• 8 Best Budget Smartphones 2022 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed 1
  • 8 Best Budget Smartphones 2022 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed 2
  • 8 Best Budget Smartphones 2022 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed 3
  • 8 Best Budget Smartphones 2022 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed 4
  • 8 Best Budget Smartphones 2022 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed 5

8 Best Budget Smartphones 2022 | UK Filmmaker Reviewed

Smartphones have become ubiquitous with modern life but some of the costs associated with the latest models can be eye-watering. Luckily, as technology improves, the demand for cheaper mobile phones has also grown and now some of the best budget smartphones on the UK market can easily compete with flagship devices for everyday tasks – and offer a good camera and battery to boot. 


While some budget buys can stretch up to £400, several come in under £200 and even under £100 for a basic model! Whether you're after a phone for everyday use, work, gaming or movies, there is an affordable option. Our list of the cheapest, best value smartphones includes great brands like Motorola, Samsung and Nokia, all ready to order from sites like Amazon and Argos. 

This Article's Contributors

Jani Ahonen
mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 23-06-2022
Table of Contents

With Specialist Consultation From Filmmaker Jani Ahonen

With Specialist Consultation From Filmmaker Jani Ahonen

Jani is a professional photographer and filmmaker from Finland with over 15 years of experience in both fields. He has studied at some of the best schools and universities across the globe, leading him to become an expert in creative industries. Today he is the creative director and the owner of JP Harrow Portraits that specialises in portraiture for same-sex couples and families in London, UK.


If you're looking for an expert in portrait photography, filmmaking, drone flying or anything else technical, make sure to visit Jani's website JP Harrow Portraits for quotes and direct contact, or follow him on Instagram.

Compare the Best Budget Smartphones

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:


  1. Motorola - Moto G30 for £159.99
  2. Nokia - 1.4 for £89.99
  3. Samsung - Galaxy A52 for £365.95
  4. Google - Pixel 6 for £599.00
  5. Samsung - Galaxy A22 for £195.21

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of budget smartphones available and understand how our ranking was determined.

Image
1
Nokia 1.4 1

Nokia

2
Samsung Galaxy A52 1

Samsung

3
Google Pixel 6 1

Google

4
Samsung Galaxy A22 1

Samsung

5
Motorola  Moto G10 1

Motorola

6
Nokia X10 1

Nokia

7
OnePlus Nord CE 5G 1

OnePlus

8
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 1

Xiaomi

Name

1.4

Galaxy A52

Pixel 6

Galaxy A22

Moto G10

X10

Nord CE 5G

Redmi Note 10

Features

Our Top Pick If You're Looking to Spend Under £100

Exceptional Software, RAM and OS Create a Fast and Flawless User Experience

A Premium Buy for Those Able to Stretch the Budget a Little

5G-Ready With an Ultra-Wide Camera, Great for Gaming and Travel

An Entry-Level Smartphone With a Top-End Battery Life

A Full HD+ Screen and Editing Suite Make This Perfect for Keen Photographers

Very Impressive Specs if Speed and Storage Are Priorities

Incredible Features at an Incredible Price

Price£89.99£365.95£599.00£195.21£129.99£199.99£298.90£205.69
OS Android 10Android 11Android 12Android 11Android 10Android 11Android (Oxygen OS)Android (MIUI 12)
Storage32 GB, microSD slot128 GB, microSD slot128 GB64 GB, microSD slot64 GB, microSD slot64 GB128 GB, 256 GB, microSD slot128 GB
RAM2 GB6 GB8 GB4 GB4 GB6 GB8 GB, 12 GB4 GB
Camera8 MP rear, 5 MP front64 MP rear, 32 MP front50 MP rear, 8 MP front48 MP rear, 8 MP front48 MP rear, 8 MP front48 MP rear, 8 MP front 64 MP rear, 8 MP front48 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery4000 mAh4500 mAh4614 mAh5000 mAh5000 mAh4470 mAh4500 mAh5000 mAh
Dimensions16.6 x 7.7 x 0.8 cm; 620 g15.99 x 7.51 x 0.84 cm; 189 g15.86 x 7.48 x 0.89 cm; 175 g16.72 x 7.64 x 0.9 cm; 203 g16.52 x 7.57 x 0.92 cm; 180 g16.8 x 7.97 x 0.91 cm; 210 g15.92 x 7.35 x 0.79 cm; 750 g16.18 x 7.53 x 0.89 cm; 190 g
Display Resolution1600 x 720 Pixels1080 x 2400 (FHD+) Pixels1080 x 2400 Pixels2408 x 1080 Pixels1600 x 720 Pixels1080x2400 Pixels-1080x2400 Pixels
Link

