The 8 Best Affordable Phones With Amazing Cameras – Screen Rant

From big names like Samsung, Google, and Motorola to smaller ones like Xiaomi and Honor, discover the best budget camera phones for $325 or less.
Several factors go into the quality of a mobile phone camera, be they sensors, apertures, pixel size, resolution, lenses, stability, file compression, and even the version of the operating system. Yet, as technology continues to advance, some of the most cutting-edge camera phones are becoming more and more affordable for everyday citizens, allowing novice photographers to take some of the best and most professional-looking images around.
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While some of the best affordable phones with stellar cameras tend to be older models from popular name brands like Google, Nokia, and Motorola, other new brands and models are becoming highly competitive. While some trade-offs are necessary, some of the best camera phones can be found on a budget of roughly $300 or less.
Despite lacking the long-term battery power users may want for lengthy photoshoots, the Xiaomi Mi Lite is a tremendously versatile and lightweight phone with commendable camerawork for its price. The smaller, thinner design allows for great mobility and control, and thanks to its 5MP macro camera, 64MP rear cam, 1080 x 2400 resolution, and 5G speed, it’s a hard bargain to beat.
With a solid 6.55″ AMOLED Dot Display screen, 20MP front camera, and a cool ultrawide rear camera lens, making for smoother visuals and crystal clear imagery. Take note, Xiaomi is taking the world by storm.
While the Google Pixel 6 is the latest chronological version, those looking for a top-notch camera phone that is slightly older but greatly affordable is the Google Pixel 4a 5G. With a midsized 6.2″ AMOLED screen, stellar 12.2MP sensor, awesome 1080 x 2340 resolution, and ability to shoot 4K video, what’s not to love?
Google Pixel has branded its reputation around its stable camera and editable features, and the 4a is the best place to start. It has the same camera module as the pricier Google Pixel 5, boasting an awesome 8MP front cam, 27mm lens, and specialized Night Sight, Auto, Portrait, Panorama, PhotoSphere, and Lens photography modes. A really hard camera to beat for its price.
For another supremely affordable top-tier camera phone, try out the Android 11 Honor 50 Lite. Boasting a 108 Megapixel quad-camera plus an 8MP ultrawide rear camera lens, the lightweight phone with a large 6.67″ screen and extremely long battery life is perfect for selfies (16 MP selfie cam) and other types of photoshoots.
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The camera shoots images at a crystal clear 1080 x 2376 resolution and is able to shoot 1080p video at 3ofps, making it downright possible to film a home movie. With LED flash, Panorama, and HDR features to boot, the only detractor is its 2MP macro and depth cams.
Motorola has long been a powerhouse mobile brand name. As its name suggests, the Moto G8 Power derives much of its strength from its superior 5,000mAh battery. Between that and its cool zoom camera and ultra-wide feature, it’s a highly recommended affordable cameraphone.
In addition to its long battery life that is ideal for lengthy unbroken photoshoots, the Moto G8 Power boasts a solid 6.4″ screen with 1080 x 2300 resolution. Also ideal for shooting video, the camera allows for filming 4K@30fps, and 1080@30/60fps, making it a versatile budget camera phone that is hard to pass and one that may even produce one of the best movies ever shot on a cell phone.
Hailed as one of Samsung’s best budget phone deals, the Galaxy A52 5G can be found for about $260 on Cricket (over $330 on Amazon). What sets this one apart is its awesome high-res main camera that boasts a whopping 32MP to go with its excellent 64MP quad-rear cam.
Also adorned with sharp 1080 x 2400 resolution, solid battery power (4500mAh), and superior Samsung AI, the A52 5G is one of the most proficient workhorse camera phones with the only real detractor being its slightly smaller 6.5″ screen. Anytime Samsung offers an affordable phone, it’s worth picking up, especially for budget photographers shopping for the best deals.
All told, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 might be the best overall affordable camera phone to buy in 2022. With stunning graphics, superior battery life (5020mAh), massive 108 Megapixel quad camera, and a large 6.67″ AMOLED screen, there isn’t much the phone can’t do other than operate at 5G.
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For $215, the Redmi Note 10 is absolutely ideal for taking up-close pictures and shooting lengthy videos. Aside from its excellent battery power and ultra-sharp pixelation, the Redmi Note 1o increases its versatility thanks to its 16MP front camera, 8MP ultra-wide, and 5MP macro camera that allows for Go-Pro style filming and more.
Although it lacks a night mode and boasts two underwhelming 2MP rear cameras, the TCL 10 Lite makes up for its deficiencies thanks to its versatility and affordability. With its excellent 48MP Samsung GM1 sensor in the main camera, an advanced 16MP front camera, and an ultra-wide-angle lens, there isn’t much this bad boy can’t do.
As a tech product bound to appeal to teens and tweens and one ideal for outdoor and indoor daytime photos, the TCL 1o Lite also comes with a 6.53″ FullHD screen display, making the imagery far sharper than most phones at its price.
For just $119.99, budget shoppers can find a decent Nokia 1.4 camera phone that simply can’t be beaten for its price. Sure, the phone only boasts an 8MP wide-angle rear cam and 5MP front cam, but its diverse functionality and performance are pretty impressive. A jack of all trades and master of none, the Nokia 1.4 is basic but efficient.
With good light, still-images are quite commendable on the Nokia 1.4. It also offers users the chance of shooting video in 720p HD at 30fps, which isn’t the best but certainly decent for $120. With an SD card option to expand the 32G of storage, budget shoppers looking for the cheapest camera phone possible that still works better than most at its price point can do a lot worse.
NEXT: 5 Things Androids Can Do That iPhones Can’t (& 5 Things Only iPhones Can Do)
A Senior List Writer covering a wide array of topics who has been with Screen Rant since September of 2019, Jake Dee has written movie news and reviews since 2008, working primarily with OMG Horror (IGN), JoBlo.com, and Arrow in the Head as a freelance reporter based in Los Angeles. A hopeless cinephile, social media Luddite, certified Nic Cage doppelganger, and a big Weekend At Bernie’s fan, Jake can often be found tucked away in a dark corner watching an old horror movie. Born and raised in California, Jake has a Bachelor’s Degree in Film & Digital Media from the University of California Santa Cruz with an emphasis on theory and criticism, is the author of several “WTF Happened To This Movie” and “WTF Really Happened To This Movie” videos on YouTube, and has covered everything in the entertainment industry from set visits, studio luncheons, and red carpet interviews to wrap parties, movie premieres, private screenings, talent interviews, and more.

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