Top 10 Best Smartphones Under $500 | October 2018

Nowadays, you can have a phone with a peak appearance, a feel and even a performance for only $500. Many people have begun reckoning these phones simply “$500” flagships. 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
NameRankRating
Samsung Galaxy S81st9.5 out of 10
OnePlus 62nd9.4 out of 10
Asus ZenFone 5Z3rd9.3 out of 10
LG V30+4th9.3 out of 10
Moto Z3 Play5th9.2 out of 10
Honor 106th9.2 out of 10
OnePlus 5T7th9.1 out of 10
Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus8th9.1 out of 10
LG G69th9.0 out of 10
Honor View 1010th8.9 out of 10

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 in 2018.

Check out our detailed list of Best Smartphones Under $500.

Samsung Galaxy S8

9.5 Total Score
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a super-looking Super AMOLED screen, one of the best cameras available as well as the Samsung Experience interface. Features like wireless charging, waterproof, quick charging etc makes it the best smartphone under $500.

PROS
  • Awesome display
  • A phone that feels like the future
  • Stunning camera
  • Innovative design
  • Waterproof
CONS
  • Awfully placed fingerprint sensor
  • Bixby is a tad slow

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.

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OnePlus 6

PROS:
  • A huge leap in design
  • Seriously fast
  • Dash Charge is still great
  • Decent UI

CONS:
  • The camera still needs improvement
  • Missing a few ‘flagship’ features

OnePlus was one of the companies that popularized the concept of “$500 peak,” and while the company has slowly and consistently increased prices, the new OnePlus 6 is still an incredibly affordable offer. You get OnePlus 6 with its elegant glass and metal design, the powerful Snapdragon 845 system chip, a dual camera that in most conditions can match the camera’s best camera phones and a dash charging system which is reliable and faster than other phones.

OnePlus 6 features a 6.2-inch Full-HD plus works with Android 8.1 Oreo and is powered by a 3300 mAh non-removable battery. The phone measures 155.70 x 75.40 x 7.75 and weighs 177 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G, and 4G. The sensors o the device include compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and gyroscope.

All this makes OnePlus 6 a phone that is still the first device that comes to mind when we talk about “flagships at affordable prices.” The list of negative aspects is short, but OnePlus 6 is not yet a perfect phone: there is no complete protection of the water, the wireless charging and the navigation system on it is impractical.

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Asus ZenFone 5Z

PROS:
  • Gorgeous design
  • Incredible performance
  • Well-executed AI features
  • Great value for money
  • Decent camera

CONS:
  • Sizeable notch
  • No water resistance
  • No wireless charging

It is clear that 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.

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LG V30+

PROS:
  • Slick and lightweight design
  • Smooth, responsive performance
  • Excellent rear cameras
  • Quad DAC delivers phenomenal wired audio quality

CONS:
  • The glass back prone to scratches
  • Average selfie camera

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.

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Moto Z3 Play

PROS:
  • Good display
  • Strong performance
  • Great battery life
  • Simple, uncluttered software
  • Moto Mods can be handy

CONS:
  • Ugly, thick camera bump
  • Average camera
  • Uninspiring design

If you want to have a smartphone with long battery life, Moto Z3 Play is probably one of the best choices. It is not precisely the battery sample of the original, but it is not too far. Now it is even thinner and more elegant, The Z2 Play runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and presents the Moto skin without space that works quickly and thoroughly. Moto Z2 Play also supports Moto Mods, such as a magnetic cover that can add even more battery.

The phone comes with a 6.01-inch display with 1080 x 2160 pixels resolution. Moto Z3 Play is equipped with a 1.8 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The phone contains 32 GB of internal memory expandable up to 200 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the Moto Z3 Play includes a 12-megapixel primary camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front-view shooter for selfies.

Moto Z3 Play works with Android 8.1 Oreo and is powered by 3000 mAh. Size 156.50 x 76.50 x 6.75 and weighs 156 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.

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Honor 10

PROS:
  • Exquisite design
  • Insane value for money
  • Powerful hardware

CONS:
  • Ugly looking notch
  • Not rated for water resistance
  • No OIS

Well, just like the P20, the Honor 10 is equipped with a glass-covered back that moves its colors to an angle, introducing the so-called “Aurora” technology of the “radiant-colored” glass coating to the Honor lineup, but only in the Phantom Blue and Green color options. The notched front with a 5.8 “FHD + display is also here, as well as the Kirin 970 processor along with 4GB RAM and 64/128GB configurations.

The high-quality dual camera setting (16MP RGB + 24MP monochrome) is different from the P20, however, has aperture f/1.8, PDAF (phase detection autofocus), in addition to the recognition of scenes with AI power supply and stabilization of bright image. There is a 24-megapixel selfie camera with f / 2.0 aperture housed in the notch and a fingerprint sensor inserted in the house key.

