The 7 best cheap smartphones of 2015: These are the best budget phones you can buy

In the space of little more than a decade, smartphones have evolved from awkward devices reserved for wealthy people to sleek life companions owned by almost everyone. These days, we’re never far from our devices, but we can’t all afford to shell out for one of the best smartphones of 2015.

The 7 best cheap smartphones of 2015: These are the best budget phones you can buy

Shopping for a new handset that doesn’t cost the earth can be tough. There’s a huge selection of handsets to choose from, and the budget smartphone landscape is a minefield, littered with slow, poorly made devices that are hardly worth the plastic, glass and silicon they’re made from.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though: there are plenty of affordable smartphones around that pack in an impressive range of features. We’ve collated this list of the best budget devices to help you pick the right affordable smartphone for you.

All prices are SIM-free.

The best cheap smartphones of 2015

1. Motorola Moto G 3 (2015)

Price when reviewed: £159 inc VAT

Motorola claims top spot in the race for best budget smarphone for the third year in a row with the third generation Moto G. It sports a new look, Moto Maker customisation and faster internals, alongside beefed up waterproofing and an excellent 13-megapixel rear camera. All-in-all, the Moto G 3 is the best budget smartphone money can buy. If you can’t stretch your budget to a flagship phone, this is the next best thing.

Read the full Motorola Moto G 3 (2015) review here 

2. Motorola Moto E

Price when reviewed: £109 inc VAT

Motorola Moto E (2015) Review - camera close

Motorola has a knack for creating impressive budget phones, and the second-generation Motorola Moto E is no different. With a faster processor and the welcome arrival of 4G support, Motorola is onto another budget winner in 2015.

Read the full Motorola Moto E review here

3. Huawei Honor Holly

Price when reviewed: £90 inc VAT

Honor Holly - front camera

While the Holly falls short in terms of performance and its Android 4.4 reskin, Emotion UI, is rather uninspiring, its incredibly low price point redeems it. It also has the largest storage of all our budget phones, with 16GB coming as standard. If price is really an issue, the Holly is the sub-£100 handset we’d recommend.

4. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

Price when reviewed: £225 inc VAT

Sony’s mid-range smartphone may be at the higher end of the budget price range, but its slim, stylish, metal-and-glass design makes it look a lot more attractive than most of its slightly cheaper rivals. Combine this with the same level of water resistance as the Xperia Z3+, an HD display, a 13-megapixel camera and an octa-core processor and you have a powerful handset at a reasonable price.

Read the full Sony M4 Aqua review over at our sister site, Expert Reviews

5. Wileyfox Swift

Price when reviewed: £129 inc VAT

British smartphone manufacturer Wileyfox has ambitions similar to those of the hugely successful Chinese startup OnePlus. Its debut handset squeezes style out of a rather simplistic design and crams a load of features into a phone that costs very little. The biggest plus, however, is that it comes loaded with the flexible and frequently updated Cyanogen OS Android-based  OS.

Read the full Wileyfox Swift review here

6. Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Price when reviewed: £184 inc VAT

If you’re in the market for a budget phablet, you won’t go too far wrong with the Lumia 640 XL and its 5.7in display. It’s a Windows phone, which means you don’t get access to the same choice of apps as you would with an Android handset, but as a starter smartphone it’s a good choice. As an extra tempter, it comes with a year’s free subscription to Office 365.

Read the full Nokia 640XL review here

7. Microsoft Lumia 640

Price when reviewed: £120 inc VAT

The Lumia 640 is a huge step up from its predecessor, the Lumia 630, and a great small-screened alternative to the larger Lumia 640 XL. It has a great-looking screen, snappy performance and 4G. For those who enjoy having Windows 8.1 on their phone, you’d struggle to find better at this super-low price.

Read the full Nokia Lumia 640 review here

7. Honor 4X

Price when reviewed: £145 inc VAT

Honor 4x review: It isn't pretty, but the Honor 4x is practical and very cheap

The 4X has good battery life, a decent camera and reasonable performance. Add a large, bright 5.5in display and a price lower than £150 and you have a winning recipe. 

Some might not get on with the Huawei Emotion UI Android overlay, or the lack of Android Lollipop, but if that doesn’t bother you, the 4x offers a lot for very little cash.

Read the full Honor 4x review here

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