The Moto 360 is the best smart watch I’ve ever used. While not the perfect gadget, it delivers the best overall wearable experience yet. This Moto 360 review will look at what the device does well and where it needs some work.
“What does the Moto 360 do?” and “Is the Moto 360 worth buying?” are two of the most frequently asked questions when someone notices the stylish $249 smartwatch. The Moto 360 price puts this smart watch out of impulse buy territory, but the design and features live up to the expense of buying one.
The Moto 360 only works with Android smartphones, but you don’t need a Motorola smartphone like the new Moto X for this to work. The Moto 360 connects to any Android phone with Android 4.3 or higher using the Android Wear app. You cannot use the Moto 360 with an iPhone, and the actions are limited when the Moto 360 is not connected to a smartphone by Bluetooth.
A recent update dramatically boosts the Moto 360 battery life, delivering almost two days of use with battery conserving settings and a full day when using a setting that keeps the screen lit partially.
Read: Moto X 2014 Review
Over the last several years companies have tried and tried to deliver a compelling smart watch or wearable gadget, but battery life, notifications and feature limitations continually got in the way. After trying everything from a prototype made by a company Google purchased to multiple Samsung smart watches and a Pebble, the Moto 360 stands out in several key areas after a month of use.
Moto 350 Video Review
Watch our Moto 360 video review to understand what the smartwatch can do, why we like it and other important details.
Moto 360 Design
The Moto 360 features a circular display wrapped in a stainless steel case in black and in stainless steel. Right now the only Moto 360 bands are leather, but Motorola will sell you a stainless steel Moto 360 in the coming months. If you buy a leather Moto 360 you’ll be able to buy a stainless steel band for the Moto 360 around the time this new model launches.
The circular design helps keep the overall feel of this somewhat large watch face in check. This is not too big for my wrist by any means, but users with smaller wrists may want to try one on before buying. A gold-colored ring accents the crown on the side of the stainless steel watch case, which users can press to turn the display on or off.
The leather Moto 360 watch band, from Horween, feels like a very nice leather band. It’s a nice change from the plastic snap to close band found on the Samsung Gear Fit. You can swap out Moto 360 bands like most watches and while you don’t need to buy one specifically for this watch, you can’t use just any band.
It’s OK to shower with the Moto 360 on as it is IP67 dust and water-resistant, but it isn’t designed to survive swimming or sitting in a hot tub.
Moto 360 Display
The circular Moto 360 display is perhaps the biggest reason this smartwatch catches eyes when you wear it. When you move the watch towards your face the watch face lights up to show you the time, notifications and more. This is a scratch resistant touch display and it’s where the main interaction takes place.
I was worried that I would scratch the face up for the first several days, but the Gorilla Glass finish does a good job: even though I ended up smacking the watch face against a few hard surfaces, it looks just like new.
At first glance the Moto 360 display looks like a full circle, but the bottom edge includes a small area to drive the display and house the ambient light sensor. When you use a white watch face this stands out more than with the black faces. Although this is not as exciting as a completely circular display, it is not something that should bother most users.
The glass that covers the display is chamfered on the edges, which may look great on a traditional watch, but on a display like this it only serves to make parts of the display near the edge look fuzzy.
Overall the Moto 360 display looks good, even with a relatively low resolution. This isn’t something to read a book on, but a place to see the time, or see why your phone is buzzing and respond. When the backlight is on, the Moto 360 display is usable in the sun.
While driving at night many smartwatches interpret a turn as a gesture to turn the display on. The Moto 360 does a fairly good job of keeping the display off while driving, although it isn’t perfect.
Moto 360 Features & Software
There are a number of Moto 360 features that stand out after using the smartwatch for a month. It is really tough to do notifications well on a wrist. The same frequency of notifications that make sense on a phone are overwhelming on a watch.
Although the Moto 360 can show Gmail notifications I quickly turned them off, as they are overwhelming and too easily interrupt my work. Google Hangouts notifications are on and useful even though they can be rapid fire. I like that I can quickly reply with a canned message or with my voice.
The Moto 360 shows any notification that is visible on the phone you connect it to. This means on an average day I see the following notifications.
- Convo – alerts for team communication.
- Hangouts – work and friends.
- Facebook – alerts for personal and for Facebook Pages.
- ESPN Fantasy Football – Alerts for injured players and score updates.
- Texts and Phone Calls – alerts for both core phone functions.
- Weather – today and a forecast for upcoming days
- Team alerts – Score alerts for football teams I follow.
When I want to stop the notifications and relax or focus on work I simply pull down from the top of the watch face to mute notifications. This leaves the rest of the Moto 360 functions available and easy to use without the need to grab my phone to turn off notifications one by one on the phone, or disconnect for peace and quiet.
When you listen to an audiobook or music on an Android phone there is a small notification with playback controls in the notification drawer. This appears on the Moto 360 with cover art for easy on-the-wrist controls.
The Moto 360 includes support for what is essentially Google Now on your wrist. When the watch face is lit up you can say “Ok Google” and then set reminders, take a note, get a translation or pretty much any other request you can ask Google Now to perform. From your wrist you can say, “OK Google, send a text” to quickly send a text. You can dismiss a call or even answer it, but if you answer you need to grab your phone, as this is not a bluetooth speakerphone.
Voice control works great when you have a good connection to the phone and when the phone has a good connection as well. A recent update delivered better connectivity between the watch and the phone, but there are still times where I try to use voice control for some capacity and the voice search stalls out.
While traveling with the Moto 360 I used the watch to get walking directions. It’s possible to start these with voice and get updates on the wrist as you walk. This was one of my favorite Google Glass features, and it’s less conspicuous when it’s on my wrist.
There is a built-in pedometer and heart rate tracker. You can check your heart rate and view the past heart rate information. There is also a heart activity tracker to help you make sure you are active enough during the day for a healthy heart, but this is not something I use every day.
