The holidays are coming up quickly, and with it comes some really awesome deals on our favorite pieces of technology. If money is a little tighter than usual this year and you cannot afford some of the more high end gadgets, we have put together our top 10 list of the best budget smartphones to look out for this coming Black Friday. There is a whole lot of them out there, but in all honesty, there is only a few worth looking at, as you want it to be something that lasts and does not die out on you six months from now. With all of that said, here is our top ten list!
1. Motorola Moto G
First up on our budget phone list is the Motorola Moto G. Motorola ushered in a new level of expectations for budget smartphones, and the Moto G is just that. With a 5-inch display, set at a resolution of 1280 by 720 and a pixel density of 294ppi, you get a great viewing experience with this device. It also has the IPS LCD screen, which really is not a bad display at all for a budget smartphone. Compared to most budget smartphones, the overall viewing quality is phenomenal.
As for the processing package, you get 1GB of RAM, which is all you will need for this little performer, an Adreno 305 GPU, and a quad core Snapdragon 400, clocked at 1.2GHz. On top of that, you get all of the other goodies that come with any other smartphone–camera, GPS, accelerometer, the latest Android OS, you name it. Overall, you get a great smartphone for an extremely low price.
If you are looking at picking up this little performer, you can do so through Amazon, Motorola or any major smartphone retailers on the ‘net.
2. Samsung Galaxy Fame
The Galaxy Fame is another favorite of mine, in terms of budget smartphones. It is nothing like the Moto G, mind you, but it is dirt cheap and gives you a decent means of communication. It has a 480 by 320 3.5-inch display, with a pixel density of 165ppi. Again, this one is nothing to write home about, but for what you are paying, this really is not a bad little performer.
As for the processing package, this is just about as low as it gets. It does not get much lower than 512MB of memory, a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor, and a Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU. While it does not look like much, this little beast still runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean like a champ. You will not be getting much done on this guy in the name of gaming or movies, but again, it is a great means of communication for a really low price.
If you are interested in picking up the Samsung Galaxy Fame, Amazon has it fairly cheap right now, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, it is only bound to get even cheaper. I would grab it while I could, if you really needed something!
3. Sony Xperia M
The Sony Xperia M is yet another great budget smartphone. For the display, you have a 854 by 480 4-inch screen, set at a nice pixel density of 245ppi. At 4-inches, the Xperia M is about as small as some of the earlier iPhone’s, so this little guy is not bad at all. Of course, I would not personally go watching movies on such a small device, but if you were to, and even throw in some video here and there, the overall quality display of media consumption is actually really great. Colors are pretty vibrant and deep for such a small device.
As for the processing package, you get 1GB of RAM, an Adreno 305 GPU, and a dual core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor. For something like this, it really is not a bad little package, and I doubt you would put this smartphone to the test in everyday tasks. It also has a 1750 mAh battery, which actually keeps this phone alive for quite a long time, though that depends on how much you use it.
If you want to pick up this little performer, Amazon currently has it on sale, and again, with these Black Friday sales coming up, you will probably see it even cheaper.
4. Motorola Moto E
Sure, the Motorola Moto G was a pretty good budget smartphone, but Motorola is getting even cheaper with the Motorola Moto E. With a resolution of 960 by 540, a 4.3-inch screen, and a pixel density of 256ppi, you honestly get a great viewing experience. It is a little smaller than the Moto G, but there is still enough screen real estate to be able to enjoy a high quality video here and there. Colors for a budget smartphone are also great, Motorola excels at keeping things above quality in this department.
As for the processing package, you actually do not get too much of a drop in power. You still have the 1GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU, you just get a smaller, dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor. You even get Android 4.2 KitKat with this little performer, which might be a surprise, but whose complaining? This processing package will give you everything you need to accomplish everyday tasks, and it is a lot cheaper than the Motorola Moto G, too!
If you are interested in picking up this little guy, you can get it straight from Motorola or you can head to over to Amazon, who already has it on sale!
5. Nokia Lumia 635
The Nokia Lumia 635 in terms of the display is between the Motorola Moto G and the Motorola Moto E. It has a 4.5 inch display, a resolution of 854 by 480 and a pixel density of 218ppi. It really is not a bad display–I would not hesitate to play an occasional game of Angry Birds or watch a few videos on it. If you are looking to get some high quality movies out of this guy, you are probably looking at the wrong phone–I would go for the Motorola Moto G, personally.
As for the processing package, it really is not bad, though the amount of RAM is disappointing. You get 512MB of RAM, an Adreno 305 GPU, and a quad core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. Definitely not a bad processing package. It is more than the Moto E, but also a bit more expensive. It will run your everyday tasks with ease, though.
If you are interested in picking up this little performer, you can grab it from Amazon, which is the easier route, as it is a hit or miss whether certain carriers will support it or not.
6. Huawei EE Kestrel
For those of you across the pond, you may just want to check out the EE Kestrel. It has a 4.5-inch, 960 by 540 display. This is yet another good budget smartphone that produces some decent quality display. This is another one I would not hesitate to watch video on, as colors look pretty decent on it. Although, watching a movie on a 4.5-inch screen would not be a whole lot of fun, personally.
As for the processing package, you actually get some decent performance hardware. Sporting a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core CPU, this little guy is able to handle most anything. It has 1GB of RAM and runs Android 4.3, so you actually get a very good package for what you will be paying for this little performer.
It also comes with a 5-megapixel camera. You won’t be able to take the best shots, that is for sure, but if there is just something you need to snap a photo of, you have that 5-megapixel sensor available to you.
