Author Topic: Mustachian cellphone choices in Fall 2015 (paging I.P. Daley...)  (Read 2565 times)


  • Magnum Stache
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My wife's Samsung Captivate (i.e., original Galaxy S, no bloody A, B, C or D! ...err, I mean, 2, 3, 4, or 5) is finally all-but-unusable: it already had issues connecting to the Internet or being compatible with modern apps, but now the main speaker died so she can't hear it ringing. So, she needs a new phone.

I'm looking for the following (these are mostly fungible, not absolute requirements):
  • Android, not iOS or Windows. Some weird Linux-based thing (Firefox OS, etc.) might be okay.
  • Something in the $100-$250 range, but I'm willing to spend Nexus 5X or OnePlus 2 money if I have to.
  • Unlocked and compatible with as many different MVNOs as reasonable. (Ideally GSM + CDMA like my Nexus 5, but I realize most phones are not like that.)
  • 4G LTE data compatibility
  • As little proprietary bullshit as possible. I'm not willing to consider anything that I can't root and load a custom ROM on (even if I might not actually do those things). Ideally, it should be supported by at least Cyanogenmod.
  • Specs "good enough" to last for several years -- it shouldn't be too much worse than my Nexus 5.
  • Ideally, SD card and removable battery.

I'd been considering the following phones:

  • Nexus 5X
  • Oneplus 2
  • Moto X
  • Moto G
  • Moto E
  • Zenphone 2

So, what should I get?


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Mustachian cellphone choices in Fall 2015 (paging I.P. Daley...)
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 02:31:14 PM »
Look into BLU phones. They're carrier-unlocked phones for budget prices. They mostly make Android phones, but it looks like they have a few Windows Phone models as well. I recently got one of their $100-ish Android phones and it so far seems to be a very good value for the price. Specs are pretty similar to the Nexus 4 it replaced. Mine has dual-SIM GSM capability and a micro SD slot. The OS came with a few "customizations" (the included keyboard was terrible), but installing the stock keyboard and launcher from the Play Store was simple enough. Not sure how well they're supported by Cyanogenmod, if at all.

On mine, it looks like you can get access to the battery by removing the back cover (which is easy because you need to do it anyway to install a SIM card or micro SD card), but the battery is covered by a sticker telling you that removing it will void your warranty, God will kill a kitten, etc. So it doesn't look practical to regularly swap out the batteries while you're on the go, but a one-time replacement should be easy enough.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mustachian cellphone choices in Fall 2015 (paging I.P. Daley...)
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 03:47:20 PM »
BLU isn't supported by CyanogenMod, unfortunately.

The Moto E/G/X I have discovered has terrible battery life longer term, and given they're non-user replaceable? Egh.

Honestly, given all the requirements, it sounds like you already know what phone you'd rather get - the Nexus 5X.

Me? I don't know what to tell you, as I've not kept up too well on the hardware this year. This might be of use to possibly find other options, though, as might this.


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Re: Mustachian cellphone choices in Fall 2015 (paging I.P. Daley...)
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 06:04:04 PM »
I'd rule out the OnePlus 2 (what a tragic name) because HTC is crap for long term support. And even if they gave decent support, the firm is heading downward at an alarmingly fast pace.

I haven't followed phones too closely this year either, though.

What about a refurbished Galaxy from one or two gens back?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mustachian cellphone choices in Fall 2015 (paging I.P. Daley...)
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2015, 05:12:06 AM »
Previous-gen Android flagships tend to represent pretty good value for money (I bought an LG G3 a couple of months back).

The Moto G is usually a fairly solid choice, but most models (at least here) are 3G only.

Alternatively, if you're open to a refurb or used, have a look for a Nexus 5.