Buying a good phone can cost a lot of money, but you don't have to. You've probably heard that before, but now it's more true than ever. Features you expect in a high-end, expensive flagship smartphone – such as a clear and vibrant screen, bloatware-free software, decent cameras & fast performance – can also be found in cheaper phones.
In almost all cases, a budget phone will not be as good as an expensive phone, but you might be surprised (in a good way) by its quality. Some of them even work with different US providers and MVNOs, so you will not be forced to buy a new phone if you decide to change ownership to another provider.
But don't go blind shopping. It is not uncommon for your local store to store several cheaper phone options from both reputable and relatively unknown brands, all of which have fitted the popular design of the moment to blend into the others. Finding a cheap phone that is worth buying is harder than it should be and it is easy to fall on the wrong device.
We have spent some time with a handful of phones of less than $ 300, which you are likely to encounter when shopping online or at your local store. From that group of candidates, only one gets a huge amount of value for money.
The best cheap phone at the moment: Moto G7
When someone asks me to recommend a telephone, I want to propose the option that costs the least money and has the least compromises. There is a telephone that meets all my personal qualifications. It has a nice screen, it works with every American airline and the software is fun and easy to use. I'm talking about the Moto G7.
The best thing about the Motorola budget phone is that it doesn't look or feel cheap. You can buy the phone in black or white and covered with shiny Gorilla Glass on the front and back. It has a large 6.2-inch 2270 x 1080 LCD screen and thanks to slim edges and a small notch, it has a considerable amount of screen property. Colors and details stand out with sharpness and accuracy, and although this screen lacks HDR, video still looks great on the screen.
The Moto G7 has the Qualcomm middle class Snapdragon 636 processor and is in daily use for, for example, browsing on Twitter, switching between portrait and horizontal modes in YouTube and video calls via Google Duo. It has 4 GB of RAM (which is an impressive number for a budget-oriented phone) and more intensive tasks, such as playing some games and multitasking with multiple apps, do not slow down this phone. Of course the most demanding games are like PUBG, ask for a better processor to work at high frame rates, but I think most people will be happy with what the G7 is capable of in the performance department.
The Moto G7 is not slow when it comes to the small details. It has environmental sensors that activate the screen when you pick it up or even place your hand near the phone. This makes it easy to check the time without pressing a button, and you can enable notifications or skip tracks with media controls from this view.
It has a microSD card slot to easily expand the storage, which is handy if you are someone who wants to install a lot of games, download countless videos & # 39; s from Netflix or both. This phone has a headphone connection if you want to connect a wired headphone (I am one of those people), and it is charged via USB-C.
Something Motorola has been good at for a while is making phones that work with any US provider (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) and MVNO (Cricket Wireless, Mint Mobile, Google Fi, to name a few popular ones). to mention). The Moto G7 is no exception. And apart from the other Moto G7 phones mentioned in this manual, you won't find this feature in most cheap phones from other brands.
The software that runs the G7 comes close to pure Android 9 Pie, such as what you can find on a Google Pixel. That is good, but it is not exactly the same. The interface changes from Moto look a bit dated in comparison, although you won't find any bloatware here in particular. And what little Moto has added to the package of pre-installed apps, which contains a small list of gestures, is actually useful. To name a few, you can enable the option to take a screen grab by tapping the screen with three fingers, or there is a setting that allows the volume keys to change the number when the phone screen is off.
Like all the phones I have tested, the G7 brings sacrifice to achieve a low price. The cameras are not fantastic, but I think they are better than what many users expect from a phone at this price. In the more extensive review by my colleague Chris Welch of the Moto G7, he noted that he is taking respectable photos in well-lit environments, and I agree. It can even take portrait photos with its second 5MP sensor, which is there to collect depth-sensitive data, and which also look decent. The Moto G7 is erased by the more expensive Samsung Galaxy A50 when it comes to night shots, although neither is particularly good at it. Despite the A50's three-lens camera system, which suggests better quality, I think the looks of the photos taken with the G7 are more beautiful.
The Moto G7 is the best cheap phone for the vast majority of people, and there is currently no other cheap phone that is so well designed or offers so much functionality and value. If you don't like our top choice, there are other options to consider below. Some are slightly cheaper than the G7 and have functions such as charging via USB-C, a decent battery life, a good screen and a fingerprint sensor. But for some reason, as described below, they are not as valuable as the G7.
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