The Best Smartphone For Your Money?

By that, I mean the smartphones that offer the best features at a given price. Because if you’re about to buy a smartphone, you want the one that offers the best features possible for your budget, right?

If you have the time to do research… but who does?

You don’t have the time to read or the knowledge to understand detailed smartphones reviews and specifications and just want the answers? In other words, what you want to know is:
What’s the best smartphone for my budget?

So if you don’t have the time, don’t worry. We’re here to help you with this article.

The features that we evaluate in order to make our recommendations:

1. Price
2. Performance: CPU, RAM, Storage, GPU and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Panel type, Brightness, Contrast, Viewing Angles and Color Accuracy
4. Portability: Dimensions, Weight, Battery life?
5. Usability: Operating System, Sound quality, Security
6. Reliability: How solid is it? Overall manufacturer long-term reliability?
7. Warranty: Warranty length? What does the warranty cover?

Summary

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you, or scroll down to see them all, in this order.

The Best Smartphones:

  1. Entry-level
  2. Mid-range
  3. High-end

Upgrade your Smartphones:

  1. Add extra storage with a MicroSD memory card
  2. Get a case to protect your phone

A reminder:

My recommendations in this article are based on the prices that I saw on January 7th 2017. Prices and availability change all the time. While I can’t keep up with ever changing prices, I do recommend to you what are in my professional experience the best smartphones around a price point.

Leave a comment if you have a question, a suggestion and/or any feedback that you want to share.

The Best Entry-level Smartphones

1. LG Google Nexus 4

This is the least expensive smartphone that I recommend. It is a fine phone for calling, texting, light web browsing and running a few apps at a time.

It has 2GB of RAM which at this price is pretty decent, but only has 8GB of onboard storage which is pretty limited. Your phone can be filed quickly.

That said, as a basic phone, it’s a fine inexpensive choice.

Pros:
– 8MP f/2.4 rear camera offers a good picture quality and is easily comparable to more expensive models.
– Good 1.5GHz quad-core CPU
– 2GB of RAM allows you to run a few apps at the same time without slowdowns
– The build is made out of aluminium which means it is less likely to break when dropped.
– Battery offers up to 15H talk time.
– Corning Gorilla Glass 2 offers a better protection for your screen against bumps, drops and shocks.
– 1080p HD Camera

Cons:
– HD screen has a resolution of 720 x 1280 which is less then average.
– 8GB of internal storage is not that much and the phone can be filed quickly.
– No MicroSD slot.

Get the LG Google Nexus 4

Click here to see the price on Amazon

2. BLU Life One X2 2GB RAM / 16GB storage

This is a nice update from my previous reommendation as you get a better processor, a great 16MP rear camera and a 8MP front camera. On top of that you get 16GB onboard storage with a possibility of extra storage with a MicroSD slot.

Pros:
– 2GB of RAM allows you to run a few apps at the same time without slowdowns
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz Octa-Core CPU is pretty good at this price range
– Full HD 1920 x 1080 display resolution
– Runs with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, which means a more stable and optimal user experience.
– 16MP f/2.2 rear camera offers a good picture quality and is easily comparable to more expensive models. 8MP front camera is decent too.
– The microSD slot lets you add a microSD card with up to 128GB to store extra music, videos and pictures.
– Quick Charge 3.0
– Decent battery (6 hours while streaming full screen video on LTE)
– Fingerprint reader for extra authentication security

Cons:
– Although 2GB of RAM is decent at the price range, it is also not that much so don’t expect to be able to do much multitasking on this phone.
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the BLU LIFE ONE X2

16GB of storage from Amazon and  B&H ($149.99)

3. BLU Life One X2 4GB RAM / 64GB storage

This is a similar model, but with twice the RAM (4GB) so you can run more apps without slowdowns and with 4 times the onboard storage (64GB!).

Pros:
– Full HD 1920 x 1080 display
– The 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex A53 Octa-Core processor, combined with 4GB of RAM means this phones is able to smoothly run on casual use and run multiple applications without any problems. In other words it offers a smooth performance.
– 16MP f/2.2 rear camera offers a good picture quality and is easily comparable to more expensive models. 8MP front camera is decent too.
– Runs with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, which means a more stable and optimal user experience.
– It has a 64GB internal storage capacity which means you can store a great amount of videos, music, pictures and application without having to add extra storage or worry about filling up space to quickly.
– The microSD slot lets you add a microSD card with up to 64GB to store extra music, videos and pictures.
– Fingerprint scanner for improved security and convenience.
– Decent battery (6 hours while streaming full screen video on LTE)
– Quick Charge 3.0

Cons:
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the BLU LIFE ONE X2

64GB of Storage from Amazon and B&H ($199.99)

The Best Mid-Range Smartphones

4. LG G4

lgg4

The LG G4 is the most inexpensive mid-range smartphone that we recommend. It is equipped with a good Snapdragon CPU combined with 3GB of RAM for a smooth performance.

