The days of budget smartphones being shockingly bad are over.
The era of an affordable phone featuring nothing more than a poor quality display, terrible design, pathetic camera and sluggish performance are thankfully long gone.
Smartphone makers have upped their game, especially when it comes to offering low cost phones in emerging markets such as Thailand, there is a plethora of excellent value handsets to choose from.
We recently showed you the best budget Android phones under 10,000 Baht, some of which run even the leading flagship devices pretty close on a few features and performance.
However, even if you have a budget under 5,000 Baht you can still get yourself a solid smartphone, capable of handling many of the same tasks of the leading smartphones, such as playing games, Facebook, LINE, watching videos and taking photos.
Some of the phones featured in our list are from brands you have probably heard of such as Samsung and Asus. Others you may not have heard of such as ZTE, Alcatel and Meizu but which are just as deserving of making it onto the list.
For an entry level phone you should expect around 2GB of RAM and a 1.3GHz processor, although as you will see from the list below there is wide variety when it comes to battery performance, which for some is a deciding factor when choosing a phone.
Here is our round up of the best budget Android phones for under 5,000 Baht, all of which are on sale in Thailand now.
Despite being a well established brand in China, you may not have heard of Meizu, although that is likely to change with the company set to release a wide range of smartphones in Thailand in the coming months.
The Meizu m2 was released in Thailand at the back end of last year and offers a mix of good specs and build quality alongside an affordable price.
The phone comes with generally what is pretty standard fare at this level: a 5 inch 720×1280 IPS LCD display and is powered by a 1.3 GHz 1.3GHz quadcore MediaTek MT6735 processor with 2GB of RAM. There’s also 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded to 128 GB with a MicroSD card.
The 13MP rear facing camera comes with f/2.2 aperture, autofocus and LED flash, with the front facing camera boasting 5MP.
The Meizu m2 runs Android Lollipop with the Flyme OS 4.5 and includes a 2,500 mAh battery.
Meizu m2 – 4,900 THB
ZTE Blade T620
If smartphone battery performance is what you look for in a new phone then you should take a look at ZTE Blade T620.
Released in Thailand in March, ZTE’s latest budget offering packs a whopping 4,000mAh battery, which by comparison is larger than any of the latest flagship phones from Samsung, LG, Huawei and Apple.
The phone also comes equipped with a 5 inch 1080p Full HD IPS display, 1 GHz quad core Mediatek MT6735P processor with 1GB RAM. There is also 8GB of internal storage which is expandable to 64GB. The 8MP primary camera includes LED flash, alongside the 2MP front facing camera.
Its vibrant display and snappy processor means the ZTE Blade T620 is a good option if you are into mobile gaming.
ZTE Blade T620 is on sale in Thailand now for 3,900 THB.
ALCATEL OneTouch Flash 2
With its 3,000mAh battery, the ALCATEL OneTouch Flash 2 is another budget phone which offers good battery performance.
Released in Thailand in November 2015, the specs are almost identical to the Meizu m2 listed above, with its 5 inch IPS LCD display and 1.3GHz quadcore MediaTek MT6735 processor with 2GB and 16GB of internal storage expandable to 128GB.
The 13MP and 5MP the rear and front facing cameras are also almost the same as the Meizu m2.
With its reasonable specs alongside its powerful battery, the ALCATEL OneTouch Flash 2 isn’t a bad option at this entry level.
On sale now for 4,900 THB
ASUS ZenFone 2 Go [ZC500TG]
Asus’ Zenfone series has proved hugely popular, with last year’s mid range offering considered one of the standout Android phones of 2015.
While arguably the standout phones in the range are the Zenfone 2 Laser (8,290 THB) and Zenfone Zoom (16,990 THB), the Zenfone 2 Go is the company’s entry level handset.
The phone includes a 5 inch 720×1280 IPS display with 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6580 processor, 2GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage which can be expanded to 64GB using MicroSD. It also includes an 8 megapixel primary camera and 2 megapixel front facing shooter.
The ZenFone 2 Go has a 2,070mAh battery and is shipped with Android Lollipop 5.1, although Asus has recently announced that it is in the process of updating its Zenfone range with Android Marshmallow. The update will see much of the bloatware removed that had previously been included which should improve performance no end.
Priced at 3,290 THB, this is arguably the best value for money phone to make the list. However, whilst it packs a reasonably snappy processor and 2GB of RAM, the affordability comes at the expense of the battery, camera and internal.
Samsung Galaxy J2
The Galaxy J2 is Samsung’s entry level budget handset and is the company’s answer to the wide range of budget phones from Chinese manufacturers that are flooding the market in Thailand and throughout developing markets in Asia.
In comparison to the other phones on the list, the Galaxy J2 is lacking in certain areas but makes up for it in others. For example, the Galaxy J2 is one of the few phones in this price range to include a super AMOLED display, which offers a much better viewing experience compared to the LED displays featured above.
Aside from the the 4.7 inch super AMOLED display, the Samsung Galaxy J2 includes a 1.3GHz quad-core Exynos 3475 processor which should offer slightly better performance compared to MediaTek MT6580 processor that is commonly found in devices at this level.
However, the J2 includes only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, although this can be increased to 128GB with a MicroSD card.
The cameras are also lacking, with only a 5MP camera on the rear and 2MP front facing camera.
The 2,000mAh battery is also the smallest of the phones featured here, but keep in mind the J2 does only have a 4.7 inch display.
If you don’t want to opt for a phone by a lesser known brand and instead want a budget phone from a manufacturer you are more familiar with then the Samsung Galaxy J2 is perhaps your best (and only) option at this level.
On sale now for 4,690 THB.