Latest Phones (2020)

Best Phones Under $300 – Top 10 List in 2020

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Searching for the best phones under $300 in 2020? I made a Top 10 list that can surely help you. Trust me, with a $300 budget, you can already own a powerful smartphone.

You may or may not have a specific phone in mind right now. So before you look at the list and decide, you need to know first the best features that you can get from a $300 budget. It will make your decisions much easier.

Contents (Jump to the sections below)
I. What are the Best Features of Phones Under $300?
II. Top 10 Phones Under $300
III. CPU Benchmark Scores of the Top 10
IV. My Recommendations from the Top 10

What are the Best Features of Phones Under $300?


A Quad-camera That Has More Capabilities


For a $300 budget, you can already get a quad camera smartphone. Now, what is a quad camera? Can you produce better pictures with it?

Well, a quad camera smartphone has four cameras and each has its own purpose. It’s a bit complex, right? But bear with me on this. The first camera is your main camera. The three other cameras can be any of the following: (1) ultra-wide camera, (2) depth sensor, (3) macro camera, (4) zoom camera, or (5) monochrome camera.

Now the main camera is your usual or standard camera for taking pictures. The ultra-wide camera has a wider field of view so it’s ideal if you are taking photos of beautiful sceneries. The depth sensor adds depth to the photos taken by your main camera so it won’t look like flat two-dimensional photos. The macro camera is perfect if you are taking extreme close-up and detailed photos of very small objects like small flowers and dewdrops on a leaf. The zoom camera is useful if you are capturing detailed photos from afar. And the monochrome camera captures realistic black and white if you like those kinds of photos.

Smartphones under $300 usually have a combination of (1) main camera, (2) ultra-wide, (3) depth sensor, and (4) macro. Because of these different cameras, you can definitely improve the quality of your photos.

Settle for at least 4GB RAM Or you can even have 8GB!


All the best phones in this budget range run on Android, thus, it will be easier for you to compare the hardware performance between these phones.

For a $300 budget, you can already own a 4GB to 8GB RAM smartphone. Do not get a 3GB RAM Android smartphone because you will not get your money’s worth. The bigger the RAM in Android smartphones, the better.

Go for a Mid-range Chipset and Avoid Low-range Chipsets


When it comes to the chipset, the BEST that you can get is a mid-range chipset. Chipsets are classified from low to high range, with high being the fastest and most expensive. You should avoid smartphones with a low-range chipset because it is not the optimal chipset spec in this budget range.

Also, don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a high-range chipset in this budget range. Mid-range smartphones with 4GB to 6GB of RAM are already fast and powerful enough to run high-graphic games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite with no lag and temperature increase.

You will also notice that the phones on the list have different chipset brands, models, and specs. You can find a Snapdragon 720G, Exynos 9611, Mediatek Helio P65, etc. The chipset models can be confusing sometimes so I included the chipset range classicfication for each phone on the list.

CPU Benchmark: The Higher the Result, The Better


Since you are planning to spend almost $300 for a smartphone, I think that is enough reason for you to try to understand how to benchmark a smartphone’s CPU performance before buying it.

Now the most commonly used benchmarking tool for evaluating your smartphone’s CPU performance is Geekbench. AnTuTu was also a popular tool, however, it was removed by Google from the Google Play Store earlier this year due to security concerns.

You can find the Geekbench score for each phone on the list. And when you’re interpreting the results, keep in mind that the higher the score, the faster the CPU has performed the tasks loaded by Geekbench.

You will also notice that Geekbench has Single-Core and Multi-Core scores. The Multi-Core score measures the performance of your phone for applications that take advantage of multiple cores. Most of your apps will definitely use multiple cores.

Note that the scores in Geekbench can still have slight differences between smartphones with the same model. For example, if we both own a Samsung Galaxy A21S, our individual scores can still be different. So instead of looking at one result, you should know the average score for better accuracy.

