Get an unlocked Moto X4 phone and a month of free Cricket service for $148
This top-rated model comes with a $40 Cricket credit, which is good for a month on the carrier's 5GB plan. Plus: The best Apple Watch Series 3 deal since Black Friday!
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
For what it's worth, I've been on AT&T-powered Cricket for a number of years, and for the most part the service has been excellent. There's a $40-per-month plan (which drops to $35 with autopay) that includes 5GB of high-speed data, and I never come anywhere near using it all (though I do spend most of my time connected to Wi-Fi). And its family plan options are cheaper still.
As for the X4, I've used one (sparsely) as a backup phone and I like its design and performance. Here are some key things to know:
It has a USB-C port instead of Micro-USB. The latter deserves a special place in hell, the former is the future.
It has a headphone jack.
It has a dual-lens rear camera that does a solid job creating bokeh effects.
It has an expansion slot for adding tons more storage on the cheap.
It's extremely water-resistant, able to survive a dunk for up to 30 minutes.
What's not so great about the phone? According to CNET's Motorola Moto X4 review, the camera can be slow to load and has a few issues with wide-angle images.
To that I'll add that the X4 doesn't support wireless charging, though I stand by this $13 accessory that adds the capability.
Bottom line: If you want a midrange phone but can afford only a budget one, this is the deal to beat.
Watch this: Motorola's Moto X4 packs a boatload of AI goodies
Although there are cheaper options, I've long felt that the Apple Watch -- warts and all -- is the single best wrist companion for iPhone owners. And I'm newly enamored of the Series 3's ability to capture lap-swim data.
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