So, the iPhone SE is out. And most likely, you’re enticed by its affordable $399 price tag. I certainly am. After all, you get the beastly A13 Bionic chip, reliable camera hardware with acclaimed video recording chops, and a compact form factor for less than half the price of 2020 flagships.
But what if iOS doesn’t cut it for you and Android is your preferred OS? Well, don’t lose hope just yet. There are plenty of great phones in that price bracket that will serve you well. So, let’s dive right into our best Android alternatives to the iPhone SE story:
Google Pixel 4
This one’s a no-brainer. The Pixel 4 packs a beautiful 5.7-inch OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and employs the advanced Soli radar system for super fast and secure face unlock. And oh, there is the cool Motion Sense feature for controlling your Pixel 4 with hand gestures. It is powered by the Snapdragon 855 chip paired with 6GB of RAM, and runs the stock flavor of Android with a vastly improved Google Assistance.
On Pixel 4, you’ll find an optically stabilized 12MP primary camera and a 16MP telephoto snapper at the back, and an 8MP camera at the front. Despite packing just two rear cameras, the Pixel 4 clicks great photos and is among the best phones out there when it comes to imaging capabilities. It also has an eye-catching design and supports 18W charging. Plus, the Pixel 4 will get assured updates for two more years, and provides an unparalleled Android experience. In a nutshell, Pixel 4 is the best Android alternative to iPhone SE.
Buy at $450 from Best Buy
OnePlus has carved a solid reputation for offering spec-heavy phones with great software and unbeatable pricing. The OnePlus 7T is no exception. It packs a 6.55-inch FHD+AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, while the Snapdragon 855+ at its heart paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. That solid hardware and feature-rich OxygenOS skin ensure a buttery smooth experience. Also, OnePlus has a solid track record with updates, which is always welcome.
OnePlus 7T offers an impressive camera hardware that includes a 48MP main camera, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 16MP wide-angle snapper, while selfies are handled by a 16MP front camera. Plus, the 3,800mAh battery supports the super fast Warp Charge 30T charging tech. Overall, the OnePlus 7T is an excellent package at its current price. Comparing side by side, the OnePlus 7T is worth every penny for the $100 premium it asks over the iPhone SE.
Google Pixel 3a
If you are looking to save some money, but still want a dependable phone, the Google Pixel 3a is the phone to get. It packs a 5.6-inch FHD+ display and relies on the sufficiently powerful Snapdragon 670 chip alongside 4GB of RAM. However, the stock Android interface ensures everything runs without a hitch. Pixel 3a has a single 12MP snapper with OIS at the back, but it is arguably the best camera you will find on a phone in this price bracket. Essentially, the Pixel 3a is to Google what iPhone SE is to Apple.
The 3,000mAh battery is a bit on a smaller side, but the phone is also quite compact and definitely worth considering if pocketability is your priority. As far as design goes, the Pixel 3a stands out with its minimalist appeal. The Pixel 3a is a great device for $350, but you can occasionally find it going for even lower during sale events. However, the Pixel 4a is just around the corner and is rumored to cost $399, so you might want to wait for that.
Buy Pixel 3a at $350 from Best Buy
This one’s a best bang for your bucks phone. Samsung Galaxy A51 as an eye-catching design and a beautiful 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O display. It has the Exynos 9611 chip at its heart accompanied by 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, a combination that provides a smooth sailing experience. Plus, the One UI 2.0 skin is much cleaner now and gets a tonne of new features as well.
You get a 48MP main snapper leading the imaging hardware, supported by a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro shooter, and a 5MP depth sensor. There is a sufficiently capable 32MP selfie camera that supports a tonne of camera tricks to play with. The Galaxy A51 is a lot of phone for its $399 price tag, and will be right up your alley if you consume a lot of media on your phone and want a device that stands out with its design. What the Galaxy A51 lacks in brute power compared to the iPhone SE, it makes up for it with a great overall package.
Buy at $399 from Best Buy
Clean UI. Great design. Versatile cameras. Reliable performance. The aforementioned traits perfectly sum up the Nokia 7.2 mid-ranger. Plus, Nokia phones are among the fastest to receive Android updates, which is a good thing. Also, a bloatware-free UI is something not many phones offer these days. Nokia 7.2 packs an HDR10 display and relies on the Snapdragon 660 chip paired with a healthy 6GB of RAM.
The Nokia offering brings a 48MP main camera sitting alongside an 8MP wide-angle lens and a 5MP depth sensor. There is a 20MP camera sitting in a notch on the front. It packs a 3,500mAh battery and comes in beautiful Charcoal and Cyan Green colors. Plus, it already runs Android 10 and will likely continue to receive regular updates for at least one more year. At $299, the Nokia 7.2 offers unbeatable value and is a great iPhone SE alternative that costs $100 less.