So how did we obtain the Geekbench scores on the list? If you have not tried the Geekbench app yet, it shows the average score in the app for a specific phone model. You can see these scores on the list. However, for the recently released smartphones, the average score in the app is not yet available. In this case, you can find for each phone on the list the average score of at least ten (10) results from the Geekbench website. For easier comparison, you can also find a chart section at the end to see the scores, side by side.

Display: Super AMOLED VS. IPS LCD


With a $300 budget, you can already choose between a Super AMOLED and IPS LCD display technology. Well, Super AMOLED is more expensive that’s why you will not usually find it in cheaper smartphones. The advantage of this display is it has more vibrant colors than an IPS LCD display. You will find this difference very noticeable. On the other hand, IPS LCD can provide you with better sharpness and brightness.

So which one is better? I personally prefer Super AMOLED, but if the other features of the phone (e.g. CPU speed is not fast enough) do not meet my gaming needs, I would rather have an IPS LCD with a faster processor. It’s really up to you based on your preference and needs.

Network: Is 4G still OK for a $300 budget?


4G is still the network technology for the best phones in this budget range. But don’t worry if it’s still 4G because only 2G technology will be phased out in 2020. Even 3G is still available. Also, you can only find less than 50 5G-capable smartphones as of July 2020 and most of them are expensive.

If there are 5G smartphones with great specs and also fall under $300 in the future, you will definitely find those on the list.

For now, the advantage that 4G can provide to you is reliability. 5G relies on high-band spectrum which has small coverage areas which also means that you need to be close to a 5G tower to stay connected. If not, it will just revert to 4G. However, you can also expect a lot of 5G deployments in the future to address this.

Top 10 Phones Under $300


The list below was sorted based on the release date with the most recently released smartphone on top.

1. Samsung Galaxy A21S (Released: June 2020)


Display: 6.5 inches; 720 x 1600 pixels (270 PPI); PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, One UI 2.0
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM; 64GB 6GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Exynos 850 (8nm); Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score*: 146 (Single-Core); 893 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 219.99 (64GB 4GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy A21s has an Exynos 850 CPU, a mid-range chipset.

The phone boasts an infinity display with an 82.8% screen-to-body ratio. That’s very high and it’s great if you like watching videos and playing games. The front camera (13 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.12µm) does not consume too much screen space which is very nice. It looks like a small dot at the upper-left corner of the screen.

It has a quad-camera that can capture ultra-wide photos at 123° angle as compared to the usual 80°. If you like to travel and capture photos of your destination, this will be very useful.

The battery capacity is quite impressive. It can last up to 23 hours of LTE internet usage. It also has a fingerprint sensor and face recognition for securing your phone.

* The average benchmark score is not yet available on the Geekbench website and app. The Geekbench score is from one test instance only.

2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (Released: May 2020)


Display: 6.67 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (395 PPI); IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, MIUI 11
Storage and RAM: 64GB 6GB RAM; 128GB 6GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 64 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), AF, (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm); Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5020 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score (Average): 569 (Single-Core); 1741 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 279.99 (128GB, 6GB RAM) or USD 249.99 (64GB, 6GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro has a Snapdragon 720G CPU, a mid-range processor. This is the BEST feature of this phone. It’s faster and more powerful than most mid-range chipsets. If you like to play games like PUBG mobile, this is a great phone for it.

You will also like the 84.5% screen-to-body ratio. The selfie camera (16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.06″ 1.0µm) is subtly located in the upper-mid part of the screen. The back of the phone is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and the fingerprint sensor is cleverly located on the side which is something that we do not usually see in most smartphones.

The main camera of the quad-camera has a very high resolution that allows you to capture more details in your photos. The ultra-wide camera can capture at a 108° angle.

When it comes to battery life, it can last up to 16 hours of using GPS OR up to 13 hours of gaming.

3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (Released: May 2020)


Display: 6.53 inches; 1080 x 2340 pixels (395 PPI); IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, MIUI 11
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), AF, (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm); Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5020 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score: 309* (Single-Core); 1310* (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 219.99 (128GB, 4GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 has a MediaTek Helio G85 CPU, a mid-range chipset. It is 22% faster than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8.

