The Best Phone under $400 (2023)

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Which is the best phone under $400 that you can buy today? Is it the iPhone SE 2022, Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, Google Pixel 6a, Nothing Phone (1), Motorola Moto Edge 2022, or perhaps something a little dated? You might be surprised to see the Nothing Phone on this list; while it costs much more elsewhere, it is available for just $300 in the United States.

All the smartphones considered here are all available in the key western smartphone markets United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and others – locked or unlocked. They are also mostly available elsewhere in the world. You will notice that brands like Xiaomi, Realme, and others, are missing on this list. This is because they are not officially available in the US and the other key Western markets. Bear with me.

Best phone under $400 in 2023

Best phone under $400 for gaming

The iPhone SE 2022 is the best phone for gaming in this price range. No other smartphone under $400 matches the power of the 3rd Generation iPhone SE. While it may be a small phone, inside it runs the A5 Bionic chip, a full premium flagship powerhouse, making it as powerful as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. It even beats the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, hands-down, in gaming performance. This is one badass little guy. Underestimate it at your own risk.

iPhone SE 2022 is the best phone under $400 for gaming
iPhone SE 2022 is the best phone under $400 for gaming

Best phone under $400 for photography

You will be hard pressed to find a better camera phone under $400 than the Pixel 6a. Search as you might, I wager that it is mission impossible. If photography on a budget is what you are after, the Pixel 6a gives you a top-notch main camera, that isn’t far from premium flagship class, for around $330 max. That sounds like a deal that is difficult to refuse, considering how the best camera phones are expensive.

Google Pixel 6a is the best phone under $400 for photography
Google Pixel 6a is the best phone under $400 for photography

Overall Best smartphone under $400

Once again, the Apple iPhone SE 2022 takes this category. The dated design will not appeal to everyone (of course, classics do not appeal to everyone), but the processing power and the ecosystem are undeniably the best at this price range. You also get cutting edge 5G connectivity. And thankfully, battery life has improved since its predecessor. iPhone SE 2022 is such great value for money that it is absolutely the overall best phone under $400 that you can buy.

Nothing Phone (1) is the best phone under $400 in the USA.
Nothing Phone (1) is the best Android phone under $400 in the USA.

If you are not a fan of iOS and Apple but prefer an Android smartphone, I recommend Nothing Phone (1) as the best phone under $400 in the United States of America, if you can get your hands on one through the Nothing USA beta program. Outside of the USA, it costs more than our benchmark and so does not qualify. In those other countries, the Motorola Moto Edge 2022 and Samsung Galaxy A53 5G are your options for the best phone under $400. They are both 5G phones and offer similar features and specs. However, the Samsung is more widely available, and you will get better software support, in terms of updates, as well.

Samsung Galaxy A53
If you want an Android smartphone, Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the overall best phone under $400 outside of the USA.

All of the above smartphones are available from your network carrier or operator, or from independent stores and retailers. For those on a budget, these are the best phones under $400 that you can buy in 2023. Happy shopping.

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By Mister Mobility

I have been tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones since my first in 2001.

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