Smartphones You Should Buy for Less than $400

Published on November 16, 2016

When Apple dropped the iPhone 7 recently, the overall reaction from the public was, largely, “meh.” That collective shrug wasn’t just due to some weird design choices by Apple (although, really, no headphone jack? What?), but because of a new truth for the mobile marketplace: The flagship smartphone is dying.

Samsung and Apple aren’t the only games in town anymore! Instead, consumers looking for a powerful phone at an affordable price have more options available than ever before.

The reality is that we long ago left the era of the “dumb” phone behind; every model released today – and for the foreseeable future – is simply playing variations on a theme. Why shell out big bucks for a gargantuan brand name when there are countless other devices on the market, offering largely the same features and specs, often for just a fraction of the price of the “name” brand?

Think of the mobile market like a grocery store: Sure, Heinz ketchup is delicious. But there are also store brand products that give you the same flavors for a much lower price, alongside small artisan brands that offer newer, less-cookie cutter spins on the classic sauce. When it comes time to serve your family dinner, all of them will be great! You can’t really go wrong! More importantly, knowing that you had options, and that you made the right choice for your singular tastes and budget, will make that bottle even sweeter.

OK, so we got a little derailed with that metaphor (it’s pretty close to lunchtime); let’s get back to talking tech! When it comes time to make your next smartphone purchase, think outside the box. Need some inspiration to get started? Here are four powerful mobile phones offering cutting edge features for less than $400:

ZTE Axon 7

Retailing for just less than $400, the Axon 7 “looks and performs like phones that cost nearly twice as much,” according to PC Mag. The big draw for the Axon 7? It’s the perfect phone for audiophiles, boasting high quality speakers and some of the best sound reproduction around, along with a bright screen, top-of-the-line processor, and what PC Mag calls a “premium metal design.”

OnePlus 3

CNET calls this the “perfect midprice phone,” and the avid OnePlus users in our office would be hard-pressed to disagree. It offers a gorgeous body, a very quick-charging battery, and a powerful processor, on top of remarkable customization options, including specialized buttons and screen-off gestures.

Asus ZenFone 3

Care about capturing high quality, realistic images on the go? Asus bills the ZenFone as the smartphone “built for photography;” critics love its glass and metal chassis, and the writers over at Mobile Geeks swooned for its “laser auto focus” and other camera features.

Nokia Lumia 830

For Windows geeks looking for the feel and function of their Microsoft laptop or tablet on a mobile device, the Lumia is the perfect fit – particularly for the price point. Other selling points? Business Insider raves over the device’s “exceptionally sharp” screen and wireless inductive charging capabilities.

Have any other devices you think we should check out? We’re always ready to talk tech! Sound off on your favorites over on Facebook and Twitter!

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