In Praise of the Moto X4 Android One Mid-Range Phone on Google Fi
I purchased two Motorola X4 phones from Google for $249 each, which included a $249 credit for phone service on Project Fi, which essentially means that I got two phones for the price of one. This is an awesome deal and I am quite pleased with this so far. Let me expand on the details:
We recently moved into our new house and the cell signal is weak. This is problematic for the home-office life that we have established as the ability to make clear phone calls is a requirement. What to do?
We became intrigued by the idea of switching to Google Project Fi cell service, which uses WiFi for calling wherever it is available. This is compelling service which combines WiFi-first service and cell tower access from 3 different wireless carriers with a cost basis that makes sense. We could get two phone lines for only $35/month for both of them ($20 for the first phone and $15 for the second one), plus only pay for the data that we actually use. This, in theory, would cut our cellphone bill significantly while at the same time providing better service at our home.
One downside to the Google Fi service is that it only works on a small number of Google phones. The new Pixel 2 phones are awesome, and I want one, but buying two of these phones would set me back nearly $1.400. That is a lot of money for phones. A lot of money.
Just recently Google added the Motorola X4 Android One phone to the list of supported phones. They offered this great 2-for-1 deal that was very tempting. But I worried about whether we would like a mid-range phone. We have always purchased the flagship phones previously and wondered whether we would be disappointed in a phone costing 1/3 as much as a flagship phone.
Well, as the title of this post indicates, I am very pleased with the phones after using them for a week. They look fine - no one is going to look at you using this phone and think you just stepped out of the 90s. It is an all-glass 5" smartphone with all the design cues of the current crop of top phones. The battery life is excellent and the processor is powerful enough to make the phone feel very responsive. Yes, there is a camera bump on the back and the screen does not go edge-to-edge like the Pixel 2, but I am very happy to use these phones and keep the extra $1,000.
This decision process has made me re-think the trajectory that the smartphone market is on. The iPhone X has broken the $1,000 barrier. $1,000 for a phone that will be obsolete in less than 2 years! Every review I have read on the iPhone X (and the Pixel rivals) are that these are great devices and I surely would enjoy using one. But are we falling into a trap by being lured into spending this much disposable income on these high end devices when a mid-range phone works as well as this Motorola X4 does? It has only been one week with these phones, so time will tell. But my initial reaction is that I am very happy to have not spent the big dollars on the new phones.
By the way - if you are interested in signing up for Google Project Fi I have a discount code you can use to get a $20 credit. Use this link to get your referral code.