Released back in October of 2014, the Moto-made Nexus 6 is looking a little gray at the temples. It’s still a powerhouse, but if you still have a release-day model, you’re probably looking at the Google Pixel and drooling a little. While Pixel is the obvious upgrade, it doesn’t exactly conform to the pricing conventions that the Nexus line established.
Here are a few phones that do – at various, convenient price points.
Under $200: BLU Vivo 5R
BLU (Bold Like Us – cute.) is a company you may not have heard of; it’s an American manufacturer that’s cut its teeth on making solid phones at an extremely cheap price point. The Vivo 5R is the closest thing BLU comes to making a flagship device, and while it won’t blow any of the major phone-makers out of the water, at $199, it’s a steal.
Under $300: Moto G4 Plus
Motorola’s G-Series is one of the best values out there right now. When combined with the fact that Amazon sells a variation of the model with ads for cheaper, it becomes almost inexcusable to spend anything more than $300 on a decent phone. I bought my mother a G4 on Amazon’s Black Friday deal for $139. Honestly can’t beat that deal. The Plus is even better, and worth the $249 easily.
Under $500: OnePlus 3T
As I mentioned in my Showdown this weekend, the 3T is not only a damned good value, it’s a strong competitor when matched up against Google’s monster, the Pixel. With specifications that rival most flagships, very few weaknesses (the display is not as awesome as it could be, for example) and a Nexus-worthy pricetag ($439), OnePlus is the true successor to the Nexus Crown – not Pixel.
Under $800: Google Pixel
Any upgrade guide would not be complete without Google’s latest-and-greatest. While Pixel may not be the high-spec, low-priced unicorn we all hoped and dreamed for, it still offers a number of exclusive features that the Nexus 6 doesn’t have – fingerprint gestures (and a fingerprint sensor, for that matter), unlimited photo storage, and a much improved camera mean that $649 should buy you two years before your next upgrade.