There's never been a better time to buy a low-cost smartphone. With flagship phone sales levelling out, manufacturers have put more effort than ever into making truly competitive low-cost phones that pull in premium features without the high price tag.
As such, we've collated a list of some of the best phones money can buy right now, assuming you're on a tight budget. Using the same £250 price limit as our Best Budget Phones roundup, below you'll find a host of devices that punch above their weight in terms of features, performance and design, considering their price.
Best Budget Phone Deals
Budget phone buying advice
There are a lot of affordable smartphones out there and although swinging for the lowest price tag can be tempting, it doesn't make sense to skimp on a product you'll likely end up using almost every day for months or years at a time.
Try and buy from an established brand that you know and trust, not only as bigger companies' products are usually held to higher quality standards, but should anything go wrong with your purchase, more established players also typically offer more robust customer support systems.
Don't expect affordable phones such as these to feel like miniature flagships; such phones most obviously sacrifice hardware and/or camera performance to cut costs, while others opt for lesser build quality or less-premium materials - such as polycarbonate instead of glass or metal.
The display and camera used to be two of the most obvious indicators that you were using a budget handset but even these fundamental pieces of phone hardware have improved massively in recent years. Entries like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 highlight this shift perfectly.
There are also devices like the Moto G9 Power, which place a focus on excelling in one specific area (in this phone's case, battery longevity) whilst still feeling like a more conventional affordable phone in other respects.
One other advantage of buying a more affordable smartphone is that, if you're after a contract, such devices are more likely to come with zero upfront cost, lower monthly pricing and, potentially, shorter-term plans. As such, they also make great first-time options for those new to smartphones, those who are accident-prone and kids.
1. Oppo A9 2020 (8GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £149 (£70.99 off)
The superb Oppo A9 2020 comes with plenty of power, heaps of memory, a rich camera experience and a huge 5,000mAh battery. Now, it also comes with a tidy discount, courtesy of Amazon.
2. OnePlus Nord N100 (4GB RAM, 64GB)
Now: £140 (£39 off)
The baby of the current OnePlus bunch, the Nord N100 is the most affordable way to enjoy the company's superb Oxygen OS user experience and now it's up for grabs with a tidy near-£40 discount on Amazon.
3. Motorola Moto G8 (4GB RAM, 64GB)
Now: £117.63 (£62.36 off)
The Moto G8 delivers a modern viewing experience with a punch-hole front-facing camera, a versatile rear triple camera design and a 4000mAh battery. It's low price frequently gets discounted on Amazon too.
4. Oppo A5 2020 (3GB RAM, 64GB)
Now: £99.95 (£49.05 off)
One of Oppo's most affordable phones of 2020 is now made even cheaper with the latest Amazon deal, seeing a tidy £49.05 taken from the A5 2020's already low RRP.
5. Motorola Moto G8 Power (4GB RAM, 64GB)
Now: £173.49 (£46.50 off)
The Moto G8 Power gets its name from its sizeable 5000mAh battery, which guarantees you at least two days of use per charge and in our review, consistently lasted even longer. Amazon also has a great discount on it, right now.
6. Realme 6i (4GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £139.99 (£49.01 off)
The affordable Realme 6i packs an undeniable punch, with its quad-camera setup and whopping 5000mAh battery. Now, the phone also enjoys a discount, courtesy of Amazon.
7. Huawei P30 Lite (4GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £190.59 (£139.40 off)
One of the last Huawei phones (for the time being) to come complete with Google Play Services and the Play Store, the P30 Lite is still a solid Android smartphone that packs a triple main camera and a dewdrop front-facing camera. Right now, it also benefits from a £140 price drop.
8. Nokia 7.2 (4GB RAM, 64GB)
Now: £235.91 (£14.08 off)
HMD Global's promise of three years of software updates isn't lacking here and neither is the clean Android One user experience offered by the Nokia 7.2. You'll also find a pleasing HDR display and a £14+ discount with this Amazon deal.
9. Samsung Galaxy A20e (3GB RAM, 32GB)
Now: £139.98 (£29.02 off)
One of the most affordable members of Samsung's 2019 A-series smartphones, the Galaxy A20e still boasts great features, like a dual-sensor main camera comprised of a 13Mp wide and a secondary 5Mp ultrawide-angle snapper.
Better still is the discount it's currently enjoying on Amazon. (Discount varies by colour, check before purchase)
10. Huawei P Smart 2019 (3GB RAM, 64GB)
Now: £129.88 (£70.11 off)
The capable Huawei P Smart line benefitted from a refresh for 2019, boasting great specs at an aggressively-low price. This Amazon deal sees £70 knocked off an already low RRP.
11. Huawei P Smart 2021 (4GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £162 (£37.99 off)
The latest in a long line of refreshes for Huawei's established P Smart series; the 2021 edition boasts 22.5W fast charging, a quad camera setup fronted by a 48Mp sensor and a generous 128GB of storage.
With only Huawei Mobile Service and the Huawei App Gallery on board, however, be aware that Google apps are a no-go on this year's model.
12. Huawei P Smart 2020 (4GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £159.99 (£20 off)
A more powerful revision of the already-great P Smart. This 2020 model packs in 4GB RAM and a whopping 128GB of storage. The only issue is that it loses out on Google Mobile Services.
Again, if you'd like to know more about the current affordable phone landscape, give our Best Budget Phones roundup a read or head to our best UK tech deals right now feature, for reductions on other consumer tech.