Best Budget Smartphone 2023: Navigating the World of Refurbished Devices

Written by: Emma Morris


Best Budget Smartphone 2023

The launch of the iPhone 15 and Samsung Galaxy S23 series in early 2023 flooded the market with cutting-edge technology, innovative features, and unparalleled specifications that set new benchmarks for what smartphones can achieve.

However, of all these fantastic phones, which were the best, most affordable devices?

Keep reading as we discover some of the best budget smartphones of 2023, carefully designed to allow you to gain the best deal possible.

Afterwards, why not take a peek at these devices on our refurbished iPhone page at Each one comes with a range of perks to take your mobile journey to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gaining great tech doesn't have to empty your wallet.

  • Affordable phones can also come with fantastic specs; you just need to look at slightly older generations.

  • Each phone we sell comes with a comprehensive 90-point phone check, ensuring you have the same features as a brand-new device, including wireless charging and more.

Budget Phones Explained

The word 'budget' means different things to different people. Some might find £400 easily affordable, especially if it has flagship features. However, for others, even £200 could be seen as pushing the limit.

So, to make this article as inclusive as possible, we've divided the best budget phones of 2023 into various categories to suit a wide range of tastes, from the best budget Samsung phone to the best affordable flagship phone.

Plus, we've also made sure that each one comes at a price range below £400, allowing you to gain the best tech out there, all at a lower price tag.

The Refurbished iPhone 12 64GB: The Best-Selling Budget Phone

Specification Details
Display 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display
Processing Power A14 Bionic chip
Camera System 12MP main, 21MP ultra wide, and 12MP front camera
Storage Space Available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB

The rarity with which Apple changes its phone design makes the refurbished iPhone 12 particularly intriguing.

Gone are the days of rounded sides. This device showcases a completely flat front and back construction with rounded corners and a flat aluminium band wrapped around its circumference, providing the device with a clean, modern, minimalist feel when held in your hands.

This Apple iPhone also boasts a 6.2-inch Super Retina XDR display with True Tone and HDR technology, reaching a new HDR peak brightness of 1200 nits, far surpassing that of the refurbished iPhone 11 by enhancing the visual experience when watching videos with Dolby Vision.

It also arrives with wireless charging and an impressive battery life of up to 17 hours of video playback, which is more than sufficient to provide you with power throughout the day. 

This model comes equipped with 64GB of storage, more than ample room for your entire collection of photos, videos, and apps. Should you need more space, iCloud storage is available for a small fee, enabling you to access all the premium features without breaking the bank.

Verdict:  The refurbished Apple iPhone 12 is one of the best-selling cheap phones of 2023, and you can see why just by looking at these specs alone.

The Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S21 5G: Best Budget Samsung Phone

Feature Description
Display 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Processing Power Exynos 2100 chipset
Camera System 12MP wide, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultra wide, and 12MP front camera
Storage Space Available in 128GB and 256GB

Moving down the list to the best device among our Android phones, we have the refurbished Samsung Galaxy S21 5G.

This gadget features a 6.2-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which ensures the phone adapts to your daily activities while offering smooth transitions and improved battery life efficiency.

The screen provides punchy and vivid imagery with deep contrasts, regardless of whether under direct sunlight or out at night with friends. This feature only emphasises the fantastic camera quality of its 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, and 64MP telephoto camera system, design to give you various options to suit your photographic preference. 

Additionally, the S21 also has major improvement in its processing power.

The European version of this model is equipped with an Exynos 2100 chipset, which has been improved to bridge the gap in performance with the American version in previous iterations. Read more here.

Verdict:  If you're looking for a great, affordable phone in the Android lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S21 offers some of the best specs for its price point.

The Refurbished iPhone 13 Pro: The Best Budget Flagship Phone

Feature Details
Display 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Display
Processing Power A15 Bionic Chip
Camera System 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto, 12MP ultra wide, 12MP front camera
Storage Space Available in 128GB and 256GB

Want a budget phone with flagship specs? Look no further than the refurbished iPhone 13 Pro, one of the best cheap phones of 2023.

You'll be paying slightly more for this one, but it will be completely worth it in the end.

This Apple iPhone has a 6.1" Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology, offering a refresh rate of 120Hz that ensures each tap, scroll, and swipe between different apps glides like butter.

It also comes with an A15 Bionic Chip, far surpassing the performance of other Apple iPhones in benchmark tests by reaching a score of 4688, 1019 more than even the iPhone 12 Pro. Learn more here.

Plus, it boasts a triple rear camera system, featuring a 12MP main, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP telephoto lens, ranking it among the best camera setups in its price range for budget phones, ensuring fantastic snapshots whether capturing distant landscapes or intimate close-ups.

Verdict:  Want one of the best budget phones out there with great specs all around? This one is your guy.

The Refurbished 12 Mini 64GB: Best Budget Phone under £200

Feature Details
Display 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR Display
Processing Power A14 Bionic Chip
Camera System 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, and 12MP front camera
Storage Space Available in 128GB and 256GB

The refurbished iPhone 12 Mini 64GB is a device with specs far surpassing those of any cheap phone.

Are you annoyed by the immense size of modern mobile tech? This one is your ideal choice.

Reminiscing over the times when a phone could easily slip into your pocket without sticking out, the iPhone 12 Mini boasts a compact 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display, showcasing nearly the same display enhancements as its larger counterpart, including the same HDR and True Tone technology.

This comes alongside the same processor and camera system as the standard iPhone 12, with its 12MP main and 12MP ultra-wide rear lens, which in itself is an incredible feat considering the Mini's lower price tag.

You don't quite have the same long battery life as the more expensive counterpart, lasting only 15 hours of video playback instead of the 17 hours found in the standard edition. 

However, if this concerns you, it has features to extend its battery life further, such as Low Power Mode, designed to ensure it lasts all day without running to a plug. Find out more about how to enable this function here.

Verdict:  This cheap iPhone is the best for those wanting great features in a smaller package. But if you want some extra recommendations at a slightly high price tag, explore our best phone under £300 to learn more.

Deals At

Decided on your favourite budget smartphone? Fantastic. But before you proceed, did you know you can also get a whole FREE package when you shop at

Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a device from us:

  • 12 Months of FREE Insurance:  Every phone we sell comes with 12 months of FREE insurance to protect your product from a range of unfortunate incidents, whether that be accidental damage or theft.

  • FREE Delivery:  All our devices also come with FREE delivery, allowing you to save even more money along the way.

  • £45 worth of FREE Accessories:  Certain Apple iPhones also come with £45 worth of FREE accessories, giving you everything you need to start your tech journey confidently.

To top it all off, we also plant a tree with every sale to help create a brighter, greener future.

Final Thoughts on the Best Budget Smartphone 2023

To sum up, your next best cheap smartphone is just a few clicks away.

Plus, if you want to sell a gadget, why not get a price for your old phone at Here, we offer an easy-to-use system that'll provide a quote in seconds.

Take a look today!

Emma Morris

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