Best Cheap Samsung Phones Android Central 2021
Samsung is largely considered to be a leader in the smartphone industry, offering one of the best Android phones overall, but when it comes to finding the cheapest Samsung phones, there are quite a few options. With options such as the Galaxy A31, you're getting a modern design and reliable hardware. These are the best of the best when it comes to the cheapest Samsung phones you can get for under $250 in 2021.
- Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy A31
- Best Starter Cell Phone: Samsung Galaxy A01
- Best for International Use: Samsung Galaxy A20s
- Best Value: Samsung Galaxy A21
- Best Classic Design: Samsung Galaxy A01 Core
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy A31
If you want a flagship-level experience without paying flagship prices, then the Galaxy A31 is perfect. This handset has up to 4GB of RAM, a beautiful AMOLED display, and four cameras capable of handling many different shots. It shares a lot of similarities in design to the fantastic Galaxy A51, making it a solid choice.
Perhaps even more exciting than the triple-camera setup is the 5,000mAh battery. This huge battery combined with the mid-range MediaTek Helio P65 chipset provides you with up to 20 hours of battery life.
Unfortunately, you'll be forced to use traditional charging, as there's no wireless charging available with the A31. Samsung also opted not to include an official IP-rating for water or dust resistance, so you won't be able to take this for a swim. Plus, you'll have to keep your wallet with you as there is no Samsung Pay support here either.
- Excellent spec sheet
- 20 hours of battery life
- Four rear-mounted cameras
- Dual-SIM support
- No official water-resistance rating
- Cannot be wirelessly charged
- No Samsung Pay support
Best Starter Cell Phone: Samsung Galaxy A01
The Galaxy A01 is a step above the bottom of the barrel with its 5.7-inch AMOLED HD display. Meanwhile, it retains the classic smartphone design of the screen, bezels, without the home button. The Galaxy A01 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 expand the base storage up to 512GB with the help of a microSD card. There is also a 5MP front camera, with a dual-camera system with a primary 13MP lens and a secondary 2MP depth sensor, which aims to provide decent photos while you're out and about.
That said, 16GB of storage is rough, even with the ability to use a microSD card. This is especially true when much of that base storage will be taken up by pre-installed software. Plus, users have to deal with the Micro-USB charging port instead of the greatness of USB-C.
- Ships with Android 10
- Dual-camera system
- MicroSD storage
- 16GB of base storage
- Micro-USB charging port
- 2GB of RAM
Best for International Use: Samsung Galaxy A20s
Traveling abroad can be frustrating when it comes to using your phone. However, when it comes to the Galaxy A20s, there's no concern as this device offers a dual-SIM card slot. Plus, there is compatibility with just about all GSM network providers.
As for the design, Samsung included its new AMOLED Infinity display for an edge-to-edge design. There is a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, along with Fast Charging, thanks to the built-in USB Type-C charging port. Powering the Galaxy A20s is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 450 chipset, coupled with 3GB of RAM and Android 9.0 Pie. Samsung also included a 4,000mAh battery, which is rather impressive and will last at least the entire day, if not a lot longer.
On the other side of the table, the Galaxy A20 cannot be used with CDMA carriers, so Verizon and Sprint users will have to look elsewhere. We also would have liked to see Samsung pack more base storage in, as there is only 32GB available. Thankfully, there's a microSD card slot that you'll want to take advantage of rather quickly.
- Super AMOLED Infinity-U Display
- Dual-SIM card slot
- Fast charging with USB Type-C
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Up to 31-hours of battery life
- Not compatible with CDMA carriers
- Only 32GB of base storage
Best Value: Samsung Galaxy A21
Samsung has included its Super AMOLED Infinity display on many devices, including the Galaxy A21. The 6.5-inch display is big enough to enjoy your favorite media, despite only having an FHD+ resolution. Additionally, you get four rear-mounted cameras so you can always get the perfect shot.
The A21 also includes 15W Fast Charging, so your phone will always be topped off, on top of the included 4,000mAh battery. On the spec sheet, Samsung included 3GB of RAM combined with 32GB of base storage, which can be expanded via microSD to 512GB.
As is the case with other budget options, you may be disappointed in the resolution of this 6.5-inch display. With 720p video playback, your movie sessions may be "tainted" by some graininess while viewing. The starting 32GB of storage is also nothing to write home about, but at least there's a microSD card slot.
- Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- Expandable memory
- Four rear-mounted cameras
- 4,000mAh battery
- Only includes 32GB of storage
- Display may appear grainy with low resolution
Best Classic Design: Samsung Galaxy A01 Core
If the Galaxy A01 is the best starter phone, then the Galaxy A01 Core is the next step down from that. The A01 Core sports a pocketable design, with a 5.6-inch Infinity Display, along with a durable build and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
When looking at the spec sheet, there's really not much to write home about with the A01 Core. The big selling point here is that it's powered by Android Go, complete with some pre-installed apps designed to keep you connected without taking up too much storage. With just 1GB of RAM on board, these "lite" apps will be perfect for just about anything you could want to get done.
There are a few downsides to the A01 Core. There is only one rear-mounted camera, it uses Micro-USB charging, and it lacks a fingerprint scanner. Samsung attempts to make up for the lack of biometrics with Face Unlock built into the software, but we would rather have stronger security onboard. Those on Verizon checking out the A01 Core will have to look elsewhere, as this device is only designed to work with GSM and Global networks.
- Android Go pre-installed
- Bluetooth 5.0
- MicroSD Card expansion up to 512GB
- Limited to GSM networks
- Single rear camera
- No fingerprint scanner
- Micro-USB charging
Which of the cheapest Samsung phones should you consider?
If you want to live in Samsung world but don't want to pay a premium price tag, then the Galaxy A31 is your best bet. This handset sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, Infinity U display with an embedded fingerprint scanner.
Under the hood, you'll get 4GB of RAM, including 128GB of expandable storage up to 512GB. Plus, three rear-mounted cameras make it possible to get the best picture possible, regardless of the situation.
The Galaxy A31 has the added benefit have sporting four rear-facing cameras, perfect for just about any situation. You will get clean shots with the primary 48MP lens, and Samsung packed a 5MP Depth camera for better pictures taken in portrait mode. Plus, there's an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP macro sensor. With this camera setup alone, this has the possibility for consideration as one of the best Samsung phones available, regardless of price.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he'll get back to you.
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