Author Topic: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use  (Read 11702 times)

Kiwi Mustache

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Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« on: May 13, 2015, 05:12:30 PM »
Hi all,

I have a $9 Nokia brick that I've been using for the past six years. I'm 26 years old.

Due to getting lost, not knowing the opening hours of places, not being able to look up contact details of businesses, not being able to do online banking on the go, etc I've come to the realisation that not having one is actually a detriment to me.

I just need basic functions of being able to look up maps, do online banking, have a GPS, take the odd photo, etc. I've recently started a side business and am going to new places in the city and meeting new people and businesses in areas I haven't been to in years. I have to pre print a map at home to take with me, I have to pre plan every trip I do at home which I feel could be overcome with having a portable device with me. I've got lost twice and it is a really bad impression when you are meeting new people and trying to build rapport with them and you turn up late and frazzled.

I'm not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars but then also don't want something that will be obsolete in two years time.

Thinking of a Samsung S3 or S4 mini.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 05:14:08 PM by Kiwi Mustache »

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2015, 05:14:40 PM »
Republic Wireless

Travis

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2015, 05:21:04 PM »
The frugality is going to come more from your service provider than the actual device.  With your desire for getting the smartphone "basics" there really is no such thing as "obsolete."  I use a phone that no longer receives major software updates from its manufacturer, but that doesn't mean it stops doing what I need it to do.  There is likely a minimum processor speed you'll need, but anything built in the last 5 years is probably going to fulfill your needs.  Whatever service provider you choose may be limited to particular devices so you'll need to make sure one is compatible with the other.

Spork

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2015, 06:07:22 PM »
The frugality is going to come more from your service provider than the actual device.  With your desire for getting the smartphone "basics" there really is no such thing as "obsolete."  I use a phone that no longer receives major software updates from its manufacturer, but that doesn't mean it stops doing what I need it to do.  There is likely a minimum processor speed you'll need, but anything built in the last 5 years is probably going to fulfill your needs.  Whatever service provider you choose may be limited to particular devices so you'll need to make sure one is compatible with the other.

Caveat: I use a dumb phone.  But I've spent 20+ years in network security.  A device that doesn't get updates is a device that I wouldn't use.  And yes, I know that rules out 2/3's of Android devices.

nanu

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2015, 06:13:02 PM »
Actually it would probably rule out a lot more than 2/3 of all Android phones... and most of those that aren't ruled out would need to be replaced in a year to continue getting new updates
It's a valid concern, but frankly not one that most people take into consideration (is that wise? not necessarily, but it's the way things are).

I recommend the Nexus 4 or 5 personally. They are both "plain" Android phones, so they don't have as much manufacturer bloatware as others (Samsung phones for example),
and are both good, solid phones that I personally recommend (I've used the 4 for a year, then it went to my mom and I got the 5).

Paul der Krake

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 07:17:51 PM »
Yeah, the state of updates in Android-land is sad. You get one or two updates if you're lucky, and most likely none if you buy a phone that already came out a year ago. CyanogenMod is only really an option if you buy a popular model. Things are somewhat better with the Nexus line but they are usually flagship phones that retail for $600+ (with the notable exception of the Nexus 5). I have yet to find a manufacturer dedicated to supporting good, middle of the road, unbloated $200 phones.

Apple, for all their shortcomings, tend to support their handsets much longer.

Spork

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 07:33:45 PM »

Apple, for all their shortcomings, tend to support their handsets much longer.

While that is generally true, they burned me with the iPad 1.  It was something like a 14 month cycle from beginning to end... and I was gifted one somewhere about month 8.

MMMaybe

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 07:41:43 PM »
This is something I have been wondering about. I am still using my iPhone 4S but I think I read that Apple will not be supporting it for too much longer.

Kwill

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 08:45:25 PM »
If your main use for phone data would be the GPS, it might make more sense to get both a dedicated GPS and a smartphone. If you get a plan without data, even on Republic Wireless that is a $15 to $30 difference from a plan with data, depending on the speed. For 12 months, that's a $180 to $360 difference. Meanwhile, you can get a GPS for about $80 or $100 and use it for years without a subscription.