It has 32GB of onboard storage which is a decent amount for images, music, videos and applications. If you ever need extra storage space you can add more with the available MicroSD slot.

This model is also equipped with a great 16MP f/1.8 camera with optical stabilization for beautiful pictures even in the dark and a full manual mode with RAW if you want to take fully advantage of it.

Finally, it has a removable battery so it is possible to carry an extra battery around and just swap it whenever it is needed, to go from 0% to 100% in a matter of seconds!

Pros:
– Good CPU (Snapdragon 808) means this phone will run smoothly in most circumstances without having any performance problems.
– Great 16MP f/1.8 optical stabilization camera which takes beautiful pictures, even in low-light
– Full manual camera control
– Laser autofocus on the camera for nearly instantaneous autofocus, so that you don’t miss that moment.
– 3GB of RAM which allows you to run multiple apps without any problems
– Micro SD slot
– Removable battery
– Beautiful 2560 x 1440 Quad HD IPS display for a bright, crisp and colourful display.

Cons:
– The build is partially made of plastic so it’s not as solid as other smartphones. This is the trade off for a lighter phone.
– 32GB internal storage is less than competitive models

Get the LG G4

32GB of storage from B&H ($249.99)

 

5. LG V10 H900

The LG V10 H900 has amazing specs for its price. You get 64GB of onboard storage with which you can add plenty of music, videos and images without worrying too much about filling your phone quickly and if you ever need extra storage space, you can always add extra storage space with a MicroSD card that goes up to 128GB! It is also equipped with 4GB of RAM which, combined with the fairly powerful Snapdragon 808 SOC can multitask easily and run smoothly. In terms of power and features at this price point, this phone is pretty much unsurpassed.

Pros:
– Great 16MP f/2.2 camera which takes beautiful pictures.
– Good CPU (Snapdragon 808) means this phone will run smoothly in most circumstances without having any performance problems.
– Good amount of onboard storage: 64GB to add applications, pictures, videos and music.
– Beautiful 2560 x 1440 Quad HD IPS display for a bright, crisp and colourful display.
– 4GB of RAM which makes multitasking easy.
– Gyroscope, Magnetometer and Proximity sensor.
– Laser autofocus on the camera for nearly instantaneous autofocus, so that you don’t miss that moment.
– Quick charge
– Has a Fingerprint sensor which gives you a possibility of adding extra security to your device.
– MicroSD slot to add extra storage with a MicroSD card.
– Removable battery so you can always carry an extra battery around or change the battery when needed.
– Second 2.1″ screen for shortcuts and notifications

Cons:
– The build is partially made of plastic so it’s not as solid as other smartphones. This is the trade off for a lighter phone.

Get the LG V10 H900

64GB of storage from Amazon and B&H ($299.00)

6. Apple Iphone SE

Same size as the Iphone 4s, so if you find the new Iphones too large and want a smaller model, this is the right choice. It packs all the same powerful hardware as the Iphone 6s but fits more easily in your pocket and is less expensive.

Pros:
– Outstanding performance: Apple devices have high-end CPUs, are very responsive will last you years if you take care of it.
– iOS is a very user friendly and stable operating system : this means it is easier to navigate around your device and it is also less likely to crash at any given time or in any situation.
– Great resolution : Apple products offer the most beautiful image and display quality on all of their phones.

Cons:
– No MicroSD slot for extra storage means you are limited to the internal storage , althought Apple does have Icloud, a cloud storage service that is easy to use if you ever need extra storage.
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the Apple Iphone SE

16GB of storage : Click here to see the price on Amazon 
64GB of storage: Click here to see the price on Amazon 

The Best High-End Smartphones

7. ZTE AXON 7

This Smartphone is all you need if you are looking for a device that is powerful, has plenty of RAM for multitasking, good amount of storage with extra storage options, great camera and a beautiful screen quality.

It has a powerful Snapdragon 820 CPU, a 20MP rear camera, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage with a possibility of adding extra storage with a MicroSD slot.

