budget phones for internet browsing

Best budget phones for internet browsing

If you’re looking for a phone for surfing the internet that won’t break the bank, look no further! Here's the best budget phones for internet browsing in 2021.

Jump straight to the phones

What to look for

If you’re on the hunt for an affordable smartphone that’s suitable for internet browsing, you’ll need to look out for the following features:

4G compatible

Having 4G data on your phone is very useful for internet browsing. When you’re away from home, you won’t always have the luxury of Wi-Fi. On trains and in cafes, you might be able to connect to an open network, but it’s best to avoid these where possible due to the risk of malware and viruses

You can use data to access the internet and other apps that need a connection to open. 4G is currently the most widespread around the UK, so is the most desirable. 5G, the newest and fastest data speed, is becoming more common, and we’re starting to see more phones with 5G compatibility

Either way, you’ll want to avoid phones that only offer 3G, as it’s usually slower and harder to connect.

Speedy

The processor in your phone handles how fast information is passed around. 

It controls every command you ask of it, so if your processor is slow, your phone will also be slow. 

Having a speedy processor is important for internet browsing. If your processor isn’t fast enough, you’ll find yourself frustrated at the lagging and stuttering when you try to click on links or open webpages. 

If you want to get techy about it, Octa-core processors, Snapdragon processors, and Apple’s A13 and A14 Bionic chips are some of the best for phones right now.

Decent amount of RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is an extremely quick type of memory that stores information about your active and background apps. 

The more RAM you have on your phone, the more apps that can continue running without slowing down overall performance. 

It’s handy to have a large amount of RAM when browsing the internet in case you have lots of pages open, or keep having to cross-reference with your apps. Most everyday users will want between 4GB and 8GB of RAM.

Battery life

Of course, if your phone has a small battery life, it won’t last very long before needing to be charged again. And if you’re out and about, it may be difficult to find a place to plug your charger in. 

Buying a phone with a big battery will allow you to continue browsing and using your phone all day, as well as things like taking photos, watching videos, listening to music, and accessing apps.

Usually 4,000mAh to 5,000mAh are the biggest battery capacities on offer, and the most likely to keep your phone running all day when you need to use it a lot. If your phone has a smaller capacity, there’s plenty you can do to make the battery last longer.

Operating system

Your operating system is the most important software on your phone, as it (basically) runs everything! It supports all of the phone’s basic functions, as well as powers the interface so you can perform tasks. 

It’s important to keep your operating system up to date with the latest version, as they come with important bug and security fixes. If you’re running an old version you also might find compatibility issues with certain apps.  

For iPhones, this is currently iOS 14

For Androids, this is currently Android 11.

Keeping your phone up to date will ensure that it has the latest protection installed when you’re using the internet. It will also make sure your phone continues functioning at its smoothest and fastest.

Big screen

Finally, you’ll most likely want a phone with a big screen so you don’t have to struggle or squint while trying to read articles or watch videos

Best budget phones for internet browsing

Check out the internet-friendly features on these high-tech yet affordable phones. 

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Price: £317.99

Screen size

6.6 inches

Processor

Octa-core

RAM

4GB

Battery life

5,000mAh

Operating system

Android 11

4G compatible

Yes


 Large screen is great for preventing eye strain from squinting, and ensuring you can read text easily

 Octa-core processor is speedy and efficient at handling intensive tasks

 Huge 5,000mAh battery capacity is capable of lasting all day (and more!)

 Android 11 is the latest operating system, so the phone will be updated to the best security protocols and smoothest operation

 Also 5G compatible

 

Samsung Galaxy A12

Price: £165

Screen size

6.5 inches

Processor

MTK6765 Octa 2.3GHz

RAM

4GB

Battery life

5,000mAh

Operating system

Android 11

4G compatible

Yes


 Under £200!

