Great Low-Priced Smartphones
These phones deliver very good performance—even without the very latest cameras and processors—for $600 or less
Looking for a good phone at a reasonable price? Though the cost of premium options continues to rise—now topping $1,000—that doesn’t mean you have to empty your savings account to get what you want.
There are plenty of phones on the market today that are more affordable—think $600 or less—and offer features users have come to expect. A number of great models are listed lower down. They might not have the fanciest cameras or the fastest processors, but for a lot of people, they make excellent choices.
Here are some tips for finding a great low-priced smartphone.
Buy an older model. Richard Fisco, Consumer Reports’ head of electronics testing, says that there’s often little difference in technology between today’s phones and those introduced in previous product cycles. And buying last year’s model can yield significant savings.
Case in point: The iPhone 12, which cost $830 when it came out in 2020, can now be had for $700. Go back a year and the iPhone 11, which cost $700 when it came out in 2019, can be purchased for even less: $500. Both are still great choices for many consumers.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since it first appeared in the January 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.