With the launch of its iPhone 12 lineup final 12 months, Apple has discounted a number of of its older fashions, together with decreasing the 2018 iPhone XR to $500. That pricing tier has been widespread of late, and plenty of big-time cellular phone-makers are providing nice new telephones in that vary. Certainly one of them is Google’s new Pixel 4A 5G, which joins the Pixel 4A from August.

With so many telephones hitting the market, folks on a decent funds have extra choices to select from. Additional, along with the brand new ones, there are many dependable choices from 2019 and 2020 nonetheless obtainable. The most effective half: All of them value about $500 or much less. And regardless of their low costs, funds telephones are getting extra superior and pack options akin to a premium cellphone, like superb cameras, quick processors, numerous inner storage, nice entrance digicam (for selfies!) and the newest software program options. Additional, in case you’re prepared to purchase an unlocked cellphone, your decisions grow to be even broader.

Try the checklist beneath of the perfect telephones beneath $500 (which we’ll be updating often), and browse CNET’s critiques. Observe that we have linked to the unlocked model of every cellphone, and they need to run on many of the large 4 US wi-fi carriers, until specified in any other case.

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Greatest low cost telephones to attempt now


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With a four-year hole between the 2020 iPhone SE and the earlier one, Apple packed its newest funds cellphone with a bunch of upgrades. That features wi-fi charging, higher digicam specs and water resistance. (Sadly, for wired headphone customers, it does not have a headphone jack.) Should you’re in search of a brand new iPhone however need to save as a lot cash as doable, the $399 (£419, AU$749) iPhone SE is your greatest wager for an inexpensive cellphone possibility.

Learn our Apple iPhone SE (2020) assessment.

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In order for you an inexpensive 5G cellphone, the Pixel 4A 5G is a worthy consideration. Obtainable for $499 (£499, AU$799) handset has a stable battery life, incredible twin rear cameras and sturdy software program help from Google. 

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Along with its fundamental Galaxy S20 telephones, Samsung has a extra cost-conscious A sequence line of telephones. This 12 months it launched the Galaxy A51 5G, which has 4 cameras together with a selfie digicam, an in-screen fingerprint sensor and expandable reminiscence. CNET reviewed the non-5G model that goes for $399, although we have seen it go on sale for as little as $280.

Learn our Galaxy A51 assessment.

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The $445 One 5G is among the greatest, most inexpensive 5G telephones obtainable. This low cost smartphone possibility has a complete of six, sure six, cameras, a 90Hz high-refresh charge show and fast-charing know-how. It is obtainable now within the US on AT&T and on Verizon at a later date.

Learn our Motorola One 5G assessment.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

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OnePlus is increasing its extra inexpensive “Nord” household of telephones with the launch of the Nord N10 5G. Obtainable in Europe and North America at a later date, the cellphone prices £329, which is about $430 or AU$590. Although it does not have wi-fi charging or an in-screen fingerprint reader like higher-end OnePlus telephones, it does have a 90Hz show, a headphone jack and 5G. Learn our OnePlus N10 5G assessment.


Obtainable now on AT&T and Cricket, the Ok92 is a competitively priced 5G cellphone that incorporates a 6.7-inch show with skinny bezels and a hole-punch digicam on the entrance. It is powered by a Snapdragon 690 chipset and a 4,000-mAh battery. Along with a 16-megapixel front-facing digicam, it has 4 different cameras on the again: a 64-megapixel customary shooter, a 5-megapixel wide-angle digicam, and two different cameras for depth sensing and macro photographs. Learn our LG Ok92 first-take.

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Launched in August, Google’s Pixel 4A prices $349 (£349, AU$599). The 5.81-inch Google Pixel cellphone solely is available in one shade (black) and one measurement (as in there is no Pixel 4A XL in contrast to previous years). This Google Pixel incorporates a headphone jack, a barely bigger display screen and a much bigger battery than the Pixel Four and 128GB of storage proper off the bat.

Learn our Google Pixel 4A assessment.

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The iPhone XR could also be two years previous, however second to the SE above, it is one of many least expensive iPhones you may get new from Apple. Presently beginning at $499 (£499, AU$849) off-contract with 64GB, it incorporates a 6.1-inch LCD show, a 12-megapixel rear digicam and the A12 Bionic processor. It is also appropriate with Apple’s newest iOS 14 software program replace.

Learn our Apple iPhone XR assessment.

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Though the Galaxy A50 got here out final 12 months (and is the predecessor to the A51 cellphone talked about above), it is nonetheless an excellent cellphone for $350. This Samsung cellphone has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display screen, an in-screen fingerprint reader, entrance dealing with digicam for selfies and a headphone jack.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy A50 assessment.

Angela Lang/CNET

When it debuted final 12 months, the OnePlus 7T was a robust flagship system. It is now obtainable for $350 at T-Cellular, which is a superb deal for a cellphone with a 90Hz show, a stable triple-rear digicam array and a zippy efficiency.

Learn our OnePlus 7T assessment.

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Should you’re in search of a less expensive Observe 20 different, the Moto G Stylus incorporates a stylus that you would be able to retailer contained in the cellphone together with a built-in Notes app to assist with productiveness. Presently priced at $200 from Motorola, the cellphone additionally options triple-rear cameras, 128GB of storage and a strong 4,000-mAh battery.

Learn our Moto G Stylus assessment.

James Martin/CNET

It has been two years since its launch, however the Galaxy S9 remains to be worthy of consideration. Discounted at about $400 to $500 from Samsung and different retailers, the Android cellphone is water-resistant, has wi-fi charging, expandable storage and a headphone jack. Plus, its curved OLED display screen show lends the cellphone a modern-day look that also endures.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy S9 assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Moto G Energy is a tad cheaper than the G Stylus at $180, however it packs a strong 5,000-mAh battery. Throughout our testing, it lasted a formidable 4 days and not using a cost. The cellphone has three rear cameras (one among which is a macro lens), a 6.4-inch show and expandable reminiscence.

Learn our Moto G Energy assessment.

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