It has an 83.5% screen-to-body ratio and the selfie camera (13 MP, f/2.3, 29mm (standard), 1/3.1″, 1.12µm) is located in the upper-left corner of the screen. Like the other new phones of Xiaomi, it is notch-free.

The main camera of the quad-camera has a 48MP and the ultra-wide camera can capture photos at a 118° angle. The battery life is also better and can last up to 16 hours of continuous use of GPS OR up to 16 hours of gaming.

* The average benchmark score is not yet available on the Geekbench website and app. The Geekbench score is from one test instance only.

4. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s (Released: Apr. 2020)


Display: 6.67 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (395 PPI); IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, MIUI 11
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), AF, (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm); Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5020 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score (Average): 566 (Single-Core); 1734 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 219.99 (128GB, 4GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s has a Snapdragon 720G CPU, a mid-range processor. Like the Redmi Note 9 Pro, this is the best feature of this phone. The difference is that this phone is cheaper especially the 4GB RAM version.

The features that contributed to the lower price is the slight decrease in the main camera resolution, fast charging at 18W compared to 30W for the Pro version, and lack of NFC support.

Other features such as the build, display specs, selfie camera specs, fingerprint sensors, and OS are same with the Redmi Note 9 Pro.

5. Samsung Galaxy A31 (Released: Apr. 2020)


Display: 6.4 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (411 PPI); Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, One UI 2.0
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 5 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 (12nm); Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score*: 327 (Single-Core); 1193 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 239.99 (128GB, 4GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy A31 has a Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 CPU, a mid-range processor.

It has an 84.9% screen-to-body ratio which is very high. The selfie camera (20 MP, f/2.2, (wide)), located in the upper-mid part of the screen, has a very high resolution compared to the other phones within this budget range.

The Super AMOLED display and the high pixel density is a plus for me. The ultra-wide camera can capture at a 123° angle and the battery life can last up to 20 hours of internet usage (LTE).

* The average benchmark score is not yet available on the Geekbench website and app. The Geekbench score is from one test instance only.

6. RealMe 6 Pro (Released: Mar. 2020)


Display: 6.6 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (399 PPI); IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, Realme UI
Storage and RAM: 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 12 MP, f/2.5, 54mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, 2x optical zoom, (3) 8 MP, f/2.3, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
CPU: Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm); Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4300 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score*: 566 (Single-Core); 1776 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 299.99 (128GB, 8GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The RealMe 6 Pro has a Snapdragon 720G CPU, a mid-range processor. It is one of the fastest CPU on the list. You can even get an 8GB RAM version!

It is characterized by a lightning design on its back which is cool. Also, another main highlight of this phone is the 90Hz display which can play videos more smoothly than the usual phone (60Hz). The screen-to-body ratio is 90.6% which is very high!

The primary camera has a very high resolution and the ultra-wide camera can capture at a 119° angle. The selfie camera is a dual-camera that has a 105° ultra-wide camera. It is perfect for group selfies. The battery is capable of 30W fast charging and allows full charging in 1 hour.

The fingerprint scanner and the power button are fused as one and it’s located on the side. It also has Dolby Atmos Hi-Res audio which is great for playing music and videos.

7. Samsung Galaxy A51 (Released: Dec. 2019)


Display: 6.5 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (405 PPI); Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, One UI 2.1
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 48 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), (3) 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 5 MP, f/2.2, (depth)
CPU: Exynos 9611 (10nm); Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score (Average): 292 (Single-Core); 1175 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 287.99 (128GB, 4GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy A51 has an Exynos 9611 CPU, a mid-range processor.

The screen-to-body ratio is 87.4% and the Super AMOLED display is awesome. It has an ultrawide camera that can capture photos at a 123° angle. The resolution of the selfie camera (32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm) is outstanding! If you live taking selfies, this is the phone for you. 😀

Unlike most phones, the fingerprint scanner is On-Screen which means it’s located under the display. The battery life can last up to 15 hours of internet usage (LTE).

