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The Best Midrange Smartphones [Early 2018]

The Best Midrange Smartphones [Early 2018]


– [Mr. Mobile] A thought occurred to me as I was reviewing the
Galaxy Note eight last year and then it popped up again, when I took a look at the IPhone 10, a lot of people think you need
to pay 900 to 1000 dollars for a good smartphone these days and you know what? You don’t, I’m Mr. Mobile
and these are my top picks for affordable smartphones
at the top of 2018. (upbeat electronic music) Okay, I didn’t just wanna make a list of cheap phones with this video, because even though you
can walk into a Walmart and get a 20 dollar smartphone, it’s guaranteed to be a pretty rough one, so I’m sticking to three phones I’ve been using for the past few weeks, the Honor 7X, HTC U11
Life and the Moto X4. These bring a slew of special features not seen before in this price bracket, which runs from 200 to
400 dollars unlocked, as always that means those
of you on T-Mobile and AT&T will have an easier time with these, but I’ll have some alternatives at the end for you Verizon folks. Starting at the low end in the so cheap, they’re probably losing money
on it category, the Honor 7X, 200 bucks gets you a bright,
six-inch display at 18 by nine, a very fast fingerprint sensor and the biggest battery of the bunch and that power pack pays off too, several times during my
month-long test period, I got to the end of the day with more than half a charge left over and the camera software
is absolutely loaded, the sheer number of
customizations on the 7X makes it the most
versatile shooter up here and as you’ll see when I show
you all the samples together, the 7X probably wins the camera
shootout on the whole too. Special shout out here to Huayra
Hussman at Android Central for pointing out the
built-in document scanner, excellent feature to have
right out of the box, that’s a terrific showing
for 199, but keep in mind Honor had to hit that price point somehow, so here’s the bad stuff, this is the older version
of Honor software, EMUI5 and it kind of looks like
an old version of IOS, even if you like the aesthetics, performance is inconsistent, you’ll be humming along
just fine for 15 minutes and then suddenly the
thing will grind to a halt for no reason or an app will crash. My review unit had pre-release software running on Android Nougat, hopefully the promised
update to Android Oreo will smooth some things out, updates will not help the lack of NFC or the old micro USB charging port though and they also won’t do anything for this forgettable hardware design. Happily the other two phones breathe a bit more life into
the design department, beginning with the U11
Life, starting at 349. Now unlike its two competitors,
this phone is plastic, but until you pick it up, it’ll fool ya with that
reflective backplate, which evokes the glass of its
higher end sibling, the U11, it also brings IP67 dust
and water resistance, something not often
seen at this price point and it ports the U11’s
most curious feature, you can squeeze the phone
to launch certain apps or trigger certain functions or map different commands
to short and long squeezes, maybe you’ll find it
useful, maybe you don’t, but it’s definitely interesting, making this possible is HTC Sense, a breezy, if dated interface and it’s running Android
Oreo out of the box. Speaking of the box, it also includes a pair of free Usonic ear buds, whose active noise
canceling really won me over back when I reviewed the bigger U11, nice move throwing these in, HTC, you’ll have to plug those
buds into the USB port though, since the U11 Life is the
only phone in this roundup not to include a headphone jack. Another negative, the battery
is the smallest of the bunch and I could definitely feel it, this was crying for the charger by the end of every testing day. Also the display isn’t
quite as bright as I’d like, the bezels are big and
finally, mushy buttons, I don’t like mushy buttons. The priciest of the pack is
also my favorite of the fleet, to me, the 400 dollar Moto
X4 strikes the ideal balance of affordability and delight, this is the Motorola version, but it’s so similar to
the Android one edition, my impressions mostly apply to both. Getting the thumbs up, a
striking casing design, that weaves a warped wave under the Gorilla Glass three on the back, it does an okay job of hiding fingerprints and doesn’t sacrifice
durability of a sort, IP68 dust and water resistance
present and accounted for, the glass and metal construction gives it a weighty, rich hand feel normally found on phones
half again its price and while Motorola’s software
may be getting on in years, it still packs some of
the smartest shortcuts ever offered on an Android phone. Say it with me, chop chop to flashlight, twist the wrist to camera. Motorola peppers in
just enough convenience to make life easier, without corrupting the look
and feel of stock Android, battery life is quite good,
almost as good as the Honor 7X, oh, and this is the
only phone of the three with a Selfie Flash, if you’re into that, but even an admitted Moto Bro like me has to see the shortcomings, first of all, this phone is trading on a legacy it doesn’t live up to, the Moto X line of years
past was an innovative and inspirational
reimagining of the smartphone and this is not, in more concrete complaints, the software animations
have been shortened to make the phone feel faster, but it only serves to make
it seem a little manic, the Moto Display feature
comes on seemingly at random, making this an annoying bedside companion and the camera, oh, yeah, we gotta do
all the cameras together, transition man, do your thing. This camera shootout’s gonna be quick, because if a camera is
your number one priority, you are not gonna be wowed by
anything in this price range. Averaging out the shots I
took on the main cameras, I was surprised to find that the Honor 7X, yes, the cheapest phone out of the bunch usually gave me the sharpest,
truest photo of them all, combine that with the
feature-loaded camera app and yeah, the 7X is the
phone I’d want with me, if I were taking photos. Just a quick addendum here, folks, I tried to get in a selfie shootout, before leaving for CES, but unfortunately the HTC U11 Life doesn’t process selfies, I don’t know what happened, it just stays in this HTR Boost processing loop forever, even after a restart. Also, while I have ya, I neglected to mention in the main video, that the Moto X4 is the only phone in this line-up with a wide-angle camera, it’s not as good as you’ll
get on the LG G6 or LG V30, but it does give you a
little more versatility in tight spots. When I did a similar roundup back in 2016, I tossed out a couple
honorable mentions at the end and those brands haven’t changed much. If none of these three does it for you, check out the Moto Z2 Play, it’s a little over 400 bucks from Verizon, it’s got most of the great
stuff from the Moto X4 and it’s also compatible with Moto Mods. The opposite side of the
spectrum is the Moto G5 Plus, still probably the best
all around experience you can get at 229 dollars. If you’re okay with buying unlocked, but you want something
with a lot more power under the hood, the Oneplus 5T is still probably the best
value for spec seekers, while the Essential Phone deserves a look, if what you want above
all is special hardware. They both are 499 and both have recently crossed
the Mr. Mobile review desk, but before you go chase down those links, I gotta tell ya about Thrifter.com, Thrifter is today’s sponsor and it’s also a new way to save money by shopping based on value and not hype, use the links in the description to find smartphone deals and tons more on everything from gadgets to
home goods at Thrifter.com. Here are the links I promised you to those other reviews,
folks, check ’em out, please subscribe if you enjoyed this one and be sure to follow
theMrMobile on Instagram to check out all the new tech coming out of CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Until next time, thanks for watching and stay mobile, my friends.

