Best entry-level smartphones 2022 - buyer’s guide

GSMArena team, Last updated 15 July 2022.

Last updated: July 15, 2022 (Changelog)

Here, we will discuss the super-cheap, yet very good, entry-level offerings. The industry has advanced so far that even at this price point we're seeing handsets that offer beefy chipsets and big batteries.


Editors' choice

Motorola Moto G22

Motorola Moto G22

Specs
  • Stylish looks for the price, water-repellent design
  • 90Hz 720p LCD
  • Quad-camera – 50MP, 8MP UW, 2MP macro, 2MP depth
  • 64GB base storage, dedicated microSD slot
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Clean Android 12
  • Mediocre performance
  • Single speaker

The Moto G22 is our current top pick for the entry-level category just because it features the most features for its €149 price. The G22 packs a 90Hz LCD screen, a versatile four-camera setup, and a large 5,000mAh battery.

The Moto G22 comes with clean Android 12, which is always a nice thing to have. And there are also NFC, microSD expansion, audio jack. In fact, the performance is the only thing that is unimpressive on the Moto G22 but the lower screen resolution does help for smooth enough browsing.

SPECS
Xiaomi Redmi 9C

Xiaomi Redmi 9C

Specs
  • Large 720p LCD screen
  • 5,000mAh battery should be plenty
  • Triple-camera with macro and depth
  • 32GB base storage, dedicated microSD slot
  • Mediocre performance, 2GB RAM may lead to system-wide bottlenecks
  • Sluggish charging, microUSB port

The Redmi 9C impresses with a large battery and a large LCD screen and its price is quite low at €135.

The Redmi 9C’s base version comes with just 2GB of RAM. This, with the weak Helio G35 may and will lead to some system-wide bottlenecks.

Still, the Redmi 9C is a good phone for its price and it will do just fine for calls, emails, chats, social networks and web browsing. It's a bit sluggish, but if you won't be playing games, you'd be fine with it.

If you need NFC, there is a Redmi 9C NFC version across some markets, too.

Specs
Nokia G11

Nokia G11

Specs
  • 6.5” 90Hz LCD screen, 720p
  • 5,050mAh battery
  • 32GB base storage, 3GB RAM, dedicated microSD slot
  • Triple camera with macro and portrait
  • Mediocre GPU performance

The Nokia G11 costs about €140 and it is a solid smartphone. The G11 packs a 90Hz HD LCD screen and runs on the Unisoc T606 chip with powerful processor and okay GPU. The G11 also comes with a triple camera on the back and a large 5,050mAh battery with fast 18W charging via the USB-C port.

The Nokia G11 is one of the cheapest mainstream smartphones you can buy and that’s why we can forgive (and understand) its 720p resolution and the so-so graphics.

SPECS
Realme C31

Realme C31

Specs
  • Large 720p screen
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 32GB base storage, 3GB RAM, dedicated microSD slot
  • Triple camera with macro and portrait
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Sluggish charging, microUSB port
  • No NFC

The Realme C31 costs about €150. The phone has a large but low-res screen, a triple-camera on the back, a 5,000mAh battery and runs on Android 11 with realme UI 2.0.

The Realme C31 has a good chipset with adequate processor but weak graphics. It's coupled with 3GB or 4GB of RAM, so it will do fine for everything but games.

The Realme C31 is good for calls and social networks and will probably last you for days on those. And it has a fingerprint scanner. It's an ideal first smartphone for students or seniors, but not the best daily driver for busier lifestyles.

SPECS
Realme C30

Realme C30

Specs
  • Large 720p screen
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 32GB base storage, dedicated microSD slot
  • Single 8MP AF camera on the back
  • Sluggish charging, microUSB port
  • No fingerprint scanner
  • No NFC

The Realme C30 is even cheaper than the C31 and it omits the extra cameras and the fingerprint scanner. This will save you some money, which is good if you don’t consider these as essential features.

There us one more change – the phone cimes with either 2GB or 3GB RAM, which lead the Realme to use a lightweight (on features) version of the Realme UI called Realme UI Go.

The Realme C30 has the same chipset as the C31, which means a good processor and so-so graphics.

The Realme C30 is good for calls and social networks and messaging. It may snap a few okay-ish photos, but that’s about it. The phone costs about INR 8,300 (€100), which is why we can recommend it for being one of the cheapest offers avaialble.

SPECS

India special

Realme Narzo 50A

Realme Narzo 50A

Specs
  • Attractive design
  • Adequate Helio G85 chip for a 6.5” 720p screen
  • 6,000mAh battery, 18W charging
  • 64GB base storage, 4GB RAM, dedicated microSD slot
  • Triple camera with portrait mode
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • No NFC
  • No 4K video capturing

We have another good offer on our shortlist here and this one comes from Realme. It's the Narzo 50A that is replacing the Narzo 30A.

So, this cheap (INR 11,500) yet attractive Narzo 50A offers a large HD screen, an adequate Helio G85 chip and a triple camera on the back (50+2+2). It comes with 64GB storage in its base trim and 4GB of RAM. We do appreciate the beefy 6,000mAh battery with 18W charging and the fingerprint scanner on the back.

The Narzo series are currently available in India only hence the India Special tag.

SPECS

Most recent updates

July 15, 2022: Added Redmi 9C, Nokia G11, Realme C31, Realme C30, Moto G22, Realme Narzo 50A. Removed the Redmi 9, Realme Narzo 30A, Realme C21, Moto G10, Redmi Note 8 2021.

October 20, 2021: Added Redmi Note 8 2021.

May 20, 2021: Replaced Realme Narzo 20A with Narzo 30A. Replaced Moto E (2020) with Moto G10. Replaced Realme C11 with Realme C21.

Dec 1, 2020: The Xiaomi Redmi 9 is now the new Editor's choice. Replaced Realme Narzo 10A with Narzo 20A. Replaced Moto G8 Play with Moto E (2020). Added Redmi 9a and Realme C11. Removed Realme 5s, Redmi 8A, Galaxy M11, vivo U20, Nokia 4.2, Galaxy A20e, Galaxy A20.


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Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 24 Oct 2022
  • gM}

worst phone evaluation

  • Amara swarray
  • 01 Oct 2022
  • rZu

My phones touch is not responding to touch whats the problem or how can u help me out with this trouble shooting

  • Sin
  • 23 Aug 2022
  • 3ag

Can we have a ultra budget category review cheap affordable smartphones We need a sub 100 pound smartphone category with phones priced around 50 pound and in depth reviews And buyers guide and buyers advice and compassion at this price range...