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The Best Smartphones You Can Buy Today for Under $200

Best Smartphones Under 200 Dollars 2024
© sodawhiskey / Adobe Stock / nextpit

Is it possible to have a decent experience with a sub-$200 smartphone in 2024? Yes, it is. Check nextpit's recommended list of phones in the entry-level class, with cheap phones that in most cases outperform mid-range devices from previous years. With models from Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, and Nokia, there is an option for all types of users.

The best sub-$200 smartphones compared

Unfortunately, nextpit only tested one of the suggested picks. So this list was prepared based on our personal experiences with other models from the same brands, especially with software support, camera features, and timely updates. Keep in mind that this list was made with the US market in mind, because of that, some of the models are exclusive to North America.

Since our last update, the main change is more and more 5G models in the entry-level category, with one of the four models on the above list, and occasionally a 5G version of the runner-up phone during sales at below 200 dollars. Another welcome change is more phones with long-promised software support, with not only Android upgrades but especially important security patches.  

nextpit recommendations: The best 2024 smartphones for less than $200

Samsung Galaxy A15: Superior software support (+ 5G)

Samsung Galaxy A15 5G image for nextpit's review
Externally, the Galaxy A15 5G uses the design of its more expensive siblings. / © nextpit

Not much has happened at Samsung with the Galaxy A15 since the Galaxy A14 review. Nevertheless, the 6.5-inch smartphone is a lot better than its predecessor. For an LCD panel, the readability of the display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 px is quite decent; images are still updated at 90 Hz.

With the Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ there was an update to the processor and, depending on the market, there is now a 256 GB storage (expandable via microSD) option. With the triple camera, at least the 50 MP main camera performs quite well, but of course the Galaxy A15 is not a camera phone.

One highlight not found in the direct rivals: Not only do you have the fresh One UI 6 interface based on Android 14 out of the box, but you also get a really convincing update policy from Samsung: Samsung promises us four years of major Android updates and even security updates for five years.

Under the hood, which is designed in the typical Samsung design, is the battery with a charging capacity of 5,000 mAh, which is now mandatory for this class. It charges at up to 25 W, although you have to get the charger separately as usual. As the name suggests, this model also uses a 5G modem; bargain hunters who don't need 5G can also get the cheaper LTE model, the Galaxy A15.

Samsung Galaxy A15 5G

Good

  • High-quality AMOLED display with 90 Hz
  • Solid workmanship
  • Decent performance that is sufficient for mobile games
  • Up to five years of updates

Bad

  • Camera quite inflexible overall
  • Mono speaker sounds very tinny
  • Rather low power reserves for the next 5 years
Samsung Galaxy A15 5G
Samsung Galaxy A15 5G

Motorola Moto G Stylus (2023): Note for less

Motorola Moto G Stylus (2023) promotional image with the stylus pen
The Moto G Stylus packs a stylus pen for productivity tasks. / © Motorola

The Moto G Stylus (2023) has a lot going for it (besides the convoluted name). Also available with completely different specifications compatible with 5G, today's recommendation is for the cheaper (and sub-$200) 4G model. It features a big 90 Hz screen and a stylus to use it for productivity tasks.

The previous 2021 and 2022 Stylus saw deep discounts under $200 a few months after launch, so it is worth keeping an eye on sales for that model if you want to be future-proof. Despite that, it is worth pointing out that Motorola has a worse track record when it comes to software updates compared to Samsung, with fewer years of security updates, and much later Android upgrades compared to the top pick.

Nokia C210: The bare minimum

https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=12004&idPhone2=12250&idPhone3=12472
It is not the prettiest, but the Nokia C210 promises good resistance. / © HMD Global

The Nokia C210 is a throwback to old plasticky smartphones, with thick bezels around the display, and barebones specifications. However, it packs a reasonably competent processor, the Snapdragon 662. Although old by today's standards, the same chip used to power lots of intermediate-level phones not so long ago.

Another highlight is Nokia's recent track record when it comes to software updates, usually matching the three years of security updates offered by Samsung. But don't expect the same top-level performance from the camera, since the Nokia C210 packs low-resolution sensors that should barely be enough for family pictures.