Some apps will connect and show special information, like recipe information from AllTheCooks, and there is even Tinder and Lyft integration.
I enjoy using the Moto Connect app to customize the watch faces. This lets you choose the color combinations and time zones for watch faces to match your style.
What the Moto 360 Does without a Connection
When the Moto 360 is not connected to your phone the list of things it can do drops significantly. The watch will still show calendar alerts so you know when your next event or meeting is.
The Moto 360 can also continue to act as a fitness tracker with pedometer and heart rate tracking. It can also function as an alarm clock and timer, and you can also use it to tell the time. That’s pretty much it, so you’ll want to carry your phone with you instead of viewing the Moto 360 as a replacement for your phone.
Moto 360 Battery Life
For the first several weeks of use the Moto 360 battery life didn’t last as long as it needed to. Using the battery saving mode it would last all day during the week and run low on the weekend. Using the ambient light sensor that keeps the display on just enough to see the time without lighting up the display was not an option, as it left the watch dead before bedtime.
A recent update now delivers all day Moto 360 battery life with the ambient light sensor on and nearly two days of use when battery saving mode is on.
The Moto 360 charges with a wireless charging dock that also turns it into a bedside clock. This is better than a micro USB port or some type of dongle, but it also means something else to pack when you travel.
Is the Moto 360 Worth Buying?
The Moto 360 is the best smartwatch I’ve used. It delivers timely notifications in a stylish design and the battery life lasts long enough to get me through two days.
Voice control doesn’t always work, but that’s still a challenge we run into with many smartphones, so it is hopefully something that will improve over time. One update already fixed the connectivity issue that prevented the OK Google usage from working.
Like picking out any other watch or personal accessory, it is a personal choice, but for users who want a great smartwatch experience on Android, the Moto 360 is the watch to buy.
Android 10: When Will My Phone Get the Update?
The big Android 10 update is still slowly but surely hitting more and more phones as 2020 continues, and it’s coming to your device soon if you didn’t get it already. With all the neat new controls and features, you’re probably wondering “will my phone get Android 10?” or “when will my phone get the Android 10 update?”
There’s usually a big delay from when Google releases new Android software to when something like a Samsung Galaxy or LG phone actually gets this new software. Samsung delivered updates pretty fast this time around, while others like LG and Motorola continue to struggle.
Here’s what to expect from all the biggest brands and when you might get the Android 10 update on your device.
Google Pixel Android 10 Updates
As expected, we’re starting with Google’s very own Pixel phones. Earlier this year the company confirmed every Pixel phone they’ve ever made will get the update, and they did. All Pixel devices got Android 10 in September of 2019, even the awesome budget-friendly Pixel 3a family.
- Pixel, Pixel XL
- Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL
- Pixel 4 (launched with it out of the box)
Android 10 arrived on September 3rd, and my Pixel 3 got it within an hour of the launch. They’re the first phones to enjoy the new software. You can even try the Android 11 Dev preview right now if you have a Pixel, but we recommend waiting for the public beta.
Samsung Galaxy Android 10 Updates
The most important update for most people in the US is the Samsung Galaxy Android 10 update. Due to the fact that they’re the most popular phones. Over the last year or two they’ve gotten faster, and thanks to a long Android 10 “Q” beta that started in March of 2019, Samsung released Android 10 and One UI 2.0 faster than any previous update.
In fact, they started the Galaxy S10 Android 10 beta in early October and released 8 previews before quickly delivering the final version. We saw devices around the globe get Android 10 in November, and then US models in December. It took Samsung less than four months, which is faster than usual. They updated the previous generation faster this year, too.
- Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra all shipped already running Android 10 (and One UI 2.1)
- Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and S10e (global release in December, US rollout as of Dec 16th)
- Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+ (January 2nd)
- Galaxy Note 9 (released in late Jan, early February 2020)(Some got it in March)
- Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ (released in late Jan, early February 2020)
- Galaxy S8 and S8+ (Maybe)
Obviously there are several other Samsung Android devices from the Galaxy A series, tablets, to the older Galaxy Note 8 that should, could or might get Android 10 as well. Unfortunately, we don’t have a roadmap or any solid leaks to go by. So, instead, we simply listed the most important and most recent flagship devices above.
Expect ANY Samsung phone released within the last 18 months to get Android 10, as that’s part of the contract they sign with Google to use Android. Here’s a look at what’s coming or already available on your phone. This is a quick video of Android 10 (One UI 2.0) on Samsung devices. Plus, it looks like we’ll get One UI 2.1 sometime in the near future, too.
If you have Samsung’s best phone from the last 2 years you’re already enjoying Android 10. Then, for those with older or budget models, stay tuned for more information in the near future. That, or just buy the sweet new Galaxy S20.
Essential Phone Android 10 Update
Android’s co-founder Andy Rubin went off and made a new smartphone company. They struggled, and will never make another flagship phone, but the Essential PH-1 is still pretty good. Plus, it gets software updates faster than any other phone on the market, aside from Google’s own Pixel phones.
The Essential Phone received Android 10 on September 3rd the same day it was released for a select few, then everyone else started getting Android 10 on September 13th. It was the first non-Pixel update.
OnePlus Android 10 Updates
A big selling point for OnePlus is fast updates and a clean, fast, nearly stock Android experience. And, over the past 2-3 years they’ve delivered exactly that. OnePlus devices were one of the first to try Android 10, they beat Samsung to releasing it, and are far far ahead of brands like LG.
Almost every major OnePlus phone already has Android 10, and they continue to be one of the best in the industry. Here’s a list of the devices that will get it or already did, starting with the OnePlus 7/7T which was first in line. Then, the 7T family launched with Android 10.
- OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T, OnePlus 7T Pro (Already on 10)
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G (Arrived Late February)
- OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T (Delivered in early November, re-released in January)
- OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T (coming in May)
Remember, companies only have to offer support and updates for 18 months, and those with a OnePlus 3 were lucky to get Android 9 Pie. Just don’t expect a device that old to see the 10th version of Android. However, they quickly delivered it for the OnePlus 6, and promised it for the older OnePlus 5, which is good news.
LG Android 10 Updates
Like Samsung, LG covers Android in a custom skin which makes updates cost more and take longer to complete. And, unfortunately, LG continues to get worse and worse in this department. Most LG Android Pie updates arrived several months after Samsung, 6-8 months after OnePlus, and a few took 11-12 months to arrive. In fact, some LG phones are now an entire year behind and still haven’t got Android 9 Pie, which is ridiculous.
That said, they have delivered Android 10 to a few devices, and we’re expecting more before spring and summer.
- LG G8 ThinQ (Available around the globe, in the US, and unlocked models)
- LG G7 ThinQ, G7 variants (Released in select regions)
- LG V50 (Available in Korea and some areas, Sprint V50 got it)
- LG V40 (Expected in Q2 2020)
- LG V30/35 is a maybe
- LG Q7
Remember, this list is unconfirmed but we’ll update it with more information as it becomes available. Basically, any phone released within the last 12-18 months by LG should get Android 10 eventually. Select older devices might get it too, like the LG G6, Stylo 5, & other budget devices. We’ll have to wait and see. LG Italia recently shared an update roadmap, but it didn’t tell us much.
Huawei Android 10 Updates
Despite some recent trouble with governments, Huawei is still one of the biggest and most popular smartphone manufacturers on the planet. And while we know they’re working on HarmonyOS to replace Android, they recently confirmed plenty of details about upcoming Huawei Android 10 updates. We’ve seen EMUI 10 hit several high-end models, but the entire situation around Huawei is still ongoing, and unsure.
- P30, P30 Pro (On Android 10)
- Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X & 5G (most got Android 10)
- P20, P20 Pro (Released in January, and Feb for P20 Pro)
- P10, P10 Pro, P10 Porsche Design (testing)
- Honor 8x, 9x, Honor 10 (Honor 10 starting March 15th)
- Honor 20, 20 Pro, View20, View20 Lite (Honor 20 and more starting March 15th)
- and more
Huawei makes so many phones in the high-end flagship category that competes with the Galaxy S10 or iPhone Xs, all the way to budget devices. Then, they have a secondary sister brand, Honor, with more excellent mid-range phones. This is just the shortlist, and we’re probably missing a few that will absolutely get Android 10.
We don’t know when, but a few updates started in December, even more arrived in January for high-end models like the P20, but with all the government drama we’re not sure what else is coming. Expect more updates around the globe during the next 2-3 months and this Spring.
Motorola Android 10 Updates
A few years ago Motorola woulda been at the top of this list, quickly updating devices to the latest version of Android. Sadly, those days are long gone. And while they’re still fairly quick to updates, we don’t have too much information yet to share.
Motorola recently started the Moto G7 Android 10 update, which is its most popular budget phone, but there are several different versions of that phone in regions all around the globe, making it difficult to track what device where is getting Android 10. Then, in early March we finally saw the first “flagship” Moto phone get Android 10, with the Moto Z4 up next. We’re expecting more to follow in the coming months.
- Moto Z4 (Started March 10th)
- Moto Z3, Z3 Play
- Moto G7, G7 Power, G7 Play, G7 Plus (G7 got it first, G7 Plus followed in the US)
- Moto E6
- Motorola One, One Power, One Action (beta hit the Moto One Power)
- Moto X4 Android One
- Moto G6 (maybe)
For what it’s worth, in the summer of 2019 nearly a year after Android 9 Pie came out, Motorola canceled the Moto Z2 Force update for AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint models of the phone. The phone wasn’t even 2 years old, and they only pushed Pie out to the Verizon edition. So don’t expect updates to the Z2 at all, and we’re already worried about the Z3 getting Android 10.
However, we think most of the devices on our list above should see updates sometime within the first 3-5 months of 2020. The only exception is the Motorola One lineup, which is guaranteed Android 10, and a few of those got it already.
Nokia Android 10 Updates
Nokia might not be the powerhouse they once were, but they actually make excellent affordable Android smartphones that ALWAYS get software updates. In fact, they just received an award for being the #1 phone brand globally for software updates and security. Realistically though, they haven’t been around long enough to have to choose whether or not they want to spend money and resources to update an older phone.
The Nokia reboot is still new, but they’re already off to a great start with Android 10. Here’s the full breakdown.
- Nokia 7.1, Nokia 8.1, Nokia 9 Pureview (rolling out now)
- Nokia 7 Plus (January)
- Nokia 8 Sirocco (January)
- Nokia 6.1, Nokia 6.1 Plus (done)
- Nokia 6.2 and 7.2 (coming soon)
- Nokia 5.1, 5.1 Plus (coming in March)
- Nokia 4.2
- Nokia 3.2, Nokia 3.1, 3.1 Plus, Nokia 2.2, Nokia 2.1 (got it in March or early April)
- Nokia 1, 1 Plus
HDM Global delivered three major Android 10 updates before the end of the year, several within the first few months of 2020, and plan on offering even more updates before Q2 ends. It’s only March, and they’ve updated almost every phone they offer.
This is impressive, and we’re hoping they stick to that roadmap.
Sony, HTC and Other Android 10 Updates
Unfortunately, brands like HTC just don’t deserve a full breakdown, as they’re not really trying too hard anymore. There are several other important brands that will release Android 10 to some devices, at some point, and a few might even surprise you with quick releases. Here’s another list of a few we think are worth mentioning.
