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The best cheap phones in 2022

Samsung Galaxy A53 sitting against wall
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you're looking to save money, the best cheap phones we've tested will make you wonder why people spend $800 or more on a new flagship. Based on our reviews, you can get a very good phone for under $500 with all the features most buyers need, whether you're an iPhone fan or prefer Android. 

Those on a budget will find that the best cheap phones offer capable cameras, big-enough displays for watching video and playing games and plenty of battery life to get you through most of the day. And 5G connectivity has become standard for cheap phones. 

You do need to make some trade-offs in this price range, as you won’t always find the most powerful processors, 120Hz displays or versatile zoom cameras. But overall you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what the best cheap phones deliver. Read on for our top picks under $500.

What are the best cheap phones?

Based on our testing, the best cheap phone you can buy right now is Galaxy A53. But that could change over the summer.

One of our top picks, the Google Pixel 5a, is about to make way for a new phone. The Pixel 6a arrives at the end of July, and it features a Tensor processor that enables a number of AI-powered experiences. Even with the more powerful chip, the Pixel 6a costs the same as the 5a (and the A53). So we expect a potential shake-up at the top. Google is also looking to unseat the iPhone SE (2022), which costs $20 less and features the same  fast A15 Bionic chip that's inside the iPhone 13. 

If you want a 5G phone for less than $300, we recommend the OnePlus Nord N20. It might have some of the typical budget phone drawbacks, but it looks nice and has some premium features like an AMOLED display and 33W fast charging.

If you want to spend even less on your phone, get the new Moto G Power, which features outstanding phone battery life for less than $200. 

The best cheap phones you can buy today

Samsung Galaxy A53 display

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best mid-range option from Samsung

Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)
CPU: Exynos 1280
RAM: 6GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB / Yes
Rear cameras: 64MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 5MP macro (f/2.4), 5MP depth (f/2.4)
Front camera: 32MP (f/2.2)
Weight: 6.7 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
Good display with 120Hz refresh rate
+
Expandable storage up to 1TB
+
Nice design and build quality
+
Excellent software support

Reasons to avoid

-
Mediocre performance

If you want the best mid-range phone for early 2022, then look no further than the Galaxy A53. This is a great handset at $449 that does just about everything well enough. It has a nice 6.5-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Of course, the cameras could be better, especially in light of the Pixel 5a. However, they do just fine if you're okay with Samsung's characteristic oversaturated look. The performance won't wow you like the iPhone SE (2022), but it's good enough for most daily tasks.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review.

iPhone SE 2022 in hand at beach Midnight color

(Image credit: Future)

2. iPhone SE 2022

The best cheap iPhone

Specifications

Display: 4.7-inch LCD (1334x750)
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: Unknown
Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No
Rear camera: 12MP (ƒ/1.8)
Front camera: 7MP (ƒ/2.2)
Weight: 5.09 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
Very affordable
+
Fast A15 Bionic performance
+
Very good camera quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Small 4.7-inch screen
-
Big bezels
-
No camera night mode

The iPhone SE 2022 takes cheap phones to the next level of performance by including Apple's powerful A15 Bionic chip. This is the same processor found in the iPhone 13, and it blows all Android phones away, whether you're playing games or editing video on the go. 

This chip also gives the new iPhone SE 2022 a number of photography powers that the previous model lacked, including Smart HDR 4, Magic Fusion for better detail and Photographic Styles. In fact, in some scenarios the iPhone SE takes better pics than the Google Pixel 5a. Unfortunately, Apple didn't include Night mode for low-light situations. 

The new iPhone SE features the same design as before, so that means a small 4.7-inch display and big bezels, but some may prefer the old-school Touch ID button for quickly unlocking the device. Despite some trade-offs, the iPhone SE 2022 is one of the best cheap phones around for people who like small phones. 

Read our full iPhone SE 2022 review.

Google Pixel 5a review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A powerful camera — but wait for the Pixel 6a

Specifications

Display: 6.43-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)
CPU: Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 6GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB / No
Rear camera: 12.2MP (f/1.7), 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide
Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0)
Weight: 6.5 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:45

Reasons to buy

+
Detailed AMOLED display
+
Flagship-worthy photography
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Outdated chipset
-
No U.K. availability

Providing everything you could want for surprisingly little cash, the Google Pixel 5a costs half as much as the typical flagship phone, but delivers better photos than more expensive devices. You also get a decent display and an IP67 water/dust resistance rating that's important for keeping your device safe for as long as you own it.

