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If you’re looking to buy an Android phone, you might not have thought about whether it includes a Micro-USB port. The port matters more than you might think.
The whole world may be slowly moving to the modern, reversible USB Type C charging port. But let’s face it: a lot of people still use phones with Micro-USB and will use them for the next couple of years. Micro-USB is still the most commonly used charging standard for electronic gadgets.
Having a phone with a Micro-USB port makes life simpler when you’re out somewhere and don’t have your charger handy. Also, many electronics like wireless headphones, portable speakers, and other gadgets still use Micro-USB to charge. So it might just be easier if you buy a Micro-USB phone, so you can use a single charger to juice all of them.
Here are five Android phones in every price bracket that are worthy purchases and still sport the good ol’ port.
1. Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ might be grabbing the limelight these days with their “Infinity Displays”, but beyond that, they’re not that different from their predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
Samsung’s flagships from the year 2016 still have very vibrant displays, potent internals, great cameras, water and dust resistance, wireless charging, and many more things to like (check our review of the bigger S7 Edge). There are two major differences between the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: the former has a flat 5-inch screen whereas the latter has a 5.5-inch display that curves at the edges. This makes the S7 Edge nicer in appearance than the S7, but functionally there’s isn’t any big advantage. In fact, the curved edges sometimes make it harder to swipe open menus in apps.
What you will gain if you were to choose the S7 Edge, though, is a satisfyingly long battery life thanks to a bigger 3500mAh battery pack. To be fair, the 3000mAh unit on the regular Galaxy S7 ain’t too shabby either.
Last, but not the least, both these phones have a Micro-USB port and charge faster if you use the bundled fast charger or any Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 compatible charger. But they’ll charge even if you use any generic Micro-USB charger, albeit slower.
The Moto G5 Plus is the fifth iteration of the popular Moto G series, that the now-Lenovo-owned Motorola redefined entry-level smartphones with five years ago. Buy this phone if you care about the software experience, as the Moto G5 Plus already runs near-stock Android 7.0 Nougat. It should at least get the next Android O update too (the same can’t be said about many other entry level phones). Also, some features that Motorola baked in are actually useful, like the double-chop to turn on the flashlight gesture or the double-twist gesture to switch the camera on.
The Moto G5 Plus is powered by a Snapdragon 625 chip and has an ample 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. This helps the phone’s interface operate swiftly. With a reasonably large 3000mAh battery and power-sipping internals, the Moto G5 Plus will also not disappoint when it comes to battery life.
The only place where you might find this phone lacking is in the quality of photos taken in low light, which is suggested by almost every review of the device, including CNET’s. But that’s the how it is with smartphones these days: the best cameras are generally reserved for the high-end models.
Last, the Moto G5 Plus comes with a fast charger and (thankfully) still uses the Micro-USB port.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 is a reasonable choice if you prefer a popular brand like Samsung. It uses Samsung’s homegrown Exynos 7870 chip, coupled with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage (which is expandable using a microSD card).
GSMArena’s review of the device suggests this phone has good build quality, battery life, and overall performance. The front camera has its own LED flash, so this phone has a bit of an advantage when taking selfies in absolute darkness. The big missing feature in the Galaxy J7 2016 would be a fingerprint scanner, which has become a real convenient way to unlock your device, instead of using a PIN or password.
Like all other phones on this list, the Galaxy J7 2016 too comes with a Micro-USB port.
The Honor 6X’s highlight feature may be the dual camera sensors at the back, but let’s just get something out of the way: there’s no real advantage to having that additional depth sensor. Although the primary 12 MP camera sensor can take good photos, the 2 MP secondary portrait camera (for background blur, or bokeh, effect) fails to impress. You can read more about the cameras in Android Police’s review of the smartphone.
Beyond this, the phone’s metal build makes it nice to hold. The Honor 6X offers good enough performance, thanks to Huawei’s custom HiSilicon Kirin 655 chip. The Kirin comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. The phone also shines in the battery department, with a big 3340mAh power pack that’s capable of powering the phone an entire day on a single charge, with typical use. The fingerprint scanner is pretty fast too.
The Honor 6X’s biggest downside is its software issues. But Huawei included improvements in its Nougat update, which reportedly makes the software experience better. And finally, yup, it’s got the trusty Micro-USB port at the bottom.
The Sony Xperia X released as a premium smartphone. Unfortunately, its mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 chip didn’t sell too well. It received a substantial price drop in recent months. This 5-inch screened phone is compact, making it easy to hold and use with one hand. CNET praised its 23 MP camera which also has a dedicated shutter button (you don’t see that much these days). It also comes in striking color options such as Lime Gold and Rose Gold, apart from Black and White.
The only disadvantage of the Xperia X is the middling battery life, due to a relatively small 2620mAh battery. That, and the disabling of the fingerprint scanner, may make you laugh or cry (depending on where you live).
Anyway, if you still have a soft spot for the Sony brand, then the Xperia X offers great value.
What Are the Best Smartphones With Micro-USB?
If you were to ask me, I’d highly recommend the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge or the Moto G5 Plus over the others, simply because they’re great phones overall with flaws that are entirely forgivable.
Do any of these make sense? Let me know in the comments below.
Image Credit: tkyszk via Shutterstock.com