Best Android phones under $500 – some are real gems! (May 2022)

While there are still a few 2022 models to be released there are some gems in our Best Android Phones under $500.

Now this list is not complete. We look at 2022 models (and some 2021 runout models) sold by authorised retailers and Telcos. We do not include grey market and refurbs – See Don’t buy a grey market phone (guide)

Not all 2022 models are reviewed yet, but we have basic specs in our database to give a rough rating.

What is clear is that smartphones have suffered from COVID-related shortages and factory labour issues. The model range is so much lesser this year. We use recommended prices and exclude any Carrier Plan specials.

Best Android phones under $500 (May 2022)

<$200, and most are 4G, Wi-Fi N, and 32GB, no NFC and run 32-bit Android (slower)

  • $159 Vivo Y3s, 2/32GB, 6.51” 720p, dual camera, 5000mAh, dual sim and microSD, 2021
  • $169 Motorola e7 Power , 2/32GB, 6.5” 720p, dual camera, 5000mAh, hybrid sim/microSD, 2021
  • $199 Nokia G10, 3/32GB, 6.5” 720p, tri-camera, 5000mAh, single sim and microSD, 2022

These are all fine, but our spies tell us that while the Nokia is class-leading, the Motorola e7 Power is the pick.

<$300 and all are 4G, Wi-Fi N, 64GB/128GB (we exclude 32GB models)

On crowded segment and little between them. Our spies say the Motorola G22 is the pick with a better camera and 128GB storage. OPPO A16s is a close second with a better warranty.

<$400, and we are in 5G territory (you can still use a 4G plan)

While the Motorola G51 has some class-leading features, the OPPO A74 on runout is a huge seller. The new OPPO A96 looks good and has 8GB RAM – awesome. It is a tough market, and you can look for deals.


  • $439 Realme 7 5G, 8/128GB, 6.5” 1080p, quad camera, 5000mAh, dual hybrid sim and microSD, NFC 2021

This bracket has runouts like the Samsung A32 4G and Motorola Edge 20 Fusion 5G. The Realme is a great phone with a 30W fast charge, Wi-Fi AC and a great camera – class-leading.

TCL will also have two low-cost 30-series soon.

CyberShack’s view – there are some gems in Best Android phones under $500

2022 is the year 5G dropped in price to 4G levels. But you don’t have to get on an expensive 5G plan so buying a 5G capable handset is a no-brainer.

We will update the list as new models arrive. Our database allows us to compare specs and assess the top phones. At this time, OPPO is the best all-around brand for quality, warranty, local support and customer satisfaction. (OPPO also owns Realme, and Vivo is another BBK sibling, so they are all pretty good).

Motorola is really ramping up its range, and it is a safe bet, albeit that it has a 1-year warranty. It has not put a foot wrong with specs or the range.

Samsung 2022 A-series-  A23, A33, A53, and A73 – are slowly getting into stores, and reviews are coming soon.

We will soon look at the best phones from $500-1000, and there are some exceptional ones in that bracket.

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