PhoneArena Awards 2015: Best value-for-money phone

PhoneArena Awards 2015: Best value-for-money phone
Smartphones exist across a broad range of price points. On one hand, it is totally possible to buy a new brand-name smartphone for less than $100. On the other, the price of a high-end, flagship-grade smartphone hovers around the $650 mark. Of course, in a perfect universe, we would all be using the best smartphones – the phones from the latter part of the price spectrum – but in reality, many of us have a budget to fit into. That is why when we give our opinion as to whether a phone is worth getting, we usually take into account its value-for-money ratio. Thankfully, in between the aforementioned price extremes exists a middle ground where a considerable number of good value-for-money phones reside.

This brings us to today's post in our PhoneArena Awards series – the one where we honor the year's best value-for-money phone. Our top pick comes from a company that knows a thing or two about making phones delivering great bang for the buck. In fact, its budget-friendly G series has been selling by the millions. But it wasn't a member of this particular lineup that got the first price. Instead, our award for best value-for-money smartphone goes to the...

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition

The Moto X PE is far from the prettiest, thinnest, or lightest smartphone out there. It is not the most technologically advanced either. But its excellent value-for-money ratio makes it well worthy of the top spot. Seriously, there's a lot to like about Motorola's phone – the large, high-resolution display, the smoothness of near-stock Android driven by the Snapdragon 808 SoC, the outstanding customization flexibility delivered by Moto Maker, and the protective coating that guards the handset against splashes, to give a few examples. Sure, the phone's battery life could have been better, and the camera can't quite impress with its low-light shots, but considering that the Moto X PE costs $400 unlocked, these are imperfections we're more than willing to accept. 

Runner-up: Motorola Moto G (2015)

As we already mentioned, Motorola knows how to make a smartphone that's both cheap and good. Take its low-cost Moto G lineup as proof – all Moto G-series phones have been launched to positive reviews and have been selling really well worldwide. That is why to not mention the 2015-edition Motorola Moto G in this article would have been quite the goof. With a starting price of $180 unlocked, this is certainly one of the greatest cheap smartphones right now – snappy, fun, and functional with its lightweight software, highly customizable design, and solid battery life. 

Story timeline

Related phones

Moto X Pure Edition (2015)
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 21 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
Moto G (2015)
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2470 mAh



1. mahima

Posts: 744; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

i would take mi4i anyday over moto g...but i get why moto g is runner up

16. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

if we talk about US, moto g is the go go...but u know that Xiaomi and meizu are the best value for money do doubt......heck even Asus Zfone2 is a major phone for value for money

37. Good-Is-Better

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 12, 2015

This is another ad from Motorola.

2. phonearenarocks

Posts: 607; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

I was expecting 1+2 or Mi 4c instead of Moto X Pure

3. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Best value-for-money phone: Mi 4c Mi 4c and Moto X pure edition have similar specs, the camera is better in the 4c, the software is arguably better with more features and the stable MIUI 7 which is popular worldwide, the screen is also slightly better. Where it loses out though is faster upgrades for Motorola, wider availability and better customer support (even though Xiaomi has the best customer support compared to other Chinese brands at least here in India). However there is no comparison when we take the price into consideration. Mi 4c costs about 220$ while Moto X pure edition costs 400$. Mi 4c is the clear winner.

5. jellmoo

Posts: 2675; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Mi 4c is a... cute little device... But really it shouldn't be compared to the Moto X Pure. The Moto X Pure has more bands, faster LTE, a much better screen, more storage options, expandable storage, better battery life, much nicer build materials, much better audio, better video, etc... The Mi4c comes in at a great price, but there's a reason for that. It isn't in the same league as the Moto X Pure.

46. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

"Moto X Pure has more bands". That is because Mi 4C wasn't meant for the US and therefore doesn't support US bands. It has a bigger screen but you cannot call it better. By that logic, the iPhone screen has been far inferior to Android devices. Better video? What does it even mean. I agree that Moto X pure is a better all round package but the price difference in huge. As far as value for money is concerned, there is simply no comparison, I mean we are talking about a 250$ (32 Gb model) and 449$ phone.

