Find the Best Budget Camera Phone: Top Refurbished Picks for Quality Photography

Written by: Emma Morris

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Have you ever been enticed by a budget phone, only to realise its camera system isn't quite up to par? If you have, you're among friends here.


Budget camera phones, far and wide, have drawn themselves a bad reputation, whispering promises of great features that don't quite match their true reality. 


However, cut through the noise, and you'll find a few hidden treasures inside.


Join UR.co.uk today as we discover the best budget camera phones currently available for the taking.


Afterwards, why not also explore our range of refurbished iPhones, refurbished Samsung Galaxy and refurbished Google Pixel devices? You might find your perfect device waiting.

Key Takeaways:


  • Google Pixel 7A:¬†Do you want the best of the best and nothing less? The Google Pixel 7A is your guy.


  • Samsung Galaxy S20: Gain a great camera system for the price tag.


  • iPhone SE 2022: Bet you didn't expect Apple to be here, did you? Get an Apple device that is great for everyday use.

Starting Your Search For The Best Budget Camera Phone

Girl with camera

Similar to finding the best phone under £200, there are a few things you need to know before you begin your search.


Generally speaking, you're likely to find a great budget camera phone for under £450, but it's all about how to look for it.


Here are some top tips:


  • Camera Features:¬†First off, don't just focus on camera specs alone.¬†


    While high camera specs are beneficial, software can also enhance image quality even further, sometimes producing results comparable to high-end camera phones.


  • Know What You're After: Consider how you'll use the camera phone in your daily life. If you're into taking selfies, pay attention to the quality of both the front and rear camera systems.¬†


    More often than not, you'll find that some camera lenses offer better photo quality than others.


  • Inspect Other Phone Features:¬†Look beyond just camera performance. Check the phone's processing power, storage space, and battery life.¬†


    What's the point of a budget camera phone if it doesn't have enough space for all your photos?


With this in mind, below are our top 3 budget smartphones with the best cameras.

Positives and Negatives of Each Device

Here is a brief overview of the positives and negatives of each model.
Device Positives Negatives
Google Pixel 7A Excellent camera for price, Magic Erase Tool, consistent photo quality Only one storage model
Galaxy S20 Large display, triple rear camera system, high-quality in-app camera systems Over-saturated photos (negative for some)
Apple SE 2022 Great for everyday use, some high-quality features, stay within Apple Ecosystem In-app features lacking, small display

Also, don't forget to check out refurbished phones! These devices can perform like new, especially if they are high-quality and phone check certified, allowing you to enjoy better features while still saving money.

The Refurbished Google Pixel 7A

Unsurprisingly, the refurbished Google Pixel 7A takes the top spot as the best budget camera phone.


The Google Pixel 7A has a fantastic camera system for a budget phone, featuring a 13MP front, a 65MP wide, and a 13MP ultra-wide camera system.


In particular, the main camera boasts a remarkable upgrade, featuring a sensor that's 72% larger than the Google Pixel 6A's, delivering unprecedentedly brighter photos than ever before.


But the best part lies in the Pixel 7A's software.


While the Google Pixel 7A doesn't have a dedicated zoom camera like high-end models, it doesn't just rely on standard digital zoom to do all the heavy lifting. 


Instead, it features an AI-influenced Super-res Zoom that creates high-quality imagery, comparable to what's taken on pricier models.


Expect each one to showcase every detail in true, outstanding colour, regardless of whether it's shot from the rear or front camera.


Plus, you won't be slowed down either, as the Google Pixel 7A's Tensor G2 chip ensures everything runs as smooth as butter.


If you're looking for a budget smartphone that does it all, this one is for you.

The Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S20

Do you want a good camera phone in the Samsung line-up? The refurbished Samsung Galaxy S20 could be the one for you.


Admittedly, you won't get all of Samsung's latest phone features with this device, which was released a while back in 2020. However, don't dismiss it just yet! It still boasts great camera capabilities even by today's standards.


The Samsung Galaxy S20 features a triple rear camera system capable of delivering impressive, bright shots across multiple ranges, whether it's up-close and personal or capturing wider fields.


Little photo editing is needed with this device, as images appear saturated and full of colour in most lighting conditions. 


But the phone doesn't just stop there for those wanting more.


It includes a suite of additional camera app features to elevate your photography game. Take its Night Mode, for instance, ingeniously crafted to illuminate your photos when daylight fades away.


Plus, those who want to view their photos with great clarity will enjoy the Samsung Galaxy S20's large 6.2-inch display, offering you the chance to view your photos in their full glory.


It's hard to find phone cameras at this quality and price tag. So, if this device piques your interest, take a look at our Samsung Galaxy S20 128GB refurbished today!

Refurbished iPhone SE 2022

Apple lovers looking for cheap phones will love this one.


The refurbished iPhone SE 2022 doesn't have nearly as many rear cameras as the Samsung Galaxy S20, but the one it does have is more than enough for everyday photography.


Most powerful in outdoor conditions, the 12MP main camera is capable of producing bright images, whether you're taking expansive landscape shots or photos with friends.


Plus, its focus is comparable to more luxurious Apple devices, producing higher-quality images when zoomed in than the iPhone 14 Plus.


You're not going to get the same in-app camera features as you would with the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Google Pixel 7A. However, Apple doesn't leave you hanging. Instead, you gain Photographic Styles, which allows you to adjust your images to your liking.


To top it all off, the iPhone SE 2022 offers all-around excellent features, such as wireless charging, so you don't have to be connected to a plug when it's time to power up.


Those who want an Apple phone camera without paying the hefty sum, look no further than the iPhone SE 2022.

Final Thought

So, which device has the best camera system?


While the Google Pixel 7A wins by a landslide, options are aplenty for iPhone and Samsung lovers alike!


Plus, when you shop with us, you also get 12 months of FREE insurance. Win! Explore our range and see what we have in store for you today.


Now get going, the great camera phone awaits.

Emma Morris


Emma crafts insightful and informative articles about refurbished phones for ur.co.uk. Her expertise guides readers in making the smartest choices for their tech needs.