These Bargain Phones Are Almost As Good as the Very Best

Cell phones have become such an ingrained part of our world and every-day lives that they are starting to feel like more of a necessity than a luxury. Unfortunately, the newest Android and iPhones are still priced as luxury items, falling as they do between the $800 - $1,000 range. There are payment plans available to make these phones seem more affordable, but in the end you are still spending a significant chunk of money on a device that will be considered outdated in a few years. The simple truth is that while everyone may need a phone, not everyone can afford to the latest models. In fact, most people don't even need the latest flagship phone since there are several options that will cover the needs of the average phone user without breaking the bank.

So, if you are looking for an affordable alternative, check out the following four phones in the $140 - $250 price range that can give you a comparable level of performance without running up a bill similar to that of a used car.

1 - LG K30

This is the least expensive option on the list and is currently on Amazon for $140. The specs on this one are fairly basic but still provide great quality for the price. This phone is 5.3 inches, making it a good option for those who prefer the smaller iPhone models over Android's current trend toward larger phones. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, though this can be expanded with a micro SD card. The cameras are rather basic with an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. Though a generally no-frills phone, the LG K30 does come with a strong battery life with a 3,000 mAh battery. It also has a fingerprint scanner on the back to unlock the phone, which is a nice updated feature found on newer flagship phones.

2 - Alcatel 3V

The Alcatel 3V is only slightly more expensive than the LG K30, coming in at $150. It has a 6-inch display, which is closer to the current size found in the latest Android phones. It also features the dual camera rear-facing setup for portrait photography that is also becoming popular in newer phones. The rear-facing cameras are 12MP and 2MP for a fairly clear photography experience, and the front-facing camera is 5MP. The Alcatel has the same 3,000 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB expandable internal storage found in the better phones in the sub-$150 price range. It also comes with a fingerprint sensor, though on this phone it can unlock either the whole phone or specifically selected apps. The Alcatel 3V also has a face key unlock system, one of the few phones in this price range that does. Unfortunately, it has rather limited carrier compatibility and can only be used with AT&T and T-Mobile networks.

3 - Honor 7X

This phone is potentially the best price-for-quality-option currently available. There are cheaper phones and stronger phones, but the Honor 7X provides a great quality product for only $199. This phone is GSM unlocked which makes it compatible with most carriers. It comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which can be expanded with a micro SD card. This phone makes the most of its 5.93-inch size with an almost bezel-less, edge-to-edge screen with a 2160 x 1080 FHD resolution; a great display configuration and clarity which mimics the trends in newer phones. The Honor 7X also has a fingerprint scanner on the back which can be programmed to perform different functions. The 3340 mAh battery is one of the better options for battery life available. This phone also comes with dual-lens 16MP and 2MP cameras on the back for portrait picture taking options, and an 8MP front-facing camera.

4 - Mate SE

The Mate SE is similar in many ways to the Honor 7X, though it is slightly more expensive with a price tag of $249. The extra cost, though, does come with 4GB of RAM for faster processing and 64GB of internal storage with an expandable micro SD option which is twice the size of the internal storage found in the Honor 7X. Many of the other specs are the same though, including the dual 16MP and 2MP rear camera and 8MP front camera set up. The 2160 x 1080 FHD+ resolution, edge-to-edge, 5.93-inch screen is also the same as that found in the Honor 7X. The Mate SE also has a large 3340 mAh battery for extensive battery life. One major difference, though, is that the Mate SE doesn't have the fingerprint scanner on the back that is becoming more and more popular in recent phone models.