Best Android phones under $300 in 2022

Galaxy A53 vs. Galaxy A52
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

You can get a lot of phones for a modest price these days, and to prove it, we've rounded up a list of the best Android phones under $300 for your consideration. The best phones overall mostly come down to network compatibility and confidence that your software won't be out of date as soon as you activate it. The Samsung Galaxy A33 5G is the top smartphone you can get for $300, with 5G connectivity, a 90Hz AMOLED screen, and a gigantic battery. And it's still got plenty of life in it, with updates promised until Android 13.

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Samsung Galaxy A33 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G

The best overall Android phone under $300

Reasons to buy

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5G enabled with mid-band support
+
Large 5,000mAh battery
+
Slick 90Hz AMOLED display
+
Soli 48MP quad-camera setup
+
IP67 waterproofing

Reasons to avoid

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Some UI lag
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Only upgradable to Android 13

With the Galaxy A33 5G, Samsung brings 5G connectivity, a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, and an AMOLED panel to the affordable price bracket — both real differentiators in the sub-$300 market. And while the A33's performance isn't as flawless as Samsung's higher-end smartphones, it has plenty to offer in terms of value-added features, like an impressive 48-megapixel rear camera and a support lifespan that puts most other cheap Android phones to shame.

The Galaxy A33 features a minimalist design that draws inspiration from the top-tier Galaxy S models, though with polycarbonate construction as opposed to more premium materials. And on the inside, it's powered by Samsung's Exynos 1280 processor, meaning you've got a decent amount of power at your disposal for everyday tasks although there are occasional lags.

If you are pushing the A33 hard, the internal 5,000mAh battery can keep this phone going for more than a day with ease. The charging specs are much better now, bumping up the older Galaxy A32 5G's 15W charging to 25W in the Galaxy A33 5G. In a battle between the A32 and the A33, the newer model is the clear winner.

Another excellent improvement in the A-Series smartphone is the IP67 water and dust-proofing. Samsung really gave the A33 5G a proper hardware boost and we're here for it.

TCL 20S front

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
The best affordable unlocked phone

Reasons to buy

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Very good LCD
+
Enjoyable software
+
Google Pay with NFC
+
Huge 5,000mAh battery

Reasons to avoid

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No 5G
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No IP rating
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Not meant for mobile gaming

You may be familiar with TCL for its low-cost televisions, but did you know the company also makes Android phones? The TCL 20S is part of the company's second generation of U.S.-bound handsets. It's also one of the most well-rounded devices you can get in this price range.

Speaking of TVs, one of the best parts of the TCL 20S is its display. It features a 6.67-inch LCD panel with Full HD+ resolution, and thanks to TCL's custom NXTVISION technology, you're treated to increased sharpness, more vibrant images, and true-to-life colors. We also appreciate the slim bezels and hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera.

Under the hood, the TCL 20S has a Snapdragon 665 processor and 6GB of RAM, one of the most impressive setups on this list. The 5,000 mAh battery allows for outstanding endurance, you get an NFC chip for Google Pay support, and TCL's software is clean and fun to use. There are also four cameras on the back for you to play with, but none of them are particularly great.

Of course, there are tradeoffs with any phone at this price point. The most notable exemptions on the 20S are the lack of 5G support and any official IP rating for water or dust protection. As our reviewer, Derrek Lee pointed out, it's not the speediest device in the world. If you plan on playing mobile games, you may want to look elsewhere.

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)
The best budget phone at T-Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Great design and build 
+
Impressive battery life
+
Headphone jack & expandable storage
+
OxygenOS's many smart features

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 60Hz display
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Not compatible with CDMA networks
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Shipping on Android 11

OnePlus's aggressive expansion into the budget segment in North America has given us several great Nord handsets in recent years, the latest of which is the Nord N20 5G. With a standard price of just $282, the N20 brings 5G to the masses, making it accessible for all. What's more, it looks the part, with a sharp two-tone design on its back panel. And you get the added peace of mind of IP52 splash resistance, too.

