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 2021, they 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 :
- OnePlus Nord 2
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- Google Pixel 4a 5G
- Oppo Find X5 Lite
OnePlus Nord 2
The best smartphone under 500 euros that has everything a top of the range
After focusing its strategy on the premium segment, OnePlus returned to fundamentals last year. With the OnePlus Nord, the manufacturer undoubtedly offered the best smartphone under 500 euros. Marketed at 399 euros when it was released, the Nord shipped almost everything that was expected of a high-end smartphone for a contained price. Obviously, OnePlus is very proud of its work and launched the Nord 2, its successor, in June 2021.
Behind its polished design and its sublime 90 Hz AMOLED screen, the Nord 2 hides a Mediatek Dimensity 1200 chip. The smartphone does honor to the reputation of its predecessors and displays excellent autonomy. OnePlus ships it with a fast charger Warp Charge 65 W to recharge the smartphone to 70% in just a few minutes.
If he is not the best in photography, he does not have to be ashamed of his talents. Its trio of lenses (wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, macro) associated with a monochrome ensure a certain versatility. Its only weakness lies in the average quality of night photos, but a marked improvement compared to the first Nord of the name.
Other sacrifices made by the brand include the lack of waterproofing and wireless charging. Small defects that we accept without flinching as the OnePlus Nord 2 is attractive. The most interesting model of this comparison, no doubt.
2- Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro
The best smartphone under 500 euros in terms of compromises
These are undoubtedly the real stars of 2022. The Redmi Note 11 Pro 4G broadly take up the characteristics of the Redmi 11. We have a beautiful 6.67″ AMOLED screen compatible with the 120 Hz refresh rate which gives a real fresher, more responsive and modern user experience, a MediaTek Helio G96 chip that outperforms the Snapdragon 680 chip, combined with 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of internal storage.
The model offers the neatest set of photo sensors in the range. There is a 108 Mp main sensor to enhance your photos with technologies such as pixel binning. The selfie sensor offers 16 Mp. The smartphone also exists in a 5G version. The chip then switches to an even more powerful, and less energy-consuming Snapdragon 695 – in other words, the smartphone holds the same battery slightly longer with this chip.
In any case, Xiaomi has integrated a particularly generous battery into these models. All compatible with 67W fast charging – count less than 30 minutes for a full charge.
3- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
The best 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- Google Pixel 4a 5G
The best smartphone under 500 euros for photography
After the excellent Pixel 3a, Google launched the Pixel 4a and then the Pixel 4a 5G. If both deserve their place in this top, our choice fell on the 5G version for obvious reasons of durability. Indeed, the Pixel 4a 5G embeds, like the OnePlus Nord, a Snapdragon 765G chip, more powerful than that of the Pixel 4a.
Always clad in plastic, the 4a 5G displays a beautiful 6.2-inch OLED screen, it is as such the largest of the Pixel family. With this smartphone Google confirms above all its know-how in the optimization of mid-range chips. The Pixel 4a 5G displays a autonomy of almost two days and fully recharges in 1h30.
Of course, the real originality of this model lies in its photo module. Google opts for a double module (wide-angle and ultra wide-angle) which could seem very light compared to the competition.
And yet. Thanks to the American’s expertise in algorithm development, the Pixel 4a 5G wins the title of king of the photo. It even rivals the Pixel 5, Google’s top model, equipped with the same photographic equipment.
Of course, Google has to sacrifice a few features to contain the costs. Also the Pixel 4a 5G is not not certified waterproof and is not compatible with wireless charging, like the OnePlus Nord. But for 499 euros, these small flaws are more than acceptable. As far as we are concerned, the Pixel 4a 5G is our little darling.
5- 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.
6- 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).
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 888 chips – like the MediaTek Dimensity 1200. They usually have 5G connectivity and an AMOLED screen that enhances everything displayed on the screen. ‘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 an iPhone SE, 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.