6. HTC U Ultra ($699 RRP, $360 actual)
Though it launched with a price-tag that originally rivalled Samsung’s Galaxy flagships, the HTC U Ultra smartphone can now be had for a price closer to budget buys like the Alcatel 1X and Nokia 3.1. It boasts the same curved liquid glass design that’s found in most modern flagship devices like the HTC U11 and HTC U12+, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, a 5.7-inch display and a 12-megapixel rear camera.
In our review of the HTC U Ultra, we said that “HTC's flagship phone brings some interesting features to the top of the market including great looks and 24-bit audio.”
7. Oppo R9S ($698 RRP, $319 Actual)
Though it lacks some of the modern conveniences and photography chops of the R11S and R15 Pro, the Oppo R9S is still a device that’s well worth looking at if you want a good smartphone for under $400.
As we said in our review, “It’s hard to find a flaw in this Oppo. Usually, these phones impress us heavily in some areas (especially value) but have a flaw(s) which lets them down. The R9s Plus has no significant flaws: it does everything well. It might not lead the market at any one thing, but it’s near the top for everything.”
8. Sony Xperia XA2 ($549 RRP, $365 Actual)
If you’re the kind of smartphone user who just wants something that’ll get the job done and isn’t too fussed by modern quirks like face unlock and the like, the Xperia XA2 is absolutely still a device worth more than a look.
As we said in our review, “If you’re not turned off by Sony’s OmniBalance design language and into the idea of using your next phone for phone stuff and not a whole lot else, the Xperia XA2 is priced just well enough to make it worth consideration.”
9. Oppo AX5 ($379 RRP, $278 on Amazon)
The Oppo AX5 isn’t quite as powerful as the R9S, but it does come with a few more cutting-edge features and - at the time of writing - will probably cost you about the same amount.
The new entry-level device boasts an AI enhanced dual camera, fast facial unlock, a 4230mAh battery and 6.2 inch super full screen. Under the hood, the AX5 is equipped with a Qualcomm Octa-core CPU, 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM.
As we said in our review of the device, “There are better and cheaper phones out there than the Oppo AX5. However, if you’re looking for that classic Oppo blend of long battery, snappy performance and low-price - this device subscribes to that formula and yields some particularly strong results.”
10. Huawei GR5 ($400 RRP, $329 Actual)
In addition to eroding the power of Samsung in the premium space, Huawei have been fast making ground in the cheaper, budget-friendly segments of the smartphone market. The Huawei GR5 is a great example of why.
In our review of the Huawei GR5, we said that “If you want the ability for high-end photography on a phone but can’t run to the more-expensive models, then this is a great choice. Even if you don’t use the camera it’s a great phone at just $400. Different variants are available in different markets (more and less expensive models with 4GB and 2GB RAM) but this 3GB model makes for a good sweet spot.”
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