Best Contract Phones for Under R150 a Month

Best Contract Phones for Under R150 a Month

A cellphone for under R150 per month? Yes please! Take a look at these mobile phones, each available at a pocket-friendly price.


It's possible to get a cellphone on a contract for the price of two airport sandwiches a month. Seriously, for under R150 per month you could pick up any one of a half a dozen basic-but-beautiful smartphones, depending on the contract you sign.


Much of the value in an entry-level phone contract lies in the data and calls you're allotted, but often it's the handset itself that pulls you in. After all, you'll be using it every day – and not just to make phone calls.


Here's a look at the types of contracts and phones you'll find at this end of the market.


Contracts under R100 per month


Yes, incredibly, you can get a contract phone deal for less than one blue Randela a month. MTN's My MTNChoice Flexi 60 deal, for example, costs R99 a month over 24 months. You'll get around 30 minutes of talk time or 122MB of data or 190 SMSes (depending on how you use it all) each month.


The phones you'll get with that package are... surprisingly good. We're talking about handsets like the Samsung Galaxy J2 Core, which has a does-the-job 540x960-pixel Gorilla Glass screen. The 8GB of memory will store the basics, and the phone's performance is pretty snappy if you stick to those basics.


The Nokia 1 also comes in at this price point. It's slightly smaller, though thicker than the J2 core. It's all-plastic and feels a bit like a throwback to the early 2000s Nokias (ask your parents). But this is by no means an outdated brick; it's fun and capable. And if you're on a perpetual end-of-the-month-Salticrax budget, getting a smartphone like this for a price like that will certainly put the "cheerful" into "cheap and cheerful". Most of the costs were cut on the cameras: the main one is a 5MP, while the selfie one is a rather tragic 2MP.


Contracts under R140


For R129 per month over 24 months, you'll find contracts like MTN's My MTNChoice Flexi 60 and Vodacom's uChoose Flexi 120, while for R139 over 36 months, you're looking at deals like MTN's Made For Me XS. The phones in this ballpark include the Samsung Galaxy A02 Core, Huawei Y5 Lite Leather, along with the Samsung Galaxy J2 Core and Nokia 1.


The Samsung Galaxy A02 Core is the entry-level unit in Samsung's A Series. It runs Android GO (Google's lightweight OS for basic devices), but it's not slow by any means. It's efficient, powered by an Octa-Core processor. The A02 Core has a decent-sized 540x960 pixel screen and a slightly faster processor than the J2. Front and rear cameras are both 5MP.


Huawei's Y5 Lite Leather, meanwhile, is a bit bigger and offers a larger screen, which also delivers a higher-res picture at 720x1440 pixels. It also doubles the A02's 8GB onboard memory, and the 3020mAh battery should also keep you going for longer. In a straight head-to-head you'd probably go for the Huawei, which again underlines the importance of comparing deals as you shop.


Another phone that hovers around this contract price point (especially in the R139 x 36 months range) is the Huawei P Smart (2021). It's newer and bigger than its predecessor, and has a bigger screen that offers a much better 1080x2400 pixel resolution, newer Android OS, faster processor and 128GB of RAM.


Sneaking in under R150


While you're searching for affordable contract deals, you might stumble upon a deal like MTN's Made For Me XS, which costs R149 per month over 36 months. There you'll discover phones like the Nokia 3.1, which has received mixed reviews since its launch. Yes, it has a Gorilla Glass 3 screen, an aluminium frame and it comes with 13MP and 8MP front and rear cameras respectively, but the performance can be laggy. Rather than feeling like a top-end-of-the-bottom-end gem, some users find that the Nokia 3.1's slow loads make it feel more like the bottom of the middle.


Remember that when you're comparing cellphones, and cellphone contracts, price is a big consideration (especially in the sub-R150 range), but it can't be your only consideration.


Looking around this or pretty much any price range? Our new Cellphone Deals comparison tool has you covered!


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice. Prices correct at time of publication, but are subject to change.

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