The Motorola Moto G7 currently offers the best combination of performance, features and value. It overshadows the competition with its wide availability, fast performance, and support for nearly every network in the world, beating out a number of rivals from Nokia and Honor.

Our Pick

Moto G7

The best budget Android phone for most people

Motorola's 2019 Moto G is well-built, nicely-designed, and has some excellent upgrades over its predecessor, including a faster processor, improved display, and rear fingerprint sensor.

Who should buy this phone

Not everyone needs a big, expensive Android phone — especially if they're looking to buy it outright. At just under $300, the Moto G7 provides most of what flagship devices offer at a third of the price. It lacks many of the bells and whistles of many flagship Android phones, but it excels at all of the essential tenets of being a smartphone.

Anyone who needs a phone that's reliable, easy to use, well-built, and compatible with almost every carrier in the world should definitely consider buying the Moto G7.

Is it a good time to buy this phone?

Yes. The Moto G7 was released in March 2019, and will be supported with security patches until 2021. And because it's a budget phone, the price is unlikely to drop dramatically over the course of its life, so anyone looking for an inexpensive Android phone, now is a great time to pick up the Moto G7.

Reasons to buy

  • Great build quality and design for the price
  • Excellent main rear camera
  • Comes with Android 9 Pie
  • Fast and efficient Snapdragon 632 processor
  • Compatible with all major U.S. and international carriers
  • Moto Display adds tremendous value
  • Available at Google Fi

Reasons not to buy

  • Moto G line isn't known for swift software updates
  • Lacks NFC

Most people don't need to spend a lot on a phone anymore

Flagship phones like the Pixel 3 and Galaxy S10 series can cost up into $1000 range, and many of the features that come with them, like wireless charging or waterproofing, aren't fundamental to a device's enjoyment. They're bonus features.

Increasingly, you're paying so much more for those bonus features that the Law of Diminishing Returns comes into play. At its core, the Moto G6 offers most of the features of phones double and triple its cost. A few years ago, that delta would have been wider, but the prices of components have dropped so much, and retained so much of their more expensive counterparts' characteristics, that it's often not worth recommending those expensive flagships anymore.

The Moto G7 and its other budget counterparts on this list have awesome, high-resolution touchscreens, reliable software, and great cameras. Some features, like NFC, drive up manufacturing costs, so you have to weigh whether you need NFC-enabled features like mobile payments. And the Moto G7 also lacks the same graphical power as its more expensive competitors, but most games play without issue, even at medium or high settings, because Android games are designed to play on hardware of all sizes and prices.

At the same time, Motorola's given the G7 a computational and memory upgrade, shipping the new Snapdragon 632 along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage standard, numbers that would have been unheard of in a $300 phone just two years ago.

The Moto G7 has all the major features you need from a modern smartphone, and the ones it lacks you can easily live without.

Motorola has had six years of practice making the Moto G line into a budget powerhouse; when it designed the first Moto G back in 2013, it eschewed expensive materials like metal and glass and focused instead on the core experience. Starting in 2016, Motorola began finding ways to add important features like fingerprint sensors, and now the Moto G7 is made from a premium-feeling and resilient plastic frame and is covered on the front and back with Gorilla Glass. But while the Moto G lineup tends to use less expensive components and materials, Motorola's excellent manufacturing results in a device that does not sacrifice quality.

At the same time, Motorola understands its audience, which is why it includes a dual camera setup to the Moto G7. The second camera adds depth effects like portrait mode without sacrificing the excellent pedigree of the main 12MP sensor.

Finally, if you're in the U.S., the Moto G6 is one of the few sub-$300 phones to work on all four U.S. carriers, and it's even sold at directly at a few carriers, another advantage of Motorola's long-standing relationship with companies like Verizon.

Alternatives to the Moto G7

Motorola isn't the only player in town when it comes to cheap phones. In recent years, Honor, a subsidiary of Huawei, and HMD Global, which has reinvigorated the Nokia brand, have kept Motorola on its toes in the budget space. Then there's Alcatel, which continues to bring down the cost of phone ownership with its new Android Go-powered devices.


Nokia 7.1

Way more phone for a little more cash

The new Nokia 7.1 packs a whole lot of phone into $350. It has a powerful Snapdragon 636 processor and 4GB of RAM, along with ample 64GB storage and a beautiful 5.85-inch screen. As long as you can deal with the small notch, it's a looker, too, with a sharp aluminum frame and a lovely dual camera rear design.

The Nokia 7.1 is a sequel to the Nokia 7, and brings so much value to a $350 unlocked phone. From the dual camera setup that shoots great low-light photos to the 6000-series aluminum design, you would be forgiven for thinking this device costs double its actual retail price. The best part isn't even the hardware — the phone ships with Android 9 Pie on board, and thanks to Android One, will get two years of platform updates and security patches. Just be sure your carrier supports the phone — it only works on AT&T and T-Mobile (and their subsidiaries) in the U.S.

The top carrier option

Moto E5 Plus

Budget option with crazy battery life

A larger, battery-focused Motorola phone, the Moto E5 Plus has a massive 5,000mAh battery inside. Featuring a 6-inch HD screen and a 12MP camera, the Moto E5 Plus is a fantastic option if you're going the carrier route.

If you're locked into the carrier ecosystem, or want to get your phone with a low-cost financing option, getting the Moto E5 Plus is likely your best bet. It's available for between $150 and $225 depending on your carrier, and you can get it for even less if you sign up for a new plan.

Last year's budget leader

Moto G6

Last year's phone at an unbelievably good price

The Moto G6 is an outanding budget phone made even better with a major discount now that the G7 is out. You lose a couple of minor features but it's still an outstanding device.

If you don't need the latest and greatest in the budget line (and let's be honest, if you're buying a budget phone you're probably looking for a deal), the Moto G6 is still a fantastic smartphone. It's got a more compact design than the G7, making it easier to use in one hand, and has the same great software experiences, camera quality, and overall reliability. At $180 from Amazon, it's an absolute bargain.

Value pick

Alcatel 1X

An awesome Android experience under a hundred

Priced under $100, the Alcatel 1X runs Android Oreo Go Edition, Google's suite of apps and software optimizations to make Android run great on less-expensive hardware.

With the Alcatel 1X, you lack a lot of the amenities of even the $180 Moto G6 — it's all plastic, for starters, and only has 1GB of RAM — but if all you need is a basic smartphone to make calls, browse Instagram, and take a few photos, the 1X is a fantastic option.

Bottom line

There's no shortage of awesome Android phones these days, whether you want to spend more than $700, less than $300, or even $100. The above phones represent the best of a set limitation — that of not wanting to overspend on a product that, inevitably, will need to be replaced in a couple of years.

But that's the beauty of a device that costs a third of what you'd spend on a Galaxy S10 or Pixel 3. It offers 90% of what those phones cost and can be replaced more easily. While you may miss out on some of the more advanced features like waterproofing and wireless charging, and you may not receive as many updates, or for as long, these phones represent a new breed of budget devices you can feel confident in buying.

And the Moto G7 is the best of the bunch.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.

Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation's Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently he is using Google's Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You'll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

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