Apple has begun commercial production on the iPhone 6s in India as of last week, according to a new report by The Economic Times, following local manufacturing for the iPhone SE that kicked off in India last year. Production on the 6s started at the Wistron facility in Bangalore, and the model was chosen due to its “sales potential,” two senior industry executives reportedly said.
Due to the locally-made devices, Apple will now be able to exempt the iPhone 6s from import duties placed on imported smartphones and their components, which has been an ongoing struggle for the company. A few months ago in February, India announced the latest tax increase on imported mobile phones from 15 percent to 20 percent, and it came under two months after the previous increase.
The tax increases are related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” program, which aims to promote the country’s domestic manufacturing so that more companies build products there. After the iPhone SE plant was set up in early 2017, the iPhone 6s was rumored to be the next of Apple’s smartphones to get an “Assembled in India” stamp on the back of each device.
Now, iPhone 6s production in Bangalore has begun and retail availability in the country is expected sometime “soon.”
“The made-in-India iPhone 6s will be only sold in India like iPhone SE since it will take time to scale up capacity. In fact, Apple will continue with the import of iPhone 6s until capacity improves. Hence, there will be no price correction for the locally manufactured units. The made-in-India iPhone 6s model will hit the stores soon,” an executive said. Apple India did not comment.”
On the software side of things, earlier this year users in the country spoke about the poor performance of services like Apple Maps and Siri. One user in Bangalore, Mihir Sharma, told CNBC that “Apple Maps is a joke in India,” and many users reported that Siri “often struggles” to make sense and correctly respond to Indian accents. Analyst Faisal Kawoosa said, “There is no denial that the Apple ecosystem isn’t aligned much to the usage and value of Indian users,” and until Apple can expand its hardware footprint in India most customers believe it will stay that way.
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Kuo Details 2018, 2019 iPhones, Expects Cheaper MacBook Air, Face ID iPads, and Larger-Screen Apple Watches Later This Year
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works at research firm TF International Securities, has issued a new research note today with a wealth of information about Apple’s upcoming products and the company’s overall outlook.
Highlights from the research note, obtained by MacRumors:
- Kuo believes 2019 iPhones will have “marked innovations,” but notes it could take until September or October of this year at the earliest until the exact designs and features become clearer.
- Nevertheless, among new iPhones introduced in 2019, Kuo expects shipments of LCD-based models to outpace models with OLED displays. He also notes that, if any 2019 iPhones have triple-lens rear cameras, it would unsurprisingly benefit camera-related companies in Apple’s supply chain.
- In the second half of 2018, Kuo still expects the releases of new iPad models equipped with Face ID, a new lower-price MacBook Air, and new Apple Watch models equipped with larger displays.
- Kuo also still expects three new iPhones in 2018: a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch version that will essentially be a budget iPhone X.
- Kuo expects the 6.1-inch iPhone to be available in stores in September of this year, despite entering mass production later than the second-generation iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus. This means all three new iPhones in 2018 will be both announced and released in September.
- Kuo believes the 6.1-inch iPhone will incentivize customers with older iPhones to upgrade due to it being equipped with similar features as the iPhone X and at a more competitive price of $600 to $700 in the United States.
- Kuo on potential impact on Apple of the trade war between the United States and China: “We believe it is unlikely that Apple will be directly impacted by the trade war because it plays an important role in both China and US economy. It is worth monitoring whether Chinese consumers will reject buying Apple’s products due to anti-American sentiment.”
- Kuo on how Apple can grow under fiercer competition: “In the high-end market, Apple’s real competitor is itself, which implies that it needs to offer new models that appeal to consumers to boost replacement demands. We attribute the iPhone’s slow growth in recent years to there being no significant replacement demands boosted by new models after the iPhone 6.”
- Kuo on Apple’s innovation: “We believe that Apple is still the leading company in the consumer electronics sector and has surpassed its competitors by a wide margin in terms of innovative user experience and ecosystem development. The leading advantages will benefit it when innovating with new applications,” like augmented reality.
