GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide: 2017 July Edition: €100-€200

By 07:38 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


€100-€200

Things are starting to pick up here. We are still a ways off from getting any sort of bragging rights, but there are offers that will create you question why you ever paid more than €200 for a phone. Granted, they won't work for power users, avid mobile gamers, or photography enthusiasts, but those with more casual needs might find this their final stop in the guide.

All you need is a fine understanding of your personal requirements and use-cases, so you can pick a device that cuts the correct corners. Since there are a lot more options this time, let's try to work our way up from the cheapest ones.

At €125 or so, you can easily pump your selection up from a Lenovo Vibe C2 to the Lenovo K6. So what do the extra €20 acquire you? Well, for starters, FullHD resolution. Also, that quad-core Mediatek MT6735P chipset we barely tolerated is swapped for an octa-core Snapdragon 430.

You also acquire twice the amount of RAM, at 2GB, as well as base storage at 16GB. Believe us when we say this all adds up to a much smoother experience. Even a fingerprint reader is there, even if it's not quite the best we've seen.



Lenovo K6

Specs

  • Build: Metal
  • Connectivity: Optional Dual SIM (hybrid microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Screen: 5" IPS LCD, 1080p (441ppi)
  • Camera: 13MP main, 8MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 430 8x Cortex-A53@1.4GHz, Adreno 505
  • Memory: 2GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB/32GB storage
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (removable)
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; Dolby Atmos audio enhancement; Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

Plus, you also acquire a bump in the capturing camera department, with a 13MP main and 8MP selfie shooter and a marginally bigger 3,000 mAh battery. The image quality isn't quite as exciting as numbers suggest, but it's a better value, no doubt about it.

As for the Redmi 4a, its respective €125 alternative is the Redmi 4, also known as the Redmi 4X in its home markets, Malaysia and Pakistan. Coming with Snapdragon 435 and its octa-core CPU, and a larger 4,100 mAh battery, it's easily worth the extra €25.

Just haged in mind that the Redmi 4 is still stuck with a 720p display - if you want to acquire around that see for the Redmi 4 Prime. It also throws a mid-range efficient Snapdragon 625 in the mix, which makes it probably the best value in this price group. Unforutanately it's even harder to find than the vanilla 4.



Xiaomi Redmi 4

Specs

  • Build: Metal body
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (hybrid microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Nougat update is likely
  • Screen: 5" IPS LCD, 720p (294ppi); 527nits brightness, 2.92 sunlight legibility; Unspecified Gorilla Glass
  • Camera: 13MP main (PDAF), 5MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 435 8x Cortex-A53@1.4Giga Hertz (GHz) (bench: 832), Adreno 505 (bench: 7,608)
  • Memory: 2GB/3GB/4GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB/32GB/64GB storage
  • Battery: 4,100mAh (sealed); 80h Endurance
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; Infrared port; Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

  • 720p display

Review

Where there's a Xiaomi handset, you can be pretty sure there is also a Meizu ready to hold it on. In this case it has to be the Meizu M5, which can currently be found for about €135 (again, in relatively few markets around the globe). And as with the Xiaomi handsets, we certainly have to issue our standard support warning here.

Putting all that aside, the Meizu M5 is a pretty close match to the two handsets above. One incompatibility is that the M5 is rocking a MediaTek MT6750 instead of the elegant Qualcomm alternative. Also, you acquire a marginally bigger panel, at 5.2 inches, and a smaller 3,060 mAh battery. But, the latter only leads to a 4 hour incompatibility in endurance rating in our tests.



Meizu M5

Specs

  • Build: Plastic (unibody)
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (hybrid microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Flyme 5.2)
  • Screen: 5.2" IPS LCD, 720p (282ppi); 480nits brightness, 2.71 sunlight legibility
  • Camera: 13MP main (PDAF), 5MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6750 8x Cortex-A53@1.5GHz, Mali-T860MP2
  • Memory: 2GB/3GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB/32GB storage
  • Battery: 3,070mAh (sealed); 76h Endurance
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; mTouch key

Cons

  • 720p display
  • Slightly dated chipset, but with fine performance

Review

From a purely physical perspective, the Meizu M5 utilizes a physical home button, which also means a front-mounted fingerprint reader. Just in case that is your personal preference, that is.

