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Best budget smartphones under R5000

(Image credit: Google)

The boom in smartphones means you don't have to fork out for a flagship phone to get some decent features. There are now many budget smartphones that keep the best of their more expensive counterparts without the price tag. 

We've pulled together some of the best affordable smartphones which won't set you back too much but will keep you connected. 

Best affordable smartphones at a glance

  • Nokia 5.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
  • Samsung A31
  • Tecno Camon 12
  • Nokia 3.2
  • Hisense Infinity H11

Nokia 5.3

Nokia 5.3

(Image credit: Nokia)

The Nokia 5.3 epitomises these characteristics. It's a svelte, pocket-friendly shape that feels light but resilient. You're getting a great suite of features including a proper Snapdragon processor, a large bright screen and a 4000mAh battery. It also includes both wide-angle and macro lenses, unusual on phones in this price band.  Featuring the Android One operating system so the phone runs efficiently 

All this comes at just under R4999.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

Redmi Note 9

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Redmi Note 9 is a great phone that offers impressive features at a much more affordable price. Although there are some sacrifices to get the price this low, they won't really be noticed by the average smartphone user. 

Powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 and 5020mAh battery you can use all day without worrying. it also features fast charging so you don't have to worry even if you start running out. The 48MP quad-camera setup also offers a good enough shot for the amateur smartphone photographer. 

It comes in at R3,999 for the dual sim addition. 

Samsung A31

Samsung A31

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung A31 features a MediaTek octa-core P63 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It's a good -rather than a great- phone. It has a stand-out AMOLED screen which is not often found on budget phones and is pretty big at 6.4-inches. The dual SIM is also an added bonus.

It is also fairly priced at R4,799. 

Tecno Camon 12

TECNO Camon 12

(Image credit: TECNO)

Tecno is a lesser-known brand in South Africa but offers a beautiful design in this simple study phone. The triple camera arrangement is impressive and the flash effect on the selfie cam is a nice touch too. However, its annoying software and nuisance OS settings are quite frustrating if you're used to Android of iOS. 

It's also among the cheapest on this list at R2,999. 


Nokia 3.2


(Image credit: Future)

The Nokia 3.2 is a thin, light smartphone but still sneaks in a 4000mAh battery. The 6.2-inch screen is big enough to view videos and even a little bit of gaming. The single 13MP rear camera to deliver pretty sharp, colour balanced photos in natural light. It also has Android 10 with rapid updates. 

It only costs R2,299. 

Hisense Infinity H11


(Image credit: Takealot)

The Hisense Infinity H11 is a great offering from this budget brand. The 5.99-inch HD+ Display is small but not too small and the 3400mAh battery allows for 315 hours of standby time or 10 hours of HD video. 

The camera's not that great but good enough to capture the important moments. It has 12MP Ultra pixel rear camera, and 16MP front camera. There is also enough memory at 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM and allows for up to 128GB expandable memory.

It runs Android N operating system and costs R3,949. 

Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.