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  • n3cw4rr10r - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    The ridiculous prices of these phones off-contract makes me want to gag. Reply
  • Pozz - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    how can the windows phone mid range be MORE expensive then the high end ones? Reply
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    When I wrote it up, that was the price I found for the outright price even though it was normally free on contract - I didn't want on contract prices.

    I've found it for sale for less today so I've updated the table.
  • Krysto - Friday, June 06, 2014 - link

    Because it has mid-range specs, but Lumia 1020 started out very expensive, at $300 on contract, and like $900 off-contract, because of that camera.

    If you ask me, he picked a poor choice for "mid-range" in the WP category. The 1020 is not really mid-range since it has a high price, but not really high-end either since it has old and obsolete specs. It's just in its own category for a niche target market, like amateur photographers.
  • nfriedly - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    You realize that they actually cost a lot more when you get them on contract, right? If you're paying your carrier $60+ per month, that dwarfs the cost of even the most expensive of these phones over the 2-year contract.

    Pay full price for your phone and get a less expensive plan and you'll save a lot of money in the long run. Plus you can upgrade whenever you want instead of just when your contract expires.

    Also, I think the prices of these phones range from reasonable to ridiculously inexpensive for everything you're getting: a pocket computer that's faster than most desktops were not too long ago with a screen that's better than most current computers.
  • JeffFlanagan - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Most if not all carriers do not offer a less-expensive plan if you bring your own phone, so contrary to your post, it's actually much more expensive to buy the unsubsidized phone, because you're paying the same monthly fee either way. Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    In the U.S market, only prepaid lets you save money by BYOD, and prepaid has its own problems.
    JeffFlanagan is correct for the United States, nfriedly's view is true for most of the rest-of-world.
  • Trefugl - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    You forget about T-Mobile. All of their regular post-paid plans are BYOD or pay extra per month for the phone. Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Even on T-Mobile they require you to buy a device from them on a payment plan. The savings do not start until after you have paid it off. For most of us its not any savings at all up front. And our devices from other networks even if they gave you the reduced price up front wont' work or will work with reduced functionality. Reply
  • modulusshift - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    There's no requirement to buy a device from them, and actually the best phones compatible with their network aren't even sold by them. Like the Moto G LTE, easily the best budget Android phone, complete with full support for T-Mobile, but they don't sell it. Reply
  • frenchy_2001 - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Actually, the savings start from day1, as the same phone and similar plan on Tmo cost indeed the same as on ATT, except you have to pay $200+ on ATT while you will walk away with $0 down at Tmo. On a 3 lines plan, that is around $750 off at start for 3 flagships... Reply
  • Morawka - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    obviously you have been out of the game for awhile. AT&T massively lowered their mobile share plans price points. 2 Phones with 10GB of data for $130. You bring your own phone. you can finance one for 0% with AT&T next or you can bring your own phone. It gets really really cheap when you have a 3rd phone. Like $45 a month each (per person) and it averages out to 3.3GB of data per user (yes you can tether, facetime audio, basically all next gen features), plus add a tablet for $10.

    Tmobile same thing, i dunno about verizon, but honestly i never liked verizon's tech because you cant surf and talk at the same time.
  • willis936 - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    By not too long ago you mean a decade, yes? Reply
  • hughlle - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Funny. Mine is hundreds of pounds cheaper over a 2 year contract compared to had I bought the handset and the appropriate sim-only contract. Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    lol someone must tell you that Moto G is nowhere near low cost, low cost is well bellow 100$.
    As for Nexus price range, there are other devices at that price with similar specs but you guys are very limited when it comes to smartphones and tablets, in the PC era it would be like reviewing just Dell and HP prebuilt systems. Anadtech was for PC enthusiasts , in mobile it's ... not sure what it is but it's way too mainstream and boring.
    Android phones ASP right now is some 250$, Anandtech cares about 5 brands and their flagship devices, who the hell do that really serve?
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    At the risk of grossly oversimplifying; if you can't afford to spend the off-contract price for a Moto G, you're probably in a financial situation where a smartphone isn't the best purchase, and you should be looking at prepaid featurephones instead.

