While the competition continues to heat up
by the day around the $400 mark
, there aren't a lot of objectively good smartphones you can buy for less than that in the US right now without a bunch of special requirements or various carrier strings attached.
Your safest bets in the sub-$300 segment may well be the pen-wielding Moto G Stylus
and big-battery Moto G Power
, the former of which typically costs $299.99 unlocked, while the latter starts at $50 less.
Commercially released stateside more than six months ago
, these very respectable mid-rangers scored a number of substantial discounts pretty much straight off the bat, going on sale yet again recently at Google Fi. Obviously, the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) has a few conditions you'll need to meet before you can lower the aforementioned list prices of the two Moto G-series handsets, but the markdowns are definitely hefty enough to be worth the effort.
We're talking a whopping $200 you can save on both the G Power and G Stylus with a new Fi account and an eligible number port-in. New members of existing group plans can also qualify for the full discount, while existing customers and new ones opting for an entirely fresh start rather than transferring a number from a different carrier will have to settle for $150 shaved off the $250 and $300 MSRPs of the G Power and G Stylus respectively.
Basically, you're looking at spending as little as $100 and $50 for the Moto G Stylus and G Power respectively, and no, there are no trade-ins, monthly installment plans, or bill credits involved here. Then again, you will need to activate your new Motorola
device of choice on a "full service plan" within 30 days of receiving a shipment confirmation email and maintain your Google Fi account in good standing for at least 90 consecutive days.
In case you're wondering, the Moto G Power
and G Stylus are very similar on the outside, sporting modern hole punch designs and identical 6.4-inch IPS LCD screens. The two phones are also powered by the same respectable Snapdragon 665 processor, but the G Stylus comes with twice the 64GB internal storage space of its "cousin." The slightly costlier device also features a superior 48 + 16 + 2MP triple rear-facing camera system, while the G Power has a massive 5,000mAh battery going for it.