7 Best Cheap Smartphones for 2022 (iPhone, Android)

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It solely comes with 64 gigabytes of storage, so you will wish to make use of the MicroSD card so as to add more room. There’s a headphone jack and a fingerprint sensor too, however no NFC. That means you possibly can’t use this cellphone to make contactless funds with providers like Google Pay. The biggest downside? Motorola solely affords two years of safety updates and one OS improve (to Android 11). 

You could be questioning why I did not suggest the newer Moto G Power 2022. That’s as a result of after working benchmark assessments, I confirmed my suspicions that efficiency on the newer handset is markedly worse than the 2021 model (Motorola switched to a lesser Mediatek chipset). It’s very sluggish, and the outcomes from the digicam additionally felt like a downgrade. It does final three full days, however so long as the 2021 Moto G Power continues to be accessible, I believe it is a greater purchase. 

Works on all three main US carriers


Another Good Budget Phone

There are technically three telephones in TCL’s 2021 smartphone lineup: the TCL 20 Pro 5G ($500), TCL 20S ($250), and TCL 20 SE ($190). We’re omitting the latter two right here as a result of any of the opposite sub-$300 or $200 telephones above are higher decisions. But there are good causes to go for the TCL 20 Pro 5G.

It has the identical Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G chip because the Galaxy A52 5G we examined final yr, however its efficiency is a little bit smoother. It’s highly effective, and it is simply the nicest and most luxurious-feeling system as nicely. It has an aluminum body and glass on each side, although that makes it extra fragile. It’s additionally the one Android cellphone right here with wireless charging support

The 6.67-inch AMOLED display screen is colourful, and it will get brilliant sufficient to see open air. The 4,500-mAh battery cell comfortably lasts for greater than a full day of use, and it has the same old niceties, like NFC, a headphone jack, and a MicroSD card slot. The solely cause it isn’t our high decide is that TCL solely guarantees two OS upgrades and two years of safety updates, so the Google and Samsung telephones above might be supported for an extended time. It additionally helps 5G however not on AT&T (4G LTE nonetheless works), and there is no IP score for water resistance. It has a reasonably good digicam system, but it surely’s not as good because the aforementioned opponents.

That stated, TCL’s 30 sequence successors, introduced at MWC 2022, are anticipated to reach within the subsequent few months. If you aren’t in a rush to improve your cellphone, it is price ready. 

Works on all three main US carriers (5G doesn’t work on AT&T)

Motorola One 5G Ace

Photograph: Motorola

This Motorola cellphone is uncommon. Unlike its equally priced Moto G siblings, it really has an NFC chip so it could possibly make contactless funds through Google Pay—useful whenever you forgot your pockets at dwelling. It has two-day battery life, sub-6 5G connectivity, and fairly stable efficiency. Don’t count on a lot from the cameras, however in the event you do not care about ‘em or about software program updates a lot, it will absolutely fulfill.


We examined Motorola’s Moto G Power 2022 and Moto G Pure however do not suggest them right here as a result of the 2021 Moto G Power trounces them in each manner and prices almost the identical (if not much less). It’s the same story with HMD’s Nokia G50. It’s a effective cellphone, but it surely misses many options you will discover on different $300 telephones, together with the Galaxy A32 5G. 

It relies upon. Our high two picks are nonetheless glorious, although a brand new Google Pixel 6A will possible arrive by summer time’s finish. There are just a few new TCL telephones coming within the subsequent month or two, and you may count on the identical from HMD Global, maker of Nokia telephones. Samsung additionally simply launched a brand new (*7*) we’ve not examined but, however count on cheaper telephones from the corporate to reach quickly as nicely. If you possibly can’t wait, go along with one of many choices above. If you possibly can, you might need newer choices come May. 

Consider Last Year’s Flagship Phones

If none of those telephones have the options you need or they are not as highly effective as you want, the best choice is to look for final yr’s flagship smartphones, which could be steeply discounted. Sometimes they’re straightforward to seek out, however some producers cease promoting them altogether (the 2021 Samsung Galaxy S21 series will quickly disappear). Keep in thoughts that you’re going to lose a yr of software program assist. 

Check Network Compatibility

If you purchase an unlocked cellphone on this checklist and attempt to take it to considered one of your wi-fi provider’s retail shops, they might inform you it is not suitable with the community. It possible is. Just use a paper clip or SIM ejection software to pop the SIM card out of your present cellphone, then slide that SIM into your new cellphone. If it would not work at first, reboot the cellphone or wait a few hours.

If you want a brand new SIM, attempt ordering one on-line out of your provider or attempt to get them to provide you a SIM whenever you activate a line within the retailer (in the event you’re beginning protection). Tell them you might have a cellphone. Many occasions, reps will wish to promote you a cellphone; that is one potential cause they may problem you into shopping for a distinct system within the retailer.

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