Finding a smartphone that is affordable without feeling cheap can be a challenge. For most phones, you have to deal with a trade-off between expensive contracts, sky-high phone cost, or a simple lack of features and performance that you want. Recently, however, the value smartphone market has seen a boon, allowing you to get quite a lot of performance for a low price point. Here are four smartphones that give you the best value for your dollar.
Nokia Lumia 520
Coming in as the only windows phone on the list, the Nokia Lumia 520 provides ample performance in a colorful package. The Lumia 520 runs on Windows Phone 8 and benefits from the Lumia Black update that brings features such as new night mode color options, notifications on the glance screen, and a pedometer.
Under the hood, the Lumia 520 has a 1 GHz Snapdragon 4 processor and 512 MB of ram. These allow for smooth scrolling and very few hangups when using the device. The Lumia 520 also features a 4-inch, 480 by 800 display. While it may not be the largest on the market, it has decent viewing angles and shows off your live tiles clearly. At the low cost of $49 in the US, this is an excellent budget smartphone for even the tightest budget.
While you’ve likely read recent articles about the new Moto X, the Moto G is its little brother that is really making waves in the budget smartphone market. The Moto G runs on the newest version of Android KitKat 4.4 and sacrifices few features when compared to flagship phones. Trusted review site Engadget gave it high praise, claiming it is “still the best budget smartphone.”
The Moto G’s 5-inch display offers a beautiful view. Even though it is only 720p, you would be hard-pressed to find any pixelation that is visible with the naked eye. Motorola has packed in a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor and 1 GB of ram, creating a user experience that is universally fluid whether you are scrolling image-heavy web pages or playing graphically demanding games. If the $180 price tag is enough to make you overlook the lack of 4G and non-removable battery, this may be the right value smartphone for you.
The OnePlus One’s off-contract price of $299 for the 16 GB version or $350 for the 64 GB version may not sound like a budget option to you, but when you consider everything that this phone offers it is clear that it is a value winner. The One offers features that are unheard of on a sub-$500 device off-contract including a 5.5-inch, full 1080p display, 13 MP camera, 3 GB of ram, 2.5 GHZ Krait 400 CPU, and 4G LTE connectivity.
The OnePlus One also throws solid punches in the software department, running Android 4.4 KitKat with Cyanogenmod 11. The custom Cyanogenmod ROM gives users extra customizability over stock android such as the ability to change the quick settings menu, add quick launchers to the lock screen, and much more.
No longer is it necessary to sacrifice features for affordability when choosing a new smartphone. Keep these devices in mind and you can be sure you are choosing one that will be a top performer while still going easy on your wallet.