The smartphone boom in Canada began in the year 2007. If you are looking for a best Android device you don’t need to worry if your budget is low as you can get a good Android device between the range of $200 to $400. In the Canadian market, these phones are sold on contract by carriers, or outright by those same means, often with discounts to one’s monthly plan; or they are sold unlocked from retailers like Newegg, Staples or Canada Computers.
Limiting your choice to devices under CA$600 eliminates the two major smartphone players on the market, Apple and Samsung. Nearly every phone in Canada is available for under that amount on contract, but here you will come to know of the 11 such great devices purchased outright or unlocked with some great advantages.
Not only do these phones usually afford their users monthly discounts, between CAD$15 and CAD$20 per month depending on the carrier, but buying a phone without signing a contract allows customers with existing plans — plans they often don’t want to change and to stick with them for few extended years.
Smartphones Under CA$300
Available: Telus, Koodo, Videotron, Wind Mobile
Price: CA$150 – CA$170
Moto E is the newly launched phone ( won’t receive Marshmallow), the dual SIM device for extra connectivity. It is a low cost handset with speedy performance and a decent camera. With 4.3 inch touch screen what else can you expect in such a price! Decent phone for everyday use.
Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 4.7
Available: Online at AOT.ca
Price: $179.99 USD (appr. $235 CAD)
Alcatel is offering a 4.7-inch IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution plus a Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor under the hood, working hand in hand with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot).
It also has a 13MP main camera, 5MP selfie shooter and front-facing speakers with JBL audio. The device is good for supporting 4G LTE networks and should work with AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the US. A good choice for a budget phone.
Available: Telus, Virgin Mobile, Bell, SaskTel
For just over CA$200, you’re going to get a 4.5-inch 720p display, a quad-core processor with a capable GPU, 1GB of RAM, a decent 5MP camera, a pleasantly-sized 2070mAh battery, a fantastic design and excellent build quality, and a stock version of Android 4.3. In short, this is far more phone than you ever thought possible for the price.
Smartphones Under CA$500
Asus ZenFone 2
Available: Newegg, Canada Computers, Staples, NCIX, Memory Express
The ZenFone 2 has a 5.5-inch, 1080p high-definition display with a 13 megapixel camera with both low light and backlight (HDR) modes. It has 4GB RAM and runs ZenUI, a customizable interface for Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 5.5
Available: Telus, Bell, Koodo, Virgin Mobile, Videotron
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p touchscreen, a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, an 8 MP selfie cam, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and a 2,910 mAh battery. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset, which has an octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at up to 1.5 GHz
This one is available through the carrier channels, and with its extra power and half a gigabyte more memory, the Idol 3 is quite a contender.
Moto X Play
Available: Telus, Bell, Koodo, SaskTel, Videotron
Running near-stock Android 5.1 Lollipop, the X Play offers plenty of attractive features (for its price category), including a 5.5-inch 1080p display, LTE, an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of expandable storage space, 21 MP rear camera, and a 3630 mAh battery. The handset is splash-resistant, and can be customized via Moto Maker for free (though some custom elements may cost extra).
Price: CA$409 – CA$479
One plus is a premium smartphone with a large 5.5-inch LCD HD capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution and offers 1,500:1 contrast ratio. On the back, the OnePlus 2 comes packed with a 13MP photo snapper that features large 1.3 micron pixel sensors, OIS (optical image stabilization), laser autofocus, and video recording, while on the front there’s a secondary 5MP selfie camera.
It offers dual-SIM and 4G LTE support, other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C port, GPS plus AGPS and GLONASS. With the 3,300 mAh removable battery it is the affordable phone for all.
Available: Telus, Koodo, Rogers, Fido
The G3 features a Snapdragon 801 processor, a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display, a removable 3000 mAh battery. The camera is placed at 13MP and OIS+ promises extremely sharp photos and at a fraction of the time from other smartphones. The rear key is also a prominent feature similar to the G2. And the gui has been redesigned to offer more of a simple concept.
Microsoft Lumia 640XL
Available: Microsoft (unlocked)
The Lumia 640 XL carries a 5.7-inch 720 x 1280 resolution display. This works out to a pixel density of 259ppi. Under the hood is the Snapdragon 400 SoC, which contains a quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and the Adreno 305 GPU. 1GB of RAM is inside along with 8GB of internal storage. If you need additional memory, you can use the 128GB capacity microSD slot that is available for this purpose. The rear-facing 13MP camera has an aperture of f/2.0 so that it can handle low-light photography. A 5MP camera graces the front of the phone, and a 3000mAh battery keeps the lights on.
Smartphones Under $600
HTC One A9
Available: HTC (unlocked), various carriers (TBD)
The HTC One A9 sports a 5-inch FHD AMOLED display with a resolution of 1900 x 1080 pixels and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It packs a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.2 GHz and four cores clocked at 1.5 GHz. The One A9 comes with two options – a 2GB/16GB and a 3GB/32GB. Both variants offer a microSD card slot to expand the base memory up to 200GB. The main camera has 13MP with autofocus, a dual-tone flash and OIS. The front-facing camera (FFC) uses a 4MP UltraPixel sensor for selfies and video chatting, a single speaker on the bottom of the device, although it does have a special Dolby Audio with Hi-Res Audio for great headphone listening. A non-removable 2,150 mAh battery with Quick Charge capabilities provides power to the HTC One A9.
It has the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, an FM Radio, NFC and a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer. It measures 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3 mm and weighs in at 143 grams and will be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.
Available: Google (unlocked), Bell, Telus, Koodo, Virgin (TBD)
Nexus 5X is smaller in display size – 5.2-inches measures 147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm and weighs in at 136 grams. It sports a 5.2-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI). For processing power the Nexus 5X is using a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core. It has 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with no microSD card slot for expansion. The camera is using a 12.3MP sensor with laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash but no OIS. The front-facing camera (FFC) is 5MP to satisfy those selfies and to handle any video chats. Power is supplied by a 2700 mAh non-removable battery and offers a quick charge option.
It comes with a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as mobile payments on Android Pay with Marshmallow 6.0. It also has the usual suspects, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a microUSB 2.0 Type-C port for charging and data transfer. It has dual front-facing stereo speakers and is setup for Project Fi.
With a variety in each of these smartphones you have a choice to have it according to your cost and value.