Budget phones are the most purchased category of smartphone.
But what makes a really good budget for?
I'll be trying to figure this out with two CNET aficionados, namely Patrick Holland and I as actor Here's what we came up with.
Guys, thank you so much for joining me on this voyage of discovery.
Let's just jump right in.
Patrick, what are the must have features for your ideal budget phone?
I would say without even just throwing a price point, the two things my phone would have to have Is good battery life, if not great battery life and a solid processor.
So not the best processor, but one that will last me a few years.
When it comes to budget phones, I really like making sure that it's got a great camera because I ended up using that, whatever it was on me is what I'll be using.
So I'm looking for a really slick feel when you're using and a camera that works excellently.
I noticed you both brought up like good user experience and processes.
Do you think budget phones could benefit from using older flagship processes?
Not necessarily going back a few years because the pricing of the step down processors seems to be the same as it would have been if you bought something older.
But this would be more efficient, more available, and just a better overall experience.
At least that's what I think, Patrick, what do you know from your experience?
Well, I would say two things.
One, I'm going to say the a word and I know that when we think of buddyphones we don't think of Apple but Apple does.
Do an interesting thing where they keep coming.
They go, I think right now they have on their site phones dating back to 2018.
Now the H series processors are pretty fantastic.
So if you are buying an iPhone SE which is quote unquote, their budget phone, you're getting a processor that's basically a year old.
But it's still as fast if not faster than the Snapdragon 888 processor on something like a Samsung S21 Ultra.
That being said, I totally agree with you on the efficiency, especially against that battery life for me.
And as we start seeing 5G, being a part of these budget phones, I think that's interesting too, because that's gonna help not only on the processing power, your connectivity, but then again That battery life they keep talking about.
In the past, there's always been this huge gulf between a flagship phone and a budget phone when it comes to features.
Do we think those margins have shrunk over the years or no are they still as wide as ever?
I'm gonna jump in on this one and address Trump.
I think you have yet to think let's start with the price point because really that's if we're talking $500.
That margin is less so than if we're talking going from a $700 phone to a $500 phone.
And then I think the next step down is $400.
The $300 when we get to the $300, Mark and list in the United States, now you're talking every $50 matters.
So if you go to 250, 200, and then you go down to 150.
So I think if you start with that aspect of it, then yeah, what are you starting to take away at those price points and probably the biggest thing I see on phones Main takeaway is going to either be battery life or the cameras and I hate that it's those two because who doesn't want to have a phone with good battery life and great cameras.
My father has a budget phone and he's had it for almost two years now and it is a Motorola G seven, he loves it.
I think overall the experience of being connected messaging and the apps he likes to use are all available to him.
He said, he's almost two years into this smartphone and it's not gotten slow or lost its battery life.
The gap between the budget phones and the flagship phones are, it's nowhere near what it used to be used to be like if you wanted the top of the line phone.
It was light years beyond what a budget phone would be.
But at this point the budget phones have gotten so good They're like you were saying about your dad using this phone.
It's good enough for what you needed to do
In the name of audience interactivity, we put together a few polls for our senior viewers to get their thoughts on what the most important feature of budget phone was.
I thought it'd be fun if we got you guys said see if you could guess what our audience thought.
So which of the following Do you think that we're most willing to sacrifice, bill quality, screen resolution, camera processor, or special feature a waterproofing or wireless charger?
I'm gonna go on a limb and say wireless charging.
Yeah, I'm good eyes on this one wireless charging or waterproof will be what.
When I select sacrifice.
And it will come as no surprise that waterproofing wireless charging was the first to go.
So let's just move on.
Which of the remaining is left for the chop, build quality, screen resolution, camera, processor?
What do you guys think?
I'm going to build quality because I think when you get a cheaper phone, you're not expecting the latest and greatest glass and metals.
Yeah, I'm gonna say I would sacrifice screen resolution, I think before build quality so Going from even something like a full HD plus screen like 1080 down to a 720 Full HD screen, I would sacrifice screen resolution.
Well, let's see.
