Recommended budget phone for up to €300 ($360)?

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Hi, everyone!

My phone of 3 years (Samsung Galaxy J4+) recently bricked after I accidentally dropped it into a pool, and now I have to look for a replacement.

I’m not that well informed about the smartphone tech, and I don’t follow any news regarding the advancements in this industry so I would appreciate it if somebody would be willing to give me some suggestions on my next purchase. Here are my requirements:

BUDGET: €300 (I’m willing to increase this by around €50 as long as the improvements are worth it)

Things that I’m looking for in a new phone are:

  • Battery capacity – The longer it lasts before it needs to be recharged, the better
  • Longevity – I’m hoping that the new phone will last me for at least a couple of years (3 or 4) before needing to be replaced
  • Storage space (32GB or higher)
  • Resolution (720p or higher)
  • Size (less than 7")

RAM, CPU, GPU, etc. is not so much important to me as long as the phone has a decent chip and is not slow, so anything along the J4+ specs or better would be good enough for me.

Things that I don’t care much about are:

  • Camera quality – Not a big camera user, and on the rare occasion where I do take a picture or record a video, I would just like that the picture/video quality does not look like garbage, otherwise I don’t mind making sacrifices here
  • Fingerprint sensors
  • NFC, Infrared, Radio, etc.
  • Waterproofing, Dustproofing, etc. – While nice to have, it’s not really something that I would be willing to pay a premium for
  • 5G – There’s no infrastructure for it in my country right now (Serbia), and besides, I don’t care about that sort of thing. The only use that I need from it is when I need to enable data for the internet because I cannot find a WiFi to connect to, which I believe 4G is good enough for this

My usage on the phone is pretty casual. Aside from the couple of calls I make and the texts I send, I mostly spend my time web browsing or watching YouTube videos. I don’t play video games, aside from something small like Minesweeper to pass the time while I’m in a waiting room. I don’t listen to music frequently, and when I do, it’s mostly via speakers, so a headphone jack is optional.

One thing that I would also appreciate would be if the phone does not have privacy issues like screening your data without your consent or being filled with bloatware.

Searching the net, these are the phones that I found:

  • Poco F3 – €305
  • Poco X3 Pro – €185
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 – €193
  • Samsung Galaxy A52 – €350
  • Samsung Galaxy A72 – €331
  • OnePlus Nord – €193
  • Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G – €222
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro – €176
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G – €125
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T – €83
  • Huawei P40 Lite – €115

Out of all of these, which one do you think is best? I feel like all these phones on the list fit the criteria of what I’m looking for, so I don’t know if I should just go with the one that’s cheapest and save money since my use case is so minimal, or go with the more expensive variants if the hardware improvement is worth the extra money (especially for futureproofing)?

One of the most recommended phones that I saw was Google’s Pixel 4A which is ~€390+ around here, so until I can find it for a price within my budget, I have to look at something else. Nonetheless, if you have a better suggestion from what I’ve found, please feel free to share it.

Thanks in forward!

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