So why not recommend this phone more enthusiastically? First off, you can only buy this phone in the U.S. and Japan, so tough luck to U.K. readers who might have thought about picking this up. More significantly, the Pixel 6a hits stores July 28. It has a Tensor chipset, addressing the under-powered processor that was one of our few Pixel 5a complaints. We're expecting photos as good or better as what the Pixel 5a produces (the camera setups are essentially the same), and the Pixel 6a retains the Pixel 5a's $449 price.

If you can hold out another couple months, the Pixel 6a figures to be a great value. At this point, the Pixel 5a is only worth getting if you need a great sub-$500 camera phone right now.

Read our full Google Pixel 5a review.

Back view of OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best phone under $300

Specifications

Display: 6.43-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)
CPU: Snapdragon 695
RAM: 6GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB / Yes
Rear cameras: 64MP (f/1.8) main, 2MP (f/2.4) monochrome, 2MP (f/2.4) macro
Front camera: 16MP (f/2.4)
Weight: 6.1 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Good performance for the price
+
Solid battery life
+
Nice display

Reasons to avoid

-
Very underwhelming cameras

If you're strapped for cash, then be sure to check out the OnePlus Nord N20. This is a sub-$300 phone that looks like it'd cost way more. It has a beautiful AMOLED display, even though it's locked at 60Hz. There's also an in-display fingerprint sensor, not something you typically see on a phone this cheap.

Sure, the cameras are pretty underwhelming, but for $282, you can't expect too much. You do, however, get 33W fast charging, which outpaces even some of the top flagships like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max. That's saying something.

Obviously, there are better phones under the $500 mark, but if $300 is your cap, then the Nord N20 should be your top consideration.

Read our full OnePlus Nord N20 5G review.

Moto G Power (2021) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. Moto G Power (2021)

A cheap phone with the best battery life

Specifications

Display: 6.6 inches (1600 x 720)
CPU: Snapdragon 662
RAM: 3GB, 4GB
Storage / Expandable: 32GB, 64GB / Yes
Rear camera: 16MP wide (ƒ/1.7); 8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 2MP macro (ƒ/2.2)
Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.0)
Weight: 7 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
All-day battery life
+
Low price 
+
Attractive design

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one Android update
-
Lackluster display

A really long-lasting phone endures for more than 11 hours on our battery test. The new Moto G Power blows them away with a runtime of 14 hours and 4 minutes. That's among he best phone battery life we’ve ever seen, which is really remarkable when you consider the Moto G Power costs under $250. (And there's a $199 version if you can live with less RAM and storage.) But that’s not the only reason this Android phone made our best cheap phone list.

The Moto G Power also features a large 6.6-inch display with full HD resolution, and fairly capable cameras with triple lenses, including a 48MP main camera, a 2MP macro lens and 2MP depth sensor.

At 7.3 ounces, the beefy 5,000 mAh battery inside the Moto G Power certainly contributes to its weight. And the screen on this phone could be brighter. But overall the Moto G Power is easily one of the best cheap phones around.

Be aware that Motorola has come out with a more recent version, the Moto G Power 2022. And while it lasts a long time, its processor isn't as adept as the one powering the 2021 model, making the older version a better value.

Read our full Moto G Power 2021 review.

galaxy a32 5G review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. Galaxy A32 5G

The budget 5G option from Samsung

Specifications

Screen size: 6.5 inches
Android version: 11 with One UI 3.1
Processor: Dimensity 720
Cameras: 48MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 2MP depth (Rear); 13MP (Front)
RAM/Storage: 4GB/64GB

Reasons to buy

+
Very low price
+
Four years of security patches
+
Great battery life
+
90Hz refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

-
Subpar HD+ display

We're starting to see more and more affordable 5G phones popping up, and one of the best of the bunch is the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. At $280, it's one of the best bargains on this list, if you're willing to put up with a mediocre display. However, if you're strapped for cash and want a phone with decent cameras, the Galaxy A32 5G is one you should consider.

With its big 6.5-inch screen, the A32 is not a small phone. But it packs a 5,000 mAh battery that lasts a really long time — almost 12 hours in our testing with its adaptive refresh rate enabled. You can also expect the Galaxy A32 to last longer overall than many other budget options, with Samsung promising three years of Android updates and four years of security patches.

