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5 Affordable phones for the Architect and Designer on the move

I love smartphones I don’t know if can go a day without using one, I don’t even think its a choice anymore, no, I am not talking about using them for social media but for productivity, almost every desktop CAD or Design app has an optimized mobile version, Autodesk, Graphisoft, and Trimble all have several 3D, BIM and design mobile versions, it’s not quite the full package but you at least get some version of the full desktop application, phones are light powerful, and can be used anywhere that alone is a good reason to have one.

The phones on this list are not built to compete with high-end flagship phones but are built to serve a budget-conscious consumer, not everything in design needs to be expensive.


Motorola Moto G7 Power

The moto g7 power comes with a polycarbonate finish, it’s still durable even if not gorilla glass, it comes in three different colors, you get a fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone, the 6.2 in the display is HD, good enough since the idea is to have your phone as your daily work driver, the beauty of the Motorola Moto G7 Power is, it comes with 64 GB of storage, and yes it’s got the 3.5 mm headphone jack, the micro SD slot supports cards of up to 512 GB in size

It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor and 4 GIGS of ram

Why Recommend This?

A mammoth 5,000mAh battery, here the Motorola Moto G7 Power Does not disappoint, lasting a whopping 26 hours, no more battery banks or continuously looking for places to charge your phone during the day.

Price $219.99
Dimensions 159.4 x 76 x 9.3 mm (6.28 x 2.99 x 0.37 in)
Weight 193 g
Screen LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 6.2 inches, 720 x 1570 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio, Gorilla Glass
CPU /GPUQualcomm SDM632 Snapdragon 632, Adreno 506
Storage 32GB , 64GB , microSD, up to 1 TB 
Main Camera 12 MP
OS Android 9.0 (Pie)
BatteryLi-Po 5000 mAh battery

Realme 3 Pro

Realme is a budget phone that has a lot going for it, for example, it still got that headphone jack, and getting gorilla glass at this price point is great, the micro USB port might seem like it’s stuck in the past, what I also love about the Realme is that it has dual sim slots, I would likely use one for my office contacts and the other for friends and family. The front sports a 6.3 in 1080p notched LCD Gorilla Glass 5 display, I am happy that is not 720 p like you would see on many phones in this price point, the Realme looks like it will give Xiaomi a run for their money.

powered by a snapdragon 710 processor and the Adreno 616 GPU, 4 gigs of ram, and 64/128 GB of Storage.

Why Recommend This?

The 4045 mAh battery gives you all day performance, plus the camera is also decent, you will need a phone to capture site progress, the 16 MP f/1.7 camera backed up by a 5 MP depth sensor, will do exactly that, the front camera is 25 MP, don’t ask, anyway the AI does a fantastic job with the photo adjustments.

Price $299.99
Dimensions 156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3 mm (6.17 x 2.92 x 0.33 in)
Weight 172 g
Screen IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 6.3 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio, Gorilla Glass 
CPU /GPU Qualcomm SDM710 Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616
Storage 64GB , 64GB, 128GB , microSD, up to 256 GB
Main Camera 16 MP
OS Android 9.0  (Pie)
Battery Li-Po 4045 mAh battery

Xiaomi Mi A2

Xiaomi mi A2 is a leader when it comes to budget phones, the difference I notice out of the box is the metal cover, your phone is likely to drop a few times, and dropping your phone on a construction site comes with few extra dangers, rubble, concrete and more, the metal exterior is rigid and is a plus for me, the display is a 5.99 in 1080P LCD panel

powered by the Snapdragon 660, 4 GB ram

Why Recommend This?

The camera, at the back, is a 13 MP and 20 MP compo, the quality of the pictures come really close to the Oneplus 6 dual cameras, 

Price $157.99
Dimensions 158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm (6.25 x 2.97 x 0.29 in)
Weight 166 g
Screen LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors , 5.99 inches , 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio
CPU /GPUQualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660, Adreno 512
Storage 32GB , 64GB , 128GB
Main Camera 12 MP -20 MP
OS Android 8.1 – Oreo
Battery Li-Po 3000 mAh battery

Sony Xperia L3

The Xperia L3 comes without a notch which is quite different compared to today’s smartphone trends, they could have done something with the display since its 720P, it does have a headphone jack, it has a side-mounted fingerprint reader, it comes with USB c, the cameras are a 13 MP primary and a 5 MP depth camera

powered by MediaTek MT6762 (Helio P22 processor, 3 GB Ram and has 32 GB Storage expandable up to 512 GB via Micro SD)

Why Recommend This?

It’s very comfortable, it does not have too much bloatware, the battery life is not bad either

Price $249.99
Dimensions 154 x 72 x 8.9 mm (6.06 x 2.83 x 0.35 in)
Weight 156 g 
Screen IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 5.7 inches, 720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 ratio, Gorilla Glass
CPU /GPUMediatek MT6762 Helio P22, PowerVR GE8320
Storage 32GB, microSD, up to 1 TB
Main Camera 13 MP
OS Android 8.0 (Oreo)
Battery Li-Ion 3300 mAh battery

Nokia 6.1

Yes Nokia makes android phones, and it’s not bad at all, running Android One eliminates bloatware entirely, the Nokia 6.1 is not trying to be a flagship phone, the Nokia 6.1

has a 5.5 in 1080 P display panel, and again there is no notch, and comes with a headphone jack,

powered by a snapdragon 630 processor with 3 GB of ram and 32 GB of storage.

Why Recommend This?.

It records in 4K, and the 16MP camera is a good addition for the price, the battery life is OK lasting a whole day and it’s got fast charge over USB type c.

Price $199.00
Dimensions 148.8 x 75.8 x 8.2 mm (5.86 x 2.98 x 0.32 in)
Weight 172 g 
Screen IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors , 5.5 inches , 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 ratio , Gorilla Glass
CPU /GPU Qualcomm SDM630 Snapdragon 630 , Adreno 508
Storage 32GB , 64GB , microSD, up to 256 GB
Main Camera 12 MP
OS Android 8.1
Battery 3000 mAh battery

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