Best Android phones under $400 in 2022

If you’re looking to get a new phone but want to keep your budget under control, there are a lot of great options on Android. The platform rose meteorically in popularity for many reasons, but one of the core pillars of the Android experience is to deliver a great phone for a price you wouldn’t expect. If you’re looking to spend between $300 and $400 on a new phone, we’ve got some suggestions for how to pick the best Android phones under $400.

However, if you’d like to save a bit more, the best Android phones under $300 (opens in new tab) might be a better place to begin.

What are the best Android phones under $400?

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Best unlocked 5G Android phone under $400

Reasons to buy

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One of the most affordable 5G phones

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Beautiful design

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3.5mm jack, microSD card, and NFC support

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Superb performance and Feature-rich software

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Excellent main camera

Reasons to avoid

No alert slider

Only one Android update

Doesn’t work on Verizon

Forget $400, our best Android phone on this list is actually under $300, retailing for just $282 at T-Mobile and $299 unlocked at Amazon.

What makes the OnePlus Nord N20 5G so good? As the name suggests, it offers 5G connectivity on the T-Mobile network, including some seriously fast speeds that aren’t common in this price range. It also has a much better main camera than we’re used to seeing in phones that cost less than $400.

OnePlus has been honing the Nord style for a few generations now and has stuck to that tried-and-true design that folks love, including putting a gorgeous AMOLED panel on the front. It’s not the brightest display of all time, but the rich colors and deep blacks will still make everything look good.

Inside is the Snapdragon 695 processor, which provides ample performance for nearly anything you can throw at it. It’s not great for more graphics-intensive games like Fortnite, which we found to be stuttery and difficult to play on this phone, but simpler 3D games like Minecraft work just fine here.

OnePlus even included a 3.5mm headphone jack and NFC support, which are two more things not commonly found on phones in this price range. In total, that’s a better processor, better display, 3.5mm jack, microSD card support, and NFC in a phone under $300. That’s amazing, to say the least.

But all those bonuses don’t come with some disadvantages. As we pointed out in our  OnePlus Nord N20 review (opens in new tab), the phone shipped with Android 11 and will only see one more update to Android 12. Considering Android 13 just came out, that puts the phone at a disadvantage right off the bat.

It also doesn’t work at all on Verizon’s network and only connects to AT&T’s 4G LTE network. LTE isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not as fast as 5G. But, so long as you’re not a Verizon customer, this is the best phone you’ll find under $400 right now.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Best mmWave 5G Android phone under $400

Reasons to buy

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Both mmWave and sub-6 5G networks

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Unyielding battery life

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Massive, bright display

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Great mid-range processor

Reasons to avoid

Only works with Verizon

Average cameras

Only 4GB of RAM

For folks on Verizon that can’t use the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, you can pick up the Verizon-exclusive Samsung Galaxy A42 instead!

Samsung’s Galaxy S series gets the most buzz and attention as the go-to lineup of Galaxy phones, but they’re far from the only ones the company makes. If you’re eager to get your hands on a robust mid-range phone with Samsung’s special touch, check out the Galaxy A42 5G.

As we noted in our Galaxy A42 5G review (opens in new tab), this phone has decently powerful specs for this price bracket. Its 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display is very easy to read even in direct sunlight. It has the same Snapdragon 750G chipset as the more expensive Galaxy A52 5G (opens in new tab). Its battery life rivals the Moto G Power, lasting our reviewer multiple days with active use. Outside of its merely average cameras, the A42 5G never let us down.

What makes the A42 5G unique in the U.S. is that it’s a Verizon-exclusive phone, giving you access to its Ultra Wideband network (opens in new tab) with both mmWave and sub-6 5G bands. Plenty of 5G phones just have sub-6, including the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. So if you use Verizon and live in the right area to take advantage, the A42 5G will prove an affordable game-changer.

If you don’t use Verizon, then the A52 5G is an excellent upgrade, with a 120Hz screen, more RAM, better cameras, and water resistance at just $399.

Nokia 5.4

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Best pure Android phone under $400

Reasons to buy

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Android One software is clean and simple

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Guaranteed software update future

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Quad-camera system

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Sleek hardware with interesting colors

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Big screen and suitably large battery

Reasons to avoid

Slow fingerprint scanner

No official waterproofing or wireless charging

Like the 7.2, the Nokia 5.4 offers a clean version of Android with practically no bloatware and a promise of two years of software updates, including three years of monthly security patches. While certainly not the most powerful or feature-packed phone on this list, it is more than capable of handling most of your daily tasks, from web browsing to social media to video consumption.

The big upgrade from its predecessor, the Nokia 5.3, is in its cameras. The primary sensor made a massive jump from 13MP in the 5.3 to 48MP in the 5.4. In addition, Nokia’s AI and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 allow for a snappy camera app experience, with good colors and cinematic video recording.

