The best smartphones under 500 euros in the UK 2023

A new smartphone can be expensive, especially if it's a flagship. But you don't always have to shell out 1,000 euros for quality. If you only use a smartphone to perform basic tasks or can't afford a flagship, why not consider a smartphone for under 500 euros? Yes, you'll be amazed at what you can find at this price. Don't waste time, check out our guide to the best smartphones under 500 euros.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G 1

Best value for money

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G

The best smartphone under 500 euros in 2021

Announced in September 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G has the same spec sheet as the Galaxy S20 5G with a few details. Its camera module is different and it has a flat Full HD+ display almost similar to the Galaxy Note 20.

382 £ on Amazon
Apple iPhone SE (2020) 2

Best iPhone

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

The best iPhone under 500 euros

The 2020 iPhone SE offers the latest iOS apps and Apple features for hundreds of euros less than the premium models that appeared in late 2020. It is the only new product under 600 euros from the Apple brand.

391 £ on Boulanger
Realme X50 Pro 3

Best Realme

Realme X50 Pro

The best Realme smartphone under 500 euros

The Realme X50 Pro is a tough mix to beat at less than 600 euros. While not the best, the camera's configuration is versatile. We also appreciate its high-end processor, UFS 3.0 storage and fast charging.

364 £ on Amazon

High-end Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB of RAM, SuperDart 65W fast charging (among the fastest in the market), 90Hz refresh rate display, a total of 6 cameras, 5G compatibility, the Realme X50 Pro's spec sheet is really impressive. Moreover, the Realme X50 Pro is by no means an ugly smartphone, as evidenced by its curved glass back that blends well with its rounded aluminum frame.

Display quality is also one of the X50 Pro 5G's selling points. Realme used a 6.5-inch HDR10+ Super AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. You can set the refresh rate to 60 Hz, 90 Hz or Auto, to balance performance and battery life. Speaking of the battery, it has a capacity of 4,200 mAh and Realme claims that it can be charged from zero to 100% in just 35 min using the included 65W SuperDart charger.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro 4

Huawei under 500 euros

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The best Huawei smartphone under 500 euros

Huawei has long been a benchmark for those looking for a quality smartphone that doesn't cost the earth. With its power and excellent camera module, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro does justice to the lineage that precedes it.

375 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best smartphone under 500 euros

Any specific needs?

The best smartphone under 500 euros in 2021

The best iPhone under 500 euros

The best Realme smartphone under 500 euros

The best Huawei smartphone under 500 euros

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best smartphones under 500 euros

TOP OF THE TOP iPhone Realme Huawei
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G 5
Apple iPhone SE (2020) 6
Realme X50 Pro 7
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 8
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Realme X50 Pro
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Announced in September 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G has the same spec sheet as the Galaxy S20 5G with a few details. Its camera module is different and it has a flat Full HD+ display almost similar to the Galaxy Note 20.
The 2020 iPhone SE offers the latest iOS apps and Apple features for hundreds of euros less than the premium models that appeared in late 2020. It is the only new product under 600 euros from the Apple brand.
The Realme X50 Pro is a tough mix to beat at less than 600 euros. While not the best, the camera's configuration is versatile. We also appreciate its high-end processor, UFS 3.0 storage and fast charging.
Huawei has long been a benchmark for those looking for a quality smartphone that doesn't cost the earth. With its power and excellent camera module, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro does justice to the lineage that precedes it.
Screen size (resolution)
6.5-inch (1080 x 2400 pixels)
4.7 inches (750 x 1334 pixels)
6.44 inches (1080 x 2400 pixels)
6.39 inches (1440 x 3120 pixels)
Exynos 990 (2.0 - 2.73 GHz)
A13 Bionic (1.8 - 2.65 GHz)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (2.42 - 2.84 GHz)
Kirin 980 (1.8 - 2.6 GHz)
6 GB
3 GB
8 GB
6 GB
Internal storage
128 GB
64 GB
128 GB
128 GB
Main photo sensor
12 MP (f/1.8)
12 Mpx (f/1.8)
64 MP (f/1.8)
40 Mpx (f/1.8)

