The best Android phones in 2019 at $500 and below

Avatar
The best $500 Android phones

Smartphone prices keep hiking each year for one major reason – the phones are also getting better each year. As high-end phones slowly become unnecessarily out of reach for most people out there, the midrange market is now booming thanks to some amazing devices from the likes of Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, and so on.

It gets even better for smart buyers in the market for a year-old high-end phone that has now been discounted following the release of a newer model. Some of the best midrange phones available that would have definitely gotten a mention here are from Huawei. Of course, we’ll skip them for now for obvious reasons.

Moving on, let’s check out some of the best Android phones that are now available in the regions of $500.

Related:

Asus ZenFone 6

Asus ZenFone 6-2

Asus ZenFone 6 is the latest and most powerful smartphone you can buy in the sub-$500 price segment. Like its predecessor when it came out, the ZenFone 5Z that is now shaking tables in the sub-$400 category after receiving a price cut, the ZenFone 6 packs the latest premium hardware that’s found in the likes Samsung Galaxy S10, LG G8 ThinQ, OnePlus 7 Pro, and so on.

But the best part of the ZenFone 6 is the whacky yet still novel camera design that adopts a motorized flip-up dual-lens shooter that doubles up as the front and back camera. Coming from a company that doesn’t enjoy a huge following across the globe, the ZenFone 6 is truly a masterpiece.

Asus has also stashed a massive 5000mAh battery in there and for the software, it’s as close it gets to stock Android, with a promise of updates up to Android R. Check out the rest of the specs below.

Specs
  • 6.4-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ (2340×1080) LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
  • 6GB or 8GB RAM
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB UFS 2.1 expandable storage, up to 2TB
  • Dual-lens Flip Camera: 48MP (f/1.79, 79° wide, Laser/PDAF) + 13MP (f/2.4, 125° ultra-wide)
    • Main camera modes: Auto (with HDR+ Enhanced), Portrait, (Auto) Panorama, Super Night, Pro (RAW file support, up to 32 seconds long exposure), AI Scene Detection in 16 types (food, sky, green field, plant, ocean, sunset, snow, flower, stage, dog, cat, people, text, tripod, QR code, night view), and 8 various filters
    • Front camera modes: Auto (with HDR+ Enhanced), Portrait, Pro (RAW file support, up to 32 seconds long exposure), and 8 various filters
    • Video recording: 4K at 30/60fps for main camera, at 30fps for the second camera, 1080p at 30/60fps, 720p at 30fps, 3-axis EIS, Motion tracking (1080p at 60fps), Time Lapse (4K), Slow Motion (1080p at 240fps, 720p at 480fps), and ability to take still photos while recording videos
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie with ZenUI 6
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, Stereo dynamic speakers, NFC, Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face recognition, Smart Key, Quick Charge 4.0, etc.

To get your hands on the ZenFone 6, you only need €500 in Europe. The phone has been listed on the official Asus USA website, meaning it’s on the way. We expect the price to be the same as the ZenFone 5Z when it launched – $500.

Google Pixel 3a XL

Google Pixel 3a XL

The Pixel 3a XL is Google’s trump card to capture the mid-range budget audience. Yes, there are several aspects where the phone had to skimp on but the camera is not one of them. The 12.2-megapixel camera is powered by Night Sight and it even gives flagship phones a serious run for their money. The Active Edge side squeeze feature that activates Assistant and the OLED screen are among a few other features that make this phone great.

Specs
  • 6.0-inch 18:9 (2160 x 1080) OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB non-expandable storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, Titan M security chip, 18W fast charging via USB-C, Active Edge sides, Night Sight, Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, 3.5mm audio jack, etc.

One factor still remains, the Pixel 3a XL has been brought to us by the custodians of Android OS which means Google is personally invested in this phone. Priced super competitively at $479, no other phones except those from the Pixel family will be receiving updates as fast as the Pixel 3a XL.

Buy Google Pixel 3a XL

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 6T

This spot would have easily been occupied by OnePlus 6, but now that the new OnePlus 6T is among us, getting hold of the former is already an uphill task. Yes, the phone costs over $500 ($549 to be precise), but if you can go all the way, you can for sure grab the base model of this handset with zero regrets to follow afterwards.

Specs
  • 6.41-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB non-expandable storage
  • Dual 16MP + 20MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3700mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, In-display FPS, Face unlock, etc.

With OnePlus 7 already here, these might be the last days you can actually purchase the OnePlus 6T, so make the most of it.

Buy OnePlus 6T

RelatedOnePlus 6T software update news

Razer Phone 2

OnePlus 7 Pro became the first mainstream smartphone to go past the typical 60Hz screen refresh rate, something that has played in favor of the device in the market. But despite being silky smooth when scrolling, the 90Hz panel on the device is still no match for the 120Hz refresh rate on the Razer Phone 2.

By all means, this was the major selling point for the Razer Phone 2 back when it launched in October 2018. Of course, avid gamers will also know a thing or two about this device and now that it can be had for $500, it might just be time for mainstream gamers to take advantage of the moment and grab this great piece of hardware.

Being a 2018 handset, it’s powered by year-old flagship hardware and software out of the box. Razer hasn’t been so good with software updates, so this is one thing you’ll have to consider before buying this one.

