Best budget smartphone?

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raccoon city
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I would have gotten the Moto G7, but it's quite a bit more expensive, and more importantly there's little feedback on G7 accessories and I need a specific type of case.

(I determine which case I want by Amazon reviews.)

Spartan
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It’s a long thread….and a short life.

Up here, you can get gouged by the three sisters or you go to a discount company. I did so from the beginning of their existence so now I’m grandfathered to a fantastic rate. Unlimited North America wide talk/text and 5gb for 26 USD. Beat that if you can.

Downside, their phones are ridiculous expensive and they have their own band that I must match. Close to the TMobile bands in the USA. Luckily, Samsung makes universal phones with their band inside. I tried the A-8 and pretty decent phone but wanted better. Right now, if someone can hold off, the Samsung A-9 is going to hit the discount market and it’s my next phone. Will pick one up at Black Friday probably in the 300 USD range on my next 2 year cycle.

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-a9-2018-hands-on

The way I buy is I wait and pick up at the tail of 2 generation back flagship phone. Just before the next generation is introduced and they want to get rid of the old phones. That’s what I did with my last three phones. S2 when there were S4 on the market and just before the S5, S4 when there was S6 just before the S7, S6 when the S8 just before the S9. Always in the upper $300 USD range. The hand me down goes to the wife. So any given phone gets used for 4 years and more when I travel. The older generation goes to back-up mode.

All the Samsung phones work and I never had any problems other then the usual battery replacement every year two years. The S2 is now 7 years old and still works fine. What I am afraid off is the batteries may not be available much longer for decade old phones.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

sp5it
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Pity, that MOTO is just Lenovo crap.
Mike

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LoL Big Smile sp5it, I am using a Zuk Z2 Pro (Z2121) and so far very happy with it. With a custom ROM, of course.

 

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Ford Prefect
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I have started looking at these phones after seeing the price of the current generation Samsung Galaxy (S10). Up here they are asking over 2k!!

The one that looks really promising is the new Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro. Very impressive specs for the price.

hank
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Tom Tom
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Very satisfied with my Moto G6. As is my father with the G5 that I bought him a couple of years ago.

Purchased the twin-sim expanded memory Amazon UK special (4gig RAM, 64 gig main memory, nfc, has a magnetometer, great GPS performance, not using e.g. some iffy MTK chipset.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/motorola-5-7-Inch-Android-Sim-Free-Smartphone-D...

Dual standby, so second SIM only gets GSM, but they can be quickly swapped over in the menu. Suits me, second SIM is only for back-up where my primary 3G/4G network is unavailable.

US network costs surprise me. Here I pay £18 for unlimited calls, texts, 30 gig data including tethering, no roaming call or data charges anywhere in EU and many many other countries including US. I could have totally unlimited data (over 1 terabyte/month) for another £2, and it is extremely fast.

PAYG can cost as little as 3p/min, 2p/text, 1p/megabyte.

Good camera, battery life, RF sensitivity, Amazon warranty, no questions asked. Clean Android 8, update to 9 promised by the summer. Decent silicone cover and basic screen protector in the box.

Finger print sensor extremely useful.

£180 including UK 20% VAT.

Considered the G7, on pre-order then, but it offered little more, bigger, and they moved the fingerprint sensor to the back. Accessories not then available, but by now suppliers should be tooling up.

No, they are not “Lenovo crap”. They are very decent, always have been.

G0OSE
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After asking the same question on another forum (for my teenage daughter), there was only 1 clear choice/answer – Xiaomi A2 lite dual sim. Currently it’s in transit.
Most reviews seem to give it the edge over everything else in the price bracket – £130 for the 4/64gb from eglobal central.

Spartan
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Check out the Pocophone F1. It’s a monster flagship and a flagship killer. Pretty useless for me (or TMobile users) but if the reception specs suit you, it’s a heck of a phone for the money. About $270 USD.

https://www.kimovil.com/en/where-to-buy-xiaomi-pocophone-f1

Kimvoli is a great site too. Scroll down and check out the reception area because Chinese phones are not universal. Check that you have ALL the bands from your carrier match.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

BurningPlayd0h
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Less popular brands have solid prodcuts but PLEASE check what cell bands your provider uses. I would have loved a Huawei or Nokia but only the most expensive options have all the bands for T-Mobile’s network. I am not willing to trade coverage for talk or data for a slightly better screen or camera.

Excellent shock and waterproofing is a big plus for someone as clumsy as me too, some of the budget options make big concessions in these areas.

Spartan
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Less popular brands have solid prodcuts but PLEASE check what cell bands your provider uses. I would have loved a Huawei or Nokia but only the most expensive options have all the bands for T-Mobile’s network. I am not willing to trade coverage for talk or data for a slightly better screen or camera.

Excellent shock and waterproofing is a big plus for someone as clumsy as me too, some of the budget options make big concessions in these areas.

