Gone are the days you need to spend large sums of money to buy a phone with excellent camera quality. In recent years, cameras have become the biggest selling point of smartphones, leading to decreased phone prices with better camera features.

While these budget camera phones are readily available, it is not easy to pick just one out of possible hundreds of choices. The more you research these phones, the better options you will find, and you can even be tempted to go for the high-end models with excellent cameras that come with periscope lenses that can zoom more than you can imagine.

However, before you can save enough for the best phone with 4K video qualities and 100x zoom abilities, it is okay to invest in a cheaper model that will allow you to take excellent photos during the day and stay packed on charge when you want to travel. Here are 5 of the best cheap camera phones of 2021. We discuss their features, their advantages, and shortcomings, as well as a list of features you should look for when buying.

1. Best Cheap Camera Phone: Samsung Galaxy A51

Samsung Galaxy A51 Factory Unlocked Cell Phone | 128GB of Storage | Long Lasting Battery | Single SIM | GSM or CDMA Compatible | US Version | Black
  • Introducing the new A Series: The features you’ve been waiting for in your unlocked cell phone. Take crisp pics with the 48MP quad camera. Immerse yourself in a spacious high definition screen, powered by a long-lasting, fast charging battery
  • Unlocked by Samsung: Pick more than just your new cell phone. With your unlocked device, choose your preferred carrier, data plan, services, features and apps, and get your phone exactly how you want it
  • Crisp. Colorful. Captivating. Dive into edge-to-edge color with an expansive 6. 5” Infinity-O Display featuring a Super AMOLED screen that brings cinematic clarity right to your fingertips
  • Pro-grade shots in just a snap: From epic landscape shots and dramatic portraits, to macro angles that reveal intricate textures and detail, this impressive quad camera has a lens for whatever inspires you. Devices will work on any compatible network. Wireless voice, data and messaging services are compatible with most GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular
  • Smooth, stable shots: Take remarkably smooth video of fast-moving action in crisp, UHD quality. Its top-notch stability makes photos and videos look super smooth with minimal blur

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is the definition of value for money. It has all the fantastic features of a high-end camera phone, but for a lower price.

It has a 6.5 inch AMOLED Screen to offer great color varieties. You will be able to take such great photos with this android phone's quad-core cameras. They include a 48-megapixel sensor that is paired with an f/2.0 lens. It also has a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. This macro camera gives this phone an edge over others in this price range that only feature a 2-megapixel macro camera. The phone also features an Infinity-O Holepunch selfie camera for crystal clear selfie images.

Aside from the camera, this Samsung galaxy smartphone packs ample storage capacities of up to 128 gigabytes for internal storage and an extra microSD card capacity of up to 512GB. It is also equipped with an in-screen fingerprint scanner for increased security and privacy and a large battery life of 4000mAh.

  •   Pros
  • A gorgeous 6.5 inch Super AMOLED screen
  • A high resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels with a 405 pixels per inch sharpness
  • A strong and powerful rear-front camera and an astonishing 32 MP selfie camera
  • A high maximum video resolution of 4K
  • Excellent storage capacity
  • Climate change-friendly product
  • Long battery life is ideal for taking pictures for long periods
  •   Cons
  • Not capable of shooting 4K videos
  • No telephoto camera

2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Smartphone - 6.67" DotDisplay,6 GB + 128 GB, 64 MP AI Quad Camera, 5020 mAh (type) NFC, Grigio (Interstellar Grey)
  • 6.67” FHD+ DotDisplay 2340x1080 FHD+ - Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification - Splash-proof nano coating
  • 128GB + 6GB RAM - Snapdragon 720G High-performance octa-core processor - 5020mAh Ultra high capacity battery - 2.4G Wi-Fi
  • Rear Main Camera: 64MP AI Quad camera, 8MP ultra wide-angle camera, 5MP Macro camera, 2MP depth camera - Front Camera: 16MP in-display
  • LTE: B1/3/7/8/20/28/38/40 > (ensure to check compatibility with your carrier before purchase)
  • International Model - No Warranty in US. Compatible with Most GSM Carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, MetroPCS, etc. Will NOT work with CDMA Carriers Such as Verizon, Sprint, Boost. - FCC ID: 2AFZZJ6B2G

If you struggle to take proper images or comfortably use your smartphone because of the size of your fingers, you will find a great match in this product from Xiaomi. It features a large 6.7-inch screen size, ideal for all types of users.

