The best phones for under £200 in the UK in 2022

Tired of shopping for pricey smartphones that'll leave you dirt-poor by the end of the month? We've gathered the absolute best phones we could find for under £200 that deliver solid all-round performance.


by Ryan Houghton |

Phones are essential in modern life, whether it's for work, socialising, banking, or just keeping your brain occupied - they're a necessity. But shopping for a new phone is always a nightmare. Whether you're comparing Apple's M1 chip to Samsung's Snapdragon, you're bound to be bombarded with meaningless jargon that would leave anyone scratching their head.

Luckily we've been around the block when it comes to phone shopping, and we know a good deal when we see one. To save you time and effort, we've compiled what are probably the best phones you'll find for under £200 that we think you'll love.

Whether you're a bloodthirsty gamer, a lounging socialite, or a blossoming photographer, there's almost certainly the right smartphone offer for you, and for a great price.

The smartphones of 2022 so far have been bigger, with better cameras, and ultra-low-latency browsing, but is all of that really necessary? Our picks aren't going to be the absolute cutting-edge, but they'll deliver absolutely impeccable quality for their price and won't cost you upwards of £1,000 or more - we think that's a great deal.

Related: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best iPhone yet

Are used smartphones worth it?

From the right seller, you can pick up a top-of-the-range, new(ish) smartphone for under £500. Phones like the iPhone 12, or the Samsung Note 20, are ultra-powerful devices with cutting-edge hardware - so is it worth it? Well, yes and no. A lot of these smartphones are 'renewed', meaning that some of their components have been replaced entirely by the seller.

As trusted as the seller may be, you have no idea how good the condition is of the swapped parts, meaning you could receive the phone and it may very well break within a day. You'd also have no warranty on the device either since it was voided when it was renewed, so paying a premium for a potential gamble of a phone is a bit of a risk, to say the least. For us, getting a brand new phone is a guarantee of quality, you'll receive the phone exactly as the manufacturer intended for you to receive it, with no swollen battery, or dodgy components to boot.

Without further ado, let's crack on, shall we? Here are the best smartphones under £200.

The Details

Specifications
Dimensions: 159.9 x 73.9 x 8.1 mm
Display size: 6.43-inches
Operating System: Anroid 11 / MIUI 13
Battery life:5000 mAh (lasts up to 2.5 days)
Resolution: 1080 x 2400 p (AMOLED)
Rear camera: Quad - 50MP (wide), 8MP (ultrawide), 2MP (macro), 2MP (depth)
Front: 13MP (wide)
Video: 1080p / 30fps
RAM: 4GB
Memory: 128GB
Weight: 179g
Pros Cons
• Amazing AMOLED screen • No 5G support
• Solid performance
• Great battery life

Overview:

We wouldn't be surprised if you haven't heard of Xiaomi before, and we know what you're thinking: what on Earth is Xiaomi? But believe us when we say that this is one of the best budget phones available right now, and we know you're going to love it.

The Xiaomi Redmi 11 arrives loaded with a lovely AMOLED 1080p screen that looks almost as good as an iPhone - we're not even kidding. It's vibrant, with great contrast (which you can even tweak in the settings), and has a great hand-feel while browsing. It's perfect for binge-watching, gaming, or even using your favourite social media apps.

Xiaomi's Redmi 11 is running a Snapdragon 680, which upon initial impression, is pretty wonderful. Gaming is buttery smooth, running on high settings on a bunch of demanding multiplayer games without issue, easily crushing Call of Duty Mobile without a hitch.

Battery life is insanely good, topping out both the iPhone 12 and 13 with a 5000 mAh charge, lasting around 2.5 days - most impressive.

With this phone, you've got a respectable - albeit fairly standard - 50MP camera which can get some very nice snaps here and there with a good amount of natural, and vivid colour. It isn't mind-blowing, but it'll definitely do.

Our only major gripe with the Redmi 11 is the unfortunate lack of 5G support which is fairly commonplace in budget phones nowadays. The Snapdragon 680 unfortunately only comes with 4G support as of now, so if you want that extra boost to your mobile data, then check out the Xiaomi Redmi 11 Pro.