TMobile is like Freedom up here. If you don’t have all the bands, you land up with 3g and spotty reception.

BTW….you have the Samsung S8 active. Heck of a phone for rough service.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

isti242
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G0OSE wrote:
After asking the same question on another forum (for my teenage daughter), there was only 1 clear choice/answer – Xiaomi A2 lite dual sim. Currently it’s in transit. Most reviews seem to give it the edge over everything else in the price bracket – £130 for the 4/64gb from eglobal central.

That’s what I chose for my gf too. Its size is acceptable even for women, good specs for general use (4/64GB, 4000mAh battery), AndroidOne etc.
It’s quite ridiculous that nowadays it’s almost impossible to find a normal sized phone because everything is similar to a pizza-peel in size. 3.5 audio jacks and notification LEDs are also getting rare.

chadvone
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I picked up Moto G6. So far so good. Poetic Justice case. I like the double chop to turn the light on.

raccoon city
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I got my Moto G6.

I sent this message to the seller:

"I received the phone today.

The phone is not new.

There are a bunch of deep scratches, or rather gouges, on the left side of the phone."

phone

sp5it
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Beer opener phone? Lol

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agent80
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Honor 8X. Smooth and very fast. Amazing display compared to any Xiaomi phone.

https://www.banggood.com/Huawei-Honor-8X-Global-Version-6_5-inch-4GB-RAM-64GB-ROM-Kirin-710-Octa-core-4G-Smartphone-p-1376882.html

Ironhorse
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I’m still using a Moto G4. Purchased unlocked and will work with any carrier. When the time comes, it will be another Moto.

Tom Tom
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chadvone wrote:
I picked up Moto G6. So far so good. Poetic Justice case. I like the double chop to turn the light on.

Try twist for the camera.

Other camera apps are available to get the best from it. It is quite good.

Fingerprint sensor very good. One of the few accepted by by online banking people here. As well as NFC for cardless payments. Not that I trust it that far yet, passwords still for me. Meanwhile it unlocks or locks the phone instantly. Very useful.

BurningPlayd0h
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Ironhorse wrote:
I’m still using a Moto G4. Purchased unlocked and will work with any carrier. When the time comes, it will be another Moto.

People really need to be careful about saying this. I nearly purchased a phone for T-Mobile prepaid that would have left me on 3G data in most of the US because it didn’t have the majority of their bands. It was not even a very old or a “budget product line phone.

There is a significant difference in what frequencies are supported from some brands since although there phones can usually be unlocked they are intended for certain service providers.

chadvone
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Tom Tom wrote:
chadvone wrote:
I picked up Moto G6. So far so good. Poetic Justice case. I like the double chop to turn the light on.

Try twist for the camera.

Other camera apps are available to get the best from it. It is quite good.

Fingerprint sensor very good. One of the few accepted by by online banking people here. As well as NFC for cardless payments. Not that I trust it that far yet, passwords still for me. Meanwhile it unlocks or locks the phone instantly. Very useful.

I like the twist for the camera. But don’t use the fingerprint thing.

Spartan
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Ironhorse wrote:
I’m still using a Moto G4. Purchased unlocked and will work with any carrier. When the time comes, it will be another Moto.

People really need to be careful about saying this. I nearly purchased a phone for T-Mobile prepaid that would have left me on 3G data in most of the US because it didn’t have the majority of their bands. It was not even a very old or a “budget product line phone.

There is a significant difference in what frequencies are supported from some brands since although there phones can usually be unlocked they are intended for certain service providers.

Absolutely!

I think Freedom up here and TMobile have the same frequencies. If you are missing one of them, you got problems.

Samsung tends to throw all the frequencies in their universal phones like the A5, A8 and now, the A9. Chinese phones are hit and miss at the best of times.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

Barry0892
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how much are you willing to pay for a smart phone?

$100
$200
$500
$800?

WhatsApp: +8615773183209 

My new Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/barry.dong.9250

cabfrank
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200ish a year sounds about right, i guess. So 600 plus it better last at least 3 years, and we know that doesn’t always happen.

raccoon city
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I returned the damaged Moto G6, and got my money back.

I ordered a brand new G6, only to learn that the volume during phone calls is not very loud on the G6.

I will return the G6 and get a Moto E5 Play.

I know that phone is loud enough.

(I'm kinda hard of hearing and I need a loud phone.)

It's a shame, too, because other than that, the G6 is very nice.

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i bought my daughters an unused Samsung A9 Pro (2016 version) for less than $200. 6” SUPER AMOLED FHD. snapdragon 652 cpu. 5000 mah battery.
im still using my 6 years old LG NEXUS 5. the point is, buy something of known brand as their manufacturing quality is higher. they will serve you well far longer than newer chinese throwaways.

the latest chinese craze now is the flagship killer Xiaomi Pocophone F1 for less than $250. if you like 18:9 screen ratio, fast snapdragon cpu, high ram (6 GB).. this phone is for you

im sticking with the old 16:9 screen ratio.

