Even when you have a budget of less than 200 euros, you can find good smartphones. The proof in this selection.
The best smartphones under 200 euros
A few years ago, smartphones less than 200 euros were hardly recommended. This is no longer the case today. The arrival of Chinese brands in general, and Xiaomi in particular, in Western markets has driven the price of phones down and features up and there is no longer even a need to go through the import box.
Even if at such low prices compromises are obviously inevitable, all the devices chosen here remain balanced and able to satisfy the majority of the users. If you want a second opinion, go to the selection of the best smartphones under 200 euros from Numerama. Our guide to the best smartphones will help you get an overview of the market.
With its Redmi Note series, Xiaomi has established itself for several years as one of the best value for money on the market for small budgets. Let’s ignore the suspense: the Redmi Note 10 continues the tradition brilliantly.
Considering the price, one should not expect miracles on the design side, but Xiaomi makes a neat copy, with a pretty and well-finished device. We are even entitled to an IP53 certification (splashing water and dust), something quite rare at this price level.
The use of an AMOLED screen is a surprise all the more pleasant as it is well made, with high brightness and correct colorimetry. We also welcome the presence of stereo speakers. As for the photo, however, things are less impressive. The main sensor does a good job, but the others struggle to show their usefulness.
Under the hood, there is a Snapdragon 678 and 4 GB of RAM, the whole offers solid performance, we can even run Fortnite by cutting into the details. The battery life reaches two days thanks to the 5000 mAh battery, while the 33 W charger fills up in just under 90 minutes. The icing on the cake, Xiaomi delivers here an Android 11 accompanied by MUIU 12.
Xiaomi therefore offers here a phone with a remarkable quality / price ratio as we would like to see more often. For more details, head to our full test.
This variant of Realme 7 stands out from the competition with an interesting technical sheet and a still very affordable price. At this price, no miracle! We find a look that is certainly basic, but relatively elegant. Above all, the materials are of high quality, especially the plastic back. The device is generally comfortable to use, but its thickness and a slightly too high fingerprint sensor can be a problem for little hands.
The LCD screen is very classic, with its HD + resolution and average brightness. On the processor side, there is a MediaTek Helio G85, accompanied by 4 GB of RAM. Let’s say it right away, it is enough for smooth use of the phone, but it shows limits for playing. So it is not even possible to install Fortnite.
On the other hand, it makes up for it with a breathtaking autonomy made possible by its 6000 mAh battery. It lasts without worry for more than three days on a charge! In return, refueling will take 2h40 despite the fast charge.
Finally, the photo module produces correct results for this price point. Do not plan to take the night photo, but it does the rest of the time.
The Realme 7i therefore stands out as one of the best entry-level deals and above all one of the most enduring phones that we have never tested. For more details, head to our full test.
Very active lately, Poco, the Xiaomi brand, returns with the M3, the latter mainly focusing on autonomy with a 6000 mAh battery! No miracle: to fit such a battery, the machine is particularly large and especially thick (9.6 mm)! To the point, moreover, that it may pose some concerns to little hands. The design itself is pretty classic, except for the back which is dressed in an imposing black rectangle.
The screen offers a very average quality, especially in terms of its brightness. However, it remains fully functional.
The on-board Snapdragon 662 SoC offers decent performance as long as it is not asked too much to play. Coupled with the massive battery, the entry-level, energy-efficient chip lets the phone easily go past two days of use. In return, refueling will take time: almost three hours, even with fast charging.
At this price, we did not expect much from the triple photo sensor and unsurprisingly the result is passable. When the light conditions are good, the shots are fine, but the quality drops quickly when the light is lacking.
Despite a few flaws, the Poco M3 stands out as an excellent choice for those looking for good autonomy. Find all the details in our full test.
Do you have a small budget, but want to avoid Chinese manufacturers? Samsung is here for you! With his Galaxy A12, the Korean offers what is meant to be good value for money. First observation, the design is sober and frankly forgettable. The finishes are however impeccable despite the use of plastic for the back. With its 6.5-inch screen and 205 grams on the scale, the A12 is a beautiful baby. This will be particularly noticeable for small hands who will sometimes have trouble finding the buttons.
The LCD screen surprises with the thickness of its edges, but it offers very good contrast. The luminosity is it in the average while the colors draw slightly towards the blue. The four sensors in the photo module do a good job overall. The main sensor in particular does very well during the day. On the other hand, it is a little more difficult in low light.
Under the hood the Helio P35 from MediaTek provides the minimum, but little more. We thus notice small unpleasant slowdowns. We have clearly seen better with the competition. The autonomy is however good, the battery of 5000 mAh holding more than two days.
A simple and efficient phone sold at a frankly attractive price. For more details, read our full review.
This entry-level model from Xiaomi is thick (9.6 mm) and heavy (196 g), to say the least, which means that it may pose some problems for little hands. Its measurements aside, the Redmi 9T offers a basic design and finish, but effective. The 6.53-inch screen is decent, with very good contrast and brightness in the industry low average. The speakers, on the other hand, are a very good surprise, with high quality rendering.
The Snapdragon 662 brings surprisingly solid performance for a phone at this price point. The system works with a pleasant fluidity and you can even try out some well-optimized games like Call of Duty Mobile.
But where the phone really shines is with its endurance. The battery allows it to reach three days of use on a charge. Small consideration: a full charge will take more than two hours.
Very classic and without major flaws, the Redmi 9T is an interesting choice for small budgets looking for good autonomy. If you are interested, we recommend reading the Xiaomi Redmi 9T review.
Things to know before buying your smartphone
💡 What can you do with a smartphone for less than 200 euros?
The performance of entry-level and mid-range processors has improved dramatically in recent years. The interface is now always fluid, web browsing and video playback work like charms just like social networks and simple games. However, we notice their limits when playing gourmet 3D games like PUBG mobile or Fortnite mobile.
🤔 What concessions should I make at this price?
In this price range, brands generally leave behind the photo part and the screen. For example, you will not find an OLED panel, and the definition of the screen rarely reaches Full HD. If we find nice design, the materials used are also less noble: a lot of plastic, sometimes a little aluminum, very rarely glass. We must also forget the little more appreciable such as waterproofing or wireless charging.
👍 What are the trusted brands?
The simple answer: like the top of the range. The champions of the smartphone market under 200 euros often vary, so the best of yesterday will not necessarily be those of tomorrow. It is therefore important to refer to regularly updated buying guides, such as ours. That being said, Xiaomi, Honor, and Samsung feature regularly in our picks.
📶 What inexpensive package to accompany my inexpensive smartphone?
Now that you have made savings on your smartphone, you can also save on your plan, including non-binding offers. Find the best prices of the moment thanks to our comparator of mobile plans.
If you have a larger budget, go to the guide to smartphones under 300 euros. To see the best smartphones by category, do not hesitate to consult our reference guide to the best smartphones in 2021.