In our always-connected world, it’s coming to a point where you’re pretty much expected to have a smartphone. Of course not everyone can afford the latest and greatest.
The good news is that technology has advanced to the point where you can actually get a great smartphone without breaking your bank — this is even more true now that Motorola has taken the veil off the Moto G.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best low-cost Android phones on the market.
In order to be included on this list, said device must meet the following criteria:
Editors note – we will be updating this list as more devices hit the market. This article reflects things from a US/EU centric perspective.
The much awaited successor to the LG Nexus 4 has arrived, and it is easily the most powerful device on this list. Of course, it’s also the most expensive, flirting with the line between “cheap” and mid-priced at $349 for the 16GB model. Still it’s worth mentioning because there is no better way to get a high-end Android experience without breaking the bank (or signing a contract).
The LG Nexus 5 is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU and has 2GB of RAM. The new Nexus also ships with Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box.
While the KitKat update has started rolling out to several other Nexus devices, the Nexus 5 has the distinction of being the only Android device with Google’s brand new “Google Experience Launcher”.
The Moto G is a major game-changer in the mobile world, offering mid-range specs at a price that is significantly cheaper than any other handset on this list. Motorola’s new budget handset features a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU and includes 1GB of RAM.
The Moto G essentially runs on stock Android 4.3 with few modifications, and is guaranteed to get an update to Android 4.4 KitKat in January. While the handset doesn’t have tons of special features, it has reasonably solid specs and a price tag that’s under $200.
For more on the Moto G, click here.
Sony’s Xperia L features a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and 1GB of RAM. It only has 8GB of internal storage, but there is a microSD slot to increase that by 32GB.
As for software, it’s reminiscent of stock Android, taking on the Ice Cream Sandwich theme. Finally, it has very little in terms of bloatware, which is often hard to come by.
Under the hood of Huawei’s Ascend P1 is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Featuring a brilliant qHD AMOLED display, it’s cased in a strong body, and performs very snappily.
It’s capable of taking 1080p video, it has a microSD slot, and it should receive the update to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Emotion UI 1.6 soon. All of this can be had for under $300.
For more on the Huawei Ascend P1, click here.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini has a 1GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM. It features a wonderful 4-inch Super AMOLED display, and it has a microSD card.
It runs Samsung’s TouchWiz interface atop of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. Finally, it’s equipped with a 1,500 mAh battery and a decent 5-megapixel camera is on the back. All of this can be had for $232+.
Any particular favorites in your list? Did we miss one? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. We’ll be updating this piece regularly. There’s a lot of great phones coming from lesser known players, and we’ll be sure to include them if they meet our criteria. Let us know what devices you think we should include!