3 great smartphones for less than $400

3 great smartphones for less than $400

It's getting easier to buy a powerful smartphone on a tight budget.

OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Asus and Leagoo are but a few of the companies producing remarkable devices at affordable prices.

Gone are the days of laggy Android devices. And despite having a price tag of under $400, many budget smartphones have powerful cameras and decent processors.

These phones from Asus, Oppo and Leagoo are some of the latest Android devices worth their price.


The Zenfone GoTV by Asus is not your typical budget smartphone. Beneath its glossy screen and curved body lies a unique digital television (DTV) Tuner that allows you to watch both local and foreign shows.

The Sony IC DTV Tuner can work even without Wi-Fi or data connection, so media savvy users won't have to worry about staying in one place to tune in to their favourite shows or bursting their data limit.

The Zenfone GoTV also has a state-of-the-art processor with 32GB of internal memory, ensuring a fairly smooth experience for day-to-day purposes. The battery life is also more than adequate for you to run it close to a full work day without recharging. However, that might not hold true if you use it to stream TV shows throughout the day.

Its f/2.0 aperture, which allows it to shoot excellent photos in low light, sets it apart from most of its competitors.


  • 15.1cm
  • Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal memory
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 3,010mAh battery

SHARK 1 (FROM $399)

The Shark 1 by Leagoo has redefined the budget smartphone scene, thanks to its huge energy capacity and sleek body. The glossy screen and matte metallic rear with a fingerprint sensor gives it a luxurious feel for a mid-tier device. The Shark 1 can be held in one hand without too much difficulty.

With a 6,300mAh battery, the Leagoo Shark 1 has one of the largest energy capacities in the market. Most users should expect the phone to be able to last a day or two.

Charging most high battery capacity phones can be a chore, but the flash-charge technology of the Leagoo Shark 1 allows the drained behemoth to refuel in three hours after two days of usage.

Phone performance is adequate, a 3GB RAM and an Octa-core processor allows it to run fairly well compared to most Android devices for productivity purposes. This device will suit anyone who loves a large screen and plenty of battery life.


  • 15.9cm
  • MTK6753 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 6,300mAh battery

OPPO A37 ($289)

The Oppo A37 is a light smartphone that bears a resemblance to Apple's iPhone. It is a decent all-rounded device.

With an 8-megapixel (rear) and 5-megapixel (front) camera, the Oppo A37 may not appear particularly impressive.

However, the BSI+ (backside illumination) technology and screen-flash on the device with Oppo's unique camera software allows it to capture light better than most of its Android counterparts.

So the device works great even in low light with little noise in the background - great for selfies. The software gives the camera a good blend of saturation and contrast.

The Oppo A37 also outperforms most entry-level Android devices when it comes to work performance, scoring fairly well in benchmark tests and everyday usage.


  • 14.3cm
  • MSM 8916 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 2,630mAh battery

This article was first published on June 24, 2016.
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