October 1, 2020

Best phones under £500 in the UK (June 2020)

Don't want to spend £1,000 on an overpriced flagship? Here are the best smartphones under £500 in the UK.

Pixel 3a back camera macro - best phones under £500

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

There are a lot of great phones on UK store shelves today, but many either cost £800 or more to buy outright or are tied to expensive two-year contracts. That might be a way to get hold of the latest and greatest, but it’s certainly not for everyone. These days you don’t have to spend a fortune to pick up a great handset.

Read more: Where to buy phones in the UK | Best UK mobile network

So if you’re looking for a more reasonably priced phone under £500, this guide has you covered. Here are the best phones under £500 in the UK!

Best phones under £500:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best phones under £500 regularly as new mid-range devices launch.


1. OnePlus 7T

OnePlus 7T camera macro - best phones under £500

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The OnePlus 7T delivers all the power of a £1,000 phone for half the price and strikes a great balance between the affordable simplicity of previous OnePlus flagship killers and its flagship “Pro� range.

A gorgeous 6.55-inch, 90Hz AMOLED display, an impressive triple camera, 8GB of RAM and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and much more. Put simply, the OnePlus 7T is a beast of a phone and the OxygenOS software experience is up there with the best.

Read more: Umm, is the $499 OnePlus 7T a better choice than the OnePlus 8 series?

While the retail price is £549, the launch of the OnePlus 8 means you’ll regularly find its predecessor under the magic £500 mark, and it’s worth every penny.

With the OnePlus 8 series leaping up in price, here’s hoping the long-rumored OnePlus Z can once again bring the Chinese brand back below £500.


OnePlus 7T specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855 Plus
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Rear camera: 48, 8, and 16MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 3,800mAh
  • Software: Android 10


2. Realme X2 Pro

Realme X2 Pro rear quad camera assembly - best phones under £500

Android Authority’s Best of Android 2019 winner, the Realme X2 Pro is a no brainer in the sub-£500 category.

Realme’s 2019 flagship rivals (and often betters) the OnePlus 7T in terms of power and features. For just £419 you get four rear cameras, a sizable 4,000mAh battery and 60W fast charging, a 6.5-inch 90Hz AMOLED display, and blistering performance thanks to the Snapdragon 855 Plus.

The ColorOS skin won’t please everyone, but you’ll struggle to find a better phone under £500.

Realme also has another contender in the sub-£500 category with the Realme X3 Superzoom which goes for £469. The display drops AMOLED for LCD, but gets an upgrade to 120Hz and the titular zoom capabilities are slightly improved, but the lack of a headphone jack and slower charging puts the X2 Pro ahead in our opinion.


Realme X2 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855 Plus
  • RAM: 6, 8, and 12GB
  • Storage: 64, 128, and 256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0


3. Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a XL on Table - best phones under £500

What if you could get all of the great features of a Google Pixel phone for less than £500? Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

These “lite� Pixel 3 phones have an almost identical camera to their premium siblings. Not only is the image quality phenomenal for a mid-range phone, you also get Night Sight, Super Res Zoom, Portrait mode, and other Pixel exclusive features.

Related: Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you?

The Pixel 3a and the larger Pixel 3a XL also have headphone jacks, Active Edge for quick Google Assistant access, and a guaranteed three years of updates to Google’s ultra-clean software.

Even with the Pixel 4a due this year, the Pixel 3a series is still one of the best mid-rangers ever.

The Pixel 3a is priced at just £399, but if you want a slightly larger screen you can spend a little extra on the Pixel 3a XL for £469.


Google Pixel 3a specs:

  • Display: 5.6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear cameras: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10


Google Pixel 3a XL specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear cameras: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 10


4. Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 in hand outside - best phones under £500

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

While Xiaomi’s main Mi series shifts towards the premium end of the market, its Note series still offers bleeding-edge tech at an affordable price.

The Mi Note 10‘s headline feature is the 108MP camera which delivers spectacular results. That’s just one of five (five!) rear cameras that add up to make one of the most versatile camera phones you can buy.

Read more: Xiaomi Mi Note 10 camera review: The first 108MP phone camera

Despite the mid-tier chipset, the Mi Note 10 is still a capable performer. It also offers stellar battery life and has a headphone jack.

If you want an affordable Xiaomi phone with a little more power then keep an eye out for the Poco F2 Pro. It’s technically over £500 but the £29 extra gets you Qualcomm’s leading Snapdragon 865 chipset and a bunch of other obscene specs for a budget device.


Xiaomi Mi Note 10 specs:

  • Display: 6.47-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 730G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Rear cameras: 108, 12, 5, 20, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,260mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie


5. Samsung Galaxy A90 5G

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G and black front and back - best phones under £500

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Affordable 5G phones are on the way, but right now if you live in a 5G zone in the UK and want the fastest data speeds you need to pay a premium. The big exception to that is the Galaxy A90 5G.

Samsung’s A series is home to a bunch of great phones. The Galaxy A71 is another solid choice, but the A90 5G is a little better and now regularly sells for under £500.

The Galaxy A90 5G features a massive 6.7-inch AMOLED display, a huge 4,500mAh battery, three rear cameras, and 128GB storage plus a MicroSD slot.


Samsung Galaxy A90 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


6. Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Apple iPhone SE 2020 - best phones under £500Apple

Source: Apple

Yes, that’s right, one of the best phones under £500 you can buy is an iPhone. What bizarre times we live in.

The iPhone SE is a strange phone that takes the (kind of outdated) form factor of 2017’s iPhone 8 and packs it with top-end specs.

Read more: Tested: Is a $400 iPhone SE really faster than the most powerful Android phone?

While you lose out of Face ID and gesture controls and have to live with a small 1,812mAh battery, a singular camera lens, and a sub-1080p display, the iPhone SE packs in Apple’s flagship A13 Bionic chipset, as well as premium-tier features such as water resistance, and wireless charging.

If you’re OS agnostic and want to make the jump to iOS, there’s no cheaper option than the iPhone SE (2020) at just £399.


Apple iPhone SE specs:

  • Display: 4.7-inch, HD
  • SoC: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12MP
  • Front camera: 7MP
  • Battery: 1,821mAh
  • Software: iOS 13


If you’re looking for the best phones under £500, these are some of the best options you will find in the UK. If you want to spend even less, check out our guide to the best phones under £200 and under £300. We’ll add more phones as new devices become available.

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