The phone's camera fulfills your every photography needs as well, with combined powers of 95 megapixels from five cameras; 64MP main camera + 8MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro + 2MP depth sensor, plus an excellent 16 MP front camera.

Running on the powerful Snapdragon 720G processor, this Android 10 smartphone is protected by the robust Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back to guarantee longevity. A carefully designed camera phone, the Redmi Note 9 Pro caters to all your storage needs, coming with either a 64GB or 128 GB storage capacity plus an extra microSD card slot for more storage. You will enjoy saving your snaps without any worry in the world. With this phone, you also get yourself an excellent gaming gadget because of its strong CPU and storage.

  •   Pros
  • The big screen is ideal for people with big hands
  • Powerful cameras for clear, high-quality pictures
  • Great storage capacity
  • Great battery
  • Powerful CPU
  • Latest Android system
  •   Cons
  • It features a bulky design
  • Also features a clunky interface
  • Could be too big for the average user

3. Google Pixel 4A

Google Pixel 4a with 5G - Android Phone - New Unlocked Smartphone with Night Sight and Ultrawide Lens - Just Black
  • New, unlocked Android phone gives you the flexibility to change carriers and choose your own data plan; unlocked smartphone works with T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and other major carriers; not compatible with the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network
  • 5G capable cell phone gives you an extra boost of speed. So you can download a movie in seconds, enjoy smooth streaming in ultra clear HD, play games at home and on the go, and even share your 5G speed with friends
  • The all day battery can last up to 48 hours with Extreme Battery Saver
  • Your phone will automatically receive the latest OS and security updates for at least 3 years; The custom-made Titan M chip helps secure the operating system and sensitive data, like passwords
  • Take vibrant photos on your phone even in the dark with Night Sight, bring studio-quality light to your pictures of people with Portrait Light; and get more scenery and people in the shot with the rear-facing ultrawide lens

This Google Pixel 4a 5G smartphone is what you need for speed. Now compatible with T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T, among other carriers, you can download large files in seconds, or play your favorite games without a hitch, or upload your best snaps to a cloud server without a worry.

5G is not the only feature to rave about here; this smartphone is packed with a powerful range of cameras; a 12 MP rear camera, a 16 MP ultra-wide camera, and an 8 MP front camera. These cameras allow you to take photos in dark places with the Night Sight feature and capture all details without the flash. The HDR+ feature lets you take vivid photos by enhancing color and light for the best ultra-wide and portrait mode photos.

Powered by the Snapdragon 765G, this fast charging Android 10 smartphone has an excellent screen display of 6.2 inches and a 6GB +128 GB storage capacity.

  •   Pros
  • Great camera
  • Stock android
  • Powerful processor
  • Adequate storage capacity
  • 5G network for faster connectivity
  • Fingerprint readerHeadphone jackFast-charging
  •   Cons
  • Battery not very powerful
  • Cheap plastic build

4. Motorola Moto G8+ plus

Moto G8+ plus | Unlocked | International GSM Only | 4/64GB | 25MP Camera | 2019 | Blue | NOT compatible with Sprint or Verizon
  • International GSM Only - Will not work on CDMA carriers like Sprint and Verizon.
  • 6. 3” Max Vision FHD+ display with 19: 9 aspect ratio
  • 48MP Triple camera system with laser autofocus and night vision mode
  • 25 MP selfie camera - Capture every detail and enjoy 4x low light sensitivity with Quad Pixel for picture-perfect selfies any time.
  • 40-hour battery - With a 4000 mAh battery, moto g8 plus keeps the fun going for 40 hours on a single charge.

The Motorola Moto G8+ is a 6.3-inch screen display size smartphone designed for great features at an affordable price.

It is designed for speed and powered by the Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor that is assisted by an inbuilt AI engine and a 4Gb internal memory capacity.

It is a 4G smartphone that boasts a 40-hour 4000 mAh battery to keep taking your amazing photos on a single charge.

It also has a powerful camera system that features a 48MP Triple camera system plus a Night Vision feature for laser-sharp images at any time of the day.

The Moto G Power is another budget smartphone from Motorola with very similar features.

  •   Pros
  • A 48-megapixel triple camera system for the best quality images
  • Long battery life
  • 4g network compatibility and unlocked for international use
  • Excellent 6.3-inch screen
  • Relatively affordable
  • Modern design
  • Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock
  • Dual sim card phone
  •   Cons
  • Not ideal for butterfingers

5. Apple iPhone SE 2020

Apple iPhone SE 2nd Generation, US Version, 64GB, Black - Unlocked (Renewed)
  • This phone is unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice on GSM and CDMA networks (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, Cricket, Metro, Tracfone, Mint Mobile, etc.).
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.
  • Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a generic (Mfi certified) charger and charging cable.
  • Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arm's length.

