Nokia 3.1 PlusSource: Android Central

Best Android Phones Under $100 Android Central 2020

Not everybody needs to spend upwards of $1,000 on their phone, especially those on prepaid carriers looking to cut down on spending wherever possible. Luckily, phones at all price ranges have gotten great lately, and that holds especially true in the budget category. It was previously a wasteland of near-unusable devices, but now you can get a shockingly reliable phone for under a Benjamin. We think the UMIDIGI A3S is the best phone in this price range, but if that doesn't strike your fancy, there are plenty of other options out there.

Best Overall: UMIDIGI A3S

UMIDIGI A3SSource: UMIDIGI

When you venture into Android phones in this price bracket, you'll start to come across companies you might not have heard of before. One such company is UMIDIGI, and the UMIDIGI 3S is a prime example of a quality phone for under a hundred bucks.

From a design standpoint, the 3S looks pretty good. There's nothing overly flashy or eye-catching about it, but it doesn't look bad either. 2.5D curved glass covers both the front and back of the phone, and there's a metal frame in between the two. This gives the UMIDIGI A3S a premium in-hand feel you'd normally expect to be limited to much more costly devices.

As for the specs being offered, there are a lot of strong suits. UMIDIGI gives you two cameras on the back, including a 16MP and 5MP sensor. For your selfies, there's a 13MP camera with an "AI beauty" feature. We're also fans of the 3,950 mAh battery, 16GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB), and the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Even better, Android 10 is available right out of the box.

There are a couple of downsides to the UMIDIGI A3S, namely it only has 2GB of RAM and the large bezels surrounding its display. However, when you consider just how little the phone costs, you're getting a surprisingly complete package.

Pros:

  • 2.5D curved glass
  • 16MP + 5MP dual rear cameras
  • Generous 3,950 mAh battery
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Ships with Android 10

Cons:

  • Only 2GB of RAM
  • Large bezels by 2020 standards

Best Overall

UMIDIGI A3S

Lots of phone for not much money

The UMIDIGI A3S isn't a perfect phone, but considering its price, you're getting a pretty fantastic package.

Best Runner-up: NUU Mobile X6

NUU Mobile X6Source: NUU Mobile

Everyone has different tastes, and if you aren't being wowed by the UMIDIGI 3S for whatever reason, another strong option is the NUU Mobile X6. The design is pretty similar, featuring the dual rear cameras in a vertical layout on the back along with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Here, you're getting a 13MP + VGA layout. For the front camera, your selfies will be taken with a 5MP lens.

Speaking of the front of the phone, it looks much better than the UMIDIGI A3S's. The bezels are considerably slimmer, and there's a waterdrop cutout for the selfie camera. Not only does it look more modern, but it means the 5.71-inch HD+ display can offer a decently-large viewing area without the phone as a whole being too cumbersome.

When it comes to specs, the NUU Mobile X6 continues to impress with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that you can expand with a microSD card. Plus, if you have a work number and a personal number, you can take advantage of the dual SIM slots in the X6.

Just like the A3S, there are some downsides to the NUU Mobile X6. The 2,800 mAh battery is definitely on the smaller end of the spectrum, and it ships with Android 9 Pie. Pie is a solid version of the Android OS, but a future update to the newer Android 10 seems unlikely.

Pros:

  • HD+ display with slim-ish bezels
  • Dual rear cameras
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Expandable storage
  • Fingerprint sensor

Cons:

  • Running Android 9 Pie
  • Small 2,800 mAh battery

Best Runner-up

NUU Mobile X6

Another worthy contender

Not impressed with UMIDIGI's phone? The NUU Mobile X6 also delivers a great experience and might be a better fit.

Best Display: Ulefone Note 7

Ulefone Note 7Source: Ulefone

Do you know how the NUU Mobile X6 has a better display than the UMIDIGI A3S? The Ulefone Note 7 cranks things up yet another notch. Just one look at the Note 7 confirms this; it has virtually no bezels at all. Save for the waterdrop notch for the selfie camera and small chin at the bottom, this is all screen. In fact, Ulefone touts a 92.9% screen-to-body ratio.

Flipping the Ulefone Note 7 over, you'll find a total of three rear cameras — including an 8MP primary camera and two depth sensors to help you take the best-looking pictures possible. Under the hood, you'll find a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128GB), and a 3,500 mAh battery. The battery size is quite generous, but the limited RAM could result in poor multitasking performance.

The Ulefone Note 7 is another device with dual SIM slots, making it easy to rock two numbers simultaneously. Also, while there is a face unlock feature in place 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.

Some aspects of the Note 7 aren't quite as strong as other options on this list, but if you value a large display with tiny bezels, it's a solid choice.

Pros:

  • 6.1-inch display with thin bezels
  • Three cameras on the back
  • Decent 3,500 mAh battery
  • Expandable storage
  • Support for dual SIMs

Cons:

  • Only 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage
  • Android 10 update isn't likely
  • Lacks a fingerprint sensor

Best Display

Ulefone Note 7

Good displays on a budget actually exist

For people that spend a lot of time playing games or watching YouTube videos, the Note 7's large and bezel-lite display is a joy.

