The arrival of Chinese manufacturers shook up the market before splitting it in two. On the one hand, there are enthusiasts and affluent consumers ready to spend more than 1000 euros on a smartphone. On the other hand, we find users with more limited budgets or with fewer needs.
In 2022, especially those who want to make a nice Christmas present, are spoiled for choice. The majority of smartphones launched each year are sold between 200 and 700 euros. And their price does not mean that they meet your needs less. If you have a limited budget, we advise you to read our guide to the best smartphones under 300 euros. If you are ready to invest a little more, here is our selection of the best smartphones under 500 euros.
Top 5 best smartphone under 500 euros 2022 :
- Nothing Phone (1)
- Google Pixel 6a
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- Oppo Find X5 Lite
- Oppo Reno 6
1- Nothing Phone (1)
The most original smartphone under 500 euros
The Nothing Phone (1) was one of the most anticipated smartphones of 2022 and it is likely to be one of the most frequently seen devices under the Christmas tree. The smartphone stands out from the competition with a unique design. The device is available in black or white and in both cases with a transparent back that shows part of its internal components in a particularly aesthetic presentation.
A multitude of lines and curves are covered with LEDs. This allows the smartphone to trigger complex light sequences according to certain events (calls, texts, notifications, etc.). A concept that the brand has called Glyph. At the front there is a 6.55 ” OLED screen with Full HD definition compatible HDR10 +. It supports adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz.
It also has a dual 50 + 50 Mp photo sensor, supplemented by a 16 Mp selfie sensor. The whole thing runs on a rather gaming-oriented Snapdragon 778G+ chip accompanied by 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.
Nothing Phone (1) 8+128 GB at the best price
Base price: €469
Nothing Phone (1) 12+256 GB at the best price
Base price: €549
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2- Google Pixel 6a
The best smartphone under 500 euros for photos
The Pixel 6a is one of the best smartphones under $500 for several reasons. The first is that it offers an exceptional photo experience at this price. The Pixel 6a is indeed capable of taking shots as beautiful as the more high-end models. It uses a dual 12.2 + 12 Mp photo sensor of particularly good quality for this.
The chip is a homemade Google Tensor which allows the device to perform better in everyday scenarios (related to smartphone functionality) as well as increased battery life. From this point of view, the device can last up to 24 hours or even 72 hours thanks to the “extreme” battery saver mode.
Beyond that, it’s a 5G smartphone, with a design as premium as the other Pixel 6 and 7. Especially like all Pixels, it runs on a pure version of the Android system – there is no particular overlay, and any the user experience is centered around Google’s services right out of the box. All this has another advantage: software monitoring, much longer than the competition.
Google Pixel 6a 6+128 GB at the best price
Base price: €459
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3- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
The most balanced smartphone under 500 euros
As you know, the best-selling Samsung smartphones are neither the Galaxy S nor the most expensive and Premium Galaxy Z, but the Galaxy A. And among the latter, all eyes are on the A53 5G, the latest super -brand balancer. For the price offered by Samsung, the services are up to par.
We have a magnificent Infinity-O AMOLED screen with 120 Hz refresh like the most premium ranges. The chip is an Exynos 1280 engraved in 5 nm, which, together with the 5000 battery of the device, delivers a simply exceptional autonomy. The device offers RAM swap space that allows 6 to 8 GB of additional RAM to be dynamically added according to the needs of the most demanding applications.
The photo and video part is pretty good. We have a 64 Mp main sensor with a wide-angle lens (f / 1.8), a 12 Mp sensor with an ultra wide-angle lens (f / 2.2), a 5 Mp sensor for portraits and another 5 Mp for macro photography. On the selfie side, you can count on 32 Mp. It is WiFi 6 and Bliethooth 5.1 compatible and comes with Android 12 (OneUI sauce of course).
4- Oppo Find X5 Lite
The best compact smartphone under 500 euros
The Oppo Find X5 Lite is clearly the least ambitious smartphone in the X5 series. Nevertheless, the manufacturer shows its know-how, to deliver a sound and light show almost as convincing – while cutting a lot of turns.
First, we start with a very good point: the screen of the Find X5 Lite is AMOLED and delivers a refresh rate of 90 Hz (higher than the 60 Hz of the competition). We have a 64 Mp main sensor associated with 8 and 2 Mp more “gadget” sensors which are mainly used from time to time to take beautiful macro photos, or to improve the outline of subjects necessary for the bokeh blur effect.
The selfie sensor is 32 Mp to enhance your Instagram account. It doesn’t have stereo speakers, but is still 5G compatible and packed with cutting-edge technologies like NFC, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.2. In addition, it embeds a fairly powerful chip from MediaTek, the Dimensity 900 5G (instead of the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 + MariSiliconX of the more expensive models.
Oppo Find X5 Lite 8/256 GB at the best price
Base price: €499
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5- Oppo Reno 6
The best smartphone under 500 euros from Oppo
Built around a Snapdragon 730G chip (8 GB of RAM), the Oppo Reno 6 is a convincing 4G smartphone with great features. It features a beautiful 90 Hz AMOLED screen (a notch above the overwhelming majority of smartphones).
The photo part is driven by a 64 Mp main sensor associated with an 8 Mp wide angle, a 2 Mp macro sensor and a 2 Mp depth sensor to improve the Bokeh effect. The selfie sensor is 44 Mp, to seduce your fans on social networks.
It also offers excellent endurance thanks to its 4310 mAh battery compatible with 50W fast charging (SuperVOOC 4.0 technology).
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Conclusion: how to choose the best smartphone under 500 euros
Competition is good. Due to an ultra-saturated market, manufacturers are forced to stand out on the mid-range which corresponds to the selection of this comparison best smartphone under 500 euros. As a result, many models adopt many features that are normally found only on flagships. It is precisely towards these models that we advise you to direct your choice.
A good smartphone in this price bracket is powered by a chip delivering performance close to the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips – like the Snapdragon 778G+. They usually have 5G connectivity and an AMOLED screen that enhances everything on the screen. They also generally have a very efficient fast charging system and a large battery – between 4000 and 6000 mAh – which ensures that you never worry about running out.
These models often have a more efficient selfie photo sensor than on many flagships available in 2022. On the other hand, the main photo sensors are generally well below what is offered on the best smartphones for photos. The materials generally remain premium, but in some cases you may end up with a plastic back. Most brands, especially Chinese ones, do not certify these models for water and dust resistance.
The advantage of having a budget of around 500 euros to buy a smartphone is that you will find excellent options from almost all the major manufacturers. At this price you can even afford a Google Pixel or a Samsung Galaxy. The key to making the right choice is therefore above all to look your needs straight in the eye, and to accept some concessions, provided that these secondary features are not the keys to your overall user experience.
The models in this price range are sometimes smartphones released one or two years ago, we recommend that you consult in parallel with this buying guide, these models on sites offering refurbished models such as Back Market.
Our comparison of the best smartphones under 500 euros ends here. We will update it regularly according to the announcements of the manufacturers. In the meantime, do not hesitate to tell us which model has your preference in the comments area.
OnePlus Nord 2