Smartphones up to 150 euros are in the entry-level class. If you don’t have too many demands, you will still find a reliable companion for everyday life here. You get a lot for your money that was unthinkable a few years ago in this price range. Many of these devices now have an octa-core, there is an astonishing amount of memory, large displays and even fingerprint sensors. We summarize what works and what doesn’t.
You can tell the low price in the design. When it comes to materials, plastic predominates, the frames around the display are wider than on more expensive models and there is another, usually fairly clear indication of the low price: the integration of the front camera. In the rarest of cases, it looks through the display through a modern punchhole notch, but mostly as a drop notch.
There are few differences to more expensive models in terms of display size, but more in terms of technology. Full HD as a resolution is far from normal here and OLED does not exist at all. This also applies to refresh rates higher than 60 Hertz and in general, those interested should not expect too much when it comes to the important points of brightness, contrast or viewing angle stability.
The cameras represent one of the biggest differences compared to more expensive models – even if you don’t always see it immediately on the data sheet. Main lenses with a low number of megapixels (12 to 16) are often used, which are occasionally accompanied by lenses such as depth or macro sensors that are superfluous in everyday life. Wide-angle lenses are increasingly appearing in this lower price range, but they are not yet standard. The image quality of the cameras up to 150 euros is mostly suitable for everyday use in daylight. Front cams usually offer 5 to 8 megapixels.
In the meantime, chipsets from well-known manufacturers such as Qualcomm and Mediatek are predominantly found in the price range up to 150 euros, but there are also providers such as Unisoc. You shouldn’t expect a lot of performance here, but operation is mostly fluid and sufficiently fast in everyday use. After all, the often modern chips ensure that the typical standards such as WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS are on board. NFC is not necessarily one of them, buyers have to be careful here. In addition, there are more and more inexpensive smartphones with USB-C as a charging and data port, but micro-USB can still be found in this price range. Finder imprint sensors can now be found in most smartphones for up to 150 euros. You will normally look in vain for IP certifications as protection against water, in contrast to LTE: 4G can be found in all models up to 150 euros – although usually not overly fast.
Here’s perhaps one of the biggest surprises: Gone are the days when buyers of cheap smartphones had to get by with 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. Most of the models in our top 10 offer an impressive 4/64 GB – most of the time the internal memory can even be expanded.
There is no difference to more expensive smartphones in terms of battery size, but the charging speed is much lower. 18 watts is usually considered fast here. Convenience technology such as wireless charging using the Qi standard is not available for so little money. All batteries are now permanently installed and cannot be easily changed. In return, this offers minimal protection against moisture.
With the hardware mentioned, it is no wonder that the models in this Top 10 do not have to rely on Android Go, but come with “full” Android. Even the age of the operating system is better than expected: no one has to tolerate Android 10.
1st place: Nokia 5.4
The Nokia 5.4 (test report) in first place, like most models in this price range, only offers 720p, but the camera does not have a pixel deficit. Nokia is installing a high-resolution camera with 48 megapixels and a wide-angle camera with 5 megapixels. The front camera offers an impressive 16 megapixels that even peek through a punchhole. The model relies on a Snapdragon 662 with 4/64 GB of memory, which is very strong for this price range. The battery is adequately dimensioned with 4000 mAh and 10 watt charging speed. Android 11 is installed in the One Edition – so updates will continue to come.
2nd place: TCL 20 SE
The TCL 20 SE also only has 720p for the large display, the camera comes with an additional wide angle, but only 16 megapixels for the main camera. The Snapdragon 460 used is weaker than the previous model, but thanks to the 4/64 GByte memory, the performance in everyday life is okay. The battery has an output of 5000 mAh and charges with 18 watts.
3rd place: Motorola Moto G10
The Moto G10 has a 6.5-inch HD display, a 48-megapixel camera with an additional wide angle, a Snapdragon 460 as a drive and 4/64 GB of memory. The battery has an output of 5000 mAh and Android 11 is installed.
4th place: Alcatel 3X (2020)
The main camera of the Alcatel 3X (2020) is rather weak with 16 megapixels, but comes with a wide angle. With USB-C, LTE and NFC, there are all the important features in this price range. Chipset and memory equipment are decent, the battery does a good job with 5000 mAh. Unfortunately there is no update to Android 11 yet.
5th place: Motorola Moto G20
The Motorola Moto G20 offers a 6.5 inch LCD with HD resolution, a camera with a good 48 megapixels and a wide angle – and a chipset from Unisoc with 8 cores. The memory is perfectly fine with 4/64, the battery has an output of 5000 mAh. The highlight is the IP 52 certification, and Android 11 is also available ex works.
6th place: ZTE Blade V30 Vita
ZTE installs a 6.8-inch 720p display in its smartphone, and there is also a high-resolution main camera (48 megapixels) with a wide angle. An unspecified Unisoc with 8 cores, which is flanked by 4/64 GByte memory, serves as the drive. The battery has an output of 5000 mAh and only Android 10 is installed – an update is not expected for the chip.
Platz 7: Blackview A90
The manufacturer Blackview, which is rather unknown in this country, offers an interesting entry-level smartphone at a good price with the A90. The HD display is 6.4 inches, the drive is a tried and tested Mediatek Helio P60 and 4/64 memory is very good in this price range. There are limitations with the camera, which only offers 16 megapixels without any additional lenses worth mentioning.
Platz 8: Wiko Power U20
Wiko builds a 6.8-inch HD display into its smartphone, but the camera is rather weak with 13 megapixels without any noteworthy support. In addition, the manufacturer still relies on old-fashioned micro-USB. In terms of performance, the Wiko smartphone is well positioned with a Mediatek Helio G35 and 3/64 GB. Unfortunately NFC is missing. The 6000 mAh battery is one of the highlights of the model and justifies the addition of “Power” to the name.
9th place: Samsung Galaxy A12
6.5 inch HD display, 48 megapixel main camera plus wide-angle, Mediatek Helio P35 and a battery with 5000 mAh – all not bad for the price range. Depending on the price, Samsung only installs 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage up to 4/128 GB, which is why the model ends up further behind with us than it should actually be.
10th place: Samsung Galaxy A02s
The display is the same as on the A12, but the camera is set up significantly weaker with 13 megapixels without a wide angle. The nominally higher quality chipset in the A02s beats a Snapdragon 460, but it is also only flanked by 3/32 GB of memory. Here, too, the battery has an output of 5000 mAh.
There is an astonishingly large amount of memory up to 150 euros, as well as the very latest Android. The camera and chipset are usually not particularly powerful, but there are exceptions – it’s amazing how much technology is available for so little money. If you want even more technology, you should take a look at our list of the best smartphones up to 200 euros, up to 300 euros and up to 400 euros.