Despite being from a lesser-known brand, Xiaomi really has delivered with the Redmi 11, it's a great value budget phone with little to no real flaws, perfect for practically anyone.

Related: The best wireless phone chargers

Specifications
Dimensions: 164.2 x 76.1 x 9.1 mm
Display size: 6.5-inches
Operating System: Anroid 11
Battery: 5000 mAh (16 hours of browsing)
Resolution: 720 x 1600 p
Rear camera: Quad - 48MP (wide), 8MP (ultrawide), 5MP (macro), 2MP (depth)
Front: 13MP (wide)
Video: 1080p / 30fps
RAM: 4GB
Memory: 64GB
Weight: 205g
Pros Cons
• Great gaming performance • Weaker 720p screen
• Running Android 11 - which is still fairly new
• Good battery life

Overview

2021's Samsung A32 doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to budget smartphones, but we can't argue with its excellent price tag.

Sporting the latest Android 11 OS, browsing and average day-to-day tasks feel silky smooth and lagless, making the overall experience of using the A32 feel a lot more premium than you'd expect for its price. Adding to its premium feel is the lovely hand-feel and build quality, the glossy back panel, while being plastic, looks glassy and really pops when you see it in person.

The 720p screen for a 2021 phone is admittedly a bit of a disappointment, seeing as many cheaper budget phones nowadays have at least Full HD, yet the colours still have a fair bit of pop to them, so we can overlook the lower quality for now.

Where the A32 really shines, however, is with gaming - delivering all-around solid performance in some particularly demanding games, tearing through Call of Duty Mobile on medium settings with ease.

We were also pretty impressed overall with the quad camera. Though it doesn't deliver some of the more natural-looking photos you may get from an iPhone, we think you'll be impressed nonetheless.

Related: 10 things you didn’t know Alexa could do

Specifications
Dimensions: 168.9 x 79.7 x 9.1 mm
Display size: 6.67-inches
Operating System: Anroid 11
Battery life:4470 mAh (lasts up to 48 hours)
Resolution: 1080 x 2400 p
Rear camera: Quad - 48MP (wide), 5MP (ultrawide), 2MP (macro), 2MP (depth)
Front: 8MP (wide)
Video: 1080p / 30fps
RAM: 6GB
Memory: 64GB
Weight: 210g
Pros Cons
• Great 1080p screen • Mono speaker isn't great
• Solid build quality • Slow charging
• Good battery life

Overview:

Big, bulky, and indestructible, the X10 embodies all of the design ethos that the Nokia 3310 had - a tough, reliable phone that'll last you for years to come. With an impressive 1080p screen, a nice chunky plastic body, and sizeable bezels, the X10 feels pretty premium for a budget phone. Paired with Android 11, browsing is a total breeze, you really can't knock the quality.

Much like the Nokia 3310, the X10's battery life is seemingly limitless by modern standards. At 4400 mAh, it'll last you 48 hours at least before it's totally flat, making it a great companion on a night out when your phone is needed most.

Photography on the X10 is also pretty fantastic! The quad camera takes some lovely natural-looking photos in the right conditions, and while they're not mind-blowing, they are still impressive for a budget phone.

Of cause, it isn't all roses; there's the weak mono speaker, which becomes tinny at high volumes and is easily covered by accident during use. Then there's the slow and outdated 18W charging which is all but entirely outmoded by modern 30W chargers, making charging an absolute chore.

Overall, however, we're really impressed with everything the X10 has to offer, it's a great phone for the busy commuter, a late-night club goer, or anyone in between.

Related: Nokia G21 review: Budget that shows

Specifications
Dimensions: 164.9 x 74.9 x 8.95 mm
Display size: 6.52-inches
Operating System: Anroid 11
Battery life: 5000 mAh (lasts up to 54 hours with moderate use)
Resolution: 1600 x 720 p
Rear camera: Main - 48MP / 5MP / 2MP
Front: 13MP (wide)
Video: 1080p / 30fps
RAM: 4GB
Memory: 64GB
Weight: 179g
Pros Cons
• Great 5G support • Fairly basic phone
• Great battery life

Overview:

Another name brand that you probably haven't heard of much in recent years, Motorola is still going strong with a great line-up of budget blowers that are bound to impress. If you're looking for browsing on the go, smooth and faultless navigating, and solid gaming and photography all-in-one, Motorola's G50 undoubtedly delivers.

