Best Budget Phones: Best Phones for Under $200

Best Budget Phones: Phones for Under $200

Phones packed full of new features and DSLR quality cameras are all the rage. But not everyone needs, or can afford, a top-of-the-line iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S. So what’s available on the cheap? Canstar looks at the best budget phones under $200.

For those who only use their phones for texts and calls, a basic phone is all that is needed. And even for some who use their phone for more, a budget phone might also be all they need. While top-of-the-line phones offer incredible amounts of processing power and cameras good enough for a photographer, budget phones offer more stripped back versions of the same.

No, you might not be able to take professional-grade photos, but you’ll still be able to take a photo. And basic internet browsing, video calls, online messaging and checking of emails can all be done, without fuss, on a budget phone. You may not have the quickest experience or the sharpest image quality. But it’ll still be possible.

→Related article: How to Save on Your Phone Costs

Budget phones under $200: who are they right for?

First things first: your choices for a phone under $200 are pretty limited. In today’s market, $200 really isn’t a lot. Unless you’re really happy with the most basic of models, be sure to check out our article on the best phones below $600. There’s a ton of great, budget-friendly models in this category.

But back in the sub-$200 range, you have some of the most basic smartphones on the market. These phones are simple to use, and great for older users who aren’t particularly tech-savvy or heavy users. Or for young users who need a phone for safety purposes, so you can keep tabs on them.

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Best budget phones under $200

best budget phones Samsung Galaxy A03

Samsung Galaxy A03s – $199*

The Samsung Galaxy A Series is an excellent range of budget-friendly phones, which are some of the best phones for their price point. The A03 is the cheapest in the range, coming in just shy of $200.

It has a plenty big 6.5inch screen, and an even bigger battery. At 5000 mAh it will last you a day (or two) without issue. For a budget phone, it packs an impressive camera set-up. It has a dual rare camera, (with a 48MP main camera) that can provide great shots of your day-to-day travels. Although the front camera is only 5MP, which, in fairness, isn’t great. But it’s plenty fine for casual video calls with family.

If you simply need a phone for basic needs, and aren’t much of a phone addict, the Galaxy A03 may just be the best phone you can get for under $200.

Best budget phones Nokia C01

Nokia C01 – $159*

If your budget is really tight, or you don’t use your phone camera, or do much streaming, then the Nokia C01 could be a great option. It is about as basic as it gets, while still being a smartphone. The C01 still checks the smartphone boxes – it has a camera and can access the internet – but you won’t get the quality or speed of higher-priced phones.

The camera set-up is fine for sending a pic when needed, but will hardly have anyone admiring your photography skills. It has just a 5MP rear camera, and 2MP front camera.

One thing to note is the display is only 5.45inch. So for older users who need larger text and easy-to-read displays, this might not be ideal. And if your child plans to watch YouTube, they may end up doing some serious squinting.

Best budget phones Nokia G10

Nokia G10 – $199*

If the Nokia C01 isn’t quite up to scratch, the Nokia G10 offers a big step up for not too much more money. The G10 upgrades the camera set-up significantly, with a triple-lens rear camera (13MP rear camera) plus an 8MP front camera.  The screen is also much much bigger, at 6.52 inches, with ultra-thin bezzles to give you a bigger screen feel. And Nokia claims the battery can go for days!

Similar to the A03, the Nokia G10 offers an impressive set-up for the price. For those who aren’t particularly big phone users, but still want a phone that feels a little more from this decade, the G10 is a great choice.

Best budget phones for (just a little more than) $200

As mentioned above, if you’re only looking at phones under $200, choices are pretty limited. Below we’ve listed a couple of phones that are a little above the $200 mark, but can make a big splash if you have the option to stretch your budget just that little bit more.

Nokia G20 – $279*

The big brother of the aforementioned G10, the G20 provides some much-welcomed improvements. In particular, the camera now boasts a 48MP main camera and an extra rear camera. The internal storage is significantly more (from 32GB to 128GB) and the RAM has been given a boost, too. Nokia also claims the G20 gives you whopping three-day battery life!

Samsung Galaxy A12 – $299*

The A12 is the next step up in the Galaxy A Series. It has some notable upgrades on the A03, albeit for a significant $100 price jump.

You get a fingerprint scanner, which is a nice convenience, upgraded cameras front and back (in both quality and number of lenses) faster performance, and an all-round better device.

*All prices are taken from retailer websites and are correct at the time of writing. They should be used as a guide only and not as an actual quote.


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author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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