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Top 5 Smartphones Under £500 for 2021

During the 2000s, several manufacturers such as Blackberry, Nokia and Microsoft started playing with what could be done with the mobile phone in order to try and gain a greater percentage of the market. Models began to be developed which featured QWERTY keyboards or touchscreens for device input. Other features included push email and connectivity to wireless internet. When Apple joined the fray in the late 2000s things began to really take off with lots of new features and above all a move towards ensuring the aesthetics of the device were almost as important as functionality with phones becoming ever thinner whilst at the same time boasting bigger, brighter screens and better battery life.

This trend has continued with the likes of Samsung and Apple fighting it out for dominance of the smartphone market. With the best of the best coming in at well over £1000, such handsets are not within the reach of everyone and so in this article we take a look at the top 5 smartphones that come in under £500.

1. Apple iPhone SE

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The thing about the Apple iPhone SE is that you get the performance and features that resemble the top of the range phones from arguable one of the coolest manufacturers on the planet for about a third of the price. So, if you are considering upgrading your phone to one which puts you in the elite class, then you need to consider the Apple iPhone SE.

iPhone SE


  • 4.7-inch retina HD display
  • Water-resistant (1m for 30 minutes)
  • Dust resistant
  • 12MP camera
    • Portrait mode
    • Portrait lighting
    • Depth control
    • 4k video
  • 7MP front camera
    • Portrait mode
    • Portrait lighting
    • Depth control
  • Touch ID
  • Apple Pay
  • A13 Bionic chip
  • Fast charge
  • Wireless charge.

As you can see from the list above, the Apple iPhone SE is feature-packed and has the processing power to back up its claims as it comes complete with the A13 Bionic chip which is the same one that powers the iPhone 11 Pro, so that you can do truly magical things whether that be recording stereo audio, recording video in 4k, run the latest augmented reality apps or share audio. Upgrading to the iPhone SE will not be a disappointment.

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2. OnePlus Nord

The OnePlus Nord is a mid-range smartphone which is powered by the acclaimed Snapdragon 765G processor so that it can produce crystal clear images and run your favourite apps.

OnePlus Nord


  • 6.44 inch 90 Hz AMOLED display
  • Four rear cameras with 48MP primary rear sensor
    • Optical image stabilisation
    • 8MP ultra-wide-angle
    • 5MP depth
    • 2MP macro camera
  • Two front cameras with 32MP primary front sensor
    • 8MP ultra-wide-angle
  • 5G
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Charge in 30 minutes
  • Whole day battery life
  • Gesture navigations
  • Alexa built-in
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3. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is considered the budget smartphone of Samsung’s range, but it feels and behaves like anything but a budget handset as it still comes packed with features and performance.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE


  • Range of colour finishes
  • Infinity-O display
  • 6.5 inch full-HD
  • Pro-grade triple lens camera
    • Wide-angle
    • Ultra-wide-angle
    • 3x optical zoom
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4. Xiaomi MI 10T Lite 5G

The Xiaomi MI 10T Lite 5G is a lot of handset for less money than most of the competition. It boasts a respectable battery life, good storage and is 5G ready, which some of its competitors are not.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G


  • 64MP AI quad camera
    • Ultra-wide-angle
    • Landscape
    • Portrait mode
    • Macro mode
  • 5G Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 G processor
  • 6.67-inch FHD+ dot display
  • 120Hz display for smooth scrolling
  • 4820 mAh battery
  • USB-C with 33W fast-charging
  • 16MP selfie camera
  • Side-mounted finger sensor.
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5. Google Pixel 4a

The Google Pixel 4a is a feature packed smartphone at an affordable price from a trusted brand which comes with most of the things that you would expect of a modern-day handset enabling you to do more but costing less than you would expect.

Google Pixel 4a Smartphone


  • 24-hour battery life
  • Live HDR+
  • Night Sight
  • Portrait mode
  • Super resolution zoom
  • Google assistant built in
  • Speech transcription for audio recordings
  • Google personal safety app
  • Always on display option.

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