Much of this reiterates Kuo’s previous predictions and information shared by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman over the past several months.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air, Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5, 2018 iPhonesTags: Ming-Chi Kuo, TF International SecuritiesBuyer’s Guide: 10.5″ iPad Pro (Don’t Buy), MacBook Air (Don’t Buy), Apple Watch (Neutral), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Caution)
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Apple has confirmed that its new retail location at the open air University Village mall in Seattle will open to the public at 9:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, June 30. Apple University Village will replace the current Apple retail store in University Village, which it has occupied since 2003.
The new location is a standalone structure and will include all of the highlights and amenities of Apple’s current crop of next-generation retail stores. Reports from GeekWire indicate the store takes up about 14,000 square feet of a former parking lot that measures 23,000 square feet. Of that amount, 8,000 square feet will be dedicated to a sales floor and sit-down areas for Today at Apple sessions.
Photo of Apple University Village taken by Nat Levy via GeekWire
On the same day, Apple has also announced its location in Palo Alto, California will see a grand reopening at 10:00 a.m. local time this Saturday. This location originally closed for renovations just over a month ago on May 13.
In an interview at Cannes Lions last week, Apple senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts said that “retail isn’t going away” or “dying,” but it will have to “evolve” as time passes. In its own efforts to evolve retail, Ahrendts mentioned that Apple tries to “humanize technology” with next-generation layouts that emphasize communal gathering and encourage interactivity during Today at Apple sessions.
Tags: Seattle, Apple retail
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Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave update to its public beta testing group, giving non-developers a chance to try out the software ahead of its fall public release. Today’s public beta should be the same as the second developer beta, released last week.
Beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program will be able to download the macOS Mojave beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. As a word of warning, though, subsequent betas are installed in a different way, using the Software Update icon in System Preferences.
Those who want to be a part of Apple’s beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.
Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS Mojave, and it should not be installed on a primary machine because betas are unstable and often have many bugs.
macOS Mojave’s main new feature is a systemwide Dark Mode, which gives Mac users a new way to view the operating system. A revamped Mac App Store makes it easier than ever to discover great apps, while Dynamic Desktops give you wallpapers that subtly change throughout the day.
An improved Finder window with Gallery View, Sidebar, Quick Look, and Quick Actions makes it easier to manipulate, edit, and organize your files, while Desktop Stacks organizes all of the files on your desktop.
The Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos apps have made their way to the Mac in Mojave, and for the first time, you can use Siri on Mac to control HomeKit products. Group FaceTime, an iOS 12 feature, is also available in Mojave and lets you chat with up to 32 people at one time.
Apple is keeping your data safer than ever with new security and privacy improvements, and Safari in macOS Mojave makes it much easier to track you through share/like buttons and via your system configuration.
macOS Mojave is compatible with 2015 and newer MacBooks, 2012 and newer MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac models, the 2017 iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models from late 2013 and mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with Metal-capable GPUs.
Mojave will be available in a beta capacity for the next several months so Apple can work out bugs ahead of a fall release.
Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
If you’re looking for a solid phone at a low price, then Motorola‘s phones constitute some of your best choices. The Moto E5 Play stands out as one of the best in that range, offering solid performance in basic tasks, as well as decent battery life for the price. It’s a good phone that’s built to be durable, but one slip or fall onto a hard surface is all it takes to damage your phone. If you want it to last until your next upgrade, don’t take the chance — wrap your phone in a protective case to keep it safe. Here are some of the best Moto E5 Play cases.
CoverON Clear FlexGuard Case ($8)
Not keen on big, bulky cases with traditionally “rugged” style? Then lay your peepers on this clear case from CoverON. The FlexGuard cover is made from flexible TPU that is shock-absorbent and should provide good resistance against bumps and similar hazards. The corners are often the part of a phone that hits the ground first, and it’s for that reason CoverON has added elevated bumpers to each corner, adding extra resistance. The soft material enhances your grip and there are a series of textured grips on the edges of the case. It’s thin, protective, and allows you to show off your phone to the world.