[LAUGH] I don't think you could get much closer but looks like build quality just edged out
Camera by 6% which admittedly, I did not expect.
I'm surprised honestly, I'm quite surprised that camera was so high up there, because it is so important at this point.
That's been a huge differentiator for Apple for years.
And everybody's caught up at this point, but it's just like how.
How would you do it?
You guys are mad.
Mad I tells you
They're mad in the comments too.
Okay, next round.
What do we think is next on the block?
Personally, I would say screen resolution though if I had to guess what the audience says.
I'm gonna say
I guess they said camera because of the last round.>> My guess is the audience is gonna say processor here because sure something can be super fast or not super fast, but I don't think that's going to matter as much as the other two.>> Well, let's see if you're right, Well looks like you couldn't be more wrong with camera getting over half the vote.
How does that make you feel?
Well apparently I don't share the same viewpoints as the majority of people.
Because I also like I said before, the Galaxy Note 20 because I like to write on my screen so I guess I am the weirdo and I will totally own that.
Well, I get it.
Ma'am may I just show you that the proof of your pole is right in front of me?
So one, plus the Motorola, the power, the Motorola key, play the Motorola, excuse me.
And the Motorola key stylist.
The MOTOROLA ONE 5G ACE.
All these phones have okay cameras but they have a solid processor and they also have decent screen.
Almost all are either full HD or full HD Plus
Though and has come down to this.
Screen resolution or processor would say you guys.>>Well, my first instincts this processor and since they've been wrong I'm going to say the other one.>> Screen resolution.
Yes sir screen resolution.
I'm gonna choose screen resolution on this, I think processor means you're gonna have a phone that lasts longer.
And with three quarters of the vote going to screen resolution, it just goes to show that our viewers really value the processor as it's the day to day running of the phone.
It's a really good point if your image processor takes a long time while you're taking a photo That's not gonna be good because shaky images.
And if your experience is going to be a little laggy because you're flicking on your screen and that doesn't happen right away.
I guess that does make the processor extremely important.>> Whether it's portrait mode, or auto focus and stuff like that.
Yeah, that's all gonna be based.
So we're heading to the latter stages of our budget adventure.
So I'll end with this one question for the both of you on the market right now, what budget phone is closest to your ideal I'll go I'll give one for Apple option one for Android.
The se is fine.
I think that thing does everything I wanted to do.
I will say a pixel, a series or even the pixel for a 5g.
I think that's really really close to perfect when it comes to the pricing, battery size screen before a 5g I think is more my style.
Yeah, I think for Apple, it'd be a tie for me.
You have the $400 iPhone SE usually that like nice iPhone classic experience with the big forehead and the big chin on the screen, you got the Touch ID, but then you also have the iPhone XR, that's $500 which would just make an NSA quote unquote budget phone.
And what I like about that is it has the newer design like you have the face ID and you have A newer camera and stuff on it.
[INAUDIBLE] Boy, as far as Android, that's a tough one.
I think I would probably go for either Google pixel for a 5G, which again, it's little more on the high end of the budget side of things, or I would go with The Motorola one, five v ace.
This phone regularly retails at $40.
For cameras, the main ones decent it's not anywhere near the pixel quality but the battery on this is 26 hours for our video test In real life, that means two days without a charge day and a half definitely without a charge.
And this is probably the one I would recommend the most.
And if someone had a little bit more money, I'd push them toward the pixel for a 5G.
I think that's a good place as any to leave it.
Thanks again, boys.
I think that was really insightful.
Kind of just goes to show that there's almost Budget phone for every kind of user these days.
I mean, if you're looking for a solid camera if you're looking for good battery life, good screen resolution thing.
There's something out there for everyone.
For what about you guys?
What is the The absolutely quintessential feature that our budget phone has to have in your opinion, leave it in the comments.
Stay classy, of course, and we'll catch you on the next one.
Thanks for watching.
My first electric bike: One year later
Find your 'lost' money in 2 minutes with these tools
Chromebooks turn 10: From the first prototype to the latest models
Did the AirTags survive our durability test?
Roku Remote Pro: Rechargeable battery, 'Hey Roku' voice and more...