Latest Phones (2020)

Best Phones Under $400 – Top 5 Phones in 2020

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Are you looking for the best phones under $400 in 2020? You will be surprised by the stunning phones that you can select within this budget range.

I highlighted for you the finest specs of the phones that you can own under $400 in 2020 to make your comparisons simpler. You can read it before looking at the list. 😀

Contents (Jump to the sections below)
I. Finest Specs of Phones Under $400
II. Top 5 Phones Under $400
III. CPU Benchmark Scores of the Top 5 – Under $400
IV. My Recommendations from the Top 5 Phones Under $400

Finest Specs of Phones Under $400


Premium Processor, Extraordinary


If there is one best feature you should be excited about for a phone under $400 is having the most powerful flagship Apple chipset in 2020, the Apple A13 Bionic. The iPhone SE 2020 (64 GB) only costs $399 but it is powered by this chipset.

The Apple A13 Bionic is the same chipset in Apple’s flagship phones such as iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. These three models were released in September 2019. The iPhone 11’s 64 GB version is the least expensive among Apple’s latest flagship but it retails at $699. So having the Apple A13 Bionic chipset in an iPhone that is less than $400 is a real bargain. 😀

How fast is the Apple A13 Bionic chipset compared to the best Android chipsets in the $300 to $400 price range?

We used Geekbench, a popular tool for measuring CPU performance, and obtained the average of the ten (10) most recent Geekbench submissions on their official website for the top five (5) phones in this budget range. Geekbench provides scores based on how fast the chipset can perform the tasks that it runs on the phone.

The iPhone SE (2020) scored an average of 1,331 for the Single-Core test. The other best four (4) Android phones with Snapdragon chipset in the same budget range scored between 446 to 501. So for the Single-Core test, the iPhone SE (2020) is 265% faster than the best Android chipset in the same budget range.

For the Multi-Core test, the iPhone SE (2020) scored an average of 2,864. The other best four (4) Android phones with Snapdragon chipset in the same budget range scored between 1,462 to 1,616. Based on these results, the iPhone SE (2020) is 177% faster when running apps that take advantage of multi-core threads.

You can check out the chart in Section III of this article to see the complete details of the score.

If you prefer an Android phone instead of an iPhone, you can still get a fast and recent mid-range chipset in the $300 to $400 budget range (e.g. Snapdragon 730G).

Note that the high-range Android chipsets in 2020 (e.g. Snapdragon 865 and 865+) for flagship devices can be found in the $400+ budget range. The Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro, for example, which was released in May 2020 has Snapdragon 865 and retails at $499 on Amazon. Even though it’s above $400, it’s still a great bargain compared to the prices of Apple and Samsung flagship models. Other Android phones with Snapdragon 865 are OnePlus 8 and Vivo iQOO 3 and both cost around $599+ depending on the RAM size. These three are above our budget range, so let’s go back to our topic. 🙂


Premium Build, Very Stylish


For phones under $400, the design and durability are better compared to the phones under $300. You can find phones with an aluminum frame that makes it more sturdy compared to a plastic frame. When it comes to protection and design, you can also find phones with a front and back glass cover for a premium look.

Certified Dust and Water-Resistant


All this time we thought water resistance, and even dust resistance in non-rugged phones, are features that can only be found in the $800+ budget range. If there are cheaper water-resistant rugged phones, it’s usually because the brand is not very popular and the rest of the specs are basic or just good enough for the modest user.

But with a less than $400 budget, you can own an IP67 certified dust and water-resistant phone with iPhone SE 2020. The water resistance is up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Premium Camera, From Single to Penta-


For less than $400, you can already get a Penta-camera with a 108MP main camera resolution. Those are five cameras in one smartphone and with the super high resolution, your photos will be packed with a lot of details.

If you like to take different types of photos like ultra-wide, macro, or telephoto, you can easily find the camera in this budget range that’s right for you.

I personally like my main camera to have excellent specs so features like high resolution (high MP), OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), and bigger aperture size (e.g. f/1.7 to f/1.8) are more important for me. These camera features will produce excellent and better quality photos.

So if I have to choose between a Penta camera that has no OIS and has lower aperture size (f/2.2) on its main camera and a Single camera with OIS and larger aperture size (f/1.7 to f/1.8), I would prefer the Single camera.

The good thing is that within this budget range, you can already get a Penta camera that even has premium specs on its main camera.

