New smartphones get released every year, packed with some of the newest developments in tech. Often, though, the prices for these are also getting higher, making it harder and harder to find phones when you’re under a budget. 

Most often, the best affordable phones are older pre-owned models that still have features that can keep up with today’s tech. But with such an huge array of used smartphones sold online, it’s not easy to figure out what’s worth the price and what’s not. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top phones currently selling for under $250. Keep reading to learn more!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017)

While it is quite a few years old now, the fact that you can get it for less than $250 these days makes the Galaxy Note 8 a great value device. Its display is still gorgeous by today’s standards and the S Pen, though lacking upgraded features like some camera shortcuts, still does the job well as a useful stylus. It also has some old design details that are still great to have, such as the headphone jack and a microSD slot.

Pros

  • S Pen works great
  • Sharp 2960 x 1440 AMOLED display
  • Headphone jack
  • Expandable storage with microSD slot

Cons

  • S Pen lacks newer features
  • No more Android updates

Buy a Used Samsung Galaxy Note 8 on Glyde for as low as $239, as of this writing.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus (2017)

Despite its clearly dated design, the iPhone 8 Plus still has powerful features that make it a phone well worth $250. Even with the thick bezels, the FHD+ display offers a more natural color reproduction than some of the newer releases. And for those who prefer the traditional home button to Face ID, the iPhone 8 Plus a solid option to consider.

Originally priced at $799 when released, the phone has certainly seen its price drop over the years. By buying premium pre-owned device for less than $250, you’re sure to get more bang for your buck by saving money on an iPhone 8 Plus that will last for the next few years. 

Pros

  • Powerful dual camera
  • Wireless charging
  • Still getting iOS updates

Cons

  • Subpar battery life
  • Older design
  • No 5G connectivity

Buy a Used iPhone 8 Plus on Glyde for as low as $247, as of this writing.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (2018)

Now a few years old, the once-popular Galaxy S9 Plus can be purchased at incredibly low prices, making it one of the best deals to go for. With a beautiful curved screen, powerful cameras, and solid specs, the S9 Plus is a great choice for those who need a quality phone at an affordable price. When you buy from used marketplaces like Glyde, the Galaxy S9 Plus can be found for less than $250.

Pros

  • Great looking 5.8-inch AMOLED display 
  • Dual-camera system with great photo-taking software
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • No 5G connectivity
  • Not bezel-free

Buy a Used Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus on Glyde for as low as $229, as of this writing.

Google Pixel 3a (2019)

Known for its no-frills design, Google’s Pixel line is filled with simple devices that get the job done without any unnecessary bells & whistles. When the Pixel 3a was released, it was pushed as a budget-friendly phone with an excellent camera.

Just a few years later, the statement still rings true, except the release of newer Pixels has brought the price of the 3a even lower. A used Pixel 3a can now be purchased for well under $250, making it one of the best deals out there.

Pros

  • Stellar camera performance
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Not water resistant
  • Basic design

Buy a Used Google Pixel 3a on Glyde for as low as $106, as of this writing.

Motorola One Action (2019)

With a triple-lens camera that includes a dedicated video lens, the Motorola One Action is a budget phone that’s great for videomakers. Its 6.3-inch 1080 x 2520 LC display means a quality viewing experience, while the 3,500 mAh battery is more than enough to get you through the day. Finally, with prices as low as $180 on some retailers, the Motorola One Action is an incredibly affordable buy.

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Easy to shoot smooth videos 

Cons

  • Aspect ratio (21:9) isn’t widely supported 

Samsung Galaxy A51 (2019)

Released as a midrange device in Samsung’s Galaxy line, the Galaxy A51 offers plenty of value for its budget-friendly price. The near bezel-less AMOLED display shows vivid colors and crisp details, while rear camera system boasts four lenses for some serious photo-taking capabilities. While its processing power may leave you wanting more, it’s still an incredibly value-filled device, especially with it being sold by retailers for as low as $227 these days.

Pros

  • Beautiful display
  • Great cameras
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Average performance

LG G7 ThinQ (2018)

While it doesn’t boast any ground-breaking features, the LG G7 ThinQ is a solid smartphone that performs well where it matters. Its 6.1-inch OLED display is big and bright, its dual-lense camera system works together with AI software to understand up to 19 different shooting modes, and the battery, while relatively small, lasts all day like it should.

Originally sold in the $750 to $800 range, the G7 ThinQ can now be found for less than $250, especially if you buy a premium pre-owned device on online marketplaces.

Pros

  • Huge, bright display
  • Dual-lens camera system with AI software
  • Boombox speaker

Cons

  • Smaller 3,000mAH battery compared to predecessors

The Bottom Line

Our favorite used phones under $250 in 2021 are:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Motorola One Action
  • Samsung Galaxy A51
  • LG G7 ThinQ

There are plenty of other affordable used phones out there. But these will still be high-performing phones in 2021, and some of them can still run current operating systems: Which is a huge plus.

If you want to find these used phones online, browse the Glyde Marketplace.

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