Buying an unlocked smartphone often feels like a Catch-22: You're not tied to any one carrier (nor a two-year contract), but because the phone itself is unsubsidized, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 -- maybe even more.
Today only, however, and while supplies last, Amazon has the 2nd-generation Motorola Moto G (8GB) for $149.99, shipped. Regular price: $179.99. (Spoiler: The G was already a killer deal. Now it's just killer-er.)
To clarify a bit, this is actually Motorola's third model to bear the G moniker, but technically it's the second version of the phone. It debuted just three months ago, and I was immediately impressed by it. It's inexpensive but doesn't feel cheap. It's a bit lightweight in a couple areas, but otherwise has all the right junk in all the right places.
In short, it's a fantastic choice for anyone getting their first smartphone; parents seeking an inexpensive option for their kids; or anyone who simply can't afford pricier models, yet still wants a robust handset.
I'll refer you tofor far more insight, but let me address a few of the main quibbles. First, the Moto G is a 3G phone; it doesn't support 4G LTE technology. This probably reads as "instant deal-breaker" for some, but it all depends on how you use your phone.
For example, my house is without power at this very moment. I'm online via an old Sprint 3G hotspot (showing just three bars, incidentally). And you know what? Web pages load just fine, if a hair slower than usual. E-mail: fine. I even tried streaming from Spotify: worked fine.
Bottom line: Most of us are spoiled by 4G, but we can get along just fine on 3G. Especially on a phone.
Meanwhile, the G has "only" a 720p display, but it's a super-roomy 5-incher, which to my eyes looks great. And although 8GB of storage isn't much, there's a microSD slot for adding up to 32GB more (at a price of around $15 to $20).
At $150 out the door, this phone is a steal. (You don't have to take my word; check the downright gushing user reviews.) And I didn't even talk about the swappable color backplates.
Bonus deal: If you're serious about cord-cutting, you have to at least consider the combination of PlayOn and PlayLater. And I've never, ever seen it cheaper: lifetime PlayOn and PlayLater licenses for $19.99 (total, not apiece). But you'll almost certainly want the HD versions, which brings your total to just $24.99. Neither product is perfect, but I do know PlayOn is the only way I'm able to stream episodes of "Shark Tank" to my Roku. And I'm seriously addicted.