5 Good Phones Under $500 That Are Not Apple or Samsung

A smiling couple using their cell phones
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This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com.

If you’re on a budget, and in the market for a new phone, this post introduces you to some models that are not Samsung Galaxy or iPhone. Not only do more affordable models exist in this universe, but some are pretty awesome. Here we’re covering everything from a waterproof device that was built to withstand an impact, to a sleek smartphone that can outperform most $1,000 smartphones on image quality alone. Follows are our top five picks:

Deal No. 1: Google Pixel 3a XL — $280

The Google Pixel 3a XL will make you wonder why anyone would ever pay $1,000+ for a smartphone. It boasts a 6-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 670 processor with 4GB of RAM for seamless multitasking, and its image-processing capabilities set the phone apart from all other devices. The Pixel 3a XL captures stunning images with its 12MP rear- and 8MP front-facing cameras that even work in the dark via Night Sight, a feature that is unique to Google phones. It also comes loaded with other helpful features such as stereo sound and a 28-hour battery.

How to get this deal: While the device is normally priced at $480, which is still a great deal, Visible is offering a $200 prepaid Mastercard to customers who buy two months of service, making the device just $280! The Visible Unlimited Plan complements the device perfectly by giving you unlimited high-speed data on Verizon’s robust network, plus unlimited talk and text for just $40 per month. That’s a steal!

Deal No. 2: Moto G6 — $101

The Moto G6 offers a great balance of premium design and affordability with its 5.7-inch full HD+ touchscreen display, aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass 3 screen to make it a bit more sturdy. It boasts a Snapdragon 450 processor with 3GB of RAM to ensure that you’re able to effortlessly perform your daily tasks like switching between apps and streaming. It also captures excellent shots with its 8MP front-facing camera and 13MP main camera, and its battery will give you 21 hours of talk time. What more could you want from a smartphone?

How to get this deal: To get it for $100.98, sign up for SIMPLE Mobile’s $25 per month Unlimited Data Plan, and you’ll even get free shipping if you use the promo code SIMPLE at checkout. The plan comes with unlimited data, as well as unlimited talk and text to more than 60 destinations, and the price drops to $20 per month if you sign up for AutoPay. While speeds drop to 2G after you use 3GB of data on this plan, you can always upgrade to a different SIMPLE plan if you need more high-speed data. Since SIMPLE Mobile operates on T-Mobile’s network, you’ll get great coverage. This budget phone and plan were made for each other!

Deal No. 3: LG Stylo 5 — $90

If this was a popularity contest, the LG Stylo 5 would win the top prize. It’s a well-designed smartphone that comes with a 6.2-inch full HD+ display, Snapdragon 450 and 3GB of RAM, and a whopping 46 hours of talk time. In short, if you like to chat while swiping between apps all day, this phone has the processing power and battery life to keep up with you. It also comes with a 13MP rear-facing camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, a stylus, and other cool features like Google Assist and Google Lens.

How to get this deal: It’s just $89.99 with free next-day shipping and activation if you bring your number to Cricket from another carrier. If you need a new line and can’t bring your existing number to Cricket, then the phone is $149.99, which is still a screaming deal. Cricket operates on AT&T’s network, so you’ll get great coverage. The best plan to pair this device with right now is Cricket’s Core Unlimited Plan, which comes with unlimited data, talk and text to and from the U.S., Canada and Mexico for just $50 per month.

Deal No. 4: LG Tribute Royal — $192

If you want a no frills, high-quality device that is truly affordable, check out this deal. The LG Tribute Royal boasts a 5.45-inch display, Media Tek Helio P22 processor and 2GB of RAM to ensure that you can perform all of your day-to-day tasks with little to no lag time. You’ll also get up to 20 hours of talk time, an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. While its specs might not wow you, it’s still a quality phone for a great price.

How to get this deal: Get it for under $200 when you buy this phone outright from Sprint, and the carrier will even throw in free overnight shipping. The best plan to sign up for when you switch to Sprint is the Unlimited Basic Plan, which comes with unlimited data, talk and text to and from the U.S., Canada and Mexico for just $60 per month. Sprint will even throw in a free subscription to Hulu with your new plan.

Deal No. 5: Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 — $444

The Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 is nearly indestructible, so if a rugged device is what you need, this phone is for you. It’s designed to operate in noisy environments with advanced noise cancellation technology, and it’s impact-resistant as well as waterproof. It also comes with desirable specs like a 5-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of RAM, a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, and it’ll give you 31 hours of talk time.

How to get this deal: Verizon is offering this phone for $444 and will throw in free shipping as well as waive your activation fee. The best data plan to pair the DuraForce Pro 2 with is Verizon’s Start Unlimited Plan, which gives you unlimited talk, text and data to and from the U.S., Canada and Mexico for just $70 month.

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