Christmas smartphone options that won’t break the bank

Being budget conscious doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything you love about your phone

Need a cheap and cheerful phone for a Christmas gift? Not everyone is willing to shell out a mortgage payment for a phone. But going budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything you love about your smartphone. The mobile makers have stepped up their game in recent years and you can now get a lot more for your money. Here are some Android options to consider.

Emporia Smart 4


If you are on the hunt for a simpler phone, take a look at the Emporia Smart 4. It was designed with an older age group in mind but it has enough functions that it is useful for any age group.

Easy to handle and use, the Emporia Smart 4 balances simplicity with function. While the focus may be on ease of use, the device also comes with a decent camera – 13 megapixels on the rear camera, and five megapixels for the front camera. That makes it good for video calls as well as capturing family memories.

It also has NFC, which means Google Pay will work if it is supported by your bank. The battery is replaceable too, which gives it a bit of longevity.


Where to get it:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10s


Like Oppo, Xiaomi is a Chinese brand that has found a foothold in the Irish market. The Redmi Note 10s is one of its more budget friendly options that still packs in the features. Its main camera is a 64 megapixel offering, backed up by an 8 MP ultra wide angle lens and a 2MP macro camera, with a 2MP depth sensor.

Stereo speakers provide immersive sound for streaming video or gaming, and the display itself is a 6.4 inch Amoled panel. It also supports 33W fast charging, so you can power up and be on your way. It doesn’t support 5G though.

Where to get it:

Samsung Galaxy A12 (2021)


Samsung’s flagship phones are excellent, but don’t ignore the cheaper end of the scale. The A12 may not have the bells and whistles of the new foldable phones, but for the price it is certainly worth considering. It comes with a 48MP main camera, which is the star of the show, along with an 5MP ultra wide angle and a 2MP macro camera, which are less so. It doesn’t look budget either, which certainly helps its case.

Where to get it:

Oppo A53


Another Chinese brand that is carving out a niche for itself, Oppo has been turning out great phones at mid-range prices. The A53 isn't quite at the level of the Find X3 Pro, but if you want a more budget-friendly option, it's a good choice. The screen is a 6.5 inch LCD with a 90Hz refresh rate, and the whole thing is powered by a Qualcomm 1.8GHz octa core chip. For cameras, you get a 13 MP rear camera, with a 2MP macro camera and 2 MP depth sending camera, with an AI powered 8 megapixel front facing camera for selfies.

Battery life is good, and the A53 supports 18W fast charging. It won’t blow you away in terms of performance when it is compared to its more expensive siblings, but for the price tag, it punches above its weight.

Where to get it:

Nokia 2.4


Nokia has had some decent Android smartphones in the past few years. The Nokia 2.4 is the ideal starter phone, with a two-day battery life, a 6.5 inch screen and AI-powered cameras. It has a 6.5 inch HD+ screen, and is Android 11-ready. At 3GB, it is slightly low on RAM, but as long as you don’t ask for too much from it, it will get the job done. The Nokia 2.4 even has a headphone jack, which many phones have ditched, and an FM radio.

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