It's worth noting that the Galaxy A33 — a successor to the A32 — is now available in Europe, but we haven't gotten one in for review yet. It's unclear if that model will reach the U.S.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A32 5G review.

best cheap phone TCL 10 5G UW

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

7. TCL 10 5G UW

A great cheap phone with 5G

Specifications

Display: 6.53-inch LCD (2340 x 1080)
CPU: Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 6GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB / Yes
Rear camera: 48MP main; 8MP ultrawide; 5MP macro
Front camera: 16MP
Weight: 7.4 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:07

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive 5G phone
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Dim screen
-
Exclusive to Verizon

You won't find too many 5G-capable devices on the list of best cheap phones — 5G modems can be a pretty pricey add-on. And yet, here's the TCL 10 5G UW, which can connect to Verizon's super-fast 5G network while still costing you less than $400.

There's more to 5G to explain the appeal of TCL's phone. The 6.53-inch display, while a little dim, produces great colors and gives you a lot of screen real estate. The TCL 10 5G UW has the same Snapdragon 765G processor you'll find in more expensive phones, delivering comparable performance. That 5G connectivity doesn't impact battery life, either, as TCL's phone lasted more than 11 hour on our battery test.

Read our full TCL 10 5G UW review.

How to choose the best cheap phone for you

Picking the best cheap phone can be tricky, because it's really all about figuring out which trade-offs you're willing to live with. But it's important to start with the basics. Do you prefer a bigger screen? Opt for a cheap phone with a display over 5.5 inches. Those who want to use a phone comfortably with one hand will likely prefer a phone under 5 inches.

Next up is the camera. Budget phones will typically feature one or two lenses, but that's starting to change. The megapixel count doesn't matter that much; pay more attention to the capabilities of the camera. See if the phone can shoot ultra-wide shots, which is becoming more common on cheap phones. But don't expect optical zoom; digital zoom is the norm under $400.

As for storage, 32GB is okay but 64GB is preferred for budget phones. And if possible see if that handset offers a microSD card slot for expansion. Battery life is a huge concern regardless of price, so check the battery capacity on the phone. In general, anything above 4,500 mAh is preferred.

While the TCL 10 5G UW means that 5G compatibility is coming to phones under $400, don't expect 5G speeds as a rule. That's likely to change in the coming year, now that 5G modems are included on chipsets aimed at cheaper phones. Lastly, check to see which carriers the phone supports. Ideally, the handset should work with both GSM and CDMA networks all the big four providers in the U.S.

How we test the best cheap phones

We evaluate budget-priced phones the same way we do flagships. We perform real-world testing and synthetic benchmarks over several days to evaluate it's performance and value. This includes our own battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over cellular at 150 nits of screen brightness. The devices that make our best phone battery life list tend to last over 11 hours.

In terms of performance, we use Geekbench 5 to measure overall speed and compare versus phones in the same price range. And the same thing goes for GFXBench for graphics testing. We also perform our own video editing/transcoding testing using the Adobe Premiere Rush app to gauge real-world speed.

For evaluating cameras on cheap phones, we will take multiple photos in different conditions and will use other affordably priced phones in the same scenarios in order to make side-by-side comparisons.

For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom's Guide.

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • WILL4REAL
    Z3 Play. Snapdragon 605, 6.01 inch super amoled screen, 4 gb ram, 12 mp rear, 8mp front, mods option, android 8 out the box, 9 update available now, 10 update in april. Universally unlocked (cdma or gsm) $150 bucks at bestbuy
    Reply
  • Don Norman
    The prices and links for the Galaxy J7 Prime are actually the prices and links for screen protectors for that phone. The cheapest prices vary widely for new J7 Prime phones, from around $100 to around $200. The phone was introduced quite a while ago too, around late 2016. You can get a Galaxy J7 Crown for less than $80 now. They were on sale for $40 during Black Friday sales time at Best Buy and Walmart.
    Reply
  • Androidchap
    The mid range scene in the US is not very exciting, which may be why iPhone SE and Google Pixel 3A can get away with subpar specs they are offering.

    In UK, there are options like the Oppo Reno 2 Z, Huawei Nova 5T, Honor 20, Mi 9T. There are various excellent compilations on Youtube (i.e. for one, Tech Spurt's "Best Smartphones under 400 pounds (Spring 2020)") which set out the key features of each.

