Poll: Best Android Budget Phones for 2018 (Under $250)

Moderators at OzBargain have decided to run yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. The polls will end once the year is over.


Question

What is your favourite Budget Android Smartphone for the year 2018?
(under $250)

Once again we'll discuss options and recommendations for smartphones in the budget category. Last year, the winners of the poll were

  1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4x
  2. Sony Xperia XA
  3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

To make the number of choices more manageable, we’ve split the questions into three separate polls — one for each price bracket and tier (consisting of "Budget", "Mid-end" and "Flagship"). Also we recognise some devices may not strictly belong in a certain category because phone prices continually change throughout the year and might exist in more than 1 poll.

Tips:
Found a phone you liked? You can click on the 'Related Products' section to view current or active deals, and see forum discussions related to it.

  • Don't see a phone that you like in the poll options? Make a (sensible) suggestion and we'll add it to the list.
  • You are allowed to change your vote.

How to Suggest a Poll option? Simply type into the textbox above your Comment box and then submit your comment.

Image.

Poll Options

Comments

  • +2 votes

    My first suggestion is the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus which slots in the $240 AUD price point.

    This is a very attractive device with a 5.99 inch 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio display that's protected by Gorilla Glass.

    The specifications are pretty good for the price

    Snapdragon 625 (Corrected by user below), 4 gigs of RAM, a large 4000mah battery, a generous 64 GB of storage with SD card expansion slot, a Camera that can record 2160p video @ 30fps, plus FM radio and a fingerprint scanner.

    There is a lower end variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

  • +3 votes

    I'll suggest Xiaomi Mi A1. Around the AU $240 mark.

    Perfect combination of good value Xiaomi hardware and clean Android One with guaranteed updates (and no MiUI compromise). 4GB RAM, Snapdragon 625, upgradable to Android Oreo, 32GB/64GB Storage, 3080mAh battery. No Band 28 (good for Kogan Mobile customers) and NFC however.

  •  

    Sounds like another fantastic Mi phone for the price but I'm personally not a fan of the 18:9 ratio displays. I think they're a solution in search for a problem, at least it's not a problem that I have.

    What about a 16:9 phone recommendation?

    • +1 vote

      Try the older "Redmi Note" series from the previous 2 years, they are 1080 x 1920 devices. But otherwise, Mi A1 if you want a smaller device and not a phablet.

      •  

        Yes, I've recommended the Redmi Note 4X (last year's darling) to a couple of people. Great phone, but to my great surprise both have reported had dismal battery life?! So much for the 4000 mAh battery…

        • +1 vote

          Usually because of background running applications, best to look at what apps are calling what functions of the phone and preventing the phone from properly entering power saving state.

        •  

          @scrimshaw: They're both very basic Android users and there's no good reason this massive battery should last less than a day with normal use.

    •  

      18:9 because everyone's trying to get more usable space without making a phone that's too big for your hand

      •  

        I think "everyone" is a bit of a stretch :-) Yes, this is the line that the manufacturers are feeding us, trying to get us to replace our perfectly fine 1 year old phones :-)

        Personally, I can't think of any use cases that would justify the screen ratio that's still unsupported by many apps and most media formats.

  • +1 vote

    another vote for mi a1

  •  

    With headphone jacks becoming optional - do either of the Xiaomi phones mentioned above have a headphone jack?

    • +1 vote

      Low end and cheaper phones usually have a headphone jack. Mi A1 and all the Redmi's so far all have headphones jacks

      Ironically, the most expensive ones are the least likely to have a 3.5mm port.

    •  

      I think Xiaomi will keep the headphone jack for their budget models. They already started removing the headphone jack from their flagship ones.

  •  

    I'd suggest ASUS ZenFone 3. It support LTE B28, which is rare for budget phone. The camera is quite good and comes with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Thou, it lacks NFC support.

  •  

    I suggest adding Sharp Z2 as per this deal. https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/363730. Way under $250 but well specced plus Band 28, but no NFC.

  • +1 vote

    Added. Remember you need to type your suggestion into the Suggestion box. It appears right on top of the comment box.

    •  

      Tried, but could not type in there? Box is just showing as a picture in Microsoft Edge, not editable box. Try it yourself on Edge.

  •  

    Also what about Moto G5 Plus, has been close to $250 in recent deals. Has both Band 28 and NFC. That would be my pick easily!

  • +2 votes

    Moto G5 added. You can still buy it for under $175 from eGlobal

    G5s Plus still above the $250 mark, and will belong in the mid end category.

  •  

    Huawei Honor 7X is also thrown around as a great budget phone. It def looks more like a flagship phone.

  •  

    What is the smallest, thinnest phone with NFC (cheap is good too)? Thinking about making it a fancy AIO NFC card for combo opal, android pay, reward cards etc.

