As awesome as flagship smartphones are, you don’t need to shell out $1,000 to get a good Android experience these days. If you need a new smartphone but only have a budget of around $200, there are a multitude of great choices you can consider. You might even be surprised to know that some of the best Android phones under $200 offer things like 5,000mAh batteries, multi-lens camera arrays, and years of software updates.
We test all kinds of Android phones to ensure you get the most out of your device, without running into surprises later on. If we had to pick one Android smartphone in the sub-$200 price bracket (almost), it’d be Samsung’s newest Galaxy A15 5G. It has a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen, a big battery with 25W fast charging support, and much more. You can also consider Motorola’s Moto G Play (2024) if you want a basic yet functional device that’ll work well with all major U.S. carriers.
At a glance
1. Samsung Galaxy A15 5G
Featuring a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel, the latest version of Android, 5G connectivity, and more, Samsung’s Galaxy A15 5G gives you a whole lot of bang for your bucks.
Read more below.
2. Nokia G100
Best unlocked phone
With a stylish design, efficient Snapdragon processor, and up to 512GB of expandable storage, the Nokia G100 is a cheap phone that doesn’t feel cheap. Your wallet will thank you.
Read more below.
Best battery life
3. Moto G Play (2024)
Best battery life
It may not have 5G support, but Motorola’s latest Moto G Play (2024) offers everything from a big battery to a clean software experience, all at an extremely affordable price.
Read more below.
4. TCL 40 XL
Unusual for this price range, the TCL 40 XL comes with a vibrant 6.75-inch LCD panel, a large battery, and a solid Mediatek Helio G37 SoC. You also get a 5,000mAh battery and stereo speakers.
Read more below.
5. Moto G Power (2022)
With the Moto G Power (2022), you’ll get a flagship-level camera experience without paying flagship price, along with an amazing 90Hz display and solid battery life.
Read more below.
6. Blackview BV5200 Pro
Despite its clunky design, the BV5200 Pro boasts military-grade durability, an enormous 5,180mAh battery, and NFC support. It is available in three funky colorways.
Read more below.
Samsung’s Galaxy A-series smartphones have come to be renowned for offering incredible value for money, and the Galaxy A15 5G is no exception. Sure, it’s just a penny shy of $200 and will cost you a little than that after taxes, but this thing offers so many goodies that we suggest stretching your budget just a little bit. Moreover, you can often find it available for much less on major online retailers like Amazon.
As its name suggests, the Galaxy A15 5G offers 5G connectivity so you’ll be able to enjoy blazing-fast speeds for video streaming, web browsing, and more while on the move. The 6.5-inch display sports a 90Hz refresh rate, but what truly sets it apart is that it’s a Super AMOLED screen, a big upgrade compared to the LCD panel offered by the previous-gen model(s). Powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 6100+ chipset and 4GB of RAM, the smartphone is fairly capable of handling everyday tasks with ease. You also get 128GB of internal storage, expandable via a microSD card slot.
The Galaxy A15 5G features a triple-lens camera system at the back, comprising a 50MP primary sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide unit, and a 2MP macro module. It’s obviously not going to stand a chance against the best camera phones out there, but should more than suffice for taking a few photos every once in a while. As far as the software is concerned, you get the latest Android 14 with Samsung’s One UI 6 overlaid on top.
Samsung Galaxy A15 5G is backed by a 5,000mAh battery that’ll easily last you a full day or two with moderate use. The 25W wired charging isn’t really the fastest, but considering the top-of-the-line Galaxy S24 also charges at the same rate, we’re not complaining.
Best unlocked phone
None of the phones on this list are considered expensive, but if you’re trying to spend your money on something reliable, the Nokia G100 is for you. Sitting towards the lower mid-range limit of $200, it’s the best unlocked phone in this range at the end of the day. You can get a lot of value from every dollar spent on the Nokia G100.
The Nokia G100 is equipped with the same 6.52-inch IPS LCD with an HD+ resolution of 720×1600 pixels that was on the older Nokia G20. It’s also got a Snapdragon 662 processor, 3GB/4GB of RAM, and 32GB/128GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB). Unfortunately, there’s no fast charging, but you shouldn’t have to mess with it too much, thanks to the generous 5,000mAh battery.
