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Budget phones have improved a lot over the past few years thanks to various advancements in the technology that goes into them and also to the growing competition in the smartphone industry. We've reached a point where you can spend less than half of what the best Android smartphones cost and still get a good solid phone capable of delivering years of faithful service. Of course, "cheap" is a subjective term, but you will find some compelling options in this list that won't make you empty your wallet.

Whether you're looking for a great screen, processing power, or even the versatility of a stylus, I have listed some great options for you that slot in on the lower side of the smartphone pricing. I've handpicked the ones that we've reviewed here at XDA, so you can rely on this particular list for a good suggestion if you're in the market to buy a new budget/cheap Android phone in 2023.

Our favorite cheap Android phones in 2023

Sea Pixel 7a on transparent background
Google Pixel 7a
Best overall

Hands down the best $500 Android phone you can buy.

$444 $499 Save $55

Google's latest mid-ranger brings several improvements over last year's model, making it a great option for the budget conscious. The Pixel 7a packs the flagship Tensor G2 chip, flagship-tier cameras, an improved 90Hz display, more RAM, better durability, and wireless charging support.

  • Overall performance very close to the flagship Pixel 7
  • The best camera for a mid-ranger
  • Helpful on-device AI features
  • Really, really slow charging

Google's Pixel 7a is currently on top of my list of the best budget phone you can buy. Not only is it a significant upgrade over the Pixel 6a, but it also raises the stakes for what you can expect from a budget phone in 2023. It even goes toe to toe with its flagship sibling, which costs $100 more. The Pixel 7a is a bit more expensive than its competitor from Samsung, but you get things like a flagship chipset, an impressive set of optics, support for wireless charging, and more to justify the uptick in price.

One of the biggest improvements is a new 6.1-inch OLED panel which now tops out at 90Hz instead of 60Hz. The lack of a higher refresh rate panel was one of the biggest downsides of the Pixel 6a, so I am glad that its successor rocks a better panel. The Pixel 7a is also powered by Google's flagship Tensor G2 chipset, meaning it's just as powerful as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Some other noteworthy features of the Pixel 7a include support for wireless charging, an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, and more.

The new Pixel 7a also comes with a new set of optics on both the front and back. It's fitted with a 64MP main sensor along with a 13MP ultrawide camera at the back. You also get a 13MP selfie shooter on the front, meaning all three cameras on this phone are better than what you get on the Pixel 6a. If you are wondering how the new Pixel 7a stacks up against the Pixel 6a, then be sure to check out our Pixel 7a vs Pixel 6a comparison.

Samsung A54 5G in black with transparent background, showing front and partial back panel
Source: Samsung 
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Best pick for display

Samsung's flagship-grade AMOLED panel on a budget

$350 $450 Save $100

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is a great mid-range phone. It offers a sleek design, a beautiful 120Hz display, plenty of power under the hood, and a triple camera setup on the back.

  • Reliable day-to-day performance
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Beautiful design and good build quality
  • Slow charging speeds
  • Macro sensor is average at best

Samsung's new Galaxy A54 5G brings a lot of improvements over its predecessor to offer a more well-rounded experience. It comes with a new design that looks similar to its flagship siblings in the Galaxy S23 range. The Galaxy A54 5G also feels much more premium than most other phones in this segment. It's also more durable now, thanks to Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back.

One of the highlights of this particular phone is that it sports a beautiful AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution and support for up to 120Hz refresh rate. Not only is this display brighter than the one you get on its predecessor, but it also features Samsung's VisionBooster technology which enhances the visuals for a better viewing experience. The Galaxy A54's display is on-par with what you get on the company's flagship models.

Samsung is using its in-house Exynos 1380 for the Galaxy A54, and it offers a boost in performance compared to the Exynos 1280 chip that was inside the Galaxy A53. You can learn more about the Exynos 1380s performance in my Galaxy A54 review. Samsung is only selling this phone's 6GB + 128GB configuration in the U.S., but you get a hybrid SIM card slot that also accepts a microSD card for expandable storage.

Notably, you also get a good set of cameras on this phone, and you also have a massive 5,000mAh battery that'll comfortably you an entire day without any issues. All things considered, the Galaxy A54 5G is an excellent choice in the budget space right now. It's hard to go wrong with this phone for $450, so keep this one among the top picks.

A render of the Google Pixel 6a in Charcoal black color.
Google Pixel 6a
Best Value

The most affordable way to get the Pixel experience

$249 $349 Save $100

The Pixel 6a is a great budget smartphone that will serve you well for many years to come. It packs a powerful set of cameras, Google's in-house Tensor chip, and a couple of other interesting features for around $300 right now.

