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The best 2017 budget smartphone for under £400

Written by  Nov 09, 2017
Choosing a new smartphone isn't an easy choice nowadays. They may come in different shapes and sizes, with plenty of distinct features and most importantly, at plenty of different prices.

There are numerous factors that come into play when upgrading your smartphone. For some a quality camera is a must, for others it will be the battery life, or perhaps the addition of a fingerprint sensor.

These days it isn't just the flagship smartphones that offer these features, mid-range phones do too. They offer an interesting alternative with great specs and lower prices.

That's what this article is all about: it's for those looking for a new smartphone that has the features but not at wallet busting prices. We have rounded up the best devices starting at £259 and going up to £379 at current prices.

Here is the top 6

Here's our choice for the best all-round budget smartphone under £400 on the market available today.

1. Motorola Moto G5 Plus


Buy the Motorola Moto G5 Plus for around £259 on Amazon.co.uk

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus is the best phone in its class for the money in our opinion. It offers a good fingerprint sensor and gesture controls, a solid metal build quality and it is more than capable when it comes to running apps and games. Bear in mind that there is now the Moto G5S Plus too and although it is not yet available, it's probably worth considering when it's realeased.

If you can't wait though, the G5 Plus doesn't have the most vibrant screen and its camera close-up focus isn't the best, but you won't find a better phone at the £250 mark. The G5 is better sized, better designed and better looking than the Moto G4 Plus, while also offering NFC and that nifty gesture-control fingerprint scanner to make it simply all-round better than anything else you'll find for the money.

The best of the rest...

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus or G5S Plus might not be for everyone, and luckily there are plenty of other great budget smartphones under £400 to consider. Here are the ones under £400 that are also worth considering.

2. Honor 9

honor 9

Buy the Honor 9 for around £379 from Amazon.co.uk

The Honor 9 offers a striking design and one that makes it stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. That beautiful finish does scratch easily though and graphics aren't always super smooth, but the Honor 9 delivers great performance in its price point to make it one of the best mid-rangers out there.

It's a siren in this market and one well worthy of consideration. Our complaints are only minor quibbles. For the next Honor device to achieve perfection all it really needs to do is smooth out the graphics and user experience, then it will be an unstoppable brand in the affordable phone market.

3. Apple iPhone SE


Buy the iPhone SE for around £289 from Amazon.co.uk 

The Apple iPhone SE is the only iPhone to fall under the £300 mark and it's also the smallest iPhone of the lot. That's not to say it compromises though, as plenty of good things come in small packages and for some, one of the best things about the iPhone SE will be its small size.

The iPhone SE offers the majority of the same feature set as 2016's iPhone 6S meaning it brings plenty of power, along with a great design and an excellent user experience, if you like iOS. You miss out on a few things compared to the newer and larger iPhones, such as 3D Touch, but overall the iPhone SE is a great smartphone with an accessible price point.

Read the full review Apple iPhone SE review

4. Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017

Buy the Samsung Galaxy A5 for around £282 on Amazon.co.uk 

The Samsung Galaxy A5 offers a great design and build, along with a lovely AMOLED display for rich visuals. It might not be as striking as the likes of the Galaxy S8 flagship or even the Honor 9, and the camera could be better, but the Galaxy A5 has an all-day battery and ample power.

For a phone that costs less than £300, the Galaxy A5 is impressive in its design and build. Even its display and performance punch beyond that price point. In many ways it's a cheaper version of 2016's Galaxy S7, except it doesn't really feel cheap at all when you pick it up. It's solid, quite beautiful and well worthy of consideration in this price bracket.

5. Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Moto Z2 Play

Buy the Motorola Moto Z2 Play for around £350 from Amazon.co.uk 

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus isn't the only Moto device in the mid-range field worth considering. The Moto Z2 Play is also a great device and although around £100 more than the G5 Plus, it features an incredible battery life, Moto Mods compatibility and a great fingerprint scanner and gesture controls.

This is a device that offers flagship level smoothness and operation and although it has some stiff competition from devices a kittle more expensive, like the OnePlus 5 that costs £430 and therefore doesn't fit into this feature, it's a super phone with plenty to offer. With little to no slip-ups in use, the Z2 Play secures its commendable position in the mid-range market.

6. Motorola Moto X4

Moto X4

Buy the Motorola Moto X4 for around £350 from Motorola.co.uk

The Motorola Moto X4 has some great features - weatherproofing, comfortable one-handed use, an effective fingerprint scanner, OLED screen, and long-lasting battery life. That said, the plastic appearance of the design, odd cameras integration and slightly slow performance just holds it back from the once high position the X brand held.

If £350 is your absolute budget then the X4 a good smartphone, but if you can stretch that little bit further, it's worth considering the not-much-pricier OnePlus 5, which outshines it considerably.

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