Nowadays smartphones and tablets play an incredible important role in our daily life yet in the multimedia world. Unlike HD TVs, high-end video projectors, smartphones and tablets are not big-screen device with super sharp resolution though, but the good thing is that you can take them out everywhere and start to enjoy your videos, movies and TV shows.
To enter the small-screen entertainment world by picking out the best devices for you, you can’t always trust a cheap price tag as “the best” sometimes just isn’t in the budget. We’ve collected the best budget smartphones and tablets for you to buy in 2015. Take a look at these best value-for-the-money devices!
Part 1: 10 best budget smartphones
Part 2: 10 best budget tablets
Top 10 best budget smartphones
Sometimes “the best” just isn’t in the budget. We’ve collected our favorites of the tablets priced substantially less than the iPad and its high-end competition. For parents, if your kid is obsessed with getting an iPad, be sure to consider the Apple iPad Mini. It’s currently the cheapest way to enter the iPad world.
Huawei Ascend Y530
For an off-contract price of just around $130, the 4.5-inch Huawei Ascend Y530 is an extremely well-rounded affordable smartphone offering one of the largest displays for the price – plus, it’s also got a Snapdragon 200 system chip under the hood and a 5-megapixel main camera.
Asus Zenfone 4
With a killer price of just around $100 in its main markets, the Asus Zenfone 4 goes to the very bottom of the Android low-end, and it does so with dignity: it’s got a 4-inch display, runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the promise to get 4.4 KitKat, sports 1GB of RAM, dual SIM connectivity and a 5-megapixel camera.
Nokia Lumia 520
The Nokia Lumia 520 is an oldie, but goodie: the most popular Windows Phone handset can be had for just $50 off contract (in a refurbished form) on AT&T, which is an amazing value for the money. The Lumia 520 sports a 4-inch display and is confirmed for getting the Windows Phone 8.1 update.
Motorola Moto E
The Motorola Moto E builds up on the successful foundation set by the Moto G, but it brings down the price even lower at $130 off-contract. This money buys you a fast phone with a large for its price 4.3″ display, a 1.2GHz dual-core chip and a 5-megapixel main camera.
LG L Bello
The new L Bello comes with a slightly steeper price tag than the rest, but it also features the hot and trendy LG G3 design language, a snappy Snapdragon 400 system chip and a good, 8-megapixel camera. Its biggest downside is the low-res screen, a 5-inch panel with a resolution of the paltry 480 x 854 pixels, and a pixel density of just 196ppi. Did we mention you have to make compromises with these affordable devices? The L Bello, however, does not compromise on battery as its juicer is a massive, 2,540mAh one, capable of lasting you two days off the charger. And you also get a dual-SIM option to sweeten the deal.
Motorola Moto G (2014 edition)
The Motorola Moto G (2014 edition) improves on the successful formula of the original G, adding a larger, 5-inch display with similarly pleasing colors and the signature, near-stock, fast Android experience. With a promise for a quick migration to Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Moto G is the most future-proof of all the afore-mentioned affordable devices. It can also be customized with colorful shells and that’s a nice touch. Other spec highlights include a zippy, quad-core Snapdragon 400 system chip, spacious (but not record-breaking) battery, front-firing stereo speakers, and a much improved 8-megapixel camera. With the right balance of speed, looks, and camera performance, the Moto G is our pick for the best affordable smartphone money can buy.
Huawei Ascend G6
The Huawei Ascend G6 stands out with its style and affordability among handsets most of which are affordable and well-performing, but not particularly good-looking. The Ascend G6 strikes that right balance – with a starting price of $200, it is just slightly more expensive than the Moto G, but matches it in terms of performance and outdoes it in style. The G6 has got a 4.5″ IPS display, a 1.2GHz quad-core chip, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front cam.
Xiaomi Redmi 1S
The Xiaomi (pronounce “show-me”) Redmi 1S is one of the most affordable of the Android bunch here, yet it packs pretty stellar specs for the price, and it runs buttery smooth. With Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on board, its dated software is the only thing that might be a turn-off, but keep in mind that it comes with the MIUI skin which is a particularly rich one in function and looks nice. You also get a 5″ 720p display, an 8-megapixel camera, and a dual SIM option.
