The best budget cell phones on the market come in many different, shapes, sizes, and with different features. Each one is meant to suit a specific person with specific needs. Some are basic budget cell phones that do minimal things really well, while others are geared towards multimedia or Internet use.
This list of the best budget cell phones on the market will help you decide which budget cell phone works best for you.
This is one of the best budget cell phones on the market and is loaded with features.
The Nokia Surge has a QWERTY keyboard because it is setup for web browsing and for staying connected online. It can send text messages and supports all instant messaging services. It has a built in GPS, and a 2-megapixel camera with full focus. This phone even supports FM and XM radio, and Bluetooth.
Price: If you get a plan with AT&T, this phone costs $30; otherwise it’s $250 without a plan.
Cons: Dialing numbers can be a problem because you have to open the keyboard in order to call someone. There isn’t a number keypad, and the numbers are shared with the letters on the keyboard, so calling someone is a little cumbersome.
Sony Ericsson w518a
One of the best budget cell phones, this mobile phone by Sony Ericsson is really a media phone. It has a great media application for transferring music and photos from a PC to the phone through simple dragging and dropping.
Since it is trying gear its self towards playing music, this phone is able to quickly change tracks and volumes by pressing buttons and then shaking or moving the phone in a particular direction. The phone also has built in FM radio.
The phone is also Facebook integrated, so you can change your status or reply to people online, or quickly upload photos that were taken with the 3.2 megapixel camera.
Price: Free with a two-year plan with AT&T.
Cons: The buttons are flat so it looks sleek, but this also means you need to be really attentive when entering numbers and letters. Also, the stereo jack only supports a Sony model. If you want to use other headphones, you will need to buy an adaptor.
This budget cell phone is a very basic phone that isn’t loaded with features. It is more geared towards someone that wants something to function and make quality phone calls, and won’t be texting much.
This phone allows someone to listen to music with a headset or with Bluetooth, can take photos with a 2-megapixel camera, and surf the Internet. It’s a snap phone, so it protects the insides from damage and smudges.
Price: The phone is free with a two-year plan, otherwise costs $40.
Cons: This budget cell phone has a camera, but photos can come out blurry or washed out. It’s a compact phone, so the small controls and buttons can be difficult.
This phone has a compact design that hides a foldout QWERTY keyboard. On the outside are more buttons for calling so you don’t have to use the keyboard. This phone’s general design is one of the best things about it. Since it has buttons on the outside, it dials quick and at the same time saves lots of space by folding and unfolding the keyboard and inner screen.
The Pantech Compact has one touch access to IM, text messaging, and an html browser. Included also is a 2 megapixel camera and has GPS.
Cost: Free with a two-year plan, otherwise it costs $75.
Cons: While this phone saves on space, the actual typing space on the keyboard seems a little cramped. The phone has five resolutions and three quality settings, but is awkward to set and use.
This budget cell phone is known as the eco friendly phone for those who want to Go Green.
It is 80% recyclable, made from 100% biodegradable corn-based plastic, and doesn’t have toxins like mercury, lead, and cadmium.
It has a QWERTY keyboard, doubles as an mp3 player, and has a 2-megapixel camera that takes photos and records video.
Price: This budget cell phone is free with a two-year plan, otherwise is $40.
Cons: The keyboard is functional and the above buttons are easy to access, however, it isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing when it slides out. Also, the 3G Internet doesn’t always run optimally.
This is another feature loaded budget cell phone, with a QWERTY keyboard for easy texting, sending email, using IM, or for general web use. This phone is really geared towards social networking.
The camera is also equipped with blue tooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera with digital zoom, GPS, and also plays music.
Price: Free with a two-year plan, otherwise it costs $250.
Cons: The photo quality is not very good and coming with a flash would have helped. The navigation keys are cramped, with the send and power keys too close together.
This is a good, basic, functional flip phone.
Since it is a flip hone, it is able to protect the screen inside from smudges. It has a GPS, supports blue tooth, equipped for IM use, and has a 1-megapixel camera. It isn’t’ very flashy, but it works and makes reliable calls.
Price: It is free with a two-year plan; otherwise it costs $60.
Cons: There are only two colors: black onyx or regal red. Speakerphone isn’t very good, and the internal memory is limited at only 12 MB.
Nokia 2720 Fold
This is a budget cell phone at a very low price, but with actual features. It has a 1.3 megapixel camera that also records video, sends email, SMS, MMS, allows for IM, and has an integrated FM radio. It also allows blue tooth, and the call quality is strong.
Price: Free with a two-year plan, otherwise only $20.
Cons: It only has two colors: black and deep red. The photo quality isn’t very good either and a flash would have helped. To use the radio, you need to buy a wireless headset with a built-in antenna, which isn’t included.
Motorola Entice w766
This budget cell phone is lightweight and is a clamshell. It is compact and great for people that like minimal size, but still has features.
This phone supports IM messaging, has a web browser, plays music, has GPS, supports Bluetooth, and even has a 2 megapixel camera.
Price: It costs $20 with a two-year plan through Verizon
Cons: The entire surface is reflective, meaning it easily picks up smudges and fingerprints. The camera also doesn’t have a flash, so low light shots don’t come out well. The video on the camera also has lots of pixilation and has shaky movements.
Samsung Flight II
This budget cell phone is the updated version of the Samsung Flight I, which was mainly a messaging phone. It has a touch screen with a QWERTY keyboard that slides out. This Internet focused phone has widgets for Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Yahoo Search.
Price: This budget phone is free with a two-year deal, otherwise costs $300.
Cons: While the phone is slick, sometimes navigation is sluggish. This is particularly true when swiping home screens, and opening and closing TouchWiz. It also takes time to launch applications.
Best Budget Cell Phones: Nokia Surge
Best Budget Cell Phones: Sony Ericsson w518a
Best Budget Cell Phones: Nokia 6350
Best Budget Cell Phones: Pantech Compact
Best Budget Cell Phones: Samsung Reclaim
Best Budget Cell Phones: Samsung Intensity
Best Budget Cell Phones: Sanyo SCP-3810
Best Budget Cell Phones: Nokia 2720 Fold
Best Budget Cell Phones: Motorola Entice w766
Best Budget Cell Phones:Samsung Flight II