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Best cheap mobile phones you can buy for £50, £100, £150 or £200

We round-up the very best cheap mobile phones that you can buy SIM-free at four budget price points - £50, £100, £150 and £200. Here's our pick of the best great value Pay-As-You-Go smartphones right now.

Best mobile phones for under £50 in 2017

Once upon a time, £50 would get you a choice of only the most basic feature phones. Slabs of ugly plastic that were barely capable of sending a text message let alone playing a video or running an app. These days, however, you can bag yourself a great value smartphone for just five crisp tenners.

Microsoft Lumia 435

Microsoft Lumia 435 - One of the best phones we've seen at a budget price point

Price: £49
Release Date: August 2015
Our Review: Microsoft Lumia 435 Review

Microsoft’s Lumia 435 is still one of the best blowers we’ve seen at this price point. This Windows Phone handset is a chunky wee chap, but it’s pleasingly compact and lightweight and sports a respectable 4-inch screen, which is perfectly responsive for app play. Performance is stunning given the cost, thanks to Windows’ low power requirements, and you’ll happily make it through the day on a single battery charge.

The 2-megapixel rear camera isn’t good for much more than basic social snaps and there's no 4G, but at this price we’re not complaining.

EE Rook

EE Rook - A capable 4G handset for just £50

Price: £50
Release Date: July 2015
Our Review: EE Rook Review

If you're after a cheap 4G mobile phone for just £50, then check out the EE Rook instead. This is one of the best-value 4G blowers around, which is great if you like a bit of nippy web browsing. However, the Rook also suffers from a rather rubbish screen, so don't rely on it for endless YouTube streaming.

Best mobile phones for under £100 in 2017

At the hundred quid price point, you can expect a full range of smartphone features, including 4G support and a full-sized HD screen. You might also get a camera that's capable of snapping more than simple bog-standard shots to share on Facebook.

Obi Worldphone MV1 4G

Price: £99
Release Date: May 2016
Our Review: Obi Worldphone MV1 4G

Ex-Apple CEO (played by Jeff Daniels in the film) John Sculley is bringing his Obi venture to the UK, and the Worldphone MV1 4G is the first official launch phone to hit our shores. Despite its low asking price, you get a funky and original design (complete with a floating screen that pops right out of the rubber body) and some solid battery life, as well as a pretty respectable budget camera.

Of course it's not quite perfect, and the Cyanogen OS is a little stuttery at times. But for the cash, this is a feature-packed and very attractive handset.

Moto E 4G (2nd Generation)

Motorola Moto E 4G - An Android Lollipop handset that sports LTE support

Price: £79
Release Date: March 2015
Our Review: Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen Review

One of the best we’ve seen is Motorola’s Moto E 4G (2015), which costs a smidgen over £100. This Android Lollipop phone sports LTE support, a bright and bold 4.5-inch screen and a 5-megapixel snapper that’s good enough to shoot everyday photos.

However, the Moto E is set to be replaced by the new Moto E3, which is due out in the UK in early September for £99. The Moto E3 updates this mobile's specs to give it a larger 5-inch HD screen and an 8-megapixel camera. Full Moto E3 review coming soon.

Sony Xperia E5

Price: £99
Release Date: July 2016
Our Review: Sony Xperia E5 Review

We also really like the Sony Xperia E5, which at £99 is Sony's cheapest Xperia phone to date. This 5-inch mobile boasts a 720p HD screen, all-day battery life and surprisingly decent performance, although the 13-megapixel camera (while great on paper) is a bit of a let-down.

Vodafone Smart Prime 7

Price: £79
Release Date: June 2016
Our Review: Vodafone Smart Prime 7 Review

If you're a Vodafone customer then check out its own-brand Smart Prime 7, a 5-inch mobile that offers tremendous value for money at just £75. For that low price you get a sharp, colourful screen, excellent battery life and a design that's easy on the eye. Sadly the cameras are its weak point, but at this price point the Smart Prime 7 is a great filler or secondary mobile.

LG K8

Price: £99
Release Date: May 2016
Our Review: LG K8 Review

Finally, the LG K8 is another good phone that costs just under £100. This hardy little Android handset is yet another 5-incher with a 720p HD screen. Once again you get dependable budget performance and the camera is decent for daytime shots.

