The best budget 5G phones in 2022

The 5G network standard is here to stay, regardless of whether you need faster speeds or not. This ultra-fast connectivity – once reserved only for flagship handsets – made its way to midrangers and now even budget phones, as more and more phones are getting 5G support for T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T’s next-gen networks, even in the prepaid category. 
Best cheap 5G phones list:

Mobile carriers around the world are expanding their 5G networks at a rapid pace and 5G devices are now far from the niche products they were just a short time ago, going as low downmarket as the Galaxy A13 5G. That’s largely thanks to Qualcomm’s efforts to pair its 5G modem with some affordable system chips, giving manufacturers more flexibility in terms of pricing, starting 5G phones from as low as the sub-$300 point. 
That’s normal, as with their expansion, 5G networks are becoming a feature that’s a necessity, rather than a flashy extra. The prices of budget phones can even go lower than this when events like Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day come around. And Black Friday is almost here – don’t forget to check out our best Black Friday phone deals article for the best offers.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

9.0

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G


The Good

  • Great 120Hz screen
  • Dual speakers do a great job
  • Cameras produce solid image and video quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Clean design
  • Has microSD expandable storage

The Bad

  • Disappointing haptics
  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • No more headphone jack
  • Gaming experience is a bit of a let down

Samsung’s A53 5G has every chance to become its most popular phone, is its Galaxy A52 5G predecessor is any indication, and with a good reason. Samsung lowered its starting price to just $449.99 for 128GB of storage, but added a faster processor and a more elegant design in a number of matte pastel colors to choose from. Months after its announcement, the Galaxy A53 5G has become Samsung’s bestseller on account of the cheap price and what we found to be a well-calibrated, bright 120Hz display, coupled with a long battery life and a very good camera set for the price point.

Apple iPhone SE 5G

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

8.0

Apple iPhone SE (2022)


The Good

  • Affordable price
  • Light, thin and compact
  • iPhone with a button classic vibe
  • 5G connectivity with C-band support
  • Super fast processor
  • Camera is great for day shots, video

The Bad

  • Feels dated
  • LCD screen instead of AMOLED
  • Screen feels too small for a modern phone
  • Battery life is improved, but still below average
  • Camera lacks night mode, has no ultra-wide lens
  • Only 64GB base storage

That Apple nostalgia that still keeps the SE line alive resulted in the cheapest 5G iPhone at just $429 starting price. Don’t be fooled, though, this baby has an excellent 12MP camera with all the computational imaging power that the scorching fast Apple A15 chipset is able to muster.

OnePlus Nord N200 5G

OnePlus Nord N200 5G

8.2

OnePlus Nord N200 5G


The Good

  • Gorgeous, lightweight design
  • Large, clear 90Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • 5G on a budget

The Bad

  • Mediocre cameras
  • Occasional performance hiccups
  • No mute switch like on more expensive OnePlus phones

T-Mobile is home to another rock bottom cheap 5G phone, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. It comes with a 6.49″ FHD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate and under the hood there is Qualcomm Snapdragon 480G processor powering the device. Specifications also include big 5000mAh battery with 18W charging speed and triple camera setup on the back with 13MP main shooter, all for just $239.99.

Samsung Galaxy A13 5G

Samsung Galaxy A13 5G

Samsung Galaxy A13 5G


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Sporting a 6.5” 1080p 90Hz display, the Galaxy A13 is now the cheapest 2022 5G phone from Samsung in the U.S., but still offers a 50 MP main camera and 5000mAh battery with 25W charging.

Google Pixel 6a

Google Pixel 6a

9.3

Google Pixel 6a


The Good

  • Great value for money
  • Fast processor
  • Excellent camera
  • Great 6.1″ size that does not feel too big
  • Clean Android, timely updates
  • Pleasing “staccato” haptic feedback
  • Pleasing loudspeaker quality

The Bad

  • Lacks a zoom camera
  • Pixel reputation for bugs and issues does not inspire confidence
  • Only runs at 60Hz
  • Headphone jack is gone
  • No charger in the box

Google entered the budget 5G phone scene not long ago, and the cheaper Pixel 6a is an awesome value proposition. It comes with Google’s own Tensor chipset whose image processing prowess can be found in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro as well, paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. But you’re not buying a Pixel phone for the specs sheet. You’re getting it for the software features and the camera. While the camera hardware might be inferior to that of the Galaxy A53, for instance, it more than makes up for it with the software and is perhaps the best camera phones on this list. Just don’t expect zooming without stepping closer to the object.