100 comments found

  1. Attention Xiaomi fans: as soon as they sell a phone in North America that's optimized for US networks I'll be able to test it. Until then, I'm afraid I'll have to leave that brand to other reviewers.

  2. I just need a phone that takes photos of checks and docs accurately. Is there a test for that for mid-range phones? I also want something that will work on both gsm & cdma . 5.5 screen. Fast processor, etc. Help.

  3. Yeah Mike,,the honor looks like a winner of the lot. Especially considering the price. As far as the Moto x 4,,4 it's price they could have tried,,,at least, to follow the X trend,,and not a wimped out z. I'm sorry,but the small screen and glass back,, doesn't shout,Moto X. And the lack of front facing stereo speakers,,, definitely takes it out of the X category. Still carting my x pure,,till it dies,, I guess. Later Mike

  4. For all of those worried about the Sprint / T-Mobile merge, get the Moto X4 on project Fi. It's on sale for 250 dlls on project Fi activation which is cheaper than expected

    EDIT: Project Fi services are cheaper than expected. 20 dlls a month + 10 dlls perg GB of data

  5. What about zte axon 7? It's a 400$ (well price probably dropped since it came out at least a year ago) phone that equalises and maybe even beat some flaships.

  6. Oooooh Michael!!! Here comes a new challenger!

    Nokia 6.1!!
    Also, is there a chance of an Essential PH-1 re-revisit? (There's speculation the Android O update has helped the phone a lot)

  7. Mr mobile check at 0:49 you listed wrong specs of honor 7x i.e. Screen resolution 2160p 😂😂😂

  8. Consider doing a similar review for the Nokia 8, Nokia X6, Samsung Galaxy S6 & A8. They can all be found at eBay.com.

  9. the motorola is gorgeous the htc has impressive specs and i have never seen the third device…this was a good review

  10. iv been researching for ages and cant make up my mind.
    what is the best phone. is the lg g3 any good. from what i have found it looks the best.

  11. What's funny is I'm a really budget mindful person but I can be a little excessive with my tastes for smartphones. Here's the funny thing: 2 of my phones are 4 years old, cost in the ballpark of $100, and one I could install Oreo custom Rom on, the LG G3…. The other is a Normal Galaxy S5, and my most recent is a Huawei Ascend XT 2. At this point, besides a few minor glitches on the G3, I could honestly say you're best off with an old flagship 2+ years old because the only real difference is the luxury fingerprint scanner. I would almost never buy a phone for over $200 unless significant battery life was promised out of the box:)

  12. I got the Moto G6 because of the unlockable bootloader and the obscene amount of bands it supports. There are only a few phones that even come close to LTE/CDMA band support.

    I'm using it on Sprint with the 15$ unlimited everything plan. (Unlimited Kickstart)

    Best phone for $235 in my opinion.

  13. The new direction Motorola has taken in the Lenovo era has really turned me off towards their phones 🙁
    I still own a Moto X Pure (2015) and it'll probably be the last of that dynasty I buy.

  14. If you buy the 7x (or any other cheap Huawei phone) DONT install nova launcher, it bombs performance for some reason, I switched to lean launcher and my performance is on par with my friend's pixel now. Use any launcher BUT nova.

  15. I wonder how expensive the One plus 6t will be if you buy it through T-Mobile. This is happening very soon Mr. Mobile.

  16. How about an update for this vid taking into account late 2018?
    Also, a vid comparing midrange and flagship would be nice and who they are geared for?
    Can you get a decent midrange with a decent screen and security updates?

  17. Iam sorry but we are all getting hussled. When the hell did $400 become affordability. I remember when a $200 phone was consider the top of the line. But people act like you was dumb for spending that much on a phone

  18. Just picked a moto x4 today cuz I dropped my pixel and got a black screen. I miss the gestures from my moto x (2014)

  19. Good video, i have 3 of these sterling blue moto x4. Stay away from the Android One 3-32gb., after the may update ppws29.69-39-2-1 it sux ! you will loose half the Moto features , loose one button nav, the google search bar lock to the bottom of all screens Bad. Dont do this update!!! the other 2 i have are 4-64gb the last pie update (April) ppw29.69-39-2 is good and works the best,, hope it DON'T get the other update as of now, July ,5 2019, ps, only 1 of my 3 moto x4's have Alexa. js

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