The best smartphones under 300 euros in 2024

Cheap phones are legion, but not all are created equal. To help you choose, here's our pick of the best smartphones under €300.

Once considered second-rate products, entry-level phones have since gained a solid reputation. Chinese brands have played a big part in its democratization smartphone for less than 300 euros which today offer a very convincing user experience.

What are the best smartphones under 300 euros?

To find your way in this ocean of cheap mobiles, here is our shopping guide to the best smartphones under 300 euros for small budgets. The reports below will be updated regularly to advise you on the best in these price ranges.

Some brands are stronger than others in offering great value for money phones. Examples include Xiaomi, Redmi and Honor. But other manufacturers like OnePlus and Samsung haven't had their last say. Without further ado, let's move on to our selection.

1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G: the benchmark

Le Redmi Note 13 5G – © Xiaomi

Redmi Note 13 5G 8+256 GB at the best price Base price: €299

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We're kicking this selection off strong with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G. Launched in early 2024, it stands out from the competition thanks to its 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The MediaTek Dimensity 6080 chip is also fast enough to deliver good performance on a daily basis.

The presence of a mini-jack plug is another argument in its favor. On the photo side, don't expect an incredible experience, but the Redmi Note 13 5G still allows you to take decent quality photos on a daily basis thanks to its 108 Mpx main camera unit.

The autonomy is ensured by a 5000 mAh battery that will last a good day, but not much more. Fortunately, the 33W recharge is fast enough to recover 50% of battery life in 20 minutes and a full recharge in one hour.

2. Samsung Galaxy A34 5G: the safe bet

Samsung Galaxy A34 design
The Samsung Galaxy A34 5G – © 01net.com – Lionel Morillon

Galaxy A34 6+128 GB at the best price Base price: €399

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We continue with Samsung and its Galaxy A34 5G which has more than one card to play against the competition. We're obviously thinking of its Galaxy S23-like design. Samsung's One UI interface is also an advantage that the competition cannot boast of.

Although it is not the best equipped technically, we will still remember its resistance to water and dust thanks to the IP67 certification. But one of the biggest arguments in its favor is the promise of four years of major Android updates. At this price, it's the only one that does.

For the rest, the 5000 mAh battery and Samsung's software optimization offer the Galaxy A34 5G a very good battery life. As for photography, the main camera unit (wide angle) and its optical stabilization are very convincing in daylight.

The other units as well as the night shots are less convincing, which is not surprising in a smartphone sold at this price. Because even though it was released at a recommended price of €399, it can easily be found for less than €300 at some online resellers.

3. Honor Magic 5 Lite : un look d'enfer

smartphone HONOR Magic5 Lite
Le Magic 5 Lite – © Honor

The Honor Magic 5 Lite stands out with its particularly neat informal design. Its thin black borders around the screen and its curved screen do not leave you indifferent. Its 8mm thickness and 175g featherweight also work in its favour.

Finishes that we are more used to seeing on high-end smartphones. To keep the price competitive, however, Honor chose a less “premium” plastic material, but also more resistant to falls.

Sorry for a less convincing photo section that just provides the essentials with an efficient main wide-angle sensor, nothing more. The fact that it launched on Android 12 with only one update to the program also made us check. Without being a lightning bolt, the phone's performance is adequate for everyday use.

The very beautiful 6.67-inch 120 Hz OLED display is undoubtedly one of its strong points. The brightness of the latter is high enough to ensure excellent visibility in all conditions.

Buy Honor Magic 5 Lite

Despite its “Lite” name and the few concessions it has to make to offer a competitive price, the phone can't envy many of the smartphones that sometimes sell more expensively.

4. OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite: for autonomy and fast charging

test oneplus nord ce 3 lite
Credit: 01net.com / Lionel Morillon

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G at the best price Base price: €329

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For this third iteration of the OnePlus Nord CE, the brand is changing the design of its smartphone, but not really the formula. Thus, we find a mobile with a large 6.72-inch 120 Hz LCD screen. Unfortunately, it's not as high-quality as its competitors with AMOLED panels, but it provides the essentials. The same can be said about the performance supported by a Snapdragon 695 chip (5G compatible) and 8 GB of RAM.

With its 5000mAh battery and 67W charging unit, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is clearly one of the good students in this field. Allow only about forty minutes to recharge it and then you will be quiet for a day and a half or even two days.

Of the three camera units, only the main one is worth remembering. The 108 Mpx sensor takes decent quality photos in daylight, but don't expect much. Night photos should be avoided.

Special mention to OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite's Oxygen OS 13 interface based on Android 13. Unlike some Chinese competitors that we won't mention, OnePlus has the good taste to not have bloatware out of the box. We find an experience very close to the Android experience that Google wants, with some welcome improvements such as the digital safe, Switch audio or even Zen Space. The “always on” feature for the display, however, is absent for subscribers.

How to choose a smartphone for less than 300 euros?

For what purposes are smartphones made under 300 euros

Today's cheap entry-level and mid-range phones are more than enough for all day-to-day tasks. Calls, SMS, messaging apps, web browsers and audio-video streaming apps won't give them any trouble.

Autonomy is also one of their strengths. Thanks to their generous battery and the economical chips that equip the best models, their consumption remains under control. This translates into battery life that can often last up to two days, provided you use your smartphone moderately. For more intensive use, a long day is pretty much assured.

Phone limits below €300

The most significant concessions undoubtedly have to be made on the photography and video side. Yes, a smartphone for less than 300 euros will be able to take good photos in daylight, but not more. Night shots are generally of poor quality, and secondary units (ultra-wide and macro) remain anecdotal. Also forget optical zoom in this price range.

The other sticking point might be performance. Every year, entry-level chips become more and more powerful. With rare exceptions, they are sufficient to provide good fluidity in all applications. Concessions should probably be made in the gaming part. All the models in our selection will run 2D games without any problem. On the other hand, more demanding 3D titles like Fortnite (available for download here) or Genshin Impact may cause some fluidity issues, while remaining playable if you lower the graphics settings.

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