Motorola One Ace 5G

Motorola also has a $399 entry in the budget 5G segment that is now on sale for $299 even. Not that surprising, considering Motorola has been making some of the best budget phones for the last few years, and our review of the Motorola One Ace 5G found out it’s no exception.

Motorola One 5G Ace

8.4

Motorola One 5G Ace


The Good

  • Great value for a 5G phone
  • Snappy performance
  • Good camera quality
  • Excellent battery life

The Bad

  • Macro lens doesn’t add much value
  • Build could be sturdier

Orbic Myra 5G UW

The Orbic Myra 5G UW is available for purchase at Verizon for just $350 without discounts. Apart from the fact that it comes with 5G support, we also know Orbic’s phone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor, 6GB RAM, and 64GB expandable storage (up to 1TB).

Also, Orbic Myra 5G UW sports a large 6.78-inch FHD display, a triple-rear camera (48MP+8MP+2MP), a 16-megapixel selfie snapper, and a massive 5,000 mAh battery with Qualcomm Charge 3.0 fast charging technology. Since this is probably the first Orbic phone to be sold by Verizon, it makes sense to also be the first to feature the carrier’s “Adaptive Sound” mobile audio solution, and, above all, it supports Verizon’s ultrafast mmWave 5G network.

TCL 30 V 5G for Verizon

TCL 30 V 5G

TCL 30 V 5G


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The TCL 30 V 5G (or 30 XE 5G on T-Mobile) is another sub-$300 5G phone, this time to fulfil the affordable 5G needs of Verizon or T-Mobile’s customers, and is packing pretty decent specs for the price. There’s a big, nifty 6.67” FHD+ display, a 50MP main camera, and a big 4500mAh battery. It’s free with a plan, but even if you shell out $300 it’s one of the most affordable 5G phones on the major carriers.

T-Mobile REVVL 6 Pro

Believe it or not, even at the rock bottom $219.99 price, the T-Mobile REVVL 6 Pro spec sheet is pretty solid. Developed in a close partnership with Google, the REVVL 6 and 6 Pro come with YouTube Premium and Google One subscriptions. 

T-Mobile also doubled the phones’ warranty to 2 years and now offers a BOGO deal on them. The full retail REVVL 6 Pro price is $219.99. For the REVVL 6 PRO 5G, the down payment for well-qualified customers will be $0 and then $9.17 each month for 24 months, plus tax.

  • Screen: 6.82” HD+ display
  • Camera: 50MP + 5MP + 2MP + 2MP RFC with 16MP FFC
  • Battery: 5000 mAh with USB C + 15W fast charging
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 700: Octa Core, 2x A76 2.2GHz, 6x A55 2.0GHz
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Dimensions: 173.92mm X 77.8mm X 8.99mm
  • Color: Dark Shadow
  • Security: Face unlock and fingerprint sensor
  • OS: Android 12

AT&T Fusion 5G

AT&T started 2022 with a bang with its cheapest 5G-enabled smartphone to date, the Fusion 5G, and if you can’t afford (or simply don’t want) to spend 220 bucks outright, a straightforward device payment plan will split that into 36 monthly fees of $6.12. That makes this 6.82-inch giant slightly more affordable than AT&T’s 6.5-inch Samsung Galaxy A13 5G. The Fusion 5G comes with no less than four rear-facing cameras in tow, including an impressive-sounding 48MP primary shooter, a big 4,750mAh battery, 64GB of built-in storage and Sub-6GHz 5G support. Moreover, the AT&T Fusion 5G supports wireless charging, which is a real added value at its $220 price point.

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The best budget 5G phones in 2022 [Buyer's guide]

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