The best under £450 smartphones feat Lumia 950, Nexus 6P, Galaxy S6, Xperia Z5 and iPhoneSE

Even though phone makers can now dare to tag their latest wares at £600-plus rates, the quick pace at which new technologies are creeping in and the impatience of buyers are bringing those prices down in no time.

Prices of the best phones launched last year fell so quickly that most of them can now be purchased at less than £450. Even Apple's red-hot iPhoneSE costs way below that mark and the 64GB variant is worth just £439!

Our list of the best phones under £450 now includes the likes of Nexus 6P 32GB, Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB and Sony Xperia Z5, all of which were retailing around or in excess of £550 less than a few months ago.

Spec comparison: Galaxy Note 5 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs Huawei Mate S

Here's a comparative table of specifications of the best phones under £450 that you can purchase right now, expect for the iPhoneSE which goes on sale from April 1.


iPhoneSE is the shortest of the lot in the list where everybody else stands over 5 inches tall and it's width is, expect for Lumia 950, the thickest of all. However, it's tiny frame also weighs the least and is also the most convenient for those who prefer one-handed computing.

However, for those engaging regularly in visual multimedia, Nexus 6P offers the largest display followed by Lumia 950 and Xperia Z5 both of which feature 5.2" screens. Samsung's Galaxy offers just 5.1" of real estate but is still larger than iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s which feature 4.7" screens.

Specs Comparison: iPhone 6s Plus vs Sony Xperia Z5 Premium vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus


The £450 smartphone race brings back the best processors of 2015 in yet another face-off. While Nexus 6P and Xperia Z5 pack the competent Snapdragon 810 chip, Galaxy S6 brings in Exynos 7420 and iPhoneSE contains Apple's A9 chip which is currently competing with next-gen competitors like Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 processors.

Snapdragon 810 powered several devices launched by Microsoft,  Xiaomi, LG, Motorola and Sony last year but faced overheating issues soon  after its launch. However, the problem was corrected and later phones like Nexus 6P and Xperia Z5 didn't heat up as expected. Exynos 7420 was built by Samsung and replaced Snapdragon chips as the favoured chips for Galaxy flagships.

An AnTuTu benchmark test on CPU and GPU performance revealed that Samsung's Exynos 7420 outperformed Snapdragon 810 in both parameters, scoring 69720 and 1504 compared to 62130 and 1306 scored by the latter.

Lumia 950, like LG G4, featured Snapdragon 808 chip which wasn't as capable as Snapdragon 810 but offered as much stability without heating up over prolonged use.


While Xperia Z5 packs an incredible 23MP rear camera, Nexus 6P offers the highest resolution for its front camera which comes with a 3s or a 10s countdown timer and can take videos at up to 1080p resolution. The phone's rear camera also offers you choice of resolutions at which you want to take pictures and can record 4K UHD videos as well.

Lumia 950 also offers a 20MP PureView camera with a dual LED RGB Flash, OIS and ability to shoot 4k videos, but iPhoneSE with its 12MP iSight camera offers a range of features like Live Photos and True Tone which emits flashes that are consistent with the surrounding environment which make the pictures look real and not overly bright.


Thanks to its phablet-sized display, Nexus 6P packs a formidable 3,450 mAh battery which makes it last more than a day under normal usage and is the most powerful among under £450 phones. Lumia 950 comes close with a 3,000 mAh battery and Xperia Z5 follows closely behind with a 2,900 mAh one.

Nexus 6P and Lumia 950 also come with USB Type-C charging ports which makes the phones charge up much quicker than phones with USB 2.0 ports.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 didn't feature a very powerful battery but the ability of the phone to charge wirelessly packed quite a punch. Even though Apple hasn't revealed the exact spec of iPhoneSE's battery, it says that the iPhone can run for as long as 14 hours on 3G and its battery is similar to the one in iPhone 6s.


While Samsung's Galaxy S6 marked a major shift from the usual Galaxy S series design in an attempt to take on iPhone 6, the move paid off with the introduction of several features like wireless charging, high-speed LTE connectivity, cameras with OIS and brilliant GPU performance. However, as the year went by, newer phones like Nexus 6P with pure Android OS and Lumia 950 with Windows 10 on-board brought in higher levels of performance and connectivity apart from innovative design concepts.

With iPhoneSE, Apple has tapped the 4-inch phone market which seemed dead before rumours of the iPhone started trickling in. At the same time, Apple has retained all the features and capabilities of iPhone 6s which makes iPhoneSE as capable as other flagship phones in terms of speed, performance and durability.

Despite their capabilities and incapabilities, the true success of these phones lie in their sales volumes, which Nexus 6P achieved to a degree. With iPhoneSE entering your nearest stores come April 1, it will be interesting to see how the latest phones like LG G5 and Galaxy S7 as well as older ones like Galaxy S6, Xperia Z5 and Lumia 950 will fare in the face of Apple's mid-range onslaught.

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