- HTC U12, U12+ (who knows what else)
- HTC U11 just got Android 9 Pie (in December 2019, lol)
- Sony Xperia XZ2, XZ3, and most variants (Started in February, but delayed)
- ASUS ROG Phone, ROG 2 (coming soon)
- ZTE Axon 9 Pro (ZTE updates should start in 2019)
- BlackBerry KEY 2, KEY 2 LE
- Vivo NEX S, NEX A, X27
- Oppo Reno models (open beta)
- Xiaomi Mi 9, Mi Mix 3
- RealMe 3 Pro
This list could go on and on, but we wanted to focus mostly on the bigger high-end brands, US models, and popular phones for the masses. That said, several other incredible devices like the Vivo NEX S, Razer Phone 2 or budget RealMe phones should see Android 10 in the next month or two if they didn’t get it already.
Honestly, Android 10 is no longer new, as it got released over eight months ago. At this point, in my opinion, every major brand should have already made announcements, released timeframes, or already delivered the update. We shouldn’t be hearing about betas just starting or a companies first few Android 10 updates in April of 2020, as that’s too late.
At the same time, the main brands like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus all delivered update before the end of the year and even more in January/Feb, so things are trending in the right (and faster) direction lately.
For now, enjoy Android 10 on your Pixel, OnePlus, Samsung, Essential and select LG or Motorola phones and a few others, join betas if they’re available, or check back often to see if your device gets added to the list. If you are using Android 10, here’s a guide for any potential problems. Then, now that Google released the first Android 11 Developer Preview in February, expect an official Android 11 beta in early April for a few dozen phones.
Best Android Phones Under $100 (2020)
These are the best cheap Android phones under $100 available in 2020. Lately, phones have reached an all-time high in terms of pricing, but also extreme lows. Luckily, spending over $800 isn’t your only option. If you’re on a tight budget but still want a good device, these cheap Android phones are for you.
In the past, we’ve detailed cheap Android smartphones, but getting under $100 is no easy task. That said, we found a few great options from Motorola, Nokia, and even small screen phones worth recommending.
Not all buyers need a high-end smartphone, want to sign a 2-year contract or can fork out $35 a month, especially in these uncertain times. You’ll be happy to know some Android phones come in under $100, and they aren’t terrible Chinese devices either. These are capable phones that deliver a well-rounded and enjoyable experience.
Over the past few years, a lot of cheap Android smartphones have arrived. It’s a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. Motorola continues to lead the market with some of the best price/performance phones, but the competition is getting better and better. Especially from Nokia. As a result, you have options under $65.
Check out our recommendations list, then read on for more details and links to buy these phones in the slideshow below.
Best Android Phones Under $100
- Moto E5 Play
- UMIDIGI A3S
- Nokia 3.1 Plus
- Alcatel 1X
- LG Harmony
- Samsung Galaxy A10e
- LG Tribute Dynasty
- Coolpad Legacy
Many budget Android phones sold by small carriers or unlocked on Amazon (or from China) don’t offer a good experience. They run outdated software or are typically awful devices. And while our list doesn’t guarantee a Galaxy S10 or Google Pixel 3 type experience, it’s more than enough for most. These are newer phones with up-to-date software and security.
Considering the budget, these smartphones actually have a lot to offer. They are cheap devices that are actually worth the money. Of course, everyone has different needs, wants, and preferences. Not to mention you might be tied to a certain network, which is why we cover as many options as possible from Verizon to Cricket. These are the best phones available for $100 or less. Then, if you save a little more, here are some phones around $200.
Best Android Phones Under $200 (2020)
These are the best Android phones under $200 available so far in 2020. Our list suggests several cheap Android phones that are perfect for people on a budget. You don’t need to sign a 2-year contract or spend $800+ for a good experience, so here are some affordable phones we can comfortably recommend.
With expensive phones like the Galaxy Note 10 and Pixel 4 XL heavily advertised sometimes buyers forget about cheaper options. If you haven’t been paying attention you won’t know what’s good or what to buy. Plus, it’s pretty hard to get under $200 and still be happy with your choice. That’s where we come in and show you the cheaper side of Android.
Finding a great Android phone is really easy, but finding a good phone that’s also cheap, isn’t. There are dozens of cheap budget smartphones with awful screens, poor performance, outdated software, and terrible battery life. That’s what we want to help you avoid. Motorola continues to lead the market with some of the best price/performance phones, but so does Nokia and a few other brands.
Best Android Phones Under $200
This is our shortlist of recommended phones, then read on for more details and links to buy one below. Additionally, if you can afford a little more we highly recommend Google’s Pixel 3a.
1. Samsung Galaxy A20
For years Motorola dominated the budget Android phone market, but lately, Samsung has started offering great phones that deliver high-end looks at a wallet-friendly price. Perhaps the best phone on this list is the Samsung Galaxy A20, which came out near the end of the summer in 2019.
The first thing you’ll notice is the big, beautiful 6.4-inch HD AMOLED display. This phone packs a decent punch, has dual rear 13+5MP cameras, and a tiny little notch on the front that’s even smaller than the iPhone’s. If you watch a lot of movies or play games, this is a great option. Not to mention the 4,000 mAh battery inside so you can game for hours or the expandable storage for all your movies and music.
Something else we really like about this phone is the fact that it works with almost all US carriers — including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Some models only work on GSM (AT&T or T-Mobile) while others work everywhere.
2. Moto G7
Whenever you need a budget phone you should instantly check out the latest from the Moto G lineup. For years the Moto G has been one of the most popular budget Android phones. Right now, that’s the Moto G7, G7 Play, or G7 Power. Initially, the main Moto G7 came in for $249, but now you can find it for under $200 which makes it perfect for this list.
Along with the low price and a decent screen is amazing software. You get clean stock Android, somewhat fast updates, and some neat software add-ons that Motorola owners always seem to enjoy. My favorite is Moto Actions — where you can twist the phone quickly in your hand to launch the camera or swing it like an axe to fire up the camera. These are actually useful day-to-day and work even if the screen is off.