 Large 6.5 inch screen is clear and vivid to capture the brightest colours in videos and pictures

 4GB RAM is plenty for most users

 Large 5,000mAh battery capacity means you can go longer before needing to charge again

 Updated to the latest operating system to ensure the device is free from bugs and other issues that could slow down its performance

 4G compatible


Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite

Price: £227.99

Screen size

6.67 inches

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G

RAM

6GB

Battery life

4,820mAh

Operating system

Android 10

4G compatible

Yes


 Large and capable screen size

 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is known for being amazing for gaming in particular, due to its 5G integration, AI technology, and sustainable power

 6GB RAM is larger than average for this price range

 4,820mAh battery life is enough to last for a whole day (and possibly more, depending on if your usage is light or heavy)

 Also 5G compatible

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T

Price: £247.99

Screen size

6.53 inches

Processor

MediaTek Dimensity 800U

RAM

4GB

Battery life

5,000mAh

Operating system

Android 10

4G compatible

Yes


 Large 6.5 inch screen size is big enough for videos, games, and general browsing. The size will also help people who are visually impaired

 Processor is fast with integrated 5G technology to ensure smooth and speedy response times to actions

✔  Common and usable 4GB RAM

 Big 5,000mAh battery capacity 

 Also 5G compatible

 

Nokia G20

Price: £135

Screen size

6.5 inches

Processor

MediaTek G35

RAM

4GB

Battery life

5,050mAh

Operating system

Android 11

4G compatible

Yes


Under £200!

Large 6.5 inch screen is ideal for browsing the internet for hours without getting eye strain

4GB is the typical RAM size for many phones, and is usually enough for average users to store all their applications 

Long-lasting 5,050mAh battery will carry you through commutes and long journeys without the need for an electric charging port

Updated to the latest Android OS so the device should be running smoothly with the most recent security fixes

4G compatible for speedy data connection 

 

Motorola G30

Price: £158.99

Screen size

6.5 inches

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 662

RAM

4GB

Battery life

5,000mAh

Operating system

Android 11

4G compatible

Yes


 Under £200!

 Large enough screen size for viewing and fast screen refresh rate for less lagging

 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is powerful

 Battery life is long-lasting and capable of keeping your phone alive for hours on end

 Updated to latest Android operating system

 4G compatible is great for accessing data all around the world, as it’s the most common technology available currently

 

Motorola G50

Price: £197.99

Screen size

6.5 inches

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 480

RAM

4GB

Battery life

5,000mAh

Operating system

Android 11

4G compatible

Yes


 Under £200!

 Another large screen, in keeping with the majority of other recommendations, that can capture all the vividity and colour of bright displays

 Large battery capacity allows you to go all weekend without reaching for a charger

 Updated to latest OS

 Also 5G compatible

 

Alcatel 3L (2020)

Price: £138.99

Screen size

6.22 inches

Processor

Octa-core

RAM

4GB

Battery life

4,000mAh

Operating system

Android 10

4G compatible

Yes


 Under £200!

 Big screen and HD+ display for an easy and colourful experience

 Octa-core processor is capable of handling multiple demanding tasks simultaneously, so you’ll experience less lagging 

 Handy 4,000mAh battery capacity

 Compatible with 4G to reach common speeds all over the world, so you’re less likely to be in a blind spot and not be able to get any data connection

 

iPhone SE (2020)

Price: £398.99

Screen size

4.7 inches

Processor

A13 Bionic

RAM

3GB

Battery life

1,821mAh

Operating system

iOS14

4G compatible

Yes


 4.7 inch screen is portable, fitting easily inside pockets and bags, and is  easy to hold in one hand

 A13 Bionic chip is one of the fastest and most effective processors on the market, and is embedded in all of the iPhone 11 range, so you’re getting some of the best technology at a more affordable price

 Updated to the most recent iOS system, iOS 14, so your iPhone will be protected against hardware issues and function at its smoothest

 4G data will allow you to browse all day from almost anywhere outside your home

 

Discover more

If a budget phone is a priority for you, you may be interested in reading our recommendations for the best phones under £100.

You may also find a phone you like for under £300 in some of our brand masterlists:

And check out the best we have to offer at Asda mobile

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