Gone are the days when you’ll feel like you’re settling whenever you don’t buy a flagship gaming phone.
These days, the sub-$300 market is filled with budget gaming phones that are so good that you’ll very rarely feel the difference between them and their more expensive counterparts.
Sure, there’ll be a couple of compromises. For example, storage capacity won’t be as generous. But then again, you can quickly solve that by either buying a microSD card or an OTG storage device.
Even the design aspect, which used to be the biggest gripe with “budget” phones, is no longer a big deal breaker.
If you’re on a budget, you can still get a smartphone with a decently-sized and sharp screen that’s capable of running even the most popular of apps, featuring a design that rivals that of flagship phones.
Plus, the cameras of budget phones lately are surprisingly good as well.
Put simply, what we’re trying to say is that you no longer have to spend a big chunk of money to get a capable gaming smartphone.
Below, we rounded up some of the best budget gaming phones available today to help prove to you that there’s excellent value to be had in the smartphones found in the low/medium budget price range segment.
Best Budget Gaming Phones at a Glance
|Rank||Brand||Wireless Carrier||Memory Storage||Screen Size||More Details|
|1||Xiaomi Redmi Note Pro||T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T||128 GB||6.5 inches|
|2||Samsung Galaxy A51||Unlocked for all carriers||128 GB||6.5 inches|
|3||Samsung Galaxy Note||Unlocked for all carriers||128 GB||6.7 inches|
|4||Huawei P30 Lite||T-Mobile and AT&T||128 GB||6.3 inches|
|5||Huawei Honor 8X||Unlocked for all carriers||4 GB||6.5 inches|
|6||Motorola G7 Power||Unlocked for all carriers||64 GB||6.2 inches|
|7||Motorola Moto G7+||T-Mobile and AT&T||64 GB||6.2 inches|
|8||Nokia 6.1||Unlocked for all carriers||32 GB||5.5 inches|
|9||Honor 10 Lite||T-Mobile and AT&T||64 GB||6.2 inches|
|10||Motorola Z3||AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile||64 GB||6 inches|
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro wins the best gaming phone you can buy today, featuring relevant attributes you’ll actually use for games and plays.
You’ll have lots of room for your games and photos with Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro’s 128 GB plus 6 GB RAM, micro SD upgradeable up to 256 GB.
If you love taking pictures, this gaming phone works best too. In fact, you’ll love its rear camera with 64MP (1.9 wide) + 8MP (2.2 ultrawide). Meanwhile, the front camera has 20MP, and the video works at 2160p at perfect 30 frames per second!
Customers particularly love how flawless this gaming phone’s fingerprint sensor works.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro is your ultimate budget gaming phone with specs exceeding those flagship devices worth $1k and above.
Literally billed as a smartphone built for gaming, the Samsung Galaxy A51 delivers on its promise and then some.
Equipped with a quad-camera 48MP primary lens and with as much real estate as you can get from this price point with a 6.5-inch super AMOLED infinity display, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is your next budget gaming phone next to Xiaomi Redmi.
Topped off with super steady OIS mode, smooth video, expandable memory, and solid cameras, the Samsung Galaxy A51 will definitely make you wonder why anyone would bother spending money on a flagship phone.
At its original price when it first released, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 wouldn’t even be close to making it to our list. But that’s not because it didn’t have much value. Instead, it’s because it was a bit too expensive to be considered a “budget” gaming phone.
Now that the price has gone down, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is a no-brainer purchase if you’re looking for arguably the exact specifications that the top gaming phones in this round have to offer but in a more stylish and pleasant package.
A former flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 screams premium quality thorough and thorough.
From its beautiful body finish to the superb camera and the more gorgeous, you’ll find this a convenient gaming phone on your bucket list.
Plus, it comes with an intelligent battery design featuring super-fast charging power. You’ll have more hours to play with this gaming phone.
Its hyper-fast processor lets you multitask as well. Transform your gaming experience with fewer interruptions!
Are the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro too rich for your tastes? Don’t worry. The budget-friendly Huwaei P30 Lite isn’t that big of a step down compared to its more expensive and more powerful brothers, despite sporting a much, much lower price tag.
Sure, the P30 Lite lacks the top-end processors and cameras of the P30 and P30 Pro, but the 6.3-inch screen and 128 of RAM make it one of the more competitive cameras at its price range.
A robust UI and fast-charging capabilities also make the P30 Lite a breeze to use.