  •  

    Can be had for $230 with 18:9 screen, Snapdragon 636 and 3GB of ram

  • +3 votes

    Sharp Aquos S2
    NFC
    Android 7.1.1
    SD630
    3020 mAH battery
    Band 28 and Band 5
    F1.75 dual camera
    5.5 inch IGZO screen in a 5 inch body
    140g and easy to use one handed
    unlockable bootloader
    no amoled PWM
    still available for ~$210
    https://www.joybuy.com/600119607.html

    •  

      But no 3.5 mm headphone jack, so it's a big pass from me and a lot of people.

      EDIT: just wanna say it's still a great phone, but most people aren't interested because of the headphone jack. Could've topped off most of the phones on the poll if it had the 3.5 mm headphone jack (and because it has NFC and Band 28, especially for a phone under $250).

  •  

    I left out the suggestion box above

  •  

    I received a Sharp Aquos S2 a few days ago and it smashes the A1 for best budget device IMO.

    First up it has Band 28 and NFC (maybe A1 does have NFC? do not recall. It does not have B28).

    Secondly the screen is an IGZO panel which needs to be seen - it is very, very good - with very little bezel except at the bottom.

    Third I paid $211 which is $40 bucks less than A1.

    Caveat: if you want Google Play you will need to download an update from Sharps site and install it on the phone using the update app. It's easy.

    •  

      But isnt the software questionable and the replacement ROM installation complex and flaky?

  • +1 vote

    I'm waiting for the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) to come out in australia. It looks pretty promising.

  •  
    Merged from Please Recommend Me Mobile Phone under $200?

    My current mobile phone (Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime) has broken screen and I need a new one. I want to purchase a new one with similar price range ($150) but it seems like the most recommended cheap xiaomi phone is in the range of $200ish.

    • +1 vote

      I have the Xiaomi Mi A1 it's been on sale for $200.
      It has Gorrila glass and I've dropped it several times with a tempered glass and the screen is perfectly fine.
      it's a magnificent phone, it really is excellent value for money.

      •  

        Thanks. Yeah I have been thinking about mi ai. The cheapest I could get is $205. How is it compared to cheap redmi such as 4a and 5a?

        •  

          I haven't used those phones but looking at the specs:
          Things going for the A1:
          Screen 5.5in vs 5.0in.
          Full HD screen vs HD.
          Has ac wifi.
          Gorilla glass 3.
          Faster processor and graphics, will only really make a difference to gaming.
          Camera has a better image sensor.

          A1 battery 3080mah.
          5a battery 3000mah.
          4a battery 3120mah.

          The A1 also has a split app view, which is really great at times being able to multitask like that.
          My main reason in buying the A1 was for the Gorilla glass, which along with a tempered glass gives it good protection incase it's dropped.
          I plane on replacing my A1's battery when the time comes, and to keep on using it until it doesn't turn on.
          I've really gotten used to the screens 5.5 inch size, it's now the minimum size I would consider using, and my next phone will probably be a Xiaomi Mi Max.
          If I could have any phone I wanted it would be a Xiaomi Mi Mix, it's a beautiful phone but I don't need that performance lol.

    •  

      The Redmi S2 looks pretty good, and in stock. Smack bang on $200, instock and includes DHL shipping.
      https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Global-Version-Xiaomi-Redmi-...

      Snapdragon 625, dual rear cameras + 16mp selfie camera, 3080mAh battery, 5.99" display, 32GB/3GB

    • +3 votes

      Sharp Aquos S2

      Same spec as Xiaomi A1 except:

      IGZO screen
      NFC
      Band 28

      $217 https://www.joybuy.com/600119602.html

      If you want Google Play you must go to linked Sharp update site, download an update, copy to phone or SDcard root directory and run the update app on the phone.

    • -2 votes

      Second hand Lumia 950 XL

  •  

    How about for smaller phones, 5-5.2 inch? I've been looking at the Honor 6A, looks solid, any better suggestions?

  •  

    Anyone know the cheapest phone that can pretty much just watch youtube and make calls?

    I've been looking at the Motorola Moto G5 XT1676 16GB Dual sim standby from eglobal, would this be good?

  •  

    so I've just researched the mi a1,apparently there's hissing sound problem in the earphone. Why is it the most voted here?

  •  
    Merged from Budget 4G phone options

    Are there any budget phone options other than this one?

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/385753

    Seems to be AUD $227 according to the website itself. No special requirements, just needs to have a camera, 4G support and regular smart phone capabilities.

  •  

    Huawei Y7 can be bought for $200-ish and is a great phone.

  •  

    Very happy with my Mi A1.

  •  

    Comes with Android O at less than $250, pretty nifty little phone.

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