The other three cameras didn’t appear to change much from the 5.3, at least on paper. You still get a 2MP depth camera, a 2MP macro camera, a 5MP ultra-wide camera, and a 16MP selfie camera. You can take or leave the 2MP shooters, but our testing found the 5MP ultra-wide very usable. Sometimes the shots could appear a little washed out, but that was nothing that a basic touchup in Google Photos couldn’t fix. All in all, we were very pleased with these cameras — especially for the price.

Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Moto G Stylus (2022)

Best phone under $400 with a stylus

Reasons to buy

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2 to 3-day battery life

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Built-in stylus

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90Hz display

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Clean software with great features

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Has a headphone jack

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3 years of security updates

Reasons to avoid

No NFC for Google Pay

Only one promised Android update

Menial performance

No 5G

Motorola’s Moto G phones often represent some of the best values the Android landscape has to offer, and that’s no different with the Moto G Stylus (2022). Motorola updated this year’s baseline Stylus model with a higher refresh rate display, a new design, and some seriously amazing battery life. To be clear, this is a different phone from the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) (opens in new tab), which is a higher-end, more expensive phone with 5G connectivity.

The performance of the processor could be a bit better, but it’s hard to argue with the price Moto sells this phone at. You’ll also be getting a 90Hz display, which helps the phone feel smoother and a bit faster than it actually might be.

As always, Motorola packs the Moto G Stylus (2022) with its My UX features, including those fantastic gestures like double-chop to toggle the flashlight, or double-twist to launch the camera. It’s also got a 3.5mm headphone jack and a surprisingly good main camera on the back. There’s no NFC and only one Android OS update (to Android 12), but three years of security updates mean you should be covered from potential digital threats for the lifetime of the phone.

TCL 20S

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

TCL 20S

Best battery life phone under $400

Reasons to buy

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Crisp and vibrant display

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5,000 mAh battery

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Has an NFC chip

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Improved primary camera

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Very fast processor for the price

Reasons to avoid

No 5G

No official IP water-resistance rating

There’s no denying just how good of a phone the Pixel 4a is, but it may cost more than you were hoping to spend; plus, plenty of people will want a larger phone. In either case, you owe it to yourself to consider the TCL 20S. Hands down, it has some of the best specs and features you’ll find in this price bracket.

For starters, the TCL 20S has an excellent display. It’s a 6.67-inch Full HD+ LCD panel, with its secret weapon being TCL’s NXTVISION technology. This allows for a sharper image and more vibrant colors, creating a great canvas for games, movies, and more. 

The internals for the TCL 20S are just as great, with the phone offering good performance, 128GB of expandable storage, and a large 5,000 mAh battery. Its 64MP main sensor dramatically improves the 48MP shooter on the 10L, and the 20S is guaranteed to get updated to Android 12.

We’re happy that the TCL 20S includes an NFC chip, which allows for contactless Google Pay payments, and you can also summon the Google Assistant via a dedicated key. It’s available in two gorgeous colors, North Star Blue and Milky Way Black. It will be updated to Android 12 and should get security updates through mid-2023.

Our TCL 20S review (opens in new tab) praised the phone for its stylish design, long-lasting battery life, clean Android 11 software, and audio features. He was much less bullish on its 60Hz display, last-gen Snapdragon 662 chipset, and lack of 5G or water resistance. However, for the price these days, it’s actually a great performer.

Redmi Note 10 Pro

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Best international Android phone under $400

Reasons to buy

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AMOLED looks very good

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5,050 mAh battery is ginormous

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Fast and reliable performance

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Tons of RAM and storage

Reasons to avoid

Quirks of owning an international phone

We’d like to highlight that another one isn’t officially available in the U.S., but can still be found on some marketplaces. We’ve long been fans of the Redmi Note series. The 10 Pro is just the latest in that line. It’s another outstanding piece of tech that delivers a phenomenal experience at an even better price.

Looking at the spec sheet, the Note 10 Pro has a lot going for it. The phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 5,050 mAh battery — even bigger than the one found on the Moto G Power. It also has a large 6.67-inch AMOLED with slim bezels, along with four cameras on the back.

Similar to the Galaxy A52, the Redmi Note 10 Pro has similar international quirks. Not only does it lack a U.S. warranty, but Xiaomi’s custom Android interface also takes some getting used to. Plus, the device only works on GSM networks, so you’re out of luck if you are on Verizon. Assuming you’re fine with those things, however, this is one heck of a deal.

Options galore

The sub-$400 market is both extremely competitive and a little confusing, but there have never been more options in this price point among the best Android phones (opens in new tab) readily available.

Overall, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is the best Android phone under $400. It has feature-rich software with lots of features, and it’s a great overall performer with solid battery life. The camera is better than most in its class, and it has a gorgeous AMOLED display, NFC support for mobile payments, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and even supports microSD cards. It’s like a love note to fans who have been asking for these features in one phone without breaking the bank. It’s just a shame it doesn’t work on Verizon at all.

Instead, Verizon customers should seriously consider the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G. At $399 (or less), it has great 5G connectivity, Samsung’s feature-rich software, a Snapdragon 750G processor that absolutely flies, and battery life that rivals the old Moto G Power from 2020.

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