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Suggestions to help me buy a smartphone

  1. Feb 7, 2019 #1
    I had a smartphones last year, then it broke and I used to get by with an old "phone" (it was actually one of the first smartphones), but I'm using it just for calls/texts and nothing else.

    I really got used to this "old" style: no distractions and other stuff I always hated about smartphones. But I have to change it now :cry:

    Since I've been so out of the business for quite a bit I have no idea what to buy. I'll be using it mostly for:
    - whatsapp
    - physicsforum (:wink:)
    - bank account
    - airplane/train tickes

    I'd like to spend as less as possible (150€ would be my threshold, but in extremely rare case I can change my mind).

    I know that every smartphones can do the above stuff, so I have no clue about how I should pick one. Do you have any suggestions ?


    EDIT: Please correct the 's' in the title <Moderator's note: fixed>
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2019
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2019 #2
    Well, based on my recent experiences I would pick one which has a strong support in the custom ROM community and it is not too hard to replace the annoying factory gizmo with some decent firmware.

    Originally I had an old Samsung S4 mini (from 2013). When the original ROM (some Android 4.x) reached its limit I tried some other phones, but every piece came with a ton of unwanted app, hard-to-erase registration, ownership limits, high price and so on. So at the end I've just grabbed an Android 7.x custom ROM and fed it into my old S4 and now I'm happy and free. I think I'll keep it for some more years, at least as long as I can get spare battery for it.
  4. Feb 7, 2019 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    This link to CNN may be helpful in seeing what is available now:


    Are you happy with your current phone carrier? Which one is it? You can usually go to your online account with your carrier and see what phones are available in different price ranges. :smile:
  5. Feb 7, 2019 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    For example, I have Verizon as my carrier currently, so when I sign into my account, I can click through Shop, Smartphones, and Sort by: Price Low-High to get a long list of phones starting with these:

  6. Feb 7, 2019 #5
    Those are some quite expensive smartphones :wideeyed::wideeyed:

    Recently changed. I'm quite happy but I need to buy the phone separately.

    I had a samsung S 5 or 6 years ago and I didn't like it very much... Probably because of the horrible OS, as you said.
  7. Feb 11, 2019 #6
    Hi I'm back. I have one question that is killing me... I live in UE but I will be in US for a few weeks. I recently discovered that smartphones are build to work only with some specific frequencies and those frequencies are different in US from those used in UE. I thought this was an old problem... are modern smartphones still affected by this problem ? All the articles I found are pretty old (2011 or so).
  8. Feb 11, 2019 #7
    GSM (originally Groupe Spécial Mobile now Global System for Mobile) phones will work in Europe and in USA. US-standard 4G LTE-only phones are incompatible with many European LTE 4G networks, and in some European countries, 4G LTE isn't yet deployed. I suggest you do some searching for GSM phones on ebay, and especially if you consider a used phone, look for one with a replaceable battery.

    GSM is explained briefly here: howstuffworks GSM question and answer, and here's a cnet article that discusses some 4G LTE international incompatibilities, and an older (2011) GSMA WI predictive report on related matters is discussed here.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  9. Feb 11, 2019 #8


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    Gold Member

    You can find the moto g5 for under 150 euros (the g6 is the current latest, which is slightly more expensive). It can do everything you listed, has a replaceable battery, decent photo camera, and enough space for a regular user (you can also add memory if needed).
  10. Feb 13, 2019 #9


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    Gold Member

    I recommend taking a look at Google Project Fi. To save money, go on Ebay and buy either a Nexus 5x or Nexus 6 phone (new) for it. The monthly cost is much less than other services, coverage is decent, the phones are superb, there are no "ad" apps added, all the Google apps just work off the bat, and they have great cameras. The phone has to be Google Fi approved because they have a special SIM card that uses the signals from multiple vendors. I am using a Nexus 6 (gorgeous camera! but it's big--also good for reading Kindle books on) and my husband uses a Nexus 5X (small, light, very good camera also).

    There are lots of fun apps you can get that use the phone's sensors, like light meters, sound meters, etc.
  11. Feb 14, 2019 #10
    Xiaomi should be the best in terms of quality/price nowadays.
  12. Feb 14, 2019 #11
    I bought it yesterday. Cheap but very good so far. Thanks anyway to everyone for the help
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