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The ReviewGist pick for the best smartphone under $200 is the Huawei Honor 5X. Even though the Huawei Honor 5X has flagship level specs on paper, the real world performance leaves a lot to be desired in almost all fronts. The Honor 5X has garnered an average of 3 star rating from over 13 expert reviewers and has been universally panned for its sluggish performance, poor low light camera, cumbersome interface and a cheap feel to the build. That being said, it has been redeemed by its display which has earned top marks and for $200, it is still the best smartphone out there.

What we found digging through some of the top cellphones under $200:

The best cellphones under $200 on the market include some of the lower end Android and Windows phones. Note that at this price point an Android will probably give you a better performance. This is fundamentally because the latest versions of Android have been specifically optimized to work on cellphones with lower processing power - which will be the norm at a sub-$200 price point. The Windows phones will also suffer from lack of comprehensive app support, but most of the basic utilities should be as good.


Browse All Top Cell Phones Under $200 - 2016 »

Huawei Honor 5X

Huawei Honor 5X


Top Contenders for the Best Cell Phone Under $200 - 2016 Compared:

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#5

Huawei Honor 5X
Moto G (3rd Gen)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
Xolo Era 4K
Huawei Honor 5X
Moto G (3rd gen)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
Xolo Era 4K
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Release Date
Feb 2016
Jul 2015
Aug 2015
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Digital Camera Resolution
13.0 MP
13.0 MP
13.0 MP
13.0 MP
8.0 MP
Installed RAM (GB)
2.0 GB
1.0 GB
2.0 GB
2.0 GB
2.0 GB
Screen Size(Diagonal)
5.5 inch
5.0 inch
5.5 inch
5.0 inch
5.0 inch
Front Webcam Resolution
5.0 MP
5.0 MP
5.0 MP
5.0 MP
5.0 MP
Processor Type
Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53
Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53, 1.4GHz  quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53, Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53
1.2GHz ,Qualcomm Snapdragon 616,Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53
1GHz  quad-core, MediaTek MT6735, Quad-core 1.0 GHz
Battery Capacity
3000.0 mAh
2470.0 mAh
3060.0 mAh
2750.0 mAh
4000.0 mAh
Operating System
Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop), planned upgrade to v6.0 (Marshmallow)
Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop), upgradable to v6.0 (Marshmallow), Android 5.1.1
Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Android 5.1, Android OS, v5.1 (Lollipop)
Android 5.1, Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)

  • The strategy is simple with this one. Essentially, honor is the first out of the gate to set the bar for what we expect out of phones in the mid-range category this year – and the honor 5X surely raises some brows in the process. Combing over the phone specs, while also being mindful about its full retail cost of $200, there’s certainly a lot going for this phone.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Honor has taken a lot of what's great about the Huawei Mate 8 and wrapped it in a more wallet-friendly package, delivering what, on first impressions, looks to be one of the best budget phablets around.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The Honor 5X offers flagship level features like a 1080p display, a 3000mAh battery, fingerprint scanner, and metal bodied-design in exchange for just a few shortcomings like the performance, lack of NFC and 5GHz Wi-Fi, and average camera performance. For $200, the Honor 5X is a steal, and the Chinese company has a large potential to pursue the midrange smartphone market in the US. The Honor 5X is a perfect example of ?No Nonsense? that the company has promised.

  • Rating Unavailable

    - The app switcher has a neat card interface that allows you to select the app you need by swiping up or down.
    - One finger swipe from the top of the homescreen will open the notification area, which features a clean look in Android Lollipop.
    - Motorola's custom gesture controls are also quite helpful on this instance.
    - Its browsing interface is very basic, but there are powerful editing options.

  • Rating Unavailable

    It's still one of the best value phones you can buy despite the slight price rise, which is why we still recommend it.


  • - This smartphone still is inconspicuous, curvaceous and symmetrically attractive.
    - Some rivals have better screens or support larger memory cards, but these top-tier features are pointless if they fail at the basics.
    - The resulting photos look fantastic on the smartphone screen and commendable on computer monitors.


  • At about $170 to $190 (excluding any possibly applicable import fees), the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is a hard phablet to beat, though certainly not unopposed. For around that kind of money, you can get Meizu's m2 Note 5.5-incher, which sports a nearly identical specs list, but comes with a better camera and sweeter battery life. It's arguably the more attractive of the two, also.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Build quality is very good, the matte finish is a welcome change.
    The display is decent: it isn't among the brightest we've seen, but offers deep blacks, very good viewing angles and contrast. The sunlight legibility however is only average.
    Battery life is passable, let down by the standby performance.
    Rich wireless and wired connectivity options.
    MIUI 7 is a clean and light Android Lollipop launcher but with rich customization options.
    The Helio X10 chipset is doing alright, even though a little behind other Helio X10 powered smartphones. The 2GB of RAM are sufficient.


  • - It's also one of the fastest selling phones of all time, having shifting 1.5 million units in its native China in the space of a fortnight.
    - It's powerful, has a fantastic display and packs a brilliant camera, and to cap it off is running one of the best Android UIs you can get.


  • It seems that Lenovo has the makings of another winner on its hands. It could be as popular as the K3 Note was, bringing similar features and even better looks to a lower price level. The only real objections we have with this phone are its weak battery life and tendency to become uncomfortably warm when anything serious is running.In terms of performance, the Vibe K5 Plus edges out the more expensive Honor 5X (Review | Pictures) and seems like a better deal that similarly priced phones such as the Karbonn Quattro L50 HD (Review | Pictures).


  • - It’s not that the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is a bad phone, it’s definitely not.
    - In terms of build, the device isn’t bad.
    - Viewing angles are quite good and while there is a noticeable lack in brightness at any other angle other than straight on, there’s no noticeable colour shift.
    - The audio quality over the 3.5mm jack was surprisingly clean and loud in both movies and music.
    - The screen is nice, the audio from the headphone jack isn’t bad and apps are usable.

  • Rating Unavailable

    So there you have it, the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is a $130 phone that can play with the big boys, and put up a respectable fight. It's not going to win any beauty pageants and it won't challenge the flagships on features and performance, but it doesn't need to. The Vibe K5 Plus is trying to come across as a good affordable all-rounder, and that's precisely what it is.


  • The Xolo Era 4K has a rather amusing name, since it doesn't have a 4K screen, isn't the fourth Xolo Era, and apart from having four cores in its SoC, we can't see that anything about it has to do with either a 4 or a K. That aside, the phone is an interesting option for buyers looking for a budget phone. Rs. 6,499 gets you an inoffensive looking smartphone with dual-SIM support, 4G capability on either SIM, expandable storage, and a near-stock version of Android.


Some more tips to find the top phone under $200:

Below $200, there are some great smart phones which packs some neat features. Some of the features that you can look for in the best cellphones under 200 include 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS positioning and navigation etc along with higher-resolution touchscreen and mobile broadband access.

Also try to optimize on the the resolution and quality of mobile cameras but the cellphones under $200 will typically not give you photo capabilities - you might want to look into the windows phones if you are looking for a decent cameras as they generally outperform the Android ones w.r.t the camera capabilities. Also, companies are releasing models dubbed as feature phones, which have similar but slightly lower feature set and price tags compared to their smart counterparts.