Galaxy S8 too rich for your blood? Here are 7 cheaper alternatives – CNET

If you’re strapped for cash or just don’t want to spend the money on Samsung‘s Galaxy S8 and larger S8 Plus, you do have options. Lots of good ones, in fact. Because at $750 and $850 in the US, £689 and £779 in the UK, and AU$1,199 and AU$1,349 in Australia, Samsung’s phones cost a pretty penny.

The cheap-but-good Android alternatives cost a fraction of the price and keep the compromises in check. You won’t see a curved screen, built-in wireless charging or every camera mode, but you’ll get a competent phone that does the basics well — and often far more.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

This 5.5-inch phone has a beautiful screen, takes pretty good photos on its 12-megapixel camera and has room for a ton of extra storage. Software details add pizzazz, like saying the name of an app to get it to launch. That’s a feature we really grew to love. Snap-on Mods personalize the phone the phone and can extend its battery life or blast tunes for an impromptu party. It’ll sell this July for $500, which converts to about £390 or AU$675. Read the Moto Z2 Play review.


The Moto Z2 Play has a neat voice trick.

Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

The Moto family has been the reigning champ of midrange phones for a long time, and for good reason. Its latest G5 Plus starts at just $229 and £259 (that converts to about AU$300) but offers a roomy 5.2-inch display, a 12-megapixel camera and a splash-proof design. Read the G5 Plus review.


With the G5 Plus, Lenovo goes from plastic to metal.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

OnePlus 3T… or OnePlus 5 (we think)

Let’s just say this first. On June 20, OnePlus will launch the OnePlus 5 (it’s skipping OnePlus 4). But, the last version, the 3T, is still only months old, and in good fighting shape. If you don’t require a second rear camera, like we know the OnePlus 5 will have, you should also consider the 3T.

Starting at $439, £399 and about AU$590 converted, the 3T was given CNET’s Editors’ Choice because of its hardware, performance and price. It’s equipped with the speedy Snapdragon 821 chipset, a 16-megapixel camera and a long-lasting 3,400mAh battery. Read the 3T review.


The 3T comes in a new matte black color too.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy A7

Despite its dated Android 6.0 Marshmallow software, the Galaxy A7 looks just like the Galaxy S7 and has a 22-hour battery life. It having NFC also means you can use Android Pay. Read the Galaxy A7 review.


The phone feels premium and the brilliant full-HD display is visible even under bright sunlight.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S7

It may be last year’s flagship, but the Galaxy S7 is still a great phone. (And now that the S8 is out, retailers are offering the predecessor with deep discounts). The S7 features a 5.1-inch display, the Qualcomm 820 Snapdragon chipset and a 12-megapixel camera. Oh and just like the S8, it’s water-resistant too. Read the Galaxy S7 review.


With the S8 release, expect the S7 to cost a lot less.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei Honor 8 or Honor 8 Pro

If you could get over its ho-hum battery life, the Honor 8 is a slick little package that combines good photos from a dual-lens camera with a useful customizable button and a fingerprint reader. And it’s easy to use one-handed. You can also seriously uplevel to the Honor 8 Pro, if it’s available where you are. It costs £474 directly from Huawei (roughly converted to $610 in the US or AU$820 in Australia). Read the Honor 8 review and Honor 8 Pro review.


The Honor 8 has liquid-smooth looks.

Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Axon 7

ZTE has come a long way in the last few years, as shown by the Axon 7 — the company’s best looking phone to date. In addition to its sophisticated design, it also has a zippy processor and very loud speakers. Read the Axon 7 review.


The Axon 7 is easily ZTE’s best phone.

Josh Miller/CNET

This story originally published April 20, 2017 and was updated Monday, June 12 at 5 a.m. PT.

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