Every year, new smartphones get released, packed with some of the latest technology that the industry has to offer. But all these new features and designs also come with hefty price tags that can go well into the thousands. Luckily, though, there are also plenty of budget-friendly options out there.

One of the best ways to get more bang for your buck is to consider pre-owned devices. With gently-used phones, you can get some of the latest technology at a fraction of the original price. If you’ve got a budget of $500 or less, check out some of our picks for the best used phones!

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Apple took a classic model and upgraded the internal tech when it launched the 2020 iPhone SE. By going with an older design, consisting of a smaller screen with large bezels, touch ID sensor, and single 12MP rear camera, Apple was able launch an offering that had a much more affordable price than its other devices.

In terms of upgrades, the most notable is the A13 chipset that is only one generation removed from the current A14 Bionic processor, an upgrade that is rarely seen on phones in this price range. The best part? Apple consistently supports its phones for 4+ years with software updates, meaning iPhone SE (2020) is a phone that is fairly long-lasting.

With a release price that was below $500, you can get an even better deal when you buy a pre-owned device on online marketplaces.

Pros

  • Longevity with A13 chipset and iOS updates for years
  • Wireless charging
  • Touch ID sensor
  • Affordable iPhone

Cons

  • Older technology & design

Buy a Used iPhone SE (2020) on Glyde for as low as $270, as of this writing.

Apple iPhone 11 (2019)

The bestselling smartphone shortly after its release in 2019, the iPhone 11 remains one of the best all-round devices out there. Coming in a range of fun colors, the 11 has a gorgeous 6.1” Liquid Retina HD LCD display, two rear cameras, and can last through 17 hours of video playback. 

While it doesn’t have the 5G connectivity like its successor, the iPhone 12 boasts, it’s still largely comparable in features to the latest iPhone series. Now a few years old, the iPhone 12 has experienced a price drop that makes it a great option for those looking for a quality smartphone on a budget of $500 or less.

Pros

  • Dual-camera system with Wide and Ultra-Wide cameras
  • Superfast A13 Bionic chip
  • Tough with an IP68 rating for dust & water resistance

Cons

  • No telephoto lens
  • Ultra Wide lens lacks autofocus & Night Mode
  • No 5G connectivity

Buy a Used iPhone 11 on Glyde for as low as $462, as of this writing.

Samsung Galaxy S10 (2019)

Released in 2019, the Samsung Galaxy S10 still holds a candle to some of the latest flagships out there. Its 6.1-inch 19:9 AMOLED Infinity Display is nearly bezel-free and gorgeous, while the triple-lens rear camera lets you take photos at any angle. It also has the great perk of reverse charging, where the S10 can be used to charge your other wirelessly charging devices.

When it first was released, the price was as high as $1,149 for the largest storage model (512GB), but these days you can grab a Samsung Galaxy S10 for much cheaper, especially if you buy a premium pre-owned device on online marketplaces.

Pros

  • Wireless Powershare
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • Bezel-free Infinity-O display

Cons

  • Low-light selfies are subpar

Buy a Used Samsung Galaxy S10 on Glyde for as low as $352, as of this writing.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (2020)

One of the few high-quality phones on the market with a built-in stylus, the Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is renowned for its S Pen performance and the Note 10 is no exception. The S Pen provides an unparalleled stylus experience, while the 6.3” dynamic AMOLED display is perfectly compatible for any scribbling, drawing, or note-taking.

With its successor released in 2020, the Galaxy Note 10 has since seen an expected price drop that makes it an even greater value for its current price tag. With a launch price of $949, a premium pre-owned Galaxy Note 10 can be found these days for as low as $375.

Pros

  • S-Pen performance
  • Vibrant display with FHD+ resolution
  • Triple-camera system

Cons

  • No 5G connectivity
  • Only one storage option & no microSD card slot

Google Pixel 4a (2020)

When Google released the Pixel 4a in 2020, it was marketed as the budget friendly version of the Pixel 4. It’s a no-nonsense phone that has all the essentials, with an easy-to-hold design, clean interface, and powerful single rear camera. Also, since it uses Google’s version of Android, Pixel users are first in line for Android updates.

While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that come with smartphones these days, the Pixel 4a is still a great under-$500 Android phone that has a powerful camera. Plus, if you buy used, you can get the device for even lower, with prices dipping down to the $300 range. 

Pros

  • Powerful rear camera 
  • Best photos around because of Google’s software
  • Easy one-handed use

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Bare minimum design
  • No 5G connectivity

Buy a Used Google Pixel 4a on Glyde for as low as $295, as of this writing.

Motorola One Zoom (2019)

The Motorola One Zoom is an affordable phone with a high-end camera setup that competes with some of the best flagship cameras around. The quad-lens rear camera system includes a 48MP primary wide angle lens, 8MP telephoto lens, 16MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP depth sensor. While its performance falls in the mid-range levels, it’s camera setup makes it a great option for photography-lovers on a budget. Today, you can find the Moto One Zoom for well under $500, especially if you buy used from online marketplaces.

Pros

  • Top-tier camera, especially for the price
  • In-screen fingerprint sensor
  • Amazing battery life

Cons

  • It’s harder to find than the other phones on this list

LG V60 ThinQ (2020)

With the V60 ThingQ, LG offered a detachable Dual Screen that made foldables accessible to the masses. It also boasts top performance with the Snapdragon 865 chip and a battery life that lasts days. While LG has since announced that it’s closed down the smartphone division, you can still get the LG V60 ThinQ as a pre-owned device for less than $500 on online marketplaces.

Pros

  • Amazing battery life 
  • Dual Screen capability

Cons

  • Decent cameras
  • Display is only 60Hz

The Bottom Line

Let’s round ’em up. Our favorite used phones under $500 in 2021 are:

  • Apple iPhone SE
  • Apple iPhone 11
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Motorola One Zoom
  • LG V60 ThinQ

If you’re ever having trouble finding used iPhones online, head over to the Glyde Marketplace!

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