As for gaming, well, the P30 Lite is arguably on the low-end compared to the other smartphones on our list, especially when given the price. But, if you’re looking for an excellent all-around phone with solid gaming performance, it’s hard to pass up on what the P30 Lite has to offer.
With the Honor 8X, you can get one of the best value smartphones available on the market today.
The Honor 8X checks all of the boxes that anyone would need in a gaming smartphone, let alone an all-around phone. From the full-screen design to its solid performance and dual cameras and metal chassis that belies its budget-range stature, the value of the Honor 8X can be hard to beat.
If there’s one caveat, it’s probably that the Honor 8X isn’t available in the United States yet locally.
But, don’t worry, the slightly slower (and cheaper) Honor 7X is an excellent alternative if you really can’t wait for the Honor 8X to arrive in a couple of weeks.
Remember when we said earlier that you don’t have to spend big money to get a capable gaming smartphone?
Well, meet Exhibit 6.
The Motorola G7 Power has everything you could expect in a premium smartphone — except for the price.
There’s the near 16-hour long battery life, as per numerous battery tests, a 6.2-inch display with near-to-nonexistent bezels, an impressive 12-megapixel camera, and finally, a Snapdragon 632 processor to help tie it all together.
The phone can have TurboPower Charging via USB-C, so rest assured that you won’t be out of commission for too long when the inevitable low battery prompt comes.
In terms of feature-set, the Motorola Moto G7+ is definitely on the high-end of our list.
So long as you’re willing to live with the thick bezels, the 6.2-inch screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, 64 GB of RAM (comes with 4 GB upgradeable microSD), and 3000mAh battery means that you’ll be gaming happily for hours on the performance-oriented Motorola Moto G7.
For pure raw compute and gaming performance, the Motorola Moto G7 is a near no-brainer.
8. Nokia 6.1
Arguably one of the best budget gaming phones in our roundup, the Nokia 6.1 is cheaper than the others on our list and, yet, just as capable as others.
None of the specifications of the Nokia 6.1 will indeed wow you.
The Snapdragon 630 is decent but not spectacular, and the screen is definitely not something you’d write home about.
But, it’s the total package, which includes everything from the processor mentioned above, to the very capable 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB internal storage and a very affordable price tag that makes the Nokia 6.1 such a good buy.
If you’re the sort of gamer who needs nothing more than something that lets you play games with your friends, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Nokia 6.1.
Ninth on the list is the Honor 10 Lite that features dual-SIM, catering to GSM networks, such as AT&T and T-Mobile.
Moreover, you’ll appreciate its IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen features that come in 16M colors and a 1080 x 2340 resolution.
Its rear camera contains dual 13MP, f/1.8, 26mm wide. Customers love the back and front camera, offering a clear screen for capturing precious moments.
The fingerprint scanner can be set up with a breeze, while the battery does not take too long to charge, giving you plenty of hours for playing mobile games.
10. Motorola Z3
The only smartphone on our list with a bit of higher-end budget phone with a base price, the Motorola Z3 offers near-flagship performance for its price.
Equipped with a slightly older but still capable Snapdragon 835, a 12-megapixel dual camera, and a robust 3,000 mAh battery, along with a 64GB internal memory, the Motorola Z3 is an excellent gaming phone.
The built-in hardware isn’t the only reason we included the Motorola Z3 on our list.
With Moto Mods, the Z3 can be made to be the ultimate gaming phone as you can fit it with several add-ons, including the Moto Gamepad, which adds another 1035 mAh to its internal battery, as well as two joysticks, a D-pad, as well as four face buttons and two shoulder buttons per side.
Unfortunately, Moto Mods many come at an added premium, which is why the Motorola Z3 finds itself this low on our list.
However, if you’re looking for a device purely for gaming, the Z3 is hard to beat.
Final Thoughts on the Best Budget Gaming Phone
As you can see, what constitutes “budget gaming phones” has changed dramatically over the past few years, with today’s more affordable offerings more potent than ever.
With the flagships comfortably priced at well over $1,000 and mid-range phones at half the price, the budget gaming phones are an excellent alternative, especially since there’s not as much compromise as most are led to believe.
If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a capable budget gaming phone, then you’d best look at the list we prepared for you.
You’ll definitely be able to find what you’re looking for once you reach the end! For more incredible finds, you can check the best gaming laptops that you’ll surely appreciate.