Best Phones under 100 Dollars
While the world’s latest flagship phones dominate the world, there are quite a few of us who can’t afford such luxuries. And if you’re one of us, we know just the phones for you! The perfect combination of great specs at a considerably low price. Here are our top picks for best phones under 100 dollars.
1. Huawei Y5 Prime 2018 ( $99.99 USD )
If we’re talking about best phones under 100 dollars, the Huawei Y5 Prime most definitely makes the list. Since it’s a budget phone, it comes packing a plastic body with a Matte finish. Which by no means feels cheap, the phone is a perfect size and sat quite snug in our hands. The phone houses a 5.45-inch display with 720 x 1440 pixels screen resolution ( 295 PPI ).
The Huawei Y5 Prime is driven by MediaTek MT6739 chipset accompanied by a 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. We only have 10GB space left so we recommend you keep a MicroSD card at hand. The speakers aren’t too disappointing, well except when you intend to play in a room with a working fan or other noise distractions.
The phone is powered by Google’s latest OS which is Android 8.1. It also comes with EMUI 8. which brings to us the typical Huawei interface we’re familiar with. The battery on this device is one of its most prominent features packing a 3020mAh battery. It easily lasted us a day but charging did take long.
While we won’t be getting any DSLR worthy pictures anytime soon. The phone’s equipped with a pretty decent 13MP back and a 5MP front camera. These result in adequate pictures sharpened by HDR, much more than one would expect from a budget phone.
2. Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) ( $95.75 USD )
The Samsung Galaxy J3 is unmistakably a budget smartphone but when we talk about budget phones. We forget they aren’t necessarily supposed to be bad and the Galaxy J3 proves this point quite boldly packing all of the necessities you’d want in a phone.
It’d be absolutely pointless to have the best phones under 100 dollars list without the Galaxy J3 on it. The phone comes packing a 5.0- inch 720 x 1280 screen resolution with a screen density if 294 pixels per inch. A relatively reasonable compact display, unlike most smartphones around its price. The phone fits comfortably in our hands at the same time not feeling too tiny. The 720p resolution provides crisp visuals which we found quite satisfactory.
For a budget smartphone, the J3 surprisingly has a premium design. But the phone does tend to look like it has a plastic finish despite it actually being a metal finish. The phone comes powered with a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 7570 chipset paired with 2GB RAM and a 16GB inbuilt memory.
In the software department, the phone equips Android Nougat which isn’t the latest version of Android right now. It’s still unknown whether the phone will be getting updates to Android Oreo or not. While the phone isn’t a match for today’s high-end flagship camera, it still comes packing quite a punch. It hosts a 13MP rear camera coupled with a 5MP front camera. The front camera is also accompanied by an LED flash making sure your selfies come out great even in dimly lit locations. The phone kind of lacks on the battery side with a 2400mAh battery.
While it may not be the best budget smartphone, the J3 definitely doesn’t disappoint.
3. Huawei Y3 (2018) ( $96.93 USD )
While we’re treading the waters of best phones under 100 dollars, the Huawei Y3 proves to be quite a worthy opponent.
The Y3 doesn’t really gear up much specs-wise. What with its 8GB internal storage 1GB RAM, which safe to say is pretty average. It comes with a Quad-Core processor along with a sharp 8MP rear camera, well at least according to Huawei. Its plastic rear cover is pretty sleek and smooth. It has a 5-inch FWVGA IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 854×480 ( 196 ppi) protected by a 2.5D curved glass. This results we experience are pretty standard letting you see the screen properly.
Under all the plastic body, is where the real magic happens. It’s powered by a MediaTek MT6737M chip from Qualcomm with a Quad-core processor and 64-bit architecture. The 4-Cores of processor results in a slow speed of 1.1GHz with 28nm process technology. The 1GB RAM reaches up to a memory speed of 640MHz allowing you to smoothly multitask apps with little to no lag. The phone runs on Android Oreo 8.0 Go with EMUI allowing for a smooth interface.
The phone packs an 8MP back camera and a 2MP front camera and while it doesn’t seem all that great, the pictures turn out passable. The f/2.0 aperture allows enough light to enter capturing a good photograph even in dim lightings. The phone also has a battery of 2280mAh non=removable Li-Ion battery with no fast charging technology.
At its budget price, the Huawei phone offers every necessity at such a low price.
4. Moto E4 Plus ( $129.98 USD )
The franchise, Motorola has continued to dominate the world of budget smartphones with its additions. One of them, the Moto E4 Plus makes our best phones under 100 dollar list. Motorola had been doing great with its classic flip phones but suffered a downfall as the smartphone industry bloomed. Now it seems to be back on its feet with their new array of designs and competitive price range.