Huawei has slowly but gradually expanded its presence from a local one into a globally noticeable brand, and its Huawei Honor is a device that has done a lot of the marketing in Huawei’s favor recently. A 5″ 720p smartphone running Android 4.4 KitKat, and offering a large, 2000mAh battery with the promise of 2-day longevity, plus a potent, 8-megapixel camera, and topping it all up with good call quality, the Honor meets all our requirements for an all-around solid performance.
Sony Xperia M2
The Sony Xperia M2 is a device that has is not perfect, but Sony’s aggressive pricing has made it look very appealing. With a 4.8″ qHD display, a Snapdragon 400 system chip that’s on par with the one in the Moto G (and even faster due to the lower resolution), and the nice Sony touch in design, the M2 definitely scores some points and would be a great fit. If only we could tell that Sony would update it to Android 5.0 Lollipop like Motorola has confirmed to do with its Moto G series! What its Motorola and other rivals can hardly match, though, is battery life – the M2 just smokes them with its nearly two-day battery life.
Top 10 best budget tablets
Apple iPad Air 2
Like every iPad, the Air 2 is gorgeous and looks as high-end as it feels. Apple’s iPad Air 2 is ideal for every kind of tablet user, whether you need to get things done, watch a movie, or browse the Web. If you’re a first-time tablet owner or an early iPad adopter looking to upgrade, the Air 2 is the best choice.
Dell Venue 7
The Dell Venue 7 is one of the best small tablet bargains. The larger Venue 8 is just as capable; however there are other 8-inch slates that offer more features for the same price.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013)
Since we initially reviewed the Fire HD, Amazon released an update which adds a new feature: FreeTime. This turns the Kindle into a great tablet for kids, allowing you to create separate user profiles and limit screen time. Usefully, you can set different limits for reading and everything else, so kids can’t sit there playing games all day long. If you are ok with the limited amount of storage in the 8GB model, this is a great choice over virtually all other dedicated children’s tablets.
Nexus 7 (2013)
The 2013 Google Nexus 7 is more expensive than the original and sees only a small change in the design, while its exceptional screen and added rear camera help justify this price hike. It’s still lacking a microSD card slot but for many people with be the best 7in tablet around.
The Tesco Hudl is a fantastic tablet that will cost you just a shade over $150.
Normally when a tablet is this cheap alarm bells ring left, right and centre, but the Tesco Hudl is one of those rare $150 slates which you can actually depend on.
The cameras are pretty shocking, it takes a while to charge and it’s not the snappiest tablet around, but with a sharp display and ample storage as well as stock Android there’s a lot to love about the Hudl.
Asus Memo Pad 8
Asus’s Memo Pad 8 tablet is stylish, well-built and plenty powerful enough for most users looking to play casual games, browse the web and carry out basic productivity tasks. It is well-worth considering if display and camera quality aren’t top of your priority list. If you want to save a bit of extra cash and aren’t worried about losing an inch off the display, we’d recommend opting for the smaller but very similarly Asus Memo Pad 7.
Asus Memo Pad 7 (ME176CX)
We’re really impressed with the Asus Memo Pad 7. In addition to a good-looking design and sturdy build, it also boasts hardware that rivals tablets with much higher price tags. A higher-resolution screen and front-facing speakers would add even more appeal, but if you’re looking for a budget tablet and have been considering the Tesco Hudl, Kindle Fire HD or even the Nexus 7, it’s worth investigating the Asus Memo Pad 7, too.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD
We can hardly find fault with the hardware, and at this price it’s hard to find fault with anything. Since the Nook was set free from the confines of the Barnes & Noble content store it has been an amazing deal. An easy-to-use and well-built tablet at a great price.
LG G Pad 8.3
The G Pad 8.3 is undoubtedly LG’s best tablet to date and at 199GBP it’s a bit of a steal. A nice selection of hardware and software make this a great choice for a small tablet. However, occasionally laggy performance means the Nexus 7 might be a better choice.
Asus Fonepad 7 LTE
It’s tricky to give the Asus Fonepad 7 LTE a solid verdict, because it’s a device we think will appeal to only a few. For anyone looking for a 7in tablet that can make phone calls, the Asus Fonepad 7 LTE is certainly worth a look, though we’re not completely sure why you’d want to make phone calls on a 7in tablet.