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Budget smartphones with great displays in the U.S.


About two weeks ago, we attempted to examine budget smartphones under the microscope. The goal was to look at the very definition of a budget device. We also explored some of the most common factors that become decision-making points for buyers.

Over the next few weeks, we will embark on a quest to further consider and analyse affordable phones that fit the picture. We aim to highlight budget phones that tend to excel in select categories. This should help our readers make wiser decisions based on their preferences and personal tastes.

For the purpose of this article, we will be looking at reasonably priced devices that fall in the price bracket of $250 to $300 in the US market. Without further ado, here are some of the best budget phones for people weak in the knees over big, beautiful displays.

Image via Samsung US

Samsung Galaxy A51

Samsung introduced its mid-range Galaxy A51 along with a 5G variant of the same model to the A series of smartphones earlier this year in April. The Galaxy A51 sports a 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 and a pixel density of 405ppi. As it is an Infinity O display, the device has a punch-hole cutout in the dead centre of the screen. The smartphone also has a fingerprint sensor under the display.

Officially the Samsung Galaxy A51 retails at an upper mid-range price of $399. However, at the moment several cheaper variants of the phone can be found on Amazon and other retailers.

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite was announced at the beginning of the pandemic back in April. In an unusual move, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer decided to opt for an AMOLED display for the Mi Note 10 Lite. It also features a 3D curved Gorilla Glass 5 panel and has an in-screen fingerprint sensor. The 6.47-inch display has a 2340 x 1080 FHD+ resolution with HDR10 and a brightness range of 430 nits to 600 nits.

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The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite also has a TÜV Rheinland low blue light mode certification, a high contrast ratio of 400000:1 and DCI-P3 colour gamut. Although the launch price for the Mi Note 10 Lite was €349 for the European market, there are cheaper versions available in the US. Those looking can find the affordable Xiaomi device on Amazon for $304 and upwards.

Image via Xiaomi Global

UMIDIGI S5 Pro

UMIDIGI is a Chinese brand that mainly focuses on making mid and lower-tier smartphones. It released the UMIDIGI S5 Pro as an affordable flagship phone – you read that right, ‘affordable’ and ‘flagship’ used together in the same sentence. The S5 Pro’s selling point is its generous 6.39-inch AMOLED Ultra FullView Display. There is no notch, instead, a pop-up camera replaces the front camera that is usually placed on the front of the phone.

The screen of the UMIDIGI S5 Pro has a 2340 x 1080 FHD+ resolution, an under-the-display fingerprint sensor and a screen-to-body ratio of 93.1%. As for the price, this budget device will set customers back $269.99 through the official UMIDIGI store or $299.99 via Amazon.

Image via UMIDIGI

Poco X3 NFC

Who says a decent display must be an OLED? Yes, it goes without saying that they are inherently better, but with a tight budget expectations need to be lowered a tad bit. On the other hand, the lack of an OLED panel doesn’t necessarily translate to a bad display. With an IP LCD screen that has a dazzling 120Hz ‘RealityFlow’ refresh rate, Xiaomi’s Poco X3 NFC is living proof of this concept.

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The Poco X3 NFC features a large 6.67-inch screen with a 20:9 FHD+ resolution and a pixel density of 408ppi. A cutout on the front houses the phone front camera and is situated in the top centre of the display. As for the durability of the glass, users don’t have to worry much as it is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The affordable smartphone is priced at $287.99 and upwards on the official Xiaomi store on Amazon.

realme 6 Pro

It is very difficult to get your hands on a realme device in the US. This is because the Oppo-subsidiary mainly focuses on the Indian market. However, a select few of the brand’s smartphones have started to become available in the US recently. The realme 6 Pro is one such device and it can be purchased in the American region via Amazon.

Although the realme 6 Pro features an LCD screen, the large 6.6-inch display has a refresh rate of 90Hz which improves the quality of usage. The screen has a dual-camera cutout on the far left corner to accommodate the front snappers. It also has a 2400×1080 FHD+ resolution, a 90.6% screen-to-body ratio and is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. US-based buyers can purchase the realme 6 Pro for around $304 on Amazon.

Image via realme India

With that, we conclude our list of recommendations for frugal buyers. What did you think of our selection of budget smartphones sporting great displays? Which device would you prefer if your budget fell in the aforementioned price range and the focus was on the display quality? Let us know in the comments below!

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