Best smartphones for under R3,000 in South Africa

South Africans don’t have to splurge on an expensive flagship smartphone to use popular mobile apps, browse the web, take high-quality photos and videos, and use social media and streaming services.

Local consumers are generally price-sensitive, as many cannot afford to spend multiple thousands of rand on a mobile device.

There is fierce competition for customers in the budget smartphone category segment, with numerous manufacturers battling it out for their market share.

In addition to the country’s best-selling mobile brand — Samsung — the budget category is brimming with offerings from Chinese tech heavyweights like Honor, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi.

Smartphones from these more prominent brands must contend with heavily budget-focused brands like Blackview and Tecno.

In MyBroadband’s most recent assessment of available devices, we found several budget smartphones with specifications that were previously unheard of in this category.

This included Tecno and Oppo models with 128GB capacity, typically found in mid-rangers and even as the entry-level storage configuration for some flagships.

The Tecno model also offered 8GB RAM, over double the 3GB or 4GB commonly found in this segment.

One model from Samsung boasted an FHD+ resolution, another rarity in the budget segment.

Several budget smartphones offered refresh rates up to 90Hz — faster than what’s available on the non-Pro iPhone 15 models.

Given that batteries are among the cheapest parts of a smartphone, all the budget models featured large 5,000mAh packs.

Below are 10 of the best smartphones you can buy for under R3,000 in South Africa.

We focused specifically on models that were only up to a year and a half old.


Xiaomi Redmi A2 — R1,499 (Takealot)

Xiaomi Redmi A2
OS MIUI on Android 12 Go Edition (upgradeable to Android 13 Go)
Display 6.52-inch 720 x 1,600 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU MediaTek Helio G36
RAM 2GB
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 8MP + 0.08MP
Front camera 5MP
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics None
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
10W wired
Dimensions and weight 164.9mm x 76.75mm x 9.09mm (192g)
Protection Unknown
Price R1,499

Tecno Spark Go 2023 — R1,799 (Bash)

Tecno Spark Go 2023
OS HIOS 12 on Android 12
Display 6.6-inch 720 x 1,600 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22
RAM 3GB
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 12MP + QVGA
Front camera 5MP
Ports USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Rear-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
Dimensions and weight 163.9 x 75.5 x 8.9mm (Unknown weight)
Protection IPX2
Price R1,799

Blackview A52 — R2,299 (Rugged SA)

Blackview A52
OS Doke OS GO 3.0 on Android 12
Display 6.5-inch 720 x 1,600 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Unisoc SC9863A1
RAM 2GB
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 13MP + unspecified lens
Front camera 5MP
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics None
Battery and charging 5,180mAh
Dimensions and weight 164.2 x 62 x 9.1mm (184g)
Protection IP67
Price R2,299

Honor X5 Plus — R2,299 (Bash, Incredible, Takealot)

Honor X5 Plus
OS Magic OS7.1 on Android 13
Display 6.56-inch 720 x 1,612 LCD with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU MediaTek Helio G36
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 50MP + 2MP
Front camera 5MP
Ports USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,200mAh
10W wired
Dimensions and weight 163.32mm x 75.07mm x 8.35mm (188g)
Protection Unknown
Price R2,299

Samsung Galaxy A04s — R2,299 (Takealot)

Samsung Galaxy A04s
OS OneUI Core 5 on Android 12 (upgradeable to Android 13)
Display 6.5-inch 720 x 1,600 LCD with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU Exynos 850
RAM 3GB
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 50MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera 5MP
Ports USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
15W wired charging
Dimensions and weight 164.7 x 76.7 x 9.1mm (195g)
Protection Unknown
Price R2,299

Xiaomi Redmi 12C — R2,299 (Makro)

Xiaomi Redmi 12C
OS MIUI 13 on Android 12
Display 6.71-inch 720 x 1,650 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Mediatek MT6769Z Helio G85
RAM 3GB
Storage 64GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 50MP + 0.08MP
Front camera 5MP
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Connectivity LTE
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Rear-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
10W wired charging
Dimensions and weight 168.8 x 76.4 x 8.8mm (192g)
Protection IP52
Price R2,299

Tecno Spark 10C — R2,499 (Takealot)

Tecno Spark 10C
OS HIOS 8.6 on Android 12
Display 6.6-inch 720 x 1612 LCD with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU Unisoc T606
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB
Rear camera 16MP + 0.08MP
Front camera 8MP
Ports USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth version unknown
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
18W wired charging
Dimensions and weight 163.9 x 75.5 x 8.5mm
Protection Unknown
Price R2,499


Samsung Galaxy A14  — R2,799 (Takealot and Makro)

Samsung Galaxy A14
OS One UI Core 5 on Android 13
Display 6.6-inch 1,080 x 2,408 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Mediatek MT6769 Helio G80
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 50MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera 13MP
Ports USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Batter and charging 5,000mAh
15W wired charging
Dimensions and weight 167.7 x 78 x 9.1 mm (201g)
Protection No rating
Price R2,799

Huawei Nova Y61 — R2,899 (Takealot)

Huawei Nova Y61
OS EMUI 12 (No Google Play services)
Display 6.52-inch 720 x 1,600 LCD with 60Hz refesh rate
CPU Unknown octa-core chip
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, microSD card slot
Rear camera 50MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera 5MP
Ports USB-C 2.0,
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
22.5W wired charging
Dimensions and weight 164.3 x 75.8 x 8.9mm (188g)
Protection No rating
Price R2,899

Oppo A18 — R2,999 (Takealot)

Oppo A18
OS ColorOS 13.1 on Android 13
Display 6.56-inch 720 x 1,612 LCD with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU Mediatek MT6769 Helio G85
RAM 4GB
Storage 128GB
Rear camera 8MP + 2MP
Front camera 5MP
Ports USB-C 2.0
Cellular LTE
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3
Dual Sim Yes
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 5,000mAh
Dimensions and weight 163.7 x 75 x 8.2mm (188g)
Protection IP54
Price R2,999

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Best smartphones for under R3,000 in South Africa