a 5MP primary camera along with 2MP portrait sensors to help you take decent-looking pictures. The entire setup is powered by a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128GB), and a 2,700mAh battery under the hood. The battery size is all right, and the RAM is fairly adequate.

The Ulefone Note 8 is a device with dual SIM slots, making it easy to rock two numbers simultaneously. Also, while there is a face unlock feature instead of a fingerprint sensor, it's only good for bypassing your lock screen. If you want to log into banking apps or password managers, you'll need to enter a PIN/password.

Best of all, the Note 8 runs Android Go, so the hardware is quite fluid in day-to-day use. It's Android 10, not 11, of the Go edition though. If you want a newer OS with Android go, the BLU G51S is your best bet.

Motorola Moto E6 camera capabilities

(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola Moto E6

On Verizon? Check this out

Reasons to buy

+
Clean build of Android
+
Splash-resistant design
+
Expandable storage goes up to 256GB
+
All-day battery life
+
Easy to use in one hand

Reasons to avoid

-
Large bezels

The Moto E6 has many exciting features, including a 5.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 435 chipset, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, 13MP camera, and a 3,000mAh battery.

But the most significant advantage is that you get a clean Android interface, making the phone a delight to use. Another exciting feature is the splash-resistant coating, ensuring the Moto E6 can withstand the occasional splash of rain.

The unlocked variant of the Moto E6 is a bit more expensive. However, the Verizon model is available for under $100, making it a fantastic choice. Motorola is known for its trustworthy and consistently reliable budget phones, and the E6 delivers exactly what you'd expect.

Nokia C1 Plus

(Image credit: Nokia)

Nokia C1 Plus

Promised updates for years to come

Reasons to buy

+
3 years of guaranteed updates
+
Supports face unlock
+
64GB storage
+
All-day battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't work with CDMA carriers
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Doesn't have a fingerprint scanner

Nokia has been making some of the most popular phones for over a decade, and while its Android smartphones aren't as well known as some other brands, its budget phones are among the best. The Nokia C1 Plus doesn't stand out from the crowd much, but it has just enough going for it to qualify for this list.

Though this phone may have a small 5.45-inch HD+ screen, it runs Android Go and is sure to get regular updates. As per HMD Global's pledge, you can expect three years of monthly security patches and two years of major platform updates. The 5MP main and 5MP selfie cameras are okay and should be good enough for a quick pic, even if they won't be winning any awards.

A benefit to the smaller screen size is that you'll have great battery life. It only has 1GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage, but the latter is expandable up to 128GB. So if you want a smoothly functioning Android phone with a few perks here and there and small stature, the Nokia C1 Plus is one to consider.

TCL A30 smartphone in hand

(Image credit: TCL)

TCL A30

Every last cent spent earns you value

Reasons to buy

+
Android 11 (Go edition)
+
3GB RAM
+
Expandable storage goes up to 512GB
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunky bezels
-
No fingerprint reader

While the TCL A30 isn't as fancy of a phone as the newer TCL 20 Pro 5G, you could also buy about five of these phones instead. There's something to be said about simplicity, and though the TCL A30 is simple, it still has the core of a cheerfully cheap smartphone to keep you satisfied.

Running Android 11 (Go edition) out of the box, the TCL A30 sports an octa-core MediaTek processor, and pleasantly, it has 3GB of RAM. You get 32GB of storage onboard and it can be increased up to a whopping 512GB via microSD. The phone's 5.5-inch HD+ LCD panel is dwarfed by a thick forehead and chin.

There are dual cameras — an 8MP primary shooter and a 5MP front-facing sensor. Though you will be able to take photos on this phone, they will be good enough for a Facebook post at best. You can expect excellent battery life from the 3,000mAh cell for all-day usage.

More than one way to save some money

If you've been searching for a phone under $100, you've probably found that they are tough to find. Of course, that is if you want to buy something new. However, if you're OK with buying a used phone or renewed, you have a few more avenues to pick up a good phone for less.

Amazon offers renewed devices that Amazon guarantees to be in proper working condition. Looking outside of Amazon, there are other great places to buy a used phone. While many of these phones may not have an Amazon guarantee, some retailers will offer some form of return policy to help give you some peace of mind about your purchase.

These are the best Android phones under $100

There are many junk Android phones that you can buy in this $100 price range, but there are also many great ones, as proven in this article. Overall, the Galaxy A03s stands out as the best cheap Android phone we've found under that $100 threshold.

While not perfect, the phone sports relatively small bezels compared to much of its competitors. Not only that, but it's back by Samsung's incredible software promise. After launching with Android 11, the phone has already been updated to Android 12, and is set to receive Android 13 in just a few months. Most phones at this price point maybe receive one OS upgrade and that's about it, so the fact that users will gain some One UI 5 goodies is quite impressive.

Then it comes to buying cheap phones, you want to make sure the device will last, and Samsung's software promise will give you much more bang for your few bucks.

Another phone we think is worth your attention is the BLU G51S. Every phone that you buy in this price tier is bound to come with compromises, but the BLU G51S makes the smartest ones so that you still end up with a thoroughly enjoyable Android experience. The display looks amazing, the performance is fast enough for daily use, there's a decently sized battery, and you have expandable storage.

It has all the basics that you'd want from a quality smartphone, but BLU manages to take things a step further in a way that other companies don't. Being able to buy a phone at a price like this with a modern style and good specs isn't always the situation, but that's precisely what you get with the BLU G51S.

If none of these phones tickle your fancy and you're willing to stretch your budget a little, we've also gathered the best Android phones under $200.