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Otterbox Prefix Case ($25)
Otterbox is more usually known for its bulky rugged cases, but it also makes some really good slim gel cases. The Prefix is made from slim TPU, and that soft and flexible material is extremely shock-resistant — something Otterbox has further improved upon with an especially absorbent inner core. It’s slim and low profile, making it easy to slip out of a pocket and it has a style that fits into almost any situation. It comes in a series of colors too, so if you’re not a fan of the straight-up black, there is also a glittery pink and smoky black. It’s not the cheapest case around, but when it’s got Otterbox’s name on it, you know it’s good.
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Leegu Dual Layer Gear Wheel case ($8)
Who says rugged cases can’t also be stylish? This case from Leegu is a dual layer case, and it uses a shock-absorbing TPU bumper with a hard shell of polycarbonate (PC) clipped over the top to supply a hard backbone. That should make this case extremely resistant to most damage, but it’s the style that has really caught our attention, and even if you’re not taken by the Gear Wheel design we’ve highlighted, there are other designs to pick from, including Blue Flower, and the humorous Don’t Touch My Phone. These sorts of patterned cases aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of these sorts of designs and really want to keep your phone protected, this is the case for you.
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Aeska Heavy Duty Defender Case ($9)
Another dual-layer case, this heavy duty case from Aeska is a very cool looking rugged case. It’s made from a TPU inner core and a hard PC outer shell, for that great combination of shock-resistance and hard protection. It also comes with a pair of carbon fiber-style panels at either end of the case, and those lend an air of sci-fi futurism. The corners are extra chunky for extra protection, and large button covers and dust covers for ports help to keep those areas safe. It’s light and thin, and it should help to keep your phone protected for a bargain price.
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Zizo Ion Series Case ($15)
All-around protection can be hard to get a hold of, but Zizo‘s Ion case is a quick and easy way to protect as much of your phone as possible. The Ion case is made from a flexible and absorbent TPU inner core, coupled with a hard PC faceplate and backplate to keep your phone rigid and protected. The case is surrounded by a series of raised circles to aid grip, and the raised edges keep your phone from resting on surfaces. The all-around protection is completed with the free addition of one of Zizo’s tempered glass screen protectors, which stop scratches in their tracks, and can stop your display from smashing. If you want all-around light protection at a great price, this is a great case for you.
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NageBee Heavy Duty Clip Case ($7)
They’re not for everyone, but if you’ve got a job that takes you out and about, then a clip-on case can be a seriously useful addition to your phone. This case from NageBee also comes with a hard PC clip that your phone slides into, making it easy to quickly holster your phone when it’s not needed. It also helps to keep your phone well sealed away from potential hazards. It’s a strong protective option, too, and the case is dual-layer, providing strong protection against a variety of threats. It also has a rugged style that aids grip on your device and a screen protector. As if that wasn’t enough, there is a kickstand on the back of the case which makes it easy to watch videos on the move.
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Poetic Revolution Tough Case ($17)
Poetic is an up-and-coming name in protective options, and the Revolution case is the perfect example of why that’s the case. It’s another dual-layer case, and the Revolution uses a full inner core of TPU, combined with a complete armor of hard PC wrapped around the Moto E5 Play. You will find textured hand-grips around the sides of the case, as well as dust plugs for each of the ports. It’s compliant with military standards for drop protection, and it also comes with a built-in screen protector, fully protecting your phone’s display, and ensuring it’s covered from every angle.
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- Moto E5 Plus vs. Moto E4 Plus: Battle of the ultra-budget Motos
A new security protocol for wireless internet access known as Wi-Fi Security Protocol 3, or WPA3, has been certified and router manufacturers are looking at ways to enable it on existing hardware. While the new standard has been accepted for use in a variety of new hardware, it’s hoped that it can be adopted by routers already in the homes of millions of users, to help better protect their in-home Wi-Fi connections.
