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Best cheap phones of 2018

While Moto’s flagships have been more than a little uninspired as of late, the same can’t be said for the Moto G6 and G6 Play. Here we have two phones that offer an exceptional flagship quality build, paired with mid-range specs to keep the price down.  This makes the G6 family easily two of the best cheap phones on the market today. 

The Moto G6 is powered by a Snapdragon 450 with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage with microSD support, and offers a 3,000mAh battery. The dual camera pairs a 12 and 5MP lenses, while the front offers an 8MP shooter. You also get a 5.7-inch 18:9 display with a 1080p resolution. 

The Moto G6 Play shares the same gorgeous design but offers more modest specs including a Snapdragon 427 with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage with microSD support, a 4,000 mAh battery 13MP rear cam, 5MP front cam, and a 5.7-inch 720p display. 

Probably the best thing about the Moto G6 and G6 Play is that they support every US carrier out of the box. It’s also worth noting the Oreo-based software is very close to stock, so no major bloat to deal with.

The Moto G6 starts at just $235 for Prime users, while the Moto G6 Play can be found for just $190 with Prime.


Honor 7x

The Honor 7x is the latest low-cost budget flagship from Huawei’s Honor brand, yet it still has high-end features that make it one of the most attractive cheap phones for any buyer.

One of its standout features is its 5.93-inch display with very little in terms of bezels, along with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 1080p resolution. Inside, it has Huawei’s in-house Kirin 659 octa-core processor, running four cores at 2.36GHz and four at 1.7GHz and with a Mali T830 GPU.

In terms of software, you are getting Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 interface on top. Depending on the market, you will get either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM inside, along with either 32 GB or 64 GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card to expand it up to 256 GB. The rear camera setup has a  16 MP primary sensor, along with a secondary 2 MP sensor that can handle features like portrait mode. It also has an 8 MP front-facing camera. Finally, it has a 3,340 mAh battery, which should last up to a day with regular phone use.

In the U.S., you can buy the Honor 7x right now for just $199.99. 

Specs

  • 5.91-inch display with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution
  • Kirin 659 octa-core processor
  • 3/4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 12 and 2 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,340 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat, EMUI 5.1
  • 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm, 165 g

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Xiaomi Mi A1

While Xiaomi doesn’t have a formal presence in the United States, there’s no denying that the brand is one of the very best choices when it comes to buying cheap phones. 

The Xiaomi Mi A1 looks and feels a lot like an iPhone, which might be a turn off for some. The good news is that the software doesn’t take the usual Chinese route of knocking off iOS, thanks to the Google-optimized Android One software underneath. That means you’ll get fast access to security updates and newer versions of Android. 

The specs aren’t going to win any awards but are more than capable of getting the job done. The Mi A1 is powered by a Snapdragon 625 with 4GB RAM, while offering a 5.5-inch display, 64GB storage with microSD support, a 12MP + 12MP rear cam, 5MP front cam, and a 3,000 mAh battery.

The most impressive thing about the Xiaomi Mi A1 is, of course, the price tag. At just $199, it’s hard to find anything even close to this good without spending at least $50 to $100 more. As much as we love the Moto G6 line, this phone has noticeably beefier specs and yet still manages to cost around the same price! 

For those in the US, don’t worry – you can buy this phone! Though not officially availabe in the US, third party retailers on Amazon make it easy to get ahold of. Keep in mind that it only works with GSM networks and you’ll want to double check that the phone supports the bands for your specific network of choice.

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Nokia 6.1

Under HDM Global, Nokia has made quite the comeback recently. The Nokia 6.1 continues to raise the bar for the brand, offering solid performance in a $250 package.

At the core of the experience is a Snapdragon 630 with 4GB RAM. Other key specs include a 5.5-inch 18:9 display, 64GB storage with microSD support, a 16MP rear cam, 8MP front cam, and a 3,000mAh battery. The software is equally important, as the phone runs on the clean stock-like Android One. 

Just like most unlocked phones outside the G6 series, you’re looking at GSM only support here. That means you’ll want to be on AT&T, T-Mobile, or a compatible MVNO

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OnePlus 6

See more OnePlus 6 photos

At $529, the OnePlus 6 is admittedly a little bit above what most would consider to be a cheap phone but it’s worth paying a bit extra considering you essentially get a high-end flagship while still saving hundreds over similar devices from Samsung and Apple. 

OnePlus introduced an all-new, all-glass design with the OnePlus 6. The back is sleek — almost resembling the Galaxy S9 — and the front houses the 6.28-inch AMOLED display. Yes, there’s a notch, but you can basically turn it off in the settings menu.

This phone also has the latest and greatest specs available: a Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. The cameras have been improved this time around too. It comes with dual 16 and 20MP sensors around back with f/1.7 apertures, along with a 19-percent larger pixel size than the 5T. There are also slow-motion video modes that allow for 720p footage at 480fps and 1080p at 240fps. You can also shoot 4K video at 60fps.

Also, this is probably one of the first devices that will receive Android P when it launches. For all you folks who aren’t a fan of the Pixel but still want quick updates, the OnePlus 6 may be just for you.

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