Best cheap Samsung phones 2023

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Samsung is the largest Android manufacturer by some margin, and the South Korean brand has managed to extend its lead over the last two years. That's largely driven by best-sellers in the entry-level and budget Galaxy A series, with Samsung now offering a diverse portfolio of devices that start at just $159 and go all the way to $1,899. 

If you're looking to pick up a Samsung phone on a budget, there's never been a better time. The latest Galaxy A series combines powerful hardware with a lot of features that have traditionally been limited to Samsung's costlier phones. So without further ado, these are the best budget Samsung phones. 

At a glance

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Galaxy A33 5G

The best budget Samsung phone

Gorgeous AMOLED screen
Good cameras at the back
Excellent battery life
Long-term software updates
IP67 dust and water resistance
Reliable hardware
Misses out on 120Hz panel
No charger in the box
No 3.5mm audio jack

If you want a flagship-level experience without paying flagship prices, then the Galaxy A33 5G is an easy recommendation. Samsung made a lot of changes this year, and the result is that the phone is markedly different to the Galaxy A32 5G

To start off, the phone now comes with an AMOLED panel, offering much better color vibrancy and contrast levels. The 90Hz refresh rate ensures the screen feels smooth in daily use, and whether it's playing games or streaming videos, the screen is a delight. 

The phone also has much better hardware in the form of the Exynos 1280, and you'll notice the difference immediately. There's no noticeable lag in daily use, and the phone is decent enough for gaming as well. 

There's also IP67 dust and water resistance this time around, ensuring the Galaxy A33 withstands the elements. Other than that, the essentials are intact: the large 5000mAh battery lasts nearly two days on a full charge, you get a reliable camera at the back that takes great photos in any scenario, and the software is among the best in this category. 

Sure, the phone misses out on a 3.5mm jack, and thanks to all the upgrades, it is costlier than its predecessor. But if you want a budget Samsung phone right now, the Galaxy A33 5G is the obvious choice.

More for less

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Excels at the basics

Large 6.6-inch screen with 90Hz refresh
Good software features
Reliable hardware
Stellar battery life
No ingress protection
No AMOLED panel
Not as many updates as mid-range Galaxy A devices

If you want a Samsung phone that delivers the essentials, the Galaxy A14 5G may just be the ideal choice for you. The phone has 5G connectivity, and it comes with reliable hardware that's decent in daily use, and a massive 5000mAh battery that lasts two days between charges. 

There's also a large LCD screen with 90Hz refresh. Now, while it's great to see the phone get a high refresh rate screen, the LCD panel isn't as good as the AMOLED screens the brand uses on other Galaxy A devices, and it doesn't get as bright in outdoor use. Still, it has good colors, and you get a Full HD resolution. 

The software has a lot of features, and Samsung will deliver two Android OS updates to the phone. Again, this is more than what other devices in this category receive, but half of what Samsung promises to the likes of the Galaxy A53 and A54. Given that the A14 costs less than half of those devices, it's still a decent trade-off. 

All-day power

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

Has the features that matter

120Hz LCD screen
Reliable for daily use and gaming
Good cameras at the back
Versatile software features
3.5mm jack, MicroSD slot, NFC
No stereo sound
No ingress protection
Misses out on AMOLED screen

The Galaxy A23 5G is an outlier in that it uses Qualcomm hardware while most other models in the Galaxy A series feature Samsung's own Exynos designs. The result is that the A23 offers stellar performance, particularly during gaming. The 5G modem has global connectivity, ensuring the phone has adequate 5G coverage no matter where you are in the world. 

The screen on the Galaxy A23 goes up to 120Hz, but unlike the A33, it isn't an AMOLED panel — you get a standard LCD instead. That said, it is decent enough most of the time, and while it doesn't quite have the same color vibrancy, it gets sufficiently bright. 

The cameras are also reliable, and the 5000mAh battery under the hood lasts two days between charges. You also get a decent software package on the A23, and overall, it is a great option to consider if you want a good phone under $300. 

The upgrade pick

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

4. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The most feature-filled mid-range phone

Stunning AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh
Reliable hardware
Cameras take great photos in any condition
IP67 dust and water resistance
Four guaranteed Android OS updates
Stellar battery life
Costlier than rivals
No charger in the box
Misses out on 3.5mm jack

With the Galaxy A53 5G, Samsung solidified its position in the mid-range category. Although the device launched back in mid-2022, it continues to be a great option today. 

A big part of that has to do with the software choices. The Galaxy A53 will get four guaranteed Android OS updates, same as the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Z Fold 5. And the best part is that Samsung rolls out monthly security updates to the phone, making sure that it gets all the patches that Google makes available. 

Then there's the hardware itself: the Galaxy A53 has a sublime 120Hz AMOLED panel, cameras that take great photos in challenging situations, and outstanding battery life. Sure, it isn't quite as good at gaming as the Pixel 7a, but it still does a decent enough job with most titles. 

What makes the Galaxy A53 tick is the fact that it brings the best features from Samsung's high-end phones to the mid-range category. 

The entry-level option

Samsung Galaxy A03s

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung Galaxy A03s

Just the essentials

Good screen
Amazing battery life
Sturdy design
3.5mm jack and MicroSD slot
Video recording is average at best
Screen doesn't get bright enough
Lags in daily use

The Galaxy A03s is a step above the bottom of the barrel with its 6.5-inch HD+ LCD screen. Meanwhile, it retains the classic design of the screen, bezels, without the home button. The Galaxy A03s is something that will appeal to those who don't want the latest and greatest, but just something that looks familiar from Samsung.

Samsung did make it possible to increase the base storage with the help of a microSD card. There is also a 5MP front camera, with a triple-camera system with a primary 13MP lens paired with 2MP depth and macro sensors, which aim to provide decent photos while you're out and about. You get all the basics of a budget phone: a large battery, USB-C charging, a fingerprint scanner, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

That said, 32GB of storage is rough, even with the ability to use a microSD card. This is particularly true when much of that base storage will be taken up by pre-installed software. Plus, users have to deal with the sluggish MediaTek Helio P35 chipset and only 3GB of RAM.

The latest and greatest

The back of the black Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

6. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Hitting all the right notes

Modern design
Gorgeous AMOLED screen
Great cameras
IP67 ingress protection
Long-term software updates
No charger in the box
Costlier than last year

The Galaxy A54 5G doesn't differ too much from its predecessor, with Samsung choosing to retain much of the same features. That's understandable given the A53 is one of the best Samsung phones introduced in the last 18 months. 

That said, the A54 covers the basics: it has a bright AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh, terrific cameras, outstanding battery life, and an excellent software package with plenty of features and four guaranteed Android OS updates. 

It is also marginally faster than the A53, and the design feels refined. Outside of that, this is still one of the best overall packages you get in the mid-range segment.

Back to the top ^

How to choose

If you want to live in Samsung world but don't want to pay a premium price tag, then the Galaxy A33 5G is your best bet. It delivers all the essentials while still being affordable, and it will get long-term updates. 

If you need powerful hardware and better cameras, you should turn to the Galaxy A54. The phone isn't too different to the A53, but it will pick up one more software updates, and now that it's been in the market for a while, it is seeing lucrative discounts. 

On the other side, if you want an entry-level device that nails the basics, the Galaxy A14 is a solid pick. It has 5G and most of the software features you'll find in costlier Samsung phones, and while it won't get as many updates, it still outshines its rivals. 

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.