WPA2 is the current standard of Wi-Fi protection on most existing routers in the market. It’s been around since 2004, and although bugs and exploits for it have cropped up over the years, it’s been an enduring and effective standard of protection. In January 2018, however, the collection of companies that manages wireless development, known as the Wi-Fi Alliance, announced the new WPA3 standard. It promises to improve security and make it easier to set up wireless devices without a display.
For individuals in the home, WPA3 provides more robust protection for devices by safeguarding passwords — even if they aren’t the most robust. It also leverages “Simultaneous Authentication of Equals,” which protects passwords during transmission between devices to prevent credential snooping during a login. Enterprise users will be able to enjoy stronger encryption over Wi-Fi networks through a number of cryptographic tools.
Connecting internet of things (IoT) devices should be a lot easier with WPA3 too. It introduces “Wi-Fi Certified Easy Connect,” which allows users to connect a device without a display to the network using a companion device like a smartphone. All a user has to do to get the device to connect is scan a QR code.
All of this means that WPA3 is more secure and easier to use than its predecessor, but the question remains of how many device manufacturers will retroactively add support for it to routers that have already been sold. CNET suggests that a number of them are looking into it, specifically citing Cisco as being particularly interested in adding that security to older devices.
None of these security improvements should take away from the importance of personal security though. We would always recommend you use strong, unique passwords. Find it hard to remember them? Use a password manager!
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Whether or not you have an Android Go phone, these apps are worth checking out.
Google’s Android Go initiative is all about making quality smartphones available for users no matter where they live or how much money they have to spend.
A big part of this comes from affordable hardware that’s powered by Android Go, but along with this, Google also offers a wide array of Go apps. Go apps are designed to offer the core features of their regular counterparts while being better-suited for low-end hardware, and the ones we’ve seen so far are pretty darn great.
Most of these come installed on an Android Go phone by default, but you can download them on any phone no matter what you have. Without further ado, here are all the Go apps that are available right now!
If you want the best of Google in a slim, lightweight package, that’s where Google Go comes into play. Google Go allows you to do just about everything you would on the regular Google app, including searching the web for whatever you’d like, finding and quickly sharing GIFs, voice search, and more.
The home screen for Google Go has quick links to its top features, in addition to web apps for things like Twitter, Instagram, etc.
The best part? Google says that Google Go can help to save up to 40% of your data use compared to the regular Google app.
Download: Google Go (free)
As much as we love YouTube, its Android app can be pretty demanding at times. With YouTube Go, you can access all of your favorite videos and YouTube features without having to worry about slow-downs on your phone or burning through too much data.
YouTube Go allows you to browse and watch all of the videos you’d find on the regular YouTube app while also giving you tools to download videos for offline viewing, sharing them with friends without using any data, and seeing exactly how many MBs a video is.
There isn’t a subscription page or option for liking videos, but for an app that weighs in at just 9.4MB, there’s a lot to like.
Download: YouTube Go (free)
What’s so awesome about Gmail Go is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from the regular Gmail app. The interface is mostly unchanged, emails are grouped into smart categories such as Social and Promotions, Quick Replies are her, and there’s support for both Gmail and non-Gmail email accounts.
The app is just 9.9MB in size and even comes with 15GB of free storage so you never have to worry about running out of space.
Download: Gmail Go (free)
Whether you’re getting turn-by-turn directions, finding the number to a local restaurant, or finding a new coffee place to check out, Google Maps does it all.
Thankfully, all of Google Maps’ best features are present in Maps Go.
There are over 70 different languages to choose from, information for more than 100 million places, and the app is a mere 167KB.
Download: Maps Go (free)
The Google Assistant is one of the Google services I rely on the most, and whether you want to find out about the weather tomorrow or see how the commute is to work, Assistant Go offers the core features that make Assistant so great in a slimmed-down, 5.0MB app.
You can open Assistant Go by tapping on the app icon or long-pressing the home button if you have an Android Go phone, ance once you do, you can ask the Assistant to make phone calls, send texts, get turn-by-turn navigation, and more.
