8 Cool Budget Smartphones Under $400 You Can Buy Today

Device makers including Apple, Samsung and Motorola have recently debuted new, affordably priced smartphones.

Cool Phones On A Budget

With countless people looking to save money right now, it might be no surprise that 2020 is turning out to be a big year for budget smartphones. But there‘s no reason you can’t get an affordable phone that has great specs and features, too: Apple, Samsung, Motorola and LG have all recently launched cool new smartphones priced under $400. Key budget smartphone models to recently hit the market include Apple’s iPhone SE (2nd gen), Samsung’s Galaxy A51 and the Motorola One Action. (Rumors suggest Google has the Pixel 4a in the queue -- as a successor to the now out-of-stock Pixel 3a -- but the 4a has yet to materialize as of this writing.)

To help you weigh your budget phone options, we‘ve rounded up the full details and prices on those three devices and several others that have come onto our radar this year. What follows are our picks for eight of the coolest budget smartphones under $400 available to buy today.

Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen)

Display: 4.7 inches; LCD; 326 pixels per inch (ppi)

Price: $399

In April, Apple got back into the budget smartphone game with the launch of a new iPhone SE. The device is a successor to the original iPhone SE model, which launched in 2016, and has a similar form factor to the iPhone 8. Along with bringing back a smaller display size and sizable top and bottom bezels, the second-gen iPhone SE revives Apple‘s Touch ID fingerprint recognition and home button. One of the most notable updates to the new iPhone SE is the inclusion of Apple’s A13 Bionic processor--since that is the same chip used in all of Apple’s latest iPhones, including the higher-end iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Meanwhile, the iPhone SE’s rear wide-angle camera offers 12 megapixels and an f/1.8 aperture.

LG Stylo 5

Display: 6.2 inches; LCD; 390 ppi

Price: $299.99

LG‘s Stylo 5 is the rare budget smartphone that includes a built-in stylus pen -- a la Samsung’s far pricier Galaxy Note series. The pen, which is stored in the bottom of the phone, provides the ability to write and draw on the Stylo 5, including when the display is off. While the stylus is the most unique feature of the device, LG’s Stylo 5 also includes a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 3,500 mAh battery, an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM450 chip and 3 GB of RAM.

Motorola One Hyper

Display: 6.5 inches; LCD; 395 ppi

Price: $399.99

For the Motorola One Hyper, the smartphone maker is targeting users who are looking for a powerful smartphone camera and large display with a minimal price tag. The Motorola One Hyper features a 64-megapixel rear camera with “laser autofocus” technology for fast focusing, as well as a 32-megapixel pop-up selfie camera (which is concealed behind the display and pops up when in use). On performance, the phone is powered by an eight-core Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 675.

Motorola One Action

Display: 6.3 inches; LCD; 435 ppi

Price: $349.99

In keeping with the budget-friendly, camera-oriented smartphone theme, the Motorola One Action offers what the company is calling the “first ultra wide action camera” in the industry. The 117-degree ultra-wide camera allows users to take video in landscape mode even while holding the device vertically. The Motorola One Action features three cameras in all, with features such as enhanced video stabilization, 2.0µm Quad Pixel technology delivers (for enhanced light sensitivity), phase detection autofocus and a f/1.8 aperture. Key specs include an octa-core Samsung Exynos 9609 processor, ”all-day” battery life with a 3,500 mAh battery and 128 GB of storage (with up to 512 GB of additional storage using a microSD card).

Samsung Galaxy A51

Display: 6.5 inches; OLED; 405 ppi

Price: $399.99

Samsung is aiming to offer many premium smartphone features at a budget-friendly price with the Galaxy A51. Along with featuring a large, Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy A51 offers up to 16 hours of WiFi usage via its 4000 mAh battery. The device also stands out with a quad rear camera (including a 48-megapixel main camera and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera) and an in-display fingerprint sensor. On performance, the Galaxy A51 has an eight-core and 4 GB of RAM, while on storage the device includes 128 GB built-in (plus a a microSD slot enabling up to 512 GB of additional storage).

Samsung Galaxy A50

Display: 6.4 inches; OLED; 403 ppi

Price: $349.99

The Samsung Galaxy A50 is just a bit of a step down from the A51, with a slightly smaller (but still-sizable) Super AMOLED display. The A50 also offers a 4,000 mAh battery; a triple rear camera system (25 megapixels, 8 megapixels and 5 megapixels); 64 GB of internal storage; an in-display fingerprint reader; an eight-core processor; and 4 GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy A21

Display: 6.5 inches; LCD; 270 ppi

Price: $249.99

Like its slightly pricier counterparts on this list, Samsung‘s Galaxy A21 supports long usage with a 4,000 mAh battery and a large display size (though this time it’s an LCD display rather than Super AMOLED. The Galaxy A21 also has a quad rear camera system--including a 16-megapixel main camera and 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera--along with the ability to supplement the 32 GB of internal storage with a 512 GB microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy A11

Display: 6.4 inches; LCD; 268 ppi

Price: $179.99

Even though it ranks as the most affordable phone on our list, the Samsung Galaxy A11 still features a sizable display with a nearly edge-to-edge design, a 4,000 mAh battery and a triple rear camera system that includes a 13-megapixel main camera. A slot for a microSD card can add up to 512 GB of storage to the 32 GB of internal storage included with the phone.