Is a $50 Smartphone Worth It?

Is a $50 Smartphone Worth It?


Hey guys, this is Austin. Can you get a decent
smartphone for $50? For this one I picked up the Microsoft Lumia 635 along with the
second generation Moto E. At this price you shouldn’t expect a crazy unboxing but you
do get what you need out of the box, the Lumia has a MicroUSB power adapter, some paperwork
and the battery. Move over to the Moto E and it’s the same story, you have a power adapter
and plenty of manuals for you to never read. The Lumia has a removable back but it’s
a little tricky to take off, it’s essentially the entire shell. Inside you’ll find the
SIM slot and your MicroSD expansion on top of being able to install the removable battery.
The Moto E uses a swappable bezel which is a lot easier to remove. There’s no swappable
battery but you do have slots for a SIM and MicroSD. For $50 you shouldn’t expect crazy
build quality but there’s not a lot to complain about. The Lumia 635 actually looks a lot
like the iPhone 5c which isn’t a bad thing, it’s rocking a glossy plastic shell which
might be a fingerprint magnet but it feels pretty decent. There’s a surprising sense
of quality, everything is nice and tight and it’s noticeably thinner than the Moto E.
The E is no slouch though with a curved back that fits nicely in the hand, it’s a little
pudgy but the ridged bezel gives you a solid grip. Personally I prefer the brighter colors
and thinner build of the Lumia but neither phone really feels its’ price. Get to the
screens and it’s a slightly different story. Both have 4.5 inch screens and here the Moto
E has the edge with a higher res 960p display compared to 854 on the Lumia. The E edges
out the Lumia in brightness and color as well but in real use they’re totally fine, compared
to a flagship things look a little rough but I’ve seen far worse screens on budget devices.
The Moto E has a front speaker where the Lumia has a rear speaker and they’re not bad at
all. The 635 gets surprisingly loud although with such a tiny opening for the speaker it’s
a little too easy to accidentally block your music. One of the biggest differences is in
software, the Lumia runs Windows Phone where the Moto E uses Android. While Windows Phone
hasn’t progressed as quickly as iOS and Android it still has a lot going for it. Even
on fairly low end hardware it’s downright snappy, things like Live Tiles are unique
and features like multitasking and notifications have come a long way. The biggest downside
are apps, you’ll find the basics like Twitter, Instagram and Spotify but generally the quality
can’t match Android. Most apps aren’t updated as often and a lot just aren’t here
at all, the biggest of which being Google apps. There are workarounds but unless you’re
deep in Microsoft’s ecosystem the app selection is going to be a problem. On the flip side
the Moto E runs Android 5.1 where app support is definitely not an issue. Motorola takes
a light touch to Android, giving you a near stock build with a few useful additions like
Active Display to show notifications. If you’ve ever used an Android phone you should be right
at home, something simple like having an official YouTube app makes a big difference. The Moto
E also has slightly better specs with a newer quad core Snapdragon 410 vs 400 and double
the memory but to be fair Windows Phone seems to be perfectly happy to run on the lower
specs. Each phone has eight gigabytes of storage but once everything is setup you’re looking
at roughly three gigs left, for anything besides the most basic use you’ll definitely want
to pick up a MicroSD card. Both phones are rocking five megapixel cameras and this is
one of the biggest places where the budget is noticeable. You can pull off a decent shot
with each camera but you’ll want to have plenty of light, with such tiny sensors color
and dynamic range just can’t hold up to higher end smartphones. Video is the same
story, they both max out at 720p which is fine for a quick clip to share but won’t
be useful for much else. There are some cool features like a double twist to open the camera
on the Moto E and the surprisingly solid Lumia Camera app which is so much better than the
Motorola Camera app. One thing the Moto G does have going for it though is a front facing
camera, it might not be a great one but it at least exists. As much as I like the Lumia
the biggest issue is app support. If you can live with Windows Phone it’s hard to argue
with the 635 but for most people the Moto E is a safer bet. Regardless of which way
you go though it’s incredibly impressive at just how good $50 smartphones can be.

