If you’re on this page, it’s likely that you’re shopping on a budget and really want to know how just cheap a smartphone can get before it becomes totally useless. Well, you’re in luck: there are actually quite a few best Android phones under $100 if you know where to look.
They are obviously not going to be the most feature-packed or powerful devices on the market, but we’ve used nearly every device on this list and can recommend ones that will function reliably without breaking the bank. You might even be surprised by some of the specs. The NUU A23 Plus, for example, earns the top spot for the best bang for buck below $100. For users outside the U.S., the Xiaomi Redmi 12C easily matches that price and appears even sweeter when you pair it with the right discount. Some of these smartphones, like UMIDIGI’s Power 5, even manage to pack in features that are found in flagship smartphones.
At a glance
Designed to look like a phone that costs thrice as much, the NUU A23 Plus comes with a 6.3-inch display, dual cameras, Android 13, and 3GB RAM coupled with 64GB internal storage.
Although it doesn’t support CDMA carriers in the U.S., Xiaomi’s Redmi 12C is a tantalizingly good deal, complete with a reliable fingerprint sensor, face unlock, a 50MP camera, and other high-end specs.
Buy the BLU G33 and you get a $60 phone with a clean Android 13 Go experience and a neat textured back. It isn’t a lot, but you get guaranteed support for T-Mobile and plenty of accessories in the box.
Best dumb phone
Best dumb phone
The Cat S22 Flip offers the best of both worlds if you’re looking to ditch your smartphone in favor of something a bit simpler, complete with a few Android apps, robust IP68 water and dust resistance, and a no-frills camera experience.
The TCL 30 Z works perfectly with Verizon in the U.S. and offers decent specs such as MediaTek’s Helio A22 chipset, face unlock for biometric security, and expandable storage of up to 512GB.
The NUU A23 Plus has many exciting features, including a 6.3-inch HD+ display, a MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage with a microSD slot. You can use memory cards as big as 512GB with this mighty sub-$100 device. The sleek design is reminiscent of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G’s premium looks, which is a device that costs nearly thrice as much.
NUU also gives you an 8MP rear shooter and a 5MP front camera, a headphone jack, as well as a 3,850mAh removable battery paired with a Type-C charging port. But the most significant advantage is that you get a stock Android 13 interface, making the phone a delight to use. The combination of the specs is among the best you’ll find in this particular category.
This budget Android phone costs well below $100 and supports major U.S. carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, and all their MVNOs. Only Verizon is missing from the bunch, making the dual-SIM NUU A23 Plus a fantastic option for U.S. residents.
It’s hard to believe that $100 can get you a phone like the Redmi 12C. The Xiaomi phone’s design itself is pretty standard for this price range — a full-plastic body and a small camera cut-out on the front display — but Xiaomi offers a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and cameras that are better than you might expect.
The MediaTek Helio G85 processor inside offers plenty of performance for everyday use, pushing the boundaries of what a cheap phone is capable of. You get multiple memory combos, but the cheapest variant of the Redmi 12C comes with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage.
You even get a delightfully large battery rated 5,000mAh. A single charge could get you two to three days of use, which is good because the 10W micro-USB charger included in the box will take several hours to juice things up. Best charge it overnight and just enjoy using it while you’re awake.
The 50MP primary camera is the star of the show, delivering the best results of any phone at this price range. Sadly, the Redmi 12C isn’t officially available in the U.S. and even if you get your hands on it, carrier support is tricky. If that doesn’t matter to you, this is definitely the best phone for anyone with a $100 budget.
Exquisite design isn’t something you see with Android phones within this budget, and while “exquisite” isn’t exactly the word we’d use to describe the BLU G33, it certainly stands out from the rest of the phones on this list. The eye-catching textured design on the back is bold and attractive.
Joining that design is a great 6.26-inch LCD display, two 5MP selfie and rear cameras, a side-mounted fingerprint reader integrated into the power button, upgradable storage, and face unlock for further security.
The processor is one of the faster ones in this category — the octa-core ARM Cortex A55. However, the 2GB/16GB memory is very poor. It’s got some of the worst battery life on this list though, as the 3,000mAh cell won’t last more than a day. You get some consolation in the form of the USB-C charging port.
In addition to the phone itself, BLU also gives you all of the accessories you could need right in the box. Included at no extra cost are a screen protector, silicone case, charger, cable, and a BLU sticker for you to place wherever. All in all, the water-resistant BLU G33 is a great budget phone for well below $100.