Another viable option that will cost you as much as the Meizu is the unfortunately-named Huawei Y6II Compact. It definitely sounds a bit obscure, but we found it to be a better option than the much better known Huawei P8 lite, which is now showing its age or the Huawei Y6, with its quad-core MediaTek CPU.



Huawei Y6II Compact

Specs

  • Build: Plastic
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Screen: 5.5" IPS LCD, 720p (267ppi)
  • Camera: 13MP main, 8MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: 8x Cortex-A53@1.2GHz, Mali-450MP4 -or- Adreno 405
  • Memory: 2GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB storage
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (sealed)

Cons

  • 720p panel

Not only this, but the Y6II Compact packs a 5.5-inch display, which just happens to be correct in the sweet spot for most buyers, if statistics are to be trusted. The only obvious trade-off is a 720p panel. Also, considering the models rather obscure nature, you might very well be stuck with the Android Marshmallow Read-Only Memory (ROM) it ships with.

If better after-market support is what you are after you should check out the Sony Xperia XA. It has an excellent capturing camera combo going for it, especially if you are more "selfie-inclined" and will even acquire a Nougat update. Sony has a much wider distribution network too, which means that not only are you able to buy this one in more markets, but it's also much easier to find a service center should you need one.



Sony Xperia XA

Specs

  • Build: Metal frame (polycarbonate back)
  • Connectivity: Single SIM (dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Screen: 5" IPS LCD, 720p (294ppi); 523nits brightness, 2.609 sunlight legibility; Scratch-resistant glass
  • Camera: 13MP main (PDAF), 8MP selfie (autofocus), 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio P10 4xCortex-A53@2.0 Giga Hertz (GHz) & 4xCortex-A53@1.0 Giga Hertz (GHz) (bench: 1,013), Mali-T860MP2 (bench: 6,420)
  • Memory: 2GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB storage
  • Battery: 2,300mAh (sealed); 54h Endurance (!); Fast Charging (Pump Express+ 2.0)
  • Misc: NFC; Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

  • 720p panel
  • Poor battery life
  • OS takes up about half of the 16GB of storage
  • Below average speaker quality

Review

On the flip side, you have to live with a 720p panel and a very small 2,300 mAh battery, which only managed a 54 hour endurance rating in our tests.

On to the higher reaches of the price segment then. Motorola has a pair of fascinating offers that caught our eye. The Moto G5 puts a 5-inch FullHD panel, a decent Snapdragon 430 chipset, and a pretty clean Android Nougat Operating System (OS) on the table- no mean feats in this price range.



Motorola Moto G5

Specs

  • Build: Plastic
  • Connectivity: Optional Dual SIM (dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Screen: 5" IPS LCD, 1080p (441ppi); Scratch-resistant glass
  • Camera: 13MP main (PDAF), 5MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 430 8x Cortex-A53@1.4GHz, Adreno 505
  • Memory: 2GB/3GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB/32GB storage
  • Battery: 2,800mAh (removable)
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

  • Slightly dated chipset, but with decent performance
  • OS is not as bloat-free as older Moto devices

Review

Just haged in mind that the battery power is far from great, and the Read-Only Memory (ROM) is not quite as clean and bloat-free as older Moto devices. The promise for speedy updates was Motorola's thing when it was under Google ownership, but we wouldn't count on those now that Lenovo is having distress turning in a profit. Still, it launches with Nougat, so it's either outdoing or at least matching most of its rivals here.

The Moto G4 Plus poses an fascinating dilemma. It costs around as much as the Moto G5, so if you are willing to live with an older and slightly less potent chipset, it can hook you up with a 5.5-inch panel and a significantly more sophisticated 16MP camera, with laser autofocus.



Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Specs

  • Build: Plastic (removable back, but not battery)
  • Connectivity: Optional Dual SIM (dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, upgradable to 7.0 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.5" IPS LCD, 1080p (401ppi); 478nits brightness, 2.582 sunlight legibility; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: 16MP main (PDAF and Laser autofocus), 5MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 617 4xCortex-A53@1.5 Giga Hertz (GHz) & 4xCortex-A53@1.2 Giga Hertz (GHz) (bench: 799), Adreno 405 (bench: 6,380)
  • Memory: 2GB/3GB/4GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB/32GB/64GB storage
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (non removable); 70h Endurance; Fast Charging
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

  • No NFC or magnetometer (digital compass)
  • The battery is not user-replaceable
  • GPU struggles a bit to render some games at 1080p

Review

Throw in the bigger battery on the G4 Plus and it's a head-scratcher for sure. Still, the pair sports pretty different and distinctive designs, so looks and size alone should be enough to sway you one way or the other.

Of course, this price segment wouldn't be complete without mentioning at least a couple of devices based on the 14nm power-efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset. It's the pioneer of a recent wave of chips that leverage smaller fabrication processes to deliver longer battery life to the masses, rather than strive for performance as most flagship chipsets.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is certainly its most popular bearer, and with a 119 hour endurance rating it really proves the chipset's value. The handset is pretty well-rounded too, offering a decent capturing camera experience and a 5.5-inch FullHD display. It runs on Marshmallow, but it was promised an update to the Nougat-based MIUI 9.



Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Specs

  • Build: Metal unibody
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (hybrid microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Will likely be upgraded to Nougat)
  • Screen: 5.5" IPS LCD, 1080p (401ppi); 484nits brightness, 2.714 sunlight legibility
  • Camera: 13MP main (PDAF), 5MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 625 8x Cortex-A53@2.0Giga Hertz (GHz) (bench: 1,050), Adreno 506 (bench: 10,446)
  • Memory: 2GB/3GB/4GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 32GB/64GB storage
  • Battery: 4,100mAh (sealed); 119h Endurance (!)
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; Infrared port; Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

  • Below average audio quality with headphones plugged in

Review

An alternative to those not fond with MIUI, or simply unable to acquire the Xiaomi handset in their market, is the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016). It drops the resolution back down to 720p, but its panel is of the Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) variety.



Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

Specs

  • Build: Plastic
  • Connectivity: Optional Dual SIM (dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Screen: 5.5" Super AMOLED, 720p (267ppi); 353nits brightness, 3.756 sunlight legibility
  • Camera: 13MP main, 5MP selfie with Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 617 4xCortex-A53@1.5Giga Hertz (GHz) & 4xCortex-A53@1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) -or- Exynos 7870 8x Cortex-A53@1.6Giga Hertz (GHz) (Exynos bench: 1,007), Adreno 405 -or- Mali-T830MP2 (Mali-T830MP2 bench: 11,199)
  • Memory: 2GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB storage
  • Battery: 3,300mAh (removable); Exynos 7870: 101h (!) Endurance; Fast Charging (15W)
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; Samsung Pay; NFC (market dependent for dual-SIM model); Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

  • 720p panel
  • The Snapdragon 617 chipset option is not really as competitive as the Exynos

Review

An vital note about this one - be sure to see for the Exynos 7870 Octa variant, as it is the 14nm one. The other version of the Galaxy J7 (2016) uses the Snapdragon 617, which is a generation older and not nearly as efficient.

And last, but not least there's the Huawei P9 Lite to be found correct around the €200 imprint as well. It shouldn't be confused with the P8 Lite (2017), although Huawei did its best to thoroughly mix up naming this year. It has a smaller battery and shorter power autonomy compared to the two above, but it's a solid overall package nonetheless.



Huawei P9 lite

Specs

  • Build: Metal frame (polycarbonate back)
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, upgradable to 7.0 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.2" LCD, 1080p (424ppi); 497nits brightness, 2.679 sunlight legibility
  • Camera: 13MP main, 8MP selfie, 1080p video (both)
  • Chipset: Kirin 650 4xCortex-A53@1.5Giga Hertz (GHz) & 4xCortex-A53@1.2Giga Hertz (GHz) (bench: 1,242), Mali-T830MP2 (bench: 7,681)
  • Memory: 2GB/3GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 16GB storage
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (sealed); 79h Endurance
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader; NFC, Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio

Cons

Review


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