Upsie’s Guide to the Top Budget Android Phones of 2020

One of the best aspects of being in the Android ecosystem is the access you gain to impressive, yet affordable, devices. While the flagship manufacturers continue to crank out high-end models at eye-popping prices, there are plenty of impressive budget devices to be found.
A few years ago, many budget Android phones were underwhelming, to put it mildly. But this has changed in recent years. As the flagship models have gotten ever more impressive, more and more of those features are trickling down to the budget tier.

Android Beats Apple in the Budget Phone Category

First things first: if you’re committed to the budget tier for your smartphone purchase, your money will go a lot further in the Android world than in the Apple iPhone world. Yes, Apple just updated its “budget” iPhone SE, and it’s a capable device. But it starts at $399, and it’s much smaller and features much weaker screen technology than many of the Android handsets reviewed below.
You’ll notice that none of the absolute cheapest Android handsets available in 2020 make the list below. It’s still possible to make an Android phone that’s too cheaply made to be worth the money, and we’ve excluded these. The top budget phones below certainly all make some trade-offs to achieve their impressive budget prices. However, they are all capable handsets offering sometimes much more than you’d expect for the money. (For a deeper dive on what sorts of trade-offs manufacturers make to do this, check out this guide from 9to5Google.)
Let’s jump into Upsie’s top budget Android recommendations for 2020.

Samsung Galaxy A11

Samsung has several phones in its new A series that fit in the budget tier, as well as some in the next tier up (upper budget or midrange). The A11 is the lowest specced device in the lineup, but it’s still impressive for a sub-$200 smartphone. For your money, you get a 6.4-inch screen and a 13-megapixel camera (with three lenses). 32 GB of storage isn’t generous, but at this price, we can’t complain. You’ll also enjoy Samsung’s “no notch, no bezel” experience.

Samsung Galaxy A21

A step up from the previous model, the Galaxy A21 features a 6.5-inch screen and a 16-megapixel quad-camera array. That’s a lot of screen and camera real estate on a budget phone! It’s otherwise quite similar to the previous model. If the size or camera upgrades are worth the cost difference to you, it’s an easy call. This phone still does come in at under $200.

Samsung Galaxy A50

The Galaxy A50 steps up considerably in terms of quality, with a 6.4-inch super AMOLED display. Super AMOLED means you’ll get bright, crisp colors and generally a fantastic viewing experience for under $350.

Moto G Power

The Moto G Power has an insanely huge battery, one that can get you through 2 or 3 days of use without recharging. That’s notable in a world of phones that hardly last the day. Here too you get a gorgeous 6.4-inch display, three cameras, and 4GB of RAM. All for just a little more than $200.

Nokia 5.3

The Nokia 5.3 has a nondescript name, but it’s pretty impressive – and sub $200, to boot. It too has an oversized battery that should get you through 2 days on a single charge. With similar internals to the Moto G Power, it’s a capable device. Add in 4 cameras, NFC, and USB-C charging, and the Nokia 5.3 is a compelling option.

Moto E (2020)

If $200 is too pricey for you, our top ultra-budget pick is the 2020 Moto E. It’s impressive in its price category, but you’ll notice the cheap plastic, slower processor and the paltry 2GB of ram.

Protect Budget Android Phones with Extended Warranties

Just about anywhere you go to buy your budget Android phone, chances are you’ll be offered an extended smartphone insurance plan when you check out. But big-box retailers don’t tend to offer very competitive deals on these warranties, and when you’re buying a budget phone, the cost of the warranty can come close to the cost of the phone!
There’s a better way. Smartphone extended warranties from Upsie scale in price based on the purchase price of your device. This means that Upsie has an appropriately priced budget warranty plan that’s just right for your budget phone.
And Upsie doesn’t skimp on protection either: all smartphone warranties include accidental damage protection, plus protection for just about anything that can go wrong with a phone. Upsie will even replace your phone entirely if it can’t be repaired!
If you’ve recently purchased a new or used budget Android smartphone, don’t get left hanging when something goes wrong. Get an Upsie extended smartphone warranty today so you can breathe easy, whatever happens!

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.