You can get a lot of phone for a modest price these days. Motorola has been a leading name in midrange options for years, and that holds true with its excellent new Moto G7. For an extremely competitive price, you get capable specs with a big display and simple software that anyone can figure out. Plus it has TurboPower fast charging, and finally uses USB-C.
Best Overall: Moto G7
The Moto G7 has just about everything you could ask of a phone at this price. The software is clean yet clever with Moto Actions and Moto Display, and it’s quick to recharge with Motorola’s TurboPower charging. The G7 also has decent specs, including a Snapdragon 632, 64GB of expandable storage, and 4GB of RAM — and it finally charges over USB-C!
The design is sleek and modern with trim display bezels and a rear fingerprint sensor, the camera is impressive for its field, and it’s even splash-resistant (though keep in mind that that’s not the same as full-blown water resistance). Plus, you’ll always be able to enjoy Motorola’s simple and useful software.
- Simple and effective software
- Compatible with all U.S. carriers
- USB-C charging
- Splash resistance
- Just average battery life
- Questionable software update future
$240 at Amazon
Everything you need, for a great price.
The Moto G has always been a staple of this market, with good reason. The Moto G7 is an outstanding value in every right.
Midrange Done Right: Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung is best known for its high-end phones, but the A50 steps into the mid-range extremely well. The 6.4-inch display is bigger and much nicer than you’d expect for something that competes at this price, as is the beautiful hardware. The spec sheet is strong, with a 4000mAh battery and capable processor. You’ll have to face some Samsung-induced bloatware in the software, but the A50 is a great overall phone.
The 25-megapixel main camera is capable in good and mixed lighting, though as expected for this price point comes up short in lower light. But what’s surprising for this money is the addition of both a dedicated wide-angle camera, which takes fun shots with a new perspective, and a dedicated depth camera for portrait shots.
In order to hit the right price point you need to buy an international model, but we think it’s worth it considering how much you save and everything you get for the money.
- Top-tier display
- Strong battery life
- Solid triple camera
- Great specs for the money
- Considerable bloatware
- Portrait mode shots are weak
- No MST Samsung Pay
- U.S. model more expensive than international
Midrange Done Right
Samsung Galaxy A50
$260 at Amazon
Great Samsung quality for a fraction of the price.
The A50 brings high-end Samsung DNA, with great specs and a big display. The triple camera is good and has a fun wide-angle lens.
Great Affordable Option: Honor 8X
The Honor 8X may be inexpensive, but it feels more expensive with its head-turning glass design and zippy EMUI 9 interface overtop Android 9 Pie. Its dual cameras take surprisingly good photos, and the specs are outstanding for the price — an octa-core Kirin 710 chipset and 4 or 6GB of RAM. The 3,750 mAh battery is always good for a full day, though it unfortunately charges over Micro-USB.
Some corners were cut with the Honor 8X. There’s no water-resistance,, which is common on newer models,, and there are too many apps with EMUI. Overall, it’s a smartphone that really shows you don’t have to shell out a lot of cash.
- Excellent spec sheet
- Huge high-quality display
- Beautiful colorful design
- Premium two-tone glass finish
- Massive battery goes all day long
- EMUI, while smooth, comes with too many apps
- Outdated charging and power options
- No water resistance
Great Affordable Option
$180 at Amazon
An incredible value across the board.
The Honor 8X looks and feels expensive, and has strong specs. Its 6.5-inch screen is one of the biggest you’ll find at this price.
Best with Android One: Nokia 6.1
Nokia is back in the game with a refreshed Nokia 6 that offers far better performance and battery life. Because it runs Android One, the Nokia 6.1 runs delightfully barebones software on a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD that looks good (even though it has some huge bezels), and it has one of the better cameras in its segment. On top of that, Nokia is great with monthly security updates to keep its phones protected — a rarity for low-cost phones.
The new Nokia 6.2 is about to be released, replacing the 6.1 with refreshed hardware and specs, but until it’s on sale we’ll happily recommend the 6.1 for its great value proposition — and even at this age, it still has a software update future ahead of it.
- Simple and clean Android One software
- Long update future
- Durable chassis with outstanding build quality
- All-day battery life with USB-C charging
- Soon to be replaced by Nokia 6.2
- 16:9 display with big bezels
Best with Android One
$200 at Amazon
Still a good pickup even at this age.
The Nokia 6.1 is still good, has simple software and all-day battery life. But at this age, hold off for the Nokia 6.2 if you can.
For Tighter Budgets: Moto E6
The Moto E6 packs many of the features that make the Moto G7 great and cuts back where necessary to hit a much lower price. You get capable specs, a pretty big display, fine battery size, and the same simple Moto software with a good set of features. You also get a water-repellent coating and support for all U.S. carriers with a full warranty.
On the downside, the 720p display isn’t going to wow you, nor will the camera. You also to charge over the older Micro-USB. Fortunately, the money was spent where it matters: the phone’s features and capabilities. The Moto E6 walks a good line for such a great price.
- Support for all U.S. carriers
- Water repellent coating
- Simple software with good features
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Plastic build
- Only 720p screen resolution
- Micro-USB charging
For Tighter Budgets
$150 at Amazon
Getting the basics done.
The Moto E6 isn’t going to win any design awards, but your small investment gets you solid specs, good software and nice features.
Even when your budget is tight, you can get a great phone with the Moto G7. It offers good performance with simple software filled with useful Moto features, and with good hardware it doesn’t look or feel like a “cheap” phone. It’s also a great size with enough screen room to get things done without feeling too large.
Amazingly, the Android market has many other great options for you at affordable prices, but when you’re looking to save money, there are going to be compromises. When shopping for these phones, take a close look at the specs to make sure you’re not missing a feature you’d like to have. Many inexpensive phones will cut out on display size, display resolution, extra cameras or bonuses like stereo speakers. However, when you shop around, you’ll be able to get a great phone for just a few hundred bucks.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman . Got a tip or inquiry? Drop him a line at [email protected]
Andrew Martonik is Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.