Even cheap smartphones replace the navigation system, camera, music player and much more. We show the ten best smartphones up to 200 euros.
High-end smartphones today cost well and gladly more than 1000 euros. They have great cameras, first-class screens and an incredible number of functions. But for most tasks – social media, Spotify, Netflix, Web browser, navigation and apps – a much cheaper model is also sufficient. Gone are the days when cheap cell phones were basically useless; Entry-level devices bring a huge amount of equipment and no longer shoot themselves out with no-go features such as a resistive touchscreen or lousy display resolution. Nevertheless, a few things should be considered when you want to buy a cheap smartphone.
Age and Android version
The age of the devices plays a role that should not be underestimated. Older models are clearly cheaper than at the market launch, but even high-priced smartphones usually don’t receive any updates after two or at the latest three years. This is more the case with cheaper smartphones, so there are neither new Android versions nor patches for security gaps. Exceptions are smartphones with Android One (leaderboard: top 5), which usually have a two-year update guarantee. All of the smartphones in our list use at least Android 9, and for the first time in this low price category we only decided on models for the current year 2020.
Not only older smartphones have little memory, even current models sometimes offer very little space. However, certain limits should not be exceeded. So RAM should not be less than 2 GB, below which it jerky quickly. In times when even mobile games can have more than 1 GB, the internal data storage should not be less than 32 GB and should be expandable with a micro SD card. All of the models listed here are beyond any doubt, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal, normally expandable, memory are easily obtainable up to 200 euros – and why should you be satisfied with less then?
The display size is basically up to your own taste, but a certain image sharpness should not be undercut. As a guideline: below 275 pixels per inch (PPI), content quickly becomes blurred, but it may be 300 PPI or 400 PPI and more. With HD resolution this can be scarce, with Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels) you are on the safe side, accordingly all our models listed have FHD + resolution. There is hardly any OLED in the lower price regions, especially not with young models. We explain more about resolutions and display technologies in the smartphone displays guide: Panels, resolutions and frame rates explained.
With affordable models, you should generally not expect too much from the cameras. They usually take good-looking pictures under optimal lighting conditions, but they quickly look very different when the light is dwindling. If you still want to take good quality pictures in the evening, you should take a look at our list of the best smartphones with optical image stabilization up to 300 euros or generally look in a (significantly) higher price range.
Are NFC, WLAN ac, fingerprint sensor and Co desired? Then keep your eyes open when buying a smartphone: In the price range up to 200 euros, not everything is always included, or only in a weakened form. All devices have WLAN, of course, but many only have the n-standard, which is now well dusted. Here, too, our listed models are exemplary. You won’t find any luxury features like wireless charging here.
These are the 10 best smartphones up to 200 euros
Note: Our leaderboard is a snapshot that also includes the daily prices at the time of creation. However, since these fluctuate greatly, the list and the order of the smartphones should only be understood as a guide.
For the first time, the Realme 6 (test report) is the undisputed number one among the recommended smartphones up to 200 euros. Because the device has everything that is also good for significantly more expensive models: a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Full HD + resolution and 90 Hertz refresh rate, a quad cam with 64 megapixels, WLAN ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, LTE and USB-C.
It is powered by a powerful Mediatek Helio P90T with eight cores, which in this case is flanked by 4 GB of RAM. 64 GB of internal, expandable memory, a stylish design and a 4300 mAh battery with 30-watt quick charging technology round off the excellent overall picture. Ultimately, Android 10 is just the icing on the cake.
Xiaomi Remi Note 9 128 GB
We currently see the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 in second place. However, the display, which is very similar to Realme, does not require 90 Hz playback and the quad cam offers a maximum of 48 megapixels – neither of which is a shame. In addition to the equipment that the Realme 6 also has, the Xiaomi model also offers an IR blaster, which turns the smartphone into a universal remote control for controlling TV and Co. With a Helio G85, the drive is nominally slightly slower, the main memory is the same size and the internal memory is twice as large despite the significantly lower price. Android 10 is also included here.
