Over the past decade, smartphones have become the most popular tech product for consumers. If Apple, Samsung and Huawei dominate the premium segment, new players are shaking up the market with more affordable models, but just as attractive.
In 2020, to buy a state-of-the-art model, you have to pay more than 1,000 euros. This large budget is not within the reach of all budgets. Some competitors (including Chinese manufacturers) have understood this and have been offering models that are just as attractive for a few years at prices more contained around 800 €. And it works !
Jostled by these challengers, the giants therefore decline their high-end models in more affordable versions. To do this, they sacrifice a few technologies that most consumers consider to be gadgets.
Result: the offer of smartphones for less than 800 euros has never been so rich. Admittedly, a smartphone at this price remains reserved for an audience with comfortable finances. But considering that these models will remain efficient over time, they can represent a winning investment.
To see more clearly in this plethoric offer, we have prepared a small guide to the best smartphones for less than 800 euros. Of course, all the models presented have been tested by the editorial staff.
iPhone 11: the best of Apple at less than 1000 euros
Difficult to miss the iPhone 11. Launched alongside the iPhone 11 Pro, this more affordable model is nonetheless attractive. Apple had the good idea to sacrifice only a few elements to reduce costs and therefore the final price. The iPhone 11 only integrates two photo sensors (one less than the Pro version), but remains effective enough to please the majority of users.
Only 6.1 inch LCD screen with HD definition (1792 x 828 pixels) in place of the Full HD OLED panel makes a real difference. If Apple delivers a quality screen, it remains behind compared to competing models equipped with AMOLED panels.
For the rest, the iPhone 11 incorporates all that Apple can do best. A13 Bionic chip, 4 GB RAM, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 3110 mAh battery. Note also that the Californian giant finally offers an autonomy worthy of the name, a real good forward.
Finally, the exemplary tracking of iOS updates ensures a comfortable life for the iPhone 11. An asset that most competitors can not highlight.
Launched at 809 euros, iPhone 11 is available for less than 800 euros at the time of writing.
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iPhone XR: a great alternative
Launched a year earlier, the iPhone XR presents itself as an excellent alternative to the iPhone 11. Presented alongside the iPhone XS / XS Max, it is still available in the Apple catalog for a price of 709 euros. However, it is regularly offered below 700 euros at most distributors and even under 600 euros in reconditioning.
The iPhone XR therefore embodies the mid-range of Apple. You will therefore have to agree to make some concessions. Starting with the photo, since it only takes one photo sensor. However, the engineers succeeded in optimizing the software to obtain quality shots.
If the autonomy is average, performance remains very good in 2020 thanks to an A12 Bionic chip ahead of the competition when it comes out. Like the iPhone 11, the Xr has exemplary update tracking, ensuring a comfortable life.
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Google Pixel 4/4 XL: kings of the photo
If the photo is the main criterion for you when buying a smartphone, the Pixel 4 (or its XL version) is undoubtedly the best possible choice. Google has distinguished itself by the power of its processing algorithms. So with two "only" sensors, the Pixel 4 captures high quality shots, including in low light. In the absence of an ultra-wide angle, however, we can blame him for his lack of versatility.
Its Snapdragon 855 chip, 6 GB of RAM and its Adreno 640 graphics chip ensure excellent performance. Its OLED screen is undoubtedly one of the most successful on the market. New Motion Sense Technology allows fast and secure facial recognition, like Face ID at Apple. Google has added some motion control features that are both interesting and frustrating. We would have liked more possibilities.
The autonomy remains the biggest weak point of the Pixel 4 (the XL version gets better) which will have to go through the recharging box at the very end of the afternoon. A real weak point compared to competing models which all exceed the day of use.
Offered at 769 euros at launch, the Pixel 4 is available for less than 600 euros at the time of writing. A very attractive price in terms of on-board technologies and his talents as a photographer. Especially since, like the latest iPhones, Pixels enjoy excellent update tracking.
Google Pixel 4 at the best price Base price: 769 €
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Google Pixel 4 XL at the best price Base price: 899 €
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Huawei P30 Pro: the other is him
Launched in early 2019, the P30 Pro remains an excellent high-end smartphone a year later. In addition to its premium design, it shines with its excellent performance, its autonomy of almost two days and its high-quality screen.
But the P30 Pro is best illustrated in photos. In 2019, Huawei launched a module never before seen on the market with a periscope lens capable of zooming up to x5 (optical), x10 (hybrid) and x50 (digital). In addition, the pictures shine with their excellent sharpness, their Leica colorimetry and very good contrasts. In low light, the P30 Pro is also particularly effective. Huawei’s lead was such that a year later the P30 Pro is still among the most attractive photophones.
Mostly, the P30 Pro still ships Google services as well as the Play Store. A significant advantage compared to newer models (Mate 30 Pro or P40 Pro) which must (because of the American embargo) adapt with Huawei services and the AppGallery still poor in popular applications.
At the time of writing, the P30 Pro is offered around 600 euros, an ultra-competitive price for a smartphone of this size.