As great as all that is, Assistant Go can’t currently set reminds, control smart home gadgets, or use assistant Actions.
Download: Assistant Go (free)
As you use your phone over time, it can be easy to forget about old apps, pictures, and other local digital items that eat away at your internal storage. If you want some help reclaiming your precious space, that’s where Files Go comes into play.
Files Go is chock-full of helpful features, offering easy access to delete old files you no longer need, a powerful search tool to find a certain photo or video you’re looking for, and encrypted file sharing that doesn’t require any sort of internet connection.
At just 8.2MB, Files Go packs a lot of bang-for-your-megabyte.
Download: Files Go (free)
Yahoo Mail Go
If you prefer Yahoo Mail over Gmail, Yahoo recently launched a lightweight version of its popular email app.
In Yahoo Mail Go, you can add Yahoo and non-Yahoo accounts, delete emails by swiping, quickly find coupons, and customize the interface with your favorite color.
The app requires Android 8.0 Oreo or higher in order to work and comes in at 10MB.
Download: Yahoo Mail Go (free)
For the most part, the answer is yes.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend charging your phone with the cable and power brick that come included with it out of the box. These accessories were designed specifically for your phone, and as such, will generally offer the best experience possible.
However, if you happen to lose them or just want a second charging setup without spending an arm and a leg, there are a number of third-party companies that create charging accessories and sell them at a fraction of the cost compared to what you’ll pay for Google or Samsung-branded ones.
However, just because third-party charging solutions exist, are they ok/safe to use? Here’s what the AC forum community has to say.
06-20-2018 10:21 AM
I’ve never had a problem using different bricks on any phone
06-21-2018 07:44 AM
There’s a lot of quality USB -C PD wall chargers on Amazon. 2 names of the to of my head is Anker and Aukey. I have bought extra wall chargers to travel with. I also have purchased a couple that have one USB C PD port and a second USB A port that will charge another phone using a micro USB cord up to 2.4 mAmp. If you need s I need suggestions feel free to send me a private message.
06-21-2018 03:31 PM
I’ve used third-party chargers with all of my phones.
USB-C specifically with these with these phones: Moto Z Force Droid, Moto Z2 Play, Pixel, Pixel 2 XL
06-22-2018 08:56 AM
Assuming the “power brick” is in good repair and from a reputable source, yes it is safe.
Like our users said above, you’re fine to use charging cables and adapters from other companies as long as you’re buying from a well-known, trusted source. With that said, we’d love to hear from you! What third-party charging accessories do you use?
Join the conversation in the forums!
Google also highlights smaller features that are now available in Messages.
Updated June 26, 2018: Justin Uberti, the creator and lead of Google Duo, announced on Twitter that Android Messages for web should now be live for all users. I can confirm that I’m now seeing it at long last on my Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9, so be sure to check it out for yourself if it previously wasn’t showing up.
In late-April, Google’s plans for turning Android Messages into something of an iMessage competitor were revealed. There are a lot of moving parts with this effort, but one of the biggest ones is finally coming to light — desktop messaging.
If you head to messages.android.com, you’ll see a new website with a large bit of text saying you can “Text on your computer with Messages for web.” There’s a QR code to the right of this and instructions for scanning it through the Android Messages app on your phone.
To get started, open Android Messages on your phone, tap the three dots at the top right, and tap the new “Messages for web” option. If you don’t see that in your app quite yet, Google says it’s rolling it out to users starting today and over this coming week.
Along with announcing the desktop site, Google also took some time to highlight other new features in Android Messages — such as a GIF search button, Smart Replies being available for everyone that uses English, in-line link previews, and a copy button that’s attached to a notification when you get a one-time code to log into your bank, Google account, etc.
I’ve noticed just about all these over the last few days, so most (if not all) of them should already be live.
Are you excited to start using Android Messages for web?
