The smartphone on a budget: When $799 for a smartphone just isn’t cutting it

(Photo: Pixabay)
Picture this: Apple or Samsung announce their new phone, you get excited and anxious to hear about the specs, and once they’re out, so is their price tag. That’s when a sinking feeling hits your gut, and you realize that the cost of the newest and best smartphone on the market is no longer a price tag that you can comfortably accommodate. Sound familiar?اضافة اعلان

Well, there’s some excellent news for you, fellow smartphone enthusiasts. Since 2018, there has been a surge of new phones on the market from Eastern companies that perform on par, if not better, than their Western counterparts. Furthermore, these smartphones are cheaper, perform equally as well, and have a great shelf life compared to their Western competitors.

As previously covered by Jordan News in an article about the new iPhone 13, Apple and Samsung have continued to dominate the smartphone landscape, while China and other Eastern nations have quietly been catching up in terms of their smartphone performance.

Something to consider

The presence of alternatives to the Apple and Samsung line phones does not erase the fact that each type of phone has its unique set of pros and cons, the value of the device being brought out through its intended use, and an individual’s expected use. In other words, selecting a phone will boil down to what a person wishes to use the phone for and how the specs impact that expectation.

The Eastern market has begun capturing the attention of the smartphone manufacturing market, which have been under a duopoly, by building smartphones that were designed with one specific function in mind, whether it be general use, video viewing, or playing mobile games, each phone specializes in an area of performance, allowing the phone to cut corners in hardware that would otherwise be considered bloat. Here are some of alternative smartphones:

Poco X3 Pro

X3 Pro Poco (Photo: TechAdvisor)

Poco is an Indian smartphone manufacturer that’s had success in breaking into the Eastern markets due to creating the best bargain on devices.

The X3 Pro is by far one of the most refined iterations in their smartphone lineup. It holds excellent performance thanks to its 6.7-inch screen paired with a 120Hz refresh rate, instantly making the phone feel highly reactive to touch. The phone also provides stunning visual displays for its price point.

Sporting the Snapdragon 860 processor, the phone sets itself apart from the competition, allowing users to multitask efficiently while ensuring that their phone doesn’t run sluggish throughout its runtime.

Sound is where the phone truly shines. It holds two front-facing dual speakers, which provide clear, undispersed, and undistorted sound, making this phone a fantastic choice for those that enjoy their media on their mobiles. Additionally, the phone features a headphone jack for those that don’t mind being tethered to the phone throughout their viewing experience.

Interestingly enough, the build of the Poco is sturdy, although it is a bit too bulky compared to its predecessors or other alternatives. With a width of 9.44mm and weighing around 215g. Despite its heavier exterior, the phone does come with Gorilla Glass, something previously unseen in the price bracket of this phone. This makes for a sturdier build, reducing the chances of accidental drops completely ruining your day.

The phone also supports 5G, which is not common among the price point that the X3 hovers over. Another fantastic addition to its arsenal is a 5,000mAh battery that boasts up to 7 hours of continuous viewing at 120Hz, which on its own should warrant this phone to be considered a fantastic addition to your pocket.

But even with all the phone’s benefits, it lacks in one thing, the camera. Main cameras are set at 48 megapixels with a front-facing camera locked at 20MP, which could be just enough for the average everyday user, but is quite limited in creating high-resolution images with natural colors.

The phone comes out strong with a price tag of $270, the only downfall being for users that prefer having higher-end cameras to capture their special moments in the best resolutions possible. However, this device is a compelling addition to your pocket for those who take the occasional photograph.

Google Pixel 5A 5G

Google Pixel A5 (Photo: TechAdvisor)

When Google first announced that they would be joining the smartphone market, many doubted their capabilities as they were entering an already overly saturated market. However, years later, the Google Pixel A5 proves that Google can produce a capable phone and compete against some higher price point alternatives.

The Google Pixel A5 looks clean and well-rounded. It weighs 183g and sports a matte black finish on the outside of the standard edition. Thus, the Pixel visually mimics its higher-tier counterparts. In addition, the A5 features an ultra-wide lens, just like its predecessor, the A4, with the phone being able to capture extraordinarily high-resolution images during the day. The phone also features night sight that enhances photos taken in lower light, bringing out more sharpness and colors than usual.

