When we think about buying a smartphone and the budget is a priority, in many cases we tend to buy something close to 200 dollars, where we have good options from which to choose. ¿What happens when we can spend a little more, say, up to 500? What happens is that if we make a bit of research we can find really good devices for a reduced price.
One of the characteristics of the smartphone market is that their prices go down very fast. In some cases, we’ve seen how in a few months prices have dropped 30 or 40%. This drops in prices open a market not so well known, but very interesting for the ones willing to roll up their sleeves and search for offers, because, even though some of devices are a year old, they are good options if our budget can take it.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Last year’s Korean flagship, slim vertical edges, great camera, metallic body and the necessary specifications for this device to give a great performance. It hasn’t aged badly, you can only notice its age in the design: the reduced borders aren’t too seductive, but if this doesn’t matter you can find it for 488 USD in Amazon.
If having the latest device is not important to you, this is one of the best options on the list. The only bad thing is that being the german version, it doesn’t have Samsung Pay but it has the same two year guarantee, so if you have any trouble with it, you won’t have any problems at the time of repairing it. You can read the analysis we made when it launched here.
Let’s keep going, with one of the surprises on the list. Yes, the first LG flagship of 2017 is already at an incredible price. Fine edges, good camera and although the panel is not the best of the year, it’s an Android you should consider. Also, keep in mind it will upgrade shortly to Oreo. You can buy it on Amazon for 481 USD. It’s not as nice as the LG V30 but it’s still an excellent option.
The smartphone has a complete guarantee and will not lose any feature. When it launched we analyzed it and it was an Android we really liked, but it was quickly overshadowed by the other new devices coming to the market. Sometimes, being the first one doesn’t mean it’s the best, but it does mean we will see it cheaper a couple months later, not bad.
Lenovo Moto Z
Lenovo’s first strong bet for the magnetic modules. It’s a smartphone that is already a year old but its specifications still give a good performance. Besides, having a lighter software layer allows some other weaker spots such as the RAM memory. Still, seeing it on Amazon at 358 USD makes us wonder if we shouldn’t go back to the 200 range.
The Moto Mods are a very smart way of enlarging the smartphone capabilities. Here we will not find offers and the prices almost haven’t dropped. Take this into consideration before buying, because even the base price is attractive, exploiting all the potential in the Moto Z will require a bit more of an investment. To clear up any doubts, here you have our analysis.
This smartphone had one of the best prices of the Black Friday and it seems like the offer is still running since it’s on Amazon for 446 USD with a full guarantee. Together with the Galaxy S7, this is one of the most interesting offers on this list, also the Honor 9 is a device from this year. ¿What does it offer? Flagship specifications with a well-built metallic body.
This device isn’t the leader in any category but it performs well. We won’t have the best camera but in most situations it will take good pictures. The fact that it has fast charging is an incentive, if we move a lot and don’t always have time to charge it for many hours. If you want to know more, here is our analysis.
Huawei can’t help lowering its prices and even though the Honor phones, which are from Huawei, tend to be the primary beneficiaries of the offers, the Huawei P10 already has a price for the smaller pockets. We have found it at 488 USD on Amazon.
This year, the Chinese company bets again on photography and includes the Leica technology as its main player. With a good result and price, it’s hard to find better options. Metallic body, many additional applications and 3.200 mAh of battery guarantee a day of intensive usage. You can find everything you need to know to buy this device in our analysis.
2016 OnePlus’ flagship has aged graciously and yes, this year’s model comes with interesting upgrades, but that doesn’t mean you should discard the 3T. Metallic body, a good screen, excellent autonomy and Android 8.0 Oreo updates in beta phase available for everyone soon.
You can find it in GearBest for 408 USD. Be careful with the shipping and custom expenses. You can read our complete review here. The only bad thing about this device is the camera, here you can notice how time has passed. However, in favorable light scenarios it allows you to take good pictures.
Xiaomi Mi 5s
The Mi phones with a number in front are the Xiaomi flagships and curiously each year are one of the mobile phones which drops in price most rapidly. They are a good combination of cutting-edge specifications, high-quality materials and the latest version of MIUI, even if to find the best price we have to search in online stores in Asia.
We searched in GearBest to find one for 303 euros, and at this price, it’s hard to resist. It has its shortcomings, but at this price it’s hard to find better options. If we don’t mind waiting a little and being charged a little in customs, it’s a highly-recommended option. You can read our analysis here.
Xiaomi Mi 6
The Mi 5s served as a transitional phone until a more complete renovation came out a few months later. The Mi 6 is the flagship of this year, and as we saw in our analysis, it is a competitive device that now doesn’t only stand out for its price, it also offers many high-quality specifications, although it does have some compromises, for example in its weight.
In its day, it came out with a very aggressive price, but now that some months have passed and we have it for 378 euros on GearBest, that makes it a highly-recommended option if our budget is closer to 400 euros. If you have it in mind to buy as a Christmas gift, it’s best to go ahead and prepare a greeting card, because it’s possible that it won’t arrive on time.
ZTE Axon 7
ZTE tends to give us interesting devices every once in a while, and the Axon 7 is a perfect example. Powerful, well-constructed and with specifications that offer a very competitive performance. Curiously, the company didn’t go ahead with this range, and maybe for that reason we can find the Axon 7 at such a good price.
On Amazon we have found them for 349 euros, and even though it isn’t the best option on the list, at that price and remembering that we have deliveries and a warranty from Spain, it’s worth it. The only snag I find is that, since it is a device that ZTE has turned its back on, it’s very unlikely that we will find software updates for it in the coming months.
What is the trick that makes them so cheap?
How is it possible for a mobile phone to lose half its value in a year? Is there some problem with buying an Android phone that old? Are they a rip-off? Let’s look at this in parts. Regarding the first question, smartphones are replaced at a very fast rate, and since everyone likes the newest things, the manufacturers and the stores make an economic effort through promotions and sales to get rid of the older models and not have them in a warehouse collecting dust.
There’s not a lot of mystery to it: mobile phones lose their value very quickly, and it’s easy to find models from a few years ago at very reduced prices.
The only real problem that we’ll face in buying an older mobile phone is software updates. The manufacturers tend to quickly forget about the old devices and it’s very likely, depending on the company, that we won’t receive the latest version of Android. We always have the home-made ROMs, but configuring them and starting them up requires some previous knowledge.
The warranty is processed the same as with any new mobile phone, we have two years as long as we buy it in Spain or in any store in the European Union. In the case of China we have only one year and we have to process it through the store from which we bought it.
Whenever we select offers from online stores we make sure they are reliable sites that we use to buy other devices, so you can go to them with confidence. Since the prices change very quickly, it’s possible that if you see this article months after its publication the price may be out of date. Let’s hope that means you will find a better deal.