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Is the £150 Motorola Moto E4 Plus a Best Buy bargain?

We’ve just tested and rated two Motorola smartphones – the Moto E4 Plus and Moto Z2 Play – plus the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact. Do any of them deserve a place on your shortlist? With the seemingly never-ending barrage of pricier and pricier smartphones, it’s easy to forget that you don’t need to spend lots of money on your next mobile phone.

Enter the Motorola Moto E4 Plus[1], which you can buy outright for GBP149. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (64GB)[2] costs GBP869, while the iPhone X (64GB)[3] will set you back an eye-watering GBP999. Admittedly, the cheap Moto E4 Plus doesn’t have as impressive-sounding specs or as many features as top-end models.

But that doesn’t automatically mean it’s worse, or that it won’t perfectly suit your needs. Below, we cover a few key things about the cheap Motorola, and point you to our full review. We also explore the two other mobile phones that have passed through our latest tests – the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact[4] and Motorola Moto Z2 Play[5] – and whether it’s worth spending big on your next smartphone.

Mobile phone reviews[6] – browse our reviews of over 100 of the most popular smartphones you can buy

Motorola Moto E4 Plus

The GBP149 Moto E4 Plus has a large 5.5-inch screen, which you’ll appreciate if you like to watch videos on your smartphone. It also has a metal body, to fool people into thinking it costs more than it really does. You can unlock the Moto E4 Plus with your fingerprint, which is an impressive feature considering the low price.

But does its 13Mp rear camera take photos you’ll be happy to keep, and will it last the day without needing a recharge? Take a look at our full Motorola Moto E4 Plus review[7] to find out whether this affordable Motorola is everything you’re looking for with your next mobile phone.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

The back of the Moto Z2 Play is magnetised to let you attach modular add-ons, which you’ll have to buy separately if you want to use them. These include a projector, battery power bank, a speaker and more.

It also offers a generous 64GB of storage, and has built-in FM radio so you can tune into your favourite radio stations. You can pick it up for GBP350, but does it deserve a spot in your pocket? Find out in our full Motorola Moto Z2 Play review[8].

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

The Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact has the angular design commonly associated with the Japanese manufacturer.

It has a 4.6-inch touchscreen, which is noticeably smaller than many other smartphones you can buy – so you might consider it if you’re looking for a phone that doesn’t take up too much space in your pocket or bag. It runs on the latest version of the Android operating system: Oreo. Plus it has a 19Mp rear camera for taking photos and videos, and it should survive an accidental drop in the toilet bowl.

It’s the most expensive phone out of the three latest phones to go through our tough tests, costing GBP399. But is it the best of the bunch? Read our full Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review[9] to find out.

Should you spend more on a smartphone?

2017 has seen the release of many high-profile smartphones costing more than GBP600, with some costing over GBP800.

But if you spend this much on a mobile phone, what exactly do you get in return? Spend big on a smartphone, and you should expect an impressive suite of features. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has an S-Pen, which is a stylus with which you write directly on the screen – handy for writing notes and quickly jotting down numbers.

And the much-discussed iPhone X has Face ID, which means you can unlock the phone with your face. Pricey smartphones should also have the latest processors, to let you do everything that little bit faster and more smoothly. Camera quality and battery life should also be exemplary – but we’ve found that that’s not always the case.

Head to our top five best smartphones for 2017[10], where we reveal the highest-rated phones from our tests – and we also highlight some of our cheapest Best Buys.

References

  1. ^ Motorola Moto E4 Plus (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (64GB) (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ iPhone X (64GB) (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Motorola Moto Z2 Play (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Mobile phone reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Motorola Moto E4 Plus review (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Motorola Moto Z2 Play review (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ top five best smartphones for 2017 (www.which.co.uk)

Global smartphone sales on the rise

347 million smartphones were bought globally from the beginning of April until the end of June this year, according to market research firm GfK. This makes 2017’s second quarter the most successful ever for global smartphone sales, up by 4% from 2016’s figures. Emerging Asia (which includes Bangladesh and Malaysia), Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America have led this growth – with respective demand increases of 13%, 11% and 10%.

However, Great Britain has seen a demand decline of 5% compared to 2016’s second quarter figures. GfK states that this is due to saturation – that is, lots of people already own a smartphone. These findings are based on data collected by GfK for April and May, and June estimates based on weekly data up to 24 June 2017.