Pros:
– Powerful Snapdragon 820 CPU
– 4GB of RAM
– 64GB of storage
– Dual SIM
– Great camera that that offers clear picture quality.
– MicroSD slot to add extra storage for more pictures, music , videos and applications.
– Has a Fingerprint sensor which gives you a possibility of adding extra security to your device.
– Runs with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, which means a more stable and optimal user experience.
– QHD 2560 x 1440 Resolution with AMOLED display.

Cons:
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the ZTE AXON 7

64GB storage from Amazon, B&H ($399.98) and Newegg ($399.98)

8. OnePlus 3T
oneplus_3

With the newer and more powerful Snapdragon 821 SOC, 6GB of RAM, a 13% better battery life, an outstanding 16MP front camera, the OnePlus 3T is the improved replacement of the already excellent OnePlus 3.

Compared to the ZTE Axon, you get a lower resolution screen (still 1920 x 1080 Full HD) and lose the micro SD slot, but the higher performance (better CPU/GPU and more RAM), longer battery life and faster charging make up for that in my opinion.

Pros:
– Powerful Snapdragon 821 CPU
– 6GB of RAM
– 64GB of storage
– Dual SIM
– Great camera that that offers clear picture quality.
– Dash charge: 63% charge in 30 minutes
– Has a Fingerprint sensor which gives you a possibility of adding extra security to your device.
– Runs with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, which means a more stable and optimal user experience.
– Amazing battery life that offers up to 16 hours of battery on video playback in airplane mode.

Cons:
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.
– No microSD slot

Get the OnePlus 3T

64GB ($439) or 128GB ($479) storage from Oneplus

9. Samsung Galaxy s7

The latest version of Samsung’s popular line of Galaxy S smartphones. Powerful, waterproof, great camera, top-notch display, fast charging, everything that you’d expect from a flagship phone.

Pros:
– Waterproof design: you don’t have to worry about rain, spillage and other liquids when it comes to this phone.
– The rear camera on this phone takes some of the most beautiful and clear pictures you can get on an android high-end phone.
– The microSD slot lets you add a microSD card with up to 200GB to store extra music, videos and pictures.
– Amazing resolution : the screen of this device looks sharp and the colors are beautiful, you can get the most out of your images, videos and apps when it comes to the display.
– This device supports fast charging and can charge your phone up to 60% under just 30 minutes.

Cons:
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the Samsung Galaxy s7

32GB storage from Amazon, B&H ($529.99) and Newegg ($509.99)

10. Samsung S7 Edge

Similar to the S7 when it comes to performance, but with a slightly bigger 5.5″ display that’s curved, with edges on both side. Also offers 20% more battery capacity than the S7.

Pros:
– The rear camera on this phone takes some of the most beautiful and clear pictures you can get on an android professional phone.
– The microSD slot lets you add a microSD card with up to 200GB to store extra music, videos and pictures.
– Amazing resolution : the screen of this device looks sharp and the colors are beautiful, you can get the most out of your images, videos and apps when it comes to the display.
– Runs with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, which means a more stable and optimal user experience.
– Waterproof design : you don’t have to worry about rain, spillage and other liquids when it comes to this phone.
– Impressive battery: High capacity (3600 mAh) On video playback this phone can play up to 20 hours before the battery completely drains which makes it one of the best battery out of all smartphones.
– This device supports fast charging and can charge your phone up to 60% under just 30 minutes.

Cons:
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the Samsung S7 Edge

32GB of storage from Amazon, B&H ($619.99) and Newegg ($589.99)

11. Apple Iphone 6S

While it’s no longer Apple’s latest Iphone, the Iphone 6S remains an excellent iOS phone, which is now available at a lower price than the Iphone 7.

Pros:
– Outstanding performance: Apple Iphones have outstanding CPUs, are very responsive will last you years if you take care of it.
– iOS is a very user friendly and stable operating system : this means it is easier to navigate around your device and it is also less likely to crash at any given time or in any situation.
– Great display quality

Cons:
– No MicroSD slot for extra storage means you are limited to the internal storage , althought Apple does have Icloud, a cloud storage service that is easy to use if you ever need extra storage.
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the Apple Iphone 6s

16GB of storage from Amazon and Newegg ($549.99)
32GB of storage from Amazon and Newegg ($649.99)
64GB of storage from Amazon and Newegg ($599.99)
128GB of storage from Amazon and Newegg ($837.99)

12. Apple Iphone 6s Plus

The Plus format is good for people who like a bigger screen and it also offers optical image stabilization compared to the regular Iphone 6S.

