Not everyone wants or can afford the best flagship phones, which is fine, as budget phones have made great strides in features and performance. Brands like Poco from Xiaomi, Honor and Realme have figured out how to stretch your dirham or Dollar to the max and that is great. In this guide, we’ve selected the best phones under 1000 AED (roughly US$ 250). More than just being cheap, these are good phones that offer great value for your hard-earned money.
In this list, we’ve included phones from 2022 that have come down in price and the new phones launched in 2023. Prices for these phones are updated on a daily basis and sometimes go north of AED 1,000. If they do, wait it out, and you’ll surely find an offer where they are priced below the AED 1,000 mark.
While you have a good selection of phones in this guide, you can find better phones if you can raise your budget slightly. In fact, phones under AED 2,000 Dirhams can sometimes be found in our list of top Android phones as well.
Returning to this list, you’re not necessarily looking at a list of the cheapest phone in the world. These are all good, affordable phones- the best budget phones 2023 in the UAE that cost under AED 1,000.
Best phones in the UAE under 1000 AED
This guide has recently been refreshed and is sorted by the pricing of phones, with the cheapest phone at the bottom. This means that the first phone here isn’t the best cheap phone, but at its price level, it is definitely one that I’d pick.
Poco X4 Pro
Xiaomi has set the trend with its Poco lineup of phones of “almost unbelievable” value. The Poco X4 Pro 5G phone is priced a bit under AED 1,000 (US$ 270) and for that price tag, you’re getting the best bang for the buck.
The phone comes with a capable Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, and a gorgeous 6.6-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This makes it an ideal phone for gaming and consuming content. The only real drawback here is the inconsistency of the camera despite it coming with a 108MP main snapper. For better camera performance at just a slightly higher price, you can consider Poco X5 Pro 5G.
Weight: 205g | Thickness: 8.1mm | Screen: 6.67" FHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G (6nm) | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Hybrid Dual SIM | Rear camera: 108MP Quad Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 67W Wired charging
- Affordable gaming phone
- Great battery life and fast charging
- 5G support
- MIUI is a bit sluggish
- Not the best processor
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G
Despite having a few drawbacks, like slow charging compared to other phones in this list and a lower 90Hz screen refresh rate, the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G is still a great deal because of its stunning Super AMOLED display and the upgraded Exynos 1280 Chipset.
The camera on this phone is also good for the price, with decent processing and colour reproduction, even though it doesn’t have the highest pixel count. You’ll also get the great Samsung’s One UI 5.1 interface which is arguably one of the best and most stable Android skin.
Weight: 186g | Thickness: 8.1mm | OS: Android 12 (OneUI 4.1) | Screen: 6.4 FHD, AMOLED, 90Hz | Processor: Octa-core Exynos 1280 | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Hybrid Dual SIM | Rear camera: 48MP Quad Camera | Front camera: 13MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 25W Wired charging
- Simple and elegant design
- Good screen
- Cameras don't impress much
- Not the fastest phone in this roundup
OnePlus CE 2
The OnePlus CE2 doesn’t have much of an appearance makeover going out for it compared to its predecessor and it continues to use the same 90Hz AMOLED display in the same 6.4-inch size. What has changed is an upgraded MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset and faster 65 Watt charging. For AED 907 (US$ 250) the phone still gives you a good deal for your money with its blazingly fast Oxygen OS.
Weight: 173g | Thickness: 7.8mm | OS: Android 11 (OxygenOS 12) | Screen: 6.43 FHD+, AMOLED, 90Hz | Processor: Octa-core Dimensity 900 | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 64MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 4500mAh, 65W Wired charging
- Very fast 65W charging
- Slim and light weight
- Not a speed demon
- Cameras are mediocre
The Poco X5 is pretty close in specs to the Poco X4 Pro we’ve listed above and shows a trend in the mobile phone industry where the “Pro” model of the previous generation becomes the standard model of the current generation with a lower starting price. That’s a good thing as you don’t have to wait for the phone to get cheaper before you can buy it.
Weight: 189g | Thickness: 8mm | OS: Android 12 (MIUI 13 ) | Screen: 6.67 1080 x 2400 pixels, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Snapdragon 695 | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 48MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 13MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 33W Wired charging, No wireless charging
- Stunning 120Hz AMOLED display
- Fast processor
- Great battery life
- Middling camera performance
- Slower charging than the Poco X4 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro
It’s clear that this list is dominated by Xiaomi’s phones, and that’s due to the company’s strategy of releasing a plethora of great value phones in the mid-range and budget segments (like Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 we reviewed a few days back). Even though this phone has been around for some time, it’s hard to write the Xiaomi Redmi 11 Pro off this list considering it can now be picked up for close to AED 850 (US$ 230.) It comes with the Mediatek Helio G96 processor, a 108MP main snapper and a super fast 67-watt charging.
