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The Best Smartphones for Less Than 160 Euros

July 2021 update. Looking for a great affordable smartphone? Below, you will find the best smartphones reviewed by us that cost less than 200 Euros, or around $240. Entry-level smartphones will require quite a few compromises from their users but are more often than not more than sufficient for simple tasks and perfectly adequate at running simple applications.
Mike Wobker (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 🇩🇪 🇪🇸 ...

The flagship smartphones from the established manufacturers always get the most attention. However, not everyone is willing to pay 500 Euros or more. Many people are actually looking for suitable smartphones in the inexpensive entry-level segment, and the price is obviously one major factor. There is no doubt that on paper the specifications reveal significant differences compared to the super smartphones, especially in terms of performance, display and picture quality of the integrated cameras. However, this does not mean that you cannot be happy with an inexpensive smartphone if you have moderate expectations. We list the best smartphones with a current street price of less than 200 Euros that have been reviewed by Notebookcheck over the last 12 months (assuming the device is still available). The following rankings might be interesting as well:

The Best Cheap Smartphones

Position
Total Rating
Date
Image
Model
Height
Weight
Screen-Body
Ratio
Size
Resolution
OS
184 %
10/2020
New!
Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5GXiaomi Redmi 10X 5G
MediaTek Dimensity 820
ARM Mali-G57 MP5
8 GB Memory, 128 GB UFS 2.1
8.99 mm208 g83.5 %6.57"2400x1080Android 10
280 %
11/2020
New!
realme 7realme 7
Mediatek Helio G95
ARM Mali-G76 MP4
8 GB Memory, 128 GB UFS 2.1
9.4 mm196.5 g84 %6.50"2400x1080Android 10
380 %
09/2020
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Mediatek Helio G85
ARM Mali-G52 MP2
3 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
8.9 mm199 g83.5 %6.53"2340x1080Android 10
480 %
09/2020
New!
Samsung Galaxy M21Samsung Galaxy M21
Samsung Exynos 9611
ARM Mali-G72 MP3
4 GB Memory, 64 GB UFS 2.1
8.9 mm188 g84.2 %6.40"2340x1080Android 10
579 %
01/2021
New!
Gigaset GS4Gigaset GS4
Mediatek Helio P70
ARM Mali-G72 MP3
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
9.8 mm206 g83 %6.30"2340x1080Android 10
679 %
11/2020
ZTE Blade V2020ZTE Blade V2020
Mediatek Helio P70
ARM Mali-G72 MP3
4 GB Memory, 128 GB eMMC
8.8 mm185 g84 %6.53"2340x1080Android 10
778 %
01/2021
Xiaomi Poco M3Xiaomi Poco M3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
Qualcomm Adreno 610
4 GB Memory, 128 GB UFS 2.1
9.6 mm198 g83 %6.53"2340x1080Android 10
878 %
01/2021
New!
Wiko View5 PlusWiko View5 Plus
Mediatek Helio P35 MT6765
PowerVR GE8320
4 GB Memory, 128 GB eMMC
9.3 mm201 g81 %6.55"1600x720Android 10
978 %
11/2020
Huawei P Smart 2021Huawei P Smart 2021
HiSilicon Kirin 710A
ARM Mali-G51 MP4
4 GB Memory, 128 GB eMMC
9.26 mm206 g84 %6.67"2400x1080Android 10
1078 %
10/2020
Motorola Moto G9 PlayMotorola Moto G9 Play
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
Qualcomm Adreno 610
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
9.2 mm200 g82 %6.50"1600x720Android 10

The table above contains an overview over the best smartphones for less than 160 Euros reviewed by Notebookcheck over the course of the past 12 months as well as still relevant and available older products. In cases of identical score the more recent device is listed first. All prices in above table and price comparisons are updated daily and can thus differ.
Link: all devices in this class reviewed

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Editors' Comments

This month we decided to increase the threshold from 160 to 200 Euros, or around $240, resulting in a plethora of new entries. Thanks to dropping prices we welcome the Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G, the realme 7, the Samsungs Galaxy M21, the Gigaset GS4, and Wiko's View5 Plus.

