There are now hundreds of 5G Android phones in the market, and almost every smartphone brand is in on the action. As the cost of 5G technology drops, we are seeing more budget devices on that category. I took a look at the market and came up with a list of the best budget 5G Android smartphones you can buy today.
For the purpose of this article, I limited the devices to those coating less than $350 US dollars. This is the upper limit for budget smartphones, so it makes sense to peg the price there if we are looking for the best among 5G Android phones. It also has to be a model that is available to most of the world. What is the point of selecting a best budget 5G Android phone that isn’t available for many people to buy?
My search started with a few hundred models, which I eventually trimmed down to just two – one model from Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi each. Having a list of three models is helpful to you in a few ways. For example, it addresses the problem of availability. If one model is not available in your region, there is a chance that one of the other two is. Another problem it solves is that of personal preference of brand. With three brand options, there is an increased chance that you will see something you really like.
Lastly, budget phones are possible through manufacturers making trade-offs. Of the three models, you will trade-offs with IP rating, fast charging speeds, cameras, etc. Having options means that you are able to pick a model that offers more of what you want in terms of features. Of course, I will wrap up the article with my recommendations, but at the end of the day, you will have the benefit of making a choice that suits you. Having explained all these, let’s have a look at our candidates.
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
The A52s 5G has a 6.5-inch, 1080×2400 pixels AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 5 protection, IP67 dust/water resistance, NFC, 32MP selfie camera, 64MP main camera, Snapdragon 778G 5G processor, up to 8GB RAM, up to 256 GB storage, 4500mAh battery, and 25W fast charging.
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G costs $309 for the 6/128 GB variant, and $370 for the 8/128 GB trim in the US. In the UK, it costs £250 for the 6/128 GB trim, and £340 for the 8/128 GB trim in Europe.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 2 has a 6.43-inch, 1080×2400 pixels AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 5 protection, 16MP selfie camera, 64MP main camera, Dimensity 900 chipset, up to 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, 4500mah battery, and 65W fast charging.
You will find the 8/128 GB variant for $270 on AliExpress and for £290 on Amazon UK. In Europe, the price starts from €276.
Xiaomi Poco F3
Poco F3 has a 6.67-inch AMOLED display (the largest here), with 1080×2400 pixels resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5 protection, IP53 dust/splash resistance, NFC, 20 MP selfie camera, 48 MP main camera, Snapdragon 870 processor, up to 8 GB RAM, up to 256 GB storage, 4520mAh battery, and 33W fast charging.
In the US, the 8/128 GB variant is available for $350 on Amazon and £330 in the United Kingdom. In continental Europe, the price is around €340.
As you can see, these are quite capable devices, with shades and tones of specs and features. You also have to decide if you want to play with the different custom user interfaces from each manufacturer – OneUI from Samsung, OxygenOS from OnePlus, and MIUI from Xiaomi.
Which is the best budget 5G Android phone? My recommendations
The Galaxy A52s 5G is the most widely available of the three phones that I narrowed down to here. As such, it will likely be the one that the average person looking for the best budget 5G Android phone will purchase. If you are hard pressed for cash, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is the most affordable of the three.
But in terms of overall value for money, the Poco F3 is definitely the phone to go with. It is the most powerful phone on this list, and also has the fastest charging speeds. Until something better shows up, it is the best 5G budget Android phone you can buy.
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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.