    Most "low cost" phones under $100 are complete pants as well and are best used as paperweights.
  • Murloc - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    for many people it's a question of priorities.
    I'm still waiting to buy a smartphone and the Moto G is too pricey.
    I just want to do the basic stuff, I don't care about games. Right now only the nokia 630 is at the right price for me but I'd like a dual sim android device because I also want dual whatsapp, and I can have that only on android.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    In Germany, the difference between the Moto G and the Nokia 630 is 10€. So I don't see how one is more costly than the other unless you can't make due with 8GB on Android. If the Moto G is too pricey for you, don't buy a smartphone or try to get a used one from 2 years ago for below that price. Because getting anything Chinese in that price region will give you more headaches than satisfaction. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Moto G is definitively in the low-price range fully comparable to cheaper smart phones such as the 630 (here in Sweden too). That's despite no official distribution of Motorola here. It's a much better choice then the old Lumia 520, has a much longer battery life and so on. Would like to see the LTE version go head to head with 630 though. Basically the same internals, but high res screen and more ram on the Moto. Nexus 4 has long been a good choice for sub-midrange here too, and is still sold by retailers. Mid range is pretty much Nexus 5. The flag-ships cost twice as much.

    In Sweden, grey imported Moto G 8GB is the same price as the Lumia 630 (at the lowest price available) from a large electronics chain. There really isn't much available below that price point. Not outside the domestic Chinese market any way.
  • anandreader106 - Friday, June 06, 2014 - link

    Verizon Prepaid Moto G: $49
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Xperia Z2 would be my top choice by far.

    If there's a Z2 compact with a 4.5/4.7" screen then that would be my #1 without a doubt.
  • fokka - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    z2 compact with a 4.5" screen but with the same size as the z1 compact sounds mighty fine to me! Reply
  • apertotes - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Why didn't the Sony Z2 make it into the android flahship discussion? Reply
  • Coup27 - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Why do Sony phones barely make it onto Anandtech full stop? Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Well they are not really sold in the US are they? Nobody in NA really cared when Ericsson owned half of the business either. It's still mostly led and developed here in Sweden for the Europeans or for the domestic Japanese market. It's pretty prevalent here in Europe. On Android it's basically Samsung, Sony, LG, or HTC here in Sweden, they all have pretty high-end devices. LG makes the Nexuses (thus gets co-branded LG as they sell them here to retailers/distribute them) and sell the related devices like G2. Samsung has the real flagship. Sony gets it's place in the spotlight and operators do push them here. HTC is a similar story. Motorola has no official presence here, it's grey imported and operators do not carry them. It's much better in other European countries for Moto. Though it's clearly hasn't been a focus for them. There really isn't much else in terms of brands. There is some Huawei, Asus and some other low-end stuff.

    Still some brand loyalty to Sony here because of the old Ericsson connection. Still some people working on the devices in Lund.
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 06, 2014 - link

    IIRC Sony's generally unwilling to provide review samples. That's why their laptops are never reviewed either. Reply
  • Infinitesimus - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    I get the feeling this list will change once you guys review the G3 ;) Reply
  • AncientWisdom - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Doesn't look like it will after all.... Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    I'm wondering about the point of making a Windows Phone list since there's only one brand making them and the obvious choices are whatever came out last from that same brand. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    BTW, did anyone notice how the Windows Phone's "mid-range" is more expensive than both the flagship and phablet models?

    Maybe the 1020 should be a runner-up for flagship to those looking for the best camera experience with that OS. For $600, it's definitely not a "mid-range".
  • Duraz0rz - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Samsung recently released the ATIV SE on Verizon, which is basically a rebadged S4. HTC is supposedly releasing an M8-based phone soon. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    This is a list for unlocked devices that are sold worldwide. That samsung is exclusive to a single provider in a single country.

