6 affordable octa-core smartphones (under $350) announced in 2015

6 affordable octa-core smartphones (under $350) announced in 2015
Back in 2012, the maximum number of cores that smartphone processors had was four. Octa-core smartphones started hitting the market in the following year, and now, in 2015, handsets with 8-core processors are everywhere. Many of them are quite cheap, while at the same time offering decent features and overall quality.

If you're looking for new, decent octa-core smartphones that don't cost too much, you've come to the right place. We've selected 6 octa-core handsets that have been introduced throughout 2015, and don't cost more than $350 unlocked. Check them out below, in chronological order:

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is a 7.4mm-thin handset with a 5.5-inch 1080p display and an octa-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 615 processor inside. Of course, this is not among the most powerful octa-core chipsets out there, but it still manages to offer decent performance, especially considering the fact that the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 costs only $249.99 unlocked (in the US, you can buy it from Amazon). The handset further features LTE, a 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable storage space, and a 2910 mAh battery. The OneTouch Idol 3 also has a 4.7-inch version, but this one is powered by a quad-core processor.

The P8 lite is the smaller and cheaper brother of Huawei's P8 flagship. While the international variant of the P8 lite is powered by a Huawei-made, 64-bit octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 620 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, the US version relies on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615. Performance is not stellar, but, once again, we're dealing with a handset that's sold for $249 unlocked via Amazon. The P8 lite sports a 5-inch 720p display, has a good 13 MP rear camera, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable internal memory, and a 2200 mAh battery. Perhaps the biggest flaw of the Huawei P8 lite is that it still runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Can you get a decent octa-core smartphone for less than $200? The Meizu m2 note is proof that you can, indeed, do that, as the handset currently costs around $170 (unlocked), and is available to buy via Amazon. Of course, you won't get any premium materials with the m2 note, but the specs sheet is impressive: 5.5-inch 1080p display, 5 MP front-facing camera, 13 MP rear camera, 64-bit octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable storage space, and a 3100 mAh battery. Unfortunately, the Meizu m2 note doesn't offer full support for US LTE bands. But at least it's running Android Lollipop (customized with Meizu's own Flyme UI).

Since it's the successor to last year's OnePlus One (released as an affordable high-end smartphone), the OnePlus 2 is also affordable, while offering a lot of bang for the buck. The 16 GB version of the OnePlus 2 costs $329, and can be bought unlocked, but - and that's a big but - you need an invite in order to purchase the handset. Assuming you can find a way to buy the OnePlus 2, you'll get a 5.5-inch 1080p smartphone powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor and running Oxygen OS (based on Android 5.1 Lollipop). Also included are a fingerprint scanner, a 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, 4 GB of RAM, and a 3300 mAh battery.

Motorola's Moto X Play is yet another new smartphone that uses a quad-core Snapdragon 615 processor, and doesn't compromise on features, despite its accessible price. The highlights of the Moto X Play are its 5.5-inch 1080p display, its 3630 mAh battery, and its 21 MP rear camera. The handset also comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop, LTE, a 5 MP front-facing camera, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB or 32 GB of storage space, and microSD card support. The Moto X Play is already available in a few markets, including Canada and Brazil, for prices starting at about $300. The smartphone might be released in the US as the Motorola Droid Maxx 2 (via Verizon Wireless).

Just like the Meizu m2 note, Xiaomi's Redmi Note 2 offers a 5.5-inch 1080p display and an octa-core processor for less than $200. However, the processor that's powering the Redmi Note 2 is a newer MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795 clocked at 2.2 GHz. That aside, the handset features Android Lollipop with Xiaomi's MIUI 7 on top, a 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB / 32 GB of expandable storage space, and a 3060 mAh battery. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 can currently be ordered for around $170.

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