Thanks to the Moto X, we’re in the middle of a budget device revolution

When Motorola launched the original Moto X in 2013 the mobile world changed forever. It was compact, running the latest version of Android and added a number of extremely useful features to the OS without any of the much-dreaded bloat.

Sure, the camera wasn’t great, neither was the battery life, or its eventual upgrade path, but it’s safe to say that the Moto X changed the mobile landscape. It’s also important to note that while all this innovation was happening, Google still owned Motorola.

When the Moto X launched it brought a premium experience to a budget driven customer, and as a repercussion of this, the budget smartphone sector has absolutely blossomed. Gone are the days that you need to spend R10000 on a phone to ensure that it works properly. These days you can spend anything between R2000 and R8000 and you’ll receive a device that as little as 2 years ago seemed far fetched.

OEMs like Asus, Alcatel, Motorola, OnePlus, Huawei, and LG have all made big efforts to get a foot in the door of the budget arena. This has made deciding which device you want to use even more difficult, but at least you now have options that’ll help you save a couple of bucks. It is important to note that when you do go “budget” you’re likely going to have to compromise on a few things. This could be lowered screen resolution, a weak camera, as well as cheap design and build materials. It’s important that you know what you want from your device.

This might be the first time since the launch of the first smartphone that I would actually refer to what is happening in the industry as a revolution. Last year I wanted to write this very post, but budget devices were only just coming onto the market, so I had no idea whether they’d have real staying power, and now at the start of 2016, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re going nowhere.

When Motorola released its latest flagship, the Moto X Style (Pure Edition) for $100 less than last year’s Moto X, that’s when it really grabbed my attention – and money as it turns out. When is the last time you remember a premium device’s successor being cheaper than the original? Thanks to Motorola and Google, that’s happened twice in 2015 that I know of. The new Moto X and Nexus 6P are both flagships and they’re both cheaper than last year’s devices they’re replacing. Tip of the hat to Google for dropping the Nexus 6P’s price by $150 from last year’s Nexus 6’s crazy $650 price tag.

This is without a doubt a signal of the times and as the prices continue to drop, while devices continue to improve, it leave us, the consumers in the pound seats. So next time you upgrade, it may well be worth your while to find a budget device that will meet all of your requirements, because who really needs a flagship? Next time I’ll recommend some budget devices that will make you forget you’re not using a flagship device.



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