This Phone is $169 – What’s the Catch?

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Detective Dev

(Intro sounds) – This brand new smartphone from 2023 Has a 6 1/2-inch, 90 hertz
display with a hole-punch cutout, A 5,000 milliamp-hour
battery, triple cameras, A micro SD card slot
for expandable storage, A headphone jack, and
water resistance for 169. Nice, but what's the catch? There's gotta be a catch, right? So look, I've said it before
and I'll say it again. Good phones are getting cheap, nuh, And cheap phones are getting good. And this video is gonna focus
on the second part of that, Which is the cheap phones
that are getting so good, Because this phone hit my inbox recently. It's called the Moto G Play
for 2023 and if you've been Paying attention to what
Motorola's been doing recently, They've been making a lot
of really good budget phones In the background for
the past couple years. I just wanted to know,
personally, from using it myself, How do you end up at a phone
that's a 10th of the price Of the ones that I've
been really enjoying? So on the outside, well,
it's a pretty big phone, Which I like, and there's
actually a 6.5 inch flat 90 hertz LCD display. Now it's not the best-looking
screen you've ever seen. It's only 720P, so I can
literally see pixels sometimes, And it doesn't get very bright, you know, Viewing angles are pretty
bad if you get off axis. And of course, the bezels you can see Are slightly thicker,
especially in the chin. And there's this little
bit of light fall off Around the hole-punch camera at the top. But the thing is, can you
really pixel peep at this price? Like this is plenty of screen for texting,

Web browsing, navigation,
flipping through apps, Scrolling through social media, The classic stuff you wanna do on a phone. Mission accomplished, you
know, it's a big screen, So that's not the catch. But what about the build? You've probably picked up
that it's a pretty big phone But it's also made of plastic. But honestly, the layout
is perfectly fine. Like you've got the port and
the speakers at the bottom, There's a headphone jack at the top, And you have bonus expandable storage Alongside the SIM card tray
right where it belongs. And on the back, yes, that is
a decently-fast fingerprint Reader right in that classic
Motorola dimple spot. So it's laid out well, it
absolutely does not bend Or creep or anything weird like that. Plus you might have heard
plastic is absolutely not the end Of the world when it comes
to a smartphone build. Obviously the premium ones
will really like to feel More premium and heavy
and so glass will do that. But this is often more durable
than glass if you drop it. And some people like
a lighter-weight phone When it is this big. Also, it is still water resistant. I can't say waterproof, it's IP52, But it's water resistant. So the build, that's not the catch. So, okay, what about the battery, You might be wondering,
Cheap phone, it's excellent, Perfectly unironically not
exaggerating, it's excellent, Which actually shouldn't be
a surprise given the spec. It's a 5,000 milliamp-hour battery Powering a phone with a 720p display.

So you're good for a day and
a half easy, two light days Is no problem with seven
hours of screen on time. Now it's only up to 10 watt charging, Which is pretty slow and
there is no wireless charging, But I'm not gonna consider
that a gotcha at this price. Again, it's like you can just Charge it up overnight every night Like a normal person and
battery life will be fine. And even the software is really good. It's virtually the same experience As their $1000 flagship
Edge phone, which is to say, Near stock Android with a little Moto Extra features sprinkled on top. So at its most basic, it'll kind of feel Like a Pixel when you dig
through like quick settings And notifications and the launcher, But then you get some Motorola
widgets tucked in, you know, You get a couple extra
settings in the settings app, But then you get this
Moto app that lets you Dig into your extra gestures and features That they've perfected over the years. The double chop for the flashlight, The three finger screenshot,
you know, the peek display Feature that gives you a peek
at your new notifications And even swiping down on
your notification panel From the fingerprint reader on the back. Basically, everything
minus the double twist To quickly open the camera,
probably because the camera is Not one of those things that
you really look forward to On these super cheap phones. Oh wow, look at the light
fall off, you can see it On camera, but either
way, I'm happy to report That this camera is
functional, which is like, That's what you would
hope for at this price,

Which is, yeah, it's functional. I'm just not a huge fan of
the triple camera layout here. Like I know they're trying to look premium And triple cameras looks
premium, but the top one Is a two-megapixel macro
camera and the bottom one Is a two-megapixel depth
camera for portrait mode. So I'm mainly just looking for
this main 16-megapixel camera To be able to capture
scenes, documents, you know, Take photos and videos without problems. And it does, especially if
you give it enough light. It's not gonna win any comparison
tests, that's for sure. But hey, we ask a lot of
our phones, like the fact That this $169 gadget can
already make phone calls And send text messages and
navigate you around the world And also play games
and also browse the web And it can also take decent pictures And 1080p videos and that's solid. I initially had my suspicions
about whether or not It was going to actually
use this depth camera When I take a portrait-mode
photo, but it did yell at me When I covered it and tried
to take a portrait-mode shot, So it's paying attention to it, at least. But when I took the photo and
turned up the background blur, This is the cutout shape
which, if you zoom in Just a little bit, is truly bizarre. It's really bad. I've never seen anything
this bad in my life. (chuckles) They really just
said, "Yeah, we'll just save A little processing power
here and use the zigzag cutout Method from those scissors from preschool To make this work." But see, that's the thing. That is the catch. It's not the build quality, that's fine,

