The new cell phone should be able to do more than just a beginner’s smartphone, but not cost a lot? We show the best smartphones up to 300 euros.
Even some 100-euro smartphones now have a surprising amount of technology to offer, like our guide: How many smartphones there are up to 100 euros impressively shows. Nevertheless, modern mobile phones have a lot more to offer, but for a noticeable technological leap, buyers have to spend a few euros more. This is noticeable in almost every area of the equipment. But be careful: As always, older models are tempting in terms of price, but we recommend buying smartphones that are older than 2019 only in exceptional cases. Accordingly, all models listed below are either from 2019 or already from 2020.
In the price range up to 300 euros, interested parties should exclude smartphones that offer less than Full HD + as a resolution. In addition, there are the first OLED screens in this price range that score with particularly good black levels, high contrasts, intense saturation and excellent viewing angle stability. In our display compendium we give a precise overview of screen technologies and resolutions.
The lowest limit should be 4 GB for the working memory and 64 GB for the internal storage. The really good smartphones up to 300 euros usually even offer 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of expandable data storage.
Many smartphones with Mediatek chips abound, especially in the middle class. In terms of performance, these are usually quite competitive, but they have disadvantages in terms of update supply and sometimes in terms of power consumption. In our view, there are no real reasons for avoiding such models. If you want to be on the safe side, you can of course look for smartphones with Qualcomm or Huawei chips. The “cheap manufacturers” like Spreadtrum can no longer be found in this price range, the same applies to chipsets with fewer than 8 CPU cores. Examples of reasonable chips are Mediatek Helio P70, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 or Huawei Kirin 810.
The majority of smartphones up to 300 euros come to the customer with Quad-Cam, but interested parties must pay attention here. Because while top models beyond the 700 euros now provide a universal package with a main, wide-angle and telephoto lens and depth sensor, many manufacturers in the price range covered here still like to use macro lenses instead of telephoto lenses. To make matters worse, they are often coupled with a very low megapixel number. These low-resolution macro cameras are normally hardly usable in everyday life, so that of the four advertised cameras, not three, but only two, can be used really meaningfully. We have this topic in our budget phone guide with triple cam: more than a marketing gimmick? extensively illuminated.
The new 5G data standard is usually not represented in smartphones up to 300 euros, but this should come sooner or later. However, this is not yet necessary, as network coverage with 5G is currently extremely incomplete, at least in Germany. Otherwise, mid-range smartphones today offer almost everything that the upper class has. This ranges from fingerprint sensors on the screen to NFC, Bluetooth, WLAN and GPS to USB-C and quick charging functions. Even the first models with 90 Hz displays are available. The limitations are often in the details. So far Wifi-6 has not yet entered the middle class up to 300 euros, instead users with Wifi-5 (802.11ac) have to make do. Water resistance and wireless charging are also extremely rare.
1st place: Huawei P30 Lite New Edition
Surprise: In contrast to inexpensive entry-level smartphones, in which mostly unknown Chinese brands are at the top in this country, Huawei has taken the lead in the mid-range models up to 300 euros. We chose the Huawei P30 Lite New Edition because it offers twice as much memory compared to the P40 Lite with 256 GB and still costs less. In our eyes, this weighs more heavily than the somewhat more modern chipset of the P40 Lite, which contains a Kirin 810 instead of the Kirin 710. In everyday life, however, it is hardly noticeable, especially since the RAM is the same size with 4 GB.
2nd place: Realme 6
The name Realme has been appearing more and more frequently lately – no wonder, after all, the young company is forcefully entering the German market. The best example is the Realme 6 (test report), which comes to the customer with Android 10, 64-megapixel (quad) camera, NFC, strong Mediatek Helio G90T, 8 GB RAM and 90 Hz display. That’s strong.