Despite being a slight downgrade from Motorola's Moto G31, which is sporting an OLED screen and a Snapdragon 680 (compared to the G50's 480), the G50 has a major ace in the hole - 5G support.

Motorola decided to sacrifice some performance and a sharper screen just so budget buyers had the chance to try out 5G on the cheap, and we think that's a fair sacrifice to make. 5G access on the go is just so quick and brilliant that you can never really go back to 4G again.

Related: The best Apple iPhones – the ultimate round-up

Yet again, we see another budget smartphone with a whopping 5000 mAh battery life, bringing most modern smartphones to their knees in shame. And with such a light and low-demanding OS such as Android 11, you'll be gaming for an entire day with no issues.

The G50's pitfalls come in the form of its slightly modest camera, which doesn't bring much pizazz to the table. Photos are fairly bog standard and don't have a ton of modes to play around with.

Overall, we love the Motorola Moto G50, it's quick, it looks fab, and best of all - it's got 5G. Brilliant stuff.

Related: The best tablets to buy

Specifications
Dimensions: 159.9 x 73.9 x 8.1 mm
Display size: 6.43-inches
Operating System: Anroid 11 / MIUI 13 for POCO
Battery life: 5000 mAh (lasts up to 54 hours with moderate use)
Resolution: 1080 X 2400 p
Rear camera: Main - 64MP (wide), 8MP (ultrawide), 2MP (macro)
Front: 16MP (wide)
Video: 1080p / 30fps
RAM: 6GB
Memory: 64GB
Weight: 179.5g
Pros Cons
• Great for gaming • No 5G support
• Great battery life

Overview

Our final pick is the perfect choice for a budget gaming phone, the Poco M4 Pro is loaded with a fantastic 90Hz AMOLED screen that looks seriously good for the price.

The M4 Pro glides through even the heftiest of multiplayers such as Call of Duty Mobile on high settings, no questions asked, it's even able to run Genshin Impact with relative ease, not an easy challenge for a budget phone. Alongside its 5000 mAh battery life, you can easily game all day without running for the charger.

Related: The best gaming tablets

The camera quality on the M4 Pro isn't life-changing by any means, it's a pretty solid 68MP quad camera with some nice options to have fun with, as well as great 1080p recording options.

Of course, there are issues - it's only got 4G support, meaning you can't get those next-level browsing speeds on the go, for that you'll need the more expensive model.

Despite being our last pick, the Poco M4 Pro really is terrific, and our gripes with it aren't particularly huge. It's got great hand-feel, excellent gaming capabilities, and some hefty battery life, that's tough to beat.

Can smartphones get viruses?

Smartphones can, and often do get viruses. This can be from opening a dodgy email, visiting sites that aren't secure, or even joining public Wi-Fi, so be careful what you access.

Why are smartphones important?

A smartphone can be considered an essential part of modern life. From talking to family, co-workers, friends, and potential customers, smartphones are engrained in normal life in the modern world. However, many people become totally addicted to using their phones, forming an unhealthy dopamine cycle with social media that is difficult to break, so it can be really important to detox! Cut off and seek out some nature for a while - you won't regret it. (We can even help you find the best gear to accompany you here)

Are smartphones vegan?

Smartphones are not vegan! Surprisingly, a lot of gelatin is used in the production of batteries, as well as animal cholesterol which is used in LCD screens. Who knew?

Which smartphone has the best camera?

Of course, this is entirely up for debate depending on what you look for in a camera, and whether you're fairly used to a camera or not. However, Samsung's S22 Ultra is loaded with powerful specs; a 108MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and two 10MP telephoto cameras making it one of the absolute best in the world right now.

Check out where you can grab the latest Samsung S22 and S22 Ultra in this comprehensive article.

Ryan is a tech writer and reviewer for What's The Best, specialising in PCs and gaming. He is a keen PC gamer and an avid reader.

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