In 2013 and 2014, we started seeing phone makers really picking up the pace in making phones that are cheap, but don't feel cheaply made. Sure you could buy a cheap $100 phone before, but it would feel so cheap and not have the best specs inside either. And likely never get updates. However Motorola has done the opposite. Made a cheap phone with pretty good internals, that doesn't feel cheap and actually gets updated. But they aren't alone. Let's find out who the Budget smartphone of the year award goes to.
Winner: Moto G 2014
I went to Chicago in September to see Motorola's new portfolio of products. That included the Moto X 2014, Moto G 2014, Moto 360 and the Moto Hint. The Moto G 2014 really caught us by surprise. Not quite as much as the Moto G 2013 did though. But the Moto G 2014 upgraded almost every aspect of it's predecessor, and kept the same price. It got a larger screen, front-facing speakers, and kept the Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. While adding a microSD card slot. It kept the same price of $179. That's pretty crazy right? Not to mention it performs about as well as the Moto X 2014. Even with lesser hardware.
Runner Up: Sharp Aquos Crystal
This might be a bit of a surprise to some people. But Sharp brought a smartphone into the US this year. It's the Sharp Aquos Crystal and they threw it onto Sprint's network (Also available on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile). So what's so great about it? Well it's got pretty good hardware, for a $250 smartphone, also it has no bezels, except for the chin at the bottom. Pretty crazy, and unique, which is what caught our eye. During the review, we really liked the device, and thought it was a 4.3-inch phone when it's really a 5-incher. That's how crazy bezels can be.
- ZTE ZMax/XMax