    Excellent cameras, multiple cameras, long lasting battery, HD OLED screens, high screen to body ratio, high quality bodies (sometimes metal/glass) are par for the course now. Some have flagship chipsets, but others have fast upper mid range chipsets, but should be more than sufficient for everyday use.

    Its clear that most of the phones on your above list will not be competitive in that space. Even 2 of my top picks in your list have big gaps i.e.
    Apple SE has a great chipset and decent camera, but everything else is so 2015. Maybe if the antique look is coming back, it becomes stylish again ?
    Pixel 3a has a good engine and camera, but in a $100 android phone body.
    Reply
  • HelloJelloFellow
    Ok Tom's Guide and @Mark Spoonauer... sorry to go negative here w/ my 1st and maybe only post, But I agree 100% with the words of Androidchap. The quality of choice and truly progressive "Good Looking" tech in phones in the mass USA market is boring, lame, uncreative and WAY overpriced. Maybe it's not totally your fault that you put together a list which is completely uneventful... you're only reporting what the major carriers are largely selling as well as retail chains.

    Rather, 'Tom's' could (and should starting soon) strive to separate your reviews of handsets and Smart devices by going outside the norm and telling 'The People' about lesser known brands and companies who are Truly putting fantastic value and major Bang for the buck into their devices and enlightening the people to these emerging options here in our market, and not just overseas.

    Androidchap laid down some good examples, and noted the UK market also, and I would quickly emphasise other Asian companies who are putting out Beautiful designs with awesome specs for less than half the cost of even these "mid-range" value B.S models on the list.
    Again, I'm not picking on you, your list is just like PC mags, cnet, techgurus, etc... you all have the same models but just in slightly different order as to your "best of-pick".

    So piggybacking on the manufacturer's Androidchap noted, I would additionally offer up for 'the People' to check out: Xiaomi and their entire Mi line of electronics, such as the Mi 9, REDMi 9/Note 9s/9 Pro, 10 ... you get the idea. Add to that a newish player called Elephone (who's latest offering in the "value" space can now be had in pre-sale for the apsurd low cost of $130-$170 US and is spec'd more like a "flagship" phone in our market. Crazy.

    Just look at the build quality, color choices, camera options galore (like 48 & 64 mp, 4 lens, with macro and good night vision capability) and you begin to see the vast differences out there. And did I mention the value? The bang for the buck that truly can be had if people just knew what to ask for? Oh yeah... I Did mention that.

    Here's another- ASUS, who some should recognize for their Chromebooks, laptops, tabs, etc, ...well, turns out they make really killer phone designs too! Soon to launch should be the next ZenPhone 7 plus a higher-end (they claim) option in their Logic line I believe they call it?

    Doesn't matter, the point is that you guys (Tom's) should be the ONES telling us about these alternatives, instead of just re-presenting the same year-over-year options which Anyone who's owned a Smartphone should already kinda have a feel for OR could get the same generic dialog from walking into a Verizon, AT&T, t-Mobile, or Sprint store and chatting it up with the sales kid. Just my opinion, but if I were you I would try to do something New to separate yourself from the other "big boys" in the Consumer Electronic Review space and make a name for yourselves AS PROGRESSIVE.

    Your list sucks. The phones are ugly and mostly lame.
    (sure, some of the Mi models I mentioned aren't 5G capable at the SUB-$350 range! (no duh), but who cares! Spend just a little more with them, like still under $500, $600, $700 and guess what- comes Standard with a Snapdragon 855 and All the bells and whistles to boot. That's a hell of a lot better than the stupidly ridiculous price that Apple & Samsung have "trained" most of us to expect for their "elite" models... give me a break. The iPhone hasn't barely had a 'sexy' or interesting design change in like... Forever!

    Sadly, the phone scene in the States in largely boring and homogenized like most things.
    Just take a moment to Go Look at the beautiful design Aesthetics of some models available in UK, Europe, and for certain Korea, Japan and China and you will see what I'm seeing...
    America is sadly NOT a leader or out in front in the CE (electronics) marketplace at all.
    We lag; big time.

