Christmas tech: five smartphones that won’t break the bank

Some of the best phones for under €200

If your budget won’t stretch to the top phones, there are still plenty of options for Christmas gifts.

Nokia 1


Before Apple and the iPhone, there was Nokia. The former king of the smartphones has had a rough few years, but under HMD Global, the brand is back and producing Android-powered handsets that cover all the bases. In the budget category, you have the Nokia 1, a 4.5-inch device that ditches some of the frills to cut the price but is still a decent phone. It has a 5 megapixel camera with a 2 megapixel front facing camera, and runs Android Oreo (Go edition). It only has 8GB of storage space, so it’s worth investing in a micro SD card; the phone supports cards up to 128GB. You can also customise the phone with swappable covers. If you are of a certain age, you’ll remember when Nokia introduced Xpress-on covers; the company has now resurrected them for a new generation.

Where to buy: Carphone warehouse

Xiaomi Redmi

€140 on prepay

If you've never heard of Xiaomi, be prepared to hear a lot more. The Chinese smartphone maker has begun selling its phones through Irish networks - Three Ireland offers a couple - and the Redmi Note 5 combines affordable prices with a decent spec. For example, the front facing camera has 13 megapixel resolution, and the display, which measures almost six inches, if full HD. There is a dual rear camera with 12 megapixels and 5 megapixels. The battery is bigger than you'd expect at 4000 mAh, so you'll get longer between charges.


Where to buy: Three Ireland

Moto G6


The Moto G has always been a bit of a bargain. The sixth generation of the phone is no exception. A 5.7 inch display, a decent resolution on the camera and enough RAM at 3GB to run moderately taxing tasks make this a good all-rounder. It’s got a good camera too, and the full HD display is more than you’d usually expect on a budget phone. Where it saves is on features such as water resistance, a lack of wireless charging and a lower powered chip.

Where to buy: Komplett

Vodafone Smart N9

€130 on prepay

Vodafone’s own brand Android handset is budget in price but not in features - for the most part. A 5.5 inch HD+ display, a 3000 mAh battery that will keep you going for most of the day and a decent design that looks more expensive than its price tag suggests all go in the phone’s favour. The camera isn’t its strongest feature, with a 13 megapixel sensor that does fine in normal light but struggles a little in poor conditions. But for that price, it’s certainly punching above its weight.

Where to buy:

Huawei P20 Lite

€140 on prepay

Huawei is really going at the smartphone market with the P20. In the premium end, there’s the P20 Pro; the regular P20 is pitched more at the mid-range buyer and at the lower end of the scale is the P20 Lite. The Lite has an LCD display, 16 megapixel camera, 64GB of space and a card slot to expand capacity. It has a dual camera, like the regular P20, which means low light performance isn’t as impressive as the Pro, but that’s why the Pro has a higher price tag.

Where to buy: Three Ireland