Best Budget Smartphone (Under $300) in 2019

Moderators at OzBargain are now running 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. For more information on how these polls work, or if you want to suggest a new poll that isn't covered already, please refer to our announcement thread here.


Question

What is the best budget smartphone under $300 in 2019?

Once again we'll discuss options and recommendations for smartphones in the budget category. Last year, the clear winner of the poll was the value-oriented Xiaomi Mi A1. It'll be interesting to see what is trending this year in 2019. Place your votes or suggest a product by commenting below.

Remember: You can change your votes at anytime, and suggest more than 1 product over the course of the poll.

How do I suggest products to What Should I Buy polls?

If you have a product that you would like to suggest for the poll (that is currently not in the Poll Options), you'll need to make a top-level comment (i.e. not replying someone else's comment) and fill up "Suggestions" text box just above your comment:

Suggestion box

Do try to make a sensible suggestion (e.g make sure the phone is still available to purchase) and include a brief argument as to why you would recommend the product. You can only suggest 1 product at a time.

Poll Options Wed, 01/01/2020 - 00:00

Comments

  • +5 votes

    How do you define 'best' tho? In terms of specs, nothing comes close to Xiaomi budget phones, but a large amount of buyers dont buy phones because of specs.

    • +3 votes

      but a large amount of buyers dont buy phones because of specs.

      They're called Apple fanboys!

    •  

      Yep, I think in a couple of months' time this list will look quite different as phones like the Redmi Note 7 drop into and become available in the sub-300 price bracket (could probably snag an alixepress or eBay coupon deal that would get you one under that now). That thing is subjectively better than most of these phones but not for all mostly due to lack of B28 (not a huge deal if you're already compromising on performance) and no Australian release I guess.

      •  

        Aliexpress: just cancelled my Umidigi F1 phone because the Chinese seller took my $308 and then that's the last I heard for a month. After a month and no answers to my questions about when they will ship, I cancelled. Got an email that said "sorry you cancelled. We will credit your credit card in 15 days". Buyer beware!

        EBay? Check the phone network specs for these grey imports (if they are actually listed, which is rare). Almost all of them lack B28, which means they are not suitable for Australia, especially rural Australia.

  • -2 votes

    Second hand s8 for roughly $300

  •  

    Can I assume that all those phones have B28 and NFC? Checking Oppo a3s- no. Any of them got B28 and NFC?

    • +1 vote

      Xiaomi 'Redmi' phones generally lack NFC, since in China they don't really use it much but mostly rely on QR codes that are read by cameras. You will only see them on pricier 'Mi' models.

      You can search the phone models on GSM arena for specifications.

    •  

      No, most lack B28. Or instead, they have B28 in /some/ version of the phone, but the sellers invariably put the specs for /all/ models in their listings (copy-paste from manufacturer's sites). Useless

    •  

      Can you enlighten me please, what's the significance of B28

    •  

      Can you enlighten me please, what's the significance of B28

  • +1 vote

    Redmi 7 coming out on March 18.
    Features a 6.2-inch HD+ LCD display, a Snapdragon 632, up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 64 GB of storage, a 3900 mAh battery, a 12 MP + 5 MP dual rear camera setup, and an 8 MP selfie shooter. Prices are expected to start around US$135.

    •  

      Band 28?

      •  

        In some markets only. Good luck guessing if the phone you buy has B28. The listings often don't make it clear.

        That's why I am shying away from aliexpress and eBay as sources. Also, many sellers (e.g. qa_au) actually sell refurbed phones as new. Most people are fooled.

  • +4 votes

    I suggest the Asus Max Pro M1 (I have the HK Variant). I'm using it right now and it's pretty much a Redmi Note 5 but with a 5000mAh battery, Band 28 and NFC (just minus Wifi 5ghz[if that's important for you]). It is also well support with custom roms hence I'm running Pie right now.

  •  

    Telstra Essential Plus for free. Best only because it is free. The mobile itself is an entry-level rubbish.

    •  

      It lags as hell but is still usable for basic tasks.

    •  

      what is the link or where can you get it?

      might be cool to have as a data hotspot mobile or if it cant do that as a receive calls and texts only mobile

      •  

        Use the search box. The deal was auto expired after 90 days but it still worked last week. It works as a mobile hotspot.

  •  

    Some private sellers on eBay are selling brand new in sealed box HTC U11 for under $300. You can even use the 10% off code to reduce the price further.

  •  

    Motorola??… Wh-wh-why?! I only had bad experiences with Motorola in the past.

  • +3 votes

    Can anything else offer all this for $206? NFC, B28, USB-C, 6" FHD+ SDM630 4GB + 64GB Dual Sim Oreo8.0.
    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/448193

  •  

    AU$290 UMIDIGI F1 Play 6GB/64GB - 6.3", NFC, USB-C, dual-SIM Pie9.0. Just sneaks under $300 if buy on special at DX that doesn't charge GST:
    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/449822

  •  

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 3GB/32GB is available from many ebay sellers under 300$. The 4GB/64GB is north of 325$ though.

  • +4 votes

    Ebay budget, under $160 delivered: Asus Zenfone 4, SD630, AU$135+GST (3Gb/32Gb) version. Band 28 and NFC. Updates to Oreo 8.0, latest security patch 01.03.19. DHL delivery from Taiwan in 3-5 days. Sealed box. Seems a quality device so far. Seller: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ASUS-ZenFone-4-ZE554KL-3GB-32GB-...

  •  

    Motorola Z2 Force
    * Band 28 *
    NFC
    Snapdragon SD835 CPU, high res AMOLED screen, light weight 143g, Android 8.0, and currently USD $190 at coolicool, just scrape in under $300 after GST added
    https://www.coolicool.com//motorola-moto-z2-force-xt1789-05-...

  •  

    Get the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Not The Lite)

  •  

    What are people’s thoughts on the Samsung A20 . ?

  •  

    Nice to find this thread, been considering a new phone for while.

    Save from searching the specs for each phone in the above list, does anyone know if the are any phones around $200-$300 with a screen size around 4.7-5inch??

    I have an iphone 5s with a 4inch screen which still gets the job done but is getting a little long in the tooth. Before that I had a OnePlus One with a 5.5inch screen. After using both extremes in screen size I would like something in between… A slimmer bezel would be nice too.

    Cheers

  • +1 vote

    Huawei y5 2018… $99 at coles woolies

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