    Anyhow, that my 2 cents and a little more for you and some readers perhaps.
    Take my suggestion and reinvent what you're bringing to the rest of us here in the USA and begin covering the "Cutting-edge stuff" and leave the lame re-runs and slow to change models and brands to others. (Obviously, you still need to cover Apple, Samsung, HTC, ONE, Moto, etc.,) but bring some new blood into the mix is all I'm getting at.

    I'm off to order a totally KIck Ass Smart (and stylish) modern handset... it just isn't represented on Your or most anyone else's "Review" lists circulating here in the States.

    It unfortunately crossed my mind that maybe you're promoting and writing about the 'regular' stuff because it helps drive your affiliate/partner advertising and links for readers to go purchase from the "Samsung's of the world" as their only or 'best' current option?

    Maybe it would be a lot more fun and add A Lot more valuable to your audience if you covered the Latest and (Less well Known) Greatest, rather than just the same-ol', same 'ol brands and models.
    Give it a thought?

    Lastly, your site or blog or forum or whatever this is happens to way too busy with large flashy Ads, pop-ups and general distractions, which also under value your potential to be taken more seriously. I know it helps pay the rent and expenses, but maybe take back some control and tone down the mass advertising on-slaught here. Thanks for the consideration.

    Take care and Best of luck starting to cover "The Good Stuff". See Ya boys and girls!
    -Jeff
    Reply
  • HelloJelloFellow
    Saurabh jha said:
    Hello,
    According to my personal experience, Samsung galaxy M30s is a best and cheap phone, as I use it personally, and I think it is the best phone at a cheap price.
    I also suggest you go for that if you are looking for cheap and best.


    Yeah, NO. That's not what i was saying AT ALL in my long post... maybe you didn't fully give it a read or failed to understand my points?

    Please Forward my message to the author of the Article: @Mark Spoonauer. and CC Tom or anyone else in Upper Management please. I would like to know how they feel towards my actual points, which include Tom's Guide stepping out of the "box" and exploring and reviewing all the other emerging Brands and offering readers a much broader and more informative review of tech and our Best Value Buys.

    I never said Cheap. The article has that title, but some of the phones I mentioned could compete as PHone of the Year in some cases, especially with OVerall Value is taken into consideration. Your list does NOT do that nearly as well as it could have if the author explored and dug a little deeper for All the options that are emerging.
    - Have them write a comment if you can?
    Reply
  • _User1
    HelloJelloFellow said:
    Ok Tom's Guide and @Mark Spoonauer... sorry to go negative here w/ my 1st and maybe only post, But I agree 100% with the words of Androidchap. The quality of choice and truly progressive "Good Looking" tech in phones in the mass USA market is boring, lame, uncreative and WAY overpriced. Maybe it's not totally your fault that you put together a list which is completely uneventful... you're only reporting what the major carriers are largely selling as well as retail chains.

    Rather, 'Tom's' could (and should starting soon) strive to separate your reviews of handsets and Smart devices by going outside the norm and telling 'The People' about lesser known brands and companies who are Truly putting fantastic value and major Bang for the buck into their devices and enlightening the people to these emerging options here in our market, and not just overseas.

    Androidchap laid down some good examples, and noted the UK market also, and I would quickly emphasise other Asian companies who are putting out Beautiful designs with awesome specs for less than half the cost of even these "mid-range" value B.S models on the list.
    Again, I'm not picking on you, your list is just like PC mags, cnet, techgurus, etc... you all have the same models but just in slightly different order as to your "best of-pick".

    So piggybacking on the manufacturer's Androidchap noted, I would additionally offer up for 'the People' to check out: Xiaomi and their entire Mi line of electronics, such as the Mi 9, REDMi 9/Note 9s/9 Pro, 10 ... you get the idea. Add to that a newish player called Elephone (who's latest offering in the "value" space can now be had in pre-sale for the apsurd low cost of $130-$170 US and is spec'd more like a "flagship" phone in our market. Crazy.

    Just look at the build quality, color choices, camera options galore (like 48 & 64 mp, 4 lens, with macro and good night vision capability) and you begin to see the vast differences out there. And did I mention the value? The bang for the buck that truly can be had if people just knew what to ask for? Oh yeah... I Did mention that.

    Here's another- ASUS, who some should recognize for their Chromebooks, laptops, tabs, etc, ...well, turns out they make really killer phone designs too! Soon to launch should be the next ZenPhone 7 plus a higher-end (they claim) option in their Logic line I believe they call it?