Nate R

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 09:04:54 PM »
Not sure if you can avoid the obsolete problem. More and more smartphones have non-replaceable batteries anyway, so often they are done by that time anyway.

My Moto-G would serve your needs. Cost me $80.

-Nate

tjthebest

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 09:36:55 PM »
moto x first gen(2013) is what you want. cant really beat this phone.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 10:48:05 PM »
Republic Wireless
Doesn't help the OP, as he's in New Zealand.

Moto G isn't a bad unit, and they'd be maybe $200-250NZD. Maybe one of the Lumias if Windows Phone is your thing.

Honestly any smartphone should do what you're after. Are you after an unlocked one or would you be fine with one locked to a particular carrier?

Does Android or Windows Phone matter? Is 4G service critical? Budget?

Vodafone here in Aus have an LG Spirit that looms alright value. Maybe Voda NZ have a similar phone?

You may have to deal with it possibly being obsolete in a couple years time (although maybe the Motorola phones will get more updates). Par for the course at that end of the market, especially if not an iPhone.

There should be heaps of different phones around for a couple hundred bucks or so. Even some of the cheaper ones might do if a smaller screen, 3G only, slower processor and lower-end camera don't bother you too much.

One of these, perhaps? The Moto E is a fairly basic phone but if the G I've got as a spare is anything to go by, not too bad a device (despite the crap camera on my G).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 03:12:19 AM by alsoknownasDean »

gooki

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2015, 05:41:11 AM »
A refurbished IPhone 4s is around $200 NZD delivered. Add nokia here maps and you can navigate without using cell data.

gooki

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2015, 05:43:03 AM »
Or pay $25 for this if you don't care about being fancy.
http://www.harveynorman.co.nz/phone-and-gps/mobile-phones/vodafone-smart-4-fun.html

Or fuck it, PM me your address and I'll send you a nice android smart phone for free.

fullpampers

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Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2015, 09:11:50 AM »
If your main use for phone data would be the GPS, it might make more sense to get both a dedicated GPS and a smartphone. If you get a plan without data, even on Republic Wireless that is a $15 to $30 difference from a plan with data, depending on the speed. For 12 months, that's a $180 to $360 difference. Meanwhile, you can get a GPS for about $80 or $100 and use it for years without a subscription.

GPS does not use data if your phone is set to GPS only and maps are stored on the phone. I use co-pilot offline gps and it works great with no data.


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 09:14:36 AM by fullpampers »

4alpacas

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2015, 09:24:09 AM »
This is something I have been wondering about. I am still using my iPhone 4S but I think I read that Apple will not be supporting it for too much longer.
I also have a 4S.  Where did you read about the support ending?

acroy

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2015, 09:42:56 AM »
Hi all,
I have a $9 Nokia brick that I've been using for the past six years.

Badass!
I suggest Moto G and a pay-for-service provider. NO plan unless you know you are gonna use it.
Moto G is cheap and crazy fast, durable, great phone. mine is 18mo old and protected with $6case, looks and works like new.

Find a pre-pay or pay-for-service provider; I'm paying 2c/4c/6c IIRC for minutes/text/mb. Average $3-4 a month!!

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2015, 10:03:27 AM »
Moto G from Republic Wireless, it's $150 up front cost, but to get 5gb of 3G data and unlimited talk and text it's only $25/month, if you feel like you only need internet when you are on WIFI, you can go down to the $10/month plan which is unlimited talk and text, as well as unlimited WIFI. There are 3 other phones from Republic Wireless, A $100 Moto E, a $300 1st gen Moto X, and a $400 2nd gen Moto X, I have the first gen Moto X and I love it, but my friend has the Moto G and it's basically the same phone with a slightly smaller screen (only .2") and a slightly worse camera.

daverobev

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2015, 03:52:16 PM »
Hi all,

I have a $9 Nokia brick that I've been using for the past six years. I'm 26 years old.

