Best Smartphones for the Cash August 2018

Now that fall is near and a few devices have come out, let's see how many devices have changed places. The lower end of the budget has has seen quite a shake up as new entries have redefined how much bang you can get for your buck.
As usual, these prices are for unlocked, direct sale units.

Sub $150

Nokia 2

The Nokia 2 comes in at just barely under $100 and gives you a lot for such a cheap phone, but there are some caveats at this price range. You get a 4100mAH battery, aluminum housing and a 5” screen. All of this is more commonly found on a more expensive phone. The cost saving came with the internals. You get a Snapdragon 210 paired with 1GB and using 8GB of storage. While the storage difference can be made up for with an SD card slot. That processor and RAM will keep this phone to those who are basic phone users only. If this is for a person that mostly makes calls and text, then it is perfect. Anyone looking to game or use multiple social media apps at once, please look elsewhere.


Nokia 3.1

Nokia seems to be doing a good job at providing devices for the low cost market. The 3.1 is another phone that provides a lot for a little. At $160 you get a phone that is running pure Android (Android One - Oreo) with an aluminum housing, a 5.2” 18:9 720p display, and a 13MP camera. Inside of it you will find an Octa-Core Mediatek CPU with 2GB of RAM and utilizing 16GB of storage. To add to the storage there is still a microSD card slot.

Moto G6 Play

For $190(Amazon Prime Exclusive price for Deep Indigo color) you get a near stock Android Android experience that is preloaded with Amazon’s apps(Shopping, video, alexa,music). Hardware wise you will get a 5.7” 18:9 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 Quadcore CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of included storage, a microSD card slot, a fingerprint sensor, and a 4000mAh battery.


The mid range phone market is a more contested space with some great options to choose from:

Nokia 6.1

At around $260 this is a good option in this price space. The Nokia 6 has a 5.5” HD display, a Snapdragon 630 octacore CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage 16MP ZEISS(4k video capable) optics main camera with a 8MP front facing camera, fingerprint sensor and a microSD card slot. Nice bonuses are fast charging and that this is a stock Android experience as this is also an Android One program device.

Sony Xperia XA2

For $290 this is a lot of phone for the cash. You get a 5.2” HD display, 23MP camera that is 4k video recording capable with 120fps slow motion, 8MP front facing camera, Snapdragon 630 Octacore Cpu, fingerprint sensor, microSD card slot, 32GB of storage, and 3GB of RAM. This phone has already been slated to get Android P in the fall.

$400+ is the top tier category for most manufacturers

Honor View 10

It may not seem like it at first, but this $430 phone is actually a budget unit. For nearly half the price of other flagship phones you get a massive about of features packed in. The phone packs a near bezel-less display at 5.99”, dual cameras in the back (20MP monochrome, 16MP color that merge the results together for better low light performance and color accuracy), 13MP front camera, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Sony Xperia XZ2 lineup ($600-$700)

Coming in two sizes this top tier phone offers something for every hand size.
In both the compact (5”) and regular (5.7”) you get a Snapdragon 845, 19MP camera with 4k video and slow motion support, dual front facing speakers, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, microSD card slow, quick charge and already slated to get Android P. Some differences are that the compact has a smaller battery (2870mAH vs 3180mAH) and loses wireless charging.

$1000+ is the Halo Phone category that manufacturers are using to showcase everything they are capable of cramming into a smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 ($1000-$1250)

This year's Note comes with Samsung S-Pen as usual, and is accompanied by a 6.4” AMOLED display, dual 12MP cameras in the back capable of 2x optical zoom with 4k video (and slow motion HD 240fps), 6GB RAM/128GB storage or 8GB RAM/512GB storage, microSD card slot, fingerprint sensor and wireless charging.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium ($1000)

The Premium lineup has been Sony’s show case of fitting 4K displays into the palm of your hand. This year was no different except it added HDR. For a grand you get a 5.8” 4K HDR display, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot, Sony’s Dynamic Vibration System, Dual front facing speakers, two rear cameras (19MP color, 12MP monochrome, 4K HDR video recording, HD 960fps slow motion), 3D scanning with cameras, 13MP front camera, PlayStation 4 remote Play support, fingerprint sensor and wireless charging.