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At $300 or less, these phones won't bust your budget

Motorola's G Stylus is a modest-priced cell phone

Motorola's G Stylus is a modest-priced cell phone that features a stylus and a built-in Notes app. Credit: CBS Interactive

If you're on a tight budget but in need of a phone upgrade, there are many solid smartphone options that cost $300 or less. Several of our favorite mobile phone devices are from Motorola, which is unsurprising given that the company has made feature-rich budget phones for years now. In addition to its newest phones, the Moto G Stylus and G Power, Motorola's G phones from 2019 are also still available for cheap. 

A budget phone may be less expensive, but many of these still offer features that enthusiasts crave, including wireless charging, a great front camera and rear camera and even an elusive headphone jack.  Here are three of CNET's top picks for great smartphones that won't drain your bank account.

Samsung Galaxy A50

THE COST $299.99


Although the Galaxy A50 came out last year (and is the predecessor to the newly announced A51 phone), it's still a great phone. Plus, you can find it even cheaper than when it first launched. The phone has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, an in-screen fingerprint reader and a headphone jack.

On the back, the three cameras include a wide-angle lens as well as a "depth lens," which is used to take portrait shots with blurry, dramatic backgrounds.

Motorola Moto G7

THE COST $249.99


The Moto G7 may not be as cheap as some of its other Moto G counterparts, but it's still a good deal. Though its single speaker doesn't offer the greatest sound, and it takes mediocre low-light photos and video, the Moto G7 has a dual rear camera setup, an enduring battery life, dewdrop notch display and a sleek design.

It also charges quickly, which is useful when you need to juice up while on the go.

Moto G Stylus

THE COST $299.99


If you're looking for a cellphone that serves as a cheaper Note 10 alternative, the Moto G Stylus device features a stylus that you can store inside the phone along with built-in Notes app to help with productivity. The phone also has a triple-rear camera, 128GB of internal storage and a robust 4,000-milliamp hour battery.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: senior associate editor Patrick Holland, copy editor Jim Hoffman and senior editors Lynn La and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

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