Typically, budget Android phones are usually pretty bad, spec-wise. Usually with specs from a year or two sometimes longer ago. But in 2013 we began seeing more and more great budget devices, which I actually got a chance to play with a couple of them. The phones we are talking about here are normally around $400 or less off-contract. Some of the competitors this year included the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, Motorola's Moto G, along with a whole slew of devices from BLU, like the Life Play. There's no doubt that the Moto G and Nexus 5 were some great budget devices, and I'm hoping to see more coming out in 2014, for those that want to stick to no-contract plans and don't want to pay $600-700 for a new phone.
Runner Up: Google Nexus 5
Now many of you may not think of the Nexus 5 as being a budget phone, but in all honesty, it really is. The Nexus 5 is currently on sale for $350-400 depending on the storage capacity you choose. By the way that's off contract, which makes it a very affordable device. Not to mention the fact that it is running the Google Experience or stock Android. It's also running top-of-the-line specs like the Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 4.95-inch 1080p IPS display. It's a really great device, and there's not much to say here in terms of software, since it is just stock Android 4.4 - KitKat. But one of the great things about having a Nexus is the fact you'll get updates first, usually before any other device.
Winner: Moto G
The Moto G really surprised us. When it was announced a few weeks ago, we weren't expecting a whole lot, but Motorola definitely gave us more than we expected. The Moto G is an Android phone that costs $179 for the 8GB version and $199 for the 16GB version. That's crazy right? Not to mention it's got a 4.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 2070mAh battery. All that for under $200. That's a pretty good deal if you ask me. The Moto G is running stock Android, well there are a few tweaks Motorola snuck in there, but it is essentially stock Android 4.3 at the time of writing this. However, Motorola has said that they will be shipping the Moto G with KitKat in January. So Android 4.4 isn't too far away.