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Best Cheap Smartphones On The Market 2016

When it comes to smartphones there’s a lot to take into account. You’ve got your budget, mid-range, and high-end options. Today we’re taking a look at some of the best budget smartphones available for under £100.

You might be thinking that it’s impossible to get a decent smartphone for under £100, but you’d be mistaken. In recent years the standard of technology appearing in our smartphones is something we’d have only dreamed of 10 years ago.smartphones cheap guide title

Here’s a few of the best smartphones for under £100, available right now.


Microsoft Lumia 535 (£79)lumia 535

The cheapest smartphone in my list today is the Microsoft Lumia 535. Running on Windows Phone 8.1, the Lumia 535 comes packed full of high-end features including Siri’s nemesis, Cortana.

The Lumia 535 actually sports a 5-inch IPS display, and whilst it isn’t an HD display you’ll still be impressed by the overall screen quality.

Under the hook you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. With an expandable microSD slot you’ll also be able to easily increase your storage capacity by another 128GB.

In terms of design the 535 is very similar to many other Lumia devices, but this isn’t a bad thing. The Lumia is a great looking device, which is both light weight and not too big that you’ll have difficulty using it with one hand.

The Lumia 535, at less than £80, is a choice for those of you who perhaps haven’t ever used a smartphone before, or are simply just looking for a cheap upgrade.


MOTO G 4G (£70- £100)  image3-moto-g-4g

For a time it was only the first generation Moto G 4G that was coming in under the £100 mark, however the 2nd Gen model has just made the list priced at £100.  Running on Android Lollipop 5.0.2 the Moto G isn’t the most up-to-date smartphone, however it to also boasts a 5-inch IPS display, quad-core CPU and 1GB RAM.

Unfortunately the Moto G 4G is only available in an 8GB version, and the included MicroSD slot only allows up to an extra 32GB of storage. However, as a consolation the Moto G is capable of providing you with super-fast 4G / LTE mobile data speeds. An impressive feature for a £100 smartphone.

With a 2390mAh battery, the Moto G will easily provide enough power to last at least an entire day with heavy use. When you compare this with the iPhone 6s’ meagre 1715mAh battery, you’re certainly getting more bang for your buck with the Moto G 4G.


So, basically, what’s not to love? A 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and a battery to last until the end of time (well, not literally but a good few days at least). It appears the Moto G 4G has it all. It’s one of the pricier devices in our list though.


Asus ZenFone 5 (£80)image4-asus-zenfone-5

Asus; more of a computer hardware manufacturer, well at least they were 10 years ago. Times have definitely changed though, and Asus are up there with the best of them for their tablets, smartphones, monitors and laptops, amongst many other products.

The ZenFone 5 is one of Asus’ many offerings, and it once again packs a speedy 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and at least 1GB of RAM (dependant on the model). The ZenFone comes with 16GB of storage as standard, but can be upgraded by another 64GB using the MicroSD slot.


Android 4.4 KitKat is installed as standard, but is now upgradable to the more up-to-date Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.

The 5-inch HD display offers fantastic colours and provides an excellent viewing platform for your 1080p video recordings and amazing shots taken with the 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera.

Again, similar to the Moto G 4G, the Asus ZenFone 5 packs in over 2000mAh of battery power (2110mAh), so is more than capable of providing hours of entertainment before needing to be charged.

Asus state that the ZenFone is “Simple, Peaceful & Beautiful.” I have to agree.


Wileyfox Swift 4G (£100-£130)image5-wileyfox-swift-4g

The Wileyfox Swift 4G probably isn’t a device, or even brand, you’ve heard of before. Rest assured it’s definitely a device that’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a budget smartphone to do and more.

Unlike the other devices in our list, the Wileyfox doesn’t run on Android nor Windows Phone. It actually runs on an open OS called Cyanogen. Cyanogen is an Android-based OS that sports features you love whilst giving you the freedom to customise your device to your choosing.

