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There are obviously not a lot of 2018-released smartphones worth buying in 2021, but thanks to their stellar software support, Google‘s Pixel 3 and 3 XL should at least be considered as decent alternatives to some of the best “modern” Android devices available on a tight budget.
Once again, you’re looking at “scratch and dent” refurbs covered by a 90-day warranty, and if you hurry, you can choose from black, white, and (not) pink colors. Digital hoarders need to cough up a measly 30 bucks more for a 128GB configuration, and the same goes for those favoring extra screen real estate over added storage capacity.
In addition to sharing a still-powerful Snapdragon 845 SoC and modern Android 11 software, these three year-olds will receive a timely Android 12 update in the fall. If that doesn’t convince you to spend anywhere between 100 and 130 bucks right now, the surprisingly capable (even to this day) 12MP rear-facing camera should seal the deal once and for all.
Granted, the battery life (especially on the smaller model), design (especially on the larger variant), and memory management are… not great, but at the same time, it’s pretty much impossible to find another phone made from a premium combination of glass and metal in the sub-$400 segment, let alone at under $150.