Best phones for college students

Most college students want the fanciest phone on the market. Today, you do not always need to fork out a thousand dollars. Dont be a brand slave! Explore the market, and you will see that some models provide an excellent experience for less.

A good phone can boost academic performance. Now, during the pandemic, remote technologies are indispensable. Lectures are conducted via Skype, Zoom, and other apps. Without a powerful device, efficient learning is impossible. But what are the criteria for choice?

Not all students are keen on learning apps. Some will invariably use their phones for social media, others are keen on photography. Even though a phone is also a distraction, it is irreplaceable.

First, a good phone is durable, responsive, and extremely handy. It is essential. The best phones for college students have a spacious memory to accommodate all the apps students need.

Clearly, do not trust advertisements or bloggers who post paid reviews. Examine the specs of each model to see if the price tag is fair. Construction and design are crucial. After all, we hold our phones in our hands most of the day. Aside from the shape and look, focus on the following:

  • screen size (students type a lot);

  • discounts for students (can you save at least a few bucks?);

  • hardware quality (high-resolution camera is necessary for high-quality photos, long battery life is vital for convenience, and the processor should be powerful enough to support the owner’s needs).

Today, smartphones are not cheap, so choose wisely. A good model will serve its owner well for years. Make sure the model is a reasonable investment, and you are really getting the best value for money. Given the sheer variety of models on the market, you need to know what features to zoom in on. In this review, we will cover some of the best phones for college students in 2020.

Different manufacturers provide different pricing for their phones. iPhones are all the rage, but they are not the only option. You may get a super-fast phone with a convenient screen and a fantastic camera from other brands. Chinese companies like Xiaomi deliver excellent quality assembly. Here are five models worth considering in 2020. These are some of the best phones for college students.

Apple iPhone SE 2020

iphone se 2020


Naturally, when most people think of a smartphone, Apple is the first association. This iPhone model is a bargain, and it has quite a few exciting upgrades.

Users can charge it wirelessly. The phone is not afraid of water and has the latest version of the company’s bionic processor. Please note that the headphone jack is absent. However, as young people prefer AirPods, this is hardly a drawback.

Currently, you can buy iPhone SE for only $399. At first glance, it resembles the iPhone 8. However, its functionality is very similar to the iPhone 11 Pro. Some key advantages include long battery life and a great rear camera. This model is one of the best phones for school: it is powerful, but not too fancy.

At the same time, compromises had to be made for the price to go down. The selfie camera is decent, but inferior to that of the iPhone 11. There are no Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and Slofies (slow-motion selfies). This model does not allow Face ID.

Overall, it is a great option if you need a student phone that will not break the bank. The model is powerful and does not require frequent charging. It is the best option in Apple’s lower-priced product range.

iPhone 11

iphone 11


This model is faster than its predecessors, and it offers enhanced battery life. Other upgrades include a refreshed night mode and a camera that takes pictures at an ultra-wide angle. The quality of the video is spectacular.

On the downside, the phone does not allow night mode when photographing at the widest angle. In comparison with the Pro model, it lacks a double optical zoom on the telephoto camera and a quicker charger. Still in the $700 category, this must be the best Apple’s creation so far.

still, if you definitely need that double zoom, different size options, and better screen, consider paying 30% more for the Pro model. Still, we are talking about the best phone for students, not professionals!

The basic model with 64 GB of memory costs $699. For an overwhelming majority of users, this should suffice. For $749, you get 128 GB, which is best for video buffs. Finally, the most expensive $849 version will give you 256 GB. It is suitable for avid videomakers.

Xiaomi Note 10

Xiaomi Mi Note 10


It is a top-notch Android phone, but it is also costly. At around $500, it is less expensive than the iPhone 11. But is it really worth it? Let’s find out.

First, what are its most advertised specs? The build includes a 90Hz screen, a durable battery, Snapdragon 865 chipset, and an impressive camera. With 108 megapixels, the quality of photos and videos is splendid.

Basically, this is a premium 5G model packed with all the features you would expect. As of this writing, this phone beats all the mentioned rivals. It is powerful, incredibly fast, and charges quickly. Still, there are a few downsides. However, they will hardly deter potential buyers.

First, the phone requires care, as its water resistance is unclear. The absence of an IP rating means that users should be cautious. Secondly, the model comes stuffed with preloaded apps and ads. This makes it feel cluttered. Please note that default apps vary depending on the provider. Definitely, this is one of the best phones for college students.

OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8


It is another pricey yet excellent model. At long last, the Chinese manufacturer has included the wireless charging option. The model boasts an impressive 120Hz display with spectacular clarity. This high-end device works with 5G, is IP-certified, and has four cameras!

Pricing options depend on memory size. Buyers may choose between the cheaper $899 model with 128 GB storage and the advanced $999 phone with 256 GB. It is clearly one of the best phones for college students, albeit not the most affordable.

Owners are bound to appreciate the enhanced performance of the camera. The processor is powerful, and charging may be wireless and reverse. Still, if you are not planning to splurge, consider the less advanced OnePlus 8. Its specifications are similar, and the camera is decent. The display is silky even at 90Hz.

Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5


The latest addition to Google’s lineup has one drastic difference from its predecessors. This time, the producers decided not to maximize the capabilities of the screen or the processor. Instead, they found other ways to enhance user experience.

The phone does not have any radar sensors for Motion sense that experts regarded as finicking. Despite the expensive ad campaigns, this feature was useful, but not fantastic. Now, it has been replaced by the fingerprint scanner.

Snapdragon 765G is also a step back, but it is still capable of supporting 5G networks. You are not going to find the double optical zoom for telephoto either. The camera provides excellent quality of ultra-wide shots.

So, are there any upgrades at all? In comparison with Pixel 4a, the model has a stronger battery (4080mAh battery instead of 3,800 mAh). The housing is also different — it is made of recycled aluminum. Still, you may charge the phone wirelessly, and even reverse charging is enabled. ‘How is this possible?’ you may ask. The manufacturer placed the charging coil on the outer surface of the housing and applied its textured coating on top of it. The coil runs through holes at the back of the chassis.

Overall, this model is more affordable than previous versions but comparable in terms of performance. It is still a robust 5G smartphone that should delight any student. The price ($699) makes it worth considering along with other phones for college students.

Final Verdict

The best phones for college students provide long battery life, wireless charging, great quality of photo and video, and more. You may want to consider water-resistant models, as young people are rarely careful with their phones. Make sure the phone has enough space for apps, as students need plenty of those.

When choosing one of the best phones for college students, think about the needs of the owner. Does this person take a lot of pictures? Fans of photography need as much memory as possible. For someone studying filmmaking, ample memory is a must. Even though we have so many cloud-based servers, clogged phone storage is always a pain in the neck.

If you are looking for something powerful yet relatively affordable, consider the Apple iPhone SE of OnePlus 8 (not Pro). These models share most of their specs with their more advanced alternatives, but their price tag is less daunting. After all, a student should learn to earn and spend their own money. Finally, as 5G is becoming the norm, it is best to choose a model that accommodates it.

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