Best budget smartphone?

I have straight talk wireless and I’m looking for a new smart phone. What are you guys using? Are the Chinese phones worth a darn?

I think the latest 5th gen Moto G for around $200 is probably the best budget smartphone out there

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 ($:money_mouth_face:, 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. :smiley:

I’ve had this one for the past 18 months or so, I think it was a smashing deal for the price:

I bought a Chinese phone (Zopo ZP990) in 2013 and never had an issue with it for the almost 3 years I used it. Had a custom ROM for it and everything. The problem with Chinese phones in USA is that the cellular bands are different, so most of them have no 4G or LTE capabilities here. That was acceptable for me, as I only used it for text and occasional calls, and loaded MP3’s for music (3G was usually too weak to stream). I basically just wanted to have a 6 inch “phablet” (they were being called that at the time) that I could use with a T-Mobile prepaid plan.

But please be aware, as Lightbringer stated, that once you get it, you’re on your own!

Wow, nice. That’s actually the main disadvantage about Chinese Android devices in my opinion, usually no updates or custom ROMs.

you should buy Xiaomi phone(more specific, xiaomi redmi note 4),imho, Xiaomi is the best budget smartphone brand(like BLF in smartphone world)
they have many forums in many countries

their stock Rom(a.k.a MIUI) is quite simple and smooth
and their big advantage is thier battery life, it lasts so loooooooong(that’s also a reason why i change from LG G3 to xiaomi redmi note 3 last year)

BTW, if you want to go higher, there is also xiaomi MI6. which is considered as one of the “flagship killer”

And also be aware that some carriers don’t even deal with 3G or lower anymore. What spurred me to get the Mavan is that AT&T was discontinuing 3G support entirely, and my AT&T phone wasn’t 4G compatible. So I swapped my AT&T and TMobile phones (both unlocked), as TM wasn’t/isn’t that picky yet. After I got the Maven, I put back my TM phone onto TM’s service.

I think Verizon uses an entirely different system so isn’t compatible with TM nor AT&T, so there’s a schism in carriers. Be sure to get a phone which matches what you have (CDMA vs TDMA).

That’s also why I suggested first contacting ST to see what phones are compatible with their system. Smaller carriers usually piggyback onto larger carriers’ networks.

Start with this:

Yeah, I was right. It’s TMobile and AT&T vs Verizon and Sprint, that are the big ones. Find out which carriers’ networks ST piggybacks onto.

Most people go for the Xiaomi Mi phones they are good and fairly cheap most expensive of the Chinese phones. They come with heaps of bloatware and some suss Chinese programs so that is why most people custom rom them. Some do not even have google play i think its banned in China? But most companies make an international version of the phones plus updates are always lacking. As said above forget warranty i bought a Z5 as my last phone but it was Hong Kong stock so cheaper but in a sense no warranty.
Also some of the Lenovo phones come highly recommended.

So, what is the budget here?
Sub 100?
I am extremely happy with my $200 Asus ZenFhone 2. Bought over 2 years ago. 16GB/2GB running an Intel chip, quad core. GSM, dual sim card slots and has micro SD card slot too for up to 64GB additional . Bought it unlocked and out of contract on Cricket wireless.

Bought Mom an Amazon edition Blu for $60 and it has been good. Deleted/disabled most of the Ad related BS. Also on Cricket wireless which runs same as ATT coverage.

I worry about security issues:

+1 for the Asus Zenfone. I like mine.
Not exactly budget, but relatively inexpensive.

The money I saved the first year out of contract paid for the Asus in 4 months. $50 less every month since for the same service and free messaging, no overage charges, No time constraints like unlimited after 9PM…

Sad what people pay every single month just to have the newest Samsung or iphone.

Reading the reviews initially on that Amazon Blu phone I got for mom… Had the Chinese security issues on the first batch. Sending personal info back to China. Most were replaced. Mine was ok.

I’ve owned a lot of Chinese Android devices, and I usually scan them for viruses, and at I at least have never found malware on them. Frankly I think that security is sort of a moot point on Android devices (with the exception of the Nexus and Pixel lines), which are inherently full of vulnerabilities due to the nature of the multi-tiered distribution chain that prevents upstream Android security patches and updates from reaching end users.

+1 for xiaomi

If its have no your local warannty, make sure buy china rom and install google and uninstall aplication in china thats you dont use/need/want.

I have 4 xiaomi phone and never facing trouble.

Free is my favorite phone budget. I’ve bought two cell phones. My very first back in 2001 ($99), and a burner in 2010 for $15 when I crunched my screen on a trip. The rest were given to me. Right now I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I have a wireless charging back, but I swapped it out with a much larger battery. It also has a microSD port that’s currently fitted with a 200GB card. I keep it in a waterproof case from Walmart most of the time, which was fortunate on the day of the eclipse when I saw it run over by a semi. The phone is fine!

If you can’t get a free phone from friends and family, there are used phones. I’ve heard good things about Swappa.

+1 for the ASUS Zenfone 2....I got the 4GB/16GB awhile back, it's a great phone-

EDIT: It's great, other than the charging port, sometimes when it stops charging, I unplug the charging cable and have to plug it back in again....

I would check out these links if I needed a new smartphone:

I really recommend Oukitel China brand. Several of them in family and some of them almost 2 years and not a single issue. They also received updates to android 7 recently.

What I do not recommend is Hom Tom company cause I bought their rugged phone and they have build slow and lagging camera in. But for 100$ some could consider that as good deal. Oukitel gives much more than Hom Tom in that price range and if you guys want to know more about China phones visit gizchina web page. They are no.1 in the business.