    Doesn't matter, the point is that you guys (Tom's) should be the ONES telling us about these alternatives, instead of just re-presenting the same year-over-year options which Anyone who's owned a Smartphone should already kinda have a feel for OR could get the same generic dialog from walking into a Verizon, AT&T, t-Mobile, or Sprint store and chatting it up with the sales kid. Just my opinion, but if I were you I would try to do something New to separate yourself from the other "big boys" in the Consumer Electronic Review space and make a name for yourselves AS PROGRESSIVE.

    Your list sucks. The phones are ugly and mostly lame.
    (sure, some of the Mi models I mentioned aren't 5G capable at the SUB-$350 range! (no duh), but who cares! Spend just a little more with them, like still under $500, $600, $700 and guess what- comes Standard with a Snapdragon 855 and All the bells and whistles to boot. That's a hell of a lot better than the stupidly ridiculous price that Apple & Samsung have "trained" most of us to expect for their "elite" models... give me a break. The iPhone hasn't barely had a 'sexy' or interesting design change in like... Forever!

    Sadly, the phone scene in the States in largely boring and homogenized like most things.
    Just take a moment to Go Look at the beautiful design Aesthetics of some models available in UK, Europe, and for certain Korea, Japan and China and you will see what I'm seeing...
    America is sadly NOT a leader or out in front in the CE (electronics) marketplace at all.
    We lag; big time.

    Anyhow, that my 2 cents and a little more for you and some readers perhaps.
    Take my suggestion and reinvent what you're bringing to the rest of us here in the USA and begin covering the "Cutting-edge stuff" and leave the lame re-runs and slow to change models and brands to others. (Obviously, you still need to cover Apple, Samsung, HTC, ONE, Moto, etc.,) but bring some new blood into the mix is all I'm getting at.

    I'm off to order a totally KIck Ass Smart (and stylish) modern handset... it just isn't represented on Your or most anyone else's "Review" lists circulating here in the States.

    It unfortunately crossed my mind that maybe you're promoting and writing about the 'regular' stuff because it helps drive your affiliate/partner advertising and links for readers to go purchase from the "Samsung's of the world" as their only or 'best' current option?

    Maybe it would be a lot more fun and add A Lot more valuable to your audience if you covered the Latest and (Less well Known) Greatest, rather than just the same-ol', same 'ol brands and models.
    Give it a thought?

    Lastly, your site or blog or forum or whatever this is happens to way too busy with large flashy Ads, pop-ups and general distractions, which also under value your potential to be taken more seriously. I know it helps pay the rent and expenses, but maybe take back some control and tone down the mass advertising on-slaught here. Thanks for the consideration.

    Take care and Best of luck starting to cover "The Good Stuff". See Ya boys and girls!
    -Jeff
    Awesome post! It's by fair the best I've read (don't really read that many) in a long while. It would be nice to see something on how to get phones not normally available here in the US. I've been getting phones from amazon and ebay too. I've been happy with most phones purchased. It might be my first phone purchased at retail, as I'm gearing up to find something this Black Friday season.

    Was great reading your opinion and I agree with you pretty close to 100%. Thanks for posting.
    Reply
  • rbtrry
    HelloJelloFellow said:
    Ok Tom's Guide and @Mark Spoonauer... sorry to go negative here w/ my 1st and maybe only post, But I agree 100% with the words of Androidchap. The quality of choice and truly progressive "Good Looking" tech in phones in the mass USA market is boring, lame, uncreative and WAY overpriced. Maybe it's not totally your fault that you put together a list which is completely uneventful... you're only reporting what the major carriers are largely selling as well as retail chains.

    Rather, 'Tom's' could (and should starting soon) strive to separate your reviews of handsets and Smart devices by going outside the norm and telling 'The People' about lesser known brands and companies who are Truly putting fantastic value and major Bang for the buck into their devices and enlightening the people to these emerging options here in our market, and not just overseas.

    Androidchap laid down some good examples, and noted the UK market also, and I would quickly emphasise other Asian companies who are putting out Beautiful designs with awesome specs for less than half the cost of even these "mid-range" value B.S models on the list.
    Again, I'm not picking on you, your list is just like PC mags, cnet, techgurus, etc... you all have the same models but just in slightly different order as to your "best of-pick".

