Sometimes we’re not looking for a brand. Sometimes we just want something that offers quality at a lower price range. Thankfully, most phones share many of their basic features, so we can do really amazing things with a cheaper device. In this case, we are looking for something that will work well with AR and also let us comfortably use day-to-day features, such as texting, accessing social media or opening the Wizards Unite site every other minute to see if there’s been an update.
How to make the most of Wizards Unite and not break the bank
Required Phone Specs
Since we still don’t have any specs from Niantic specific for Wizards Unite, let’s go over what they have to say about Pokémon Go and then take it from there.
- Android Version: 4.4 and up
- Preferred resolution:720×1280 pixels (Not optimized for tablet)
- Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G)
- GPS and Location Services
- Recommended 4GB RAM or higher
- Intel CPUs are not supported
What to look for in a phone
Now, here are a few things to consider when choosing the best phone for you:
- Screen size: A bigger screen lets you see more detail and allows for more accuracy. On the other hand, if the phone is too big to handle comfortably, you won’t be able to play as well as you’d like regardless of the awesome screen. Finger rings on the phone case, however, are a good way to get around that and hold up the phone with one finger, allowing you more freedom to touch the screen and play.
- Battery life: This, of course, is a given. AR games constantly use your camera, your GPS location and your phone data/wifi connection. This can drain the battery significantly fast. Many phones will shut down after a few hours of intense playing (and let’s be honest, after over a year of waiting, we are all going to be doing a lot of intensive playing for the first few months at least).
- Cost: This is an important part in everyone’s choice when buying a new phone. This is why we chose to split the ‘best phone’ information into best tech regardless of the price, and best tech anyone can afford.Don’t forget to check out our previous post: Best phones to make the most of Wizards Unite
So let’s quickly go over the best options
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
The Mi A2 Lite is not your regular budget smartphone – it has a high-res notched screen with slim bezels, a dual-camera on its back, and a very large battery. It also runs on the latest vanilla Android OS. The notched screen is probably the highlight feature of the Mi A2 Lite and while controversial, it still gives it a bit of a more modern look.Going deeper into specs you can tell choices were made to keep the price low. The weakest link is probably the two-year old chipset Snapdragon 625, but still, that’s not a big compromise, as it is still one fine chipset. It might be dated, but it’s still a capable piece of hardware and seems like a good choice for a budget offers as the Lite.
Honor 10 Lite
The Honor 10 Lite is the latest addition to the brand’s mid-range lineup and it hopes to ride on the success of the original Honor 10. Unlike the Honor 10, the feature set has been trimmed across the board starting from the chipset, going through the camera and ending with the connectivity set. But that doesn’t mean this is a bad phone.
The Honor 10 Lite is still an embodiment of the great value phones we’ve come to know the brand for. For about 30% lower price tag than the original Honor 10, the 10 Lite has the same size battery, a larger screen with a smaller notch, the memory is now expandable via a microSD slot and right from the get-go it comes out with the latest Android 9 Pie. In comparison, the Honor 10 still hasn’t got an update to Pie yet.
Motorola Moto E5
The Moto E5 itself doesn’t look like a budget phone. It’s an Android handset running Oreo 8.1, has a large 5.7in 720 x 1,440 narrow aspect display, and a 4,000mAh battery.
Inside, it runs the same core hardware as its more expensive sibling, the Moto E5 Plus – a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor – and it comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
The Motorola Moto E5, in most respects then, is an absolutely amazing budget smartphone. It has a cracking display, a highly impressive camera and superb battery life. And, let’s not forget, Motorola’s software is pretty good, too: it’s close to pure Android and Motorola doesn’t include loads of extra software you don’t need.
UMIDIGI One Pro
On paper the UMIDIGI One Pro’s spec seems too good to be true. Fast wireless charging, NFC, 19:9 IPS displays, side-mounted fingerprint sensors and an attractive design. These aren’t things you have any right to expect at this price. It runs on a 2GHz MediaTek Helio P23 chip (aka the MT6763), which builds in eight cores and the ARM Mali G71 MP2 GPU. This is paired with 4GB of RAM.
But this is a budget phone, and as such some corners have naturally been cut. The display is just HD in resolution, the fingerprint sensor can be temperamental and the cameras can leave something to be desired. Overall, though, a great budget buy – and one people will have no idea was so cheap.
HuaWei P Smart
Larger screen with a trendy notch, newer chipset, bigger battery, and a current OS version. it sure sounds like Huawei has ticked a lot of boxes to bring an already successful formula to the year 2019.
The P Smart 2019 swaps out last year’s model’s display for a larger (6.21-inch) and more contemporary 19.5:9 aspect panel. It also has a waterdrop notch – you can’t accuse Huawei of not staying on top of trends. In fact, it’s even got the latest Android too, 9.0 Pie.
The 2019 version comes with an updated chipset – the in-house Kirin 710 replaces the 659 of the predecessor bringing a bump in manufacturing process (12nm vs. 16nm). And to go with the improved efficiency, you’re also getting an increased battery capacity – 3,400mAh vs. the 3,000 of the original P Smart.
Moto G6 Play
Just like its bigger sibling, the G6 Play has an extra-tall Max Vision display. It’s even complete with rounded corners, for a truly contemporary look. All the while, the Moto G6 Play remains a lot truer to the original Moto G spirit than the rest of the family. Lenovo also managed to cram a massive 4,000 mAh battery, inside the 9mm thin handset and even throw in snappy 15W fast charging support in the mix.
A clean front, with no controls and only on-screen navigation and a the familiar “M” dimple on the back, make for a rather classic experience, that long-time fans of the series might actually prefer. Of course, that’s also complimented by the traditional Vanilla approach to Motorola’s Android ROMs. Another integral and well-known part of the Moto G mix.
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
Asus is not a big player in the western phone market but it quietly makes phones that are sometimes available globally. This phone is easy enough to import, runs stock Android and has a whopping 5,000mAh battery that lasts ages. It’s not as ubiquitous as the cheaper Moto and Honor phones, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time.
A generous 6in IPS LCD display with tall 18:9 aspect ratio means it’s OK to hold in one hand and is good for watching videos and viewing photos though bear it in mind it’s only 1080p. The back of the phone is aluminium, a good upgrade from plastic and not as breakable as the ever-popular glass.
But all that might not matter to you if you want the best battery life out of your phone, and on that the ZenFone Max Pro M1 delivers in spades. The huge 5,000mAh battery might charge slowly but when it lasts for over 9 hours of use, you won’t mind.
Now it’s your turn, choose wisely
So these are some of our favourite options for making the best of Wizards Unite on a tight budget. Just make sure you have at least a 4GB RAM, as that seems to be the minimum for AR Games.
And while we’re waiting for more news on the Wizards Unite front, why not check out the rest of the blog and leave us a comment with your thoughts?