Top 5 Phones Under $400


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

1. Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite (Released: May 2020)


Display: 6.47 inches; 1080 x 2340 pixels (398 PPI); AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, MIUI 11
Storage and RAM: 64GB 6GB RAM; 128GB 6GB RAM; 128GB 8GB RAM
Camera: Quad-camera: (1) 64 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF; (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 5 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
CPU: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730G (8 nm); Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5260 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score: 489 (Single-Core); 1,462 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 326.50 (128GB 6GB RAM); USD 309.99 (6GB 6GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite was released six (6) months after the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. Although it was released as the affordable version or “Lite” version, it kept most of the excellent specs like the overall design, display quality, chipset, battery capacity, and graphics hardware.

Like the Mi Note 10, this Lite version has the curved 3D cover, aluminum frame, front and back glass design, AMOLED display with 398 pixels per inch, and the 91.4% screen-to-body ratio.

We usually see Lite versions having an inferior processor or RAM, but not the Mi Note 10 Lite. It still has the same Snapdragon 730G chipset, an upper mid-range processor. It even has an 8GB RAM aside from the 6GB RAM version unlike the Mi Note 10 which only settled at 6GB.

The features that made it “Lite” are found in the rear camera and selfie camera specs. However, with a Quad-camera that has a 64MP main camera resolution and a large aperture size, it still can take epic pictures. It does miss the OIS feature, but overall, it’s still worth the price.

It also supports 30W fast charging. With a massive battery capacity, this phone can even last up to 2 days.

2. Apple iPhone SE 2020 (Released: Apr. 2020)


Display: 4.7 inches; 750 x 1334 pixels (326 PPI); Retina IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: iOS 13
Storage and RAM: 64GB 3GB RAM; 128GB 3GB RAM; 256GB 3GB RAM
Camera: Single: 12 MP, f/1.8 (wide), PDAF, OIS
CPU: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+); Hexa-core (2×2.65 GHz Lightning + 4×1.8 GHz Thunder)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 1821 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score: 1,331 (Single-Core); 2,864 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 399 (64GB)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Apple iPhone SE 2020 has a high-range premium processor. It’s a flagship iPhone in terms of processing power at a convenient price. It came at a perfect time especially during this time of pandemic when saving money is more important.

If you still remember, the first-generation iPhone SE was released in 2016. But the 2020 version is very far compared to its predecessor. First and foremost, the display size of the 2020 version is not small anymore. It has a 4.7 inches display which is the same size as the display of the iPhone 8. The iPhone SE in 2016 only has 4 inches.

The main camera and selfie camera can take impressive pictures as expected because of the advanced camera system that came with the A13 Bionic chipset. You can have depth control, adjust the lighting intensity, and capture natural-looking and amazing photos.

The battery can charge at 18W and fully charges in one (1) hour. It can last up to 13 hours of video watch time.

3. Samsung Galaxy A71 (Released: Jan. 2020)


Display: 6.7 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (393 PPI); Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 10, One UI 2
Storage and 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/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), (3) 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), (4) 5 MP, f/2.2, (depth)
CPU: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 (8 nm) – Global; Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4500 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score: 461 (Single-Core); 1,564 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 399.99 (128GB 6GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy A71 has a Snapdragon 730 chipset, an upper mid-range CPU. The display is 6.7 inches so it’s great for games and those who love a larger screen. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It has a plastic frame and plastic back.

The Super AMOLED display is a plus. The Quad camera is better than the Samsung Galaxy A51. The main camera has higher resolution and larger sensors. It can capture ultra-wide (123°) and macro shots too. You can do live focus shots where the background is blurred and the focus is on the main object or person. Note that the rear and front camera have no OIS feature.

The battery can last up to 17 hours of video play back based on tests which is actually very long.

4. Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (Released: Nov. 2019)


Display: 6.47 inches; 1080 x 2340 pixels (398 PPI); AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10, MIUI 11
Storage and RAM: 128GB 6GB RAM
Camera: Five: (1) 108 MP (7P lens), f/1.7, 25mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; (2) 12 MP, f/2.0, 50mm (telephoto), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, 2x optical zoom, (3) 8 MP, f/2.0, (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3.7x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, (4) 20 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.8″, 1.0µm, (5) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
CPU: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730G (8 nm); Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5260 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score: 501 (Single-Core); 1,616 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 399.99 (128GB 6GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is probably something that you will like if you love taking pictures because it has extraordinary camera specs. The main camera resolution is stunning with its 108MP resolution. It’s the world’s first 108MP Penta camera.

For a phone under $400, that’s something. Even the rest of the main camera specs are better than most expensive phones. It can capture excellent daylight photos. Even the low-light shots are impressive. You can even zoom up to 5x at a dark city scenery and still produce great photos. It also has OIS.

The design is premium. It has a 3D curve design. The front and back have glass protection and the frame is aluminum. It also has a huge battery capacity and 30W fast charging. Overall, this is a really great phone for the price.