    So piggybacking on the manufacturer's Androidchap noted, I would additionally offer up for 'the People' to check out: Xiaomi and their entire Mi line of electronics, such as the Mi 9, REDMi 9/Note 9s/9 Pro, 10 ... you get the idea. Add to that a newish player called Elephone (who's latest offering in the "value" space can now be had in pre-sale for the apsurd low cost of $130-$170 US and is spec'd more like a "flagship" phone in our market. Crazy.

    Just look at the build quality, color choices, camera options galore (like 48 & 64 mp, 4 lens, with macro and good night vision capability) and you begin to see the vast differences out there. And did I mention the value? The bang for the buck that truly can be had if people just knew what to ask for? Oh yeah... I Did mention that.

    Here's another- ASUS, who some should recognize for their Chromebooks, laptops, tabs, etc, ...well, turns out they make really killer phone designs too! Soon to launch should be the next ZenPhone 7 plus a higher-end (they claim) option in their Logic line I believe they call it?

    Doesn't matter, the point is that you guys (Tom's) should be the ONES telling us about these alternatives, instead of just re-presenting the same year-over-year options which Anyone who's owned a Smartphone should already kinda have a feel for OR could get the same generic dialog from walking into a Verizon, AT&T, t-Mobile, or Sprint store and chatting it up with the sales kid. Just my opinion, but if I were you I would try to do something New to separate yourself from the other "big boys" in the Consumer Electronic Review space and make a name for yourselves AS PROGRESSIVE.

    Your list sucks. The phones are ugly and mostly lame.
    (sure, some of the Mi models I mentioned aren't 5G capable at the SUB-$350 range! (no duh), but who cares! Spend just a little more with them, like still under $500, $600, $700 and guess what- comes Standard with a Snapdragon 855 and All the bells and whistles to boot. That's a hell of a lot better than the stupidly ridiculous price that Apple & Samsung have "trained" most of us to expect for their "elite" models... give me a break. The iPhone hasn't barely had a 'sexy' or interesting design change in like... Forever!

    Sadly, the phone scene in the States in largely boring and homogenized like most things.
    Just take a moment to Go Look at the beautiful design Aesthetics of some models available in UK, Europe, and for certain Korea, Japan and China and you will see what I'm seeing...
    America is sadly NOT a leader or out in front in the CE (electronics) marketplace at all.
    We lag; big time.

    Anyhow, that my 2 cents and a little more for you and some readers perhaps.
    Take my suggestion and reinvent what you're bringing to the rest of us here in the USA and begin covering the "Cutting-edge stuff" and leave the lame re-runs and slow to change models and brands to others. (Obviously, you still need to cover Apple, Samsung, HTC, ONE, Moto, etc.,) but bring some new blood into the mix is all I'm getting at.

    I'm off to order a totally KIck Ass Smart (and stylish) modern handset... it just isn't represented on Your or most anyone else's "Review" lists circulating here in the States.

    It unfortunately crossed my mind that maybe you're promoting and writing about the 'regular' stuff because it helps drive your affiliate/partner advertising and links for readers to go purchase from the "Samsung's of the world" as their only or 'best' current option?

    Maybe it would be a lot more fun and add A Lot more valuable to your audience if you covered the Latest and (Less well Known) Greatest, rather than just the same-ol', same 'ol brands and models.
    Give it a thought?

    Lastly, your site or blog or forum or whatever this is happens to way too busy with large flashy Ads, pop-ups and general distractions, which also under value your potential to be taken more seriously. I know it helps pay the rent and expenses, but maybe take back some control and tone down the mass advertising on-slaught here. Thanks for the consideration.

    Take care and Best of luck starting to cover "The Good Stuff". See Ya boys and girls!
    -Jeff

    I normally use forums to find answers to whatever hardware/software related problems I experience at that particular moment, rarely comment under articles and almost never reply to other comments. But, after having read this comment, I wanted to sign up & let the author know how much I appreciated what they've written - and not just in terms of its content, but also for the passionate tone that conveys that they really care. I do hope that tom's guide does also appreciate the fact that one of their readers put in the time & effort to write this well thought out, constructive criticism full of salient points & good, practical suggestions.
    I had never heard of elephone before. Just checked & discovered that they are sold in my homeland. Would probably have skipped them without a second glance, had I not read your comment @HelloJelloFellow, but will research them now. So thanks & all the best.
    Reply