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Buying guide - smartphone under 500 euros

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How to choose your smartphone under 500 euros

Today, the smartphone market is saturated. And even in the range of smartphones under 500 euros, there is so much choice that it is difficult to find your way. To find out which smartphone is right for you, consider the following criteria:

#1 - Design and features

When selecting a smartphone under 500 euros, personal preferences are a major decision point, both in terms of software and exterior appearance. Some people prefer more rounded lines and a sinuous design, while others prefer a more rugged look, characterized by straight lines and sharp metal edges.

But, design is all about functionality. A metal unibody is sleek and fashionable, but in some cases, prevents you from using certain features such as a micro SD card or headphone jack. Before you buy, check the quality of the device to make sure you can use it in the most comfortable and convenient way for you.

#2 - Display size and technology

Forthose who want to enjoy the HD graphics of the latest Android games, you should really consider a smartphone with a screen size of at least 5.7 inches. For those who use the smartphone mainly for WhatsApp or reading Facebook posts, a smaller screen will be more than enough.

As far asdisplay technology is concerned, iPhones use Retina technology and Android models feature two main technologies: LCD and AMOLED. The main difference between the two lies in the projection of light. In theory, LCD screens tend to be brighter and display content better in direct sunlight, while AMOLED displays offer sharper contrast and more saturated colors. In practice, however, with the advent of new technologies, the difference between the two becomes less noticeable. That said, Full HD, Full HD+ or QHD resolutions for images are almost always flawless.

#3 - Processor and RAM

Theoverall performance of a smartphone depends primarily on the processor. Sometimes, the processor's capacity is what limits software upgrades. Qualcomm and Mediatek are a safe bet.

Meanwhile, Huawei with its Kirin processor proves to be able to offer good performance to users. It is also worth noting that for a processor to be the best, the amount of RAM available is crucial. Yes, the processor is important, but we need to look at the smartphone and its technical specifications as a whole.

#4 - Internal storage

Whenyou're looking for your next smartphone under £500, check the RAM and internal storage, but not just what it says on the tin. Take a look at the space occupied by pre-installed apps. Although you can use a Micro SD card to expand your smartphone's storage capacity, remember that more internal memory is recommended than using an external card.

At the same time, before opting for a model with 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, think about how much you will actually use. Are you using your smartphone as an external hard drive for your computer by saving movies, music, files and heavy applications? If yes, you'll be more comfortable with 128GB. If no, 64GB will be more than enough. Not to mention that you can take advantage of cloud services to save space and always have your files at hand, as long as you have an Internet connection.

#5 - Battery life

Battery life is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a new smartphone under 500 euros. Make no mistake: more mAh does not equal longer battery life, nor does it equal a longer battery life cycle. The factors involved are different and worth knowing.

For example, you should consider that screens with higher resolution consume more power, while the latest processors optimize battery life. Next, think about display refresh rates and fast charging technology. Rather than just looking at the technical specs, it's best to look at the reviews to see how all of these factors perform when combined in one device. For now, 4,000 mAh seems to be the norm.

#6 - Camera quality

Smartphone manufacturers are starting to pay more attention to camera quality and functionality lately, and that's a great thing for users, even those who want to buy a sub-€500 model. The number of megapixels, hybrid autofocus, optical stabilization, manual mode, special effects and special selfie functions: smartphones are becoming more and more like a digital camera, and this in all price ranges.

Again, we recommend not to get too caught up in the numbers on the spec sheet. Megapixels don't tell the whole story and it's important to get an idea of the type of sensor built in, the quality of the lens and the size of the pixels.

Should we be afraid of Chinese smartphones?

