The Best Cheap 5G Phone 2022

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Here’s a list of 5G-capable phones that won’t break the bank if you’re interested in 5G but don’t want to pay flagship prices.

The Best Cheap 5G Phone 2022

The popularity and availability of 5G continues to grow, resulting in a wider choice of devices that support the newest networking standard, many of which are becoming more affordable.

Until recently, the only phones with 5G functionality were the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, and Oppo Reno 5G, which were only available in specialised (and more expensive) editions.

Best cheap 5G phones 2022

The higher prices reflected the additional research and development costs associated with early 5G modems, as well as a premium that marketers would place on a phone simply for being one of the first to support the new standard.

Fortunately, as the cost of adding 5G to a phone has decreased, the technology has been able to trickle down to more affordable smartphones with what may still be considered a flagship feature. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of 5G phones around £600/US$700.

If none of the phones on this list tickle your attention and you decide that 5G isn’t a must-have feature right now, have a look at our best mid-range and best budget phone lists. They’re filled with options that are still far less expensive than the flagships that are now generating headlines, and they support both 4G and 5G networks.

See our what is 5G? guide and our best 5G phone roundup for additional information on the benefits of 5G phone support and what you need to know to get the most out of a 5G phone.

1. OnePlus Nord 2 – Best overall

Pros: Outstanding software | Stunning design | All-around performer
Cons: Only a 90Hz display is offered; it’s a bit bulky; and wireless charging isn’t accessible.
In the United States, it is not available.

The OnePlus 6T is a fantastic follow-up to 2020’s best mid-range phone, with incredible performance, OnePlus’ distinctive Oxygen OS user experience, a near-flagship primary camera, and, of course, 5G. What could possibly be wrong with that?

What the OnePlus Nord 2 actually demonstrates is the company’s ability to prioritise what consumers want right now and deliver them in a sleek design at a reasonable price.

The Nord 2 lacks flagship features such as wireless charging and waterproofing, but those are the only trade-offs, and it remains one of our favourite mid-range phones right now.

2. Xiaomi 11T – Best value flagship

  • Pros: Excellent primary camera | Quick speed | Attractive display
  • Cons: MIUI is still jittery; the telephoto and ultrawide cameras are average; and no IP certification is available.
  • It is not available in the United States.

The 11T is a mid-range remake of Xiaomi’s Mi 11 flagship from early 2021, with a similar top-tier Snapdragon 888 CPU and other features, such as a powerful lead 108Mp camera, but at a far lower price.

It misses the remarkable 120W super-quick charging of its ‘Pro’-branded sister, but it still offers rapid 67W charging rates that aren’t to be sniffed at.

The 6.67in 120Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, and the 11T’s 480Hz touch response rate and dual speakers make it excellent for gaming.

3. Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G – Best for user experience

  • Pros: Excellent display | Excellent performance | Excellent cameras
  • Cons: Poor build quality | Limited battery life | Slow charging
  • £409

While Samsung had previously released the Galaxy A52 5G, a good 5G-capable mid-ranger in 2021, the Galaxy A52s 5G, which appeared a few months later, addressed one key issue: performance.

When compared to its non-‘s’ sibling, the A52s is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G CPU, giving it an advantage over mid-range competitors like the OnePlus Nord 2.

This trusty mid-range alternative may be on its way out in favour of the new Galaxy A53 (which comes with 5G as standard), but it will only serve to make this wonderful device even more affordable.

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Come for the appealing design, long battery life, and great camera experience; stay for Samsung’s practically unrivalled long-term software support.

4. Nubia Red Magic 7 – Best for gaming

  • Pros: Excellent performance | 165Hz display refresh rate | Improved cameras
  • Cons: A cumbersome user interface, a large design, and a limited battery life
  • From $629 | Model reviewed $799

Although the Red Magic 6S Pro from 2021 remains an excellent deal, Nubia has updated its top gaming phone by replacing the Red Magic 7’s CPU with Qualcomm’s current top offering: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

The 7 is also one of the few phones with a 165Hz display (ideal for gaming), and the camera has finally been improved, resulting in a photographic experience that is on par with the rest of the phone.

Although the Red Magic 7’s skinned Android user experience won’t appeal to everyone, a lesser battery than its predecessor wasn’t the greatest option (gaming, after all), and it’s a large device, its value for money and gaming skills make it an appealing purchase.

5. OnePlus Nord CE 2 – Great value mid-ranger

  • Pros: Low cost | Headphone jack | Storage expansion
  • Cons: Subpar performance | Android 11 is pre-installed
  • In the United States, it is not available.

It’s tough to tell whether the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is a replacement for the previous Nord CE 5G or a downsized version of the superb OnePlus Nord 2. In any case, it’s a well-equipped mid-ranger with long battery life and good value.

