Is a $60 Smartphone Worth It?

Is a $60 Smartphone Worth It?


Hey guys this is Austin. Is a $60 smartphone
worth it? There are actually quite a few choices at this price point and to kick things off
we’ve got the Alcatel Pixi 3. Get into the unboxing and you’ll find the phone itself,
the power adapter, a pair of headphones which while cheap are a nice inclusion, the MicroUSB
cable and the 1780 milliamp hour battery. Pop the back off the Pixi 3 and you can easily
install the battery, this is also where you’ll find the slots for the SIM along with a MicroSD
card up to 32 gigs. Next up we’ve got the Blu Advance 5.0, get into the box and you’ll
see the phone up front along with the power adapter, USB cable and the 1800 milliamp hour
battery. The Advance immediately looks and feels nicer than the price tag would suggest
especially in this white finish, pop the back off and you’ll see the dual SIM slots which
is a nice plus on top of the MicroSD which can handle up to a 64 gig card. Last but not
least we’ve got the ZTE Maven which at first glance looks almost identical to the Pixi.
Like the others it comes with a MicroUSB cable, power adapter and the removable rear cover.
The battery isn’t replaceable but you can install a 32 gig MicroSD and the SIM here.
The real question is what’s it like to use a $60 phone? Actually not bad. All three have
fairly similar specs with a quad core fairly low powered CPU and Android 5.1, you’ll
notice the occasional bit of slowness compared to a flagship but they’re totally usable.
Run a couple benchmarks such as Geekbench and you’ll the Pixi and Maven pull out a
small lead on the CPU side where when you move over to graphics with 3DMark the Maven
pulls out a fairly substantial lead. One of the most important things to make a phone
feel quick is the storage performance and inside the PCMark storage bench things are
close enough to put all three phones right up there with $600 flagships just a few years
ago. Even though the Blu Advance is the weakest on paper you’d be hard pressed to notice
the difference in real use, most games like Badland run no problem. A big part of that
has to do with the screens. Both the Pixi and Maven are sporting 4.5 inch displays with
a resolution of 854 by 480. They’re about exactly what you would expect at this price
point. Neither get very bright and the contrast is poor, as IPS displays color and viewing
angles are passable but neither are any better than tolerable. The Blu Advance is a surprising
step up here, it has the same fairly low resolution but on a larger five inch display that might
not look impressive on paper but it’s really not bad. The color and especially contrast
is a massive improvement over the others, it can’t stand up to a new high end display
but at this price point there’s absolutely nothing to complain about. That same praise
also carries over to the design of the phone. While the Advance is a fair bit larger than
the others you’re getting a phone that could easily pass as something that’s far more
expensive. Unlike the hard, cheap plastic on the Pixi and Maven you get a soft touch
fake leather finish on the Blu. It’s also quite a bit thinner than the others which
paired with the nicely tapered edges gives it a much nicer feel in the hand. All three
do have fairly unimpressive rear firing speakers and pretty large bezels but you’ll find
on screen Android keys on the Advance compared to capacitive keys on the others. With all
three running Android 5.1 the software side is pretty even, the Blu and Pixi both have
very lightly skinned builds with minimal additions where the Maven has seen larger changes including
quite a lot of bloatware. The bigger issue is storage, where you’ll find eight gigs
on the Maven the Pixi and Advance only come with four gigabytes out of the box. A MicroSD
card is a good idea for all of these but it’s basically a necessity when you’ve only got
four gigabytes to work with. It’s a similar story when it comes to RAM, where the Maven and
Pixi have a full gigabyte the Blu skimps a bit here with 768 megs of memory. This complicates
things a bit. While the Maven is a better specced phone the Advance looks and feels
like a much more expensive device. Get to the cameras and it gets even more difficult
to choose. You’re looking at five megapixel cameras with an LED flash across the board
but here the Maven easily pulls out the win. It’s far sharper than the others, it does
a better job with color and to top it off it comes with a better camera app that reminds
me a bit of the iOS app, it even gives you a Pro mode to tweak the settings. It’s the
same story on the video side, the Advance has an advantage on paper with 1080p video
but again I prefer the look of the 720p video on the Maven. One area where the Blu scores
an easy win is with the front facing camera, as a two megapixel shooter compared to VGA
on the others it looks a lot better and that advantage is even more noticeable in video.
For some reason the Pixi and Maven record at a basically unusable seven frames per second
on the front facing camera where the Advance at least keeps up a decent frame rate. In
a vacuum the Pixi is a totally usable phone for $60 but in this company it’s simply
outclassed. The Maven consistently delivers a small performance advantage with more storage
and a better rear camera but the Advance looks and feels massively better, has a screen that’s
totally respectable and a better selfie camera that makes it absolutely worth it. Cheap phones
have come a long way. So which one would you go for? Let me know in the comments below
and I will catch you in the next one!

100 thoughts on “Is a $60 Smartphone Worth It?

  1. I have the blu, it has a storage issue where 1 GB out of the 4 is taken up by something I don't know what.

  2. the ZTE midnight pro with 8 GB ROM and 1 GB RAM is slightly better than these phones and retails for only $40.

  3. I had bought the BLU Advance not long before watching this video, and the phone just arrived today. I'm hoping the phone was definitely the best choice

  4. Why does he do a lot of “why does it exist in 2017” like there is so much of those videos like whats next?“why do humans exist in 2017”

  5. I actually have been using a Blu Advance 5.0 for the past few months, and I wouldn't go back to iPhone if I was offered. This little guy is a sturdy little phone.

  6. Yes it is! I have a 100$ Lenovo A1000 so this phone is maybe better than lenevo because they look ultra expensive this is fake guys this phone is like 200-400$

  7. I'm 13 now but when I was 11 I got the ZTE maven it was definitely a great first phone! It ran games , instagram and other stuff. For the price ,it was AMAZING for a kid. Definitely a phone I would recommend for a kid.

  8. If you're looking for your child's first phone and you don't want to spend a lot of money in case they break it well yeah these phones are definitely worth it

  9. I got the samsung galaxy j3 2016 it is a great Phone only the storage Is just bad whit 8 gb and just 4.7 gb left

  10. I've had a ZTE Maven 1 for about a year & it was a pretty good phone. I bought it to replace my Sharp Aqueous Crystal (Which I got for free) which broke, & the two $50 tablets that I tried to replace my Sharp phone with. I finally replaced my ZTE Maven with a Samsung Galaxy On5 that I got for free when I switched over to MetroPCS. My Samsung phone lasted me about 2 years til I finally replaced it with a used LG G3 a few months ago. The Maven wasn't bad of a phone, but it started getting slow towards the end. Like it was struggling the last month I had it. After I upgraded to my Samsung Galaxy On5, I gave my Maven 1 to my Dad & he used it for a while tell it broke & he got another phone.

  11. I used Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 more than 1 year believe me that smartphone can be rooted and you can play 3d games smoothly

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