Those looking for a budget Android smartphone may not have to look further than Boost Mobile's Moto G. The Motorola handset will be available on boostmobile.com starting today for an affordable $129 without an annual contract. The first Motorola device on Boost Mobile since 2011, the Moto G packs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and a 4.5-inch 720p screen into an attractive soft-touch package.
With an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat expected early February, the Moto G should offer a zippy user experience on its 1.2-GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. It's also water-repellant so you can have peace of mind on rainy days or when your phone gets splashed on. Motorola also offers a colorful variety of interchangeable back covers so you can stand out from the crowd. The phone is also preloaded with NextRadio, a free FM radio app that lets you listen to your favorite radio stations over the air while consuming less battery life thanks to the built-in FM tuner.
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In our review of the unlocked Moto G, we noted its impressive display and capable performance. We also liked the clean Android build on the phone and its lack of bloatware. Unfortunately, the phone does not support 4G, so you'll be stuck to slower browsing speeds on the go.
For the truly cash-strapped, Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited plan offers unlimited data, text and voice for just $55 a month, and that fee can be shrunk to $40 a month if you make enough consecutive on-time payments. If you have some extra money and want a contract-free phone that won't burn a hole in your pocket, consider the $299 Moto X or the $349 Google Nexus 5 on Republic Wireless, which both offer 4G speeds.