Sirstinky
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Lightbringer wrote:
DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT get a Chinese phone no matter how good it might ostensibly be, unless you’re prepared to simply buy new should anything go wrong with it. I keep hearing all sorts of horror stories about “warranties” that aren’t worth pursuing (eg, mail it back to China ($$), have it never arrive, wait forever, get back a different broken phone, etc.).

I got a ZTE Maven for nothing from AT&T for just buying a 50buk phone card (for prepaid). Else you can get a Maven for something like 30bux, runs Android, works just fine. Anything breaks within the warranty period, I can bitch’n‘moan to AT&T about it. Do similarly whether you get it from a phoneco or a big box store like Best Buy.

A phone that starts out prepaid can easily be converted to one of their other monthly plans.

First place to start is to see what phones you can get through “straight-talk”. They might have intro offers to try to get you hooked, and selling cheap smartphones is a big way to do it. Big Smile

Yes and 1. I looked at those Chinese phones like Ulefone, or ZTE, Xaomi, Elefone, etc that had crazy low prices and good specs, but you give up some things if you get one. If you are in the USA then Chinese smartphones are a a bad idea. You run into issues with security because you may not get ota Android updates or patches from your carrier or phone manufacturer. There might be connectivity issues as well, like not utilizing all of the wireless bands available from your carrier. You might get some like the LTE or HSPA bands but not all, like the highest bandwidth frequencies. Tech support and warranties are useless. Plus, these phones don’t usually have things like water resistance or micro SD card support or are limited to micro USB. In addition, the cameras aren’t great in the sub-$350 phones, no oiS, 4k video or 60fps 1080p despite them having 2 or 3 cameras. You need to spend $400 to get that quasi-flagship levels of performance. You might as well get something like a Moto G7 that costs $350 and doesn’t give up much in terms of features vs. Price. That, or get something like a 2018 flagship phone like a Galaxy S8+ for around $350. I got a nearly unused Note 8 for $385 on eBay that crushes the Chinese phones for around that price.

So the moral of the story is… get a mainstream phone from a reputable company based in the US.

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Well, the Mi Mix series from Xiaomi and the Umidigi F1/F1 Play/S3 Pro are somehow different.

They all incorporate:
1. Good and constant security updates. A new high for Umidigi, and usual for Xiaomi.
2. They incorporate a lot of US and Europe bands. The Mix 1/2/3 and the F1/S3 Pro are excellent examples that actually work on every carrier in the US, bar those that use whitelists.
3. The Umidigi F1 incorporates micro SD support, use USB-C 2.0, and incorporates 18W fast charging with a large 5000mAh cell.
4. 1080p 60FPS video is included.
5. With the Mix series and the F1 Play/S3 Pro, their cameras are actually great due to having better post processing and good camera hardware.

The Umidigi F1 Play is the one I would personally get if I were to buy a new budget phone.

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Spartan
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I know up here that Band 66 is important to Freedom and also appears to be a TMobile band. LTE and inside building reception may be compromised.

Any and all Chinese phones should be checked for that.

Samsung does have it on their universal phones like the A5, A8 and now the A9.

Care should also be taken because their flagships may not have all the bands because they are targeted for certain regions.

Baffles me how they can charge a thousand bucks and not have universal band coverage.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

Sirstinky
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Well, the Mi Mix series from Xiaomi and the Umidigi F1/F1 Play/S3 Pro are somehow different.

They all incorporate:
1. Good and constant security updates. A new high for Umidigi, and usual for Xiaomi.
2. They incorporate a lot of US and Europe bands. The Mix 1/2/3 and the F1/S3 Pro are excellent examples that actually work on every carrier in the US, bar those that use whitelists.
3. The Umidigi F1 incorporates micro SD support, use USB-C 2.0, and incorporates 18W fast charging with a large 5000mAh cell.
4. 1080p 60FPS video is included.
5. With the Mix series and the F1 Play/S3 Pro, their cameras are actually great due to having better post processing and good camera hardware.

The Umidigi F1 Play is the one I would personally get if I were to buy a new budget phone.

True, there are exceptions, but the Mi Mix phones from the Mix 2 up are $400-$550. Those were ones I investigated. I also looked at Umidigis and Honor 10 phones. You get a lot for that money, but that’s getting closer to OnePlus 6t territory that is a much more recognized phone with US carrier support plus stock Android and unlocked with all US and global GSM bands.

Spartan
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I like the oneplus but they don’t have a micro slot.

Besides, they are not as cheap in comparison as the original oneplus. At $500, I can buy the S9 for less….and dropping.

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-S9-Unlocked-Smartphone/dp/B079H6RL...

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

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