Budget Smartphone recommendations?

Does anyone have any experience with the budget-priced Smartphones that can be purchased outside of contract?

My current phone is an older LG Spectrum II:

I've been happy with the phone, but dropped it several months ago, cracking the screen. I installed a replacement digitizer, but it's worked poorly since then. I want to replace the device, but do not want to renew my contract with Verizon. I've considered buying a used replacement via eBay but want to consider the alternatives.

A replacement phone must be:

  1. Compatible with the US Verizon 4GLTE network. I'm not happy with Verizon as a cell service provider, but unfortunately, they are the only provider with reliable coverage in my area.
  2. LCD screen! I don't want the burn-in of the AMOLED screens.
  3. Decent performer for phone/web/email duty. I don't use my phone for games, navigation, or other intensive work.
  4. Screen size 4.7-5". I'm happy with the size of screen on my current device. Not interested in a huge phablet.
  5. Relatively inexpensive. Fund are tight at the moment, so I can't purchase a high-end device.
  6. Android! I'm not interested in jumping on the Applecart.

Ideally, I would like a physical QWERTY keyboard, but I know that phones have moved on to touch-keyboards.

Camera isn't important; I occasionally take snapshots, but have plenty of real cameras I use when taking photos.

If anyone here has a decent off-contract Verizon smartphone they no longer use, and would be willing to sell, I may be interesting in buying it. I'd be happy to replace a used battery on an older phone if necessary.

EDIT: Sorry, just saw the Verizon requirement. I think you are going to have a harder time with the CDMA requirement in budget phones.

SB, that is a steal. If I were looking for a budget smartphone, I’d buy it in a second.

It really was. It easily feels 10x more expensive than that.

Of course you never know how long a cheap device like this will last, but frankly even the expensive ones don’t last long. I’ve had a terrible history with most of the name brands, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, something like 7 medium-to-high range phones, and out of them 6 stopped working or were defective. So I prefer to pay a cheap price for a cheap device.

You should consider some of the range of Windows Phones. They aren’t very popular in the USA but they will probably tick all the required boxes for you. I’ve had WP’s for over five years - would not go back to Android. We’ve just had Lumia 640XL’s issued at work - phenomenal battery life. They don’t need the processing power that Android does because they are less resource intensive.

You can pick up WP’s pretty cheap.

That phone supports a 3G CDMA network:

“3G: WCDMA 850/2100MHz ”

…so it still may be a viable option. Even if not, it might be a good option to maintain as a small gaming/media tablet, if apps can be sideloaded easily.

Hmm, don’t think so. It’s ridiculously confusing, but CDMA and WCDMA aren’t the same technology:

But yes, it is a great device apart from the lack of CDMA support. I’ve also had great luck with the cheapo $60 chinese 7” tablets, if that’s more up your line. Just look for GPS and an IPS screen.

Nexus 5X. Not the cheapest but the best for cheap

Doogee X5
Replaced the Doogee Titan 2 of my son with it.
The Titans 2 is just a sexy phone (not my words but a lady friend saw it laying on the table) but heavy and not enough memory
My son likes to play games and I wanted his phone so win win :smiley:

The Titans 2 is build like a tank but does not support the 4G frequency they use here.

Had to order the X5 Pro for good 4G
So check the bands

My son is realy happy with it and I use it sometimes when we are out and I want to google things because the 4G works faster.

Think I paid $88 for it from AliExpress with a flip cover that shows a small part of the screen when somebody calls.

Are there any otter box type cases for budget phones?
I have an iPhone 4, and would like to upgrade eventually, my wife has a galaxy s3 that has broken screen and charging port so she needs an upgrade soon

A buddy of mine has one. Very nice phone. I ended up getting the MotoX Pure for $349 with no contract. I upgraded from the first gen Moto G which was great for the $99 I spent. I keep that one around as a spare just in case

The Nexus 5x is a bit out of my league… :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the heads-up on the Doogee X5, but I don’t think it will work for me in the US, that appears to be set for the European cell frequencies. :weary:

We needed the Pro
Maybe you are lucky and can do with the normal
Should be around $55
Just check specs and compare band to what you have

I used to love Windows phones. The last one I had was a Lumia 1520 but my employer switched from AT&T to Verizon and the Verizon Windows phones are garbage. Since the 1520 I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge Plus. I would definitely go back to a Windows phone if Verizon had a decent one.

Yeah, I was looking at the Pro. The US Verizon 4G LTE network is on a different frequency. I found the Doogee Pro on the Gearbest site, and it lists the 4G frequencies:
“4G: FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz”

From this page, for the US Verizon frequencies:
The US Verizon LTE runs on the 700MHz frequency. :cry:

I’m not sure if it’s a regional thing, or a Verizon thing.

Chuckle. I’m still using a Verizon Treo 650 — no web, no email, but it does SMS/MMS
I think it’s my fourth. It’s like collecting toy action figures, or ceramic frogs, or swords — people see you have one and give you their old one that was collecting dust (grin)

It’s nice to have Verizon hate me, rather than the other way around.

But (sigh) I’m going to have to upgrade some day so I’m watching here now. Ya got me.

LOL! I’ve not seen one of those in a long time. I had an end user here who had one of those, but he was eventually pushed into upgrading to a Blackberry. He finally had to upgrade to a newer model Blackberry which didn’t work, so he moved on into the Apple orchard.

Yeah these are your frequencies

VERIZON CDMA 0, 1 850, 1900 2, 4, 13 1900, 1700 f, 700 c

The wife and I moved from “post pay” to “prepaid” with Verizon about a year ago. No problems and same system/coverage. No contracts or setup fees. Unlimited talk & text with 2 gigs of data for $45/mo. There are 8 phones on Verizon’s prepaid web page under $200, 3 of them are under $100. That’s outright purchase price. http://www.verizonwireless.com/prepaid/smartphone-plans/ Several of them would meets your requirements nicely. When we bought ours, Walmart had the LG’s we have for $50 while they were $100 on Verizon’s web site. Good luck…

I have purchased several ‘refurbished’ Samsung s4 from eBay for around $100 been pretty happy with them. They take sd card. User replaceable battery is $10 if it shot.