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Best Budget Camera Phones For Photography

If you're looking for a budget smartphone with good camera performance, then you've come to the right place as here are your top camera phone recommendations for photographers who want to spend less than £300 on a new device.

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Best Budget Smartphones

If you're looking for a smartphone with a decent camera that won't cost you an arm and a leg, then you've landed on the right page as we've lined up the most affordable smartphones to date, great for if you're on a budget, and looking for a smartphone under £300. 

Now, these phones tend to not have the greatest specs in the world but they're great tools for those who want to simply share images on social media or send them to friends/family via WhatsApp, Email etc. Plus, you can connect them up to an Instax Printer and print off really cute, mini instant photos that look great hung in washing line-style frames. They're also a great first phone for nagging teenagers who, obviously, will want the latest-and-greatest devices but in reality, parents may want to spend as little as possible on their first smart device. 

At the time of writing, all of these smartphones are available for under £300 but, of course, this can change.

You'll also find more in-depth comments on each of the smartphones featured in our list over in reviews, plus, take a look at our technique and feature sections where you'll find a range of articles that'll have you snapping top smartphones shots in no-time. 

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Motorola Moto G Pro
Overall Rating

Motorola Moto G Pro 

The Motorola Moto G Pro is a well-built, well-equipped phone offering an excellent camera set that all perform exceptionally. The handset looks great and is available at a fantastic price considering what it offers. 

Colours are very natural and the handset is extremely responsive - we were especially impressed by the features available on the front camera, including full manual settings and the ability to give portraits different lighting scenarios and bokeh blur according to the situation. 

The manual mode and ability to shoot in RAW, as well as RAW + JPEG, make this phone a really strong contender for photographers. As such we are happy to highly recommend it

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
Overall Rating

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T

The mid-range smartphone market is bursting at the seems which makes it harder and harder to find devices that sit in this range that impress but as the Redmi Note 8T is actually a budget smartphone, thanks to costing less than £200, it doesn't have such a fight on its hands. What this means is that the good-quality quad-camera, impressive selfie camera and other decent specs make it stand out from the list and thanks to the price, make it a smartphone we can easily recommend.  

Of course, if you're a brand snob you're not going to give the Redmi Note 8T a second thought but for someone not wanting to spend a lot of cash who still wants a smartphone that can capture good-quality images for sharing online, the Redmi Note 8T is worth considering. 

Overall, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is a mid-range smartphone with a budget smartphone price. 

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OnePlus Nord CE 2
Overall Rating

OnePlus Nord CE 2

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is a very reasonably priced smartphone that gives those looking for an affordable OnePlus camera phone a viable option. The cameras capture decent photos that are perfect for sharing online. There are, also, some clever tricks built-in such as the way the AI introduces bokeh without clipping and the Night Mode is pretty good, too.

As with all OnePlus smartphones, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 offers a user experience that can't be ignored and for that reason, combined with the excellent price, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 will be worth taking a look at even with the few compromises you have to make simply because it's a more affordable smartphone. 

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Nokia 5.3 Budget Quad Camera
Overall Rating

Nokia 5.3 Budget Quad Camera Smartphone

The Nokia 5.3 is unique in that it offers a quad-camera setup for a very low price point. This coupled with its high mAh battery rating, USB-C port and a decent processor, make it a powerful phone with many features found on higher-spec mobiles. 

However, the very basic camera app and easily scratched rear panel do let it down. Image quality is good from the main camera, excellent from the macro camera but is let down by the wide-angle camera which has very bad distortion and produces images lacking detail. If you're desperate for the quad-camera setup and don't have a very big budget, then this phone could be the answer but don't expect amazing photos. There's no manual mode and little in the way of editing ability in-camera. It's a large handset that's available in 3 trendy colours which should make it a hit for the younger market though.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S
Overall Rating

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S Smartphone

The Redmi Note 10S is available at a really great price but smartphones that are available for around or under £200 do come with compromises and with the Redmi Note 10S these come in terms of image quality.

Images can be good in conditions where lighting isn't too tricky to handle and when the smartphone doesn't have to work too hard to balance a wide dynamic range but overall, it's a bit hit and miss. The portrait/aperture mode is surprisingly good, though, and the wide-angle lens produces the best quality images out of the lenses that are on offer. You also have a decent amount of creative filters to play around with but as predicted, the zoom after 2X isn't great. You also have access to a macro lens but we didn't find ourselves really using it and, to be honest, forgot about it most of the time.  

Overall, if you don't want to splash a lot of cash and like to keep things simple, you may like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S.

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More Budget Alternatives (Not reviewed by ePz)

The phones listed below aren't smart devices we've had a chance to review yet but we've taken a good look at their specs to ensure they're smartphones that are worth considering if you have around £200 or less to spend.

Samsung Galaxy A40

Samsung Galaxy A40 - Around £200

An affordable Samsung phone, the Samsung Galaxy A40 is available for around £200, and features a 5.9inch FullHD+ screen, with a dewdrop selfie camera, giving an excellent screen-to-body ratio. There's a 3100mAh battery, and USB C connection at the bottom. There's a 16mp f/1.7 main camera, and a 5mp ultra-wide camera on the back, giving you two different views, and the camera records FullHD video. There's also a 25mp f/2.0 front selfie camera. There are generous 4GB RAM and 64GB storage

Interested? Help support ePHOTOzine by using these links. Amazon UK Amazon US
Samsung Galaxy A12

Samsung Galaxy A12 - Around £170

The Samsung Galaxy A12 is a budget offering, yet offers a 48mp main camera and an 8mp selfie camera.  Expand the viewing angle with Ultra Wide Camera. Customise focus with Depth Camera or get closer to the details with Macro Camera. There's a 6.5inch screen, USB-C, 64GB storage and a decent 5000mAh battery. All impressive specs considering the price point. 

Interested? Help support ePHOTOzine by using these links. Amazon UK Amazon US
Samsung Galaxy A22

Samsung Galaxy A22 - Around £170

The Samsung Galaxy A22 features a 6.6-inch display, 5G connectivity, 5000mAh battery, up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory which is expandable with a MicroSDXC memory card. Snap memorable moments in clear detail with the 48MP Main Camera and use the ultra-wide camera when you have more to capture in your frame. There's also a depth camera built-in. 

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