This list of the best budget phones of 2015 is not for someone looking for a dirt cheap solution. Instead, it is more of a bang for your buck type of list which updates what we previously showed you in our article about the 7 best smartphones under 200 dollars. However, this list will not be limited to a ceiling of 200 dollars because today people are more and more keen to spend on a good mobile device. Furthermore, the upper class flagship models have pushed the boundaries of both performance and price so far that a “budget” phone by many people’s standards can exceed a price of two hundred bucks. The list includes frequently given suggestions from authorities in the area such as Android Authority, TechRadar, discussions on the XDA forum, as well as my own personal experience with budget devices. The phones will be ordered by the public opinion about them instead of pricing or technical specifications because with this device class, either can be very deceiving as you will see.
It is truly frustrating to see how even just a two or three years ago you could talk about a reasonably priced and powerful phone for about 150 to 200 dollars while Android users laughed at people going after the similarly equipped but far more expensive (about 600 USD) iPhones. Nowadays the market for cheaper devices has mostly been flooded with poorly designed solutions which aim to be unique through their own OS modifications and user interface, paired with waves and waves of bloatware which altogether only succeed in making the device slow and at times, unusable. On the other side, apps and games push for support of the more popular flagship models of the bigger companies out there which usually would only be a matter of compatibility. However, they do tend to make the app or game a little heavier with every new powerhouse out there in order to add new features and utilize the averagely more powerful devices. This makes things even worse as people with cheap or aging hardware are not even allowed to pick an older, less resource-intensive version.
The devices on this list, however, mostly combine the best of both worlds. They are either amazingly powerful for their price or just cheap, yet fully equipped to handle a year or more of use before they start showing signs of being outdated. Let’s take a look at them.
7. Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3
Display: 5.5”, 1080x1920px
CPU: Quad Core 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615
Cameras: 13MP Back, 8MP Front
Storage: 16GB. microSD Slot
Battery: 2910 mAh
Price: $249 Unlocked
Alcatel are just starting to prove that they can produce phones that aren’t a big source of regret for their owners with the OneTouch Idol 3 making a serious leap towards retribution.