OnePlus 7T Pro: the best of the rising brand
In late 2019, OnePlus launched two new smartphones, the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. Despite their differences, both deserve their place in this guide. The 7T Pro embodies all that the brand can do best. Rather massive, its front face leaves plenty of room for the sublime 6.67 inch Fluid Amoled screen with a definition of 3100 x 1440 pixels. Above all, the slab displays a 90 Hz refresh rate, an excellent point for a model at this price.
To camouflage its front sensor, OnePlus opts for a retractable module positioned to the left of the upper border. Obviously, the manufacturer remains faithful and provides an ultra powerful smartphone (Snapdragon 855+, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. The 4085 mAh battery provides a range of one and a half days. It is a little less than previous models, but it's still comfortable.
On the photo side, OnePlus continues its efforts and put on a triple sensor of 48 + 8 + 16 megapixels. If the quality improves compared to previous models, it remains below market references. We will therefore choose the 7T Pro above all for its balance and its excellent techno-price ratio.
Despite its many advantages, we deplore the absence of wireless charging, even if the Warp Charge 30 fast charging system is particularly effective. For the price (more than 700 euros when it came out) we would have liked to have both. We forgive him more for his weaknesses at the beginning of 2020 since he costs less than 600 euros.
OnePlus 7T Pro at the best price Base price: 759 €
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OnePlus 7T: the right balance
If the 7T Pro doesn't appeal to you, the 7T should catch your eye. More compact, it also embeds the best brand technologies. 6.55-inch flat OLED screen with Full HD definition, Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, its technical data sheet is not lacking.
More enduring than his big brother, it stands out above all by its design. The circular photo module gives it a certain originality. Some people love it, others hate it. We are among the followers.
Photo side, the 7T has a less muscular module, but remains quite correct for most users. OnePlus does not play the race for the best photophone with this model and fully assumes it. With the 7T, the manufacturer plays the balance card and it is a success.
Like the 7T Pro, the 7T runs on Oxygen OS, the software developed by the brand. We can't say it enough: Oxygen OS is arguably the best version of Android today (with Samsung's One UI, in a different style). Simple, fluid and efficient, it shines with its lightness and well thought out features. OnePlus is also known for its seriousness in tracking updates.
Proposed around 550 euros, the OnePlus 7T is among the best smartphones at less than € 800 from our selection. An alternative to the very high end to seriously consider.
OnePlus 7T at the best price Base price: 599 €
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Sony Xperia 5: life in 21: 9
Once a giant smartphone, Sony has lost its superb face in the face of increasingly fierce competition. However, the Japanese continue to distinguish themselves by offering models very different from their rivals. The Xperia 5 fits in with this differentiation strategy with flying colors.
Successor of the Xperia 1, it stands out above all by its 21: 9 aspect ratio while vertical. Easier to use with one hand, it will also appeal to multimedia enthusiasts. Although its 6.1-inch Full HD OLED screen is not perfect (a little blue), it remains very good and covers more than 90% of the DCI-P3 spectrum. Ideal for watching series and movies or for playing.
Under the hood, the Xperia 5 contains enough power to meet the needs of the most demanding users. Thanks to the Snapdragon 855 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. On the other hand, its autonomy is somewhat fair compared to the competition. Count a day, no more.
Finally, the triple 12 + 12 + 12 megapixel photo sensor is effective without achieving the level of excellence of the best smartphones on the market. But Sony is improving year by year.
Offered at less than 600 euros, the Sony Xperia 5 will appeal to users looking for a complete, original and compact model. The icing on the cake: it has an almost pure version of Android, a definite asset for tracking updates.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+: the most stylish
We could have integrated the Galaxy S20 into this top, but it costs 100 euros too much for the moment. By May 2020, the new high-end from Samsung should hold a deserved place in this guide. In the meantime, our eyes are on the Galaxy Note 10+, launched in September 2019.
With the Note range, Samsung offers a unique experience since it is the only manufacturer to offer a smartphone equipped with a stylus. As such, it suffers from no real competition. Each year, Korean improves the technology embedded in this small accessory. The Note 10+ S-Pen is no exception and allows multiple uses such as remote control.
Beyond this little accessory, the Note 10+ shines with its versatility and high-end finishes. Few manufacturers can boast of delivering such technological jewelry. Special mention for the AMOLED screen that Samsung masters to perfection.
Powerful, enduring, particularly intuitive thanks to One UI, the Note 10+ is also effective in photos. Without reaching the level of Google or Huawei, Korean makes a very clean copy and offers a versatile photo module.
We don't really see what we could blame the Note 10+ for. Some will regret its slightly too massive format. Samsung thought about it and declined for the first time a Galaxy Note in two versions. The Galaxy Note 10, more compact and more affordable will no doubt be suitable for those allergic to large smartphones.
The Galaxy Note 10+ is available at around 700/750 euros. Note 10, it has passed below the 650 euros mark. At these rates, the two Samsung pen smartphones are models that we highly recommend.
Galaxy Note 10+ at the best price Base price: € 1,109
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Our selection of the best smartphones for less than 800 euros ends here. If you found your happiness with another model, you can of course share it with us. This guide will be updated over the course of the outings. Finally, if you are looking for more affordable models, you can consult our guides to the best smartphones for less than 500 euros and less than 300 euros.