Samsung is largely considered to be a leader in the smartphone industry, offering one of the best Android phones overall, but when it comes to finding the best Samsung phones on a budget, there are quite a few options. With options such as the Galaxy A32 5G, you're getting a modern design and reliable hardware. These are the best of the best when it comes to Samsung phones you can get for under $300 in 2022.
Don't spend more! These are the best budget Samsung phones
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Best overall budget Samsung phone
Excellent spec sheet
Brilliant battery life
Four rear-mounted cameras
Dual-SIM support with 5G support
Expandable memory up to 1TB
No official water-resistance rating
60Hz TFT LCD panel isn't very good
Ships with a lot of bloatware
If you want a flagship-level experience without paying flagship prices, then the Galaxy A32 5G is perfect. This handset has up to 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage that can be expanded up to 1TB, a side-mounted fingerprint reader, and four cameras capable of handling many different shots. It shares a lot of similarities in design to the fantastic Galaxy A52, making it a solid choice.
Perhaps even more exciting than the quad-camera setup is the 5,000mAh battery. This huge battery combined with the mid-range MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G chipset provides you with up to 20 hours of battery life or more, depending on your usage.
On the downside, you'll be forced to use boring old wired charging, as there's no wireless charging available with the A32 5G. Samsung also opted not to include an official IP rating for water or dust resistance, so you won't be able to take this for a swim. Plus, you'll have to settle for a lesser TFT LCD panel as opposed to the sublime 90Hz AMOLED on the international variant.
Samsung Galaxy A03s
Best first-time smartphone
Ships with Android 11
Fingerprint sensor on the side
32GB of base storage
3GB of RAM
Dull, laggy performance
The Galaxy A03s is a step above the bottom of the barrel with its 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display. Meanwhile, it retains the classic smartphone design of the screen, bezels, without the home button. The Galaxy A03s is something that will appeal to those who don't want the latest and greatest, but just something that looks familiar from Samsung.
Samsung did make it possible to expand the base storage with the help of a microSD card. There is also a 5MP front camera, with a triple-camera system with a primary 13MP lens paired with 2MP depth and macro sensors, which aim to provide decent photos while you're out and about. You get all the basics of a budget phone: a large battery, USB-C charging, a fingerprint scanner, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
That said, 32GB of storage is rough, even with the ability to use a microSD card. This is especially true when much of that base storage will be taken up by pre-installed software. Plus, users have to deal with the sluggish MediaTek Helio P35 chipset and only 3GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy A22
Best for international use
90Hz Super AMOLED Infinity-U Display
128GB onboard storage
Fast charging with USB Type-C
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Not compatible with CDMA carriers
No 5G support
Not waterproof or dust resistant
Traveling abroad can be frustrating when it comes to using your phone. However, when it comes to the Galaxy A22, there's no concern as this device offers a dual-SIM card slot. Plus, there is compatibility with just about all GSM network providers.
As for the design, Samsung included its vibrant AMOLED Infinity-U display for an edge-to-edge design. There is a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, along with 15W Fast Charging, thanks to the built-in USB Type-C charging port. Powering the Galaxy A22 is MediaTek's Helio G80 SoC, coupled with 4GB of RAM and Android 11. Samsung also included a 5,000mAh battery, which is rather impressive and will last at least the entire day, if not a lot longer.
On the other side of the table, the Galaxy A22 cannot be used with CDMA carriers, so Verizon and Sprint users will have to look elsewhere. We also would have liked to see Samsung go with a more robust concept, as there is no official IP rating for the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A21
Super AMOLED Infinity Display
Four rear-mounted cameras
Works with all US carriers
Only includes 32GB of storage
Display may appear grainy with low resolution
Samsung included its Super AMOLED Infinity display on many devices, including the Galaxy A21. Unfortunately, the newer A series devices miss out on AMOLED goodness. This is why the Galaxy A21 touts a better value proposition opposed to its newer counterparts. The 6.5-inch display is big enough to enjoy your favorite media, despite only having an FHD+ resolution. Additionally, you get four rear-mounted cameras so you can always get the perfect shot.
The Galaxy A21 also includes 15W Fast Charging, so your phone will always be topped off, on top of the included 4,000mAh battery. On the spec sheet, Samsung included 3GB of RAM combined with 32GB of base storage. We can all agree that the memory specs aren't exactly impressive, but Samsung compensates with expandable storage. You can increase your device storage up to 512GB by grabbing a decent microSD for Android.
As is the case with other budget options, you may be disappointed in the resolution of this 6.5-inch display. With 720p video playback, your movie sessions may be "tainted" by some graininess while viewing. Nonetheless, the display is much brighter than the TFT panels that newer Galaxy A models feature.
Samsung Galaxy A12
Best entry-level upgrade
5.000mAh with 15W Fast Charging
MicroSD Card expansion up to 1TB
Fingerprint reader on the side
Comes with Android 10
Not the fastest performer
If the Galaxy A03s is the best starter phone, then the Galaxy A12 is a slightly better version of that. The A12 nails everything as a cheap Samsung phone, giving you more than just a bare-bones experience. It sports an understated design, with a 6.5-inch TFT Infinity-V Display, along with a durable build and a fingerprint scanner on the side.
When looking at the spec sheet, there's really not much to write home about with the A12. Bringing to mind that you'd spend less than $200 on this phone, the overall package starts to look pretty attractive. The Galaxy A12 has a nice big display, an enduring battery that tops up quickly due to Fast Charging, a fingerprint sensor for biometric security, and the good ol' audio jack of yore. While most of the smaller sensors in the quad-camera setup don't amount to much, the primary 48MP shooter is decent.
There are a few downsides to the Galaxy A12. With just 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage onboard, the software experience isn't by any means fast. You can, of course, increase that via micro SD. The budget Galaxy phone also comes with Android 10/One UI 3.1 out of the box, but you can upgrade it to Android 11 right away.
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Which of the best budget Samsung phones should you consider?
If you want to live in Samsung world but don't want to pay a premium price tag, then the Galaxy A32 5G is your best bet. This handset sports a 6.5-inch LCD display with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. If you want an AMOLED panel, you could opt for the international variant that doesn't have 5G. It does, however, sacrifice CDMA support and tends to lag.
Under the hood, you'll get 4GB of RAM, including 128GB of storage that can be increased to 1TB. Plus, four rear-mounted cameras make it possible to get the best picture possible in most situations. What makes the A32 stand out is the software; the device will get more software updates than just about any other phone in this category.
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Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables
Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.
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