4G is becoming more accessible all the time and not just because the networks are expanding their coverage, but also because it’s finding its way into ever more phones, many of which are surprisingly affordable.
These days it’s even possible to get a 4G phone for under £100. But with so many out there it can be hard to pick out the best of the bunch, even when your options are limited by budget. So we’ve done the hard work for you and curated a list of the best cheap 4G phones, complete with prices and details of what makes them good.
There’s no shortage of cheap Lumia handsets and most of them are impressive value for money too, with the Microsoft Lumia 640 being one of the best examples of that yet.
The star of the show is perhaps its large 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 display, but its 8MP camera and quad-core processor impress too.
It also comes with some generous extras in the form of a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal, which as well as giving you full access to Microsoft’s Office software also includes 1TB of OneDrive storage, which could come in handy for storing all the songs, photos and videos you can download over its 4G connection.
As with other Windows Phone 8.1 handsets you can also look forward to an update to Windows 10 Mobile very soon.
The HTC Desire 620 is one of many low to mid-range Android smartphones with 4G LTE support. But it has a couple of advantages over other smartphones in this price bracket and the first is that it comes with HTC's software, including the excellent HTC Sense user-interface and BlinkFeed.
Additionally, it has a very decent 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash backed up by HTC's superb Zoe camera software and it doesn't end there because it also has a front-facing 5 mega-pixel selfie camera. Music playback is also great because the Desire 620 has HTC BoomSound audio technology and that makes it the smart choice for music lovers.
HTC have also managed to include a 5-inch 720p HD display, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor and 8GB of on-board storage (expendable using microSD cards). Overall, HTC's smartphone is a very well rounded handset and a good choice, especially for those looking for a good camera or to blast out the latest tunes.
The Moto G 3rd gen is the best budget smartphone Motorola has made yet and by extension one of the very best cheap phones we’ve ever seen.
Building on what made the Moto G 2nd gen so great it has a stylish design, with added customisation options to make it your own.
It also has a large 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 display, a quad-core processor and a meaty 2GB of RAM, so it’s surprisingly powerful. It supports 4G of course and it’s even water resistant, which is rare at this sort of price.
Then there’s its impressive 13MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing one, making it a great compact camera alternative and with a microSD card slot and a reasonable battery life it really is a good all-rounder.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is getting on a bit, but that just means it’s cheaper than ever and as a big name phone by a big name brand it still impresses.
There’s a compact yet bright and vibrant 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, so it’s great for media. Or you can create your own media with its 8MP camera and 1080p video capabilities.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini also has a reasonable amount of power, thanks to a dual-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Plus, it’s feature packed, with a microSD card slot, NFC and even infrared.
It supports 4G too of course, making it a great all-rounder. The look is a little plain, but beneath that there’s a great phone waiting to be found.
At around £70 SIM free the LG Leon is exceedingly cheap, especially for a 4G handset. But surprisingly you get quite a few features for the money.
There’s Knock Code for one, which is LG’s innovative method of unlocking your smartphone, allowing you to enter a series of taps even when the screen is off, so it’s both secure and convenient.
The LG Leon also sports LG’s rear keys, so you can turn the screen on or off and change the volume using buttons on the back rather than the sides. Based on the way people typically hold their phones the buttons are easier to reach in this position.
Its camera is also worth a mention, as it has both gesture and voice controls. All of these things are features that we’d expect to see reserved for higher end handsets, so the LG Leon gives you a lot for your money.
In other ways it’s a fairly basic handset, with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP camera and a 4.5-inch 480 x 854 screen, but that’s still pretty good given the low price of the phone.
The Moto G 3rd gen is one of the best budget smartphones around and as a value for money proposition it’s our pick for the best budget 4G phone too.
But it faces stiff competition from the innovative LG Leon and the stylish HTC Desire 620. Or if you’re more into Windows the Microsoft Lumia 640 is a great alternative. In short there are a number of brilliant options and you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this list.
Have a bit more to spend?
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