The Top Inexpensive Smartphones Available In The UK For 2023

Aren’t contemporary cellphones great? Compared to the large handsets of the past, it’s like carrying a mini-supercomputer in your pocket. Overall, technology has improved yearly and — critically — become much more affordable. You are no longer required to pay hefty cash amounts for your yearly upgrade. There are several excellent inexpensive smartphones available if you divert your attention from the typical smartphone flagship heavyweights.
Certainly, flagships that make headlines like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 4, and iPhone 14 Pro are fantastic, but you no longer need to spend top cash for an excellent smartphone experience. Want to learn more? That’s where we come in. These are the best low-cost cellphones available.
With the best coverage in the UK, Expert Reviews tests hundreds of cellphones every year so you don’t have to. So, we can confidently advise you on the best low-cost smartphone for your needs. Take a look below and you’ll spot our regularly curated list of the best budget smartphones you can buy, as well as a helpful budget smartphone buying guide.

How to pick the ideal inexpensive smartphone for you

It’s not simple to choose the ideal low-cost phone, and there are many things to take into account before making a decision. Make sure you have everything covered before proceeding to the register. We’ve highlighted the key factors you need to consider to help you make your selection.

Should I get a SIM-free or contract phone?

With costs starting at around £100, budget smartphones are, as one might think, less expensive to purchase outright than other cellphones. Hence, if you have the money, we advise purchasing one SIM-free. When you’re ready to upgrade, you may sell your phone and locate the best SIM-only deal from any network. If you don’t have the money, you’ll have to buy a phone on a contract, but these are usually not the best deals for cheap phones because you end up spending considerably more after the contract expires.

Which mobile operating system do I require?

When it comes to mobile operating systems, cheap phones don’t have many options. Every low-cost smartphone, with the exception of one, runs Android, Google’s operating system. But rest assured: Whether you’re a new user or an experienced mobile user, Android is simple to use. Just make sure what version of Android is installed on the phone, as older versions may no longer receive regular security upgrades and may be missing key functionality.
There is only one option if iOS is more your style. Although the Apple iPhone 8 may be beginning to age, it is still available and is still a fantastic low-cost Apple gadget.

How much storage do I need?

It’s remarkable how much space apps, games, and photos can take up on a phone. You should seek for phones with at least 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot so you can easily add more space when your internal storage inevitably runs out.

Top Cheap Smartphones to Buy in 2023

1. The best low-cost phone is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

With the first few of its low-cost devices to go on sale in the UK, Xiaomi struck gold, and its newest smartphone is no exception. With improvements across the board, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is an even more enticing option than ever before. It is far, much better than it has any right to be for a phone that costs this little.

Undoubtedly, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is the smartphone we’d advise over all other budget-friendly choices on the market. In our tests, the Snapdragon 680 CPU inside Xiaomi’s newest low-cost phone produced speeds that were readily comparable to those of devices costing twice as much. The huge 6.43in FHD+ AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate is also a treat, as is the triple camera array, which includes a sizable 50MP sensor.
These kinds of high-end specifications are typically seen in flagship phones, so it’s a real treat to find them on a phone that costs much less. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is the epitome of a low-cost smartphone, establishing the standard for future low-cost devices. You can’t get much better than this at this pricing.

2. Nokia C21 Plus: The most cheap low-cost smartphone

The Nokia C21 Plus is much better than its low pricing would imply, despite the fact that a £100 smartphone used to have negative associations. The Nokia C21 Plus surpasses all expectations for a phone this cheap because to its specifically modified version of Android that is optimized for low-powered smartphones. It only has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, but despite this, it works surprisingly smoothly and has a bright IPS display and a camera that isn’t half terrible for the price.

The battery life lasted long enough in our tests, and its durable construction materials and small size should help it stand the test of time. Even while the Nokia C21 Plus falls short in terms of processing speed and there are more better options available if your budget can go over £100, it is the clear winner in terms of price.

3. The cheapest iPhone is the Apple iPhone 8 (renewed).

The iPhone 8 isn’t Apple’s most recent iPhone, but it’s still a solid choice. If the new iPhone SE (£419) is beyond of your price range, the iPhone 8, which was released in 2017, will still work well for you as long as you don’t mind purchasing a refreshed model.
The 4.7-inch Retina display and build quality of the iPhone 8 are still in excellent condition. Similar to the A15 Bionic chipset in the newest iPhone 13, the A11 Bionic CPU is still more than capable of handling a variety of demanding activities. If you were concerned that you would not be using the most recent version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 15, the iPhone 8 also supports it.

4. Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G: Unbelievable value

The Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G is yet another incredibly affordable Xiaomi device. The Poco X4 Pro delivers amazing value for money, especially if you reside in a 5G area, with specifications more in line with smartphones that cost double as much.

You can obtain a smartphone with a surprisingly quick Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 CPU, a big 120HZ Full HD display, and a ton of internal storage for a reasonable price. The 108MP camera, which is essentially unheard of in phones at this budget, and the lightning-quick 67W fast charging are also significant pluses. There isn’t much else you would want at this price, especially considering that this is one of the most affordable smartphones in the UK that can connect to the 5G network.

5. The best-value (new) iPhone is the Apple iPhone SE 3

The iPhone SE 3 might be stretching the definition of a budget smartphone, but Apple’s idea of what constitutes cheap isn’t exactly the same as everyone else’s. The iPhone SE is your best bargain option if you want a new iPhone because the upgraded iPhone 8 above is a few years old.
The iPhone SE 3 is a powerful small-sized cellphone that benefits from Apple’s fastest-ever mobile chipset, the A15 Bionic, yet having the appearance and feel of a phone from the past. The iPhone 13, which costs more than twice as much, uses the same processor. The iPhone SE’s 12MP camera is not just the best iPhone camera by a long shot, but it is also the cheapest. The iPhone SE 3 (2022) is a great option if you can pay twice as much as other phones on this list. The main drawback is the iPhone SE 3’s low battery life.

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