The Nord N20 5G has a reasonably sized 6.43-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. Although it only sports a 60Hz refresh rate — not the smoothest display even in this category — it's a good panel for the price. The lack of a 90Hz panel also allows the phone to save some juice, providing for easy all-day battery life from its 5,000mAh battery. In our testing, we managed a day and a half from a single charge. For quick refills, the bundled 33W SuperVOOC brick will get you past the 50% mark in just a few minutes.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 695 processor runs the show, backed up by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, plus microSD expansion — a fairly balanced spec sheet for a sub-$300 handset. Meanwhile, on the camera side, the N20 features largely forgettable 2MP monochrome and macro lenses, but its 64MP main sensor punches well above its weight. In our review, we were impressed with its capabilities compared to similar handsets at this price. So there's a lot to love here without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.

The Nord N20 5G is now available unlocked at Amazon and Best Buy, but its 5G capabilities don't extend beyond T-Mobile's network. If you're an AT&T customer, this is still an amazing buy but you'll only get 4G LTE speeds and coverage with it. Verizon customers need not apply, unfortunately.

TCL 20SE

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
The best unlocked phone under $200

Reasons to buy

+
Large 6.82-inch display
+
Huge 5,000mAh battery
+
Headphone jack & expandable storage
+
Easy-to-use software

Reasons to avoid

-
Display is only HD+
-
Average cameras
-
Not compatible with CDMA networks

The TCL 20 SE is an interesting device, sitting a step below the better-equipped TCL 20S listed above. It's actually similar to the TCL 20S in more ways than one, but it makes a few cuts to reach an even lower price.

You get a lot of screen real estate with the 6.82-inch display powered by NXTVISION, but the resolution is dropped from Full HD+ to just HD+. This means the TCL 20 SE's screen isn't as sharp or pretty to look at, but it'll get the job done. You also have the same 5,000mAh battery and fast charging support. Pop the hood and you'll find a Snapdragon 460 processor paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. There's even a microSD slot for easy expansion if you still need more room.

You get a 3.5mm headphone jack and Android 11 out of the box, along with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor built into the power button. What's cool is that you get reverse charge capabilities via an OTG cable. Somehow, TCL threw a 48MP primary sensor into the triple camera setup and still kept the price below $200.

Nokia G50

(Image credit: Nokia)

Nokia G50

The best software experience on a budget phone

Reasons to buy

+
Android One software is top-notch
+
Guaranteed updates
+
Large 5,000 mAh battery
+
Has NFC for Google Pay
+
5G enabled

Reasons to avoid

-
Only HD display
-
No IP rating

Nokia has established itself as one of the market leaders for affordable Android phones, and one of its most compelling handsets is the Nokia G50. The Nokia G50 stands out for a few different reasons, but its strongest aspect is its software.

The Nokia G50 ships with Android 11 right out of the box, and like all Nokia phones, it offers a clean and Pixel-esque user interface that's fast and smooth thanks to its Android One implementation. Even better, the Nokia G50 is backed by two years of major OS updates and three years of monthly security patches, offering a level of software support that's far too rare in this price range.

As for the hardware side of things, the Nokia G50 gives you a 6.39-inch HD+ display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 480 5G processor, a generous 5,000 mAh battery, 18W fast charging, and it even has NFC for Google Pay. Plus, it maintains the excellent cameras of the preceding Nokia 5.4, with a 48MP primary shooter, a 5MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP depth sensor.

Blackview Bv4900

(Image credit: Blackview)

Blackview BV4900

The best rugged budget phone

Reasons to buy

+
Rugged design is super durable
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IP68 dust and water-resistance
+
Large 5,580mAh battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively weak carrier and band support
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The Micro-USB port is very 2006
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Older software

For the most part, modern smartphones are generic slabs of glass or plastic. There's nothing wrong with that, but it means that buying a case is a must for incredibly clumsy people. But what if there was a phone that was designed to not need a case in the first place? Enter the Blackview BV4900.

The BV4900 comes with fairly modest specs with a Mediatek A22 Helio MT6761 CPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. This storage can be upgraded with a microSD card, however. A fairly large 5580mAh can keep you running all day or longer with ease. This phone is designed to be tough with IP68 water resistance and Gorilla Glass 3 on the 5.7-inch IPS display with 720x1440 resolution.

Connectivity is quite limited compared to many others on this list, with only LTE support on GSM carriers — that means no Verizon. It's also worth noting that this phone doesn't support all of either carrier's bands either, so you may find yourself with lower or no signal than others on the same carrier. Still, it's hard to find a rugged phone that competes with this one for under $300.

