In the past, if you wanted a really cheap phone, you’d have to forego a lot of modern functionality and typical features that make smartphones worthwhile. Nowadays, not so much!
In this guide, I’ll show you some of the best Android phones under $250 in 2023. Read through this guide to discover some of the best budget Android phones you can buy if you’re working with a really small budget.
What are the Best Android Phones Under $250 in 2023?
They may not be as many as regular-priced devices, but you’ll certainly find cheap Android phones on the market. Of course, you’ll have to reduce your expectations on faster CPUs or wide ranges of zoom lenses if you want a cheap phone.
However, in many cases, you’ll find cameras that are enough for the job and even large displays with adaptive refresh rates. These days, even the best affordable phones offer 5G connectivity.
After thorough research, comparisons between brands, and insight from expert testers, below are my recommendations for the best Android phones under $250 in 2023:
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
If you only have $200 to spend on a smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G is the brand to beat. In comparison to the A13, the A14 is a bit odd. Samsung kept the same internal components as the A13, including the same MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, and the same rear camera array.
However, what’s different in this brand is the design adopts the same “camera island” design as the Galaxy S23 series and is more in line with the rest of Samsung’s smartphones. The entire phone seems a little more substantial in the hand, and for the price, the engraved design on the rear is rather attractive.
Better yet, the A14 5G display’s resolution was increased to 1080p while maintaining its 90Hz refresh rate. Even though it’s still an LCD panel, the screen quality is impressive at $200. So if you absolutely must have one of the best Android phones under $250 in 2023, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is where you should start your search.
Sadly, it has no IP rating and the mono speaker quality is poor. Nonetheless, considering the features it offers despite being cheap, I still recommend it as one of the best Android phones under $250 in 2023. You can get it on Amazon or directly from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy A03s
There aren’t many differences between the Galaxy A03s and the Galaxy A02s that came before it. There’s the same set of subpar cameras, the same 720p LCD at 60Hz, and an older version of Android, but you’ll also see a few glaring distinctions.
Unlike the Galaxy A02s, the Galaxy A03s has a fingerprint sensor integrated into its power button, making it easier to access the phone. It also has three gigabytes of RAM, not much but still a significant improvement on the two GB in the A02s. Samsung also shifted from a budget-friendly MediaTek chipset to a (still) budget-friendly Snapdragon chipset. No one is expecting this to cause a miraculous change in performance, but since Samsung has promised quarterly updates, it might still work well into 2026.
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy A02s is another great pick among the best Android phones under $250 in 2023. At a price of $160, I think it’s particularly great if you need the absolute cheapest phone around. However, if you have a few more dollars to spare, I’d recommend the top pick in this guide for a considerably better experience.
Also, if you already own the Galaxy A02s, I wouldn’t advise upgrading to this model since both devices are almost entirely similar in build and performance. Also, quite sadly, despite the notable distinctions, the performance (in terms of cameras and capacity) is still poor compared to regular-priced devices.
Moto G Stylus
I’ll say the Moto G Stylus is a particularly surprising option on this list because it’s hard to believe a stylus device is that cheap. It stands out among the cheapest Android brands with its fairly adequate performance, 6GB RAM, a MediaTek chipset, and a 90Hz display. You’ll also love its powerful battery life — experts swear that it can last for more than two full days between charges.
So, I’m sure you’ll agree that the Moto G Stylus deserves a spot on this list of the best Android phones under $250 in 2023. If you’re a big fan of stylus-supported devices and would like to buy one on a budget, the Moto G Stylus is an excellent choice. Like the other picks in this guide, the performance is limited, but a phone that lets you jot down notes with an in-built stylus is a steal at $170. Like the other picks, you can purchase one from Amazon.
Sadly, the camera is not so great due to a somewhat tacky beauty filter embedded permanently in its software. It also lacks 5G capability, charges very slowly, and has just one speaker. But in terms of functionality and stylus experience compared to the price, no one can deny that the Moto G Stylus is one of the best Android phones under $250 in 2023.
Ultimately, if you’re big on using the top and most recent Android features, you’re better off increasing your smartphone budget. However, if you’re on a much tighter budget, try out any of my suggestions on the best Android phones under $250 in 2023. If you want advice on the best budget 5G Android devices, check out this guide.