Don't Want to Spend $1998 on a Phone? Here Are the Best Cheap Phones Under $500 to Get Instead
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Don't Want to Spend $1998 on a Phone? Here Are the Best Cheap Phones Under $500 to Get Instead

profileJoel Koh
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Phones are getting more and more expensive.

The premium devices from Apple, Samsung and other big phone manufacturers now cost a few hundred dollars more than just a few years ago.

In fact, just four years ago, the most expensive phone Samsung launched was the Galaxy S7 Edge with its $1,098 price tag. In comparison, this year’s Galaxy Z Flip was launched at $1998!

There’s so much you can do with $1998. Think of all the plates of chicken rice you can get (we counted that’s 570 plates).

Liao Fan Hawker Chan Chicken Rice
Source: @jlhuish | Instagram

Thankfully, there is no need to sell your kidney to get a phone now. Cheap phones have become so much better.

Phone manufacturers are all fighting to make the best cheap smartphone.

Arguably, the cheap end of the mobile phone market is the most competitive price segment.

Manufacturers are doing their best to squeeze more features and specifications than their competitors while keeping the price of the phone low.

As such, there are a dizzying amount of options to choose from.

But at this price point, getting the balance right between price, performance and specifications is not easy.

That’s where this list comes in.

We have created a guide to phones that aren’t just affordable, but also great for the price. They also have a signature feature that sets them apart from their peers.

Not to mention all of the phones are really affordable as we are using the $500 price as a cut-off point.

However, do note that these phones do not have certified dust and water resistance and wireless charging.

TL;DR: Best Cheap Phones in Singapore Under $500

PhoneStandout FeaturePrice
Oppo A5 2020Best Battery$268
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9Best Value$269
Xiaomi Mi 9TBest Premium Phone$388
Samsung Galaxy A51Best Screen$389
Realme 6Best Gaming$399
Pixel 3a XLBest Camera $479

OPPO A5 (2020) — Best Battery Life

First up we have the Oppo A5 (2020). Here are its specifications.

OPPO A5 (2020) Specifications

Screen Size: 6.5-inch diagonal

Resolution: IPS LCD HD screen with 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~270 ppi density)

OS: Android 9, Color OS 6.1

Processor: Snapdragon 665 (11mm)

Ram: 3/4GB

Storage: 64/128GB with microSD card expansion up to 512GB

Battery: 5000 mAh

Main Camera: Quad Camera — 12MP (wide) + 8MP (ultrawide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)

Selfie Camera: 8 MP

SIM: Dual Sim (Nano-SIM)

Weight: 195g

Dimensions: 163.6 x 75.4 x 9.1 mm

NFC: Yes

Oppo A5 2020 Singapore Price

For just $268, Oppo is offering up a decent device.

This phone is a battery life champion due to its huge battery, an efficient processor and lower-resolution display which will last you well over a day.

OPPO A5 2020
Source: Oppo

Despite its price and plastic back, the phone is still pretty nice looking and comes in Space Purple and Marine Green.

The phone also features quad cameras, but their actual performance is not that good. At this price, you will also have to compromise with the slower Snapdragon 655 chipset.

But overall, the phone delivers a great experience as Oppo has made smart compromises on this device that do not affect the phone that much.

How to Buy the Oppo A5 2020 (4GB+64GB)

$268 on Shopee with 2 years Oppo warranty.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 — Best Value

Next up we have the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9.

Xiaomi has made a name for themselves for their great hardware at affordable prices and the Redmi Note 9 is no exception.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Colours
Xiaomi Global | Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Specifications

Screen Size: 6.5-inch diagonal

Resolution: IPS LCD Full HD screen with 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)

OS: Android 10, MIUI 11

Processor: MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm)

Ram: 3/4GB

Storage: 64/128GB with microSD card expansion up to 512GB

Battery: 5020 mAh (fast charging 18W + reverse charging 9W)

Main Camera: Quad Camera — 48MP (wide) + 8MP (ultrawide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)

Selfie Camera: 13 MP

SIM: Dual Sim (Nano-SIM)

Weight: 199g

Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 8.9 mm

NFC: No

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Singapore Price

For just $269, Xiaomi has created a great budget device.

Xiaomi Mi 9T — Best Premium Phone

When making a list like this, it is hard to avoid Xiaomi. But there is a compelling reason why I have included the Xiaomi Mi 9T on this list.

Xiaomi Mi 9T
Source: Xiaomi Global | Xiaomi Mi 95

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

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