In 2019 Motorola worked closely with Amazon’s Alexa, for better or worse, and most of the G7 models have the power of Alexa readily at your fingertips. That said, you can always use the Google Assistant instead. Aside from that you’re getting a big 6.2-inch HD display, two cameras on the back, expandable storage, USB Type-C, a dedicated fingerprint scanner and it works with just about every carrier. The battery is only 3,000 mAh so keep that in mind if you game a lot.
3. Nokia 4.2
Perhaps one of the best overall options is the newer Nokia 4.2 smartphone. Yes, Nokia is back and they make excellent phones with a guarantee of software updates. Something we can’t say about Motorola anymore.
While the screen is only 5.71-inches, not everyone wants a giant phone. The real benefits are the low price point and the software experience. The Nokia 4.2 is part of the Android One program, which ensures updates, and it already has Android 10. You’re also getting dual rear cameras, a tiny notch in the screen for the front-facing camera, expandable storage, a fingerprint scanner, and a dedicated Google Assistant button. It’s a nice little phone.
4. Samsung Galaxy A10e
Our next recommendation is the Samsung Galaxy A10e, which is similar to the A20 but a little more affordable, newer, and it works on virtually every carrier in the US — even Verizon and Sprint.
Again, this phone looks like a far more expensive device than it really is, and that’s mostly thanks to the edge-to-edge 5.8-inch HD AMOLED display. Samsung also threw in 32GB of storage, microSD support up to 512GB for all your content, and a decent 8MP camera on the back. It’s also made of plastic on the back, not glass, so it’s very durable and won’t break the first time you drop it.
5. LG Stylo 5
LG still makes some pretty great budget phones and those include the LG Q7 and the newer LG Stylo 5. It’s basically a poor man’s Galaxy Note 10, and that’s ok. With the LG Stylo 5, you’re getting a big 6.25-inch Full HD display and a built-in stylus — which are the two stars of the show.
This phone has a powerful Snapdragon processor, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and microSD support up to 2TB. You can add plenty of storage and do just about anything with this phone. And while you only get a single 13MP rear camera it does have a physical fingerprint scanner button, the stylus, and Amazon Alexa built-in.
The LG Styl0 5 works with most carriers and you can even find it at a heavy discount from carriers like Metro and Boost Mobile. If you’re a busy professional or want to do more with your phone the stylus will really come in handy.
6. Moto G7 Play (With Alexa)
We already recommended the Moto G7, but Motorola actually has a few different models and the Moto G7 Play is another excellent phone for under $200. And while the notch is way bigger than the Galaxy A10e or even the Moto G7, it has a few other features or aspects that might make you choose it over others on our list.
The biggest differences are the smaller 5.7-inch display and battery-efficient processor which allows for all-day battery life. If you don’t want a huge phone and want a device that is durable, works great and lasts plenty long, consider this over some of the flashier options. It works on every carrier from Verizon to Cricket, and it’s the cheapest of the Moto G7 lineup.
7. Xiaomi Mi A3
Xiaomi might not be a household name in the United States, but they’re one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers outside of America and in places like India. They even stole a Google/Android VP to run the smartphone division for several years, and excellent phones like the Mi A3 were a result of that move.
Looking at this phone you’d never guess it’s only $175. It packs a vibrant 6-inch AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner like the Galaxy Note 10. There’s a tiny notch at the top for the front-facing camera, then three capable cameras on the back. There’s also a Snapdragon processor inside with 64GB of storage, face ID unlock features and a big 4,030 mAh battery. The downside is it only works with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.
8. Nokia 2.2
If you’re really on a budget something like the Nokia 2.2 is a great option worth considering. It’s usually under $120 but you will have to make some sacrifices to pay such a small premium. However, it doesn’t look like a cheapy phone either, so it’s a win-win, really.
The Nokia 2.2 is part of Google’s Android One initiative, so it’ll get Android 10 soon if it hasn’t already. Plus, it has a nice little 5.7-inch screen and a durable plastic design. It’s small, lightweight, durable, fast and affordable. There is only 32GB of storage and the camera probably isn’t great, but for the price, you can’t really complain. It’s a good little budget Android smartphone.
9. Redmi Note 8
Over the last few years, Xiaomi has really started offering great budget phones, starting with the Redmi lineup. Near the end of 2019 they released the Xiaomi RedMi Note 8 and it’s one of the best Android smartphones for under $200. I mean, just look at it.
You’re getting a huge Samsung-style 6.3-inch AMOLED HD display that looks amazing and has a tiny little teardrop notch for the front-facing camera. There are almost no bezels anywhere, which means it’s not that big physically either and will be a joy to use. Then, around back, you’ll quickly notice a Quad-Camera setup. Yes, this has four rear cameras like the new Galaxy S20.
The Redmi Note 8 has a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a macro telephoto zoom lens and more. It’s packing quite a bit in that sleek package, including 64GB of storage and a big 4,000 mAh battery. Buy this and love it.
Xiaomi offers an even bigger Redmi Note 8 Pro for around $230.
10. Moto e6
Last but not least, we wanted to recommend the ultra-affordable Moto e6 for those on a really tight budget. This phone is only $119 and certainly has some compromises, but it’s still a nice little phone.
This little phone has a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen and a single rear camera that’ll be just good enough for social media. However, it’s small, portable, durable, lasts plenty long and it’s affordable. This is a great starter phone for young children or as someone’s first smartphone. It’s fairly updated with Android 9 Pie and should see Android 10 in 2020, has 16GB of storage, but does take a microSD card so you can expand the storage if necessary.
Our favorite part of this little phone is it’s globally unlocked and works for almost any and all carriers everywhere. Buy it for a vacation and don’t worry about losing it, or keep it as a backup. There are countless great reasons to get this phone. They even have a newer and bigger Moto e6 Plus in select regions for about $140.