In this list, the Oppo A52 is equipped with a Qualcomm chipset for the first time. In addition to decent mid-range performance, the Snapdragon 665 offers 4 GB of RAM, and the expandable internal memory is 64 GB. Advantage over the better-placed models: the battery provides 5000 mAh and can be charged with at least 18 watts, Android 10 is also available here. The five camera lenses (four at the back, one at the front) are all provided with less megapixels – too bad.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S
This is different for the next Xiaomi model: The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S offers a quad cam with up to 48 megapixels, also an IR blaster and a Snapdragon 712 as a drive. In return, the model does not have NFC, “only” offers 64 There is GByte memory and 4 GByte RAM as well as Android 10. The battery even achieves 5020 mAh and is fast-charging.
Motorola Moto G8 Power
Even the Moto G8Power (test report), which is designed for battery power, does not quite come along, here it is “only” 5000 mAh. The rest is largely similar: 6.4 inch display with FHD + resolution, quad cam (if only with a maximum of 16 megapixels), 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory. There is no NFC and an IR blaster, but Android 10.
Umidigi A7 Pro
The Umidigi A7 Pro offers a quad cam with a maximum of 16 megapixels and unfortunately no NFC, but 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. A Helio P23 serves as the drive. The battery provides 4150 mAh, with 10 watts it charges more slowly compared to some competitors. After all, Android 10 is available ex works and the price in this list is among the lowest.
Huawei P40 Lite
In terms of hardware, the Huawei P40 Lite could actually play higher, the problem is the software: Without Google services, the chic smartphone is not a real alternative for many users. Too bad, because with Quad-Cam up to 48 megapixels, NFC, Kirin 810 and a full 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, that would be with the “right” software in conjunction with Android 10 and the 4200 mAh battery with 40 watt Fast charging technology is a real recommendation. Interested parties should weigh up the pros and cons, especially since the device is at the top end of the price range within this list.
Huawei P Smart 2020
Another Huawei smartphone, but an emergency solution: The Huawei P Smart 2020 (test report) can convince at some points like the 128 GB internal memory and also comes with Google services. The manufacturer uses a trick for this: The 2020 model is ultimately only a 2019 model with more memory. Accordingly, the Kirin 710 from last year is used again, as well as a micro USB connection. The dual camera also shows that the manufacturer had to fall back on previous year’s technology in order to be able to offer Google services. As a result, the model ends up in the lower area of our list of recommended smartphones up to 200 euros – especially since only Android 9 is installed.
The same applies to the Honor 20e, the differences to the P Smart 2020 are manageable. The Honor model offers a triple cam, a Kirin 710F, and it costs a good 25 euros less than the Huawei model. But it also offers only 64 GB of internal memory and also only micro USB and Android 9.
Honor 9X Lite
The third in the group of the “old” new is the Honor 9X Lite: Also micro-USB, just a dual cam (but with 48 megapixels), Android 9 and another Kirin 710 – in everyday life, that’s hardly a broken leg, others can still do better. Like the 128 GB internal memory of the Honor model, the price is top: With barely over 150 euros, it is the cheapest model in this list.
A lot has happened in the lower middle class up to 200 euros, the hardware is getting stronger. For less than 200 euros, interested parties have long been getting chipsets in the upper middle class, usually 4 or even 6 or 8 GB of RAM and a lot of storage space. In some cases, this is not much less than it was in top models not so long ago. The main difference in most cases remains the camera, even if you cannot of course deduce the quality from the mere megapixel number. Some of the models in our tests performed surprisingly well, at least in decent light. In short: there is always more for less – the user is right to be pleased.
A tip on the side: The prices of the smartphones fluctuate in some days by several dozen euros. It is worthwhile to set a price alert. Our picture gallery shows how this works:
If you also want to spend a little more, you should take a look at our guide: The best smartphones up to 400 euros or our buying advice: Throw smartphones with OLED up to 300 euros. Also our top 10: We regularly update the best smartphones with Android One.