Affordable, not cheap: 8 best low-cost smartphones (February 2016)
posted by Victor H. / Feb 10, 2016, 10:58 AM
When we speak phones, some people just don't find it reasonable to spend $600+ dollars on a phone that will get old in a matter of a year, if not a few months. Yet, those same people don't want a phone they will struggle living with. They want the full smartphone experience: the camera, the apps, and the speed.
Does it even exist, an affordable phone that is also good?
With technology advancing at a crazy fast pace, the answer is a definite 'yes'. We now have phones that are cheap without being downright ruined by terrible issues - those affordable devices do not lag terribly, they have decent cameras, and some of them even come with an extremely alluring design.
But which are they? We've picked the best affordable phones, where affordable does not mean ‘cheap’ in any embarrassing way. Take a look at these best value-for-the-money phones you can get right now, in February 2016, and let us know which you think is the best low-cost smartphone.
#8: Huawei P8 Lite
The 5" screen with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution is sufficiently sharp for our taste, but there are two caveats: Android 4.4 on board with no clarity about update plans, and a fairly middling camera.
#7: Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (4.7" | 5.5")
A $170 phone with the upper mid-range Snapdragon 615 system chip and with a good, 13-megapixel camera, that OT Idol 3 ticks all the boxes except one - it's not particularly exciting in terms of design. If you don't mind that, this handset offers an overall excellent value for the money.
#6: Moto G (2nd gen)
Let's get back to reality, though: this is a $100 phone and for a $100 phone it's brilliant. Where it does shine is performance and a fairly recent version of Android. The Moto G runs a very clean and well-running skin, has a display that looks very good considering the price and its battery lasts through the day.
#5: Asus Zenfone 2
iPhone 6 features the slightly higher class, but still compareable PowerVR G6450). The 13-megapixel camera is also a more than decent performer that does especially well with HDR images. Finally, with a great battery life and extremely quick recharging times, the Zenfone 2 is definitely one of the best budget phones money can buy these days.
#4: honor 5X
It is a 5.5" phone with a Full HD display and it runs on the Snapdragon 615 system chip, which might not be a titan in terms of performance, but it's still decent and we can't complain. The honor 5X comes with a fairly generous 3,000mAh battery as well, which lasts around a day (average for the class). The honor custom user interface on top of Android 5.1 is a bit unusual and does not feel well-polished. At the end of the day, though, it is about value for the money, and those look like non-major issues. And if you're after looks and the fingerprint scanner, this would be a great affordable option.
Note: The honor 5X does support all AT&T 4G LTE bands, but lacks support for T-Mobile's band 12, which means that if you use T-Mobile in particular states and places, you won't get solid 4G LTE connectivity.
#3: Motorola Moto G (2015, 3rd gen)