Due to getting lost, not knowing the opening hours of places, not being able to look up contact details of businesses, not being able to do online banking on the go, etc I've come to the realisation that not having one is actually a detriment to me.

I just need basic functions of being able to look up maps, do online banking, have a GPS, take the odd photo, etc. I've recently started a side business and am going to new places in the city and meeting new people and businesses in areas I haven't been to in years. I have to pre print a map at home to take with me, I have to pre plan every trip I do at home which I feel could be overcome with having a portable device with me. I've got lost twice and it is a really bad impression when you are meeting new people and trying to build rapport with them and you turn up late and frazzled.

I'm not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars but then also don't want something that will be obsolete in two years time.

Thinking of a Samsung S3 or S4 mini.

Thoughts?

Make sure you get 1Gb of RAM and dual core.

Moto E 2nd gen, Samsung S3 would be fine, pretty much anything but try and get something that is close to 'stock' android.

MMMaybe

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2015, 06:32:59 PM »
This is something I have been wondering about. I am still using my iPhone 4S but I think I read that Apple will not be supporting it for too much longer.
I also have a 4S.  Where did you read about the support ending?

I can't remember where I read it. But the article said something like, the next major system upgrade would not have adjustments made for the 4 series phones.

Now that could just be someone's opinion. I hope not as my phone is working really well still.

Hamster

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2015, 02:29:32 AM »

Moto E 2nd gen, Samsung S3 would be fine, pretty much anything but try and get something that is close to 'stock' android.
'Close to stock android' rules out most Samsung phones.

Motorola is by far the best option in terms of price/quality these days. If buying new, I would definitely recommend either Moto e (2nd gen is US$120) or moto g (2nd gen is $179). They are both better than any phone you could buy just a few yrs ago (better than an iPhone 4s, unless you have other reasons to be in apple's ecosystem).

The Motorola phones now run what is nearly stock android. Generally you get better performance and faster updates to the OS than most manufacturer's phones.


Mr. Green

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2015, 08:35:14 AM »
I have the second gen Moto E on Cricket Wireless (other carriers use it too). If you're not into watching HD movies on your phone I highly recommend it. I'm getting 3-4 days out of a single battery charge with moderate use. The battery life is still blowing my mind. I believe one of the main reasons for this is the lower pixel density on the screen. Images aren't quite as sharp but it's really hard to notice most of the time.

captainawesome

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2015, 10:08:42 AM »
I recommend either a Google phone (one with pure android so Nexus 4, 5, 6 etc) or an iphone 5 or greater IF you truly need something.  Apple may lock down a lot of things, but they keep their updates up quite frequently. Same with pure android. Only the Google branded phones are "guaranteed" to get updates in the future.  Any other options are left to the manufacturer to decide if they want to support, and most often, they don't.


Sid Hoffman

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2015, 11:32:51 AM »
Caveat: I use a dumb phone.  But I've spent 20+ years in network security.  A device that doesn't get updates is a device that I wouldn't use.  And yes, I know that rules out 2/3's of Android devices.

Yeah recently I saw that T-Mobile had refurb Nexus 4's for $150.  The Nexus line stays up to date for a long time, as they get the updates directly from Google.  The Nexus 5 was $325 and was probably a better deal for future-proofing since it supports LTE and the N4 does not.  That's one issue with older phones; you can find yourself with no network to connect to after enough years, since the networks regularly migrate to new technologies in order to support more subscribers.  The old spectrum is then repurposed away from old phones to support new phones.  Since 4G LTE is over 100x as fast as 2G EDGE for example, a single base station that is repurposed could support 100 times as many users in the same amount of radio spectrum, sorta.  It's more complex than that, but I'd still get an LTE phone if at all possible.

TreeTired

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2015, 11:39:21 AM »
Both of my sons (mid to late 20s) use a $99 Samsung phone, which of course is a low powered bare bones model -  I forget the model name/number and have no major complaints.