The phone itself is capable of providing 4G LTE data speeds, fantastic photo quality thanks to the camera’s 5 lenses and dual flash, and also has a crystal clear 720p HD resolution.

As well as these great features, the Swift 4G has dual SIM functionality. This means that you’re able to have two SIM cards installed in your phone, perfect for those users who are constantly travelling to foreign countries, or perhaps require a business and personal number without having to carry two phones.


LG Leon 4G (£85)image6-lg-leon

The smallest device in our list is the LG Leon, sporting a 4.5-inch display. The display quality isn’t going to blow your mind, but the Leon still packs a punch with its 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and removable 1900mAh battery.

An LG G4-inspired rear power button is sure to confuse those of you who have used smartphones in the past, but the overall design of the LG Leon 4G is good considering the price.

Camera quality is good, but by no means impressive. It doesn’t help that the display is somewhat basic compared to others in the list, but the camera is more than capable of taking some decent selfies and scenic shots whilst out and about.


There’s just a few of the mobile devices available for under £100. If you have used, or know of, any other smartphones that you feel should have been mentioned just let us know in the comments section below.


Guest Post by Matthew Scott – Co-Founder, Senior Editor @ Tech-Reviews UKprotect smartphone free title


  1. Although it is just over £100 (£115 in fact) the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is still a budget phone and it’s probably the best budget Android phone on the market. It’s locked to Vodafone but I believe it can be unlocked for a few quid. Love mine, barely use a tablet anymore as it’s that good.

  2. I would second the Smart Ultra 6. It comes with quite a lot of Vodafone bloatware but it can all be uninstalled and is by far the best smart phone I’ve ever used. Quick, lots of storage, lots of memory, great screen and a fantastic price… blown away!

  3. Funny, I went straight to the comments to mention the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 had been left out but it seems I’ve been beaten to it. I’ve had mine since October and can safely say it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Incredible specs for the price. The only thing you can complain about is its plastic shell that makes it feel cheap but if you buy a case for it then that isn’t a problem. Anyway, I’d rather have amazing performance for £120 over amazing looks.

  4. even the vodafone locked smart first 6, which i guess doesnt seem to be available any more, was £15 from tesco/sainsburys for a while and then £1 on ebay to unlock the sim. still at argos for £20, cheap little smart phone, runs sat nav software no problem, takes a 128gb mcro sd for music and videos etc.

    I bought a few just for sat nav in the car,

  5. Microsoft Lumia 535 ??!? really?
    Complete pants. Worst phone I have ever owned.

    Locks, freezes, unresponsive, drops calls, awful.. Have to reboot it to make it responsive enough to unlock!
    Maybe self inflicted as I upgraded to windows 10, to fit in with my home PC (win 10 on the home PC is fine)… Was really hoping for some synergy. Can’t get it back to 8 though, even factory reset won’t do it.

    Now if I am lucky I might have an old Nokia 3110 in a box I can use instead.

  6. The Microsoft Lumia 550 is in many ways superior to the 535 (e.g. the display is way better) and can be had for under 80 quid. The early versions of Windows 10 mobile were buggy but the current release is very good. I find the windows 10 user interface works very well… Good on Microsoft for coming up with an interface that isn’t just a copy of the original Apple UI – not to everyone’s taste but it is to mine. Integration with the Outlook / MS Office apps and Microsoft’s cloud service is also excellent on the Windows 10 phones.

  7. Cubot X12? £80 for a pretty impressive piece of kit. Great screen and fast. Got to be worth adding to the list.

  8. I’ve also used the Leagoo Lead 5 which runs Android. Very light weight, dual sim with expandable internal memory. Cost less than £100 about a year ago.

  9. I know it might not appeal to the brand snobs amongst us but ARGOS have a Bush Spira B3 with a 5.5″ screen running Android Marshmallow that cost me £69.95 in the new year sale. With a dual sim or sim and expansion card setup its a very capable phone, although obviously I am a tight wad 🙂


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