Affordable is a relative concept. What is affordable to one person is not to another. But one thing is clear: when you hear the word affordable, you are thinking about a product or item that costs less than the most expensive in its category. If you are looking for affordable smartphones with the best cameras, it means you don’t want to pay top dollar to get the best camera phone possible. And that is okay.
Thankfully, I am like you: I love great cameraphones, but in the last one year, I have enough evidence that you do not necessarily need to buy expensive flagship phones to have a camera that holds its ground in their circle. As a matter of fact, I own and use one such smartphone as my primary device now, and it is this fantastic cameraphone that I shall kick off this list.
Affordable smartphones with the best cameras
My list of affordable smartphones with the best cameras span from affordable flagshps all the way down to entry-level phones, so whatever your budget is, there is a phone for you in this article. And so, let’s get to it.
Budget Flagship: Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro
If you want a flagship-grade camera without paying flagship money, buy Xiaomi’s 108-megapixel penta-cmaera smartphone, the Mi Note 10 Pro. Its camera is among the top 10 cameras in the smartphone world, standing head-and-shoulder above many Samsung Galaxy, Huawei, and Apple flagship phones.
It isn’t about the megapixels but about what is done with it, and Xiaomi did an excellent job with this one. There is not one person who has seen photos taken with my Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro who has not commented on how fantastic the photos are.
It has got a massive 5260mAh battery and 30W quick charge technology, NFC, a Snapdragon 730G chipset and 8GB of RAM. Internal storage is a whopping 256GB.
This is the king of affordable smartphones with the best cameras, at least as far as 2020 is concerned. Who knows what other mid-range smartphone will show up to edge it away? You can read my Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro revew, as well as other articles I have written about it, like: Enchanted With Munoyedi: a photoshoot with Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro and Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro is the first mid-ranger with a camera that outperforms premium smartphones.
How much does it cost? It costs US$480 or ₦225,000. If that is too much for you, there is a non-Pro version that costs about $400 or ₦190,000. It has the same 108-megapixel penta-camera but with a 7P lens instead of 8P on the Pro version. RAM and storage are also downgraded to 6GB and 128GB respectively.
Upper Mid-range: Google Pixel 4a
If you were expecting to see Google Pixel 4a first, sorry; it shows up in second place. This is another star among affordable smartphones with the best cameras. But even the Pixel 4 does not measure up to the Mi Note 10 Pro’s photography prowess, how much more the 4a. So second place it is.
The main shooter is a 12-megapixel camera, but do not let the small megapixel count fool you; it takes superb shots. The selfie camera has an 8-megapixel lens. Like the Mi Note 10 Pro, it is powered by a Snapdragon 730G chipset, but it has 6GB RAM and half the storage. The battery is a 3140 mAh unit and has 18W fast charging capability.
The Pixel 4a has a 5.81 inches screen and is also the handiest, and perhaps lightest, device on this list. If you are a fan of compact phones, you will love the size of ths one.
For $350 only, you can have the Pixel 4a in your hands day in, day out. At the current exchange rate, you can buy one off Amazon or other e-commerce sites for anything from ₦140,000 to as much as ₦180,000.
Middle Mid-range: OPPO A92
If you are hunting for affordable smartphones with the best camera in the sub-$300 price range, OPPO’s new A92 takes the cake. This mid-ranger packs a 6.5″ display with a punch hole camera, uses a Snapdragon 665 chipset, has 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The battery is really good at 5000mAh capacity, coupled with 18W fast charging.
But what you are interested in is the 48-megapixel rear camera, and it stands out in this price segment. You should have a look at our OPPO A92 review. The price of OPPO A92 comes to ₦110,000 only.
Lower mid-range: Nokia 2.3
In the $130 price range, the phone you want to look at is HMD Global’s Nokia 2.3. It packs a 6.2-inch display, 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage memory, 13MP dual camera at the back and a 5MP selfie camera. To keep the lights on is a comfortable 4000mAh battery.
At this price point, don’t expect wow photos, but if there is a phone that delivers the best pictures here, the 2.3 is it. We have a handled one for a short period too, and you can check out our Nokia 2.3 hands-on review.
As already mentioned, the price is about US$130. That is about ₦47,000.
Entry-level: itel P36
There’s a good camera phone for every segment, and in the entry-level segment, itel Mobile rules unchallenged. itel P36 is as good as it gets when it comes to affordable smartphones with the best cameras in its price range. With just ₦34,000, you can get your hands on one.
Bonus Entry-level: TECNO POP 4
I am mentioning the POP 4 because it is in the same price range as itel P36 and offers a comparative photography performance. For some reason, TECNO POP 4 is hard to find in the market, but if you are iinterested in affordable smartphones with the best camera in the entry-level category, it gives itel P36 a run for its money, and you should check it out. They cost pretty much the same.
PS: You might be interested in our list of affordable smartphones with long battery life.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.