You can pick up this budget smartphone at Amazon or straight through the United Kingdom-based carrier, EE. It costs less than 100 pounds, so we will definitely be seeing some sweet deals on this guy this coming Black Friday.
7. Sony Xperia M2
The Sony Xperia M2 is actually a little bit of a step up from the Huawei EE Kestrel. You get just about the same screen–a 960 by 540 4.8-inch TFT screen, sporting a pixel density of 229ppi. Again, video and over visual quality on this media package really is not that bad, especially with the larger, 4.8 inch display available to you. Color reproduction is good, but I certainly would not expect to get the deep and vibrant colors that you might expect in an AMOLED display out of this guy.
As for the processing package, this is where the step above of the Kestrel comes in. In this package, you get 1GB of RAM, which is standard for most budget smartphones, an Adreno 305 GPU, and a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, clocking in at 1.2GHz. It is not a huge jump, but it can certainly handle a bit more, which might be more useful to those of you that like to game on your Android devices.
Also, this smartphone has an 8-megapixel sensor strapped to the back of it, so you can get a bit better shots out of the Sony Xperia M than you can the Kestrel. I am just looking forward to the day when we have 10-megapixel sensors on the back of our budget smartphones. Maybe in a few years!
If you want to get your hands on this performer, you can do so through Amazon, who has this device on sale right now, and will be slashing the price on it again for this coming Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That said, keep your eyes peeled for some awesome deals on this guy, you will not want to miss out on this one!
8. ASUS Zenfone 4
The ASUS Zenfone 4 is not a bad performer at all, and one of its high points is its sleek design. As for the display, you get a 800 by 480 4-inch display, sporting a pixel density of 233ppi. One of the benefits of this device is that it is rocking Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 for maximum shatter resistance, which is always a bonus. In this smartphone, and in my personal research, I did not find the screen quality to be as good as a lot of the others. With that said, it is not bad either.
As for your processing package, the ASUS Zenfone 4 is sporting a 1GB of RAM, a PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU, and a Intel Atom Z2520 dual core 1.2GHz processor. Not a bad processing package at all, if I do say so myself. The only problem with it is that Intel processor heats up really easily, so the smartphone can feel pretty hot in your hand, but beyond that, it runs like a champion. Games, video, and movies play on this little performer no problem.
Also, the ASUS Zenfone 4 is equipped with a 5-megapixel sensor and can shoot 1080p video, which is a huge plus for what we already have going with this smartphone. If you are interested in picking up this guy, you can grab it from Amazon really cheap, though I would wait a few days in anticipation of some better Black Friday deals!
9. Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is an interesting device. It has a 800 by 480 4-inch display with a pixel density of 233ppi. Screen quality in the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is alright, but it is nothing to write home about. If you need to watch a quick video showing you instructions on something, that is about what it is good for, just do not expect any high quality video out of this guy. The overall screen quality just does not support that very well.
As for the processing package, it is fairly decent–Samsung actually did a pretty good job in this area. Like most of the budget smartphone out there, you get 1GB of RAM, an Adreno 305 GPU, and a dual core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 processor. If you get the LTE version, you will get a dual core 1.2GHz Krait CPU. Overall, not a bad package. If you are looking for a budget smartphone, you certainly will not put its processing package to the test for everyday tasks, phone calls and general communication.
What is cool about this particular smartphone is that you get the 5-megapixel sensor strapped to the back of it, but you also get an array of Samsung camera features, which the company is infamously known for. If you want to pick up this little performer, you have a few options over on Amazon, although I would suggest going with the 3G version, as the battery will die faster running the LTE model, and the LTE model is also a bit pricier. That is all up to you, though!
10. Sony Xperia SP
And the final contender on our list tonight is Sony’s Xperia SP. Sony makes some really good smartphones, whether they be low end, mid range, or high performers. The Xperia SP in this case, is a low-end smartphone, but it is a darn good one! Next to the Moto G, this is probably the next best on our list, though it is not really supported by many American carriers, so you will have to figure out all of the network technicalities out on your own with this guy.
With the Xperia SP, you get a 1280 by 720 4.6-inch display, with a pixel density of 319ppi. You do get the Corning Gorilla Glass with it for shatter resistance, too. This smartphone actually plays some very good video. It is a step above most of the smartphones on this list. I would not hesitate to watch movies on it while at the Airport or something!
In terms of a processing package, you get something above average–1GB of RAM, an Adreno 320 GPU, and a dual core Qualcomm MSM8960T Snapdragon, clocked in at 1.7GHz. It will handle your everyday tasks with ease, and go even beyond that.
If you are looking to get your hands on this guy, you can head over to Amazon right now and order. Again, just make sure that whatever carrier you want to put on supports the network types, otherwise, you will just have a smartphone that works strictly on Wi-Fi and not cellular data.
And that wraps up our list for our Top 10 Budget smartphones to look forward to this Black Friday! There are definitely a lot of good budget smartphones out there, if you cannot afford a lot of the high-end stuff, and many people just can’t for their own personal reasons. That said, these smartphones make up for that rather well. As far as durability goes, they will probably last as long as any high-end smartphone, too, though I can imagine that one can tell when their smartphone is going bad with a lower end device a lot quicker, as things probably slow down to a crawl.
Anyway, what is your favorite budget smartphone? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know in the comments! Be sure to stay tuned to The Droid Guy, as we will have a top 10 list of high-end smartphones for you all to over soon as well!