Best dumb phone
If you aren’t familiar, dumb phones are essentially just super simple devices that lack all of the bells and whistles found in modern smartphones. There are typically no apps, no touchscreen, and no high-tech camera software; just try to picture the phone you used in 2006. Durable, cheap, and long-lasting, these devices have been seeing a resurgence in popularity among people who are trying to disconnect from being constantly online. Others may be interested in a dumb phone for privacy reasons or to improve their work/life balance. No matter the reason, the Cat S22 Flip is one of the best dumb phones with Android AND it costs less than $100.
Now, if you want to get technical, it’s worth noting that the Cat S22 Flip cannot really be called a true dumb phone since it runs Android 11. If you’re willing to ignore the semantics, you’ll get a great phone powered by the quad-core Snapdragon 215 chipset. You can download simple apps like Facebook and YouTube, the phone has a 2.8-inch touchscreen inside, and the entire thing is military-grade tough, touting resistance to water, dust and insane temperatures.
The Cat S22 Flip comes complete with up to 12 hours of battery life, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, USB-C charging, a programmable button, an external screen, a 5MP primary camera, a 2MP selfie lens, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
While the TCL 30 Z isn’t as fancy of a phone as the brand’s newer TCL 40 XL, it doesn’t fit the bill. In the sub-$100 bracket, the TCL 30 Z is the best of the brand’s offerings. There’s something to be said about simplicity, and though the TCL 30 Z is simple, it still has the core of a cheerfully cheap smartphone to keep you satisfied.
Running Android 12 out of the box, the TCL 30 Z sports the quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 processor, and pleasantly, it has 3GB of RAM. You get 32GB of storage onboard and it can be increased up to a whopping 512GB via microSD. The phone’s 6.1-inch HD+ LCD panel is dwarfed by a thick forehead and chin but with NXTVISION, it looks nice and crisp.
There are dual cameras — an 8MP primary shooter and a 5MP front-facing sensor. Just don’t expect much from the image quality, as TCL clearly spent the phone’s manufacturing budget on other parts. Thankfully, you can expect excellent battery life from the 3,000mAh cell for all-day usage. That is somewhat marred by the micro-USB port for charging, but at least you get Verizon support, which is hard to come by in this price range.
It may not be the flashiest thing out there, but UMIDIGI’s Power 5 offers just about everything you could possibly want in a sub-$100 Android smartphone, while also packing a few extras.
While the 6.53-inch HD+ display of the Power 5 obviously can’t hold a candle to the Super AMOLED screens you’d find in some of the best Android phones in the market, it’s perfectly fine for everyday usage. The smartphone is powered by MediaTek’s Helio G25 SoC and comes with 3GB or 4GB of RAM. You can choose between 64GB or 128GB of internal storage and expand it further up to 256GB via a microSD card. That said, the biggest highlight of this affordable smartphone is its built-in contactless thermometer, which uses Infrared technology to measure your body temperature. The only other smartphone (that we know of!) having this feature is the Google Pixel 8 Pro, and that thing costs more than ten times as the Power 5.
UMIDIGI Power 5 comes with a triple-lens rear camera setup, comprising a 16MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP macro module. The software — Android 11 — is quite dated and there’s no 5G connectivity, but you can’t have everything at this price. Among other goodies are a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a 6,150mAh battery with support for 10W charging support.
What is the best budget Android phone?
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There are many junk Android phones that you can buy in this $100 price range, but there are also many great ones, as proven in this article. Overall, the NUU A23 Plus stands out as the best cheap Android phone that we’ve managed to find under the $100 threshold. When it comes to buying cheap phones, you want to get as many features as possible. The NUU A23 Plus gives you bang for your buck at around $80 for a clean Android 13 experience.
For Verizon support in the U.S. however, the TCL 30 Z is the top pick. It costs $100 and comes with a variety of decent features including a great screen, plenty of storage, decent performance, expandable storage, and face unlock. The one caveat here is the dated micro-USB port, but that’s one sacrifice you’ll have to make for Verizon support in this budget. We also suggest the UMIDIGI Power 5, which offers decent specs, a big battery, and even a contactless Infrared thermometer, all for less than $100.
If none of these phones tickle your fancy and you’re willing to stretch your budget a little, we’ve also gathered the best Android phones under $200 for you to choose from.