8. Samsung Galaxy A30S (Released: Sep. 2019)


Display: 6.4 inches; 720 x 1560 pixels (268 PPI); Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10, One UI 2.0
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
Camera: Triple: (1) 25 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 5 MP, f/2.2, (depth)
CPU: Exynos 7904 (14 nm); Octa-core (2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A73 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score (Average): 243 (Single-Core); 871 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 249.99 (64GB, 4GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy A30S has an Exynos 7904 CPU, a mid-range chipset. It was released in Sep. 2019 which means you can find cheaper prices for this model and a lot of reviews from users that support why it is highly-rated.

It has a Triple camera and the screen-to-body ratio is 84.9%. Although it’s missing a macro lens, it has an ultra-wide camera that can capture photos at a 123° angle. If you’re not into capturing photos of small objects, this will not be a problem. I would personally sacrifice a macro lens for getting a f/1.7 aperture size in the main camera that will give me more quality in my standard photos (f/1.7 is better than f/2.0).

Like the Galaxy A51, the fingerprint scanner is On-Screen. The battery life can last up to 13 hours of internet usage (LTE).

9. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Released: Sep. 2019)


Display: 6.53 inches; 1080 x 2340 pixels (395 PPI); IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10, MIUI 11
Storage and RAM: 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 64 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Mediatek Helio G90T (12nm); Octa-core (2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score (Average): 461 (Single-Core); 1510 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 232.19 (128GB, 6GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro has a Mediatek Helio G90T CPU, a mid-range chipset. It has one of the most powerful CPU on the list and its processor is great for gaming. It has 4℃ – 6℃ cooler technology to maintain its temperature while playing high graphics games. The screen-to-body ratio of 91.4% is also great for gaming.

The build has a front and back glass cover (Gorilla Glass 5). The main camera of the quad camera has a very high resolution and a larger sensor than most phones that can capture more light and produce better photos. The ultra-wide camera has a 120° angle.

The battery life can support up to 10 hours of gaming and full charging at 18W will take only 2 hours.

10. Realme XT (Released: Sep. 2019)


Display: 6.4 inches; 1080 x 2340 pixels (403 PPI); Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10, Realme UI
Storage and RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM, 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 64 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.3, 13mm (ultrawide), (3) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Qualcomm SDM712 Snapdragon 712 (10 nm); Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 360 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score (Average): 407 (Single-Core); 1426 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 299.99 (128GB, 8GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The RealMe XT has a Qualcomm SDM712 Snapdragon 712 CPU, a mid-range processor. It has a cooling system so the device is comfortable to hold for hours of gaming.

The main camera has a flagship-level sensor (f/1.8) that is wider than most smartphone sensors for better photo quality, especially during nighttime. The ultrawide camera has a 118° angle.

The fluid glass design is stunning. It has a front and back glass protection from Gorilla Glass 5. It also has a Super AMOLED display with a 91.9% screen-to-body ratio. The fingerprint scanner is located on the screen as well.

CPU Benchmark Scores of the Top 10


Below are the CPU benchmark scores from Geekbench. The higher the score, the faster the CPU will perform the application tasks for you.

My Recommendations from the Top 10


If you want the best phone on the list, I highly recommend the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro or the RealMe 6 Pro. The two phones have the fastest processor on the list based on the Geekbench scores. Both also excel in design, camera specs, and battery life.

And if you prefer a Samsung phone, the Samsung Galaxy A31 would be a great choice. It has a fast processor, outstanding quad camera, Super AMOLED display, high pixel density (sharpness), high screen-to-body ratio, great design, and huge battery capacity.

Also check out our posts about:

Which smartphone under $300 did you prefer? I would like to hear from you.

Just leave your comment in the comments section below.

16 thoughts on “Best Phones Under $300 – Top 10 List in 2020

  1. There are a lot of factors to consider when getting a new phone and unfortunately when one of those factors limits your options you have to learn how to cope with it and make the best out of your situation which is exactly what I think this article will help a lot of people do with these phones that you have recommended. 

    1. Hey Sean, I agree with you, there are limits to the functionalities of phones under a $300 budget so we just need to find the optimal specs for this price range.

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