Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best smartphones under $300, where we unveil a curated selection of top picks that offer exceptional value and impressive performance. In a world where technology constantly evolves, finding a feature-packed and reliable smartphone within a budget can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve done the research for you, handpicking a range of devices that deliver premium experiences without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a budget-conscious consumer or simply looking for an affordable yet capable smartphone, our list showcases options that combine cutting-edge features, sleek designs, and robust performance, all under the $300 price point. Join us as we delve into the realm of affordability without compromise, helping you make an informed choice that suits your needs and preferences.
Oneplus Nord N30 5g
Let’s start our list of best smartphones under $300 with the OnePlus Nord N30, which maintains continuity with its predecessor in terms of design, but it presents an enticing proposition at a price of $300. A notable highlight of this phone, which stands out for its charging speed, is its capability to charge at up to 50W. Notably, it stands as the sole phone in this segment to deliver genuine fast-charging functionality. Equally commendable is the inclusion of a compatible charger within the package, eliminating the need for additional expenses to optimize your experience.
The OnePlus Nord N30 5G boasts additional standout features, including an appealing design that distinguishes it from its counterparts within the same segment. It draws power from the Snapdragon 695 SoC, paralleling the Galaxy A23 5G, accompanied by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The device is equipped with a triple-camera configuration at its rear, spearheaded by a 108MP primary sensor. Furthermore, it retains practical features like a 3.5mm headphone jack and NFC support. The primary distinction preventing me from elevating the Nord N30 above the Galaxy A23 5G as the superior overall choice is its software support.
OnePlus has committed to providing only a single Android OS update and a maximum of three years’ worth of security patches for the Nord N30 5G. While this theoretically aligns its support duration with the Galaxy A23 5G (given the latter’s debut with Android 12 the previous year), I hold the belief that OnePlus could have executed this aspect more effectively. Samsung is acknowledged for its enhanced reliability in delivering software updates compared to most manufacturers, contributing to my recommendation of the Galaxy A23 over the Nord N30. It’s worth noting, however, that both options are viable, so make your selection based on your specific requirements.
|Model No.||Nord N30 5G|
|Release Date||June 2023|
|Operating System||Android 13|
|SIM Info||Dual SIM|
|Lock Security||Rear Mounted Fingerprint, Face ID|
|Best for||Gaming, Battery Life, Multitasking|
|Weight In Grams||195|
|Color Options||Chromatic Gray|
|Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen|
|Screen Size (inch)||6.72|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 695|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver)|
|RAM and ROM||8GB RAM and 128GB ROM|
|Rear Camera Setup||Triple|
|Rear Camera Sensor Type||Wide, Ultrawide, Depth Sensor|
|Rear Camera Aperture||f/1.7|
|Rear Camera Features||4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps|
|Front Camera Setup||Single|
|Front Camera Sensor Type||Wide|
|Front Camera Mechanism||Notch Selfie|
|Front Camera Features||HDR, 1080p@30fps|
|WiFi||802.11nac, Dual Band WiFi, WiFi Direct, HotSpot|
|More||NFC, USB Type C, GPS, 3.5 mm jack|
|3G||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100|
|4G||LTE bands 1-41|
|5G||78(3500), 79(4700) SA/NSA|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (CA) Cat18 1024/150 Mbps, 5G|
Galaxy A23 5g
In the list of best smartphones under $300, Galaxy A23 5G positions itself as one of Samsung’s most affordable offerings within the A-series lineup, making it a fitting addition to this collection. This device delivers a respectable array of internal components complemented by reliable software support, all priced at $300. It’s conveniently accessible for purchase through multiple carriers across the US, ensuring effortless availability.
Originally introduced as an LTE-only device, the 5G iteration of the Galaxy A23 is a recent addition, marking its emergence from the production line. This variant boasts a 6.6-inch FHD+ infinity-V LCD display, featuring a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels. A notable highlight of this display is its capacity to accommodate a 120Hz refresh rate, distinguishing it as the sole phone in this collection equipped with such a feature.
The driving force behind the Galaxy A23 5G’s operations is the Snapdragon 695 SoC, complemented by the option of up to 6GB of RAM. It’s important to note that the base model of this device comes with a modest 64GB of storage. However, this limitation is mitigated by the inclusion of expandable storage support through a microSD card. This offers the opportunity to augment the device’s storage capacity by up to 1TB, a considerable advantage. With all this Samsung A23 positions itself well in the list of best smartphones under $300 price tag.