This is Apple's best cheap camera phone yet, released in 2020 and packed with impressive visual and technical features. It comes with a 4.7-inch screen display and a 720-pixel resolution.

You can get this iPhone and enjoy features like Touch ID, wireless charging, and a generous storage capacity of 64/256GB for a very affordable price.

It comes with a powerful 12MP rear camera as well as a 7MP front selfie camera. Apple's amazing A13 Bionic RAM 3GB CPU powers it for the best overall performance, and its general camera performance allows you to record 4K videos. This iPhone SE is one of the best budget camera phones for a second year running.

  •   Pros
  • Excellent image quality even in night mode
  • Can shoot amazing 4K videos
  • Wireless charging feature
  • Adequate storage capacity
  • Excellent camera quality
  • Powerful processor
  •   Cons
  • Too small for many users
  • Poor battery performance
  • No Face IDNo zoom feature

Features to Look for in the Best Cheap Camera Phone

When you want to buy a new budget camera phone, you need to understand a few camera features before spending your money. The following are the types of cameras you can anticipate for your new smartphone gadget.

a). The standard/primary camera

Also called wide-angle, any smartphone you buy will have this camera mounted at the rear. It features powerful lenses that can capture images without zooming, ideal when you want to capture landscape photos or other large images such as group photos.

In most instances, the camera will have a local focal point length of between 22mm and 30mm, with the length allowing for a more expansive angle-of-view.

b).Ultra-wide cameras

Compared to the main camera, this one offers an even wider field of view. Most new smartphones following the current digital trends will have this camera installed next to the rear or front cameras and at an affordable price too. It is best for taking large group photos and landscape photos. However, it is best if you are careful with the camera because it can distort your images.

c). Telephoto camera

If you have heard of the term optical zoom when asking about a budget phone, it means the power of the telephoto camera. They can zoom 2x to 3x the main camera's focal point length, meaning they have more powerful lenses than the main camera.

However, even as you look for a telephoto lens in available budget phones, you should also know they can only take portrait images because they have a narrow-angle of view.

d). Monochrome camera

If you are a fan of black and white pictures, then this is a feature to look for when buying a smartphone. The camera allows you to take a black and white image which is better than using filters to achieve the same effect.

It is also ideal to be used in low-light photography conditions because it does well to capture a lot of light.

e). Macro Camera

A macro camera is ideal for you when you want to take really close-up photos of tiny objects such as insects or tiny flowers. Unlike the telephoto lens which zooms to capture long-distance objects, this macro lens magnifies objects for a clearer image.

f). Depth Sensor/ Time of Flight (ToF)

This lens has the least resolution on your phone because it is not used to shoot images but collect extra data for the object.

The lens can sometimes blur a part of your image's background to ensure the object you are capturing stays in focus.

Extra Features to Look for When Buying a Budget Phone

While it is good to buy a phone with a great camera setup at a cheap deal, it is also vital to pick these features because they determine how well you can enjoy your photography.

1. Battery

When you want a great budget camera phone, you have to consider how long its battery can last you on a single charge. One thing to know is a higher mAh does not always mean longer battery life. Also, be on the lookout for fast charging abilities, and even better, wireless charging.

2. Processors

The processor is the life of your smartphone. The more powerful it is, the easier it will be to use your camera. Some of the best processors are Qualcomm, Kirin, MediaTek, etc.

3. Storage

When you are so serious about getting a camera phone, you have to think of storage capacities. Check out how much RAM your phone has remaining after preinstalled apps and how much you can expand it with a microSD card.

4. Design

You want a phone you can use to take pictures with for extended periods. As such, pick one whose body is ideal for you. You can pick between the size, body material, and shape of the phone.


It is always a good time to capture a moment; the memories you store can last generations. So, when you've decided to get serious about photography, you now have the luxury to buy a smartphone that is right for you and your budget.

These 5 cheap camera phones are an ideal place to start, and you can even decide to go for more expensive models like the Google Pixel 5, Google Pixel 3, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, or the Moto G Power after you've gained more experience.

However, when buying a good camera phone, you should follow a budget that will guide you to the best cameras. Make sure the camera has the best quality, and look for features like powerful rear cameras and front cameras. You will also find the best camera phones to have the best smartphone features, from network compatibility to high storage and powerful batteries.

About the Author GQadmin

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