Best Budget Smartphones in 2017

Don’t want to spend too much on a new smartphone? Here are the best budget phones you can buy in 2017

You know what? You don’t need to part with a lot of cash for a decent smartphone nowadays. Sure, those headline-grabbing powerhouses such as Google’s Pixel, Apple’s iPhone 7 and that Samsung Galaxy S7 are all impressive, but there are some fantastic low-cost alternatives to be had right now. Save your pennies, here’s the definitive list of the best budget smartphones you can buy in 2017.

1. Lenovo P2

Lenovo’s P2 quickly drew high acclaim when it arrived in the Expert Reviews office. The reason why? It has the best battery life of any smartphone we’ve tested thus far. Lasting almost 30 hours on a single charge is just absurd, easily besting our previous winner – Motorola’s Moto Z Play – by five hours. The Lenovo P2 is the budget smartphone to beat.

Now, it’s a little chunkier than most, weighing 177g, but it’s a small price to pay for the longest-lasting smartphone on the market. It isn’t just the battery life either, the Lenovo P2’s display, performance and overall build quality are all top notch, giving those pricier mid-range handsets a run for their money. £200 your phone budget? Get the Lenovo P2.

Processor Octa-core 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625
RAM 4GB
Display 5.5in 1,920 x 1,080
Storage 32GB
Camera 13-megapixels
Operating system Android 6.0.1
Weight 177g

Image of Lenovo P2 5.5" Smartphone 4G LTE 5100 mAh Battery 4GB RAM 64GB ROM Dual-SIM Gold £474.95 Buy now

2. Moto G4

The Moto G is back and it’s better than ever. It might be significantly larger than last year’s Moto G, but this new model is a huge step forward. With an octa-core Snapdragon 617 chip at its disposal, its speed is streets ahead of every other budget phone you can buy today, giving it as much processing power as phones that are twice the price. It effectively makes every mid-range smartphone of the past six months utterly irrelevant, as you can get exactly the same kind of performance for just £169.

Its camera is also a step up over the third-generation Moto G, despite using a similar 13-megapixel sensor, and its huge battery provides plenty of staying power. Throw in a beautiful Full HD resolution and you’re absolutely laughing.

Processor Octa-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617
RAM 2GB
Display 5.5in 1,920 x 1,080
Storage 16GB
Camera 13-megapixels
Operating system Android 6.0.1
Weight 155g

Image of Motorola Moto G4 16GB (2GB Ram) SIM-Free Smartphone - Black£145.00 Buy now

3. Vodafone Smart Prime 7 

If you thought last year’s Smart Ultra 6 was a little too big for you, then Vodafone’s Smart Prime 7 is the ultra-cheap smartphone you’ve been waiting for. Available for just £75 on Vodafone’s PAYG service, this incredible budget smartphone is a great buy for first-time smartphone owners. Its pre-installed Vodafone apps make it very easy to keep track of your data allowance and manage your bill and you can also set it up to receive calls and texts through your web browser if you have poor signal at home, making it easier than even to keep up to date with your friends and family.

Admittedly, it can’t quite top the second-generation Moto E for best overall value under £100, especially when you can now pick up a Moto E for just £80 SIM-free, but the Smart Prime 7’s design and display are vastly superior to anything the Moto E has to offer. Just be wary that you’ll probably have to buy a microSD card for the Smart Prime 7, as its meagre 8GB of storage fills up astonishingly quickly once you’ve downloaded a couple of apps.

Processor Quad-core 1.3GHz Snapdragon 210
RAM 1GB
Display 5in 1,280 x 720
Storage 8GB
Camera 8-megapixels
Operating system Android 6.0.1
Weight 128g

Image of Vodafone Smart Prime 7 Pay As You Go Smartphone (Locked to Vodafone Network) - White£70.44   Buy now

4. Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen, 2015)

If you’re looking for an extremely low-cost and compact Android phone, the second-generation Motorola Moto E is an excellent choice. This phone has respectable performance, a great screen (even if its 4.5in 960 x 540 display is a little low-res), and its battery life of 13hrs 30mins in our video-playback test is also fantastic for its price.

Read our full Motorola Moto E (2015) review for more details

Processor Quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410
RAM 1GB
Display 4.5in 960 x 540
Storage 8GB
Camera 5-megapixels
Operating system Android 5.0.2
Weight 145g

Image of Motorola Moto E 4G 2nd Generation SIM-Free Smartphone - Black£113.00 Buy now

5. Samsung Galaxy J5 

It’s been a while since Samsung’s produced a truly great budget handset, but the J5 shows it’s back on form. It not only has an astonishing battery life, but its Super AMOLED display is also a real beauty, helping it to deliver rich, punchy colours that put other LCD-based smartphones to shame.

The camera’s performance isn’t quite as consistent as the Moto G’s sensor, but the phone’s fantastic display certainly does your shots justice when showing them to friends and family. The J5 is a sterling effort from Samsung, and a very worthy alternative to the Moto G.

Processor Quad-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon 210
RAM 1GB
Display 5in 1,280 x 720
Storage 8GB
Camera 13-megapixels
Operating system Android 5.1.1
Weight 146g

Image of Samsung Galaxy J5 Sim-Free Smartphone - White, 8GB (SM-J500F)£151.27 Buy now

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