Weight: 202g | Thickness: 8.1mm | OS: Android 11 (MIUI 13) | Screen: 6.67" FHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Cellular: 5G, Hybrid Dual SIM | Rear camera: 108MP Quad Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 67W Wired charging
- Big battery with fast charging
- Good cameras
- Bloated software
The Honor X8A is a new entry to this list and can be dubbed as the Jack of all trades and master of none. It provides you with everything you’ll need in this segment without mastering any. The phone has a beautiful design that shimmers in direct light and is one of the best-looking budget phones. The Mediatek Helio G88 has decent performance in web browsing and other light tasks, but don’t expect the Honor X8A to wear any performance crowns.
Weight: 179g | Thickness: 7.5mm | OS: Android 12 (Magic UI 6.1) | Screen: 6.7 inches 1080 x 2388 pixels, IPS LCD, 90Hz | Processor: Octa-core Mediatek Helio G88 | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 128GB | Cellular: 4G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 100MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 45000mAh, 22.5W Wired charging, No wireless charging
- Beautiful design
- 100-megapixel camera
- The display is IPS, not AMOLED
- Not the best chipset
Realme Narzo 50
Realme (Oppo’s sister company) has been in the market for quite a while now and has a reputation for releasing good value phones. The Narzo 50 phone is priced at AED 786 (US$ 215) which gets you a Mediatek Helio G96 with 6GBs of RAM. That’s enough to handle most apps you’ll use. Another good thing about the Realme Narzo 50 is the 5,000 mAh battery which will keep your phone powered up for two full days.
Weight: 194g | Thickness: 8.5mm | OS: Android 11 (Realme UI 2.0) | Screen: 6.6 1080 x 2412 pixels, IPS LCD, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Mediatek Helio G96 | RAM: up to 6GB | Storage: up to 128GB | Cellular: 4G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 50MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 33W Wired charging, No wireless charging
- Great battery life
- Good value
- Older Andriod version
- Lower RAM size means limited multitasking capabilities
Huawei Nova 9SE
Huawei phones have been known to have great cameras and overall good value. The Huawei Nova 9SE isn’t the fastest of the bunch with its older Snapdragon 680 chipset but it makes it up with its 108MP main camera and super fast 66-watt charging capabilities. Also worth noting is the release of the GBox app that, once again, lets Huawei phones run some of the Google apps.
Weight: 191g | Thickness: 7.9mm | OS: Android 11 (EMUI 12) | Screen: 6.78 1080 x 2388 pixels, IPS LCD, 90Hz | Processor: Octa-core Snapdragon 680 4G | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 4G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 108MP Quad Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 4000mAh, 66W Wired charging, No wireless charging
- 108MP Quad Camera
- Elegant design
- 66-watt Huawei fast charging
- Old chipset
- No official Google services
Best budget phones FAQs
Are cheap phones bad?
Not necessarily. While there can be some cheap phones that are badly constructed, all phones on this list are good phones.
How much do cheap phones cost?
You can get cheap phones for under 300 Dirhams or US$ 100.
Which mobile is best to buy in UAE?
Go with bigger brands such as Samsung, Huawei or Xiaomi when buying an affordable phone as you’ll get much better support in case something goes wrong.
Which Android phone is best under 1000?
Many smartphones are excellent and cost under AED 1000. This guide lists the best smartphones under AED 1000. The Xiaomi Poco brand is definitely one to consider
Which Android phone is best in UAE?
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is currently the best Android phone available in the UAE.
Which smartphone is best in UAE 2023?
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best smartphone available in the UAE. It’s expensive, but it tops our list.
Do these cheaper smartphones support Dual SIM capabilities?
Yes. Dual SIM has become an essential feature of all budget phones. Every smartphone on this list supports dual SIM.
Bottom Line – What Budget Phone Is a Great Long-Term Option?
After reviewing several options for the best phones under 1000 AED in UAE, the bottom line is that the Poco X4 Pro and Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro are great long-term options if you are a budget-conscious shopper.
Both phones come equipped with powerful processors, ample RAM and storage, impressive camera systems (for that budget), and a solid battery life. They offer good value for their price range and provide users with a near-premium experience without breaking the bank.
While there are many budget options available on the market, these two devices stand out due to their well-rounded features and reliability. Whether you’re a student, professional, or someone who simply wants a great smartphone that won’t cost a fortune, the Poco X4 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 are excellent choices that won’t disappoint you in the long run.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a great budget phone in UAE for this year (and even upcoming years), these two are the top choices to consider.
Good luck with your choice, and we invite you to share your experience with us in the comment section below or on our social media pages.