Nokia G400 5G being placed in a shirt pocket

(Image credit: Nokia)

Nokia G400 5G

A fast 120Hz display with 5G connectivity

Reasons to buy

+
Fast 6.58-inch IPS 120Hz LCD
+
Large 5,000mAh battery with 20W charging
+
Quick Snapdragon 480+ CPU
+
Android 12 out of the box

Reasons to avoid

-
Underwhelming default storage (64GB)
-
Doesn't work with Verizon-based carriers

Nokia has been working hard to cement its place in Android history by focusing on cheap phones with balanced specs and nice designs. The Nokia G400 5G comes with a Snapdragon 480+ CPU and 4GB of RAM. This CPU is a faster version of the Snapdragon 480 that we saw in phones like the OnePlus Nord N200 5G, which already had snappy performance for the price. It even runs Android 12 out of the box.

Adding to the snappy performance is the 120Hz IPS LCD panel under the G400's 6.58-inch Gorilla Glass 3 screen. This display is one of the best you can get in a phone under $300, making it a good pick for those that like to stream. A large 5,000mAh battery can keep your phone running all day with ease and even charges quickly with support for PD 3.0 and a 20W charger included.

Finally, carrier compatibility is decent, with support for AT&T and T-Mobile carriers though those on Verizon should pick something else. If you're on T-Mobile, you'll also get the best 5G experience thanks to this phone's support for T-Mobile mid-band Ultra Capacity 5G network.

Moto G Stylus 2021

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Moto G Stylus (2021)

The best unlocked phone with a stylus

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with a stylus
+
Big display for drawing and note-taking
+
Quadruple camera system
+
Large battery

Reasons to avoid

-
No IP water or dust resistance
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No wireless charging or NFC
-
Ships with Android 10
-
No stylus-only mode

The Galaxy Note series was, at one point, super popular for making the most of a stylus-touting phone before Samsung discontinued it. If you don't have the cash for a flagship Samsung, the Moto G Stylus (2021) is worth a look. It has an included stylus that you can hide inside the phone when you aren't using it. However, unlike Samsung's high-end phones, the Moto G Stylus (2021) is very affordable.

With the Moto G Stylus (2021), you can draw, take notes, and navigate the UI — something that's quite handy when trying to tap small buttons on the screen. You also get a 6.8-inch Full HD+ LCD, Android 10, and 128GB of storage that can be expanded by another 512GB. There's also a 4,000 mAh battery, which should last you all day and then some on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 SOC.

There is also now a quadruple-camera system with a 48MP standard shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth/time of flight sensor. Unfortunately, you don't get NFC or wireless charging on the downside, nor official IP water or dust resistance.

It's worth noting that while the standard Moto G Stylus (2021) doesn't have 5G capabilities, there is a 5G version available, though we did not include it on this list because it costs over $300. Similarly, the Moto G Stylus (2022) (opens in new tab) is priced at $500, making it ineligible for this list.

Plenty of options to choose from

Amazingly, plenty of the other best Android phones are available at affordable prices, but when you're looking to save money, there will be compromises. When shopping for these phones, take a close look at the specs to ensure you're not missing a feature you'd like to have. Many inexpensive phones will reduce display size, resolution, extra cameras, or bonuses like stereo speakers. However, when you shop around, you'll be able to get an excellent phone for just a few hundred bucks.

The Samsung Galaxy A33 5G gets most things right with a reasonably large AMOLED display, a huge 5,000mAh battery, and of course, support for 5G. Then there's the phone's IP67 water and dust-resistance rating, which is really impressive for such a cheap phone that sits in the lower rung of the budget tier. Software is another important consideration, and Samsung has a strong record of providing security updates and even Android version updates to its cheaper devices.

T-Mobile customers have the best choices of phones under $300, and that's a great reason to switch to the carrier. The OnePlus Nord N20 5G is a phenomenal pick for just under $300 and comes with a powerful processor, an excellent camera, and a really nice build. It won't get as many updates as Samsung's A32 5G, but it's a better phone so long as you don't need the latest and greatest Android features beyond Android 12.

The Nokia G400 5G is one of the newest phones on the list and that also means it has some of the most up-to-date hardware. The fast Snapdragon 480+ paired with a 120Hz 1080p display means you'll get snappy performance and 5G connectivity on T-Mobile. This phone also launches with Android 12 so you're on a recent build of Android from the minute you turn the phone on.