PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best value for money products

PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best value for money products
Smartphone and tablet buyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some people just go for the biggest, baddest, most expensive device money can buy – you know, the sparkly gadget one can brag with in front of the guys at the office. Others simply pick the cheapest phone or tablet around – something that won't burn a hole through their pocket, yet will run Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja if you give it a push. 

However, today's post in the 2013 PhoneArena Awards is dedicated to neither of these groups. Instead, we'll be focusing on devices that offer the best value for money ratio. These are devices providing all the functionality and performance an average user would ever need, and then some, all the while carrying an adequate, justifiable price tag. There's a number of smartphones and tablets on the market that would fit into this category, but today, we're highlighting only the very best of them. 

Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013)

PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best value for money products
Can one grab a high-performance, feature-packed smartphone or a tablet at nearly half the (off-contract) price it would normally cost? Yes, and Google is making this possible with its Nexus lineup. The newest member in the series, namely the Google Nexus 5, can rival many of its high-end counterparts with its specifications and performance, all the while retailing for as low as $350 contract-free. Then there's the Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet – the best 7-inch slate $230 can buy, equipped with hardware to handle demanding tasks and the software needed to accomplish them. And if that's not enough, Nexus devices are entitled to timely software updates, delivering the best user experience Google's OS can offer. 

Motorola Moto G

PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best value for money products
The Motorola Moto G, which can now be bought in the US for as low as $179 off-contract, is meant to be the ultimate Android device in its price category. And from the looks of it, the guys at Motorola have done a good job at reaching that goal. The Moto G offers a number of features that are usually associated with high-end smartphones – features like a large display, a quad-core Snapdragon processor, and an up-to-date version of the Android platform loaded on it out of the box. Best of all, Motorola is assuring us that the performance of the device will not disappoint. In fact, the Moto G should be as snappy as some high-ends, according to its maker, thanks to the lack of additional software tweaks and UI modifications to slow Android down.

Nokia Lumia 520

PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best value for money products
There's a reason why the Nokia Lumia 520 became the most popular Windows Phone handset soon after its release. Even though it could be bought for just $220 off contract, this humble smartphone had quite a lot to offer, including free offline navigation in the form of Nokia's HERE maps, a free music streaming service, and Windows Phone 8 running smoothly on a 1GHz dual-core processor. It wasn't bad specs-wise either, sporting a 4-inch, 480x800 pixel super-sensitive display and a usable, 5MP camera. Today, one can get their hands on a Lumia 520 for under $100, which is a steal. If you're interested in a decent, yet inexpensive full-fledged smartphone, go ahead and check it out.

Story timeline



1. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

Lumia 520

3. saurik

Posts: 86; Member since: May 13, 2013

Yeah, we get it. It's mentioned in the article. Why bother commenting it again? It's not a poll! "Nokia fanboys" SMH.

5. MANGUELPR unregistered


17. nerdylish

Posts: 51; Member since: Apr 13, 2013

You've a point. +1

29. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

What a Jealous, petty person you are.

24. rf1975

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

Out side the US Nexus are selling at very high price. I bought a Nexus 7 4G 32GB at around 460$ from Hong Kong which is way higher than US.

34. Kaiser2007

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 16, 2013

Which version you got? Europe LTE or USA LTE? How many LTE band it has? I was checking Singapore version and it has only 2 of the 3 (800, 1800, 2600). Thanks.

35. rf1975

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

LTE 800 / 850 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 version.

37. Kaiser2007

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 16, 2013

That's Europe version. I wish I can buy it here from USA.

32. Snoobab

Posts: 175; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

$69.99 on Amazon makes it the clear winner! :)

2. rabidhunter

Posts: 90; Member since: Jul 05, 2013

I humbly submit the DROID Mini for this list. The device is less expensive than the other DROIDs and the Moto X, yet has all the power. It's not a gimped or lower spec'ed model, just smaller in size.

8. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Couldn't agree more. I love the Mini, and the fact that it comes in 3 colors now is pretty sweet.

20. k4j98

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 12, 2012

Except its price hinders the value, which is what this article is about.

25. rabidhunter

Posts: 90; Member since: Jul 05, 2013

The Nexus 5 is $349, the DROID Mini is $399 off contract. Not a whole lot more. On contract, the device is virtually free. It's an option for Verizon customers since the Nexus 5 is not available.

27. g2a5b0e unregistered

Not a lot more price wise, but you're still getting a lot less. Droid Mini doesn't qualify.

36. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Depends on who you are. If you need a phone that's small and still has a good resolution then the Droid Mini (and its international variant if there is one) is good for the price. It's battery life is also very road worthy. The only problem, for me personally, is the glossy back. I don't have a case on my Droid Razr M as it's sturdy and grippy enough on its own. Plus I like the feel of the soft kevlar backing.

4. zmtfatzombie

Posts: 27; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

Where is iphone?

6. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

This is the best value for money article, which the iPhone fails miserably at.

7. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I was waiting on someone to make the comment about the iPhone or apple products in general... SMH

30. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

iPhones are for girls.

9. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I think the Galaxy S3 and S4 Mini should have made the list as well. They're not as powerful as their big brothers, but they are still impressive devices for a small hit to the wallet.

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

I think you're missing the point of this. First off, this is for devices that came out in 2013, so the S3 doesn't qualify. In terms of the S4 Mini, it is not a truly cheap device. It may cost little on contract, but off contract it's a $500 device. These devices all come in at significantly cheaper than that.

16. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

This S3 Mini does I wasn't talking about the original S3.

23. g2a5b0e unregistered

Even though it only arrived in the States this year, the S3 Mini is also a 2012 device & probably worse value for your money than the S4 Mini. Either way, neither is a truly budget device.

15. trickster_qc

Posts: 107; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

what g2ab0e said. and the S4 mini isn'T worth it's price. the design is nice and it's really well built but the screen is disappointing for a 500$ device.


Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Are you the son of Bill Gates, 500$ a small hit to the Wallet Huh.?

10. Remmy

Posts: 187; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

IMO, the Xperia SP should also be included in the list, they cost way lower than the S4 Mini and One Mini yet it packs a more powerful hardware and LTE connectivity in some markets.

11. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

This is only the top 3 (or 4 if you separate the nexus') list, and you would honestly place any of the Mini's higher than whats there? Nah, i think PA did a good job here.

12. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The Nexus 4 for $200. Holding it right now baby! :D

13. N.Reynolds

Posts: 257; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

I completely agree with this list. Good picks Phoneareana.

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