A Few Budget Options for Your 2020 Smartphone Search

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve taken a look at the 2020 flagship smartphones as well as some innovative new devices that are available now. This week, we will take a look at some of the budget options that are available to consumers. Not everyone has $1,000 to pay for a smartphone, but there are some pretty solid options out there that can provide a sufficient user experience to meet people’s mobile challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the options.

Past Flagship Phones
We should start by mentioning that some of the best options are actually purchasing flagship phones from the past couple of years. Most flagship smartphones from 2018 have the same specs as many of the mid-range phones today, so they can be had at a budget price point. These devices tend to not only have comparable specs, they typically have superior build quality, run on better processors and offer a user experience in line or better than the experience they would get on some budget smartphones.

Some options to consider are the Samsung Galaxy s9 and s9+, LG’s V50 thinQ, the iPhone X and the Google Pixel 3 XL. The only drawback of older phones is that they may not get the same amount of software upgrades that a newly-purchased phone would. Either way, you might get the most value out of an older flagship phone.

Apple iPhone SE
The 2020 version of the iPhone SE still has the body of an iPhone 8, but the internals are upgraded and it presents users that can’t afford the $1,000 iPhone 12 Pro Max to get a new iPhone at a reasonable price point. The new SE runs iOS 13 on the A13 Bionic chipset to offer the user experience Apple users expect out of a budget iPhone.

Body: Aluminum with Gorilla Glass front and back
Display: 4.7-inch Retina IPS LCD (~326 ppi)
OS: iOS 13
Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic
Memory: 3GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear: 12-megapixel (wide) Front: 7-megapixel
Sounds: Stereo speakers, No headphone jack
Battery (endurance rating): 4,500 mAh (87 hours)
Security: Fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Compass, Siri assistant
Other versions: None

Samsung Galaxy A51
Samsung has 10 separate devices in their A-line. They range from the A01 to the A71, but the Galaxy A51 is priced at the upper end of the budget space. The A51 features a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, expandable storage and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is a great option if you are looking for a phone that gives you a decent user experience while also turning back the clock a bit. Available in Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White, Prism Crush Blue or Prism Crush Pink, the Galaxy A51 can be found on most major carriers and unlocked online.

Body: Plastic with Gorilla Glass 3 front, plastic back
Display: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED (~405 ppi)
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Octa-core Exynos 9611
Memory: 4-8GB RAM
Expandable Memory: microSDXC
Cameras: Rear: 48-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth) Front: 32-megapixel (wide)
Sounds: Loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery (endurance rating): 4,000 mAh (86 hours)
Security: In-display fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Barometer, Compass, Bixby assistant
Other versions: Samsung Galaxy A-series

Google Pixel 4a 5G
A 5G-capable budget smartphone, the Google Pixel 4a 5G features a 6.2-inch OLED display and has specs that are better than its price point would suggest. Its camera experience, specifically, is much better than phones found at this price. Available in Just Black and Clearly White, the Pixel 4a 5G is available in the Google store or from many major service carriers.

Body: Plastic with Gorilla Glass 3 front and plastic back
Display: 6.2-inch OLED, HDR (~413 ppi)
OS: Android 11
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Memory: 6GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear: 12.2-megapixel (wide), 16-megapixel (ultra wide) Front: 8-megapixel (wide)
Sounds: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery: 3,885 mAh
Security: Fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Barometer, Compass, Google Assistant
Other versions: 4G LTE version