When it comes to binging your favorite TV shows on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (or whatever streaming service you prefer) on a phone, you need one with a larger screen, good resolution and image quality, as well as solid battery life and processing power to deliver a stutter-free experience.
Today, we’re going to talk about that, on a budget: the best cheap phones for Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, budget smartphones that can handle video streaming without a problem as long as you have a solid internet connection available.
The good news is that we do have a lot of choices nowadays, because the technology is advancing quickly, meaning that we can get solid phones at low prices. And since today we’re recommending budget phones for watching movies, we’re looking at devices that usually sell for under $250 (plus one option that’s a bit more expensive but better than all if you have a few extra dollars to spend).
Even at these low prices, you will get some really high quality phones for streaming movies and TV shows on your favorite platform. Sure, you won’t get the latest iPhone, but the truth is that you don’t need one if you’re looking for a solid phone – as you will see on our list below.
With these in mind, let’s not waste any time and instead let’s check out best budget phones for watching Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime in 2020!
We’re going to talk about each model in detail below, but if you’re in a hurry and just want to quickly browse through the options, the table below will surely come in handy.
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|Samsung Galaxy A20s||Cheapest option|
Pros: 6.5″ display, great specs, good image quality
Cons: low storage space, no US warranty
|Check its price|
|Motorola Moto G8+||Editor’s Choice|
Pros: 6.3″ display, very fast, 1080 x 2280 px resolution
Cons: No US Warranty
|Check its price|
|BLU G9 Pro||Pros: 6.3″ display, 128GB internal storage, Full HD+, wireless charging|
Cons: camera not great
|Check its price|
|UMIDIGI F2||Pros: 6.53″ display, 6GB RAM, great battery life|
Cons: a bit heavy
|Check the price|
|Google Pixel 3A||Bonus entry|
Pros: Amazing specs, great performance, great camera
Cons: low battery, more expensive, low storage
|Check the price|
If you want to find out more details about the recommended models – and why we chose them – check out the reviews below. Note that the phones are listed from the cheapest to the most expensive at the moment of writing this article.
Best Budget Phones for watching movies
Samsung Galaxy A20s
You don’t really expect to see a Samsung phone on a list of budget phones, but the A20s is that great phone you can buy for a really low price. It’s actually the cheapest on our list at the moment of writing this article!
And despite its low price, it has some really good features that make it not only a great phone for streaming movies on Amazon Prime, Netflix and the likes, but also a great phone for general use. Even its camera is really good, so don’t be surprised when you’ll take some amazing photos with it!
Back it its specifications, it’s worth noting that this cheap smartphone is powered by a really good processor – the octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 (there are laptops that offer similar or even less processing power than this!). It also has a solid dedicated GPU, the Adreno 506 and 3GB RAM to round up some more than decent specifications.
While this is definitely not one of the best phones on the market right now, it is dirt cheap and offers a ton of goodies for a low price. It’s really that good!
It offers a really large screen – 6.5 inches – which makes it perfect for watching movies and TV Shows. Even though the resolution is “just” HD+ (720 x 1560 pixels), the quality of the image is really crisp and nice: really good for the price!
The biggest problem with this model is that it doesn’t offer a lot of internal storage: just 32GB which is basically peanuts today. Fortunately, it has a microSD card, so you can upgrade that capacity by up to 512GB. If you don’t have a card at home, you can get one for a few bucks and solve the storage problem!
Also, this is an International model and has no US warranty. Fortunately, it does work with most carriers in the US and is such a durable and good phone that you will most likely not need the warranty anyway.
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy A20s is a great budget phone for everyday use AND watching movies – probably the best offer you can get if your budget is really, really tight.
Motorola Moto G8+ – Editor’s Choice
A slight increase in the puchase price means that we’re getting an even more powerful phone: the Motorola Moto G8 Plus might not be on all your friends’ lips, but it should! It’s a real beast, packing a solid punch and offering a lot of value for the money.
Built with a relatively recent Snapdragon 665 Octa-core processor (4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold + 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver), it will have no problem handling all day to day tasks that you throw at him, as well as streaming movies and TV Shows from Netflix, Hulu and the likes.
It also has more RAM than the previous model – 4GB and a much better dedicated GPU, the Adreno 610. In other words, you’re getting a really big bang for your buck and a really good phone overall.
It has a bit more storage to start with – 64GB which is still not a lot today, but it’s at least decent. The phone also has a microSD slot, so you can increase its capacity instantly.
The display is really, really solid as well, offering a great resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels as well as a solid 400 ppi and perfect image quality. The screen itself is large and nice, offering a lot of viewing space thanks to its 6.3″.
