The best budget 5G phones in 2022 - PhoneArena

The best budget 5G phones in 2022

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The best budget 5G phones in 2022 - updated March 2022
The 5G phenomenon is here, and it's here to stay. This ultra-fast connectivity - once reserved only for flagship phones - now starts to make its way to mid range phones, and even budget low-segment devices. It appears that 2022 will be the year of 5G! More and more phones are getting support for T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T's next-gen networks

Mobile carriers around the world are expanding their 5G networks at a rapid pace and 5G devices are now far from the niche products they were just a short time ago, going as low downmarket as the Galaxy A13 5G specs

That’s largely thanks to Qualcomm’s efforts to pair its 5G modem with some mid-tier system chips, giving manufacturers more flexibility in terms of pricing, starting 5G phones from as low as the sub-$300 point. And that's normal, as with expanding the 5G network it becomes a feature that's more of a necessity, rather than a flashy extra. The prices of budget phones can even go lower than this when events like Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day come around.

Best cheap 5G phones list:



Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
9.0

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G


The Good

  • Great 120Hz screen
  • Dual speakers do a great job
  • Cameras produce solid image and video quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Clean design
  • Has microSD expandable storage

The Bad

  • Disappointing haptics
  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • No more headphone jack
  • Gaming experience is a bit of a let down
Samsung's A53 5G has every chance to become its most popular phone, is its Galaxy A52 5G predecessor is any indication, and with a good reason. Samsung lowered its starting price to just $449.99 for 128GB of storage, but added a faster processor and a more elegant design in a number of matte pastel colors to choose from.


Apple iPhone SE 5G


Apple iPhone SE (2022)
8.0

Apple iPhone SE (2022)


The Good

  • Affordable price
  • Light, thin and compact
  • iPhone with a button classic vibe
  • 5G connectivity with C-band support
  • Super fast processor
  • Camera is great for day shots, video

The Bad

  • Feels dated
  • LCD screen instead of AMOLED
  • Screen feels too small for a modern phone
  • Battery life is improved, but still below average
  • Camera lacks night mode, has no ultra-wide lens
  • Only 64GB base storage
That Apple nostalgia that still keeps the SE line alive resulted in the cheapest 5G iPhone at just $429 starting price. Don't be fooled, though, this baby has an excellent 12MP camera with all the computational imaging power that the scorching fast Apple A15 chipset is able to muster.

OnePlus Nord N200 5G


OnePlus Nord N200 5G
8.2

OnePlus Nord N200 5G


The Good

  • Gorgeous, lightweight design
  • Large, clear 90Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • 5G on a budget

The Bad

  • Mediocre cameras
  • Occasional performance hiccups
  • No mute switch like on more expensive OnePlus phones
T-Mobile is home to another rock bottom cheap 5G phone, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. It comes with a 6.49" FHD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate and under the hood there is Qualcomm Snapdragon 480G processor powering the device. Specifications also include big 5000mAh battery with 18W charging speed and triple camera setup on the back with 13MP main shooter, all for just $239.99.


Samsung Galaxy A13 5G


Sporting a 6.5'' 1080p 90Hz display, the Galaxy A13 is now the cheapest 2022 5G phone from Samsung in the U.S., but still offers a 50 MP main camera and 5000mAh battery with 25W charging.


Google Pixel 5a 5G


Google Pixel 5a
8.9

Google Pixel 5a


The Good

  • Big battery can last you 2 days between charges
  • Clean software
  • 3 years of software updates (updates arrive right after release too)
  • Excellent camera
  • Affordable price

The Bad

  • Annoying camera bugs
  • 60Hz screen, no fast refresh rate
  • Same Snapdragon 765G chip as last year, slower than some rivals
  • Boring design
  • No expandable storage, No wireless charging (if you care)
  • Only available in US and Japan, in the US you cannot purchase it at a carrier
Google entered the budget 5G phone scene not long ago, and the cheaper Pixel 5a 5G is an awesome value proposition, at least until the 6a comes around later this year. It comes with the Snapdragon 765G SoC paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. But you're not buying a Pixel phone for the specs sheet. You're getting it for the software features and the camera. While the camera hardware might be inferior to that of the Galaxy A53, for instance, it more makes up with the software and is one the best camera phones on this list.


Motorola One Ace 5G


Motorola One 5G Ace
8.4

Motorola One 5G Ace


The Good

  • Great value for a 5G phone
  • Snappy performance
  • Good camera quality
  • Excellent battery life

The Bad

  • Macro lens doesn’t add much value
  • Build could be sturdier
Motorola also has a $399 entry in the budget 5G segment that is now on sale for $299 even. Not that surprising, considering Motorola has been making some of the best budget phones for the last few years, and our review of the Motorola One Ace 5G found out it's no exception.


Orbic Myra 5G UW



The Orbic Myra 5G UW is available for purchase at Verizon for just $350 without discounts. Apart from the fact that it comes with 5G support, we also know Orbic’s phone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor, 6GB RAM, and 64GB expandable storage (up to 1TB).

Also, Orbic Myra 5G UW sports a large 6.78-inch FHD display, a triple-rear camera (48MP+8MP+2MP), a 16-megapixel selfie snapper, and a massive 5,000 mAh battery with Qualcomm Charge 3.0 fast charging technology. Since this is probably the first Orbic phone to be sold by Verizon, it makes sense to also be the first to feature the carrier’s “Adaptive Sound” mobile audio solution, and, above all, it supports Verizon's ultrafast mmWave 5G network.


TCL 30 V/XE 5G for Verizon or T-Mobile


TCL 30 V 5G

128GB, free w/ a 5G plan on Verizon

$0 /mo
$299 99
Expired
The TCL 30 V 5G (or 30 XE 5G on T-Mobile) is another sub-$300 5G phone, this time to fulfil the affordable 5G needs of Verizon or T-Mobile's customers, and is packing pretty decent specs for the price. There's a big, nifty 6.67” FHD+ display, a 50MP main camera, and a big 4500mAh battery. It's free with a plan, but even if you shell out $300 it's one of the most affordable 5G phones on the major carriers.
TCL 30 V 5G

TCL 30 V 5G


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T-Mobile REVVL V+ 5G


Put simply, this is "America's most affordable 5G smartphone ever", and with a good reason, as, believe it or not, even at the rock bottom $199.99 price, the T-Mobile REVVL V+ 5G spec sheet is pretty solid. 

Compared to the (non-5G) $192 REVVL 4 Plus, for instance, the REVVL V+ 5G comes with a considerably larger 6.82-inch screen in tow, as well as an appropriately larger 5,000mAh battery supporting faster 18W charging technology and an additional rear-facing shooter.
T-Mobile REVVL V+ 5G

T-Mobile REVVL V+ 5G


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AT&T Fusion 5G


AT&T started 2022 with a bang with its cheapest 5G-enabled smartphone to date, the Fusion 5G, and if you can't afford (or simply don't want) to spend 220 bucks outright, a straightforward device payment plan will split that into 36 monthly fees of $6.12. That makes this 6.82-inch giant slightly more affordable than AT&T's 6.5-inch Samsung Galaxy A13 5G. The Fusion 5G comes with no less than four rear-facing cameras in tow, including an impressive-sounding 48MP primary shooter, a big 4,750mAh battery, 64GB of built-in storage and Sub-6GHz 5G support. Moreover, the AT&T Fusion 5G supports wireless charging, which is a real added value at its $220 price point.


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