    The HTC you mentioned hasn't even been officially released so of course it couldn't be in this list.

    So we're still down to a single manufacturer making windows phone devices.
  • BMNify - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Samsung Ativ S and HTC 8X are still sold internationally, Samsung Ativ SE and HTC 8XT are being sold on USA carriers and they are relevant as Google Nexus 5 is reported here which is sold only in few countries with Google Play store. Reply
  • mkppo - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Probably the first time I haven't agreed with AT's picks. G3 is just around the corner and should be superior to the S5. Also, Xperia Z2 is superior to the S5 with a better camera, build quality as well as speakers. Also, G2 is a much better midrange offering compared to the Nexus 5 with a slightly higher price (almost the same in EU) Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    "(almost the same in EU)"
    Cheaper even. LG G2 has been on sale for 299€ regularly here in Germany for the past few months and even last November there was a sale for 299€. Nexus 5 hardly ever drops below 310€.
  • The True Morbus - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    I just recieved my brand new Moto G, 160€ off contract with shipping from the UK to Portugal, the damn thing is outstanding, awesome. Very happy with my purchase, specially considering I've ptested first hand pretty much every single phone on the price range, and the Moto G is miles ahead. It's better than phones that cost 100€ more. Reply
  • dylan522p - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    G Pro 2 is flat out better than the Note 3 in most regards why isn't it the winning phablet. Reply
  • Jodiuh - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    S5 and M8 are so close. But ultimately the camera won out.

    The M8 may sound better with my a900x, but I have dedicated amps for that.
  • Mumrik - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Don't buy a Moto G. It's a good product on paper, but disappointingly badly made. If you let it run out of power, you are likely to have serious problems. This is a smartphone that isn't designet to be able to handle running dry. If you like to use the touchscreen, you are likely to at times have problems. Reply
  • Revolution11 - Friday, June 06, 2014 - link

    I have a Moto G and I can tell you that it is hard to let it run out of power unless you never let your phone charge at night. There are some Wi-Fi bugs and the phone is too aggressive with switching between Wi-Fi and cellular that it loses some power here. Clearly, this could be fixed.

    However, I have not noticed any touchscreen problems that affect power usage or battery life.
  • Hector2 - Friday, June 06, 2014 - link

    I love my Android Moto G. Got it through my provider for $150, no contract Reply
  • Fidelator - Saturday, June 07, 2014 - link

    So, no mention of the Z2? No point in claiming a phone is the top of the class if you are only mentioning a single other contender, the Z2 objectively takes the cake. Reply
  • rone - Monday, June 09, 2014 - link

    To my understanding anandtech is US based website, so it should cover mostly NAM market. Why then 4 offerings from former Nokia, when it's share in US smartphone market is 1% ? That exact 1% US market presence to anandtech is enough for 50% of the coverage in "Best Smartphones: Spring 2014". Why not best Chinese smartphones , with mainstream ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo and raising stars , like Xiomi, Meizu, Coolpad, and OPPO/Vivo/OnePlus. Also where are other mainstream players like Sony, with better than Samsung weather resistance lineup, or LG - with unmatched price/performance ratio among big manufacturers. Reply
  • djregehr - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    Why was the Samsung ATIV SE not evaluated since it was out in May 2014 and the specs are similar to the Nokia Lumina 930 (ICON) and based on the popular Galaxy S5 platform? Reply
  • pjcamp - Friday, July 04, 2014 - link


    Is it too much to ask for a reasonable screen, a reasonable battery, an SD slot and a nonshitty camera, and a design that isn't embarrassing?

    Apparently it is since no one can stir themselves to offer that phone.

    Put the S5 in the G3 package and it wins. Put a 1080p screen in the G3 and it wins. Put the G3 camera in the M8 and it wins. As it stands, everybody chose to crap out on something, and as far as I can tell none of them for a very good reason.
  • AncientWisdom - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Couldn't agree more! Reply

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