Not all smartphone users are willing to shell out $500 on the newest iPhone or Samsung. But that doesn’t mean that they will settle for substandard performance from a gadget in terms of design, power and battery life.
In this case, here are this year’s best smartphones for anyone on a budget.
Motorola Moto E (4G LTE)
Don’t be put off by the plastic and seemingly chunky chassis of the Moto E. While it’s a far cry from the sleek, metal and glass exteriors typical of the S6 and iPhones, the range of colors and sturdy build still lends decent pep to its look.
The added customisation option is a great plus in this era of standard candy bar mobiles. The phone’s border is removable, allowing more fashion conscious gadget users to switch up colors depending on their mood and style.
It features a minimal 4.5 inch display and bears a 960 x 540 pixel resolution, but still registers crisp visuals with a pixel density of 245 PPI. The 2,390mAh battery isn’t removable, but offers decent battery life especially since it’s already running on Android’s new 5.0.2 Lollipop.
Verdict? The phone comes with a 5 megapixel camera. Small, by any standard, but if you’re looking for a mobile that will allow you to stay in touch with family and friends through data services, the Moto E can get the job done.
HTC Desire 510
At around $200, you can’t beat the affordability that the HTC Desire offers. It’s a small price to pay to experience the brisk 4G LTE capability of the phone.
It houses a mid-range 1.3GHz quad core processor with a 854 x 480 pixel display, housed within what is considered to be one of the more attractive looking chassis for a budget smartphone.
The phone still runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which isn’t bad given how affordable the unit is. Performance is also smooth and trouble free, including downloading and using apps, and even video streaming.
Verdict? This isn’t the phone for hardcore gamers, but with a battery life that does better than most mid-range or even high end phones, and a basic 5 megapixel camera, you can be sure to get the most of the basic online smartphone experience.
Nokia Lumia 630
Nokia has always been known to push the boundaries of design, even before smartphones pushed the brand down to near obscurity. But the Nokia Lumia 630 is a solid effort from the once gadget behemoth, pairing innovation in terms of customisability with communication ease.
The phone, while running on Windows instead of the traditional Android platform, offers 4G LTE, a 5 megapixel camera and a 1.2. GHz quad core processor. While the OS means being unable to access the numerous apps available, it also means better battery life. Other smartphones in this category would clock in a meager day with full use, but this one is like the little mobile phone that keeps going and going.
The plastic unibody features removable covers which adds a sense of personalisation in a generation of phones that look the same regardless of make and model. More importantly, the phone feels solid in your hand and can easily withstand bumps and scratches with its Gorilla Glass 3 screen.
Verdict? The phone makes a perfect option for those who want a dependable messaging and communications experience, with a little recreation (maybe some video streaming?) on the side.
When the basics are all you need, take your pick from this year’s top smartphones in the category. Watch out for our rundown of our best mid-range and high-end options as well.