Science & Technology



CNET: Best phones under $200: Our favorite budget phones that deliver a lot for the money


Published in Science & Technology News

If you need a reliable phone that's $200 or cheaper, CNET has a few tips for you.

Here we offer a few budget phone options available at very wallet-friendly prices. Some of these choices have been fully reviewed by CNET editors, while others are ones we hope to get our hands on soon. Note that we've linked to the unlocked version of each phone where available, and they should run on most of the big four U.S. wireless carriers, unless specified otherwise.

A budget phone may be less expensive, but many of these still offer features that enthusiasts crave, including a great front camera and rear camera and even an elusive headphone jack! Here are three of CNET's top picks for great smartphones that won't drain your bank account.


Samsung Galaxy A01

CNET TAKE: As the cheapest of Samsung's A series of phones, the Galaxy A01 surprisingly offers a lot for the bargain phone price. That includes a fast-charging 3,000-mAh battery for up to 25 hours of battery life, a teardrop camera design and a 5.7-inch display. The handset covers the basics well enough that, for its low price, it should be a decent device to snap photos, check email, watch videos and, of course, make calls.


Motorola Moto E6

CNET TAKE: Launched in July 2019, the Moto E6 smartphone is now available for $110. It features a 13-megapixel camera, a headphone jack and a 5.5-inch display. Oddly enough, it also has a Micro-USB port for charging (rather than the newer USB-C).


With a plastic body, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 chipset and 2GB of RAM, this phone is the successor to the Moto E5. The Moto E6 also has a 5.5-inch HD display and a removable 3,000-mAh battery that Motorola says should be able to last over a full day. Like other Moto phones, it has a nano-coating for splash and rain protection as well. A 13-megapixel camera can be found on the rear, with a 5-megapixel sensor around the front for selfies. The modest 16GB of built-in storage can be expanded via microSD card.


LG K40

CNET TAKE: Available for under $200, the midrange LG K40 Android phone debuted in 2019 and features a 5.7-inch display, a fingerprint sensor and a 13-megapixel camera. The phone is powered by an octa-core processor and a 3,000-mAh battery.

The LG K40 features a high-end display and a focus on artificial intelligence. It incorporates a 5.7-inch version of LG's HD Plus FullVision display, as well as an AI feature called AI Cam, which helps the camera recognize the object that's in front of it — humans, pets and food, for example — and adjust its settings accordingly.


The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior Editor Brian Bennett, staff writer Eli Blumenthal, former staff writer Lynn La, Night Editor Steven Musil and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit

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