Best Smartphones for the Cash - Spring 2020
It has been over a year since this list has been updated and a lot has changed.
Let's see how much bang you can get for your buck in Spring 2020.
The Nokia 2.3 comes in at $130 and gives you a lot for such a cheap phone, but there are some caveats at this price range. You get a 4000mAH battery, a 6.2" screen and dual rear cameras. All of this is more commonly found on a more expensive phone. The cost saving came with the internals. You get a MediaTek CPU paired with 2GB of RAM. While the storage difference can be made up for with an SD card slot. That processor and RAM will keep this phone to those who are basic phone users only. If this is for a person that mostly makes calls and text, then it is perfect. Anyone looking to game or use multiple social media apps at once, please look elsewhere.
Samsung Galaxy A20s
The international unlocked version of this phone can be found online for prices ranging from $168 to $176 depending on color (available in 3). This phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. Add to that a microSD card slot and you have a fairly decent phone as long as top end 3D games aren't your focus. Around back are a triple camera setup that gives you a log of photo capability for this price range. Add to that a 6.5" display, fast charging and a 4000mAH battery, and some might think you have a top tier phone.
The G7 line spans almost the entirety of the price range goign from teh $130 G7 Play to the $200 G7. As you go up in price you get a larger screen, more ram. This ranges from a 5.7" display with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage to a 6.2" display with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. All units feature a Snapdragon 632 SoC. THe Play model has a single 13MP camera in the back while the G7 has a dial camera setup.
The mid range phone market is a more contested space with some great options to choose from:
With a price range in the $240s depending on color, the Nokia 6.2 is a strong contender in this price range. You get a 6.3" screen with HDR, powered my a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 mated to 4GB or RAM and 64GM of storage. Throw in a 2 year promise for software updates and a triple camera setup in the back and you have perhaps the most value per dollar you can get in this range.
Motoral One Action
At $263, this gives you an ultrwide 21:9 6.3" display. This will give you a tall skinny phone that should be easy to pocket but a little diffcult to use one handed for smaller hand size users. For those looking for a cinema like display this is perfect though. Along with the screen you get a triple cameras setup and 128GB of storage. To power this you get Samsung's Exynos 9609 SoC with 4GB or RAM adn a 3500mAh battery.
$400+ is the top tier category for most manufacturers
With prices starting at $400, the Pixel 3a series is hard to beat in the price category. The camera alone gets excellent reviews at every turn. Match that to getting instant OS updates and its hard to ignore. Both the 3a and 3aXL are powered by a Snapdraong 670 with 4GB of RAM. Do keep in mind that the Pixel phones do not come with microSD card slots so you are limited to the 64GB of storage and will have to rely on cloud options after that.
Sony Xperia 10 / 10 Plus
The phone series that introduced the world to 21:9 aspect ratio on a smartphone. The 10 series come swith either a 6" or 6.5" displays and dual camera setup in the back with the nice addition of actual 2X optical zoom. This phone is poweed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with microSD card slot.
Google Pixel 4 / 4 XL($600-$700)
Coming in two sizes this top tier phone offers a 5.7in or a 6.3" OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate (translation smoother motion on screen). The camera setup on this phone is also highly rated as is currently typical with the Pixel line and is used as the benchmark in Android phones. Powering this phone is a Snapdragon 855 with 6GB of RAM. You geet the options of 64 or 128GB of storage and no microSDcard slot. THe only downside to this phone is the lack of a fingerprint reader, and instead relies on its no Soli radar sensor based face unlock. This might be an issue for some who prefer fingerprint use or rely on an app that uses it.
$1000+ is the Halo Phone category that manufacturers are using to showcase everything they are capable of cramming into a smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G ($900-$1400)
Known for thier gorgeuous AMOLED displays, Samsung's top-end range rarely fail to impress. This top tier phone 4 camera sensors in the back and a Hybrid optical zoom of 10x and digital zoom of 100x, with one of the sensors going up to 108MP. You get with top tier Qualcomm snapdragon or Samsung Exynos SoC dependingon market version. All versions come with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. A microSD card is available for when 128GB is not enough. You can choose to up the storage to 512GB to get closer to the top tier price.
Asus ROG Phone 2($1000)
Perhaps the most powerful smartphone that no one has ever heard of. The Asus ROG Phone 2 is a gaming oriented smartphone desigined to get as much performance as possible in your hands. it comes with a 6.6" AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate (smoothest motion currently available on a smartphone). To back this up it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage (a 512GB version is valable for $80). There is a dual camera setup in the back with 48MP and 13MP sensors. Included with this phone is a custom protective case taht allows for maximum cooling while staying protected.