The smartphone market has long been dominated by leading brands Apple and Samsung, with the news cycle hinging around their premium releases – the core iPhone range and Samsung Galaxy S series. But the appeal of high-priced flagships is waning – great value alternatives are stealing the limelight.
With mid-tier and even budget phones now sporting an array of cameras, impressive battery life, and previously premium features like wireless charging, multiple lenses and waterproofing, why pay more?
To make shopping savvy for a smartphone a pain-free and seamless experience, we’ve launched ‘Great Value’ – a new type of recommendation that highlights phones that really hit that sweet spot of quality and price.
Head to our mobile phone reviews to see which of over 25 Great Value phones is the best pick for you.
What makes a Which? Great value phone?
We are all looking to save where we can but when it comes to getting a good phone for an even better price, it can be confusing to know which one to go for. That’s where our Great Value phones come in.
To be a coveted Great Value phone, its launch price must be at least 20% cheaper than the average price of the smartphones in our reviews. However, it still needs to be a quality item, so we make sure it scores at least 60%. Great Value phones may not have the very best cameras or screens, but they’re solid, long-lasting performers and often excel in having long battery lives.
Great Value handsets must also have at least two years of security support remaining. Regular security updates are important to prevent vulnerabilities in your phone being exploited, and we understand there’s no point buying a phone you’ll soon have to replace because it’s been abandoned by the manufacturer.
Find out more about security updates, and how long your phone will last, in our guide to mobile phone security.
Increasing demand for ‘value’ smartphones
At Which?, we review over sixty phones a year that will cost you from £150 to over £1,500. However, in the last six months, the most popular reviews read by Which? members aren’t the ones with the highest price tags.
When looking at the top 10 most popular mobile phone reviews, pricier phones that make an appearance are stifled by the popularity of cheaper handsets.
Most popular mobile phone reviews on Which?
Six out of the ten most popular reviews were for smartphones that launched for under £400. Any smartphones that launched for over £800 didn’t make the grade. The Samsung Galaxy A22 led the line – landing for a little over £200, followed by the mid-priced A52s. Apple’s cheaper 2022 SE beat all of its more expensive flagship devices, and lower priced models from Xiaomi and OnePlus ranges complete the line-up.
In short, Which? members are well aware of the fact that you don’t need to pay a lot for a great smartphone.
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Three Great Value phones to consider
With over 25 Great Value smartphones so far, there’s plenty to choose from. Here are some of the most recently released Great Value mobile phones for less than £300.
Samsung Galaxy A23 5G, original price £290
- Large 6.6-inch LCD screen
- Quick to charge if you buy a 25W fast charger
- Has four years of security updates guaranteed from its launch
The Samsung Galaxy A23 is the newest phone in Samsung’s cheaper A range. It’s equipped with a brilliant display and a decent battery life, but like a lot of cheaper smartphones, it doesn’t have the best cameras. Find out the full story in our Samsung Galaxy A23 5G reviewand check prices below.
Motorola Moto G82 5G, original price £290
- 6.5-inch LCD screen with 120Hz refresh rate
- It’s 5G ready to help future-proof your phone
- Good quality phone speakers
The Motorola Moto g82 5G mostly has basic features with a couple of key perks like a 120Hz refresh rate on its reactive touchscreen for a smooth browsing experience. Check out if this phone is one of our shortlist Motorola Moto g82 5G review. You can also compare contract dealsand see handset prices below.
Xiaomi POCO M5s, original price £209
- 6.43-inch OLED display
- Records 4K videos
- Easy to use
The specs on the Xiaomi POCO M5s phone are impressive for a phone under £200. You get a premium OLED screen, a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery and four rear cameras that record detailed videos in 4K. But it doesn’t have 5G. Find out the full scoop in the Xiaomi POCO M5s review, and buy it directly from Xiaomi.
Pick up a great Sim deal to complete the set
You’ve made savings on a smartphone, and there’s no need to spend big on a Sim. Often you’ll find that buying a smartphone outright and picking up a cheap Sim can save you a significant amount in the long run. Our contract cost calculator can show you if you’ll save by buying on contract, or Sim-free.
With plenty of low-cost deals to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice. Our guide to the best and worst mobile providers shows how smaller virtual networks often come out on top – not just in terms of value, but customer service and satisfaction too. Here are some examples of the types of prices you could pay, depending on your data needs.
- Low data Sim-only deal: Smarty – 4GB of 5G data for £5 a month. Smarty is including EU roaming in this low-cost Sim deal that’s ideal if you don’t need a lot of data. It’s on a one-month contract too, so it won’t tie you down. Read our Smart review to see how it fares in our survey.
- Medium data Sim-only deal: iD Mobile – 12GB of 5G data for £7 a month. This is a great deal on a rolling one-month contract, and even better you get inclusive roaming in 50 destinations as part of your plan. Read our iD Mobile review to see how it fares in our survey.
- High data Sim-only deal: Three – 100GB of data for £11 a month. You have to sign up for a 12-month contract to get this deal, but if you’re happy with Three as a network, it’s a great price. Or, check an alternative Three deal for unlimited data at £13.50 a month. Read our Three mobile reviews to see how customers rate it.
For more bargain buys and Black Friday deals, check out the best mobile phone dealsincluding more picks of the best Sim-only deals.