The display sits at 6.34 inches, similar to the size of Samsung’s Galaxy S21. Allowing for a more captivating experience for those that enjoy media on the go. However, this experience does come at the cost of a slight battery performance reduction in the long run.

One of its more unique selling points is that the device is dust and water-resistant, making it a premium choice for people who frequently spend their time outdoors.

The phone also uses Snapdragon’s 765G processor, making it one of the leaders in raw processing power amongst phones within the same price range. Memory is also ample, with the base version kicking off at 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, expandable even further with a MicroSD port.

Connectivity is solid through supporting 5G connectivity. Users will be pleasantly surprised to find that the phone runs excellently when paired with an ultra-fast connection. However, it is worth noting that many areas around Jordan still don’t have a stable enough 5G connection to make full use of the phone’s capabilities.

On the battery front, things are a bit murkier. The A5 does not support wireless charging as some of its competitors do, charging at an average of 1 percent per minute when using a regular USB charger. However, charging time can be reduced by using an in-wall USBC port at 18-Watts.

Furthermore, the phone’s audio system is lacking. The speakers lack the audio distribution to create an excellent performance to satisfy even the most tolerant listeners. However, the phone does have an easy-to-access headphone jack atop of its build, so true audio enthusiasts have hope!
The phone is priced at 449$ for its base model and sits comfortably as the undisputed middle ground of phone performance. That being said, this phone isn’t for those that enjoy listening to their media out loud while they’re multitasking, at least not without good wireless earphones.

OnePlus Nord N10

OnePlus N10 (Photo: OnePlus)

OnePlus is a company that launched out of nowhere and took the world by storm by creating phones competing with high-end counterparts. The OnePlus N10 is a staple of their service and is possibly their best release thus far in terms of price to performance ratios.

To start, the N10 unarguably looks like a premium phone. The phone’s exterior feels polished and sturdy, which can rarely be said for a friendly phone on the wallet. The only downside is that this phone is a fingerprint trap due to its glossy plastic finish, so beware of the marks staining the phone even after slight use throughout the day.

Powered by Snapdragon’s 690, it’s not the most powerful phone on this list, losing out to the previous two mentions by a significant margin. However, with the 90Hz display and 6.49 inches of screen, it feels like this phone is trying to swing for its higher-priced competitors. As expected, this does lead to reduced battery life, with the phone only being able to operate video for just over eight hours before completely powering down from a full charge.

The N10 features four cameras, with the primary lenses pushing 64MP, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a front-facing camera sitting at 16MP. While the shots in the daylight are relatively good, they are not quite at the level required to shoot scenic images worthy of framing. However, for the price of this phone, the camera is a significant selling point, the quality of the shots is fantastic for the price point. However, the phone does struggle with low lightning, often distorting more minor details at dusk levels of lightning.

In terms of gaming the phone falls short by a significant margin. It has a weaker processor and what seems to be a slight lag between inputs. As a result, the phone isn’t quite suitable for those looking to game on their phone. The device’s sound is also questionable, with unbalanced levels across all volume levels when playing out of the speaker.

Overall, for a price tag of $299, this is by far one of the best budget phones available on the market to date. Unless you spend much of your time taking high-quality photo shoots or playing video games on your phone, this phone has everything that a budget phone would have and more. A powerful processor to perform only the heaviest of tasks, a large and vibrant display, and 5G compatibility, the N10 takes its place as one of the leaders in budget phones on the market as of the writing of this article.


While many other phones on the market could rival the ones mentioned, these three phones dominate their price brackets. From the Pixel’s great camera to OnePlus’s unbeatable price point and the X3 Pro’s high reactivity thanks to its strong processor, these three phones cover most uses that an everyday person would want out of their device.
One of the only downsides we genuinely see with these phones is their lack of exposure. However, in contrast with their prices, their performance is strong, to say the least, and deserves far more recognition than they have been given over their launches.

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