Detailed specs are as follows:
|Operating System||Android 12 OS|
|User Interface: OneUI 4.1|
|Dimensions||165.4 x 76.9 x 8.4 mm|
|SIM||Dual Sim, Dual Standby (Nano-SIM)|
|Frequency||2G Bands: SIM1 – GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|SIM2 – GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G Bands: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100|
|4G Bands: LTE|
|5G Bands: SA/NSA|
|Processor||CPU: 2.21 GHz Octa Core|
|Chipset: Snapdragon 695 5G SoC|
|GPU: Adreno 619|
|Display||IPS LCD Capacitive Touchscreen, 16M Colors, Multitouch|
|Size: 6.6 Inches|
|Resolution: 1080 x 2408 Pixels (~400 PPI)|
|Extra Feature: 120Hz refresh rate|
|Memory||Built-in: 128GB Built-in, 6/8GB RAM|
|Card Slot: microSD Card, supports up to 1TB|
|Camera||Main Camera: Quad Camera – 50 MP (wide, f/1.8, PDAF) + 5 MP (ultrawide, f/2.2)|
|– 2 MP (macro, f/2.4) + 2 MP (depth, f/2.4)|
|Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR|
|Front Camera||8 MP (wide, f/2.2)|
|Connectivity||WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth: v5.1 with A2DP, LE|
|GPS: Yes + A-GPS support & Glonass, BDS|
|Radio: FM Radio|
|USB: USB Type-C 2.0|
|Data||GPRS, Edge, 3G (HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps), 4G LTE-A, 5G capable|
|Features||Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Fingerprint (side-mounted), Gyro, Virtual proximity sensing|
|Audio: 3.5mm Audio Jack, Speaker Phone|
|Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM|
|Games: Built-in + Downloadable|
|Extra: Photo/video editor, Document viewer|
|Battery||Capacity: (Li-Po Non removable), 5000 mAh|
|Charging: Fast charging 25W|
Moto G Power
In the list of best smartphones under $300 price tag, the Moto G Power 5G distinguishes itself as the most economically viable option, showcasing a capacious 256GB of internal storage. This generous storage capacity provides a significant advantage for enthusiastic downloaders of movies and music, extending ample entertainment possibilities even during periods of unsteady internet connectivity. The device showcases a 6.5-inch 1,080p display operating seamlessly with a fluid 120Hz refresh rate, delivering a captivating visual encounter across movies, applications, websites, and games alike.
In smartphones under $300 bracket, for those seeking heightened storage flexibility, expansion becomes readily attainable through a microSD card. Remarkably positioned within the $200 to $300 price range, the Power 5G duly upholds the inclusion of a headphone jack, a feature of considerable value to many.
While Motorola places the Power 5G as a multimedia force within its price bracket, certain trade-offs manifest in its photographic prowess. As anticipated within this price segment, it demonstrates prowess in outdoor photography but encounters challenges when it comes to capturing intricate details in low-light settings.
Nevertheless, individuals for whom storage takes precedence will find the Moto G Power 5G to be a compelling contender deserving of consideration.
Detailed specs are as follows:
|SoC||MediaTek Dimensity 930|
|Display||6.5″ FHD+ 120Hz LCD|
|Storage||128GB/256GB, expandable up to 1TB|
|Operating System||Android 13|
|Front camera||16MP (f/2.4, 1.0um/2.0um Ultra Pixel)|
|Rear cameras||50 MP (f/1.8, 0.64μm), Quad Pixel technology for 1.28μm, PDAF; 2 MP depth sensor (f/2.4, 1.75μm)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.3, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Dimensions||163.06 x 74.8 x 8.45mm, 185g|
|Colors||Mineral Black, Pearl White|
|Charging||15W capable, 10W charger in-box|
|Reliable 120Hz display||Lackluster gaming experience|
|Relatively stock Android experience||Limited software support|
The Moto G Power 5G stands as an exemplar among smartphones under $300, akin to a diligent worker arriving at the job site equipped with their hardhat and lunch pail. Just like the dependable performance of a Toyota Camry, this phone efficiently fulfills its tasks without unnecessary embellishments. It’s important to recognize that within the same price range, there exist alternatives capable of delivering an electrifying experience while upholding reliability.
For those who value a relatively unaltered Android experience yet harbor reservations about selecting Pixels, this phone emerges as a compelling option. Moreover, if prioritizing exceptional battery life takes precedence in your smartphone selection, the Moto G Power 5G rightfully claims your attention.