1st – Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G

Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G
Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G

The Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G is a mid-range smartphone that has dropped to entry-level price brackets. Its processor offers a very good everyday performance, and with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage it should be well enough equipped for most apps and data. Alternatively, the Redmi 10X 5G can also be purchased with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space.

The Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G offers plenty of performance, fast storage, and fast Wi-Fi.

In addition to its high level of system performance it also offers a great 6.57-inch OLED panel, fast Wi-Fi, a fingerprint reader, a long battery life, a microSD card reader, and even a 3.5-inch headphone jack. Thanks to its high build quality it can easily keep up with much more expensive devices.

Xiaomi smartphones are not officially sold in North America.

Pricecompare

2nd – realme 7

realme 7
realme 7

The realme 7 features a 6.5-inch display running at 90 Hz and a resolution of 2400 x 1080. Its Helio G95 paired with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of microSD-expandable storage ensure decent performance. It also features a headphone jack, fast Wi-Fi 5, and long battery life thanks to its ginormous battery.

The realme 7 offers long battery life and a decent level of performance.

Its main camera features a 48 MP sensor and is supported by an ultra wide-angle as well as a macro lens. In our test we noted a relatively low contrast ratio for the display with a simultaneously very high brightness. Unlike the even cheaper realme 7i the realme 7 supports NFC.

The realme 7 is available among others on Amazon

Pricecompare

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3rd – Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

According to Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 9 is all the smartphone you will need, and after reviewing it thoroughly we can second that statement. Its processor manages to run the OS smoothly with just 3 GB of RAM. Its 64 GB of internal storage are expandable via microSD card, which does not hamper its DualSIM capabilities to boot.

Design, build quality, and performance at a low price make the Redmi Note 9 an excellent choice.

Its 6.53-inch bright high-contrast display runs in FHD resolution. The device features a fast Wi-Fi chip, a 3.5-mm headphone jack, and a fingerprint reader. Its large battery ensures long battery life, which renders the Redmi Note 9 an ideal contender for the affordable smartphone crown. Should you require more storage you can also opt for the second SKU with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.

Xiaomi smartphones are not officially sold in North America and have to be imported individually.

Pricecompare

4th – Samsung Galaxy M21

Samsung Galaxy M21
Samsung Galaxy M21

With its relatively low price the Samsung Galaxy M21 may not offer exceptional hardware or unique features but instead a solid and robust basis. Its colorful AMOLED display runs in FHD resolution, and its large battery ensures a very long battery life. Location services worked reliably as well.

The Samsung Galaxy M21 is a solid and affordable mid-range smartphone with great display and long battery life.

Camera quality is alright considering its low price, and the M21 managed to take decent snapshots. It also comes with a 3.5-mm headphone jack, DualSIM LTE, a memory card reader, and NFC.


Since the Galaxy M21 is not officially sold in North America you can have to purchase the unlocked international version, which sells among others through Amazon for around $270.

Pricecompare

5th – Gigaset GS4

Gigaset GS4
Gigaset GS4

If you are looking for a simple everyday smartphone the Gigaset GS4 may just be what you are after. This German smartphone supports wireless charging and offers a long battery life, a user-replaceable battery, a default warranty of 24 months, and free repairs for all damage and water damage within 3 months of purchase.

The Gigaset GS4 is a very usable and sustainable everyday smartphone.

Its camera offers a solid compromise allowing for decent photos. It also supports NFC, a memory card reader, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Combined with its colorful 6.3-inch display this smartphone offers a decent overall package.

The Gigaset GS4 is not available in North America.

Pricecompare

6th – ZTE Blade V2020

ZTE Blade V2020
ZTE Blade V2020

With its 6.53-inch large display the ZTE Blade V2020 offers a bright high-contrast window to the outside world. Thanks to its MediaTek SoC and 4 GB of RAM it is capable of running the OS smoothly, and a total of 128 GB of microSD expandable storage space are available for storing apps and data.

Price and performance of ZTE’s Blade V2020 are excellent.

In addition to good battery life, Wi-Fi 5, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack the device also features NFC, a fingerprint reader, and face recognition for biometric unlocking. The camera is good enough for occasional snapshots.

ZTE smartphones are not officially sold in North America. A few select imported devices are available on eBay.

