May 21, 2018 By Nick
You might think you need the latest iPhone, but you really don’t.
Smartphones have become a fashion accessory, but the truth is that for most of us, a cheaper smartphone will do the job just as well as an iPhone.
It might be a theoretical fraction of a second slower on benchmark tests, but that just doesn’t make a difference in the real world. The internet is normally the defining factor in how fast shit gets done, not the hardware.
That’s a little secret the industry would rather you didn’t think about, because it’s obvious when you really look at it.
Plus, here’s the big thing. You can buy a phone that is almost as good as an iPhone, then buy a laptop with the money you save.
That laptop, even a budget one, will run rings round an iPhone. It will blow it away in every meaningful way.
So save the money on the phone and spend it on a computer and you’ll have three times the computing power at your disposal.
Seeing our reasoning?
Here are five budget iPhone alternatives that are just better business.
1. ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars
This phone has come from nowhere to knock the Moto G off the throne.
It’s really that good.
You get a 16mp camera, 5.2 inch AMOLED display with full 1080 resolution and a 1.5GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
If you want a bigger screen, you’ll have to spend more on the full size Axon 7.
It also comes with a fingerprint scanner, a slow-mo mode on the camera, superb audio and an aluminum case that BMW helped design.
Basically, you get a phone that’s easily a match for most on the market, for less than $200.
I loved the Moto G and had a third gen one, but this phone is now the best low budget iPhone alternative in my humble opinion.
2. Moto G Plus 5th Gen
Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars
The Moto G has become a legend in the smartphone world, for good reason.
The 5th generation Moto G Plus comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, or you can upgrade to the 4GB/64GB version for $299.99, which is a match for the iPhone 7.
It comes with a micro SD card slot, too, so you can increase that storage to 128GB.
The camera isn’t quite a match for an iPhone, but it’s still seriously good. It’s a 12mp camera and it uses the last gen Samsung Galaxy sensor. So use it well and the Moto G produces awesome photos.
You get 30FPS video and a version of 4K, too, although that must be upscaled.
This, though, is almost as good a phone as the latest iPhone, for a fraction of the price.
It’s still one of the best budget smartphones in the world and, combined with a latop, the Moto G is a total iPhone killer.
3. Huawei Honor 6
Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars
Huawei started off as the Skoda of the mobile phone world. Everybody was laughing. Nobody is laughing anymore.
That’s because Huawei has concentrated on what really matters to most people. That’s a great camera and a phone that, you know, makes calls.
It’s the first camera in the price bracket to come with a dual sensor and it gives you 12mp pictures and optional wide-angle shots.
It comes with a fingerprint scanner, a solid metal body, an Octa-core processor and Andrid Nougat operating system.
There are always compromises in a cheap smartphone, but you’ll struggle to really spot them here.
The Huawei Honor 6X beats an iPhone in some respects. You should only need to charge it every two days and it’s way overengineered for a budget smartphone.
It won the Top Tech Award at CES 2017 and it deserved to.
Seriously, this is a low budget iPhone alternative that you should really take a look at.
4. Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
Amazon Rating: 4 Stars
Augmented Reality is about to become a big deal and thanks to its Google Tango sensors and camera assembly, the Lenovo Phab 2 is actually one of the most technologically advanced smartphones on the market at any price.
The fact that this smartphone costs less than $500 is a minor miracle, but then we’ve come to expect value money from Lenovo.
It made its name with budget laptops that punched well above their weight.
Now its cheap smartphones are having the same impact, but this is next level tech and still undercuts the iPhone.
The Lenovo Phab 2 might well be one of the best value smartphones in the world right now. If this tech takes off.
You get a 6.4inch screen with full HD, three separate microphones and a noise-cancelling system.
A 16mb camera is just one of the tricks, as the phone gets four separate lenses to arm the AR system.
It comes with 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 652 processor, too. It’s also a decent looking phone.
We’d rock one of these in a heartbeat and it’s Android, so you’re not locked in to the Apple system.
If it and the app developers can exploit AR, then this could make the iPhone 7 look like a relic.
5. One Plus 3T
Amazon Rating: 4 Star
I know, there’s a OnePlus 5 out now. But, honestly, the company has priced itself out the budget smartphone market and gone so dangerously close to iPhone money that it has lost the USP.
The old 3T, though, is still a great phone that deserves a mention here.
Is it as good as the Huawei, Moto G and Axon? No, I don’t think so.
And that’s a shame.
OnePlus looked like it could be a kickass company and it still can be. But it is now in a grey area between the budget option and a direct, premium rival for the iPhone.
But if you have to pay in advance for the phone, then get a contract, it’s actually at a disadvantage.
Still, the 3T comes with a 16mp camera on the rear that is mated to some awesome software. It has 6GB of RAM, a Snapdragon processor and in its day this phone was badass.
It has been left behind, which is kind of obvious as the company has a new release, and I have a feeling the next time I do a list like this then it won’t even make the Top 10 budget smartphones in the world.
But for now, for nostalgia’s sake, I’m keeping the OnePlus 3T here.