24th February 2024 12:20 pm
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Four budget friendly smartphones for students

In the next few weeks, students across the country will be preparing for what will be the next chapter of their academic careers. For those heading to tertiary institutions, perhaps a new smartphone is in order, but given the cost of tuition, budget friendly smartphones are likely to be the port of call.

With that in mind, we’ve chosen four budget friendly smartphones, ranging in price from R2 000 to R4 000. They’re also all Android devices, as iOS ones are not exactly affordable, especially the more recent iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 ranges.

As such, this is strictly an Android list. It should also be noted that the recommended prices below are accurate as of the time of writing (December 2020), and could change down the line.

Nokia 2.3

We start things off with the Nokia 2.3, which costs R1 999. For that price, you get all the elements expected of a modern day smartphone, such as a large 6.2″ HD+ display and an equally large 4 000mAh battery that can last up to two days.

The only downside is 32GB of onboard storage, which will likely fill up fairly quickly if you’re snapping away dual camera setup on the rear (13MP primary and 2MP depth sensing). As you’re probably going to want to invest in a microSD card for additional storage.

Oppo A15

Next is the Oppo A15, which is another Chinese smartphone brand that recently launched in South Africa. To start with, the company is bringing many of its value for money offerings to the market, and they don’t come much better than the A15.

This device retails for R2 999, and for that you get much of the same elements seen in the Nokia 2.3, with a bump in certain areas. These include the 6.52″ HD+ display, 4 230mAh battery and a trio of lenses on the rear – 13MP, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensing.

Once again, the only issue here is the 32GB of onboard storage, which could prove limiting in about a year’s worth of active use.


Huawei Y7p

The third option in our roundup comes from Huawei in the form of the Y7p. This device should appeal specifically to those students who want a smartphone with an above average camera experience.

To that end Huawei has fitted the Y7p with a triple lens setup that features a 48MP option. The added megapixels will mean pictures taken on this budget friendly smartphone will be highly detailed. Speaking on which, the Y7p costs R3 699.

It should be noted though that it’s running Huawei Mobile Services, which means full access to Google apps is limited, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Samsung Galaxy A21s

The lack of full Google apps is not a concern on our fourth budget friendly device, however – the Samsung Galaxy A21s. This device isn’t all that much more expensive than the Y7p, costing R3 995.

Much like the Huawei option, this Samsung one is not short when it comes to components, comparing favourably with most new mid-range Android devices. To that end a 6.5″ HD+ screen is present, with a punch hole for the 13MP front facing camera. Added to this is four different lenses on the back, led by a 48MP camera.

There’s also 3GB RAM, dual SIM functionality and a mammoth 5 000mAh battery to ensure it can definitely keep running all day.


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