Get the Apple Iphone 6s Plus

16GB of storage  from Amazon and Newegg ($649.99)
32GB of storage: Click here to get the price from Amazon
64GB of storage  from Amazon  and Newegg ($799.99)
128GB of storage  from Amazon and Newegg ($799.99)

13. LG V20

When it comes to high-end Android smartphones, the LG v20 truly has it all. It comes equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. Need more storage space? Don’t worry as this smartphone is equipped with a MicroSD slot to add extra storage space.

Some of the key features of this phone include the high quality Hi-Fi Quad DAC Audio which makes it one of the best phones for audio playback. It is also equipped with not one but two rear cameras : a 16MP f/1.8 as a primary camera and a 8MP f/2.4 Wide-Angle camera. This phone also comes with the latest Android 7 operating system at launch, which means you get a phone that is more stable and offers a better performance.

Pros:
– Powerful Snapdragon 820 CPU and 4GB of RAM: you will have little to no problems at all running any apps or multi-tasking with this device.
– Hi-Fi Quad DAC Audio, offering clearing sound, 132 dB SNR and 124 dB of dynamic range. Voltage output is twice as much as any other smartphone, ideal for driving high impedance headphones.
– 64GB of onboard storage.
– MicroSD slot to add a MicroSD card for extra storage capacity.
– Android 7.0 which is the latest version of Android : this means a better performance and stability.
– Beautiful Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution with IPS display.
– Wide angle front camera, so all your friends fit in your selfie
– Advanced Manual Photo Mode and Video Mode
– 3 High AOP (Acoustic Overload Point) Mics allow you to record loud scenes without sound distortion.
– Hybrid autofocus: LDAF (Laser Detection Auto Focus), PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) and Contrast AF
– Removable battery so you can change it whenever it’s needed or even to carry a spare battery around.
– Aluminum body for a more solid build and better in hand feel.
– Quick Charge, 0-50% in 30 minutes
– Two rear cameras : 16MP f/1.8 primary camera and a 8MP Wide-Angle camera.
– Second 2.1″ screen for shortcuts and notifications
– USB Type-C

Cons:
– Average battery life compared to other similar models (13 hours video playback on airplane mode)

Get the LG V20

64GB storage from Amazon, B&H ($799.99) and Newegg ($799.99)

14. Apple Iphone 7

The Iphone 7 is Apple’s latest model and most powerful up to date. It packs new interesting features such as 3D Touch, as well as a waterproofing and dust resistant design.

Pros:
– Unmatched CPU performance: you will have little to no problems at all running any apps or multi-tasking with this device.
– Waterproof and dust resistant design which makes it easier to bring your phone out on the beach or in the rain without fear of damaging it.
– iOS is a very user friendly and stable operating system : this means it is easier to navigate around your device and it is also less likely to crash at any given time or in any situation.
– Outstanding display: Apple products offer the most beautiful image and display quality on all of their phones.
– Amazing camera: this camera takes some of the most beautiful pictures.

Cons:
– Lacks the headphone jack (Adapter uses the Lightning charging port instead)
– No MicroSD slot for extra storage means you are limited to the internal storage.
– The battery is non-removable which means it can’t be changed if it’s ever used or if it doesn’t work anymore.

Get the Apple Iphone 7

32GB storage from Amazon, and Newegg ($719.99)
128GB storage from Amazon and Newegg ($829.99)
256GB storage from Amazon and Newegg ($929.99)

15. Apple Iphone 7 Plus

The Apple Iphone 7 Plus is similar to the Iphone 7 except that it offers a larger display and has a few extra features like the Wide-Angle and Telephoto cameras.

It also features optical stabilization for the camera, for improved low-light camera performance.

On the downside, charging is slow, it takes 3 hours to fully charge.

Get the Apple Iphone 7 Plus

32GB storage from Amazon and Newegg ($929.99)
128GB storage from Amazon and Newegg ($1009.99)
256GB storage from Amazon and Newegg ($1119.99)

Upgrade your Smartphone:

Get extra storage with a microSD memory card

You can get a microSD memory card to increase your phone’s total storage capacity, but only if your phone has a microSD slot.
Click here to browse MicroSD cards on Amazon

Protect your phone with a case

Click here to browse smartphone cases on Amazon

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on the Best Smartphones!

I invite you to leave a comment, let me know what you thought of this article.

Do you think that I forgot a pro or a con for a smartphone?

Perhaps you believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation and want my professional opinion.

A smartphone might no longer be available or you may have some questions.

Just leave a comment below now and I’ll get back to you.