Best Buy mobile phones[1] – discover the best smartphones you can buy

Are smartphones getting more expensive?

According to GfK, the global smartphone market value has also grown, up 9% from last year’s second quarter. The market research company points to rising smartphone prices to explain this increase.

This is unlikely to raise any eyebrows. You need only look at the flagship smartphone releases to see that they’re getting more expensive. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S8[2] – arguably the biggest smartphone release of 2017 so far, costs an eye-watering ?689 to buy outright.

Its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S7[3], cost around ?569 when it was first released. Similarly, last year’s OnePlus 3T[4] cost ?399 upon release. Whereas the new OnePlus 5[5] will set you back by ?449.

Smartphone prices continue to rise, and we’re interested to see whether and when it plateaus. But, more importantly, do you get better quality for your money? Our mobile phone reviews[6] will help you decide.

Should I buy a cheap mobile phone?

While smartphones are generally getting more expensive, there are still some great cheaper options to be snagged.

We’ve found a few Best Buy smartphones that cost less than ?200, and even more if you’re happy to stretch your budget to ?300.

We ignore price when we test smartphones, which is why you can trust our reviews to give you honest, impartial direction.

Head to our best cheap mobile phones[7] for a great quality smartphone on a budget, or browse our simple phone reviews[8] for models that cost as little as ?5.

References

  1. ^ Best Buy mobile phones (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ OnePlus 3T (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ OnePlus 5 (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ mobile phone reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ best cheap mobile phones (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ simple phone reviews (www.which.co.uk)

Which? tries out OnePlus 5 smartphone

We’ve got our hands on the OnePlus 5 mobile phone, to give you our expert first impressions ahead of our full test results. The OnePlus 5 is the latest of the Chinese company’s popular line of smartphones. While OnePlus may not be as well-known as Apple and Samsung, it’s making its mark with high-end smartphones that can compete on paper, yet undercut on price.

This new smartphone has a few features that firmly place it in the higher end of the market, such as a dual rear camera, fast-charging technology and up to 128GB of storage. But does this actually add up to a great quality smartphone, or is it just marketing mumbo jumbo? Head to our OnePlus 5 first look review[1] for our initial impressions, or keep reading for an overview of some of its mouth-watering specs.

Mobile phone reviews[2] – check out our reviews of more than 100 smartphones to make the wisest choice with your cash.

Design

There’s little doubt about it: mobile phones are getting bigger and bigger. The OnePlus 5 is no exception.

It has a palm-stretching 5.5-inch display – about the same size as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus[3] and Google Pixel XL[4]. One of the most talked-about features of the Samsung Galaxy S8[5] is its very narrow bezels at the top and bottom of the display. If you’re not a fan of this design, you’ll be glad to hear that the OnePlus 5 doesn’t follow the trend.

It has a non-tactile home button. That is, you touch it rather than press it – and you miss out on a satisfying click. This might be initially disconcerting if you’re used to a clickable home button, but we think it’s something you’ll get used to.

This button also works as the OnePlus 5’s fingerprint scanner.

Camera

Dual rear cameras are becoming more and more popular with smartphones. The OnePlus 5 joins the party, boasting a 16Mp sensor and 20Mp telephoto lens, along with a 16Mp selfie camera on the back. The theory is that you’ll be able to zoom more quickly and easily, and without seeing a drop in quality.

Head to our OnePlus 5 first look review[6] to find out whether our expert thought this phone takes convincing shots in normal- and low-light conditions. And when the full results of the OnePlus 5 come in, we’ll see just how well its camera stacks up against the competition.

Battery

The OnePlus 5 has a 3,300mAh battery, compared to the OnePlus 3T’s 3,400mAh offering.

However, battery life isn’t determined purely by battery size – it depends on other factors too, such as processor efficiency. The new phone also comes with fast-charging technology, promising 60% charge in just thirty minutes. We’re looking forward to putting the OnePlus 5 through its paces in our battery life tests, to find out whether it delivers on it claims.

If you’re interested in how much stamina the 5’s predecessor offers before running out of battery, head to our OnePlus 3T review[7].

References

  1. ^ OnePlus 5 first look review (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Mobile phone reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Apple iPhone 7 Plus (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Google Pixel XL (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ OnePlus 5 first look review (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ OnePlus 3T review (www.which.co.uk)

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