MrMoogle

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2015, 12:08:10 PM »
I only use my phone for calls, texts, and emails, but my smartphone does that well:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00COYOAYW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$40 new on Amazon.  Nokia Lumia 521, Windows 8.  Not as many apps support windows 8 compared to iOS and Android though. 

neo von retorch

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2015, 12:53:19 PM »
Anyone willing to put up with Sprint's network and pay $25+ for Republic Wireless would probably be better served buying the $89 refurb Samsung Galaxy S3 on Groupon and using FreedomPop's free 500 texts, 200 minutes, 500MB plan (also on the Sprint network.) Save $300 or more every year!

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2015, 02:11:22 PM »
Anyone willing to put up with Sprint's network and pay $25+ for Republic Wireless would probably be better served buying the $89 refurb Samsung Galaxy S3 on Groupon and using FreedomPop's free 500 texts, 200 minutes, 500MB plan (also on the Sprint network.) Save $300 or more every year!
a free plan? what is this you speak of

neo von retorch

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2015, 02:15:09 PM »
The plan:
Free Data
500MB FREE every month Free Text
500 text every month Free Voice
200 minutes FREE every month No Contracts
Cancel anytime, No commitment
http://freedompop.com/phone

The phone:
Samsung Galaxy S3 ($90 + shipping)
4G LTE-capable smartphone
4.8” Super AMOLED display
HD resolution (1280x720)
Android 4.4 KitKat OS
1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor
2GB RAM system memory
16GB onboard storage
microSD slot (supports up to 64GB)
8MP rear camera with 4x digital optical zoom
1.9MP front camera
https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-samsung-s3-with-free-phone-service

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2015, 03:44:58 PM »
The plan:
Free Data
500MB FREE every month Free Text
500 text every month Free Voice
200 minutes FREE every month No Contracts
Cancel anytime, No commitment
http://freedompop.com/phone

The phone:
Samsung Galaxy S3 ($90 + shipping)
4G LTE-capable smartphone
4.8” Super AMOLED display
HD resolution (1280x720)
Android 4.4 KitKat OS
1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor
2GB RAM system memory
16GB onboard storage
microSD slot (supports up to 64GB)
8MP rear camera with 4x digital optical zoom
1.9MP front camera
https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-samsung-s3-with-free-phone-service
I see groupon also has an Iphone 5 for $200 for freedompop.... And I miss my Iphone I just didn't think a reasonable plan would ever exist... Maybe I'll have to make the switch. Thanks for informing me neo

Hamster

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2015, 05:32:56 AM »
Not that I would necessarily heed the advice of consumer-oriented sites like this, but here is The Verge's comparison/recommendation for "The best cheap smartphone you can buy". If you don't want to read, they recommend the Moto G.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2015, 10:08:57 AM »
Decide on a few minimum standards. I wanted 4g LTE and Sprint compatible for use with Ting.

Then go to Glyde and buy the cheapest Excellent condition phone that meets your requirements. Mr. FP and I both had great experiences there. And the person selling my phone even sent a case for it, too.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2016, 01:11:17 AM »
I'm an Android fan.

I've had Samsung galaxies before, but they've both died before the two year mark.

So now I'm trying out the eastern market, and getting a Doogoo - great spec, only £79 unlocked.  I'm hoping it will do well - reviews seem very positive.

dang1

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2016, 01:30:54 AM »
Hi everyone i looking to buy a new smartphone for Christmas, which one should I get?
Moto G 4th Generation

Spork

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Re: Best Smartphone for Frugal Everyday Use
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2016, 07:54:13 AM »
Heard Huawei make good phones. How about the  Huawei Mate 9 http://thedigitalcamera.net/the-huawei-mate-9-is-the-second-bet-of-leica-on-smartphone/

I know zero about their phones.  I have, however, dealt with the company on networking equipment.  It was hard to say if they were incompetent or just acting dumb while making networking equipment that was made for the purpose of spying by the Chinese government.  There were so many holes in their equipment and they had so little understanding of how it worked.  There clearly seemed to be some amount of back channel where the equipment phoned home.  (Not the same, but Blu phones have recently been found to be phoning home phone data to China.)

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