And it's definitely not the
battery life, that's great. It's not the cameras and it's
certainly not the software. It's that this phone is slow, really slow. So this phone has a MediaTek
Helio G37 chip inside And three gigabytes of RAM. Other phones with this chip
set include the Techno Spark 9, The Infinix Hot 12, and the HONOR X7a, All of which retail well under $150 US. So clearly it's a cheap chip, right, And that's how it ended up in this phone. For some context, the Geekbench score Of the iPhone 14 is this,
and the Geekbench score Of the Moto G Play is this. So when I say it's trying
to save processing power By not really doing
detailed portrait cutouts, I actually mean that,
like it absolutely lacks Any meaningful processing power. And I'm not nitpicking about like maybe It's just slow on some
high-end games or something. No, this phone is slow all the time. It's slow to scroll and just
like move around the UI. Now remember I mentioned at the beginning That this phone has a
variable 90 hertz display But I'll be honest, it would've
taken me a while to tell Because it is almost never
anywhere near 60 hertz. It's constantly hanging up
and stuttering everywhere. It's slow to unlock,
it's slow to open apps, Not not just huge apps, just normal apps. Even the settings apps takes
an embarrassingly long time To open and even longer
to search through things. Some of this is like speed of
storage as well, to be fair. So I don't wanna put it all on the chip, But like the point here is
it's absolutely the catch. This phone is slower than
average to take pictures.

It's slow to type stuff, to browse around, And just to do anything
like high-end gaming Or photo editing is kind
of out of the question. It might be the slowest
phone I've ever used And I'm constantly reminded of it, Which can make it quite unpleasant to use. So the longer I use this
phone, the more it had me Thinking about one big question, which is, Is it better to get a brand
new cheap phone like this Or an older, formerly
expensive flagship one. Like this phone, this
is 169 brand new, right? This phone here, this
is the OnePlus 7 Pro, You might remember it. It's one of my favorite phones ever. This was the phone of the year in 2019. So this was 669 back when it
came out, but it can be had Easily for well under
$200 right now secondhand. So this is just one example
of a phone like this. This phone, if you
compare dollar for dollar With the Moto is just so
much better of an experience Across the board, obviously it'll have A much better chip set. So the Snapdragon 855 is a few years old, But it's much more capable and
part of an overall smoother, Better performance profile with
faster storage and more RAM. It has a much, much nicer OLED screen, Which is sharper,
brighter, and actually hits The 90 hertz refresh rate all the time. It has way more built-in
storage, although it's not Expandable, and it has a
much better set of cameras. It's a primary plus an
ultra wide and a zoom, And it's built from
glass instead of plastic, Which feels rock solid, and
it has a 4,000 milliamp hour Battery, which is probably
the only hardware line

You can call it a draw or maybe even a win For the Moto phone, but we
can't forget that warp charging That OnePlus was famous for. So this old flagship will do
30 watts of wired charging. So it's seeming pretty unanimous here. But one distinct advantage
of the budget phone is Because it's new, it
will get software updates Further into the future
than the old phone. Now this is theoretically, of
course, like Motorola does not Have the best track record here, So it depends on what
phone we're talking about, But the Samsung A14 5G, for
example, has a pretty similar Spec sheet and a similar price
point, and that'll probably Get more software updates than the Moto. But the idea here is
even if a flagship phone Is promised three to four
years of software updates, And the budget phone is only
getting two, as soon as that Flagship phone is more
than about three years old, It doesn't have that advantage anymore. So the OnePlus 7 Pro
is probably about done With software updates
while we probably have A few in the tank for the Moto. It is also funny though,
sometimes, how I hear people Talk about software updates,
like some people don't think About software updates at all,
they avoid software updates. Don't do that, by the way; The security patches are
actually pretty important. But yeah, it's just one of those points That has to, by default,
go to the newer phone. But the final straw in
favor of the older phone Is actually the environment. Just because buying an older
phone that's built to last And getting an extra 2, 3, 4
years out of it potentially Is better for the environment overall.

You buy less new things,
it's less e-waste. So that's something that's
a feather in the cap Of the old phone over the new one. So my general thought as
I've looked at this landscape And all these options with old flagships Versus new budget phones is The lower the price of the
phone, the more I would Actually want to buy the older phone. So at 169, for example, based
on the experience I've had With this phone, I would
definitely rather have, Actually, the older flagship phone. There's a lot of flagships you
can get at about 200 bucks, You could get this one,
you could get a Pixel 5. Secondhand phones are really good. Now if you go up to like 400 bucks, Then it's a little more debatable. There's still some things
that would still point me Towards the formerly flagship
phone, but then you get To like 600 bucks and it's
like, oh, there's really good Brand new $600 phones
that I would take today And still have the advantages
of the software updates. It's not a lot that's better
than the Pixel 7, right now. So that's the theory.
(brass fanfare blaring) So there you have it. At this price point, I'd
prefer prehistoric premium Over presently pleasantly priced. Thanks for watching. Talk to you guys in the next one, peace. (brassy music continues) Pleasantly presently, that's a lot. Pleasantly, presently, pleasantly priced?

Make $$ On YouTube

(Without Showing Your Face)

Leave a Comment