Not everyone wants – or can afford – the latest & greatest smartphone, be it the iPhone X – for almost a thousand bucks – or one of the latest in the Samsung Galaxy line – which run from the $700s to the high $900s. Sure you can pick up a real budget phone, but if you want something better than that, at a less than premium price, consider the Lenovo Moto G5S Plus or the Moto E4 Plus.
These recent models – available from several carriers or unlocked – don’t do everything the high-priced models do – not even what the higher end Moto Z line has – but they probably are more than enough for most of us.
Let’s start with the Moto G5S Plus, considered a “special edition” of their 5th Generation phone. It’s an Android, of course, with a 7.1 Nougat OS, and is capable of working on both the GSM/LTE networks like AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as the CDMA networks of Verizon and Sprint. There’s a 5.5-inch full HD display, a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor, and 3 or 4 GB of RAM – depending on exact model – as well as either 32 or 64 GB of data storage. Up to 128 GB of additional storage can be added with a microSD card.
The Moto G5S Plus comes with dual 13-megapixel rear-facing cameras, plus an 8 MP selfie camera. The rear cameras have up to 8X digital zoom, image stabilization and can take 4K Ultra HD video. There’s a fingerprint reader, regular headphone jack, Gorilla Glass and a water-repelling coating.
The phone has a good, but not extended battery life, and weighs in at under 6 ounces.
All that in a phone that starts at under $300 direct – or available from Amazon and other retailers & carriers. You can choose either a dark gray or rose gold color.
Then there’s the Moto E4 Plus, which like its cousin is also an Android with the 7.1 Nougat OS, and can be purchased unlocked to work on both the GSM/LTE or CDMA networks. This 4th Generation phone is less powerful, with only a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM, and either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage. There’s still a 5.5-inch HD screen, all-metal body, regular headphone jack, and fingerprint reader.
The Moto E4 Plus has a single 13 MP rear camera, but lower quality video than the G5S, and a 5 MP selfie camera. There’s a water-repellent coating, but no Gorilla Glass.
However, what this model does have is a much larger than usual battery – 5000 mAh – which is said to last up to 2 days on a charge in average use. The bigger battery makes this phone heavier at about 6.4 ounces.
Even with the bigger battery, the Moto E4 Plus costs less than its cousin, starting at under $180 direct, or of course also available at retailers & mobile carriers, and also in gray or rose gold.
Lenovo is trying hard to compete with Apple and Samsung – as well as other smartphone makers high & low – and by offering modest but eminently usable phones is giving you good choices.