You really don’t need to spend a ton of money on a smartphone these days, at least if you don’t want to. Just a few years ago $200 got you a terrible phone with outdated software, low-resolution screens, and single rear cameras. Now, you can get highly capable devices with in-display fingerprint sensors and beautiful edge-to-edge screens like the latest $1,000 Samsung Galaxy or iPhone.
Throughout 2020 you’ll be quite surprised by just how much you can get for $200, and we’ll be seeing more great budget phones as the year moves ahead. For now, consider that Samsung Galaxy A10e or something like the Nokia 4.2 as they’re both excellent phones that work on any carrier. MetroPCS even has a 6.7-inch Alcatel phone for just $189. You have a lot of options.
In closing, you’ll be happy with any of these phones. And while everything on our list is certainly worth checking out, as are a few others we left off, to keep things short and sweet recommend the Galaxy, Nokia or Moto G7 ahead of the rest.
Best Android Phones Under $300 in 2020
These are the best Android phones under $300 available right now. Smartphones continue to get more and more expensive, but those high-price devices aren’t your only option. If you don’t have a bunch of cash to spend on the latest Galaxy S20 try one of these instead. Budget Android phones that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
If you’re like a lot of people looking for a cheaper route, or simply don’t need to spend a bunch, these are the phones to consider.
Best Android Phones Under $300
- Google Pixel 3a
- Samsung Galaxy A50
- Moto G7
- Xiaomi Poco F1 (PocoPhone)
- Nokia 6.2
- LG Stylo 5
- Honor 8x
- ASUS Zenfone 5Q
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
These phones all cost under $300 but are still good enough to recommend. No, you won’t get a huge curved display like the Galaxy Note 10+, but you can come close. They also look good and get software updates, which is important. Basically, these phones are a lot better than you’d expect and still deliver a great experience.
1. Google Pixel 3a
One of the best budget phones from the last year is Google’s Pixel 3a and the bigger Pixel 3a XL. Google took everything great from its flagship phone like the screen, camera, and software, and put it in an affordable phone. It’s the opposite of most cheap phones that have budget screens and a poor camera.
In fact, the Pixel 3a is one of the best phones you can buy, in our opinion, and now it’s only $299 making it one of the better options on this entire list. With the Pixel 3a you’re getting a clean, fast, stable Android 10 experience, fast software updates, and all the software and camera features that make Pixel phones great. It’s also made of plastic, not glass, so it’s very durable. Google’s Pixel 3a is unlocked and works on basically every carrier, and they have a new Pixel 4a on the way too.
2. Samsung Galaxy A50
Motorola has dominated the budget Android phones market for years, but recently we’ve started seeing great cheap phones from Samsung and Nokia. If you only have $300 the best phone to buy is the Samsung Galaxy A50, which came out near the end of the summer in 2019. It’s as close to a high-end flagship Galaxy S10 as you’re going to get without breaking the bank.
The first thing you’ll notice is the big, beautiful 6.4-inch HD AMOLED display and triple rear cameras. There’s a tiny notch in the screen for the front-facing camera, then three powerful cameras on the back. Those being a 25MP main camera, 8MP wide-angle, and a depth-sensing third camera. If you watch a lot of movies or play games, this is a great option thanks to that screen and a large 4,000 mAh battery. It also has 64GB of storage and a microSD slot, too.
Another thing we really like about Samsung’s A50 is that you can use it with just about every US carrier — including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. If you can swing it though, we recommend the now discounted Galaxy S10e.
3. Moto G7
While there are several great Android phones for under $300, in our opinion the Moto G7 is one of your best bets. It’s a great all-around phone with almost no compromises. Plus, you can get different variants of the G7 for nearly $200.
The Moto G7 has a big 6.2-inch Full HD display that looks great and has smaller bezels than the iPhone Xs. Including a TINY water-drop notch for the front camera. Then, the phone has a brushed metal finish that looks and feels good. It looks like a Galaxy S10 on the back, except for that big round camera lens. You’re getting a decent 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and DUAL 12MP cameras. For the price, this phone is hard to beat. The international version is even cheaper, too.
Additionally, you can get the Moto G7 Power with a 5,000 mAh battery for $199.
4. Xiaomi Poco F1 (PocoPhone)
In 2019 a new king of budget phones emerged. That’s the Xiaomi Poco-F1, also known as the PocoFone.
For just $300, you get a device that rivals the Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7, iPhone 11, and any other phone released in the last year. Yes, for only $300. Some of its specs match $1,000 devices and it’s likely what inspired Samsung to make the A50.
You get a big 6.2-inch 1080p HD display, a powerful Snapdragon 845 processor (Same as Note 9, Pixel 3) along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Yes, there is a notch in the screen, but that’s ok. Then, you get a decent dual 12 and 5MP camera setup on the back, a 20MP front camera and a big 4,000 mAh battery. Obviously, you’re not getting a Galaxy S10 or iPhone 11 Pro experience, but for $300, it sure looks, feels, and performs close enough.
5. Nokia 6.2
Nokia has slowly become one of the best budget Android phones. They make several devices in all shapes and sizes, and for under $300 the best one is probably the Nokia 6.2. The older model is the 4.1, 6.1 and 7.1, so make sure you get the Nokia 6.2 if this is the phone you decide on.
The Nokia 6.2 has a big 6.3-inch full 1080p HD bezel-free display, 64GB of storage, triple cameras and it already runs Android 10 thanks to the Android One program. Sold yet? That’s all you should really need to know. You get a 16MP main and 8MP ultra-wide camera setup, then a depth-sensing camera everyone is using these days. We also like that there’s a microSD slot for storage expansion. The 3,500 mah battery isn’t as big as a few others on our list but this device is cheaper, too. And yes, it works on all GSM carriers in the US like T-Mobile and AT&T.
6. LG Stylo 5
LG still makes some pretty great budget phones and those include the LG Q7 and the newer LG Stylo 5. It’s basically a poor man’s Galaxy Note 10. With the LG Stylo 5, you’re getting a big 6.25-inch Full HD display and a built-in stylus — which is basically all that makes this better than a few others on our list.
