This is not a review, report or test. We did not test the models mentioned in this story. This story is just a comparison of the spec sheets for different phones, to see where the budget phone market is headed. New features often come first on expensive phones and then on cheaper phones. This has happened in recent years with taller screens, notches, and equipping a camera with different lenses. What’s new in budget models this year?
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It is difficult to compare phones with their predecessors, because manufacturers often turn their series upside down. The successor to Nokia 2.4 is not 2.5, but which one? Xiaomi is making it even hotter, because they haven’t actually released a new budget smartphone all year round to succeed the Redmi 9c. So we chose the 9at, which was released this summer in the Benelux, although it has appeared elsewhere before. 9at is more of a new version, but cheaper than 9c. The same goes for Motorola; There was a Moto E7, but there was no E8. The E20, but it runs Android Go which is a bit cheaper.
Now you can look for something malicious behind it, but the difference in practice is of course small. Not many people will put phones next to their immediate ancestors. Many people prefer a particular brand, but few will say they prefer the Galaxy A0 or Nokia 2.X.
|phone||launch||Price at issue|
|Samsung Galaxy A03s||September 2021||149 €|
|Samsung Galaxy A02s||December 2020||149 €|
|Motorola Moto E20||October 2021||€98|
|Motorola Moto E7||November 2020||119 EUR|
|Xiaomi Redmi 9AT||July 2021||110 EUR|
|xiaomi redmi 9c||September 2020||120 EUR|
|Nokia G10||May 2021||€129|
|Nokia 2.4||September 2020||119 EUR|
These are the most similar models we can find. This really shows one thing: manufacturers are giving up their labels. Samsung is very consistent and releases the A03s at the same price nine months after the A02s. Something strange is happening in Lenovo, because after the Motorola E7 comes the E20. Motorola now works with dozens of names, including the Moto G series.
Xiaomi often confuses their names and thus you can see the Redmi 9AT as the successor to the Redmi 9C. There is a Redmi 10, but there is no Redmi 10c or 10at. The Redmi Note 11 is coming, but these are slightly more luxurious models. Nokia got 2.4 last year and released 1.4 with Android Go this year. For more expensive models, there is now a series with letters, such as X20 and G20. To keep it comparable, we chose the G10.
Let’s start with coordination. phones last year you didn’t grow up If you look at them all. This is a rare phenomenon, because for a long time phones are getting a little bigger every year. However, in the budget market, developments often lag behind more expensive models, so what about cheap phones?
|phone||Lengte (mm)||Width (mm)||thickness (mm)||Weight|
|Samsung Galaxy A03s||164,2||75.9||9,1||196 grams|
|Samsung Galaxy A02s||164,2||75.9||9,1||196 grams|
|Motorola Moto E20||164.8||75.5||8.5||184 grams|
|Motorola Moto E7||164.9||75.7||8,9||180 grams|
|Xiaomi Redmi 9AT||164.9||77,1||9,0||194 grams|
|xiaomi redmi 9c||164.9||77,1||9,0||196 grams|
|Nokia G10||164.9||76.0||9,2||196 grams|
|Nokia 2.4||165.9||76.3||8,7||195 grams|
The trend can also be seen in budget models. Because of the often large bezels and relatively large screens, it often falls flat, and this was also the case last year. All phones are about 16.5 x 7.6 cm in size and about 9 mm thick.
A03s and A02s are exactly the same size, just like Redmi 9AT and Redmi 9C. This may mean that the design has not been updated at all. For the Galaxy, this really applies to the eye, but Xiaomi phones don’t have the cameras in the same place. This indicates that some things have changed internally, although there is a slight difference that can be seen from the outside. Manufacturers can vary the color scheme to distinguish phones from one another, although this is not always the case.
This is in line with the rest of the market. It seems like the limit has been reached, and budget phones have often been a little bigger than more expensive models in recent years. That’s because the screen edges are usually wider; This is cheaper to manufacture. If you don’t want a smaller screen, a larger housing is the solution.
With a size of 16.5 x 7.6 cm, the new budget models are slightly larger than the average, because the average smartphone is 16 x 7.4 cm.
The size of phones is related to the size and aspect ratio of the screens. This, in the tradition of coordination, hardly changed in the new models. We see a lot of screens around 6.5 inches with aspect ratios around 20:9. Previously, before 2017, 5.5-inch 16:9 screens were popular, and now a 6.5-inch 20:9 seems to have that role . This is also about 5.5 inches wide with a 16:9 ratio.
|phone||diagonal||screen ratio||Surface||Precision||Put the front camera|
|Samsung Galaxy A03s||6,5 inches||20: 9||102 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|Samsung Galaxy A02s||6,5 inches||20: 9||102 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|Motorola Moto E20||6,5 inches||20: 9||102 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|Motorola Moto E7||6,52 inches||20: 9||102.8 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|Xiaomi Redmi 9AT||6,53 inches||20: 9||102.9 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|xiaomi redmi 9c||6,53 inches||20: 9||102.9 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|Nokia G10||6,52 inches||20: 9||102.8 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
|Nokia 2.4||6,5 inches||20: 9||102 cm²||1600 x 720 pixels||slit drop|
Just like last year, they are all IPS LCD screens with a notch drop for the front cameras. Nothing has happened in the field of screen technology, format, resolution and in fact in all other areas, and this is also exceptional, because in recent years screens have often become larger.
Let’s focus on that. If we look at the past five years in some of the series that we take as an example here, we see that the diagonal of the screen has increased at least a little every year.
|development screens||Model||screen space||diagonal||Precision||Percentage|
|Nokia||2||69 cm²||5 “||1280 x 720 pixels||16:9|
|2.1||83 cm²||5.5″||1280 x 720 pixels||16:9|
|2.2||81 cm²||5.7 inches||1520×720 pixels||19: 9|
|2.3||96cm²||6.2 inches||1520×720 pixels||19: 9|
|2.4||102 cm²||6,5 inches||1600 x 720 pixels||20: 9|
|G10||102 cm²||6,5 inches||1600 x 720 pixels||20: 9|
|Motorola||e 3||69 cm²||5.0 inch||1280 x 720 pixels||16:9|
|e 4||69 cm²||5.0 inch||1280 x 720 pixels||16:9|
|e 5||84 cm²||5.7 inches||1440×720 pixels||18:9|
|e 7||102 cm²||6,5 inches||1600 x 720 pixels||20: 9|
|E20||102 cm²||6,5 inches||1600 x 720 pixels||20: 9|
If you look at the resolutions, it is also noticeable that this price range sticks to 720p for a long time. Obviously, the step towards Full HD isn’t a value-added, as manufacturers see a lot of benefits for these phones. This may be due to the price of the Full HD screen, but also to the fact that smartphone makers want to distinguish their slightly less expensive phones from these models. What also plays a role: Full HD requires more computing power from socs which is of course not an issue in this price range. The cheapest socs sometimes don’t support Full HD resolution.
Also, monitors with a higher refresh rate have not yet appeared in this price range. The cheapest models with a 90Hz screen are now around €150, but these are more expensive than last year or newer models like Motorola’s Moto G20. This is one step above the cheapest models from those manufacturers.
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