Author Topic: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?  (Read 1436 times)

dreamer8887

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Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« on: April 25, 2017, 07:03:55 PM »
Hey everyone,

I am the least tech-savvy person I know, but I have decided I need a smartphone! I am traveling to China for a month for research, and my current Ting smartish phone is not going to work there (CDMA, doesn't take a SIM - look at me learning about such things!) but I want to be able to use data to hail cabs, check in on my daughter etc.

Some people on a separate thread helpfully advised that it is probably easiest to buy a smartphone here in the US before I leave, which I would like to do...but I don't know what to be looking for, other than GSM. Best Buy have some cells from SKY for $60, but I've never heard of them, most of the others are around the $150-$300 range. In general with smartphones, do you basically get what you pay for?

I am not interested in storing music, I would like to use this phone when I get back from China (current Ting is a refurbished Moto G and it's about to die) and my main priorities are: reliably connects to WiFi (I don't use data in the US), good battery life, preferably takes nice-ish pictures. I don't care if it's Apple or Android, I've used both.

Any advice on what to look for gratefully received!

missundecided

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Re: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 07:08:45 PM »
Ting offers a really helpful (and free!) shopper service. Not only will they make recommendations based on what you're looking for but will help you find phones you can buy based on your budget and other needs. They suggest sales on swappa, for example.

Plus, of course what MMM forum readers suggest. :)

dreamer8887

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Re: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 02:34:58 PM »
Ting offers a really helpful (and free!) shopper service. Not only will they make recommendations based on what you're looking for but will help you find phones you can buy based on your budget and other needs. They suggest sales on swappa, for example.

Plus, of course what MMM forum readers suggest. :)

Thanks for the reply! I had a look on Ting and I didn't really see anything middle-of-the-road, price wise.

I am looking for something preferably under $300, ideally under $200, with good battery life and that is GSM (so will work in China, and also in Australia, for when I go home, and on Ting in the US).

I had a quick google and all the articles seem to assume you should buy new...do people have advice on whether you get better value by buying a higher-end phone second-hand, or a lower-end phone new? As mentioned, main concern with a second-hand phone is the battery...

I've heard good things about the Huawei honor series. I'm wondering if it might be cheaper to buy a Huawei in China, but I haven't looked into that yet.

missundecided

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Re: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2017, 05:31:53 PM »
I was writing my response to you on my phone (ironic?), but here's what I was refering to, not the Ting market: https://ting.com/personal_shopper The initial survey is simple, but once communication is established via email with the personal shopper, you can discuss your specific needs.

dreamer8887

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Re: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 06:28:47 PM »
I was writing my response to you on my phone (ironic?), but here's what I was refering to, not the Ting market: https://ting.com/personal_shopper The initial survey is simple, but once communication is established via email with the personal shopper, you can discuss your specific needs.

Oh awesome, thanks!

jeromedawg

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Re: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 07:57:53 PM »
Consider the Moto G4 series phones. The Moto G4 Plus is currently on sale at BH Photo and seems to be a good buy:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1251441-REG/motorola_00985nartl_moto_g4_plus_xt1644.html

Here's the Play:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1274293-REG/motorola_01006nartl_moto_g4_play_xt1607.html


I have the G4 Play and besides being relatively sluggish after opening more than 8 apps at once, it's a pretty good phone. Since the one I pointed you to is unlocked, you shouldn't have issues using it on Ting. However, if you need to use it in China and Australia, you'll want to find out which carrier you plan on using and which one(s) might be compatible:

https://www.frequencycheck.com/carrier-compatibility/LlLqcK/motorola-moto-g4-plus-td-lte-32gb-xt1644/china-mobile-hong-kong
https://www.frequencycheck.com/compatibility/ep0YSKl/motorola-moto-g4-play-td-lte-xt1607-motorola-affinity/china
https://www.frequencycheck.com/compatibility/o1DxuQ/motorola-moto-g4-plus-td-lte-64gb-xt1644/australia

Initially, it seems like it should work overseas but I cannot guarantee this so further research will need to be done. Otherwise, this would be a great phone for you to use within your budget.

twbird18

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Re: Mustachian choice - need unlocked smartphone?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 09:36:35 AM »
Another thing to consider - if you could find a cheap Nexus 5x - you could get get Google's Project Fi which is Google's version of an MNVO  Rates are similar to Ting(last time I checked) & it works in 135 countries though depending on where you're headed to in China, you have to be concerned about censorship, but general reports are that the calling & hangouts (video chat) work everywhere in the country & a China specific VPN solves the problem everywhere. This would save you the hassle of changing SIM cards in countries.