Phones for 2022 – The Value Devices

Last week, we published a blog about the most impressive new smartphones on the market, but the price tag might be a bit daunting for some organizations and users. For those focused more on value, here are three options that you can pick up for less than $500.


Google Pixel 5a 5G
The Pixel 5a, a copy of the Pixel 4a, offers a brushed aluminum back and Gorilla Glass 6 front protecting its aluminum frame. It also sports a 6.34-inch, 2400 x 1080 pixel OLED display. Instead of using the more recent Tensor chip, the 5a is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G with 6G of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. The specs are basically the same as the Pixel 4a, but there is still a significant power for price for this mid-range smartphone.

The camera setup is similar to other Pixel phones. Powered by the Android 12 operating system, the Pixel 5a’s 12.2-megapixel wide-angle lens and 16-megapixel ultrawide angle lens can take some excellent pictures for a mid-tier phone. The front-facing lens is an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. Compared to the other Pixel phones, the battery here is quite impressive, sitting at 4,680 mAh for a 122-hour battery life and 18W fast charging. Users also have access to a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and IP67 dust and water resistance. Only available in Mostly Black, $449 can get you the Pixel 5a from the Google Store.

Google Pixel 5a

Body: Aluminum frame, aluminum back, Gorilla Glass 3 front.
Display: 6.34-inch OLED, 2400 x 1800 (~415 ppi)
OS: Android 11, Upgradable to Android 12
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Memory: 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear: 12.2-megapixel 27mm; 16-megapixel 119º; Front: 8-megapixel 24mm
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,680 mAh (122 hours)
Security: Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: IP67 dust and water resistant
Other versions: n/a

Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
With an aluminum frame, the A71 5G sports a plastic back and Gorilla Glass 3 on the front, along with a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with a 1080 x 2400 resolution. The model will determine whether you are equipped with an Exynos 980 chipset with either 6 or 8GB of RAM. Regardless, you are getting 126GB of onboard storage with microSDXC expandability. The device comes with Samsung’s One UI 3.0 operating system and Android 10, but it can be upgraded to Android 11 and One UI 3.2.

The device’s back has four rear-facing cameras in total: one a 64-megapixel wide-angle lens, another 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 5-megapixel macro lens joined by a 5-megapixel depth camera. On the front, you get a 32-megapixel wide-angle lens. The Galaxy A71 5G offers 5G capabilities powered by a 4,500 mAh battery with 25W fast charging. The device is also secured by an in-display fingerprint sensor. The A71 5G is available in Prism Cube Black, Prism Cube Silver, and Prism Cube Blue online for $250 to $350.

Samsung Galaxy A71 5G

Body: Aluminum frame, plastic back, Gorilla Glass 3 front
Display: 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus, 1080 x 2400 (~393 ppi)
OS: Android 10, upgradeable to Android 11; One UI 3.0
Chipset: Exynos 980
Memory: 6 or 8GB RAM; 128GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: microSDXC
Cameras: Rear: 64-megapixel 26mm; 12-megapixel 123º; 5-megapixel macro; 5-megapixel depth; Front: 32-megapixel 26mm
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,500 mAh (98 hours)
Security: In-display fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: 25W fast charging
Other versions: Samsung Galaxy A71; Samsung Galaxy A72 (2021)

Motorola Moto G Power
Constructed from a hard plastic frame and back as well as a glass front, the Moto G Power is a far cry from quality build, but it does have a solid value proposition. Its screen is a 6.6-inch IPS LCD, 90 hertz display with a resolution of 720 x 1600, running Android 11 on its Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset, with 4GB of RAM and your choice of 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage. This device only costs about $200, so it’s hard to beat that value.

As for its camera, the Moto G Power claims a 48-megapixel wide-angle camera with a pair of 2-megapixel cameras for depth and macro resolution. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. This device also sports a 5,000 mAh battery and 10W fast charging with 130 hours of battery life, all for under $200. With a side-mounted fingerprint sensor to help secure it and a water-repellent coating protecting it, the Moto G Power is a relatively affordable choice in Flash Gray and Polar Silver.

Motorola G Power

Body: Plastic frame, plastic back, glass front
Display: 6.6-inch IPS LCD; 720 x 1600 (~270 ppi)
OS: Android 11
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
Memory: 4GB RAM; 64 or 126 GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: microSDXC
Cameras: Rear: 48-megapixel wide; 2-megapixel depth; 2-megapixel macro; Front: 8-megapixel wide
Sounds: Stereo sound
Battery (battery endurance rating): 5,000 mAh (~130 hours)
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Miscellaneous: Water-repellent coating
Other versions: n/a

Other Phones to Think About
There are other phones you can purchase based on the value they offer, such as the last iteration of today’s flagship devices. They might cost you more than the above options, but they are certainly less than those from this year. All that said, even this year’s flagships also offer multiple models that are somewhat affordable. Instead of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, maybe purchase an iPhone 13. The Google Pixel 6 comes with the new Tensor chip, and only costs $599. Regardless, know that it isn’t that hard to find a good value in a device without having to shell out an extra $50 every month to lease from your carrier.