WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A BUDGET SMARTPHONE.
Better budget phones will be running Android 7, if not 7.1.
A higher-resolution screen (especially phones over 5.5 inches) will look a lot sharper, but also use more battery power.
5-inch phones are now very common, and 4.5-inch is a ‘small’ phone, while 5.5-inch is ‘large’ — though there is still variation in size depending on bezel thickness. One phone here is a whopping 6-incher.
Typically, a bit under half of the storage (for 16GB) is used by the OS, so look for models with expandable storage via micro SD.
Most affordable phones use 802.11n Wi-Fi, which is fast enough for normal use, but 2.4GHz only, while better models support 802.11ac.
Many budget-orientated phones still handle the latest 4G networks, which gives much faster data speeds when out and about.
All the phones tested include a flash, and while higher MP rating is a good sign, phones in this range generally won’t take high-end pics.
In this range, a bigger battery does not equate to more life. Instead, look for how the phone uses its hardware to give you all-day performance, which we’ve detailed.