Chinese smartphone manufacturers account for a significant proportion of the global market, with brands like Huawei, OnePlus and Honor enjoying widespread success even outside China. While the majority of smartphones sold in Europe come from American or Korean brands, namely Apple, Google, LG and Samsung, a growing number of models are coming from China as these companies look to the global market.

There have been many positive events to mark this trend, commemorating Xiaomi's opening of its first store in London, Huawei releasing its critically acclaimed Mate 20 Pro and the Oppo Find X setting the standard for borderless displays since 2019. However, there have also been some frankly disturbing things, including stories involving many of these brands, including allegations of spying.

Now, with the new Android versions, the risk of spying is extremely limited. There has been a recent influx of new manufacturers on the French market, including Chinese giants Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, OnePlus or Blackview. Their technical characteristics and their very attractive prices justify their dazzling success. Autonomy, photo, speed, etc., the Chinese manufacturers have become essential in terms of smartphone.

However, be sure to ask before you buy, especially if it's a Huawei or Honor smartphone. The Chinese giant and its subsidiary Honor have had their access to Google services withdrawn. This problem mainly concerns recent products. Remember to ask the seller if the phone still has access to Google services (YouTube, Google Store, Google Play, Gmail...).

Old flagship or new smartphone for less than 500 euros?

Former flagship

Although the standards of what is expected from a modern Flagship have changed in recent years, the changes remain minimal. At least, this is the simplest argument for choosing an older, cheaper flagship whose value is depreciated online compared to a new smartphone at less than 500 euros. The advantages here are easy to see. With a flagship, you will get a better user experience and a more refined design. You may not necessarily get some of the improvements offered by the latest Android devices, nor access to some of today's most powerful cameras, but the cream of the crop from a few years ago still has plenty of appeal.

New smartphone for less than 500 euros

These days, Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo have really pushed the boundaries of what can be offered in budget smartphones. In the past, you had to pay extra for advanced features like 18:9 screens, fingerprint sensors and wireless charging. These days, that's not so much the case. Many of these features are now considered standard. The baseline for what you get from any smartphone, cheaper or not, is much higher than it used to be.


Of course, it is quite easy to conclude that a smartphone costing more than 1000 euros will always be better than a smartphone costing 500 euros, half the price. So if you can afford it, go for a high-end smartphone that is two or three years old. There is only one reason why you should consider a smartphone under 500 euros, and that is obviously the budget aspect.

Why buy a smartphone for less than 500 euros?

The price

One of the main reasons why you should buy a cheap smartphone is the price. Smartphones under 500 euros are a boon for people on a low budget, but who still want to stay connected on the most popular social networks. The low price also makes it attractive to other consumers who are looking for a secondary item in addition to their main high-end smartphone.

Does not cost much to repair and maintain

Since smartphones under 500 euros do not have expensive hardware, repairing them should not be expensive. Although we always recommend buying a case and a screen protector to protect it from external damage. Even these accessories are cheap and easy to find.

Decent performance

Just because it's a cheap smartphone doesn't mean it performs poorly. Like mid-range devices and flagships, the budget segment of smartphones under 500 euros has also improved with devices featuring chipsets that can perform at the same level as the old high-end chipsets. Just make sure you choose the right configuration, though. We still recommend at least 4GB of RAM.

Good battery life

Since smartphones under 500 euros have features that consume less battery power than high-end smartphones, you can expect them to offer decent battery life. There's no need to put games on their highest graphics settings or shoot 4K video. This, in turn, saves battery life as few smartphones under 500 euros offer this resolution for video capture. Not to mention that some cheap smartphones are equipped with larger batteries.

To be able to change your smartphone more often

Depending on your budget, the more expensive the smartphone, the longer it will take to upgrade to the next state-of-the-art model. In the case of flagships, it is mainly two years. But with smartphones under 500 euros, you can upgrade to a new model after a year or a few months. And since cheap smartphones come out more frequently, you'll have plenty of options.

