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Suggestions for a smartphone
Old 07-28-2017, 09:42 PM   #1
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Suggestions for a smartphone

My wife and I have been living with ancient cell phone technology for quite some time. We've been using a basic cell phone with sliding keyboard (Pantech Laser) for about 6 years now.

Unfortunately, these cell phones do not like to play nice via bluetooth with the last vehcicle we purchased. So, I would like to purchase a smartphone to replace mine, as I tend to be the one who is driving this vehicle.

Neither of us has a big urge to get the latest and greatest (and most expensive!). Been looking at some of the older smartphones, but I wonder if that's just going to be more trouble than it is worth to save some money.

Currently looking at the Samsung Galaxy S5. These can be purchased new for about $200-$225 (AT&T network). Any comments about this model and any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:41 PM   #2
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Try the Motorola E4. You should be able to get an unlocked GSM version for about $125. I use Ultra mobile for $30 per month with unlimited data and unlimited calling to 60 countries plus international roaming at very low rates. You can cancel anytime. We travel a lot so this type of plan is ideal for us. You also get $10 international roaming credit that rolls over.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:49 PM   #3
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Many of the off brand carriers have sub $100 smart phones. I have Metro PCS. They are on the T Mobile network. you might even get a 2 for 1 deal. I have the LG Stylo. I think it was about $100. $40/mo for 3 GBs. I see a couple of Samsungs for $35

Remember some of the big carriers subsidize the phone then add it on your bill per month. So it's $225 plus $80/mo
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:15 AM   #4
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Try the Motorola E4. You should be able to get an unlocked GSM version for about $125. I use Ultra mobile for $30 per month with unlimited data and unlimited calling to 60 countries plus international roaming at very low rates. You can cancel anytime. We travel a lot so this type of plan is ideal for us. You also get $10 international roaming credit that rolls over.
Our usage would be in the US, maybe Canada. I don't expect my wife and I to be heavy data users, but we'll see. We plan to move out of state in the next year or two, so we might be using a smartphone for directions, traffic, finding retail establishments, etc.

I will check out the Motorola E4. Since our current provider is AT&T, a device we get for that account will be GSM capable. At this time, we don't plan to switch providers since our daughter is also on the account. But she moved out of state herself recently, and she is in the middle of opening her own provider account.

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Remember some of the big carriers subsidize the phone then add it on your bill per month. So it's $225 plus $80/mo
The $200-$225 cost I mentioned above was for a retail purchase of the phone. No agreement necessary. The Galaxy S4 is a few years old and discontinued, but it appears to still be a serviceable mobile phone.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:19 AM   #5
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Currently looking at the Samsung Galaxy S5. These can be purchased new for about $200-$225 (AT&T network). Any comments about this model and any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I have had my Galaxy S5 for two years (TMobile) and have been very happy with it. It's a decent size and is running on Android 6 (Marshmallow). It has several nice features including water resistance, microSD card and a swappable battery that Samsung left off the successor S6. Its blue tooth connectivity is good and it has a nice display. While it was the Samsung flagship and even afterwards, it topped the Consumer Report smartphone reviews. I'll probably eventually get a replacement but have seen nothing compelling recently. I bought a spare battery and charger/holder so I rarely worry about battery life. It takes less than a minute to swap out the battery.

Whatever phone you get - especially an older one - make sure it comes with a recent version of Android or can be updated. I probably wouldn't buy one that didn't already have at least Android 6.

P.S. one nice thing about TMobile is that I get free text, calls and data in Canada.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:30 AM   #6
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We use a Moto-X Pure. Bought it unlocked so we can easily switch carriers. Good phone, charges quickly. It works on both GSM and CDMA making it ideal for overseas travel, as well. Camera takes good pics.
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Old 07-29-2017, 02:34 AM   #7
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Might not help you, but we get the same phones our adult children have-we try to stay at least one generation of phone near theirs. That way, we have immediate (nearly) help when we need some help figuring out how to use.
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Old 07-29-2017, 04:38 AM   #8
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I have a Lenovo/Motorola G4 Play and DW has the G4. ~$150 online but I found a deal at $100 for mine. Great phone... stock Andriod without the overlays that many cellphone manufacturers add-in. Love it.