How to Choose a Budget Smartphone in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Pick an Operating System for the Apps That You Regularly Use
  2. Check the Internal Storage Space and Whether It Has a microSD Slot
  3. Opt for 2 GB of RAM for A Decent Experience
  4. If Camera Quality Is a Priority, Aim for 16 Megapixels or More
  5. Consider a Battery Capacity of 3000 mAh or Higher

1. Pick the Right Operating System for the Apps That You Regularly Use

1. Pick the Right Operating System for the Apps That You Regularly Use

When looking at smartphones, you're usually faced with a choice between an Apple iPhone running iOS or an Android device. While Apple has a lot of models towards the upper end of the smartphone market, there are a few budget offerings out there that can sync up nicely with other iOS products.


However, you'll most likely be dealing with Google's Android operating system when on a budget, as it is open source and has a whopping 72% of the world's market share. There are numerous versions of Android, depending on the device, and many will be able to automatically update to the latest version.


There isn't a huge difference when it comes to the types or variety available on iOS and Android, as most popular third-party apps are available on both systems. If you use Google Drive or Apple iCloud predominantly for work, however, it would make sense to opt for the relevant operating system.


If you love the Android OS, here's more information about android smartphones to know before buying.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen

Ultimately it doesn't matter which operating system you pick since almost all popular apps are these days available for both Android and iOS. However, many people choose iOS over Android because of Apple's stand on privacy which Android has been often criticized. If your privacy is important to you, then iOS is a better option.

2. 64 GB or More Storage Allows You to Utilise Your Phone for More Applications, Pictures, and Videos

2. 64 GB or More Storage Allows You to Utilise Your Phone for More Applications, Pictures, and Videos

Next, you'll want to make sure all of the aforementioned apps fit comfortably on your device without it running out of space. Much like a computer or laptop, modern smartphones have both internal storage and ways of adding external storage when necessary.


Depending on how 'budget' the phone is, you'll often be looking at somewhere between 32 and 128 GB of internal storage. While 32 GB would suffice for basic usage, if you're planning on playing games, downloading videos on Netflix, streaming on Spotify or taking a lot of high-quality pictures, you'll need much more.


Thankfully, nearly all budget smartphones come with a microSD slot to increase the amount of storage. This comes with the bonus of being able to quickly and easily transfer files from a laptop or PC if you're limited with your cloud storage space. MicroSD cards can vary in size from 2 GB all the way up to 1 TB for some microSDXC options.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen

One of the most significant benefits of almost all Android smartphones is the removable MicroSD card slot. This means as long as you have multiple memory cards, you will never run out of storage space for videos or photos. This is the major drawback of iPhones that don’t offer such a feature and have a set amount of internal storage that cannot be upgraded later on.

3. Look For 2 GB of Ram or More for a Smooth Experience

3. Look For 2 GB of Ram or More for a Smooth Experience

RAM, while very different to internal storage, is an integral part of a phone's capacity to run well. In short, random access memory (RAM) is how your smartphone deals with the applications and internal systems that are being run at any given time


The bigger the RAM, the quicker your phone will run as your apps have more space to use. When it comes to smartphones, you may see memory denoted as something like 4/128. In our example, this would stand for 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen

Android operating systems are known to require a lot of RAM to run well compared to the iPhones, which can often run even better with half of the same amount of RAM. This is why it is crucial to go for a high amount of RAM from the beginning if you plan to use your Android smartphone for anything that requires a lot of processing power.

4. If Getting the Best Camera for the Money Is a Priority, Ensure It's 16 Megapixels or Higher

4. If Getting the Best Camera for the Money Is a Priority, Ensure It's 16 Megapixels or Higher

When it comes to smartphones, the most used feature outside of messaging and surfing the web is easily the camera. Some budget smartphones are able to offer such a low-cost device by sacrificing camera quality, while others will include multiple, high-quality lenses on both the front and rear.