This phone has a powerful Snapdragon processor, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and microSD support up to 2TB. And while you only get a single 13MP rear camera it does have a physical fingerprint scanner button, the stylus, and Amazon Alexa built-in.
The LG Styl0 5 works with most carriers and you can even find it at a heavy discount from carriers like Metro and Boost Mobile. If you’re a busy professional or want to do more with your phone the stylus will really come in handy.
7. Honor 8x
Honor continues to make excellent phones that look like they should cost $900 but really cost much less. And while they’re owned by Huawei, which has some history with the US government, the Honor 8x is a great choice for those looking to save money on their next phone purchase.
Just like the Honor 6x, and 7x which were on our previous lists, Huawei’s latest phone is the Honor 8x. It packs a beautiful 6.5-inch bezel-free screen with a notch smaller than most and powerful specs all for $250. You’re getting a 1080p full HD display, Android 10, dual powerful cameras on the back, and a premium metal and glass design. Nothing about this phone looks and feels like it’s this cheap.
You’re getting 64GB of storage and a micro-SD slot, 4 GB of RAM, and a big 3,750 mAh battery. Plus, for around $250 you can buy a model with 128GB of storage if you want.
8. ASUS Zenfone 5Q
On previous cheap phone roundups we always had ASUS ZenFone models, but lately, they’ve become hard to find. The latest ZenFone 5Q is still available and it’s actually pretty great for the price.
What you need to know is that this phone has a 6-inch 1080p HD display, an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. You’re also getting dual 16MP rear cameras, a fingerprint scanner, 20MP camera on the front and Android 9 Pie. We’re not sure if it’ll get an update to Android 10 and the battery is only 3,300 mAh but it sure looks nice.
9. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Last but certainly not least is the RedMi Note 8 Pro, which probably could have been first on our list but isn’t because it’s not the best option for those in the United States. It’s a great phone, but you should probably stick to Samsung or Nokia for US carriers. Released near the end of 2019 this thing delivers everything you’d want from a high-end smartphone (on the front and the back) yet stays under $300.
You’re getting a huge Samsung-style 6.5-inch AMOLED HD display that looks amazing and has a tiny little teardrop notch for the front-facing camera. There are almost no bezels anywhere, which means it’s not that big physically either and will be a joy to use. Then, around back, you’ll quickly notice a Quad-Camera setup. Yes, this has four rear cameras like the new Galaxy S20.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a macro telephoto zoom lens and one more for depth-sensing. It’s packing quite a bit in that sleek package, including 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Then, there’s a 4,500 mAh battery to power that big screen and quad cameras. We wish it played better with US carriers, but it just doesn’t. International users will love this.
As you can see, a few hundred dollars gets you way more than it did just a few years ago. You can get highly capable devices with in-display fingerprint sensors and beautiful edge-to-edge screens like the latest $1,000 Samsung Galaxy or iPhone.
In closing, you’ll be happy with any of these phones. And while everything on our list is worth checking out, to keep things short and sweet we recommend starting with the Pixel, Galaxy or a cheap Moto phone. Then, we’ll continue adding the best cheap Android phones that come out in 2020 to this list so stay tuned.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto Razr: Which Folding Phone to Buy?
Whether you love being on the bleeding edge of tech or just like the nostalgic design of the RAZR, here’s how the two compare and what you need to know.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip got announced and released in February, alongside the new Galaxy S20, and is a direct competitor to the Motorola Razr. If you’re on the fence regarding which one to get, there are some very important differences you’ll want to consider.
Both of these phones open and close like a clamshell, hiding big fancy screen technology inside, while still offering the typical smartphone experience we’ve all come to know and love these days. However, the Motorola Razr is very different and offers a second screen on the outside while your phone is shut, but has average specs and a not so great camera.
At the same time, the Galaxy Z Flip offers a bigger screen, more cameras and high-end specs. Both phones have pros and cons and they’re both super expensive.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto Razr: Display
Obviously the screen size is an important aspect of any smartphone purchase decision, and that’s true here. One is much bigger than the other, which makes more sense on a folding phone.
- Galaxy Z Flip: 6.7-inch, 2636 x 1080 AMOLED display (1.06-inch 300 x 116 secondary screen)
- Motorola Razr: 6.2-inch, 2142 x 876 plastic-OLED display (2.7-inch 600 x 800 secondary screen)
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip offers a large 6.7-inch 1080p HD display that’s nearly the same size as the Galaxy Note 10+ which is pretty huge. Then again, it folds shut into a nice compact package you can easily carry or put in your pocket. That’s the whole point of these foldable phones anyways, right?
Motorola’s Razr comes in at 6.2-inches and is only a hair over 720p HD, which is unfortunate. Obviously folding and bendable screens are an exciting new technology, so we can’t expect amazing Quad-HD screens yet, but Samsung clearly wins here. Well, at least by the numbers.
If you look close Samsung has a bezel-free design with a cutout at the top middle of the screen for the front-facing camera. They actually cut a circle out of the screen for the front lens, while Motorola added a small iPhone-style notch for the camera and sensors.
One very important aspect of the screens is how they’re protected. The Moto Razr has a plastic-OLED screen, so it’s susceptible to scratches from fingernails and won’t be very durable. We saw a similar problem on the original Galaxy Fold.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip is the first phone with a flexible glass display. Yes, glass that can bend without breaking. However, now that it’s readily available it turns out the screen is still covered with plastic on the outside, which scratches just as easy as the Moto RAZR or the Galaxy Fold. It should be more durable in the long run thanks to the glass on the screen, which is important when you’re spending $1,400, but it’s not a revolutionary improvement some expected.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto Razr: Design
The Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr might look pretty similar with their clamshell designs, but they are very different. As an example, the Z Flip only has a screen on the inside, with a small 1-inch area on the outside for the time, date, battery levels and notifications.