11. thedrunkencow

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

I believe that the mi4c shoukd replace the moto g atleast as the runner up

12. xocomaox

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 14, 2015

The Xiaomi Mi 4c is actually more like $260 USD, given that you should compare the 3GB RAM model tot he Moto X Pure. The Mi 4c is also a way smaller screen. 5.0" vs the 5.7" Pure screen. The Screen-to-body ratio is also much worse on the Mi 4c (71.7% vs 74.9%). The Mi 4c also charges much slower than the Pure. The Mi 4c has a slightly larger battery (3080mah vs 3000mah), but the battery life is actually less than the Pure, even with the much larger screen. The Mi 4c also has an inferior camera. No 4K video recording, and pales in comparison tot he camera on the Pure. Another glaring detail is that the Mi 4c has no expandable storage via Micro SD. So the most space you can have on the phone is 32GB, where as the Pure can have 16GB/32GB/64GB and still have room for more space with MicroSD. All around, the lower cost of the Mi 4c is proven in the specs of the device. It's inferior to the Pure in almost every way.

47. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Then consider the Moto X pure 32Gb model, which is 449$ as the 260$ Mi 4C is 32GB as well. And I quote myself again, "I agree that Moto X pure is a better all round package but the price difference in huge. As far as value for money is concerned, there is simply no comparison"

4. jellmoo

Posts: 2675; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Nothing to argue with here. The Moto X Pure/Style is pretty much the top value device you can get (assuming you can get one, us Canadians got screwed here). This is really a case of where the runner up is so far behind that it is simply irrelevant.

7. bambamboogy02

Posts: 842; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Moto won't ship to Canada?

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2675; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Nope. No idea why. We only have the Moto G and Moto X Play.

23. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Bull crap! Are you serious!?! Not even renamed as the Moto X Style? That just doesn't make any sense. Not calling you a liar or anything, I'm just shocked to hear that is all.

36. jellmoo

Posts: 2675; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Yup. As dumb as it sounds. It's not at all available on the Canadian Motorola site, and you can't order one to a Canadian address on the main .com site. You have to use a 3rd party vendor like Expansys or something if you want one.

8. may_czos

Posts: 957; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

Outside US it's not. It's very expensive anywhere else.

6. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

No Apple product as runner-up over here?? PA, you are doing it wrong!

19. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Right? I was half expecting the iPhone 6s Plus as the runner-up.

9. may_czos

Posts: 957; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

PA, you're not US portal, try to look around the world. Outside US the Moto X Style costs as much as Galaxy S6 which means it's nowhere near value-for-money phone.

13. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Maybe they'll do an "around the world" article. Generally speaking though their articles are aimed at a US audience. It just so happens that it has a very large international readership.

14. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

The title should change to, best money to value phone in USA

18. Shocky unregistered

It's a US site, so they don't give a crap about the rest of the world.

20. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

There're more readers here from India rather from USA, go figure

22. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

That's not PhoneArena's fault. If they want to cater to US readers they have the right to do so. They're not obliged in any way to write for a global audience.

24. Shocky unregistered

It kind of is, most of their readers are NOT from the US. Ignoring them probably isn't a good idea.

26. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Their only fault is arguably not taking advantage of a market segment. Nothing wrong with that from a consumer perspective. If non-US readers don't like what they have to say they can go somewhere else. You don't blame McDonalds for not serving spaghetti even if their customers might want spaghetti (not the best example but I'm hungry.)

32. Shocky unregistered

Umm, actually they do sell Spaghetti at McDonald's in some countries because in those Countries the people, they want Spaghetti. Really good example. :D

27. jellmoo

Posts: 2675; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

That's hard to say though. A GA report might actually see more US based traffic with more click throughs from US based readers. It could also be an ad based item, with more impressions coming from the US.

35. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Actually, this site is Bulgarian. But it definitely caters primarily to the US; even when a phone is targeted towards Asian or European markets, PA tends to list $USD prices.

15. kefalin

Posts: 292; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

lol,it looks like ad for Motorola......motoarena?

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