We have rounded up 10 of the best smartphones that you can buy right not that will not cost you a fortune. These devices are a true ‘bang-for-the-buck’ kings, with some serious flagship killer specs in many of them. Every single phone on this list are priced under 400$ or roughly below 1800 dirhams in the UAE. So, in no particular order, here are the top 7 budget phones of 2020, as of September.
TCL 10 5G
The TCL brand is more synonymous with televisions devices across the world, however in the last 10 years or so they have started making some genuinely good mid-range phones. This particular model is in the top end (AED 1,600) of our price cap that we mentioned earlier, but that is largely due to the fact that this comes equipped with 5G, which may not be a priority for the vast majority of people, but it is a nice feature to have. You will get a unique design and a quad camera set up, decent specs, a good 4500mAh battery, a headphone jack and a surprisingly nice software that is not too far from your standard stock android. It is a pretty hefty phone to hold, in terms of size and weight, coupled with the plastic exterior means that it does not have the most premium look, despite the thin bezels and the hole punch cut out. The colours look vibrant thanks to the NXTVISION technology which does some impressive SDR to HDR conversion, but the TCL uses an LCD display and only has a 60Hz refresh rate and given the price tag we would have hoped to have a higher refresh rate or an AMOLED display. In conclusion, it is a great phone and an overall good performer, however it may not be able to go head to head with some other strong contenders on this list.
One Plus Nord
Speaking of stronger competition, the One Plus series have in recent years been getting more and more expensive as they reached a flagship status. The One Plus Nord was a return to their basics and going back to what made One Plus really famous, making flagship killers. The Nord is also on the higher range (AED 1,500) of our price cap but considering the fact that you will get 5G, a 90Hz AMOLED screen, premium design and excellent specs, you can almost forgive it for not having the best processor (Snapdragon 765G) that you would get from the other One Plus phones. While the OnePlus phone cameras have never matched their rivals, at this price point, the camera is definitely above average with a total of six lenses, including an ultrawide at both at the front and the back, making it a very versatile set up. The standout feature however has to be the Oxygen OS software, it is fast, it has no bloatware and closely mimics stock android with a few extra useful features. It is hard to find too much fault with the Nord, considering all things you are getting for the price, it is an easy one to recommend.
POCO X3 NFC
The POCO phone’s price is almost unbelievable. It is the first phone to come with the new Snapdragon 732G, which will enable you to have WiFi6 and 15% better graphics than the 730G along with plenty of storage, 120Hz refresh rate, a massive 5100mAh battery, a quad camera setup including a 64mp main camera, a headphone jack and overall great unique design. All these fantastic features will only set you back by AED 899! If this aggressive price tag is not enough, you will also receive stereo speakers, fingerprint reader built into the lock button and liquid cooling system to avoid throttling for longer gaming sessions. The main downsides to this device that it will not come equipped with 5G and has an LCD screen, which means you do not get the best contrast. The cameras are also not the best and you do get quite a few pre-installed apps aka bloatware. However, with all that said the POCO phone is aimed at giving you the most important features at a really attractive price point that is hard to beat, making it one of the easiest budget phones to recommend.
RealMi 7 Pro
Continuing with picks at the lower end of the price bracket, the Real Mi 7 Pro starts at AED 771. Coming off the back of the RealMi 6 series just 6 months ago, both the 7 and the 7 Pro has bigger batteries, better cameras, faster 65W charging and a completely new design along with a great 6.4” super AMOLED display. You will only get 60Hz refresh rate but will be backed up by a decent sized 4500mAh battery, a Snapdragon 720G and a quad camera setup. Additionally, you will also receive stereo speakers, onscreen fingerprint reader, a headphone jack, and an SD card slot. Overall, it is a great phone to recommend however, considering how close it is to the price point of the Poco Phone, it will all come down to how much you like that AMOLED display.
Iphone SE 2020
Back to the top of the price bracket coming in at about AED 1,600 at starting is the iPhone SE. While on the outside it may look like of the oldest phones in the market, on the inside it is easily one of the most powerful phones out there thanks to Apple’s A13 bionic chip which is the some one inside the iPhone 11. It is the cheapest way to get that iPhone experience, with iMessage, facetime, airdrop, touch ID, Siri, iOS 14, and a great phone to use. At 4.7” it is one of the smallest displays you can get your hands, so if you are someone who prefers a small, compact, easy to use one handed phone, then this is without doubt a great package. The camera is also massive plus point with one of the best cameras at any price points however you will get only a single camera set up, with no ultrawide or night mode, which means the low light shots are not the best. While the screen looks great it is only an LCD with 60Hz and not even full HD 1080p. In conclusion, while the phone may look a bit old it will probably last you the longest amongst all the phones on this list thanks to Apple’s superior processor and updates.
The Google Pixel 4A is basically the iPhone SE of android phones. It is still yet to be made available to consumers with an expected release date in October. Since the price tag is slightly cheaper than the iPhone SE at AED 1,500, it is a great option for those die-hard android lovers. Last year’s Pixel 3A turned out to be one of the most popular phones of 2019, this year the 4A seems to have no significant upgrade but still packs a great punch with the stock android experience, excellent camera, and the affordable price tag. While it also only has one lens and no ultrawide lens, it has the best camera set up in this line up with incredible photo quality and a great night mode (including an astrophotography mode!). The 4A is only slightly ever bigger than the SE, however thanks to the larger display, thin bezels and small hole punch cut out, the screen feels much larger at 5.8” along with an AMOLED display. While the Snapdragon 730G processor is not as fast as the Apple chip, it is on par or better than all the android phones in this list. The stock android experience is clearly one of the most satisfying things to use and along with the fact that the 4A will be one of the first phones to receive the new updates when compared to the bigger pixel models. The battery is fine and it only comes in one color, but apart from these, overall the Pixel 4A is a great package at a great price for premium android experience.
The list does not end here! There is still many phones out here that we have not included in this list that still offers great value like the Galaxy A51, Moto G 5G+, Redmi Note 9 Pro, Nokia 7.2 and the Redmi Magic 5S to name a few that are all within the similar price bracket. Overall, it is a great time to be buying a budget smartphone with so many to choose from across many manufacturers offering a wide variety of features and user experiences. Let us know which is your favorite one or if we have missed out any in this list that you would like to see us review!