What you usually see on Youtube and on popular review websites are the flagships, the phones that cost a significant amount of money, but not everyone is willing to spend that much.Lucky for them, there have been some great additions in the sub $300 smartphone market. Here, I will list three of the most notable.
The market has changed in the past two years or so, the $300 and under club has some serious competitors to the flagships at half of the price. There are a few things that manufacturers do to get to that lower price point. First, the screen is of lesser quality, but the gap is shrinking. Next, the CPU is of lower speed but this is less noticeable in day-to-day performance, now more than ever before. The camera is where you can see the biggest gap between these phones and the best and most expensive phones out there, and that is the case here as well.
3. Alcatel Idol 3
At number three we have the Alcatel Idol 3 with a 5.5 full HD IPS display and a Snapdragon 610 Quad-Core CPU that can do anything a $600 phone can do for just $250. One of the key features is the design that features front speakers. There is a huge difference in quality of sound depending on speaker placement and the Idol’s speakers are placed in the best possible place. There is 2GB of RAM that will satisfy all your multitasking needs. On the back of the phone, there is an 8-megapixel camera, and it makes decent shots and videos, nothing that will blow you away, though. Overall, it is a good choice with a great screen at a very affordable price, but it was outperformed in almost all areas by the next two phones on this list.
2. ASUS ZenFone 2
Asus is a well-known PC component manufacturer, but during recent years they have shown the world that they can make good smartphones as well, and this year might be their best year. This is the only phone currently in the world with 4GB of RAM, probably more than you will ever need, but hey, it’s still cool to have it. It features an Intel 2.4 Ghz Quad-Core CPU, which means that performance will be at the highest level. The screen is also of high quality, at 5.5 inches the panel type is IPS at full HD resolution. It is bright and the colors are well saturated. As for the camera, it is much better than the Idol 3 at taking pictures, mostly because of the larger sensor at 13 megapixels. Also, there is more detail and colors are better, but video is not much better than the Alcatel, they are on par. It might be $50 more expensive than the Idol at $300, but the better CPU, more RAM and better camera are definitely worth the extra cash.
1. OnePlus One
The phone that was the biggest surprise last year is still the best buy phone even a year later. Flagship specs at half the price were the idea when creating this phone. The CPU used is not a cheaper lower-clocked version of the best CPU at the time; it was the best CPU used in the $700 flagships of the last year. The only problem that this phone has is how to get it and the extremely annoying invite system. If you manage to find it, you will be pleased with your purchase. The phone features a 5.5 inch full HD IPS display, a Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel Sony camera. Performance is on par with the most expensive models like Samsung Galaxy S4 or the LG G2, but the camera is not the best out there. Not to say that it is bad, it’s not, it is just not as good as the best of that year. If you have $300, and can find it, the OnePlus One is still the best option.
And there you have it, the best phones under $300. They can do everything the flagships can without much compromise. Hope this list will help you in making your choice.