With so many phones on the market, and with the gap between mid-range and high-end narrowing each year, finding the right phone for you is not an easy task. Sure, if you've got $1000 ready to go, getting the best of the best is not a difficult task; you can narrow your choice down to a handful of phones. However, when you're on a bit of a budget, but are not aiming extremely low, the sprawling mid-range segment has so much to offer, that it can get confusing quickly.
What do you value the most in a phone? Long-lasting battery life? A great camera? Smooth performance? Perhaps a combination of the three? Whatever it is, you're sure to find an affordable phone that checks most (if not all) of your boxes. To help you in this endeavor, we've compiled a list of the best phones under $400 that you can get right now!
With the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, Google has delivered two superb mid-range phones! Looking at the overall picture, we can adamantly say that the only area where they scaled back is in their performance, as the Snapdragon 670 is a notable step down from the Snapdragon 845. Other than that, we don't think the plastic designs are bad; the phones may not feature wireless charging, but in terms of look and feel, there doesn't seem to be that much of a difference compared with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. If you're willing to give up the more premium design of more expensive phones, the Pixel 3a at $399 is a great performer with a camera that seriously rivals flagships twice its asking price.
The Moto G7 at its $300 price is good value for the money and while it does not push the envelope with some unthinkable specs like, say, the Pocophone F1, it is a safe and reliable choice for users in the US. Performance is zippy, the software is clean, the display is decent (for the money) and the camera can take some good shots during the day. This is a budget workhorse that we can easily recommend at its starting price of $300.
The Nokia 7.2 is a phone that perfectly embodies Nokia's new attitude – create phones that offer the pure Android experience, with guaranteed software updates, and strike a very good balance between performance and affordability. There are some minor caveats, granted, but overall, this one is a solid choice.
The Nokia 7.2 is a big phone with a display to match. The software experience is great, thanks to Android One and regular updates. The phone itself is built well and has a snappy fingerprint sensor on the back. You'd think that Nokia would cut corners with the camera, but it hasn't. At this price point, the Nokia 7.2 has a very adequate triple camera setup (which consists of wide, ultra-wide, and depth cameras), and has good performance to match. The few areas where the Nokia 7.2 falls behind some of the competition are in screen brightness and overall software smoothness.
The Samsung Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A30 may share the same screen size, the same battery size, and the same interface, but they carry different price tags. We are including both in our pick, because they are both capable and good value for the money. Which one is more tailored to your needs, is entirely up to you, though!
One of the bigger differences between the Galaxy A50 and the more affordable A30 is the fingerprint scanner. The A50 comes equipped with a fingerprint scanner embedded under the screen, while the A30 features a traditional fingerprint reader on the back. The fingerprint on the A50 is not the same ultrasonic reader as on the flagship S10 series, but instead it uses optical technology, while the A30 is outfitted with a traditional fingerprint reader on the back.
Another key difference is in the camera setups on both devices – the Galaxy A50 has three cameras, while the A30 makes do with two. The difference in image quality isn't all that great, however, and the third camera on the A50 is used solely for depth measuring when shooting in Portrait Mode.