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The best cellphones under $100 used to be some of the basic feature phones with support of some good audio with a great battery life till 2015, but 2016 would likely change that. The biggest change at this price point in 2015 is the availability of basic smartphones which now also run decently well.

Most of the big smartphone OS players like Google (Android) and Microsoft have realized the need for cheaper smartphones for the developing world and have then re-purposed their operating systems to work better on lower end devices. Android with its 'Android One' initiative is leading the pack and 2015 should see some of the best smartphones under $100 coming with Android One support.

By and large at a price below $100, the buyer cannot expect much additional features. Still the cut-throat competition in the market is forcing the major companies to roll out handsets bundled with considerable features. One can expect the following features:
Bluetooth, Camera, FM Radio, Headphone Jack, Memory Card Slot, MP3 Player, Speaker Phone, Supports MP3 format, Touch screen, Video Capture, Social Network Integration.

One additional thing to be looked for is the build quality: the device must be sturdy. Poor build quality and plasticky design will result in inferior looks and feel after few months of use. The buyer can get costlier GSM handsets in this price range by availing a subscription based scheme from most of the carriers. Here, the handheld will be subsidised by the carrier, but you will be required to sign a long term contract with the carrier. During this period, you wouldn't be able to switch carriers for your phone.

Browse All Top Cell Phones Under $100 - 2016 »

LG Exalt 2

LG Exalt 2


Top Contenders for the Best Cell Phone Under $100 - 2016 Compared:

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

LG Exalt 2
Kyocera DuraXV Plus
Kyocera DuraForce
Motorola Moto G
HTC Desire 510
LG Exalt 2
Kyocera DuraXV Plus
Kyocera DuraForce
Motorola Moto G Smartphone
HTC Desire 510
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Release Date
Sep 2015
May 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2013
Sep 2014
Carrier
Verizon
Verizon
AT-T
AT-T
Sprint

  • With its generously sized screen and smooth performance, the LG Exalt is a top contender in Verizon's line of basic phones.


  • Durable and water resistant, the Kyocera DuraXV is one of the most capable feature phones available.


  • The Kyocera DuraForce is an adventure-ready Android smartphone that strikes a nice balance between price and performance.


  • Get the Kyocera DuraForce if a rugged handset is a priority; otherwise, AT&T has other handsets in the same price range with better cameras and faster internal speeds.


  • You can't beat the price of the Moto G, but the more expensive and more powerful Nexus 5 remains your shrewdest unlocked Android option.


  • Sporting an outstanding outright price of $179 for the base model, it's something many people believe to be mind-boggling. Just when we thought $349 for the Nexus 5 was pretty darn good, but this obviously takes the cake. It's unlocked, there's variety with its color casings, and the Android experience is also easy to understand, so it's hard not to like it. All told, Motorola is defining what it means to be an entry-level player.


  • The Moto G is the best-built, unlocked smartphone under $200 available today.


  • - The smooth edges make it easy to hold and operate.
    - The stock browser is simple and functional.
    - Connectivity-wise, the Desire 510 is perfectly fine.
    - The audio app is better - it has a nice way of arranging and presenting your music in a clearly laid-out gallery.


  • Don't let the 64-bit processor fool you—the Android-based HTC Desire 510 on Boost Mobile under-delivers on most other fronts.


  • - The Desire 510 feels fairly robust.
    - Even with the plastic-feeling case, when holding the HTC Desire 510 it feels pretty robust.


Top 5 cell phone under $100 - 2016:

  1. LG Exalt 2
  2. Kyocera DuraXV Plus
  3. Kyocera DuraForce
  4. Motorola Moto G Smartphone
  5. HTC Desire 510