Sony announced the L1 back in March, calling it an affordable device. At the time, Sony kept the lid on pricing and availability, leaving them a mystery. With May almost half over, the Japanese OEM has finally made the budget phone available for sale in the U.S. through Amazon and Best Buy.
Back in February, Sony announced two new budget phones - the XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Comparable to the Moto G and G Plus respectively, Sony calls these devices "super mid-range." Now the XA1 has showed up for pre-order on Amazon and Best Buy for $299, in Black, Gold, Pink, and White.
Even though the company has started to slack on fast updates, Motorola is still very good at creating budget devices. The recent Moto G5 and G5 Plus, the latest devices in Motorola's mid-range lineup, have received great reviews. Now it looks like Motorola is getting ready to make its cheapest Android phones yet, the Moto C and Moto C Plus.
You may be wondering, "What about the Moto E? Isn't that supposed to be Motorola's super cheap device?" Well, yes, and the next model may have passed through the FCC recently. But the C and C Plus are even less powerful than the current Moto E. As in, Motorola is scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
Not everyone needs an expensive flagship smartphone, and for those people, Sprint and Samsung have a new option. The Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime is launching on July 10th with admittedly modest specs, but a competitive price (for CDMA carrier phones).
With the Galaxy Tab A, Samsung is giving its budget tablet line-up a touch of class. This is no dinky Tab 4. This 4:3 slate has a metal chassis! And now it's coming to the US. On May 1st, Americans will be able to buy the device from the likes of Amazon, Best Buy, and HH Gregg.
Unfortunately, the specs remain pretty underwhelming. Sure, we can make do with a 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The 5MP camera may not be all that great, but whatever, it's a tablet. But a 1024 by 768 screen resolution...
In an update that we can call minor by Mint's standards, the app's interface and navigation have been refined in addition to receiving a new bill reminder option. This feature is actually quite helpful, since it can be hard to keep a multitude of due dates straight in your head.
Of course, this won't help reduce any confusion between Mint and the recently-rebranded Mint Bills service. To be clear, you will not be paying your bills on Mint; you will just be reminded about them.
Another aspect of this update is the loss of the floating action button. Before taking out your Materially-designed pitchforks, let's recall what it did: create manual transactions.
Tablets with LTE data tend to be quite a bit more expensive than their WiFi siblings, but Sprint is launching an LG slate called the LG G Pad F 7.0 with modest specs that sells for the low price of $240 or $10 per month for 24 months. It's not going to be blazing fast, but it might get the job done.
We've already seen how the new Moto E looks, but now Motorola has made things official. The 2nd generation low-cost handset is available now in the US for $149.99 with LTE. A $119.99 3G-only option is coming soon. Note, the version you can get today is the GSM model, not the one coming from Verizon.
Here's what has changed since 2014. This year's handset comes powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, up from last year's Snapdragon 200 (edit: the 3G model will remain with the 200). The 4.3-inch 540 by 960 display has made the jump up to a 4.5 inches, reducing the ppi from 256 to 245.
Sony's smartphones and tablets have had a nearly universal aesthetic over the last few years, focusing on hard angles and monochromatic designs. It's a good look, but the company seems to be shaking things up a bit with the low-end Xperia E4. This budget device translates Sony's industrial design into a softer, curvier plastic body. The white version is two-toned, Nexus-style, with a white housing and black screen bezel. Other touches, like the middle-mounted power button, are more familiar.
The phone uses a five-inch screen and a qHD LCD panel - that's a little q, 960x540, not the other QHD.
Much of the innovation in Android right now is happening on the budget side of things. At a time when high-end phones are making largely incremental improvements over previous models, low-end handsets have gone from being barely functional iPhone sales pieces to compelling devices that make for great starter phones.
The original ZTE Imperial was certainly not top-of-the-line, but the phone was affordable and its specs weren't particularly embarrassing at the time. Now a successor is available from US Cellular that delivers more phone for even less money.
The ZTE Imperial II comes with a larger, 5-inch qHD display that replaces the previous 4-inch, 800 by 480 offering.