Best Cricket Exclusive: Nokia 3.1 Plus

Nokia 3.1 PlusSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Nokia makes a lot of great budget phones, but there's one from the company that we want to highlight — the Nokia 3.1 Plus. This is a phone that's available exclusively for Cricket Wireless customers, and it sure is something.

I had the chance to use the Nokia 3.1 Plus a while back, and I was immediately impressed with just how well-built it is. For a phone that costs as little as it does, it's genuinely impressive how good the build quality is. The polycarbonate has a wonderful soft-touch finish, the device as a whole is sturdy, and the Navy Blue color looks gorgeous.

You're getting a 5.99-inch HD+ display, 32GB of expandable storage (all the way up to 400GB), a large 3,500 mAh battery, 13MP and 5MP dual rear cameras, and a USB-C port for charging the phone.

You'll pay just shy of a hundred dollars for the Nokia 3.1 Plus if you're buying it with a new phone number, but for anyone that is switching to Cricket and bringing an existing number, you can get it for free!

Pros:

  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Soft-touch blue plastic looks and feels great
  • Dual cameras
  • Up to two days of battery life
  • Charges via USB-C

Cons:

  • No word on an Android 10 update
  • Only available to Cricket customers

Best Cricket Exclusive

Nokia 3.1 Plus

A great choice for Cricket customers

Folks that use Cricket for their cell service can pick up the Nokia 3.1 Plus, which packs a big punch for such a small price.

Best on Boost Mobile: Samsung Galaxy A10e

Samsung Galaxy A10eSource: Samsung

Moving away from Nokia, let's now take a look at what Samsung has to offer for budget-minded shoppers. The Galaxy A10e is that phone, and if you're on Boost Mobile, it's possible to pick it up within the budget of this list.

All-in-all, the core of the Galaxy A10e is strong. There's a 5.83-inch HD display, 3,000 mah battery, 32GB of built-in storage, and a microSD card that allows you to expand it up to 512GB. As for the smaller tidbits, the A10e delivers a USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Bluetooth 5.0 for reliable wireless audio.

The biggest letdown of the Galaxy A10e is the lack of a fingerprint sensor, but other than that, this is a rock-solid phone for the money. It looks nice and modern, has good specs, and is selling at a fantastic price. Assuming you're on Boost Mobile or have been thinking about switching, don't overlook this one.

Pros:

  • Large HD display with slim bezels
  • 32GB of built-in storage
  • MicroSD card support up to 512GB
  • USB-C charging
  • Headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  • No fingerprint sensor

Best on Boost Mobile

Samsung Galaxy A10e

Boost subscribers are in for something special

The Galaxy A10e is an outstanding budget phone from Samsung, and if you're on Boost, you can get it at an incredible price.

Best on Verizon: Moto E5 Go

Moto E5 PlaySource: Android Central

Switching from Boost to Verizon, it's now time to shine the limelight on the Moto E5 Go. As you can probably tell right off the bat, this isn't a particularly flashy device. It's got large bezels, a fairly typical plastic design, and just one rear camera.

Even with all of that said, the E5 Go does a great job of delivering a clean and reliable Android experience. You won't find any unwanted bloat and the Go Edition of Android here is optimized for less-powerful hardware.

One of the best features is the Moto E5 Go's water-repellant design, which is something we don't typically see in this price range. You also get up to 256GB of expandable storage and Motorola is touting battery life that can get you through a full day of use. And, thanks to the 5.2-inch HD display, using the E5 Go in one hand should be a breeze.

Pros:

  • Clean build of Android
  • Water-repellant design
  • Expandable storage goes up to 256GB
  • All-day battery life
  • Easy to use in one hand

Cons:

  • Stuck on Android Oreo 😕
  • Large display bezels

Best on Verizon

Moto E5 Go

On Verizon? Check this out

When it comes to Verizon handsets, the Moto E5 Go offers all of the Android basics in a compact and water-repellant package.

Bottom line

There are a lot of junk Android phones that you can buy in this $100 price range, but as proven in this article, there are also a lot of great ones. Overall, the UMIDIGI A3S stands out as the best phone we've found under that $100 threshold.

Right off the bat, the A3S catches your attention with its 2.5D glass on both the front and back. Pair that with the aluminum frame, and it ends up looking and feeling far nicer than most phones with its price tag. The phone's specs are just as good, such as the huge 3,950 mAh battery, 16MP and 5MP dual rear cameras, fingerprint sensor, and expandable storage.

Furthermore, it's impressive that UMIDIGI ships the A3S with Android 10 available as soon as you power the phone on. This is something that's still quite rare with low-cost handsets, so having access to the latest features and security measures is fantastic.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to joe.maring@futurenet.com!

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