5 best cheap mobile phones for 2018

ByPete Leary
Cheap mobile phones

If there’s one thing we like around here, it’s finding a good deal. And that goes for mobile phones too. The flagship phones may steal all the headlines, but lower your gaze from the top shelf and there are plenty of great phones available at winning prices.

The best flagship phones with all the latest envy-inducing features are all surpassing the £600 mark these days, which can make it a bit difficult to find a decent mobile on a budget. But never fear - broadbandchoices is here. Read on for the run-down of our five favourite mobile phones for 2018 that won't break the bank.

1. Moto G5

Still packing plenty of punch in a busy Android budget market, the fifth generation Moto G phone is a solid all-rounder that looks the part and has features where it counts.

With a slick metal design and fresh HD display, the G5's build quality disguises its budget origins, and a steady software experience and sleek fingerprint sensor will have you convinced it's a higher-end phone.

That said, an average camera and the lack of an NFC chip - no mobile payments for you! - deflates the balloon a little, and it's not waterproof either, so no TV in the bath.

But all in all, the Moto G5 is a cracking addition to the Motorola range and represents excellent value for money as one of the best budget smartphones around.

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2. Honor 9 Lite 

We know looks aren't everything, but when your smartphone comes in under £200 and looks this good, then, well…

A dapper addition to the value range, the Honor 9 Lite's premium looks certainly outshine other, pricier smartphones, and its all-screen design is a rare treat on a budget phone. Throw in a decent camera - actually, throw in four cameras - and you've got a very satisfying unit.

Given how attractive this phone is, the decision to give it a glass back jars a little, as your fingerprints will quickly render it a bit of a state. Also, the camera's poor low-light performance could deter any budding night photographers from investing.

Those points aside, this is a classy bit of kit that delivers on a great price tag.

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3. Huawei P20 Lite

Borrowing some of its stylish looks from the iPhone X, the Huawei - P20 Lite could well be the phone for you if Apple's handset is outside your price range.

Budget smartphones don't usually fly the flag for great cameras, but the P20 Lite's 16-megapixel and 2-megapixel dual cameras and array of shooting modes mean all your photography needs are well catered for. And there's plenty of bang for your buck with 64GB storage, Huawei Kirin 659 Octa-core processor and a solid 3,000 mAh battery.

Its real-time facial recognition lock is a nice touch and there are some snazzy colours to pick from. Sakura Pink, anyone? No, me neither.

But... and there's always a but, its heavy vibration when you type, lack of waterproofing and a poor speaker may steer you toward a cheaper phone.

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4. Samsung Galaxy A5

With their design innovations and fancy new features, flagship smartphones may garner all the plaudits, but pound for pound, it's the unsung heroes like the Samsung A5 that really deliver value for money.

Boasting well-optimised hardware and software and a reliable processor, the A5 will be dependable and fast enough for most moderate users - and it looks fantastic! With its reassuring rounded corners and familiar lozenge-shaped Home key, it certainly looks like the more expensive Samsung flagship range, complemented by a high-end metal and glass build and an AMOLED panel.

Granted its camera won't win any awards, particularly in low light, and the back panel is something of a scratch-magnet, but when you consider its perfect proportions, superb battery life and all-round affordability, it's hard not to throw admiring glances its way.

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5. Nokia 3310

Journey back to a simpler time of cargo pants and Trip Hop, when Robbie Williams commanded front pages and texting your mates still felt like the future. It's the year 2000 and everyone has a Nokia phone... literally everyone.

A rebrand, re-release or even a remix: call it what you will, but the reappearance of the Nokia 3310 will have some purring in delight, while others may find the nostalgia quickly wears thin.

Pleasing retro-chic design aside, what kind of performance are we talking about? Well, you can call and text, as well as browse the web and play Snake; and there's also an FM radio to shout about. But it's the battery life that may seal the deal - a single charge gets you a whopping 22 hours of talk time! 

Nudging the retro-novelty to one side, the Nokia 3310 isn't going to replace your smartphone, but it could well become your handy holiday or festival backup phone. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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Best iPhone deals

Even if you instinctively shy away from the prohibitive price of a brand-new iPhone, there's no reason you can't own a tasty piece of Apple kit. Sure, their new releases still cost the earth, but that just means there's plenty of older iPhone models to snap up at affordable prices.

Find out more about cheap iPhone models and deals

Best Samsung deals

As with iPhones, the latest flagship Samsung models tend to be on the pricey side, but there are still some mid-range bargains to be had from this popular range of phones.

Find out more about cheap Samsung models and deals

If you manage to pick up a cheaper, older iPhone or Samsung model, there are loads of SIM-only deals to take advantage of, depending on your data and call needs.