General Notes

  • Tom’s Hardware says the average cell phone has 9:48 battery life, browsing via LTE at 150 nits of brightness. 150 is pretty dim. Gizmodo says, “In most conditions, a 250 nit screen will appear plenty bright.”
  • I’m replacing my current phone because it frequently powers down due to low battery by surprise.
  • I’d almost buy a Pixel 3 or a Pixel 3 XL, despite the high price, but they have sub-average battery life. If I’m buying a $700-$1000 phone (plus accessories), I need it to last at least 3 years and I’m not confident that battery will still be good. And I might break it or lose it, or there could be some new whiz-bang feature I really want before 3 years are up.
  • My existing Moto X2 phone has
    • 5.2 inch screen, 140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm (5.5 x 2.9 x .4 inches), 1920 x 1080, 423 pixels per inch
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 32 GB storage, no SD Card support
    • Water repellent
    • Battery Life = 7:33 (tomshardware)
    • NFC
    • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
    • When it was new, Anandtech said its battery life was sub-average at 5 hours at 200 nits
    • Quick Charge, 3rd gen
  • Things I’d like my phone to do/have
    • Still fit in my pocket
    • 64 GB storage or more (or 32 + SD Card)
    • Battery last longer
    • Rainproof
    • GSM, LTE
    • NFC (Android Pay)
    • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
    • Wireless charging
    • Quick charge
    • VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T
  • Things I’m indifferent about
    • Fingerprint sensor. Convenient, less secure, and police can compel you to unlock.

Moto E4 Plus, $199

  • 5.5 inch screen, 155 x 77.5 x 9.5 mm (6.1 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches), 1280 x 720, 267 pixels per inch
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32GB storage (the available model) + SD Card
    • Must select gold color to get the 32GB edition
  • Battery life 14:43 (tomshardware.com)
  • Water repellent, not waterproof
  • No NFC in USA
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
  • Wired charging (only)
  • Not standard quick charge. Not as fast as Quick Charge 2.0
  • No VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T. Some people report no LTE cell data
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Limited to Android Nougat (no Oreo)
  • Conclusion: Great battery, but screen resolution is too low.

Moto G5 Plus, $150-$210

  • 5.2 inch screen, 150.2 x 74 x 7.7 mm (5.9 x 2.9 x 0.3 in), 1920 x 1080, 424 pixels per inch
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage (the available model) + SD Card
    • $150 32GB (not confirmed U.S. model), $210 32GB (confirmed U.S.)
  • Battery life 11:43 (tomshardware.com)
  • Water repellent, not waterproof
  • No NFC in USA
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
  • Wired charging (only)
  • Quick Charge 3.0
  • No VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T. Some people report no LTE cell data
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Upgradable to Oreo
  • Conclusion: If that $150 model is U.S., consider it after the seller gets some reviews.

Moto X4, $180-$300

  • 5.2 inch screen, 148.4 x 73.4 x 8 mm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.3 in), 1920 x 1080, 424 pixels per inch
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage (the econo model) + SD Card
    • $180 32GB Amazon Ads, $230 32GB, $300 64GB
  • Battery life 11:41 (tomshardware.com, slightly different model)
  • Water repellent, not waterproof
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
  • Wired charging (only)
  • Quick Charge 3.0
  • No VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T. Some people report no LTE cell data
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Upgradable to Oreo
  • Scary: 20% of Amazon users hate it, reporting frequent total failure.
  • Conclusion: This looks pretty good except for the quality control.

Nokia 6.1, $180

  • 5.5 inch screen, 148.8 x 75.8 x 8.2 mm (5.9 x 3.0 x 0.3 in), 1920 x 1080, 403 pixels per inch
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage + SD Card
  • Battery life 10:24 (tomshardware.com)
  • NOT Water repellent
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
  • Wired charging (only)
  • USB-C rapid charging
  • No VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Comes with Oreo and updates through 2019
  • Conclusion: I really can’t buy a non-water repellent phone.

LG G6 Amazon Prime, $360

  • 5.7 inch screen, 1148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 in), 2880 x 1440, 564 pixels per inch
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage + SD Card
  • Battery life 8:30 (tomshardware.com)
  • Water resistant, IP68
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
  • Wireless charging
  • USB-C rapid charging and Quick Charge
  • No VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Upgrade to Oreo
  • Conclusion: Unwilling to pay $180 for wireless charging.

Huawei Mate SE, $220

  • 5.9 inch screen, 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm (6.2 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches), 2160x1080, 407 pixels per inch
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB storage + SD Card
  • Battery life not reported
  • Water resistant, IP67
  • No NFC
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cell Data
  • Wired charging only
  • No Quick Charge
  • No VoLTE, WiFi calling on AT&T
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Upgrade to Oreo
  • High reviews on Amazon
  • Concern: They use “EMUI” skin to alter the stock Android look and feel
  • Conclusion: ????