Specs
  • 5.7-inch QHD (2560×1440), 120Hz UltraMotion
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with integrated custom vapor chamber cooling
  • 8GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB expandable storage, up to 1TB
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera with OIS
  • 8MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Wireless Charging, Dual Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos along with a 24-bit USB-C DAC, Razer Chroma Illuminated Logo, IP67 dust and water resistance, Side-mounted FPS, Quick Charge 4+, etc.

Buy Razer Phone 2

Related: Razer Phone 2 software update news

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

AT&T S9 Pie update

Samsung’s latest masterpieces, the Galaxy S10 and S10+, are available at about the same price the Galaxy S9 and S9+ launched back in 2018. For obvious reasons, the two can’t share the same price tag today and even though Samsung has also discounted the S9 and S9+ on its official online stores, you can easily land a better deal from other retailers, including carriers.

Specs
  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED, 18.5:9 aspect ratio, QHD+ resolution
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (Exynos 9810 – global variant)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64/128/256GB expandable storage
    • 12MP main camera
    • 8MP front camera
    • 3000mAh battery
    • Android 8.0 Oreo
    • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, LTE, 3.5mm audio jack, IP68, iris scanner, face recognition, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, AKG-tuned stereo speakers and fast wired and wireless charging, etc.

    Samsung Galaxy S9+

    • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED, 18.5:9 aspect ratio, QHD+ resolution
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (Exynos 9810 – global variant)
    • 6GB RAM
    • 64/128/256GB expandable storage
    • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera
    • 8MP front camera
    • 3500mAh battery
    • Android 8.0 Oreo
    • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, LTE, 3.5mm audio jack, IP68, iris scanner, face recognition, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, AKG-tuned stereo speakers and fast wired and wireless charging, etc.

For devices that were voted among the best of their time, you can’t go wrong, especially when you can get a new one for under $500 at the link below.

Buy Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9 software update news

LG G7 ThinQ

This LG G7 deal makes it a better buy than OnePlus 6T, Zenfone 5Z, and Honor 10 title

Like last year and the year before it, LG was at this year’s MWC event to unveil a new smartphone, this time the LG G8 ThinQ. As a result, the price of its predecessor, the LG G7 ThinQ, has fallen drastically, but nothing has changed about the quality of the phone you are getting.

Now going for $450, the G7 ThinQ packs flagship specs from yesteryear, meaning you get one of the best-performing handsets with guaranteed regular software updates, including Android Q, has a top-of-the-line camera, and decent battery life, among other flagship goodies.

Specs
  • 6.1-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of expandable storage (up to 2TB)
  • Dual-lens 16MP + 16MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo, upgradable to Pie and Q
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, IP68, MIL-STD 810G, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, 32-bit Hi-Fi QDAC, Quick Charge 3.0, Wireless charging, rear-mounted scanner, Face unlock, NFC, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Boombox speaker, etc

Buy LG G7 ThinQ

Related: LG G7 ThinQ software update news

Motorola Moto Z3

Well, despite being a 2018 release, the Motorola Moto Z3 comes with flagship specs from yesteryear thanks to a hardware configuration that resembles that of the Moto Z2 Force, but housed in a body resembling that of the Moto Z3 Play. This combination means that Motorola had to outrightly price the Moto Z3 like a depreciated flagship handset from yesteryear, which is why it can be had for just $480.

Specs
  • 6.01-inch 18:9 FHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12 + 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Face unlock, side-mounted scanner, fast charging, water-repellant coating, Moto Display, Voice, Actions, etc.

The major issue with the Moto Z3 is its availability, where the device is limited to Verizon Wireless. If you are on the Big Red, you can even grab the 5G Moto Mod and turn your Moto Z3 into a 5G phone without spending over $1000 on Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

Buy Moto Z3 (Verizon Wireless) 

Related: Moto Z3 Pie update news

Sony Xperia 10 Plus

Sony Xperia 10 Plus-10

Sony Xperia 10 Plus is the latest midrange device from Sony and as usual, the Japanese company has something unique. The standout feature of the Xperia 10 Plus is the supertall 21:9 display screen that becomes the first on a mobile phone, but that’s not everything this phone has in store.

The addition of a telephoto lens on the Xperia 10 Plus may just be the game changer here, but unfortunately, its let down by the rather small battery unit compared to the display screen. Speaking of, those who love big-screen devices will for sure enjoy the massive 6.5 inches of display real estate, be it for gaming purposes, watching videos or reading stuff.

Specs
  • 6.5-inch FHD+ 21:9 LCD screen
  • Snapdragon 636 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage, up to 512GB
  • Dual-lens main camera: 12MP (wide-angle, f/1.8 aperture, PDAF) + 8MP (telephoto, f/2.4 aperture, PDAF, 2x optical zoom)
  • Single-lens selfie camera: 8MP (wide-angle, f/2.0 aperture)
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack, Side-mounted scanner, 18W fast charging, Gorilla Glass 5, etc.

The Xperia 10 Plus can be had for $430 via the links below and the best part is that it works on all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

→ Buy Sony Xperia 10 Plus: Amazon, Best Buy, B&H

Note: This article will be updated regularly to remove aging models and replace them with newer flagships available at about $500.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
Redmi Note 5 Oreo update

MIUI 10 beta 8.11.8 brings Android Oreo to Xiaomi Mi 5s and Redmi 5

Next Post

Xiaomi to release Poco F1 Android Pie open beta this month

Related Posts