If you’re a Droid user like me, you’ve no doubt been tempted by some of the cheap phones out there, boasting quad-core processors and HD screens.
While the lure of a sub-$400 phone is appealing, the folks at CNET recommend against the 5 listed in the video (I’ve taken the liberty of including some pros and cons of each after the video.)
5. VeryKool Quantum:
Retails for $230 direct from the company.
- It has KitKat 4.4 (with all the persistent Google apps that you can’t get rid of clogging up the paltry 2gb storage.)
- Affordably priced.
- Unlocked from factory.
- 5 inch display.
- Battery offers 240 hours of standby and 15 hours of talktime.
- Only a 1.2GHz snapdragon processor with 1gb ram
- 480 x 854 screen (I don’t even…)
- Only 8 megapixel cam in rear; 2 mp up front (though not all phones have a front-facing option either.)
- Weak microphone when using speaker phone.
- Muffled call quality compared with other phones in this price range.
4. LG 3G S
Retails for $250ish on the low end.
- It’s pretty to look at.
- Great picture quality considering its small 8 megapixel screen.
- 1,280 x 720 5″ screen
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat (some would call this a “con”, but I find this version must less invasive when it comes to proprietary on-board Google apps.)
- Shoots video in 720p (not spectacular, but it’s true 720).
- 1.2GHz quad that’s tedious for multi-tasking.
- 1gb of ram (so sad).
- Overpriced compared to cheaper phones with the same specs (like the Moto G which retails for $180.)
- Poor battery performance.
- Volume buttons are strangely located on the rear “plastic” back panel (anyone else find this very odd?)
3. ZTE Grand X
Retails for $100 with mail-in rebate.
- It’s cheap and the performance is on par with all others on this page.
- Comes with KingSoft Office
- Non-expandable storage of just 4gb (blasphemous!)
- 1gb ram (you get what you pay for at just $100).
- Dual core 2.3GHz Snapdragon (I put this in the plus column because at this size it will still outperform the smaller quads.)
- It’s heavy, 6.6 ounces (nearly a 3rd of a pound — don’t drop this one!)
- 5 megapixel rear-facing-only camera with grainy picture and video.
- 960 x 540 pixel screen (how long has HD been around again?)
- Very heavy on proprietary, non-removable Google apps (perhaps you consider this a pro?)
- As a new phone, it can’t outperform more dated modes (some with more advanced versions of Android) like the HTC Desire 510 which can be had for $60 on Amazon and other sites.
2. Posh Orion Pro X500
Retails for $90 brand new.
- Inexpensive compared to other low-end phones.
- Dual sim slots.
- Only 5 mp camera with terrible grainy picture quality (video’s even worse I’ve heard.)
- 4G capable.
- The name is cool if you hang around with a crowd of high-society hipsters.
- 1.3GHz “MediaTech” quad that underwhelms.
- 1gb of ram.
- It’s big and heavy (nearly 6″ x 3″ inches) and heavy at over 6-ounces (make you feel like you’re holding a small brick in your hands.)
- 980 x 540 resolution screen (better than some, but nowhere near HD quality.)
- Apparently the speaker phone is the only way to get decent call quality from this phone
1. Huawei Ascend Y550
Retails for $160.
- 4G LTE capable.
- Great battery life.
- It’s pretty cheap compared to other “new” budget phones.
- Huawei has a good reputation for making phones that don’t crap out on you just after the warranty’s up.
- Easy for the small-handed to grip and use.
- They include their own hacked up version of Android 4.4 that’s notoriously hard to navigate for traditional Droid fans (for instance, the “app tray” has been removed, meaning you have to use multiple homescreens if you have lots of apps.)
- 1.2GHz quad core that fails to impress.
- Only 4.5 inch screen with a whopping 854 x 480 resolution.
- 5 megapixel camera (with, you guessed it, terrible grainy results in both picture and video.)
- Call quality is high in distortion and low in volume.