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Best Cheap iPhones 2022
The new iPhone SE is the best cheap iPhone we've ever seen at launch. It has the processor of an iPhone 11 and the price tag of a phone that's already been out for a few years. But if you want to get an even cheaper iPhone, you can always go with an older model. These are our picks for the best cheap iPhones heading into 2022.
- : Best iPhone under $400
- : Best iPhone under $300
- : Best iPhone under $200
*Price can change depending upon the carrier that you purchase from.
iPhone SE (2020): Best iPhone under $400
- Brand new phone
- iPhone 11 performance
- Older design
The iPhone SE is the most inexpensive phone Apple has ever launched, and that's a really great thing. The wild thing is that the iPhone SE has the same processor (A13 Bionic processor) that you would find the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. In other words, the new iPhone SE performs just as well as the much more expensive iPhone 11 series and will likely support the device for a long time, which means you won't need to buy another phone anytime soon. Apple cut corners on the camera quality keeping the old iPhone 8 lenses, but it's a small price to pay to keep the price so low.
Check out the video below for more of our thoughts on the new iPhone SE.
What we don't like
The iPhone SE is basically a Frankenstein--it has the body (and camera) of an iPhone 8, but the insides of an iPhone 11. Judging from outside appearances, the phone can look a little dated compared to the sleek iPhone 11 with its 6.5-inch display. As long as you value what's under the hood more than the look of the phone itself, the iPhone SE offers awesome value.
What cell phone plans can I get with the iPhone SE?
You can get the iPhone SE with basically any cell phone provider you can name. Here are the five most popular cell phone plans that pair with the iPhone SE right now.
iPhone 7: Best iPhone under $300
- Decent processor
- Impressive camera
- Weak Battery Life
What we like
The iPhone 7 is the oldest phone you can still get from the Apple store (though we don't recommend buying it from Apple directly) and through major carriers. So basically, it's the cheapest iPhone easily available if you purchase it through a wireless carrier. But still, the fact that Apple still carries this phone should give you some confidence that it's still worth getting in 2021.
The iPhone 7 comes with the A10 Fusion processor chip, which for context, is still 120 times faster than the original iPhone device. You shouldn't have much issue running current basic apps despite the phone being a few years old, barring super graphic-intensive apps like Fortnite, for example.
The iPhone 7 comes with a 12-megapixel camera, which actually is the same camera quality in the iPhone X.
What we don't like
The iPhone 7 doesn't have nearly as much battery life as you'll find on newer iPhones, especially when you're running newer apps. We estimate that your iPhone 7 battery will maybe last 10 hours on a full charge assuming you're not gaming or streaming heavily. Our advice: keep a charger handy you're going to go with an iPhone 7.
What cell phone plans can I get with the iPhone 7?
You can still get the iPhone 7 through all the major carriers in the country. This is actually a big deal, because you still have tons of wireless options despite opting for an older iPhone. Currently, these are the most popular cell phone plans that pair with the iPhone 7.
What we like
We've crossed the threshold now where you'll start to notice a bigger difference between the iPhone 6 Plus and current iPhones--which is why Apple doesn't even sell these bad boys anymore. But still, the iPhone 6 Plus (which I used for a while, by the way) still has a beautiful 5.5-inch HD display that beats out both the new iPhone SE and iPhone 7.
If you tend to spend your phone time streaming YouTube or browsing social media, the iPhone 6 Plus will feel amazing for the price. But since the processor is a few years old at this point, don't plan on doing much gaming or intense photo/video editing on your iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 Plus is one of the last iPhone that still has the old school headphone jack. You know, the headphone jack that works with like 90% of headphones? It's super convenient having a headphone jack that actually works with non-Apple headphones.
What we don't like
The iPhone 6 Plus (that's under $200) only comes with 16 GB of storage space. You'd be surprised how quickly you fill up 16 GB of data on your phone. For reference, I have an iPad with 16 GB of data, and I just had to delete all the stored text messages on there to make room for an app update. For that reason, the iPhone 6 Plus makes sense only for folks who don't plan on downloading tons of apps or storing all of their photos.
What cell phone plans can I get with the iPhone 6 Plus?
Since the iPhone 6 Plus isn't sold by Apple anymore, your options for a direct purchase with a cell phone provider is extremely limited. In fact, there's only one carrier that sells the iPhone 6 Plus directly, and that's Total Wireless. Of course, you can always try to buy a used iPhone 6 Plus or buy an unlocked device from a retailer and sign up for any cell phone plan you want.
Recap: What are the best cheap iPhones?
Apple products are notoriously expensive, but if you wait a few years or find the right deal, you can still get pretty awesome phones for an affordable price. Out of the whole catalog of iPhones old and new, these three were our favorites for the best cheap iPhones.
What are the best cheap iPhones?
- Best iPhone under $400: The iPhone SE (2020) offers the most bang for your buck out of any iPhone device right now. It's not the cheapest you can get, but it still gives you an iPhone 11-like experience for half the price.
- Best iPhone under $300: The iPhone 7 is the oldest phone still sold by Apple, making it one of the cheapest. It still has a decent processor and camera that will work reliably in 2022.
- Best iPhone under $200: The iPhone 6 Plus is the rare iPhone that you can get for under $200 and still have it work somewhat well. With a 5.5-inch HD display, the iPhone 6 Plus still looks very vibrant when streaming.
For the sake of this article, I used an iPhone 4 for a few days and let me tell you, it was terrible. Basically no apps are compatible with that old of a phone, and providers like AT&T and T-Mobile won't even support 3G phones in the near future.
Tell us about your experience opting for a cheaper iPhone rather than going for the latest and greatest devices. Has it been worth the few hundred bucks you've been able to save? Let us know in the comments below!
Wi-Fi helps every phone, no matter how old
Even if your phone doesn't have the strongest specs in the world, a solid Wi-Fi connection will make streaming YouTube and watching Instagram Stories a seamless experience. Seriously, it's probably better to have a strong internet connection than it is to have the best processor chip in the world.
These are our picks for the best internet providers that will hook your phone up with speedy Wi-Fi while you're at home.
|Xfinity Internet||$19.99–$80*||75–1200 Mbps||1.2 TB–Unlimited||View Plans|
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||$49.99–$119.99†||300–2048 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|AT&T Fiber||$55–$180‡||300–5000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||$30–$70^||100–940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Viasat Internet||$30–$169.99°||12–100 Mbps||12–150 GB||View Plans|