So equipped with new designs after the disaster that was the E3, Motorola seems to have recovered. It a fairly attractive phone and feels more expensive than it actually is. What with its full metal shell and a comfortably curved back. But it still manages to fall back in the weight department, weighing up to 200g. It also comes with a fingerprint sensor which most smartphones of its price range don’t usually have.
The Moto E4 Plus runs on a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 427 processor paired with 3GB of RAM along with 16GB or 32GB internal storage. The hardware leads to a pretty smooth multitasking with no noticeable lag. Everything has been done right with this budget phone. It comes to us hosting a 13MP back camera and a 5MP front camera, a pretty decent camera for a budget phone. The phone packs the software Android 7.1.1 Nougat coupled with the chipset MediaTek MT6737, but we don’t think it has any plans for an Oreo update. Oh, and it has a massive 5000mAh battery and you should expect two full days of average use.
The 5.5-inch display 1280×720 display might be its worst feature so far. The phone is far too big for such a low resolution. All in all a great budget phone you should definitely give a go.
5. Alcatel Pixi 4 ($99.95 USD)
Even with the exponential growth in the budget smartphone business, it’s still difficult to find a smartphone with good specification and a price below $100 USD. Alcatel aimed to break this stereotype with the Pixi 4.
The design seems to be the star of the show. It’s wrapped in a removable rear plastic panel with a metal finish giving the phone an expensive premium look. The front is adorned with a 5-inch display accompanied with a resolution of 854×480 pixels. The display has great brightness but it does lack the ambient light sensor, not that big a problem though.
Specifications include a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735M processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB internal storage. We know, the memory isn’t that great but you could just install a microSD card. Battery life though is barely sub-par with a removable 2000mAh lithium-ion battery.
In the camera department, Alcatel clearly cut some corners. The rear 8MP camera stumbles to find focus so does the 5MP front camera. Overall? Not that great, the closeup shots are good but images turn out dull and washed out.
It runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it’s a budget phone and certainly behaves like one. While multitasking is possible, it tends to lag a bit. Definitely not an ideal phone for playing games but a passable one at its price.
6. ASUS Zenfone Live L1 ($110 USD)
While the Taiwanese company, Asus has prospered over the years and continues to do so by not forgetting about those looking for something a little lighter on the budget. They launched the Asus Zenfone Live L1 as a part of this process.
The phone comes with a 5.45-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 720×1440 pixels. Specifications include a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, 13MP rear and 5MP front camera. The phone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo Go Edition with ZenUI 5.0 user interface and is powered by a 3000mAh battery.
Unlike most budget phones, Asus went overboard with this phone installing a Face ID feature. There’s also a 2GB RAM version, a little more pricey but wins over the 1GB RAM variant. The phone doesn’t support fast charging technology and without it takes up to 2.4 hours to charge. The IPS display has a decent viewing. It’s also bright enough to be viewed outside. The speakers are well okay, the sounds are tiny and get a bit distorted. The hardware allows you to run your usual social media tasks and multitask between them without a hitch, maybe some light gaming too. The phone also has a fingerprint sensor, another thing absent in most budget-smartphones. Coming to the camera, the results are pretty good, the portrait mode especially shining through.
7. Nokia 2.1 ( $97.94 USD )
A Nokia for everyone is what Nokia seems to go by. The company manages to appeal to its high-budget as well as its low budget audience.
The phone feels very resistant with its aluminum frame, the buttons also having an aluminum finish. Nokia satisfies its stereotype making this phone just as-as resistant as its many predecessors. The Nokia 2.1 sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display panel with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, almost about 267ppi, pretty impressive for a budget phone. It runs on an Android 8.0 with the promise of an Android Oreo update soon.
Things get quite gloomy when we come to the chipset. It hosts a Snapdragon 425, a magician when it comes to saving energy but tends to be slower at times, quite an old dog too. The RAM is only 1GB similar to a few other budget phones but still allows for some multitasking without too much lag. Well, except the occasional Snapdragon 425 setbacks.
The speakers though sound pretty good, the two microphones canceling out noise on the go. The main camera features an 8MP sensor while the front camera sports a 5MP sensor. The images don’t have much dynamic and details are quite lost in the process but you’ ll be able to take some decent pictures accordingly to the price of the phone. The one thing Nokia 2 beats all its competitors to the ground with is the battery life. It hosts a 4,000 mAh battery. And since the battery is what causes us to freak out half the time, Nokia 2 is a pretty deserving candidate in our best phones under $100USD list.
8. Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime ($129.99 USD)
Samsung has managed to regain its market with its latest budget phones, the Galaxy J2 Prime being a major example. It looks, the phone resembles its predecessor phones, the J5 and the J7. In place of the Super AMOLED screen, this phone sports a 5-inch TFT LCD on board with the qHD resolution of 540×960 pixels. So you get wide viewing angles, and it gets really bright when you turn on the ‘outdoor’ mode. The speakers aren’t the best setup but they’re loud enough and the sound doesn’t distort, well much.
The J2 Prime runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow skinned with TouchWiz. Though it isn’t Android 7.0 Nougat, it’s very similar to the flagship devices of today so it isn’t much of a downsize. The phone’s fueled by a MediaTek MT6737T chipset with the Mali-T720 MP2 set to handle graphics. So while most budget phones under $100 USD sport just 1GB of RAM, Samsung pushes the limits with its J2 Prime and takes it up to 1.5GB RAM.
The performance ends up being great honestly, multitasking is okay thanks to the RAM. Though it isn’t an ideal for gaming, maybe some light gaming that’s probably it. Getting onto the camera, the phone’s equipped with an 8MP rear and a 5MP front camera, both sides sporting LED flash of their own. Which does quite a number for your selfies, getting just the right amount of brightness for that one perfect selfie. The rear camera also works well under bright lighting and provides decent results that tend to get a bit mushy in the dark but it’s understandable considering the price.
The battery is 2600mAh, lasting longer than you’d expect. Not the best, but surprisingly working a good 12 hours with casual use.
9. LG K8 (K9) 2018 ($120.00 USD)
LG has been improving its budget phones over the years and its managed to divert our attention from budget phones of other mainstream brands onto its own. More specifically the LG K8 (2018).
The LG K8 is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, Snapdragon 210 and it comes with 2GB of RAM along with 16GB internal storage. As far as the camera is concerned, the phone packs the typical 8MP rear and 5MP front shooter for selfies. It runs on Android 7.1.2, fueled by a 2500mAh battery. The display measures to 720×1280 pixels. The LG K8 has an IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 26M colors, offering a great size of 5-inches comfortably fitting in your hand.
While the phone feels pretty great at hand, it also looks fairly attractive. The resolution is 720p, a little lower than usual but passable at its price range. The phone is metal-clad with a plastic outer shell. The overall use is a bit laggy but when you consider the price and its 2GB of RAM it’s understandable. The pictures taken in lighter settings turn out satisfying but the darker pictures weren’t really all that. The battery isn’t much but it works long enough considering the specs of this thing. The phone is definitely for you if you’re looking for a bit of technology in your life with the basic browsing and social media, otherwise, let’s take a look at more.
10. Alcatel 1X ($104.95 USD )
Smartphones are expensive, that’s a fact, they’ve always been that way. But companies like Google and Alcatel work our way and try to meet us in the middle. One of these attempts is the Alcatel 1X.
At first glance, the phone looks like any other average phone. The back and sides are plastic but the phone doesn’t feel cheap thanks to the soft finish touch. The display is a moderately sized 5.3-inch IPS LCD running on a resolution of 960×480 pixels. The screen, while colorful isn’t really that sharp if compared with its competitors. Audio is similarly a bit disappointing, quiet but not that distorted. The 1X is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6739 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. Storage space is 16GB, extendable to up to 32GB. Multitasking can be done smoothly with a few lags here and there. The phone can handle a bit of gaming but nothing of the intense kind.
It also features the Android Oreo 8.1 Go edition which tends to sail smoothly as an OS. The phone has an 8MP rear and 5MP front camera(you see a pattern here?), and both work reasonably well under good lighting. The 2460mAh battery pulls through a whole with casual use. This phone offers a big screen experience without too many compromises.
11. LG Harmony ( $99.99 USD)
Yes, another LG phone on our list. The company does make pretty worthy budget phones. The LG Harmony comes with s 5.3-inch LCD display sports a 720×1280 resolution and 277ppi index. The display doesn’t leave that good an aftertaste, the colors are sharp but seem kind of washed out. The glass feels a bit tilted towards the edges giving it a signature Samsung Edge look.
A look within gives us a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor operating with 1.5GB of RAM. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat OS. The phone proves to be relatively speedy with a few roadblocks. It also allows multitasking with little lag. The LG Harmony also has 16GB internal memory. In the camera department, we come to you yet again with an 8MP rear and 5MP front camera. The results aren’t too disappointing. In darker settings, the pictures start losing their edge but in better lighting, pictures taken turn out pretty decent.
The LG Harmony runs on a 2,800mAh battery lasting up to 14 hours of talk time and casual use. Again like the other budget phones, this isn’t suited to intense games either, just a few light games will do.