We have AT&T too. Just take out your sim card (assumes that your current phone has a sim card), put it in the new phone and you shoudl be good to go. I did it myself but if yu buy at a retailer I suspect that they would do it for you.

Can also be used for many other carriers.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:10 AM   #9
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I have a phone via Google Fi, a Nexus. It's a nice higher end phone, but the point is the plans are far cheaper than AT&T and other carriers. I paid about $300 for the phone, but my monthly bill is always less than $30.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:18 AM   #10
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if you get ATT, don't expect it to work in the mountains or very far from an interstate. Verison give the best coverage in the south east--my experience only.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:35 AM   #11
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If I had to buy a new smartphone right now, I would probably go with a used iPhone 6
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:35 AM   #12
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if you get ATT, don't expect it to work in the mountains or very far from an interstate. Verison give the best coverage in the south east--my experience only.
I have the exact opposite experience, and I'm in the mountains, not too close to the interstate, and somewhat in the southeast. And when I look at their coverage maps, I see a lot more gaps in Verizon's coverage. Best to look at the coverage maps for your (OP's) own area and where you expect to travel. Just looked at the OP's profile--California. So neither of our experiences is meaningful.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:01 AM   #13
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A couple months ago, I got the Lenovo/Motorola G4 Play for about $80 from Consumer Cellular. It's a pretty decent basic phone.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:07 AM   #14
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It is still there... IME $80 is a great price for that phone.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:14 AM   #15
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I have the exact opposite experience, and I'm in the mountains, not too close to the interstate, and somewhat in the southeast. And when I look at their coverage maps, I see a lot more gaps in Verizon's coverage. Best to look at the coverage maps for your (OP's) own area and where you expect to travel. Just looked at the OP's profile--California. So neither of our experiences is meaningful.
Pay careful attention to these maps if you use data - coverage does not necessarily mean full usage of all features and or roaming. They will obviously show the best case for all services on the generic map. Use the layers or overlays to view coverage for the specific services you want to be able to use.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:22 AM   #16
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Pay careful attention to these maps if you use data - coverage does not necessarily mean full usage of all features and or roaming. They will obviously show the best case for all services on the generic map. Use the layers or overlays to view coverage for the specific services you want to be able to use.
It's also my experience that Verizon did not work at my house and many places in the area, while AT&T is mostly fine. I'm in a pretty sketchy area coverage wise.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:25 AM   #17
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We have had both Verizon and AT&T. In our area, Verizon generally has better coverage, but at our house AT&T has better coverage so that is what we have.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:02 AM   #18
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One thing that's always bugged me about some of these smartphones is size... Some of them are huge, and people look like they're carrying around a mini tablet with them! That would be a big hassle for a man, unless they happen to carry a (man) purse. Not for me. Too active to have to worry about that.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:09 AM   #19
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One thing that's always bugged me about some of these smartphones is size... Some of them are huge, and people look like they're carrying around a mini tablet with them! That would be a big hassle for a man, unless they happen to carry a (man) purse. Not for me. Too active to have to worry about that.
+1

Samsung's are like having a mini pad. I would need a murse to hold it. I had an IPhone 5 forever until I got frustrated with the battery. Just got a IPhone 6s and very pleased. I am not all that keen on Android handhelds.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:09 AM   #20
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One thing that's always bugged me about some of these smartphones is size... Some of them are huge, and people look like they're carrying around a mini tablet with them! That would be a big hassle for a man, unless they happen to carry a (man) purse. Not for me. Too active to have to worry about that.
Funny that you should say that. I originally bought DW's G4 for me but found it to be uncomfortable carrying it in my pant's pocket so she got that and I bought the G4 Play for me. While the size difference is only 1/2", the 5" screen size is much more comfortable in my pant's pocket than the 5 1/2" screen size.
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