If you’re on a budget, finding a decent phone can be a struggle. In this article, I’ll make it easier for you by picking out the best phones under £100 to help you in your search. We’ve picked out 10 phones from £29 all the way up to £99.
Nokia 3310 3G - £29
Phones have quickly become everything besides an actual telephone, but all of these extra features require more hardware. This is why many of the top phones are so expensive. However, if you’re looking for a phone that is mostly just needed for texting and calling, the ode to the past that is the Nokia 3310 is a great choice.
This isn’t the old Nokia 3310 from the early 2000s. It’s an updated model that runs an operating system called Smart Feature OS. It’s very basic and whilst you can use the Nokia 3310 to play some basic games, use the web, and navigate on maps, you’ll mostly want it for basic calls and texting.
Alcatel U3 3G - £29
If you don’t want to miss out on a proper smartphone OS, the cheapest acceptable option has got to be the Alcatel U3 3G. At this price point, you are sacrificing a lot, but for many basic apps, like Gmail, Facebook, or just for making calls, the Alcatel U3 3G is a potential option.
If you’re used to owning a high-end phone, it’s important to keep your expectations tapered at this price point. But for £29 you still get a decent, sturdy device with a 4 inch display, 1,500mAh battery, and even front and rear-facing cameras. (1.3MP and 2MP, respectively).
Nokia 3 (Refurbished) - £49
When you can’t spend more than £100 on a smartphone, you have to accept sacrifices have to be made. One sacrifice that you can choose to make for a better experience is to choose a refurbished smartphone.
By going for a refurbished device, you’re getting a smartphone which you might otherwise not be able to afford. At giffgaff, a refurbished smartphone is second-hand and without its original packaging, but it is in close to perfect condition and may have had very little use.
The Nokia 3 is the cheapest refurbished phone in this list. The Nokia 3 comes with a 5 inch IPS display, an 8 megapixel primary and selfie camera, a big 2,630mAh battery, 16GB of internal storage, and Android 7.0. On the inside, you also get a quad core processor and 2GB of RAM. When you consider this refurbished Nokia 3 is just £20 more than the Alcatel U3 3G, but you are getting 4 times more in almost every aspect, it’s hard to pass it up.
Alcatel 1 - £59
If you’re curious what brand new phone you can get for around this price point, let me introduce you to the Alcatel 1. The same sturdy, yet slightly bulky design from Alcatel’s other low-end devices is used here, too.
You get a 5 inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9, which makes the device slightly wider and slightly less tall. This design choice is great for smaller hands. You also get a 5 megapixel main camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, 8GB of storage, a 2,000mAh battery, a quad core processor, and 1GB of RAM. It’s not quite as good as the refurbished Nokia 3, but it’s completely new and you’ll get all of the accessories along with it.
Nokia 8110 4G - £59
As you get closer to the £100 price point, you start to see far less feature phones, so the Nokia 8110 4G is a surprise addition to this list. At £59, you’re essentially getting an upgrade to the 3110 mentioned earlier.
This device feels slimmer and has a slide out keypad. The 8110 is running the same operating system, but you get a bit more battery life, a better chipset, and support for more apps via the KaiOS app store. 4GB of storage is included, instead of the 64MB on the Nokia 3310, and the 8110 also has 4G connectivity.
Sony Xperia L1 (Refurbished) - £69
Another option for those happy to purchase a refurbished device is the Android 7.0 powered Sony Xperia L1. At just £20 more than the refurbished Nokia 3, you get a surprising amount more. The display is a 5.5 inch HD panel. You get a 13 megapixel main camera and a 5 megapixel selfie snapper. The battery has a capacity of 2,620mAh and you also get a similarly powerful quad core processor. 2GB of RAM is also included, alongside 16GB of internal storage.
Moto E5 Play - £79
Motorola has become very competitive at the low-end. Currently, their most popular phone under £100 is the Moto E5 Play. It has enough hardware to keep it running along reasonably well, paired up with a decent display. To explain further, the Moto E5 Play has a 5.34” display, 16GB of storage, a 2,100mAh battery, and the Snapdragon 425 quad core processor, which is very good at this price point.
You won’t be playing Fortnite on this phone, but some basic games certainly aren’t out of the question. You also get 2GB of RAM and the Moto E5 Play runs Android 8.0, the first in this list to do so.
Sony Xperia XA1 (Refurbished) - £79
As we grow near to the end of our list, I’ve picked out three excellent refurbished choices because at this price point, these devices really are the best you’ll get for your money. First up is the Sony Xperia XA1. Whilst Sony hasn’t quite got the minimal bezel memo yet, their devices are still very good and surprisingly comfortable to hold onto.
The Sony XA1 in particular has a 5 inch 720p HD display, 32GB of internal storage, 3GB of RAM, and an octa core processor. The battery capacity is 2,300mAh and you get Android 7.0 out of the box. Moving up to 3GB of RAM is very important - that extra 1GB goes a long way to help the Android operating system run smoothly.
Because of the 3GB of RAM, the Sony XA1 is personally something I would choose over the next two options. What’s most impressive about the Sony Xperia XA1 is the 23 megapixel primary camera and the 8 megapixel selfie camera that features a wide angle mode.
Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 (Refurbished) - £99
The Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 is the first of two refurbished smartphones for £99. This Galaxy A3 has a sturdy build quality with IP68 water resistance and plenty of other features. These features include a 4.7 inch HD display, a 13 megapixel primary camera, a surprising selfie snapper resolution of 8 megapixels, 16GB of storage, 2GB RAM, an octa core processor, and Android 6.0.1. You get a 2,350mAh capacity battery to power everything and Samsung’s TouchWiz is laid over Android.
Nokia 5 (Refurbished) - £99
We mentioned how the Nokia 3 refurbished model was a great deal earlier in the article, and the same can be said about the Nokia 5. You get specifications in line with the last two smartphones mentioned. This includes a 5.2 inch display, a Snapdragon 430 octa core processor, 16GB of storage, and Android 7.1.1 out of the box. The Nokia 5 only has 2GB of RAM, which is a little disappointing. However, you do get a fingerprint sensor and a build design that feels very high end.
Thanks for reading my overview on the best phones under £100. If you want to learn more about some of the phones featured in this article and some more suggestions, why not take a look at our video review here?
If you are interested in any of the smartphones in this article, you can find them, and many other great deals, in our store.