The Razr, meanwhile, has a nice 2.7-inch screen on the outside for quick interactions with the phone, answering calls, and acts as a viewfinder for the main camera during selfies. It also has a big “chin” at the bottom of the screen for the fingerprint scanner which looks very outdated. However, this was likely to look similar to the old Moto RAZR that made the brand so popular several years ago.
Honestly, the chin looks pretty awful but it does serve as an area for the fingerprint scanner, protection for the screen, and a bigger speaker for improved audio. Plus, it just gives you that nostalgic-vibe from the good old days.
- Galaxy Z Flip: 168 x 73 x 7mm (while open) 183g
- Moto Razr: 172 x 72 x 6.9mm (open) 205g
Looking at the dimensions you’ll notice the Galaxy Z Flip is actually a little shorter and lighter, even though it has a bigger screen and more cameras.
Obviously the outside screen and overall look and designs are somewhat similar while being different, but the most important aspect is the hinge for how they open and close. Motorola’s hinge actually drops down into the frame of the phone, so there’s more of a “rounding” of the display while closed. Samsung’s on the other hand, closes almost completely shut which could lead to creases in the screen over time. However, we’re already seeing both phones have creases in the plastic screens, they’re both fragile, and folding phones are obviously still very new.
Overall these are two very fancy phones with unique designs, so you’ll have to decide while one is right for you. The Galaxy Z Flip has glass on both sides so it could be pretty fragile, but the Razr has two screens making it quite fragile too. If I had to pick one, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip definitely looks better and more polished, but you can’t help but love that old-school RAZR design.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto Razr: Cameras
Another thing you’ll want to consider is the camera situation on these phones. Samsung is known for offering great smartphone cameras, and if we’re being frank, Motorola isn’t — at all. That said, here’s how they compare:
- Galaxy Z Flip: Dual 12MP main f/1.8 camera, 12MP wide-angle lens & 10MP selfie camera
- Moto Razr: Single 16MP main f/1.7 camera & 5MP selfie camera
The Motorola Razr only has one main 16MP camera that should take pretty good photos. Plus, when the phone is closed you can use it to take selfies, video calls, and other things. The screen on the outside doubles as a viewfinder, which is pretty neat. Otherwise, you have to open the phone and use the smaller 5MP selfie camera.
Samsung, however, took notes from the Galaxy S lineup and is offering two main cameras and a far better internal selfie camera. You’re getting two 12MP cameras. One main sensor that’ll take great photos, and a second lens for ultra-wide photos. Plus, that tiny 1-inch screen on the outside will work as a camera viewfinder, which is neat. Additionally, the internal selfie camera is twice as good as the Moto, coming in at 10 megapixels.
Realistically, you’re buying this phone for the folding screen. However, at this price point, you’ll want to take good photos and Samsung is the clear winner.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto Razr: Specs
Perhaps the worst part of this comparison comes in the forms of the specifications list, mainly because Motorola really cheaped out. For whatever reason, they put mid-grade internals inside this otherwise awesome phone. While random processor names and numbers are confusing, just know the Moto Razr has mid-range hardware, while the Galaxy Z Flip is basically a high-end powerful flagship smartphone.
Motorola is using an affordable Snapdragon 710 with 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a really small 2,150 mAh battery. Yes, that battery is absolutely tiny.
With the Galaxy Z Flip Samsung is using the powerful Snapdragon 855+ with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage (so double) along with a decently sized 3,300 mAh battery. Neither of these phones will have great battery life, so keep that in mind. On the flip side, the processor inside the Moto Razr won’t drain the battery as fast, so these could end up having similar results for battery life during daily use. Maybe Motorola did that on purpose, we’re not really sure.
Either way, they’ll both get good performance for daily tasks, web browsing, and watching videos. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal, but something to think about considering the high price tags.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto Razr: Price & Availability
Last but not least, we need to talk about pricing and availability. Both of those are important too, mainly because the Motorola Razr is a Verizon exclusive and it looks like the Galaxy Z Flip isn’t available everywhere either. Then, as we’ve hinted at several times, they’re both certainly not cheap.
- Motorola Razr: Order for $1499.99 on Verizon, EE UK exclusive
Yes, those are crazy high prices. You can order a Motorola Razr now from Verizon but the website says it won’t ship until March 3rd. It has an E-SIM so it will ONLY work on Verizon in the United States.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip got released on February 14th and is available online and in stores. That said, it looks like most of them are out of stock already, so you may or may not be able to walk into a store and grab one.
The Galaxy Z Flip works on other carriers outside of AT&T, like T-Mobile, and will probably be available unlocked from Samsung, not to mention be available in several regions around the globe. We’ll know more soon enough.
In closing, we’re not really sure what to tell you regarding which phone to buy. If you don’t have Verizon in the United States, you pretty much have to choose the Galaxy Z Flip, as no one will carry the Razr but Verizon.
Both of these phones have pros and cons but in the grand scheme of things, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is obviously the better phone, but in a few different ways. In terms of specs, build quality, cameras, screen size and battery life — all while costing $100 less. Then again, the Moto Razr has won a lot of fans thanks to its appearance, and rightfully so.
Are you interested in buying a folding phone? Let us know why in the comment section below. Or, are you waiting for the Galaxy Fold 2 coming later this fall?
Open to Almost Any Angle
While the Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr are meant to flip open completely so that you can use a big screen, the Galaxy Z Flip is designed to open to almost any angle.
Samsung calls this Freestop Folding, which means that the hinge works like a laptop hinge. You can open and stop the hinge almost anywhere. That means you can set the upper half straight for photos or you can lean it back a little for a better angle while on a video chat or simply while watching something without holding the phone.
This plays into some of the photography features as well as some of the interesting software multitasking features. If you like to stream, want to be able to do a little more without holding your phone.
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