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We chose ten phones with a price of up to CZK 4,000 and surprisingly we found huge differences. At the same time, we are pleased that these are quite usable machines, but you must be aware of their limits.

The price of CZK 4,000 is, in our opinion, a reasonable minimum for buying a phone. You can also buy significantly cheaper phones, but we will betray you from them. Count on compromises even above the set limit. Of course, the phones make phone calls, surf the web, manage to connect to Wi-Fi, and all have GPS. The problem arises when you start wanting more.

There are some limitations

Of course, you can’t expect performance like a middle-class phone for CZK 4,000. Of course, a weaker processor will not only sign games, but also more demanding applications. All tested models can handle the daily agenda such as working with the calendar, writing e-mails and reading messages, but the situation is different for games, for example. However, you need to distinguish between a 3D shooter with advanced effects, which you don’t even try to get started with, and a simple prank that doesn’t require a lot of computing power.

Micro-USB is in decline, but it is still used by four out of ten phones tested

Paradoxically, you may have the slightest problem with storage space, many phones have 128 GB, which will be enough for most users. You can live well with 64 GB, but 32 GB is already considered. It’s the same with RAM: 4 GB is actually a standard that’s just enough. The two models have 3 GB, where we would be careful, and 2 GB of RAM means that you just have to learn to close applications that you don’t use.

We were expected to have the fastest Wi-Fi phones, but we were surprised that some would miss NFC. The question is how many owners will use payment via Google Pay. And we looked at the missing electronic compass similarly incomprehensibly.

Motorola has a nicely painted back and a fingerprint reader with a logo in the middle.

Lastly, charging is here. We don’t particularly like the extreme performance that wears out the battery, but when the phone charges from zero to full for almost three hours (this is the case with most of the machines tested), we might welcome something faster. Especially when batteries normally have 5,000mAh.

Alphabetical list of tested models

  • Alcatel 1S (2021) – 3/32 GB
  • Motorola Moto G30 – 4/128GB
  • myPhone Now eSIM – 4/64 GB
  • Nokia G20 – 4/64 GB
  • Poco M3 – 4/128 GB
  • Realme C21 – 4/64GB
  • Samsung Galaxy A12 – 3/32 GB
  • TCL 20SE – 4/64 GB
  • Vivo Y20s – 4/128GB
  • Xiaomi Redmi 9C NFC – 2/32 GB

Photography is the second stumbling block

With phones, you pay extra for performance, equipment, and especially for the camera. The more the phone costs, the better photos, honor exceptions, but this is just true. So, unfortunately, you can expect that smartphones in this category will not excel in photography. The primary cameras of some models are still completely gone and some can even take photos at night, but this is not a matter of course. We were surprised at how badly the phones can handle a video that can stabilize perhaps one in ten tested. And the second surprise was how bad selfie and portraits some phones take.

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