Nowadays, you can have one of the best smartphones under $500 with a peak appearance, a feel, and even top-notch performance. Many people have begun reckoning these phones simply “$500” flagship killers. And while the price on these phones is fluctuating and growing to include $500 phones, these are devices that still offer incredible value for money and will make you reconsider if you need to spend more on the phone.
The “$500” flagships we chose below excel regarding performance, design, and overall finish. Most of them, however, will not work on CDMA networks like Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the United States and are not sold through carrier subsidies.
Best Smartphones Under $500 List
In some cases, these phones are not only sold offline store but are also sold via online stores. This is part of the reason that phone makers can cut their costs and provide the best value for these phones. However, service and repair are available for these phones, as well as an adequate guarantee, so you do not have to worry about this. With all this in mind, let’s start: here are the best mid-range phones, the Best Smartphones Under $500.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
The Galaxy S8 has been around for a few years, but it’s still a strong choice for people looking for flagship-level design and solid performance for less than $500. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ create 5.8- and 6.2-inch infinity displays that go from edge to edge, and these pocket devices feature Qualcomm’s freely zippy Snapdragon 835 processor for fast performance. We’re still not fans of the fingerprint sensor’s location. Currently, this is the best smartphone under $500.
But if you add the great battery life and improvements to a camera that was already very good, you have two winning handsets with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ were released in April 2017. You can now get the Galaxy S8 from $499 with 64GB of storage space. The larger Samsung Galaxy S8+ is not so easily available, but it sells for about $589. However, we’ve seen this phone for as low as $364 on Amazon. You may want to keep an eye out for Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals to see if these phones are discounted during the holiday season.
Google Pixel 3A XL
Smartphone makers have a problem. They continue to pack more and more features into their phones, driving up costs. And more and more often people don’t buy them. Google’s solution: Take everything people like about Pixel 3 and put it in an Android phone that costs much, much less. The result is the Pixel 3a XL, a phone that looks a lot like the Pixel 3 XL but saves you $420. With the smaller Pixel 3a, at $399, you can save even more.
But are the costs of that saving high? If you choose the Pixel 3a XL over Google’s more expensive flagships, it means you have to sacrifice a little on performance. In the end, those sacrifices are worth it for an affordable phone that doesn’t skimp on its camera or battery life. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $500.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Last year the Samsung Galaxy S8 crashed into a $400- $500 territory. In the United States, you can purchase the US version of the United States unlocked and the bells and whistles, so we recommend that you take a look at this phone. It has a super-looking Super AMOLED screen, one of the best cameras available, and many wireless features, as well as the Samsung Experience interface.
The phone is equipped with a 5.8-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1440 pixels per 2960 pixels at a PPI of 570 pixels per inch. The Galaxy S8 is powered by a 1.9 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The phone contains 64 GB of internal memory expandable up to 256 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S8 packs a 12-megapixel primary camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front-view shooter for selfies.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 works with Android 7.0 and is powered by a non-removable 3000 mAh battery. The device measures 148.90 x 68.10 x 8.00 and weighs 155 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, 3G, and 4G. The telephone sensors include compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and gyroscope.
After years of releasing affordable, stylish Android phones, OnePlus is now pushing the boundaries with the OnePlus 6T, the first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor in the US. The OnePlus 6T’s magic sensor works like a charm and makes us wish other smartphones would add this option to facial recognition. But the 6T also doubles in value: the base storage increases from 64GB to 128GB on this version, while the price is only $20 of the OnePlus 6.
The entry-level $499 6T remains about half the price of other flagship phones with edge-to-edge displays and advanced specifications, and you don’t even have to sacrifice great photos or a reliable battery to save all that money. And a new carrier partnership with T-Mobile extends the availability of the 6T, making OnePlus more competitive with Google, Samsung, and even Apple. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $500.
LG G8 ThinQ
LG’s G8 ThinQ sounds revolutionary on paper. The front-facing camera on LG’s latest flagship Android phone recognizes the wires in your palms to unlock the device and uses that same camera to respond to your hand gestures. It sounds wild. But it’s not wild. The bold new features of the Z camera are gimmicks that make using the LG G8 harder, not easier. The G8 drives me crazy: It has a beautiful display, powerful performance, and AI-boost cameras that get the job done. A new Night View mode impressed me more than a comparable feature on Google’s Pixel 3.
