I recently purchased a Moto G (3rd generation) from Vodafone for £99. It required unlocking, which was completed on eBay in 3 minutes, for £3 and I then had a phone that ticks almost all of the boxes for almost all of the users.
The camera isn’t great at all, but for everything else the performance is great. The battery is better than most other Android phones I have tried recently, the screen is good and the performance is easily smooth enough to never create a feeling that this is a budget phone. Decent build quality, a sparse interface and some subtle software touches by Motorola round off what is a brilliant smartphone for anyone who does not want to spend a fortune. And you can even change the battery cover to add some extra personality to the look.
It highlights why choice is so beneficial in the Android market and why choice is causing it so many problems. Why would I spend £500 on a Samsung Galaxy Edge when I could buy one of these which ticks 95% of the boxes a phone needs to tick?
Over the past 12 months I have read review after review of the latest Android phones and sat bewildered at what people are trying to do here. I understand geeks always wanted the latest and greatest thing, but it has become quite hit and miss in the Android world. The newest Samsung offerings are nothing special, the latest HTC phone is crazily priced and LG can’t seem to catch a break despite some innovative hardware. The Nexus devices are pretty good, but each and every one has a drawback that puts some off.
Choosing what to buy in the Android world has moved from “Which one of these amazing phones shall I buy?” to “Which one doesn’t have a big problem that will annoy me?” Seriously, with so much differentiation and so many problems it does not feel like Android is moving forward at all, and this may explain why the iPhone is selling better than ever.
It is brilliant that Apple offers little choice when it comes to buying an iPhone, brilliant for Apple. We are left paying a lot for a phone, but at least it is a phone that genuinely does tick every box for the majority of people and it will still be worth some money in a few years.
When I use the Moto G, I realise that I am extremely unlikely to buy a high-end Android device in the forseeable future. And if I did want to spend that much money, I would buy an iPhone. This the big problem Android manufacturers face at this time.