As great as Google's Pixel phones are -- the Pixel 2's have arguably the best smartphone cameras and the Google Assistant has grown to be indispensable -- they lack one thing that made their predecessors, the Nexus phones, so irresistible: affordable pricing. The Nexus brand and hardware are long dead, but the key fundamentals that made the phones such game-changers lives on in Android One. Google launched Android One in 2014 as program geared towards pushing its apps and services onto budget phones designed for emerging markets such as India. "Our goal is to reach the next 5 billion people in the world," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. "When I go back home to India and other countries like that, it is exciting to see the impact that phones have on lives, but it's disappointing that only less than 10 percent of the population has access to smartphones.
The OnePlus 6 should be at the very top of your list if you're on a budget of about $500-$600. If that's you, the Moto Z3 Play is as good as it gets in this price range. The Moto Z3 Play isn't quite the powerhouse that the OnePlus 6 is, but it's got a high-quality premium design, a great display, and runs a near stock Android experience. In the U.S., the Moto Z3 Play is bundled with a Motorola Power Pack mod (worth $50 separately) for $500. In other regions, Motorola includes a speaker mod.
We like the Moto Z and it's bigger, bulkier cousin the Moto Z Force. They're speedy, elegant phones with a good approach to modular add-ons--as opposed to the LG G5, whose "take the whole phone apart" approach to modules doesn't sit well with us. Those other two Moto Z phones are expensive, high-end, premium devices. The Moto Z Play takes the same general concepts, and compatibility with the same Moto Mods, and brings it down to an affordable price point: about 450. And really, unless you simply need to have a phone with screaming-fast benchmark scores, this more affordable model is a better phone.
My advice for friends and family looking to buy a new phone used to be simple: Stay away from budget phones unless you want a significantly inferior mobile experience. It used to the case that you couldn't expect much from a $200 phone -- you get what you pay for! Motorola's three new Moto G7 phones, which start at $199 and top out at $299, are budget-priced phones that defy the definition of cheap. SEE ALSO: Motorola's Moto Z3 is capable of 5G (with a separate Moto Mod attachment) Phone fanatics won't need any introduction to the Moto G series. Launched in 2013, the phone series has become synonymous with high-quality phones at really low prices starting around the $200 price point.
Motorola swung for the fences earlier this year with a new premium phone, but make no mistake: Reliable, low-cost devices are still the brand's bread and butter. And now, smartphone shoppers on a budget have two more to choose from. The $200 Moto G Fast has all the makings of a solid budget phone, but there's something we really need to address upfront: Motorola's questionable branding. This year's Moto G Power has a huge, 5,000mAh battery. The Moto G Stylus has, well, a stylus.