Best mobile phones for under £150 in 2017

If you can stretch up to a £150 budget for your new mobile phone, you suddenly have loads more options available. Now you can get a handset that looks great and delivers solid, dependable performance, and should do for the long-haul. These aren't mobiles that will be used for a few weeks and then discarded; these are phones that will satisfy any smartphone fan, without emptying their wallets.

Honor 5C

Price: £149
Release Date: June 2016
Our Review: Honor 5C Review

Huawei's spin-off 'Honor' brand for budget mobile phones usually offers up some strong handsets, and the new Honor 5C is easy to recommend as one of the best £150 smartphones of 2016. First impressions are great thanks to the stylish brushed metal design, while slick performance, roughly two full days of battery life and the impressive camera experience make this a solid choice at the price point.

Moto G4 Play

Price: £129
Release Date: September 2016
Our Review: Moto G4 Play Preview

Motorola and Lenovo launched three new Moto G handsets in 2016, all of them 5.5-inch beasts that once again pack stunning features for a low asking price.

The cheapest is the Moto G4 Play, which at £129 offers slightly cut-back specs to the rest of its Moto G brethren. However, there's still plenty to love here including a colourful HD screen, solid battery life and a pleasingly clean Android experience.

Read next: Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus

Samsung Galaxy J3

Price: £149
Release Date: June 2016
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy J3 Review

The Samsung Galaxy J3 isn’t a particularly memorable mobile or an especially innovative phone, but it has plenty of merits. Provided that you can get past the convoluted design, this phone works really well as a media player, namely thanks to that punchy screen, great expandability and some pretty decent battery life.

Best mobile phones for under £200 in 2017

At £200 you really can get a lot of mobile for your money. Premium features like fingerprint sensors can be expected, as well as Full HD visuals. And you can generally find a phone with a solid, dependable camera, for snapping your life and loved ones.

Here's our pick of the best mobiles you can buy SIM-free for under £200 right now.

Huawei P8 Lite 2017

Price: £185
Release Date: February 2017
Our Review: Huawei P8 Lite 2017 Review

Huawei sure does produce some fantastic premium smartphones, with the likes of the P9 and Mate 9 impressing thanks to their strong specs set and awesome hardware. However, you don't need to splash out crazy money for a good Huawei phone; the Chinese giant's budget offerings are usually really good too.

The 5.2-inch Huawei P8 Lite 2017 costs under £200, making it even cheaper than the also-excellent Honor 6X, yet still crams in some solid specs. You get a Full HD screen, the latest version of Android and loads of bonus Huawei features thanks to the lovely EMUI 5.0 UX. All of that makes for seriously impressive value for money.

Lenovo P2

Price: £199
Release Date: January 2017
Our Review: Lenovo P2 Review

At a shade under £200, the Lenovo P2 offers seriously impressive value for money.

For a start, you get ridiculous battery life courtesy of the 5100mAh cell, which is double the size of most budget smartphone batteries. Expect around three days of use per charge, great news for anyone who regularly travels at the weekend.

On top of that you get a responsive fingerprint sensor built into the sturdy metallic frame, along with a crisp and colourful Full HD screen. Performance is respectable, thanks to the Snapdragon 625 processor and mighty 4GB of memory. And you can even slip two SIM cards into the P2, or a single SIM and a microSD card.

Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus

Price: £189
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus review

The Swift 2 Plus is a fantastic phone for under £200, building on the solid foundations of the original Swift handset. Now we get a much-improved camera experience, full fingerprint security and Quick Charge support too so you aren't hanging around waiting for the handset to power up. If you’re on a budget, this is definitely a worthy rival to the Moto G4 and G4 Plus.

Moto G4 Plus

Price: £199
Release Date: July 2015
Our Review: Moto G4 Plus Review

An obvious question is, which is best for you: the Moto G4 or the slightly more expensive Moto G4 Plus? Well, we’d say that unless you’re constantly snapping hyper kids or pets, there’s no need to splash out extra money on the Plus’ 16-meg camera; the original Moto G4's shooter is mighty fine for the price. The G4 Plus' super-smart auto-focus helps with fast-moving subjects, but otherwise the difference in photo quality is negligible.

Which means that the G4 Plus’ major advantage is that front-mounted fingerprint sensor, a quick and reliable and a satisfying alternative to PIN security. And like the original Moto G4, the G4 Plus excels in most other areas, including the gorgeous 5.5-inch Full HD screen and sleek (if rather hand-filling) design.

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