You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent phone. There are plenty of options out there for people who want to save a little cash but still need a phone that’s fast, can connect to the internet, and looks nice, too.
Here’s a look at some of the cheapest phones worth buying.
It's hard to find a phone cheaper than the Moto G. Motorola's second-generation model starts at $US179, comes with a clean version of Android, and runs pretty smoothly, even though it's powered by components that are older than those in today's more expensive phones, according to reviews from CNET and Engadget.
In short, it's a nice, compact phone with easy-to-use software that won't cost you more than $US200. You can also get the 4G model for $US219.
Motorola's Moto E is great if you want a pure version of Android on a phone that runs smoothly. If you really only care about using apps and Google services, it's a good choice. For $US150, you get 4G data speeds, a 4.5-inch screen, and the most up-to-date version of Android.
You can now buy Amazon's Fire Phone for just $US179.99 without a two-year contract, which is ridiculously cheap for a new phone. If you opt for a two-year contract with AT&T, you'll get the phone for just 99 cents -- which is basically a giveaway.
The Fire Phone comes with a sharp screen, a 13-megapixel camera, a fast processor, and Amazon's own apps and services. Firefly, for example, gives you information about object around you by scanning it with the phone's camera. There are tons of cameras on the front of the phone which creates a 3D effect for some images. The phone hasn't been selling well, which is a large part of the reason it's so cheap, but it's an excellent value for the price.
The OnePlus One comes with many of the same components you'd find in most high-end Android phones, but it costs about half the price. The OnePlus One, which features a roomy 5.5-inch 1080p screen, a fast processor, and a comfortable yet attractive build only costs $US300 off contract. It's pretty tough to find, but if you can snag an invite from someone you know who has the phone, it's totally worth your time. OnePlus also opens up invites to the public regardless of whether or not you have an invite on Tuesdays.
The HTC Desire 816 is an attractive phone with a large, crisp screen. It also has boisterous front-facing speakers just like HTC's flagship One phone. You can grab a prepaid version of the phone for as low as $US200 on Amazon.
If you're OK with keeping Apple's previous generation iPhone for two years, you can get it for free through AT&T and Verizon. Off contract, it still costs about $US450, which is about $US100 cheaper than newer flagship phones. The iPhone 5C comes in multiple colours and features a 4-inch Retina Display. It's not the greatest phone you can buy, but if you're tight on cash and love Apple's iOS ecosystem, it's a worthwhile choice.
As is the case with most Lumia phones, one of the 830's selling points is its camera. It comes with a 10-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and only costs $US50 on a two-year contract. AT&T also bundles a free Fitbit with the phone, which is a great value. Off-contract, the phone costs about $US400.
You can get the iPhone 5S for $US99.99 on a two-year contract. It's not Apple's newest phone, but it still comes with a gorgeous design, fast processor, excellent camera, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor. If you don't care about having the newest Apple product but want an iPhone, you should consider the iPhone 5S.
The HTC Desire 510 is super cheap and comes with a fairly recent version of Android and 4G connectivity.
The Desire 510, for it's price, is worth a look. You'll get 4G data speeds on it, which isn't always common in super cheap phones, and it runs on Android 4.4 KitKat -- the same version that almost half of all Android phones in the world are running. Reviews of the phone rate it as mediocre, but it's free if you get it through Sprint under certain payment plans.
The Nexus 5 starts at $US349, which is still much cheaper than most popular phones like the Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6, which cost anywhere between $US500 and $US800 without a carrier contract.
The best benefit from owning a Nexus phone is that you'll always get the most important Android updates before anyone else does. The Nexus 5 is a slim, attractive phone with a soft-touch back, a thin design, and a 1080p screen.
It's a little tough to find -- Google discontinued it and no longer carries it on the Google Play Store, but you can buy it through Best Buy for $US99.99 on contract with Sprint.
The Lumia 640 comes with two things most budget phones don't: a decent screen and a good camera. The $US130 phone comes with a 5-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera -- which is the same spec as the camera on Apple's iPhone. If you don't mind using Windows Phone, which has a much more limited app selection than iOS and Android, it's a solid choice.