The Nokia G100 will get two years of Android upgrades and three years of monthly security patches, which should get you through 2025. The phone ships with Android 12 and even though the update situation isn’t as good as we’d like it to be, at least the software experience is delightful, since there’s no bloatware and Nokia sticks to stock Android.
The phone comes with a lovely textured back available in a single blue color and also boasts a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. You get a triple-camera setup, including a 13MP primary camera that is surprisingly decent. Nokia has packed just the right features into this value-rich device.
Best battery life
It’s near impossible to talk about affordable smartphones without mentioning Motorola, and the Moto G Play (2024) shows why. The newest member of the company’s G-series packs in a truckload of features at a price that’s just too good to resist.
The Moto G Play (2024) comes with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a refresh rate of 90Hz. Although the resolution is still HD+ (720×1600 pixels), the 90Hz refresh rate should make interacting with on-screen content a smooth affair. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset under the hood, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Although the SoC only offers 4G connectivity, it’s a big improvement over the MediaTek Helio G37 of the last-gen model had. Android Central’s Derrek Lee was quite disappointed with the previous-gen Moto G Play (2023) in his review, primarily because of the smartphone’s sluggish performance. Considering that the newer model sports an extra gig of RAM and faster UFS 2.2 storage, the Moto G Play (2023) should do fairly well in day-to-day usage.
Interestingly, the Moto G Play (2024) only has a single 50MP lens at the back. The lack of an ultra-wide module is a bit disappointing, but we’re glad Motorola didn’t include one of those useless macro units just to pad up the spec sheet. The smartphone runs Android 13 with Motorola’s minimal My UX baked on top and should get at least Android 14, if not further.
Motorola Moto G Play (2024) sports a 5,000mAh battery – same as its predecessor – but the charging speed has now been upgraded to 15W. The previous-gen model had fairly decent battery life and we’re quite sure this one would at least match, if not exceed that.
It may not have the most cutting-edge specs, but don’t you sleep on the TCL 40 XL. Under $200, you won’t find a more captivating display than this phone’s 6.75-inch vivid LCD panel. The waterdrop notch looks a little dated, but it’s the entire package as a whole that bolsters the worth of this phone.
TCL gives you a nice deal along with all that screen real estate. You get lots of memory, with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that can be increased up to a whopping 512GB. There’s also a fingerprint scanner on the aesthetically pleasing side of the phone. The TCL 40 XL has a generous 5,000mAh cell that tops up pretty quickly, owing to its 18W charging speed.
You get a nice set of triple cameras featuring a 50MP primary lens. On the software side of things, the TCL 40 XL is powered by Android 13. Under the hood, you will find a Mediatek Helio G37 chipset to keep the entire phone afloat. What prevents this phone from being our number one pick is the lack of any future platform upgrades or any manner of waterproofing. TCL does promise two years of security updates though.
Let’s start with the positives, shall we? The Moto G Power (2022) has the best camera in its class, delivering crisp, clear photos throughout the day and even in low-light situations. It’s no Pixel but it’s certainly impressive for a phone under $200. Even the macro camera is impressive — something you’ll almost never see in this price range — letting you get super up-close to objects for some interesting, ‘Grammable imagery.
It’s also got fantastic battery life that’ll easily get you through the promised 3 days per charge. Our Moto G Power (2022) review confirms the longevity, although it will take several hours to charge it up since it only supports 10W charging.
But the kicker is that to achieve this kind of battery life, Motorola went with an incredibly weak MediaTek processor in the Moto G Power (2022). Simply put, if a sluggish UI and lag when switching between apps is a deal breaker for you, consider something with a better CPU. The Moto G Power has a Mediatek Helio G37 chipset that was never going to break any records.
At least the screen is relatively large at 6.5 inches and can even run at 90Hz if you’re doing light enough work that the chipset can keep up. It runs Android 11, which isn’t common for this price point anymore. When you consider how many other phone makers are committing to updates on cheaper phones, like Samsung, it’s definitely a major weakness. Still, just about anything you need to do on this phone should work without issue on this older version of Android.