5. Samsung Galaxy A70 (Released: May. 2019)


Display: 6.7 inches; 1080 x 2400 pixels (393 PPI); Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10, One UI 2.0
Storage and RAM: 128GB 6GB RAM; 128GB 8GB RAM
Camera: Triple: (1) 32 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm, PDAF, (2) 8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm, (3) 5 MP, f/2.2, (depth)
CPU: Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675 (11 nm); Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver)
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4500 mAh battery
Network: 4G, 3G
Geekbench Score: 446 (Single-Core); 1,481 (Multi-Core)

Price: USD 339.98 (128GB 6GB RAM)

Check out the lowest price: Amazon.com

You may already have your eyes on the Galaxy A71, however, the Samsung Galaxy A70 also packs great specs AND at a cheaper price.

It has a 6.7 inches Super AMOLED display and 393 pixels per inch sharpness just like the Galaxy A71. The display protection, plastic frame, and plastic back are also the same with the Galaxy A71. It has a different mid-range processor but based on the Geekbench score, the overall speed of its CPU is almost the same with the Galaxy A71.

The difference between the two is mainly on the camera specs. The main camera resolution is half of the Galaxy A71 and it’s missing the macro camera. However, despite the difference in resolution, the sensor (f/1.7) of the Galaxy A70 is slightly larger which is great. The battery capacity and 25W fast charging are also the same as the Galaxy A71.

So, if you want to save more bucks, why not go for the Galaxy A70 instead of the Galaxy A71.

CPU Benchmark Scores of the Top 5 – Under $400


Below are the CPU benchmark scores from Geekbench. The higher the score, the faster the CPU. The Apple iPhone SE (2020)’s Geekbench score is very high because it has Apple’s flagship chipset, Apple A13 Bionic, while the other phones have mid-range Snapdragon processors.

My Recommendations from the Top 5 Phones Under $400


I highly recommend the iPhone SE 2020 for a phone under $400. The flagship chipset of this phone is far more powerful than the other phones in this budget range. It’s like owning a flagship phone at half the price. Moreover, it is IP67 certified dust and water-resistant. The display size is not too small and the build is premium as well with its aluminum frame and front and back and glass covers. The camera is still amazing. Overall, the phone is fast, beautiful, sturdy, and most importantly, affordable.

If you prefer an Android phone with a larger screen, I highly recommend the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 within this budget range. The camera is impressive and far better than the other Android phones. It’s also beautiful and sturdy with its curve design, aluminum frame, and front and back glass covers. It’s also faster than most Android phones in this budget range and it won’t break the bank.

If you prefer a Samsung phone for an Android phone, I highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy A71. Its upper mid-range chipset (Snapdragon 730G) is the same as Xiaomi Mi Note 10’s chipset so it’s also very fast. The screen size is excellent for gaming, watching videos from Netflix and social media sites, and reading. The camera is significantly better than the Galaxy A70 and its battery life can last very long.

Also check out our posts about:

Did you like my recommendations on the phones under $400? I would like to hear from you.

Just leave your comment in the comments section below. ?

15 thoughts on “Best Phones Under $400 – Top 5 Phones in 2020

  1. Wow this is an amazing list! First off, the main feature i look out for in a phone is the speed, I can’t handle a phone that freezes, especially because of my work structure. Next off, i check  it’s memory space, having a very fast phone with low memory could be so frustrating, i care about battery life but not too much, because i can always have alternative power sources, the iphone SE is my best option from the list.

  2. Hello there. It’s astonishing how the apple iphone SE 2020 is 265% faster than the best Android chipset in the same budget range. The amount of work put into this review is very visible as one can see the amount of detail. I would definitely get the iPhone SE. Thank you for the article.

  3. Fully charged within an hour and is able to watch videos nonstop for 13 hours straight is no small feat, way to go iPhone! I super love iPhones though I don’t normally know about the specs rather than it works fine performance-wise especially the beautiful camera graphics but so good to hear that it fits along with your best $400 phone list. Awesome!

  4. Thank you very much for writing this recommendation. I have a plan to change my old Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, so the list is very handy. I’m not that interested to change into an Apple device (I’m more of an Android person), so Xiaomi Mi Note may be the best phone that I can afford now. Some of my friends also use Xiaomi and they are satisfied with the performance. Thanks

  5. I have been using the iPhone so long that I didn’t even realize there were such low-cost phones available anymore. In fact, I was surprised to see an iPhone on your list. I was even surprised to see that there was a Samsung on your list too. I can’t say I have even heard of Xiaomi.

    It’s great to see that the bigger companies are at least trying to make their lower-end models more accessible for all. I may be a bit biased here, but it seems the iPhone still tops the list in regards to features.

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