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Best smartphones under US$100
Hardware 2 min read 3 comments

Best smartphones under US$100

If you're in the market for a smartphone, but don't have the cash to splash on a US$600 flagship, we're here to help. You'd be amazed what you can pick up on a budget these days, so below we've selected the best of the best Android smartphones you can buy for less than US$100.

Motorola Moto E (2015)

Aside from its lackluster front and rear cameras, the Moto E (2015) gets you a modern Android experience for an extremely reasonable price. You'll get Android Lollipop out of the box and the quad-core processor is powerful enough to cope even with pretty intensive games.

Although it is slightly chunky, it's also a pretty cute-looking device and provides probably the best way of getting an open Android experience on a tight budget.

androidpit moto e 2015 hero image
A no-nonsense Android experience comes via the Moto E (2015). / © ANDROIDPIT

BLU Studio 5.0 C HD

Like the Moto E (2015), the BLU Studio 5.0 C HD packs a quad-core processor, which means it can competently handle most basic tasks and even some more demanding apps and games. Overall, it's a smooth operator, helped out by the fact that it doesn't use the more demanding Android 5.0 Lollipop, but rather 4.4.4 KitKat.

The 8-MP camera is surprisingly good for the price bracket, and it features a 720p HD screen, which is a rarity in the budget range.

blue studio 5 0 c hd
A range of colors means you can express yourself a little with the BLUE Studio 5.0 C HD. / © BLU Products

Samsung Galaxy J1

Sporting a dual-core processor, the Galaxy J1 can be a little sluggish. It is also stuck on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. It's fine if you just need a device that can run basic tasks, but anything challenging is out of this phone's depth, even including some more memory-intensive instant messaging apps. But for a cheap entry-level device, you could do a lot worse. 

samsung galaxy j1
The Samsung Galaxy J1 is Samsung's best budget effort. / © Samsung

What do you think is the best phone under US$100? Let us know in the comments.  


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  • S Hale Jan 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I definitely wouldn't recommend any BLU phone. They do not stand behind their products or warranties. Just putting it out there...do your homework before purchasing. They have many poor reviews, and BBB complaints.

  • Moto E and Blu studio 5.0 is not too bad, but Moto E would be king of $50 phone (walmart has it for $54), not $100 category. If I had to choose, it would be BLU energy X, which comes with 4000mah battery. It may not be a flagship, but it's certainly king of battery power! Phones with 1GB of memory tends to lag because of lack of memory. So for phones with 2GB of memory, good options can be found on China etailers. For example, one can get good phones from second tier Chinese manufacturer DooGee. Doogee X5 pro is for $80, yet comes with Android Lollipop, 2GB memory, quad core cpu, 5.0" display, SD card slot, removable battery etc. Camera is a little weak at 8MP/2MP. Another option is $99 DooGee X6 pro, which is 5.5" version with octacore 64bit cpu and 3000mah battery. Even better is Doogee Valencia Y100 Pro, which come with Sony 13MP camera, and Octacore cpu for just over $100. Looks like this is the killer phone in $100 category. If it doesn't have to be new, best option is from ebay, where one can get a good deal for used Galaxy Note 2, often for less than $100. This old flagship is still better than any of the DooGee, and also comes with amoled display and S-pen. So, even for $100, there are some pretty good options out there.

  • weak