Putting a case on the phone is an excellent way to ensure it stays safe throughout your daily use, but some phones were designed to be rugged and durable right out of the box. One such phone is Blackview’s BV5200 Pro, and if you’re prone to clumsiness or work in a physically demanding environment, the BV5200 Pro is a solid choice.
The design of the BV5200 Pro makes its ruggedness unmistakable, and it has durability ratings to back it up. Not only is there an IP68 and IP69K dust/water resistance rating, but you also get a MIL-STD-810G certification. This means the BV5200 Pro has been tested to survive drops of up to five feet.
Moving beyond its design, there are plenty of other highlights for the BV5200 Pro. It has a massive 5,180mAh battery, USB-C charging, a Mediatek Helio G35 chipset, and NFC for contactless Google Pay payments. There’s also 4GB of RAM along with 3GB virtual RAM, adding up to 7GB total, and 64GB of storage that can be expanded up to 1TB. You’ll miss out on any platform upgrades past the pre-installed Android 12 and there’s no fingerprint sensor, but you do get face unlock.
The design of the BV5200 Pro certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’re someone who knows you’d benefit from a ruggedized handset like this one, it’s definitely worth a good, hard look. Although Blackview BV5200 Pro makes a lot of compromises, its rock-bottom price tag makes it a very attractive deal.
Which is the best smartphone under $200?
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Just a few years ago, $200 couldn’t buy you much in the way of the best Android phones. These days, however, it’s pretty surprising just how many options you have in such a low-price segment. There are plenty of “cheap” Android phones that are pretty great.
We think the best Android phone under $200 is the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G out of everything currently available. For the average person shopping for a new phone, the Galaxy A15 5G is excellent. It’s got solid cameras, a Super AMOLED display that’ll get the job done, 5G, and, most importantly, years of software updates that’ll keep it safe and relevant for as long as you want to keep it.
Samsung’s software update promise is unmatched in the industry, with only Google having exceeded it recently with the Pixel 8 series. This isn’t just important for getting new features and keeping your phone feeling relatively new, but also for security. Without proper security updates, older phones can be a ticking timebomb for malware or hackers.
If you’d rather go with an unlocked device, the Nokia G100 is our second favorite choice. The display looks good enough, the performance is great for most apps and light games, the three rear cameras are a bunch of fun to use, and that 5,000mAh battery is a lifesaver. That said, the G100 is a bit old at this point. If you’d rather go for something newest, look no further than the Moto G Play (2024). It comes with the latest Android 14, a big 5,000mAh battery, and the software experience is clean and minimal, even if it probably won’t get much in terms of updates.
It also offers 4GB/128GB memory options, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, quad cameras, and underrated features like face unlock. Let’s not forget the sublime stock Android experience with guaranteed upgrades to Android 13 as well as Android 14.
How to choose the right phone under $200
When you’re on a tight budget, buying a new phone isn’t the easiest thing to do. Most phones in the under-$200 category look very similar, but what brands can you trust and what should you look out for?
At under $200, it’s uncommon to get a phone that isn’t made of plastic. There’s just no way around this as it’s a huge cost-saving measure most manufacturers take. Otherwise, you’ll be spending more for an expensive phone body and the company will have to cut back elsewhere.
It’s also very common to find phones with a standard HD display — also known as 720p — instead of a Full-HD 1080p or higher resolution. Some phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G, offer a 1080p display that looks substantially better than others in this class.
But, in most cases, that lower resolution is preferable for two reasons. First off, most phones under $200 don’t have a powerful processor. Without that extra processing power, a higher-resolution display will end up making the phone feel a bit laggy when a lot is going on. Second, a lower-resolution display helps keep the phone’s battery going for a long time on a single charge.
Most phones in this category only feature 3-4GB of RAM, which is often fine with those lower-resolution displays. The lower-power processors can’t multitask particularly well, so having a ton of RAM isn’t going to help things much. But, in certain cases, having extra RAM could help make your phone feel a bit speedier. A lot of phones can also use some part of their internal storage as a ‘virtual’ RAM that can be used to make things slightly better.