100 thoughts on “Is a $50 Smartphone Worth It?

  1. i'm havin' flashbacks, the first moto e was actually my first phone ever, i bought it for round about 100 usd

  2. i would take the LUMIA just casue old nokia 🙂 and yes the app store is SHIT but i enjoyed using an older one for almost a year until i dropped a 20kg box on it (oops) it survived it too. until i decided to make my own battery bank( with some HUGE batteries i found at school) well i managed to burn the charging circuit but it still worked until the battery ran out :/. still i might repair it someday and use one of my favourite smartphones ever. also too bad i had bought the i7 when the nokias made a comeback 🙁

  3. im actually astonished, we live in an age where a homeless man can easily get a solid smartphone for 20$ really crazy to me actually

  4. The Moto E was one of my favorite phones of all time. Sadly one of the major downsides is I kept calling 911 accidentally when it shifted around in my pocket!!!

  5. AYE HE LISTENS TO MONSTERCAT (or did you just get that shirt cus it looks cool now guess what you should listen to monstercat now act like i didnt put brackets to make it like i was whispering that to you and ik that cus of your shirt e.e) yeah i listen to monstercat too!

  6. My phone is somewhere around 60-75 dollars worth and its awesome i think its totally worth it👍! If your wonder what phone it is..its a LG tribute HD smartphone☺

  7. to get a good deal buy a phone that used to be a flaghship 2 or 3 years ago lgg4 is 60$ And WAS 600$ At Launch It Has Dropped Dramaticaly

  8. I mean, if you're in this budget of a phone, you might as well just go to a dollar general and pick up the Moto g4 play, it's a prepaid phone, but I'd you don't turn it on before you put your own sd card in it won't charge you. It has more storage, a slightly worse resolution at 720, better hardware, and it works like a charm, I'd still prefer the Moto z play, but since that's broken thita fits the bill well

  9. my sister has lumia 635 yellow mtt edition and its wifi connector stopped working , but atleast it calls it costed 20$

  10. my first phone is the original iPhone 2007, My second phone is the iPhone 3g 2008, iPhone 3gs 2009, iPhone 4 2011 (late😂buying), Samsung Galaxy s4 & iPhone 5s 2013, iPhone 6, Nokia Lumia 530, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+ 2014, iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy s5, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 2015, iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge, hp elite x3, Nokia Lumia 950xl, iPhone 6s,6s+ 2016, Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy note 8, iPhone 8 & 8+ 2017, Now: OnePlus 6, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Google Pixel 2xl, OnePlus 5T, Samsung Galaxy Note 9😮😮 – expensive, Oppo f9 pro, essential phone, Huawei P20 pro, Nokia 3310 old & New, iPhone XR. (And My favorite on the list is OnePlus 6 – Android!)

  11. The Lumia 635 was branded as Nokia it wasn’t until the 640 that the 600 series was by Microsoft
    My first phone was the Lumia 535 (Microsoft) the first Lumia by them released in 2014

  12. iPhone 5c Is Forgotten
    Ipods Are Forgotten
    Microsoft Phones Are Forgotten
    Samsung Galaxy Is Forgotten (not the series)
    My Motorola Is Too.

    Rip
    Moto X

  13. Man, I've had the Moto e and the updated Lumia 640 LTE. Both were great phones. The Lumia is definitely the better of the two simply because it still receives updates while the Moto hasn't aged as well, but is still usable.

  14. Snapdragon 410 ?!??! MY S4 FROM 2013 HAS A BETTER WAS IT SNAPDRAGON 600 OR 610 OR 620 Well ok but u can get a s4 for cheaper

  15. I had the Moto e you show here. It's not a bad phone. Definitely low end and "budget" but it does it's job. The camera isn't anything to cheer about, but again, it's a budget phone.

    Had it for a year or so before I decided to switch to a more modern recent phone, but I still have it. The battery life is fantastic. Seriously, I haven't charged it in a week & I still have like 75%
    I had no laggy problems either.

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