Asus ZenFone 5Z
ASUS is pursuing OnePlus, with its marketing materials that make endless references to OnePlus 6. This is because ZenFone 5Z shares the same hardware of OnePlus 6 – it is powered by a Snapdragon 845 and comes with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space.
The phone has a 6.20-inch display with a resolution of 1080 pixels for 2246 pixels and is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with 6/8 GB of RAM. The phone contains 64/128/256 GB of internal memory expandable via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the Asus ZenFone 5Z (ZS620KL) includes a 12-megapixel primary camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front-view shooter for selfies.
The Asus ZenFone 5Z (ZS620KL) works with Android 8.0 and is backed by a 3300mAh. The Zenfone 5Z measures 153.00 x 75.65 x 7.70 and weighs 165 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G, and 4G. Phone sensors include compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and barometer. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under 500 dollars.
The LG V30+ is a single piece of glass accented by a metal structure. Again, the V30 + does not give you the first impression of being a robust phone. It has this delicate tactile surface that will reaffirm your decision to put on a case. This is an inconvenience of having a glass on a smartphone. While you get a beautiful device in hand, the chances of it slipping and crashing to the ground have increased.
The phone is equipped with a 6.00-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1440 pixels by 2880 pixels. The phone comes with a Snapdragon 835 1.9 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The phone contains 128 GB of internal memory expandable up to 200 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the LG V30 + includes a 16-megapixel primary camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies.
LG V30 + works with Android 7.1.2 and is powered by a 3300 mAh non-removable battery. The device measures 151.70 x 75.40 x 7.30 and weighs 158 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, headphones, 3G, and 4G. The telephone sensors include the proximity sensor, accelerometer, fingerprint sensor, and ambient light sensor. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under 500 dollars.
Samsung Galaxy A70
Samsung’s sixth phone in the revamped Galaxy A series, the Galaxy A70, is, according to the company, aimed at millennia. The phone is equipped with one of Samsung’s largest displays and has a massive battery to support the phone. While the Galaxy A50 was strictly speaking a mid-range smartphone and a step in the right direction, the A70 competes with more premium phones such as the Vivo V15 Pro, Oppo F11 Pro, POCO F1 and Nokia 8.1 among others.
That said, the Galaxy A70 comes with enough firepower to handle the slightly more premium phones, it turns out. The A70 immediately looks like its younger cousin, Galaxy A50, and looks eerily similar. It has a plastic construction that feels very polished and allows a better grip towards the sides. The reflective nature of the back panel creates a rainbow-colored pattern when light falls on it from different angles. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $500.
What’s a flagship phone anyway? That’s the question Motorola seems to be asking itself with the Moto Z4, the latest iteration of its modular device, which is a mix of premium design and features with somewhat modest hardware, at an attractive price. Just like the Moto Z3 Play for, the Moto Z4 starts at $499. However, Motorola has confirmed that it will not release a more powerful Force version of the Z4, as was the case with previous entries for the Z line.
That means the Z4 – with its humble Snapdragon 675 chipset – is the range-topping Motorola device in 2021, at least in North America where the Motorola company has a line unavailable. But frankly, the Moto Z4 can do things that other phones can’t. It supports the full range of Moto Mods, so it can work on Verizon’s 5G network using the 5G Mod. At $499, the Moto Z4 is one of the best smartphones under $500.
Moto G8 Plus
The company’s G Series phones have always focused on providing the best and fastest experience possible, and it does so by loading a neat, stocked Android to the phones it makes. The G8 Plus brings more value to the table with a versatile camera system array, stereo speakers, a minimal bezel display, and an efficient battery management system.
Due to recent developments in the segment of budget smartphones, we see an influx of many features from the high-end phones trickle down, and as a result, the re’s much more to experience with your phone today. Motorola’s latest phone, as such, continues with the same principle, bringing in a 48MP triple camera setup on the grid and fast charging technology. Overall, this is one of the best smartphones under $500.
So, these were the Best Smartphones Under $500 that you can buy right now. We regularly update this list as we review the new devices affecting the market. There are some smartphones on the way that we expect to overturn the current ranking as soon as they arrive. Till then, let us know what do you think about it? Which phone would you like to see in our selection? What are the best smartphones under $500, in your opinion? Do let us know.