Xiaomi Poco X4
The Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro features a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. It utilizes a somewhat underpowered Snapdragon 695 5G processor compared to its predecessor. The processor is supported by either 6 or 8 GB of RAM, depending on the chosen configuration. Internal storage options include 128 GB or 256 GB, with the possibility of expanding storage via microSD card.
|Size||6.7 inches||Chip||Snapdragon 696|
|Resolution||2400 x 1080||Processor||Octa-core|
|Refresh rate||120Hz||RAM||6GB LPDDR4|
|S-to-B ratio||85.91%||Storage||128GB (UFS 2.2)|
|Brightness||1200 cd/m²||Expansion||microSDXC up to 1024 GB|
|Capacity||5000 mAh||Rear||Triple camera|
|Charging||Fast||Main||108 MP (F1.9)|
|Max Speed||Wired: 67.0W||Second||8 MP (F2.2)|
|Third||2 MP (Macro)|
|Dimensions||6.46 x 3.00 x 0.32||5G||Multiple Bands|
|Weight||7.23 oz||4G (FDD)||Multiple Bands|
|Resistance||IP53||4G (TDD)||Bands 38, 40, 41|
|Colors||Black, Blue,||Dual SIM||Shared with microSD|
|Yellow||SIM type||Nano SIM|
|MULTIMEDIA||CONNECTIVITY & FEATURES|
|Speakers||Earpiece,||Wi-Fi||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band|
|Multi speakers||USB||Type-C (reversible), USB 2.0|
|Screen Mirroring||Wireless||Location||GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou|
|Microphones||Noise cancel.||Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyroscope|
The Poco X4 Pro makes it to the list of best smartphones under $300 and presents an appealing overall package, incorporating an AMOLED display, 5G connectivity, and a high-quality 108 MP camera.
Xiaomi has significantly upgraded the main camera sensor to a 108 MP resolution. The device also includes fast charging capabilities of up to 67 watts and houses a sizable 5,000 mAh battery. However, it’s disappointing that the device comes preinstalled with Android 11, especially considering that its predecessor already runs Android 12.
The TCL NxtVision HDR setting on the phone introduced enhanced colors that added vibrancy to the gaming experience, making it a standout choice among smartphones under $300. Minimal adjustments were made to Android 12 by TCL, and the magnetic stylus was particularly enjoyable for its secure fit into its designated slot on the device.
However, the prolonged duration of the review, spanning four months, was primarily due to the recurrence of software bugs. These issues created challenges in confidently recommending the phone within the sub-$300 range. Frequent restarts and connectivity problems with Bluetooth were encountered, although the latter was eventually resolved through a software update. Additionally, the phone’s exclusive lock to T-Mobile limits its use to that carrier and includes pre-installed T-Mobile apps that are challenging to uninstall.
Despite these setbacks, for those who prioritize having a stylus and have a budget under $300, this phone becomes one of the more attractive options. It’s important to exercise caution regarding potential software issues and to acknowledge that the phone will receive only one major software update and two years of security updates within this price range.
Detailed specs are as follows:
|Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G||Announced||June 02, 2022|
|Status||Available. Released June 02, 2022|
|Dimensions||169.6 x 76.5 x 9 mm (6.68 x 3.01 x 0.35 in)||Type||IPS LCD|
|Weight||213 g (7.51 oz)||Size||6.81 inches|
|Build||Glass front, plastic frame, plastic back||Resolution||1080 x 2460 pixels|
|OS||Android 12, TCL UI 4.0||Card slot||microSDXC (dedicated slot)|
|Chipset||Mediatek MT6833 Dimensity 700 (7 nm)||Internal||128GB 4GB RAM|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|MAIN CAMERA||SELFIE CAMERA|
|Triple||50 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, PDAF||Single||13 MP, f/2.3, 19mm (ultrawide), 1/3″, 1.12µm|
|5 MP, 115˚ (ultrawide)||Features||HDR|
|2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)||Video||1080p@30fps|
|2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct|
|3.5mm jack||Yes||Bluetooth||5.2, A2DP, LE|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0, OTG|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer||Type||Li-Ion 4000 mAh, non-removable|
Final Remarks on Smartphones Under $300
In the realm of affordable smartphones under $300, these five options stand out as reliable contenders. From the Galaxy A23 5G’s commendable display and reliable software support to the Nord N30’s remarkable fast charging, each device brings unique features to the table within the sub-$300 price range. The Moto G Power 5G impresses with its outstanding battery life, catering to those seeking long-lasting performance within a budget under $300. On the other hand, the OnePlus Nord N30 offers a beautiful design and powerful internals, delivering a compelling package without exceeding the $300 mark. Finally, the TCL NxtVision showcases its value through enhanced colors and storage capacity, offering a solid choice for those looking for a comprehensive experience under $300. Ultimately, the decision rests on individual priorities, but these smartphones collectively prove that premium experiences can be accessible without breaking the bank, making them worthy contenders among smartphones under $300.