With better processors and improved LTE coverage, it's easy to see your favorite shows almost everywhere. However, not all of us expensive flagship phones can afford the latest top tier specifications. However, with a maximum budget of $ 400, you can find solid phones that deliver a great viewing experience.
Every year we find new examples of cheap phones that are getting better and better. When you focus on factors that address a specific need (for example, watching videos), you can easily find phones that have enough energy to reach your destination. For watching videos, this means a big screen, a sound processor and great battery life. There are a number of phones that meet these criteria, and after the review, here are the top four.
Table of Contents
- SoC: The system-on a-chip (or processor) is what powers the device. This hardware component determines the overall performance of the phone and even affects video streaming services. All devices except the Moto G6 have midrange processors with more than enough media consumption.
- Modem: The hardware component responsible for managing your LTE wireless data connection. Modems are measured in categories, with higher numbers indicating faster theoretical maximum speeds. With a better modem, there is less chance that videos will buffer or lose quality.
- Screen Size: Probably the most critical criterion on our list is the size of the screen on the smartphone. When it comes to video consumption, a larger screen is preferred
- Resolution: Almost as important, the resolution is the maximum number of pixels displayed on the screen. 1080p is the standard because most movies and TV shows are output at this resolution. Although there are 4K, there are not many streaming sources that support video at this resolution.
- Aspect Ratio: The ratio of the width of a display to its height. This number comes into play when playing back movies because the aspect ratio of movies varies depending on the aspect ratio of your screen. Compared to 16: 9 screens, 18: 9 screens do not display horizontal black bars for 1.85: 1 video (typical of older films like The Godfather ), and the black bars are smaller than 2, 39: 1 Videos (found in recent films such as Netflix The Cloverfield Paradox )
- Screen-to-Body Ratio: The ratio of the display compared to the front of the phone. The higher the percentage, the smaller the forehead and chin, resulting in a more immersive viewing experience.
- Screen Type: The type of screen technology used. There are only two options for smartphones: OLED or LCD. Normally you will not find any OLED devices in this price range, which is why every phone on our list uses an LCD display.
- Color Temperature: The "warmth" or "coolness" of the color calibration of a screen. A perfect representation of white is 6,500K, so the closer to that number, the better. A higher number indicates that white is "cooler" or more blue, while a number below 6500K indicates that white appears "warm" or slightly orange. The data comes from the Phone Arena.
- Maximum brightness: The maximum brightness that can be achieved by the display. This number is measured in Nissen, with a higher number indicating a brighter display. Brighter screens are required when looking at your phone in direct sunlight. The data was sourced from Phone Arena
- Minimum Brightness: The minimum brightness that can be achieved by the display. Lower levels of brightness help in viewing at night and can reduce battery consumption, which is important when watching your favorite programs binge. The data comes from the Phone Arena.
- Battery Size: The capacity of the battery. A larger capacity usually means a better battery life.
- Battery life: The battery life of the phone when playing a video at 50% screen brightness. We used data from GSM Arena that shut down a fully charged battery by up to 10% while running a standard definition video with Airplane Mode enabled.
- Expandable Memory: Since then, the internal memory of smartphones has become much bigger. It's always nice to have microSD support. Not only does this provide a significant amount of storage for a low price, it will also be very helpful if the video streaming service you are using can download videos to watch without an internet connection.
- OS Version: In which version of the Android operating system is the phone running? Each phone runs Android 8.0 Oreo with the exception of the Nokia 6.1, which currently runs the latest Android version 8.1 Oreo.
- Multitasking features: Ability to perform a different task while playing a video. Unlike iOS, you can share the screen with Android by placing the video on one side of the screen and another on the opposite side. Split ad lets you search, take notes, read articles, or work while enjoying your favorite movie or TV show.
- Notification Interference: Whether incoming notifications interrupt video playback. For all phones in this list, this is not a problem, since here each Android is running.
- Netflix picture-in-picture mode: While Android 8.0 Oreo added picture-in-picture mode to most apps Netflix is different. The streaming service requires the latest version, Android 8.1 Oreo, to work so only one device on our list has access to this feature.
- Speaker placement: The position of the speaker on the device. When playing videos without headphones, the placement of the speaker plays a major role in audibility. Ideally, you want the speakers to be facing you.
- Speaker Volume: How loud can the speakers be? Measured in decibels, higher numbers are better because it's easier to hear your content in noisy environments. This data was obtained from Phone Arena.
- Headphone Jack: Whether the phone has the elusive 3.5mm headphone jack. Since we enjoy movies on the go, this port offers the best listening experience.
How to dial these phones
We only chose phones that passed the Google Compatibility Test Suite – without this certification, you would lose access to apps on the Google Play Store, including Netflix. Many phones from several Chinese manufacturers have been eliminated due to this requirement.
We considered screen size as one of the most important components when it comes to video playback. Therefore, we have only looked at phones with a display of at least 5.5 inches.
Finally, we have made sure that every phone is currently available at or below the $ 400 price point. Only one phone on our list comes close, with every other option much cheaper. For many, $ 400 is the right starting point for a budget phone.
If you value aesthetics, you might want to check out the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra. Its boxy design prompted one of our authors to catalog it into one of the ugliest cell phones he'd seen in 2018 – but hey, beauty is just superficial. If you focus on specifications and internals, the XA2 Ultra is an excellent budget phone that can compete with any device in this price range. And when it comes to watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, you will not find a better option at this price.
By far the biggest selling point of the XA2 Ultra is its 6.0-inch display. It also offers a 1080p resolution so you can enjoy high quality video on the go, and it houses this large display in the second highest screen
The Glory 7X has the highest screen-to-body ratio at 77% For Context, last year's Pixel 2 XL 76.4%, the Honor 7X also has the best color temperature calibration, unfortunately the screen has the second lowest maximum brightness level, so watching in direct sunlight will be a problem.
While the battery is the second largest, 3,340 mAh, the battery life does not match the size of the battery The Honor 7x has the lowest battery life it on our list for less battery life other phones on our list of smaller batteries
The Glory 7X has one Quantity offer. Even if Honor decided to raise its price by $ 50, it would still compete well with the other phones on our list. However, the poor battery life and the slower modem impacted the recommendation over the other two options, forcing us to rank it third on our list.
Phone 4: Moto G6
The Moto G6 is one of the strangest entries on our list. The decisions of Lenovo, owners of the Motorola smartphone brand, leave some questions unanswered. At each step, the Moto G6 seems to take a step back and must be the last one on our list.
Let's start with the processor. Lenovo chose an entry-level chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450. It's the slowest SoC on our list, both in terms of performance and energy efficiency. While it can handle streaming video (because the modem is strong enough to handle 1080p video), the CPU can interfere with video playback. Especially with locally stored videos, the performance of video playback may be affected.
The Moto G6 uses a 5.7 "IPS LCD screen, similar to others on our list, it has a resolution of 1080p, in addition it uses the same 18: 9 aspect ratio found on the Honor 7X, which generally shrinks the aperture on the smartphone, but with the use of a forward-looking fingerprint scanner, the Moto G6 has the second lowest screen-to-body ratio 19659070] The Best Affordable Phones for Watching Movies & TV Series ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>