Author Topic: Buying a smartphone  (Read 1566 times)

kristof

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Buying a smartphone
« on: March 29, 2018, 07:54:10 AM »
I'm looking to get a smartphone to replace my recently-fried Samsung S4 Mini i9190. I liked this phone and am looking for something with as many of the following features that it had:

* Very small
* Replaceable battery
* MicroSD slot
* Easy to root and compatible with Lineage or similar custom ROM

Ideally it would also support LTE data, and have a little more processing power and memory than the S4 mini. Dual SIM would be a nice to have but not that important.

So far the best bet seems like the S4 Mini i9195 which is pretty much the same phone but with LTE, available for $100ish used on eBay. Anyone know of better options? I've been using a Moto G 4G in the meantime, but the battery can't be that easily replaced, and the thing feels huge.

Cole

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Re: Buying a smartphone
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 07:56:20 AM »
Why not keep using the Moto g4? You already have it and if it's anything like mine it will last for awhile. 2 years and the battery is still good and it has quick charge which is a life changer.

kristof

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Re: Buying a smartphone
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 08:03:13 AM »
Good point, just borrowing the G4 from a friend until I figure out what replacement to get though.

Daley

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Re: Buying a smartphone
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 08:54:55 AM »
Very small and replaceable battery are two incredibly rare things these days, you almost need to pick one. Same with unlockable loader. Looks like you're dealing with a GSM carrier, so I'll be dealing with US GSM model numbers.

The phones I've been recommending lately "fitting your dimensions" have been the G4 Play (unlocked XT1607) and E4 (unlocked XT1768) as they tick off everything from your list but size. Both will be slightly bigger/around the same size as the Moto G 4G (first or second gen) you're already using, unless you actually meant Moto G4 in which case they will be a bit smaller. Yeah, handset size is getting ridiculous, and it's partly due to antenna band proliferation support, battery life, and a vicious feedback loop between battery life and screen size.

Now, this is an important point. Are you dealing with AT&T or T-Mobile as your primary carrier with your desire to get an LTE handset? If AT&T, you should have the freedom to do what you want and everything should be hunky dory. If T-Mobile and you're needing LTE to get back voice coverage, it's important to know a couple things. 1) Without 700MHz LTE band 12 VoLTE "certified" calling support with T-Mobile, you'll only get voice calling support with any phone on their remaining legacy 2G GSM network in most of the country. 2) Because of point one, they've basically locked out third party ROM support. Flash a third party ROM? Lose VoLTE calling. Just some points of academic curiosity.

As much as I loathe AT&T and won't do business with them directly anymore, they're honestly the least terrible carrier in the nation right now... which is saying something. If you're partly doing this (beyond replacing a fried device) for improved T-Mobile voice calling support, consider porting your number to an AT&T MVNO during your device change if you'd like to keep your handset freedom.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 09:04:23 AM by Daley »

kristof

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Re: Buying a smartphone
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2018, 12:12:18 PM »
Thanks. Yeah I meant the G4, I always get them confused. Had no idea what VoLTE was, so I guess that means I don't need it. In any case I'm on H2O so it doesn't matter.

Sounds like the G4 Play is the best bet then. Not a bad deal for $50-$60 on eBay.

Daley

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Re: Buying a smartphone
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2018, 12:30:10 PM »
Thanks. Yeah I meant the G4, I always get them confused. Had no idea what VoLTE was, so I guess that means I don't need it. In any case I'm on H2O so it doesn't matter.

Sounds like the G4 Play is the best bet then. Not a bad deal for $50-$60 on eBay.

VoLTE is the only technology most T-Mobile customers can use to make voice calls now outside of their tiny 2G network. It's basically voice calling support on 4G networks. You know, just for education and enlightenment purposes, even though it doesn't matter in your case specifically.

And yeah, not a bad price, all things considered. Try to stay away from the Amazon advertising locked models, though. There's not many out there, but they are out there. They did some funny stuff to the boot loader to enable ads on the lockscreen.