The 4500mAh battery supports 65W fast charging, the 6.43in AMOLED display supports a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, the primary camera is decent, and there is even a headphone jack.

The user experience, on the other hand, will begin with Android 11 (rather than Android 12), with upgrades presumably limited to Android 13. Nonetheless, this is a capable 5G phone for the money.

6. Poco X4 Pro 5G – Great all-rounder

  • Pros: Long battery life | Nice display | Professional video recording capabilities
  • Cons: Some design elements are made of plastic, and the palm rejection technology isn’t very effective.
  • Unavailable

The Xiaomi-made Poco X4 Pro 5G ups the ante in terms of aesthetics and functionality over its predecessor.

The squared-off form aspect is highly on-trend, despite the fact that it’s entirely plastic. The Snapdragon 695 processor gives great performance, and the 6.67in 120Hz AMOLED display with a little notch for the front-facing camera is brilliant, colourful, and smooth.

Other features include a fairly powerful 108Mp front camera for the price, as well as a good battery life backed up by incredibly rapid 67W fast charging.

7. Honor 50 – Great all rounder

  • Pros: Slim and light | Beautiful display | Restored Google support
  • Cons: There is no waterproofing, and the camera’s performance varies.
  • It is not available in the United States.

Honor has weathered the storm and come out on top, releasing the first of its devices to enable Google Play Services once more (and hence Google applications and the Play Store).

We’d suggest it to most folks because it’s the only Honor phone we’ve used. It’s the company’s first global release since gaining independence, and it’s also the only Honor phone we’ve tested that we’d recommend to the vast majority of people.

The design and display of the Honor 50 are its key selling points; it looks and feels great, and it’s compact (7.8mm) and light (175g). The phone’s 120Hz curved OLED display is also one of the best you’ll get at this price point.

The 108MP rear camera is outstanding, but the other rear lenses aren’t quite up to par. On the other side, the selfie camera is still good, and at 32 megapixels, it’s one of the higher-resolution front-facing cameras available.

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If you don’t need 5G, the Honor 50 Lite is a wonderful, low-cost phone that looks and feels similar to the Honor 50.

8. Realme GT Neo 2 – Great display

  • Pros: Excellent display quality | Excellent performance | Large battery capacity
  • Cons: There is no wireless charging, no IP certification, and the cameras are rudimentary.
  • It is not available in the United States.

The Realme GT Neo 2 is a redesigned version of last year’s Realme GT that costs roughly the same but differs in a few ways.

Despite the fact that the chipset has been dropped to the (still excellent and still 5G) Snapdragon 870, the improved display, larger battery, and updated design guarantee that this option remains appealing.

Although the 65W wired charging is as fast as you’d anticipate, the camera setup stays unchanged. Expect a good primary camera, but the ultrawide and macro lenses won’t deliver much.

9. Realme 9 Pro+ – Great design

  • Pros: Appealing design | Long battery life | Excellent primary camera
  • Cons: The secondary cameras are disappointing, there is no IP certification, and charging issues exist.
  • In the United States, the product is not available.

When you save costs, design usually suffers, but the Realme 9 Pro+ sticks out with an interesting color-changing Sunrise Blue surface.

With incredible two-day battery life, a shockingly strong primary camera for the price, and Realme UI atop Android that is going from strength to strength across the company’s products, Realme UI atop Android is moving from strength to strength.

Expect nothing from the secondary snappers on the 9 Pro+, and you’ll be happy with the rest of what this mid-range Realme has to offer.

10. ZTE Axon 30 5G – Great under display camera

  • Pros: Excellent performance | Beautiful display | Ingenious design
  • Cons: Poor battery life | Plastic build | Average camera quality
  • Prices start at $499.

The ZTE Axon 30 5G could be the answer if you’re upset by notches or hole-punch front-facing cameras that impede your phone’s display.

Its 6.92in 120Hz Full HD+ screen is both physically enormous and a major selling point, enabling smooth, responsive interaction that’s great for gaming while also holding the company’s second-generation under-display camera (UDC).

Even while the quality isn’t comparable to that of traditional front-facing cameras, ZTE’s technique is more sophisticated than that of ultra-premium handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

The phone’s rear-facing camera performs well despite the lack of a telephoto lens, and it comes with 65W quick charging, a pleasant software experience, and, despite the display’s novelty, a price tag that won’t break the bank.

If none of the phones on this list tickle your attention and you decide that 5G isn’t a must-have feature right now, have a look at our best mid-range and best budget phone lists. They’re filled with options that are still far less expensive than the flagships that are now generating headlines, and they support both 4G and 5G networks.

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