The best brands of smartphones under 500 euros

In our opinion, the best brands of smartphones under 500 euros in 2022 are :


Today, Samsung is one of the world's leading electronics manufacturers. By the end of 2000, the company had launched several phones, but its global success began with the launch of the Galaxy S series of smartphones that used OLED screen technology. The brand has a well-stocked catalog of entry-level/mid-range smartphones that all share an excellent OLED display.

Realme was founded in 2010 as a sub-brand of another smartphone company, Oppo, but gained independence in 2018, when it began producing its own smartphones. Realme is known for producing cheap smartphones designed for people who need reliable devices at a low price.

Huawei was founded in 1987 in Shenzhen, China. Most people will immediately associate the brand with the latest high-quality technology products, especially high-end smartphones. The brand also offers cheap models, but a bit more expensive than Wiko due to the higher quality of finish and performance.

As amazing as it may sound, Xiaomi is currently the world's leading smartphone brand, ahead of Samsung and Apple, specifically in terms of sales achieved. Xiaomi's catalog is diversified and will be able to meet all budgets, unlike Wiko, which is only positioned on the entry/middle range.

Honor is not a very widespread brand. And yet, this smartphone company has already amassed 100 million fans and users in 74 countries, and its Honor 5X has redefined the quality of what a cheap smartphone should be in 2016. For just a few more euros, an Honor smartphone is a great alternative to Wiko smartphones.

What is the price for a smartphone under 500 euros

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

100 £ to 200 £
200 £ to 400 £
more than 400 £
Price range diagram


Turn off annoying notifications

If you have many different apps installed on your smartphone, it may be beeping and alerting more often than you'd like. To keep your smartphone from lighting up with notifications every minute of the day, go to the settings and decide which notifications are really important.

Use "Do Not Disturb" mode for some peace and quiet

When "Do Not Disturb" is enabled, you can temporarily disable notifications at specific times. You can still allow calls from certain numbers even when this option is on, or turn it on automatically when you're driving.

Reduce screen time

As many of us still work from home, it can be hard to mentally disconnect after a long day at work. If you're worried about how much time you spend on your smartphone, you can track your smartphone usage. Parents may also want to use this feature, also known as "digital wellness," to monitor how often their toddler is using their own smartphone.

Adjust screen brightness to protect your eyes in low light conditions

Most modern smartphones, even the sub-$500 models, now have a feature that can reduce blue light levels that can interfere with sleep. If you use your smartphone in a dimly lit room, you may need to try this.

Delete apps and organize apps in folders

Setting aside time to put your smartphone away can make it easier to find the apps you use the most. We suggest trying to do a little digital cleanup to remove unused apps (they take up space on your phone) and organize the apps you keep in well-named folders.


Is it important to update the operating system version?

The latest version of Android, just like the latest version of iOS, offers you optimal security while bringing you patches and performance improvements on your sub-$500 smartphone.

What are the best Android apps for photos?

There arecertainly many free apps that can help you improve the quality of your photos. However, we recommend PhotoScan and Snapseed. In addition to scanning your images into Google Photo, you will also be able to do some minor editing from your smartphone.

Can a smartphone under 500 euros be unbreakable?

Effectively, there are different types of smartphones on the market for all budgets. So you may find a smartphone under 500 euros that is unbreakablebut it may be a refurbished product.

How to optimize the performance of a smartphone under 500 euros?

Youcan delete unnecessary applicationsand clean the memory, change the application launcher, not install animated wallpaper, perform a phone reset or prevent social network apps from using mobile data in the background.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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  2. Which cheap smartphone to choose?,
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  6. 5 reasons to go with a mid-range smartphone over a flagship,
  7. Mid Range Smartphones of today vs Flagship Smartphones of last year which one should you buy,
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G 9
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G
Apple iPhone SE (2020) 10
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Realme X50 Pro 11
Realme X50 Pro
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 12
Huawei Mate 20 Pro


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