We’ve all had smartphones for the better part of a decade, yet their prices just seem to keep climbing. High-end phones seem to cost $800+ now. Don’t let a monthly payment plan fool you, that’s a ton of money for a device that likely won’t last you more than two years.
There are some Android phones under $500 that do the trick, but performance gets mucky when you wade into the $200 – $300 price—which is exactly the kind of the price we wish we were all paying for these devices. The Moto X4 has been an exception to that rule, and it’s on deep discount.
We reviewed the Moto in October (8/10, earning our coveted WIRED Recommends award), and it remains one of the most balanced phones you can get on the cheaper end of things. Normally, it’s about $400, but this week it’s down to $300 at most retailers and $280 if you buy the Amazon Prime Exclusive or Google versions.
What’s WIRED About the Moto X4: It’s fast enough that it won’t drive you nuts, unlike many budget phones. It also has a high-end design to it that makes it feel much more expensive, like brushed metal, glass, dual rear cameras, a beautiful screen, and a waterproof exterior. And it comes unlocked, which means it will work on all major wireless carriers. Just slip your SIM card in and you’re good to go. Motorola’s motion controls are also fun.
The Amazon Prime Exclusive version is particularly compelling because Amazon recently stopped putting ads on the lockscreens of its exclusive phones. It will come with some Amazon apps preloaded and an optional Amazon widget, but that’s about it. The Android One version for Google Fi gets updates directly from Google.
What’s Tired About the Moto X4: Though it’s not alone, the 32GB of internal storage could be higher, so you’ll want to buy a MicroSD card. The cameras work better than you’d expect from a Motorola, but still aren’t as good as a Galaxy or iPhone. Since it’s glass, you may also want a case. I recommend this clear one or this shock resistant one if you tend to drop your phone. Both are made by Spigen, which is one of the better case makers.
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Updated on June 15: The Moto X4 is again on sale. I’ve tweaked the prices a bit.
Updated on Feb. 21: The price on Amazon rose from $250 to $280 on Amazon. Adjusted the article to reflect that.
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