Pricecompare

3rd – Xiaomi Poco M3

Xiaomi Poco M3
Xiaomi Poco M3

The Poco M3 features a 6.53-inch large IPS display running at a native resolution of 2340 x 1080. It is powered by a solid and adequately fast Qualcomm mid-range SoC with access to 4 GB of RAM. The lower-tier model comes with 64 GB of UFS 2.1 storage, the higher-tier with 128 GB of UFS 2.2 storage. Both models can be further expanded via microSD. Other features include an IR blaster, an FM radio tuner, and last but not least a headphone jack.

In our review, its 6,000 mAh battery made for great battery life, and we found no major issues with the M3. With that said its camera was not perfect and the display was as good or bad as expected of its class. The device also lacks support for NFC.

Pricecompare

8th – Wiko View5 Plus

Wiko View5 Plus
Wiko View5 Plus

The Wiko View5 Plus offers a smooth system performance thanks to 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage for apps and data. Its panel is very bright, which is particularly useful on bright days to ensure better outdoor readability.

The Wiko View5 Plus is a good entry-level smartphone with extremely long battery life.

Other features include a memory card reader and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. It may not offer NFC but its battery life is excellent and its camera is decent for its price range.

The Wiko View5 Plus is not available in North America.

Pricecompare

9th – Huawei P Smart 2021

Huawei P Smart 2021
Huawei P Smart 2021

Huawei’s P Smart 2021 is capable of running everyday tasks and applications smoothly without any issues. It has access to 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Its 6.67-inch display is flicker-free and runs at a high resolution. Biometric unlocking is supported via the fingerprint reader integrated into the power button as well as face detection.

Huawei’s P Smart 2021 offers solid features, a good build quality, a decent IPS panel, and acceptable battery life.

In addition to Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.1 it also supports LTE connectivity on both SIM cards as well as microSD cards for storage expansion. Battery life is decent and quick charging is supported. Given that the P Smart 2021 comes without Google services you have access to Huawei’s App Gallery to install additional apps.

Huawei smartphones are not officially sold in North America.

Pricecompare

10th – Motorola Moto G9 Play

Motorola Moto G9 Play
Motorola Moto G9 Play

The Motorola Moto G9 Play features long battery life and a good overall system performance. Its Qualcomm SoC has access to 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of microSD-expandable storage. It can also take two SIM cards.

The Motorola Moto G9 Play is a well-made affordable smartphone that offers decent performance and a long battery life.

Its 6.5-inch display runs in HD resolution and offers a high contrast as well as a flicker-free image. Camera quality is good enough for occasional snapshots, and its speakers performed admirably overall. NFC is also included.

Since the phone isn’t officially sold in the US you can obtain the international unlocked version on Amazon for $160. Keep in mind that it only supports GSM networks and will not work on Sprint and Verizon.

Pricecompare

Best Budget Smartphones in Comparison

Size Comparison

165.95 mm / 6.53 inch 76.84 mm / 3.03 inch 9.3 mm / 0.3661 inch 201 g0.4431 lbs165.65 mm / 6.52 inch 76.88 mm / 3.03 inch 9.26 mm / 0.3646 inch 206 g0.4542 lbs165.2 mm / 6.5 inch 75.7 mm / 2.98 inch 9.2 mm / 0.3622 inch 200 g0.4409 lbs164.2 mm / 6.46 inch 75.8 mm / 2.98 inch 8.99 mm / 0.3539 inch 208 g0.4586 lbs162.3 mm / 6.39 inch 77.3 mm / 3.04 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 198 g0.4365 lbs162.3 mm / 6.39 inch 75.4 mm / 2.97 inch 9.4 mm / 0.3701 inch 196.5 g0.4332 lbs162.7 mm / 6.41 inch 76.3 mm / 3 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 185 g0.4079 lbs162.3 mm / 6.39 inch 77.2 mm / 3.04 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 199 g0.4387 lbs159 mm / 6.26 inch 75.1 mm / 2.96 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 188 g0.4145 lbs157 mm / 6.18 inch 75 mm / 2.95 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 206 g0.4542 lbs
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Mike Wobker (Update: 2021-07- 7)