The Honor 10 works with Android 8.1 and is backed by a 3400mAh. The phone measures 149.60 x 71.20 x 7.70 and weighs 153 grams. The Honor 10 is a dual SIM smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G, and 4G. The telephone sensors include compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and gyroscope.

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OnePlus 5T

PROS:
  • Great design and build
  • Flagship performance at half of its price
  • Fast Face unlock

CONS:
  • Still runs Nougat
  • ‘Only’ full HD resolution
  • No microSD card slot

OnePlus 5T, as the name suggests, is not an entirely new phone, but an incremental update of OnePlus 5. The single most significant change on OnePus 5T is the display, with the laptop presenting a 6.01 inch larger Full HD panel AMOLED with an aspect ratio of 18: 9 that follows this year’s trend of elongated screens on iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG V30.

The phone is equipped with a 6.01-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels at a PPI of 401. OnePlus 5T is equipped with a 2.45 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 6 GB of RAM. The phone contains 64 GB of internal memory that can not be expanded. As for the cameras, OnePlus 5T packs a 16-megapixel primary camera on the back and a 16-megapixel front-view shooter for selfies.

OnePlus 5T works with Android 7.1.1 and is powered by a 3300 mAh non-removable battery. Size 156.10 x 75.00 x 7.30 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 162.00 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G, and 4G. The telephone sensors include compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and gyroscope.

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Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus

PROS:
  • Great AMOLED panel
  • Much better value
  • Water resistance
  • Decent camera
  • Samsung Pay

CONS:
  • Hardware isn’t the fastest
  • UI is still laggy

In all respects, the Galaxy A8 +, like its predecessors, is a flagship. It comes with compromises, but it’s an excellent phone in many ways. Face up, the Galaxy A8 + is very similar to the Google Pixel 2 XL. The 18: 9 display and the frame around it seem almost identical. That said, the phone follows Samsung’s glass and metal design language.

The phone is equipped with a 6.00-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2220 pixels. The Galaxy A8 + is powered by a 1.6 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The phone contains 32 GB of internal memory expandable up to 256 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the smartphones comes with a 16-megapixel main camera on the back and a 16-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The Samsung Galaxy A8+ works with Android 7.1.1 and is backed by a 3500mAh. It measures 159.90 x 75.70 x 8.30 and weighs 191 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC. The phone’s sensors include compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometer.

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LG G6

PROS:
  • Great display
  • Unique wide-angle camera
  • Eye-catching look

CONS:
  • Old hardware
  • The camera isn’t a huge improvement

With LG G6, the modular design of the LG G5 went in favor of a more traditional phone, one that takes more elements from the best laptops around, mingled together to make a phone more prosaic (but still intriguing). The G6 is a much more refined design than its predecessor, taking the form factor of a sealed device that drops the removable battery, replacing it with a large battery and a waterproof shell.

The phone has a 5.7-inch display with a resolution of 1440 pixels per 2880 pixels at a PPI of 564 pixels per inch. LG G6 is equipped with 4 GB of RAM. The phone contains 32 GB of internal memory expandable up to 2000 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the LG G6 includes a 13-megapixel primary camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

LG G6 works with Android 7.0 and is powered by a 3300 mAh non-removable battery. It measures 148.90 x 71.90 x 7.90 and weighs 163 grams. LG G6 is a single SIM (GSM) smartphone that accepts a Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G, and 4G. The sensors include a compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a gyroscope.

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Honor View 10

PROS:
  • Great value
  • Good screen
  • Long battery life

CONS:
  • Slightly loose camera exposure metering
  • Non-stabilized camera
  • No water resistance

The Honor View 10 is similar to other phones in late 2017 / early 2018. There is only a thin border strip around the display; like his rivals, Honor pushed for a less wasted space. It’s almost the only way to make a phone with a 6-inch screen that does not require extra-large pockets. However, Honor did not try to hide what little bits of surround exist. They are ultra-shiny blue in the model we have reviewed, with the look of the excellent Honor 9 from last year.

The phone is equipped with a 5.99-inch display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2160 pixels at a PPI of 403. Huawei Honor View 10 is equipped with a 1.8 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 6 GB of RAM. The phone contains 128 GB of internal memory expandable up to 256 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, Huawei Honor View 10 includes a 16-megapixel primary camera on the back and a 13-megapixel front-view shooter for selfies.

Huawei Honor View 10 works with Android 8.0 and is powered by a 3750 mAh non-removable battery. Measure 157.00 x 74.98 x 6.97 and weighs 172 grams. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, infrared, USB OTG, 3G, and 4G. The sensors include a compass/magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a gyroscope.

Final Words

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.

Compsmag