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Is the Samsung Galaxy A15 the best cheap smartphone? – Which? News



Gone are the days where you’d have to spend a small fortune to get a good phone. You won’t get every bell and whistle if you buy a cheaper model but, provided you choose carefully, you won’t be disappointed. 

The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G is one of the cheapest phones on the market and one of the most popular. 

Launching at £199, it costs a lot less than most smartphones but still manages to pack a lot of features in. Read on to find out if the A15 is the phone for you, and check out more cheap models for less than £250.

Our expert guide to the Best smartphones to buy in 2024 has all you need to find the perfect pick.

Samsung Galaxy A15 on test

The A15 might be a budget phone, but it doesn’t look like one – boasting a large screen, thin build, and triple rear-camera system. 

It has a decent number of upgrades even though it has launched for £20 less than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

This includes a higher-spec 6.5-inch AMOLED display with sharp 1080 x 2340 pixel-resolution. Its brightness can reach 800 nits and it has a 90Hz refresh rate. This means the image on screen updates 90 times per second to reduce how much the screen jitters. 

Plus it starts from double the storage available in the A14, at 128GB, and you can expand on this later with an SD card if you need to.

The rear cameras include a 50Mp main camera combined with a 5Mp ultra-wide camera to widen the view that the camera captures, and a new 5Mp macro camera to improve the clarity of close-up shots. The more limited 13Mp front-facing camera sits subtly at the top of the screen.

Samsung claims that its large 5,000 mAh battery can last two days before you need to find its charger again. 

You have three colours to choose from: blue/ black, light blue, or yellow for something a bit more colourful.

Our lab tests put the A15’s features through its paces, from a rigorous real-world test of battery life, to judging the camera quality in 10 different shooting environments. 

Which? verdict: expert lab test results

Which? members can log in to see our expert verdict on the Samsung Galaxy A15 and read our full Samsung Galaxy A15 5G review to see all the details, including our lab test star ratings. Not yet a member? Join Which? now to get instant access.

Compare Sim-free prices below.

Want to spend even less? The Samsung Galaxy A15 is also available without 5G. It’s very similar to the 5G version, but it doesn’t have all the camera features or a gyroscope for the most accurate location tracking. Read our Samsung Galaxy A15 4G review for more details. Buy it from the retailers below.

Which? Great Value phones are the phones that impressed in our tests and are at least 20% cheaper than the average phone.

Other cheap phones for under £250

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G

Samsung Galaxy A25

When you look one step up from the Samsung Galaxy A15, you’ll find the Galaxy A25 5G. The 6.5-inch screen’s resolution, high brightness and top 120Hz content refresh rate are impressive for a phone of this price. This should make scrolling and browsing quick and buttery smooth.

The back is equipped with three camera lenses: a 50Mp main camera, 8Mp ultra-wide camera and 2Mp macro sensors. Inside is an Exynos 1280 processor coupled with 6GB of Ram, and it has a large 5,000mAh battery.

You can see the best prices we’ve found below or compare contract deals. Which? members can check out our full Samsung A25 5G review.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 13

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 doesn’t have 5G for the highest data transfer speeds, but it has other perks. The main camera on the back has a very high resolution at 108Mp. This is complemented by a 8Mp ultra-wide lens and 2Mp macro lens. The front holds a large 6.67-inch OLED display with 1,080 x 2,400 resolution and particularly fast 120Hz refresh rate.

It has a large battery and modern Snapdragon 685 processor.

You can buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 from the retailers below, or find out all the pros and cons in our full, expert Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 review

Motorola moto G84 5G

Motorola moto g84 5G

This mid-range phone from Motorola comes with a generous 256GB of memory. It has a thin and sleek design, weighing just 168 grams. 

It has a 6.5-inch, 2,400 x 1,080 resolution screen and is fuelled by a Snapdragon 695 chipset with 4GB of Ram. It’s another reasonably-priced phone with a sizeable 5,000 mAh battery. It has 5G too – helpful for future proofing your phone’s connections. 

Check prices below or find out how its cameras and more performed in the lab in our Motorola moto g84 5G review.

Thinking about switching brands? Find out which are more likely to stay fault-free in our guide to which mobile phone brand to buy in 2024 

When should you spend more on a mobile phone?

choosing a phone

While it’s now entirely possible to get great phones for less, there are still benefits to spending a bit more on a mobile. Here’s what you can expect at different price points.

Lower-range phones: £100-£300

Some of the best technology from phones in recent years is already filtering down into cheaper devices. There are plenty that are easy to use, running on the latest software, and are solid enough to handle everyday stresses.

Cheaper phones traditionally have the best battery lives, and many still live up to this promise.

The most common compromise on these phones is camera quality. Pictures might not be brought into focus very well, and we’ve seen some video software looks jittery. But many are still likely to give you decent non-specialist snaps.

See all of our mobile phone reviews £100 to £300

Mid-range phones: £300-£600

The best mid-range phones are great all-rounders with comfortable battery lives. However, we’ve noticed that a lot of them seem to have first-class screens nowadays as well. It’s also possible to find fast charge models that fully charge in less than 20 minutes.

Cameras are likely to be higher quality in this price range, but can vary, so be sure to check out our reviews for the best that don’t scrimp on performance.

Our mobile phone reviews £300 to £600

Premium phones: £600+

If you want the finest cameras with adaptable modes, you’ll need to opt for a premium phone. The best cameras make easy work of brightening pictures taken in the dark, or keeping them crystal clear when you zoom in. You’ll also get a high-resolution screen with buttery-smooth browsing. You can set the screens to be incredibly bright, making them easy to read – even in direct sunlight.

Cameras aside, you also have to pay the big bucks if you want a phone with a foldable screen. Samsung might be on its fifth generation of its Galaxy Z Flip and Fold phones, but they’ve actually gone up in price this year, rather than down.

Though premium phones are very expensive, they are usually given the longest security update periods. So if you’re happy to keep your phone for longer, this can help spread out the cost of a pricey device over time.

Our mobile phone reviews £600+

See all of our mobile phone reviews to find the perfect phone for you at the right price.

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