Chrome OS to soon offer ‘integration’ with Android Messages
- Best at any price
- Under $400
- Under $300
- Under $200
- Under $100
Best at any price
Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+
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The Galaxy S9 and S9+ aren’t much different from their predecessors, but seeing as those were Samsung’s best-ever-selling phones that’s not a bad thing. These phones are all about giving you the most features in the most beautiful package. You get top-end specs across the board, plus all of the hardware features you expect: waterproofing, wireless charging, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and more.
The camera is all-new this year, with a sensor that does fantastic processing to remove noise and sharpen fine detail. It’s aided by a dual-aperture lens to get the best combination of light and detail in different shots, and in the case of the Galaxy S9+, is paired with a secondary telephoto lens for zoom and portrait mode shooting.
You don’t get the clean and simple software experience of the Pixel 2, which may take some extra customization and tweaking on your part, but the Galaxy S9 is far less polarizing overall — just about anyone looking for a high-end phone will love using the Galaxy S9 or S9+.
Bottom line: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ don’t require much thought — they can do everything and look great doing it, with few real downsides.
One more thing: Consider paying the extra $120 for the Galaxy S9+, where you get more RAM, a bigger screen, and longer battery life. It’s worth it for most people.
Best under $400
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
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The Xperia XA2 Ultra is one of the few remaining phones with a metal back instead of glass. Sitting just below the price limit at about $398 on Amazon, this behemoth of a phone offers a 6-inch display, a solid Snapdragon 630, and a whopping 3580mAh battery — plus Sony’s first rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and yes, it even works in the U.S.
The XA2 Ultra runs Sony’s fairly lean software over Android 8.0 Oreo. The 16:9 display may look a bit dated by today’s standards, but Sony more than makes up for it with the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Bottom line: For fans of large phones with equally large batteries, the XA2 Ultra is a fantastic option that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
One more thing: The X2A Ultra is only compatible with GSM carriers, meaning you won’t be able to use it on Verizon or Sprint.
Best under $300
See at Amazon
The Moto X4 is all about providing a high-end feel without the coinciding price. It originally retailed at $399, but now sits around $279.99 on Amazon. At that price, it’s a fantastic phone — it has a beautiful metal-and-glass build, dual rear cameras, solid battery life and really good specs for the money.
The software experience is typical clean Motorola, and runs buttery smooth thanks to some wonderful optimizations. It doesn’t offer flagship-like experience in every respect, but it’s also less than half the price of those phones — in all, it’s an inexpensive phone that doesn’t at all feel cheap.
Bottom line: The Moto X4 is a fantastic deal at under $300, providing a flagship-like experience in many respects for far less than half the price.
One more thing: Unlike the XA2 Ultra, the Moto X4 is compatible with all major U.S. carriers — GSM and CDMA alike.
Best under $200
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It’s hard to believe how much phone you can get these days for so little money. For just $200, the Honor 7X features an aluminum design, an 18:9 5.93-inch display, a fast rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and dual cameras.
The Honor 7X has excellent performance for its price, thanks to the Kirin 659 chipset built in-house by Huawei, and Honor is taking software updates seriously — though the 7X shipped with Nougat, it’s already been updated to Android 8.0 Oreo.
Bottom line: This is the best $200 phone you can buy today, and it’s still a great device even if price isn’t a factor.
One more thing: As a cost-saving measure, the Honor 7X uses Micro-USB instead of the more modern USB-C.
Best under $100
See at Amazon
Ever since Nokia started making Android phones, it’s become a heavy hitter in the budget space. The Nokia 2 dips down into the double digits at $97, and while its specs aren’t mind-blowing, its value is. It’s smoother than just about anything else in its price range, and the 5-inch 720p panel looks surprisingly good.
There’s no fingerprint sensor or USB-C, but you get an enormous 4100mAh battery that should easily keep it running all day and then some. Best of all, there’s an impending update to Android 8.1, keeping the Nokia 2 current for months to come.
Bottom-line: For a bargain basement price, it’s tough to get a phone that performs better or has the features of the Nokia 2.
One more thing: The updated Nokia 2.1 is on its way, with improved performance and a larger display — though it’ll cost a bit more at $115.