  • Reliable performance with Tensor chip
  • Good camera
  • Affordable price tag
  • Slow charging
  • The display tops out at 60Hz

If you're looking for the stock Pixel experience and a good set of cameras on a budget, it really doesn't get better than the Google Pixel 6a. This is Google's most affordable Pixel phone on the market right now, which brings the stock Pixel experience to the budget segment at $349. It's not as powerful or feature-packed as the new Pixel 7a model, but there's still plenty to like about it, especially at its new price.

Under the 6.1-inch OLED display, the Pixel 6a runs Google's Tensor processor, 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and 6GB of RAM along with a 4,410 mAh battery that easily lasts the day. The Pixel 6a carries the same camera as flagship Pixels up to the Pixel 5 series. It can easily stand toe-to-toe with phones that are twice as expensive. Google's photo processing is second to none, and it shows in every shot you'll take with this phone.

The Pixel 6a is not without its flaws, though, so you'll have to comprise a bit if you're buying this phone. The first thing you need to know is that it comes with a 60Hz display, meaning the panel on this is not going to be as smooth and responsive as the one on, say, the Galaxy A54 5G. It also has a plastic back which can be off-putting in a world of aluminum and glass, and you don't get wireless charging either.

None of these are deal-breakers, especially when you consider its $349 price tag. It's also frequently discounted, so be sure to keep an eye on our Pixel 6a deals roundup to see if you can snag it at a discounted price.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
Best phone for $200

Cuts the right corners to offer a great budget experience

$100 $200 Save $100

The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is an affordable smartphone with a beautiful display, plenty of power, and a compact design. 

  • Solid performance for the price
  • Nice looking, 90Hz display
  • Goes easy on the wallet
  • Macro and depth cameras are wasted
  • The back feels cheap and makes the phone feel hollow

Samsung's Galaxy A14 5G costs $200 in the U.S., but it brings a lot of noteworthy features that are often reserved for more expensive smartphones. The first thing to note about the Galaxy A14 5G is that it comes with a 6.6-inch FHD+ LCD screen with support for up to 90Hz refresh rate. The fact that it has a faster and more responsive panel than the Pixel 6a for just $200 makes it a solid option to consider.

The Galaxy A14 5G is not the most powerful phone on the market, but its Exynos 1330 chipset should deliver reliable performance for day-to-day usage. It only comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, but you do get support for expandable storage up to 1TB via a microSD card. What I also love about this particular phone is that it comes with a 5,000mAh battery which easily lasts you for more than a day on a single charge.

Some other noteworthy features of the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G include support for 5G, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Samsung's One UI 5.1 software which is promised to pick up two major OS updates and four years of security updates. The Galaxy A14 5G also comes with a triple camera setup at the back which includes a 50MP main sensor along with two 2MP sensors for macro and depth. There's also a 13MP front-facing camera for selfies.

The Galaxy A14 5G comes with its fair share of compromises, but it's still an easy recommendation for folks looking to buy a reliable $200 smartphone. It's a great pick-up if you're on a tight budget, and you can learn more about it in our Galaxy A14 5G review.

Motorola G Power 2023 on transparent background, floating, showing off front and back of the phone
Source: Motorola 
Motorola Moto G Power (2023)
Best battery life

Buy this for its unmatched battery performance

$250 $300 Save $50

The Moto G Power features impressive battery life, a great screen, and is priced just right. But it's lacking in areas like performance and cameras.

  • Excellent battery life with 5,000mAh battery
  • Good build quality
  • Crisp-looking 120Hz display
  • Sluggish performance
  • The cameras could've been better

Motorola's new Moto G Power 2023 brings a lot of improvements over the outgoing model. You may not notice any significant changes on the outside as it sports the same 6.5-inch FHD+ LCD panel with support for up to 120Hz refresh rate, and it also follows the same design language as other Motorola phones in the Moto G series. That being said, there are lots of internal upgrades to improve the overall performance.

You are looking at the new MediaTek Dimensity 930 chipset that's coupled with up to 6GB of RAM. The new Dimensity chipset performs better than the Helio G37 found inside last year's model. You can configure the new Moto G Power to have up to 256GB of storage, and it also supports microSD cards up to 1TB, which is great.

The highlight of this phone, in case you're wondering, is its battery life. It's packed with the same 5,000mAh battery, but the new phone supports slightly faster charging speeds. Just like its predecessor, the new Moto G Power 5G can also last you for up to two days on a single charge. Pair that with upgraded internals, and you have a solid phone for everyday use. You only get a 10W charger inside the box, so keep that in mind.