Now, with all that said, you should never expect to get lots of major operating system updates on a phone in this price category. While most phones see a single big OS update — commonly from Android 12 to Android 13, or something similar — some phones will just get security updates for a few years and be done. While major OS updates are a nicety, they don’t always make sense for a phone with a lower-power processor as new features often require more processing power to actually be nice to use.
Those security updates are what you should actually pay attention to, and that’s why Samsung got the pick of the litter in this category. Samsung’s promised four years of security updates for the Galaxy A13 is double that of any other manufacturer on this page. While lower-power processors don’t always hold up well for that long, it’s great to know that your phone won’t be vulnerable to cyber-attacks or malware for as long as you own the phone.
Should you choose a SIM-free or contract phone?
At under $200, many phones offer the easy option to choose between buying them outright — also known as SIM-free since they don’t come with a carrier’s SIM card — or just adding them to your phone plan as part of your monthly bill. While many phones on this list won’t cost anything at all from great wireless carriers such as T-Mobile, it might be worth just buying them outright for a number of reasons.
First off, at under $200, all of these phones are quite affordable. Many of the phones in this list are available at around $150, making them even easier to afford outright — especially when compared to flagship smartphones, which often cost $600 or a lot more to buy outright.
Second is the fact that putting a sub-$200 phone on a contract means you’re stuck with it for 24 months until the contract is up. While your carrier might offer a way to pay it off early, it’s likely for a higher price than it would have cost to buy it outright from Amazon or Best Buy.
Third is the fact that most sub-$200 phones tend to get a bit slow over a 24-month period, and that’s assuming you purchased the phone right when it came out. Case in point, if you were to choose the older Moto G Play (2021) right now, you would be using a phone that’s already over 2 years old, meaning it’s probably not going to be nice to use for all that much longer, much less 24 months from now.
Are Android phones under $200 any good?
Yes, $200 (or less) Android phones can be good for many different types of people. But just how good can a phone be if it’s 1/5th of the price of premium phones like a Samsung Galaxy S24? Obviously, you’re missing out on something by saving a ton of money, right?
Buying an Android phone under $200 is a bit like buying a cheap car for your daily commute. That car’s entire goal is to get you to and from your home or place of work or school and not much more. Similarly, a sub-$200 phone is going to accomplish your daily needs and probably not a whole lot more.
In both scenarios, you should expect to forego fancy features and other bells and whistles when you opt to save money. Don’t go into a smartphone purchase expecting a screen that’s super bright in direct sunlight or to be amazed by every photo you take with its cameras. You won’t get autopilot or a backup camera with a super affordable car, either.
Likewise, ensure you’re setting yourself up for performance expectations when moving into either category. An affordable car isn’t going to reach highway speeds right away, and you should never expect to race one. Likewise, a $200 or less phone won’t play games very well and will not multitask between apps very well, either.
In a nutshell, you should expect that listening to music, scrolling through social media, watching a video on YouTube, or just browsing Android Central on the go will be a good overall experience on one of these phones. Almost all of these phones get multi-day battery life, too, which is a huge advantage of this lower-priced, lower-power category.
How long do Android phones under $200 last?
On average, users who spend less than $200 on an Android phone will find that their purchase can last them around two years before the phone begins to feel a bit slow or old. That’s most often why manufacturers only promise one major OS update, as some new features could end up slowing the phone down too much.
During that two-year ownership period, it’s important to choose a manufacturer that promises regular security updates. Oftentimes, manufacturers in this price range will promise to deliver quarterly security updates to ensure that no big security vulnerabilities crop up on your phone. Phones with recent security patches are far less likely to fall prey to malware or other types of cyber attacks.
Because most sub-$200 phones will only get one major Android update and two years’ worth of security updates, it’s most important to choose a newer phone that still has many months of support left.
When taking these measures into consideration, the weakest link on our list is the Blackview BV5200 Pro, which will likely never see another update. While that’s fine in some circumstances, you’ll need to be extra mindful to avoid scenarios that could end up putting malware on your phone.