Phones are getting cheaper than ever these days, and it’s not like a few years ago where you had to sacrifice a ton of quality to get something that cheap. Cameras are capable, they actually have storage, and the processors can keep up with most apps and games.
Sure, if you’re trying to load up and play tons of games on your phone or use it as a professional photographer, these won’t fit the bill, but many of us just want something to get daily tasks done. We’ve rounded up the best phones available under $100 to save you the hassle of searching over the internet, and included links on where to buy them. Read on to find out what made the cut.
Best overall – Moto E6
Lenovo has kept up Motorola’s trend of focusing hard on the mid-range segment of the Android market, offering good phones at great prices. Their latest offering is one of the best, cheaper phones on this list, and the Moto E6 comes in right at $99 to make the cut. The phone is normally $149, but it seems to float around the $99 price point often enough now. It can also be had for less if you’re willing to activate it on a carrier from a retailer like Best Buy.
So what makes the Moto E6 so special? Well, you’re getting a relatively large 5.5-inch display that’s bright and with an HD resolution, plus an octa-core processor that can keep up with most tasks. The camera’s sharp with a 13MP sensor for capturing photos, the 4000mAh battery is made to last all day, and it has expandable storage to keep your photos and music.
The phone runs Android 9.0 out of the box, so you’re not too far behind the curve, and Motorola includes some of their unique software features to make the phone a little more fun to use. It also works on all US carriers, which is a huge plus. You can’t go wrong here.
Moto E6 | $99 | Best Buy, Amazon
Best performance – Nokia 5
Want the best bang for your buck in phone performance? Nokia’s latest budget-friendly phones are hard to overlook.
Not only does the Nokia 5 come in at just $89, but the phone uses a Snapdragon 430 CPU paired with 2GB of RAM, making it one of the fastest phones on the list. The SD430 is a big jump over previous generations of low-end Qualcomm processors, and Nokia’s lightweight build of Android helps a lot. Plus, Nokia’s committed to tons of Android updates, which you don’t usually see on cheaper devices.
You’re still getting a capable 13MP camera, expandable storage, and an HD 5.2-inch display, but the Nokia 5 stands out even more with a fingerprint scanner, VoLTE support, and monthly security patches. Our only gripe is that the phone still uses microUSB to charge, but for everything else you get, we can overlook that.
Nokia 5 | $89 | Amazon
Big storage – Xiaomi Redmi 7A
A big pain point for lower-end devices is the lack of storage. Fortunately, that’s a corner Xiaomi wasn’t willing to cut with the Redmi 7A.
The 7A comes with 32GB of internal storage, marking the most storage available on this list. It’s still expandable, too, so if you download lots of apps or have tons of files to storage, this is most likely going to be your best option.
The performance here is no slouch, either, with a Snapdragon 439 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera. It’s also a dual-SIM phone, making it perfect for a business phone or for someone that travels frequently. You still get a sizable HD screen coming in at 5.45-inches, rounding out this pretty stellar package of a phone.
Xiaomi Redmi 7A | $99 | Amazon
Buy old, save cash – Moto E5
If you don’t have to have the latest and greatest, you can save some money pretty easily. Last year’s Moto E5 is still a perfectly capable phone that delivers everything we love about Motorola, but at a nice discount.
$89 gets you a spacious 5.7-inch display, 16GB of storage with an expansion slot, 2GB of RAM paired with a Snapdragon 425 CPU, and a fingerprint scanner. Not too bad for a $90 2018 phone, especially considering it also works on all US carriers, including CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint. The camera is a decent 8MP shooter, and you’ve got a 4000mAh battery to work with. The only gripe here is that the phone still uses Android 8.0 Oreo, but the price makes that something that we might be willing to overlook.
Moto E5 | $89 | Amazon
Off-brand – Ulefone Note 7
If you’re not scared to check out some of the lesser-known brands on the internet, you’re in another good situation to save a ton of money. Ulefone isn’t a household name by any stretch, but they do have one of the best phones in the sub-$100 price point on Amazon. Don’t expect software updates or much warranty support, but if you just want the best hardware for your money, check it out.
At an aggressive $80, the Ulefone Note 7 offers a massive 6.1-inch display with a waterdrop notch, triple cameras, and a quad-core CPU. It’s paired with 16GB of expandable storage and 1GB of RAM, plus a 3500mAh battery, rounding out a pretty decent package. It is, however, a 3G-only phone, so this one’s best suited for WiFi use or someone that doesn’t need fast data speeds. It does have triple SIM slots, though!
Ulefone claims the Note 7 can do facial unlocking, however secure that may be, and it’s running Android Go 9.0 for a lightweight experience. At the price point, it might just be worth checking out.
Ulefone Note 7 | $79 | Amazon
Big screen – ZTE Blade Z Max
If you’re a frequent video watcher, having a bigger screen is just better. ZTE’s Blade Z Max fits the bill perfectly for you.
The phone costs just $87 on Amazon and sports a huge 6-inch display with no notches or cutouts. It’s full HD, too, making it one of the better screens on the list. To top that off, it’s also the biggest battery on the list at 4030mAh, further cementing this as the best option for video enthusiasts.
You’re also getting dual-rear cameras for better photos, 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded, and an octa-core Snapdragon processor. There’s even a fingerprint scanner to sweeten the pot.
ZTE Blade Z Max | $86 | Amazon
Are you rocking a phone under $100 that didn’t make our list? Drop a comment and let us know about it!
Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.