The new Moto G Power 5G has the same set of cameras at the back as its predecessor, meaning you get a 50MP main and two 2MP sensors for depth and macro. The selfie camera has been upgraded to 16MP, so you can expect to capture sharper-looking selfies. Some other highlights of the phone include 5G support, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and more.

Motorola Moto G Stylus 2023 in Midnight Blue
Moto G Stylus (2023)
Best for stylus users

Experience the power of stylus on a budget

The Moto G Stylus (2023) continues Motorola's run of excellent budget smartphones with a built-in stylus. For a device with a launch price of $200, it performs well, has excellent battery life, and offers users a digital notebook in their pocket without destroying their bank accounts.

  • Fantastic battery life
  • Stylus works well
  • Headphone jack and expandable storage
  • Macro lens should've been an ultrawide
  • No 5G

The Moto G Stylus (2023) is another $200 smartphone on this list that offers good value for your money. The highlight of this particular phone is the included stylus. If you're a fan of the stylus and don't want to spend top dollar on a flagship like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, then this is a recommendation.

The Moto G Stylus (2023) gets a lot of things right for $200, and it should definitely be on your list of phones to consider on a budget.

The Moto G Stylus (2023) looks very similar to other Moto G series phones on the market. The stylus rests within the phone and doesn't get in the way when you don't need it. The phone features a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD panel with a 90Hz refresh rate which looks better than a lot of phones in this price range.

The Moto G Stylus (2023) is powered by the MediaTek Helio G85, and it comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB. The storage is expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. It's not winning any awards for being the most powerful phone on the market, but it should be able to keep up with all your day-to-day tasks. It doesn't support 5G, so that's a notable omission that's worth keeping in mind.

The software is Motorola's signature clean version of Android that it has carried since it, and Google briefly shared the same address. Moto's smart gestures are here, including the chop-chop to turn on the flashlight and the wrist twist to activate the camera quickly. You also get some neat features to take advantage of the stylus, but it's a bit of a bummer that this phone will only get one Android upgrade and three years of bi-monthly security updates.

OnePlus Nord N30 5G
Best for fast-charging

Only phone in the segment with true fast-charging

$270 $300 Save $30

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G is one of those rare entries in the budget space that brings the expected fast and smooth experience of a OnePlus phone along with a 5,000mAh battery with 50W fast charging.

  • Beautiful design
  • 5,000mAh battery with 50W charging
  • Affordable price tag
  • The cameras could've been better
  • Same chipset as its predecessor

The Nord N30 is OnePlus' latest entry in the Nord series, and it definitely deserves a spot simply because it offers fast-charging speeds. That's right, the OnePlus Nord N30 is the only phone budget phone here that offers 50W wired fast-charging support to top up its massive 5,000mAh battery. That makes it a solid option to consider for those who value charging speeds. It has a slight edge over the Moto G Power in the battery department as it offers significantly faster charging speeds in comparison.

The Nord N30 shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, but it also brings a few noteworthy improvements for the same price. It has a higher refresh rate panel now, and it also has more memory and a new 108MP main camera. The Nord N30 is replacing the Nord N300 in this particular list mainly because the new model offers a better package overall with features like faster charging, better optics, improved performance, and more, albeit at a slightly higher price. I suggest you read our OnePlus Nord N30 review to learn more about this phone in detail.

Best cheap Android phones to buy in 2023: Final say

I've included a lot of reliable options in this post, but I would pick the Pixel 7a over other phones if I had $500. It's an easy recommendation at that price, considering how similar it is to its flagship sibling. It brings a lot of features that are usually reserved for premium phones, and it'll comfortably last you for many years to come.

Sea Pixel 7a on transparent background
Google Pixel 7a
Best overall
$444 $499 Save $55

Google's latest mid-ranger brings several improvements over last year's model, making it a great option for the budget conscious. The Pixel 7a packs the flagship Tensor G2 chip, flagship-tier cameras, an improved 90Hz display, more RAM, better durability, and wireless charging support.

Samsung's Galaxy A54 5G is also a great phone that comes with what I believe is the best display in this price range. It's also one of the better-looking phones in this collection that comes with Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back. Add a solid 120Hz OLED panel to that, and you get an excellent package that looks and feels almost like a high-end premium flagship. It's tough to ignore phones like the Pixel 6a and the Galaxy A14 5G while discussing budget phones too, so I suggest you check out all the options before making a purchase decision.