A high number of lenses is a good indication of a phone camera's quality, but you'll want to check how many megapixels (MP) a camera has to determine the resolution of the pictures it's able to take. In simple terms, a device with a 64 MP rear camera will be able to take a clearer and more detailed picture than one with a 16 MP camera. 


Generally, the higher the MP the better, but keep in mind that there are other factors such as image stabilisation and other software features that can improve the quality of a photo. It's also worth knowing that typically, the front selfie camera is almost always worse than the rear.


Make your favourite moments last a lifetime with quality photos and videos using the best action cameras and instant cameras.

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen

You should never pick a smartphone based on the number of megapixels it has if you truly care about the image quality of the pictures you take. A bigger megapixel number is not always better since what truly matters is the quality of the lens and the sensor. 


Often cheaper smartphones have poor quality lenses and sensors, but they are made sound better because they advertise on having so many megapixels.

5. Look For a Battery Capacity of Over 3000 mAh to Ensure That You Have Enough Charge to Get Through the Day

5. Look For a Battery Capacity of Over 3000 mAh to Ensure That You Have Enough Charge to Get Through the Day

Phone batteries are measured in milliamp-hours (mAh). A phone with a large 5000 mAh battery will serve you very well on a single charge, easily lasting you multiple days with moderate use, but those with even a 2000 mAh battery will be more than enough if you're able to charge it most evenings.


If you're an avid consumer of media, then we'd recommend opting for at least 4000 mAh as using a bright screen continuously will leave your phone in the red after about 5 hours or so. If you find yourself near a plug socket most of the day, you won't have to worry too much about being caught in the lurch with even the smallest of batteries!

Jani Ahonen
Photographer and Filmmaker
Jani Ahonen

As a consumer, you don’t need to understand anything about the actual battery inside the smartphone. These days the batteries aren’t really replaceable anymore, and all you need to look for is the actual advertised hours the battery is said to last during regular usage. 


This is where you want to go with a higher number if you wish to use your smartphone for longer periods without charging. One easy way to combat the short battery life is to buy additional battery packs you can carry around with you.

8 Best Budget Smartphones in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

1
OS Android 10
Storage32 GB, microSD slot
RAM2 GB
Camera8 MP rear, 5 MP front
Battery4000 mAh
Dimensions16.6 x 7.7 x 0.8 cm; 620 g
Display Resolution1600 x 720 Pixels
2

SamsungGalaxy A52

£365.95

OS Android 11
Storage128 GB, microSD slot
RAM6 GB
Camera64 MP rear, 32 MP front
Battery4500 mAh
Dimensions15.99 x 7.51 x 0.84 cm; 189 g
Display Resolution1080 x 2400 (FHD+) Pixels
3
OS Android 12
Storage128 GB
RAM8 GB
Camera50 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery4614 mAh
Dimensions15.86 x 7.48 x 0.89 cm; 175 g
Display Resolution1080 x 2400 Pixels
4
OS Android 11
Storage64 GB, microSD slot
RAM4 GB
Camera48 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery5000 mAh
Dimensions16.72 x 7.64 x 0.9 cm; 203 g
Display Resolution2408 x 1080 Pixels
5

Motorola Moto G10

£129.99

OS Android 10
Storage64 GB, microSD slot
RAM4 GB
Camera48 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery5000 mAh
Dimensions16.52 x 7.57 x 0.92 cm; 180 g
Display Resolution1600 x 720 Pixels
6

NokiaX10

£199.99

OS Android 11
Storage64 GB
RAM6 GB
Camera48 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery4470 mAh
Dimensions16.8 x 7.97 x 0.91 cm; 210 g
Display Resolution1080x2400 Pixels
7

OnePlusNord CE 5G

£298.90

OS Android (Oxygen OS)
Storage128 GB, 256 GB, microSD slot
RAM8 GB, 12 GB
Camera64 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery4500 mAh
Dimensions15.92 x 7.35 x 0.79 cm; 750 g
Display Resolution-
8

XiaomiRedmi Note 10

£205.69

OS Android (MIUI 12)
Storage128 GB
RAM4 GB
Camera48 MP rear, 8 MP front
Battery5000 mAh
Dimensions16.18 x 7.53 x 0.89 cm; 190 g
Display Resolution1080x2400 Pixels

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Written and researched by David Sexton

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