How to upgrade your phone cheaply

More Android manufacturers means more choices

Android’s “open” operating system allows more companies to join the Android team. That means more competition for your dollar.

Samsung has three main families of Galaxy-branded smartphones: its “flagship” S-Series, including the Galaxy S22 and larger S22 Ultra; The A-Series, which offers core features at a lower price; and the Z Series, including the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip Z, both of which have foldable screens.

Samsung’s highest quality A-Series, 6.5-inch Samsung Galaxy A53 5G ($ 449), offers an advanced camera system with three lenses and dual sensors, 128GB of storage, fast 5G wireless, a faster processor and more system memory (also known as RAM) than other A-series phones. All Galaxy devices offer many accessibility features to help people facing dexterity, hearing and vision challenges.

Google, Android’s parent company, has seen success with its Pixel-branded smartphones, starting at $ 599 for the Pixel 6 and $ 899 for the more advanced Pixel 6 Pro.

Android smartphones from Xiaomi (pronounced “shau-mee”) provide a lot of value for money. The 6.7-inch Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G ($ 515) includes 256 GB of storage, 8 GB of RAM, 5G wireless and a 108-megapixel camera with 4K video recording.

Considerations: Samsung’s cheapest phone, the Galaxy A12, now on sale for $ 179, has modest specs that may be enough for casual users. It includes a 6.5-inch LCD screen, 32GB of storage for all your apps and media (with the option to add more memory via a micro SD card), 4G mobile connection and a 48-megapixel camera that can take clear images and 1080p HD video – not 4K or 8K.

Xiaomi’s cheapest phone, the Redmi 9A (starting at $ 159), has a 6.5-inch screen, two cameras, 32GB of storage and 4G wireless speeds.

Pro tip: Samsung does not usually lower the prices of Galaxy phones, but often it will bundle a device with something else, such as a pair of wireless earphones, for free. Look for these promotions on Samsung’s website.

Refurbished Android phones are also available online. Check the same issues as iPhones before buying.