The camera setup is also one that will blow you away and prove that this device can do a lot more than just stream movies: it offers a 45MP back camera (a 3-cameras setup actually) and a solid 25MP front camera. For its price, these are really impressive specifications!
It has a decent battery as well (with fast charging too) and it’s also spill resistant, to add a nice extra bonus. There’s really nothing to complain about when it comes to this phone – it’s really, really good!
BLU G9 Pro
BLU is probably known as the cheap brand available in the US and even though they’re not really offering any high end models, they do offer good products at low prices, which is exactly what we need.
In this case, the G9 PRo is powered by the Mediatek Helio P60 Octa-Core 2.0GHz processor, has 4GB of RAM and the Mali-G72 GPU. While these are not really top end, gaming phone specs, they are more than enough for general use and watching movies.
It also offers what I would consider good storage – 128GB of internal storage, plus a microSD slot, but only up to 128GB extra are allowed. Still not bad!
The Blu G9 Pro has a vivid 6.3” Full HD+ infinity display that delivers a really good image quality. I’ve seen better, to be honest, even at this price point – but still most users will have absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to the quality of the image.
The camera is not its strongest point, but it still offers three back cameras with a main 48MP one that will take at least decent photos, plus a 16MP selfie cam. You can’t really expect top notch specifications everywhere at this point range, but at the same time we’ve seen much worse cameras overall.
A nice advantage that this device offers over the previous models is that it can be charged wirelessly – a nice touch that helps you watch your favorite movies and shows without interruption (or the need for a cable).
If you’re ready to go to the top of our announced budget, the Umidigi F2 is the phone you should get. It’s a 2020 model with lots of bells and whistles and even though the brand might not ring any bells, the device itself will really keep you happy.
This one has the best specifications so far, meaning that you will get the most in terms of performance. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core processor running at 2GHz, but also has 6GB of RAM to boost the speed of the device. Add to that 128GB of Storage and you have a nicely balanced phone on your hands.
It also has a microSD slot in case you’re not happy with the amount of storage, which is always a nice option to have.
It also has a large display at 6.53” and Full HD+ (1080 x 2340 px) meaning that it offers a lot of space for you to enjoy your favorite content.. What I like about the display is that the front-facing camera is really small and located to a side, offering the best experience when it comes to watching the display itself.
The colors and contrast are also good, even though not always perfect. No reasons to really complain, though.
The manufacturers show great pride regarding the device’s camera: it is good indeed and you can take some really solid photos, but it does need some tinkering and you’ll need a few shots to get those perfect photos that you want… still, better than not being able to take them at all!
In conclusion, the Umidigi F2 is not yet the brand killer that it wants to be, but it is a more than decent cheap smartphone with lots of bells and whistles – including the best battery on the list – and is great for watching movies on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on.
Google Pixel 3A
Now, if you can get over the $250 budget, I have a real treat for you: a phone that can do a lot of great things apart from letting you watch movies and TV shows without headaches. It is a bit more expensive, but it might be worth it!
The Google Pixel 3A is the less impressive brother of the flagship Pixel 3, but it still packs a really solid punch for its budget, offering great specifications and probably the best camera setup on our list too!
In terms of specifications, it is powered by a solid Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM and a dedicated GPU, the equally impressive Adreno 615. So in terms of performance, you’ve got no reasons to complain.
The camera setup is really good, with the Pixel 3A being capable of delivering some amazing photos. It only has a 12.2 MP back camera and a 8MP seflie cam – which doesn’t seem that impressive compared to all the other cameras on the list, but the truth is that they do deliver some really, really solid photos.
Of course, it’s not all perfect unfortunately, and there are a few cons that might outweight the pros: for starters, the Google Pixel 3A only offers 64GB of storage and no microSD card slot, so it might be a bit too little for most.
The phone also has the smallest battery on our list at just 3,000 mAh – while still decent, we were expecting it to offer a lot more here at least especially since it’s not insanely cheap.
Finally, the display itself is smaller at just 5.6 inches. Yes, the quality of the image is really good and you get 1080 x 2200 pixel resolution, but if you’re buying a phone primarily for watching movies, a larger screen definitely helps.
This remains a good option for sure with the big brand behind it coming as a solid incentive for purchase – but if you don’t want to spend extra, especially with so many added limitations, I am sure you’ll still be very happy with the other recommendations on our list.
And these would be our recommended smartphones for streaming Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime videos. These are all budget options that deliver an amazing quality and we’re sure that, no matter which phone you choose, you will be extremely satisfied with it.