Budget Phones Comparison – Cheap Phones Have Been Standing For Some Time – Budget Market Status Based On Four Devices – Background

This is not a review, report or test. We did not test the models mentioned in this story. This story is just a comparison of the spec sheets for different phones, to see where the budget phone market is headed. New features often come first on expensive phones and then on cheaper phones. This has happened in recent years with taller screens, notches, and equipping a camera with different lenses. What’s new in budget models this year?

Label: low brightness

It is difficult to compare phones with their predecessors, because manufacturers often turn their series upside down. The successor to Nokia 2.4 is not 2.5, but which one? Xiaomi is making it even hotter, because they haven’t actually released a new budget smartphone all year round to succeed the Redmi 9c. So we chose the 9at, which was released this summer in the Benelux, although it has appeared elsewhere before. 9at is more of a new version, but cheaper than 9c. The same goes for Motorola; There was a Moto E7, but there was no E8. The E20, but it runs Android Go which is a bit cheaper.

Now you can look for something malicious behind it, but the difference in practice is of course small. Not many people will put phones next to their immediate ancestors. Many people prefer a particular brand, but few will say they prefer the Galaxy A0 or Nokia 2.X.

phone launch Price at issue
Samsung Galaxy A03s September 2021 149 €
Samsung Galaxy A02s December 2020 149 €
Motorola Moto E20 October 2021 €98
Motorola Moto E7 November 2020 119 EUR
Xiaomi Redmi 9AT July 2021 110 EUR
xiaomi redmi 9c September 2020 120 EUR
Nokia G10 May 2021 €129
Nokia 2.4 September 2020 119 EUR

These are the most similar models we can find. This really shows one thing: manufacturers are giving up their labels. Samsung is very consistent and releases the A03s at the same price nine months after the A02s. Something strange is happening in Lenovo, because after the Motorola E7 comes the E20. Motorola now works with dozens of names, including the Moto G series.

Xiaomi often confuses their names and thus you can see the Redmi 9AT as the successor to the Redmi 9C. There is a Redmi 10, but there is no Redmi 10c or 10at. The Redmi Note 11 is coming, but these are slightly more luxurious models. Nokia got 2.4 last year and released 1.4 with Android Go this year. For more expensive models, there is now a series with letters, such as X20 and G20. To keep it comparable, we chose the G10.


Let’s start with coordination. phones last year you didn’t grow up If you look at them all. This is a rare phenomenon, because for a long time phones are getting a little bigger every year. However, in the budget market, developments often lag behind more expensive models, so what about cheap phones?

phone Lengte (mm) Width (mm) thickness (mm) Weight
Samsung Galaxy A03s 164,2 75.9 9,1 196 grams
Samsung Galaxy A02s 164,2 75.9 9,1 196 grams
Motorola Moto E20 164.8 75.5 8.5 184 grams
Motorola Moto E7 164.9 75.7 8,9 180 grams
Xiaomi Redmi 9AT 164.9 77,1 9,0 194 grams
xiaomi redmi 9c 164.9 77,1 9,0 196 grams
Nokia G10 164.9 76.0 9,2 196 grams
Nokia 2.4 165.9 76.3 8,7 195 grams

The trend can also be seen in budget models. Because of the often large bezels and relatively large screens, it often falls flat, and this was also the case last year. All phones are about 16.5 x 7.6 cm in size and about 9 mm thick.

A03s and A02s are exactly the same size, just like Redmi 9AT and Redmi 9C. This may mean that the design has not been updated at all. For the Galaxy, this really applies to the eye, but Xiaomi phones don’t have the cameras in the same place. This indicates that some things have changed internally, although there is a slight difference that can be seen from the outside. Manufacturers can vary the color scheme to distinguish phones from one another, although this is not always the case.

This is in line with the rest of the market. It seems like the limit has been reached, and budget phones have often been a little bigger than more expensive models in recent years. That’s because the screen edges are usually wider; This is cheaper to manufacture. If you don’t want a smaller screen, a larger housing is the solution.

With a size of 16.5 x 7.6 cm, the new budget models are slightly larger than the average, because the average smartphone is 16 x 7.4 cm.


The size of phones is related to the size and aspect ratio of the screens. This, in the tradition of coordination, hardly changed in the new models. We see a lot of screens around 6.5 inches with aspect ratios around 20:9. Previously, before 2017, 5.5-inch 16:9 screens were popular, and now a 6.5-inch 20:9 seems to have that role . This is also about 5.5 inches wide with a 16:9 ratio.

phone diagonal screen ratio Surface Precision Put the front camera
Samsung Galaxy A03s 6,5 inches 20: 9 102 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
Samsung Galaxy A02s 6,5 inches 20: 9 102 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
Motorola Moto E20 6,5 inches 20: 9 102 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
Motorola Moto E7 6,52 inches 20: 9 102.8 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
Xiaomi Redmi 9AT 6,53 inches 20: 9 102.9 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
xiaomi redmi 9c 6,53 inches 20: 9 102.9 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
Nokia G10 6,52 inches 20: 9 102.8 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop
Nokia 2.4 6,5 inches 20: 9 102 cm² 1600 x 720 pixels slit drop

Just like last year, they are all IPS LCD screens with a notch drop for the front cameras. Nothing has happened in the field of screen technology, format, resolution and in fact in all other areas, and this is also exceptional, because in recent years screens have often become larger.

Let’s focus on that. If we look at the past five years in some of the series that we take as an example here, we see that the diagonal of the screen has increased at least a little every year.

development screens Model screen space diagonal Precision Percentage
Nokia 2 69 cm² 5 “ 1280 x 720 pixels 16:9
2.1 83 cm² 5.5″ 1280 x 720 pixels 16:9
2.2 81 cm² 5.7 inches 1520×720 pixels 19: 9
2.3 96cm² 6.2 inches 1520×720 pixels 19: 9
2.4 102 cm² 6,5 inches 1600 x 720 pixels 20: 9
G10 102 cm² 6,5 inches 1600 x 720 pixels 20: 9
Motorola e 3 69 cm² 5.0 inch 1280 x 720 pixels 16:9
e 4 69 cm² 5.0 inch 1280 x 720 pixels 16:9
e 5 84 cm² 5.7 inches 1440×720 pixels 18:9
E6s 91cm² 6,1″ 1560×720 pixels 19.5:9
e 7 102 cm² 6,5 inches 1600 x 720 pixels 20: 9
E20 102 cm² 6,5 inches 1600 x 720 pixels 20: 9

If you look at the resolutions, it is also noticeable that this price range sticks to 720p for a long time. Obviously, the step towards Full HD isn’t a value-added, as manufacturers see a lot of benefits for these phones. This may be due to the price of the Full HD screen, but also to the fact that smartphone makers want to distinguish their slightly less expensive phones from these models. What also plays a role: Full HD requires more computing power from socs which is of course not an issue in this price range. The cheapest socs sometimes don’t support Full HD resolution.

Also, monitors with a higher refresh rate have not yet appeared in this price range. The cheapest models with a 90Hz screen are now around €150, but these are more expensive than last year or newer models like Motorola’s Moto G20. This is one step above the cheapest models from those manufacturers.

Samsung Galaxy A03s

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