3rd place: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
The Redmi Note 8 Pro (test report) still dates from 2019, but still cuts a fine figure today. In addition to the 6.5-inch FHD + display, the reason for this is the 128 GB internal memory and the powerful Helio G90T chipset with 6 GB RAM. This means that the 8-series model is nominally slightly weaker than its successor, but offers hardly any disadvantages in everyday life and therefore currently has a better price-performance ratio. The 64 GB variant is hardly cheaper and therefore not really worth it. Incidentally, Android 10 was already available as an update.
4th place: Realme XT
With us, a realme model makes it onto our leaderboard: the XT. For an even higher placement, there is only a lack of more memory and NFC. Because the internal space is limited to 64 GB, the competition offers more. Realme is installing an OLED display and a main camera with 64 megapixels.
5th place: Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
With the Redmi Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi offers the largest display in this leaderboard – it measures an impressive 6.7 inches and, like most of its competitors, displays 2400 × 1080 pixels. Xiaomi relies on Qualcomm as the chip supplier, here it is the Snapdragon 720G , which is flanked by 6 GB of RAM. The internal memory is reasonably large at 128, the remaining equipment of the Xiaomi model not only offers NFC, but also a IR blaster as a bonus. In addition, the Redmi Note 9 Pro has a main camera with 64 megapixels in the field and has a fairly large battery and Android 10.
6th place: Huawei P40 Lite
Actually, the P40 Lite is the more current model compared to the P30 Lite New Edition at number 1. Because this New Edition is actually hardly more than a version of the previous year’s model with more memory. By the way, we have listed the exact differences between the New Edition and the original models in this article. Since the P40 Lite, unlike its successor, has no Google services, the New Edition should be the better choice for many interested parties.
7th place: Oppo A91
Oppo does not use Android 10 on the A91, but misses its smartphone with an OLED display. Otherwise there are few differences from the competition. One of them: The fingerprint sensor is hidden on the screen, and depending on the version there is a whopping 8 GB of RAM. The chipset comes from Mediatek (P70), probably one of the reasons why Android 9 is still the latest version of the A91.
Rank 8: Nokia 7.2
The first thing that stands in the way of the Nokia 7.2 (test report) is its still relatively high price. The technical equipment is still convincing: Snapdragon 660 with 6 GB RAM, honest triple cam with 48 megapixels, depending on the version up to 128 GB internal memory and of course NFC. Added to this is the good update supply, the smartphone has already got Android 10. All in all, not a bad choice, apart from the rather small battery.
9th place: Umidigi F2
The Umidigi is similar to the competition in many areas. A Helio P70 with 6 GB RAM, 128 GB internal memory, a quad cam with a 48 megapiel main camera and Android 10 are used. One of the few deviations: With 32 megapixels, the front camera offers more than most competitors. Overall, the Umidigi F2 is a very useful technology bundle.
Rank 10: ZTE Blade V (2020)
The ZTE Blade 5 (2020), like most other competitors, uses an optic with 48 megapixels plus other components. These include the ominous macro camera with 2 megapixels, which, as mentioned in the introduction, should not give users any great hope. Another shortcoming: ZTE dispenses with NFC and relies on 4 instead of 6 GB of RAM. A Mediatek P70 serves as the processor, newcomer Realme is leading by example and Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm. For this purpose, users will find 128 GB of internal memory in the Blade V5 – a good standard in this list. Positive: The Blade 5 already has Android 10.
The difference between models from 100 to 150 euros to smartphones from 250 to 300 euros is sometimes serious. With the devices listed in this leaderboard, nobody has to worry whether they can still work with them next year or the year after – this will work, provided that no hardware defect intervenes. Because the chipsets used offer sufficient reserves, the same applies to internal memory, RAM and other equipment.
In addition, there are luxury features such as water resistance, 120 Hz displays and wireless charging for larger editions. Even more expensive models make a good leap in camera quality, especially when shooting in low light. Those who place special value on this should take a look at our top 10 camera smartphones. Alternatively, we show in our top 10 smartphones up to 200 euros cheaper and in our guide: The best smartphones up to 400 euros more expensive models. All our leaderboards and guides are updated several times a year, the latest status is shown above the article.