TCL 40 XL: Big screen alternative

TCL 40 XL smartphone promotional image
The TCL 40 XL has humble specs but packs a big 6.7-inch display. / © TCL

Another unusual pick for this list, the TCL 40 XL has modest processor and camera specs, but in return offers enough memory and a big LCD screen with 6.75 inches. The display is only 720p but refreshes at a smooth 90 Hz, and for streaming sessions, the phone offers dual stereo speakers for better audio reproduction.

The TCL 40 XL also comes with Android 13, its storage capacity can be expanded using microSD cards, and the phone even offers reverse charging to lend some battery to another device with no charge.

Alternatives to purchasing a new smartphone

Refurbished, sale units, and used/refurbished phones

If removing the protective film for the first time on your new device does not spark you joy, you can pick up more expensive smartphones from the second-hand or refurbished market. It is particularly advisable to use devices that carry a refurbished guarantee. These are used smartphones that have been checked and refurbished by reputable companies to ensure that they are in tip-top condition.

Refurbished devices are particularly interesting to check out when they come with an extended warranty. This is how you protect yourself when picking one up just in case the handset gives up the ghost just a few weeks down the road.

Of course, you do not have this advantage when buying a used smartphone from private owners on platforms such as eBay, Craigslist, or other portals. However, used devices can be found for significantly reduced prices there, as there are no additional costs because the middleman has been cut out. With the so-called 'sale', you also secure older models that online shops still carry in new condition but which are no longer in production.

Promotions and sales

Towards the end of the year, each consumer electronics device that you purchase is accompanied by an even greater risk of stumbling upon a cheaper offer just a few weeks down the road. This can be attributed to sales like Black Friday and its associated Black Week, Amazon Prime Day, Singles Day, and Cyber ​​Monday, all of which are discount days in the months of October and November.

Most of them happen right before the Christmas shopping frenzy begins. Since smartphones are one of the most popular consumer electronics devices in the market, you should keep your eyes open for great deals. You can check out the dates for this year's sales and promotions in the table below:

It's best to keep an eye on our homepage during these days. Because we search for offers in every online shop and manufacturer's website and assess the offers according to their value. As in this article, you can inform yourself with further test reports and news about the respective devices before buying.

Sign up for a contract with a service provider or an installment plan 

If your old smartphone is completely broken and cannot be used, leaving you in desperate need of an immediate replacement, you can always opt for an installment plan that covers several months of payments. Normally, this is tied to a phone plan contract, where you obtain a new smartphone for free for a monthly surcharge or for a lower one-time payment. However, there is still the risk of paying more for the device at the end of the contract compared to buying it outright now.

On the other hand, you also obtain lower prices with a monthly financing plan. You pay off the purchase price of the new device across an agreed number of monthly installments sans contract and with 0% interest. Such financing packages are extremely popular, but it also comes with their own risks. For instance, if you lose your new smartphone immediately after buying it or if it breaks, you will still have to honor the remaining installments for a device that can no longer be used or is limited in functionality.

Other Best lists on nextpit

Are you not satisfied with the selection of our list of sub-$200 smartphones? Do share your recommendations with us in the comments section below. If the price-performance ratio is not right for you within this price range, perhaps other "Best Of" lists in the following articles might be more your cup of tea:

The current best Samsung phones to buy

  Editor's choice S23 with a bigger display 2023 flagship 2023 foldable flagship 2022 fodlable flagship 2023 compact foldable 2022 compact foldable Affordable flagship The popular mid-ranger
Product
Image Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23+ Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Product Image Samsung Galaxy A54 Product Image
Review
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23+
Review: Samsung Galaxy S23
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Not yet tested
Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
Review: Samsung Galaxy A54
Price
  • $1,199.99
  • $999.99
  • $799.99
  • $1,799.99
  • $1,799.99
  • from $999.99
  • $999.99
  • $699.99
  • $449.99
Offer*
nextpit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
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Rubens Eishima

Rubens Eishima
Writer

Having written about technology since 2008 for a number of websites in Brazil, Spain, Denmark, and Germany, I specialize in the mobile ecosystem, including various models, components, and apps. I tend to not only value performance and specifications, but also things like repairability, durability, and manufacturer support. I tend to prioritize the end-user's point of view whenever possible.

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