Basic smartphone recommendation

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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May 31, 2005
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I'm one of those folks who bought the Amazon Fire Phone a few years back. Still have it, but it's getting long in the tooth and am needing to upgrade to another android phone. The choices are overwhelming, even in the budget category, and am hoping someone more familiar with features can help me narrow things down. I don't upgrade my phone often and would plan on using it for a few years so would hate to live with a bad choice. Since I actually don't use my cell as much as others use theirs, here are my priorities:

1. Most important...need excellent call quality. Most reviews don't even mention this. But I use the phone more for voice calls than anything else, and audio call quality is very important.
2. Budget: Really only looking to spend no more than $300 apiece or so (need 2 phones).
3. Features: I only use the phone for calls, texting, occasional pictures, very occasional internet searches if I'm away from home, but--something my Fire doesn't have--I want my phone to show visual notifications, preferably with a light, when I have voice mail.

My carrier is Consumer Cellular, so I guess the phone would need to be unlocked for me to use it. Would appreciate any suggestions.
 

CHANG3D

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
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4,930
Essential Phone. Can't recommend it enough...

Wait for a sale. In the summer, I got two of these phones. One for $250 and another for $220. Right now one is collecting dust as my backup device.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
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If not the Essential Phone, then perhaps a Moto G6. Get the one with 64GB of storage if you can, since that has 4GB of RAM. Not as fast as an Essential but pretty well-balanced for a phone that sells for under $300 new.
 
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T4rd

Fully [H]
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If not the Essential Phone, then perhaps a Moto G6. Get the one with 64GB of storage if you can, since that has 4GB of RAM. Not as fast as an Essential but pretty well-balanced for a phone that sells for under $300 new.

Yeah, I would get the G6 over the Essential phone just because I've consistently read that the Essential has bad cell reception, at least on T-Mobile's bands and I've seen a few other carrier users complain about it as well. Plus I'd say the G6 will probably get better battery life overall and will have longer (but not faster) software support at this point since it's over a year newer. Next in line to consider would be the Nokia 6.1 or 7 I think.
 

CHANG3D

Supreme [H]ardness
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Yeah, I would get the G6 over the Essential phone just because I've consistently read that the Essential has bad cell reception, at least on T-Mobile's bands and I've seen a few other carrier users complain about it as well. Plus I'd say the G6 will probably get better battery life overall and will have longer (but not faster) software support at this point since it's over a year newer. Next in line to consider would be the Nokia 6.1 or 7 I think.
I'm one of those guys. The issue is the Essential had trouble switching to and from TMo's 700MHz bands, which is why I have an iPhone XR now. But Consumer Cellular runs on mostly AT&T.
 

Supersnake

Gawd
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964
Moto G6. Excellent call quality, clear and loud speaker. No hardware, software, screen, speaker or connectivity issues at all. Is unlocked for all carriers and is selling now for $199.

Regarding visual notifications when you receive voice mail. Try NoLED, it is a free app. Screenshot shows how a notification will display on your screen. The icon will move around to draw your attention. If you would like to read a further explanation of how it operates, along with screenshots of the settings I elected to use, refer to this [H[ard post


777.png
 
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Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
226
Moto G6. Excellent call quality, clear and loud speaker. No hardware, software, screen, speaker or connectivity issues at all. Is unlocked for all carriers and is selling now for $199.

As for receiving visual notifications when you receive voice mail. Use NoLED, it is a free app.

Thanks for all the replies. The Moto G6 sounds like it might do the trick. I see on Amazon they have the 64 GB for $229 (Prime Exclusive offer) vs the 32 GB for $200. The Prime Exclusive phone will have preinstalled Amazon apps. Would there be any downside to that? Even if I don't use these apps for the most part, having Alexa available seems like it might well be a bonus...or at least not detrimental.

Anyone know if there are any cell phones that have the LED notification of voice mail messages? Seems like that is such a useful thing to have...although I appreciate knowing about the NoLED app and will certainly try that if I do indeed get the Moto.
 

Supersnake

Gawd
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Dec 23, 2007
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964
Thanks for all the replies. The Moto G6 sounds like it might do the trick. I see on Amazon they have the 64 GB for $229 (Prime Exclusive offer) vs the 32 GB for $200. The Prime Exclusive phone will have preinstalled Amazon apps. Would there be any downside to that? Even if I don't use these apps for the most part, having Alexa available seems like it might well be a bonus...or at least not detrimental.

You can't uninstall the pre-installed Amazon apps but you can disable them if you desire and the apps will appear in your apps drawer as disabled. Disabling the apps will likely remove the home screen shortcuts to the apps that would otherwise be appearing on your phone, thus freeing you from "seeing the apps" on your home screen.

Also to be considered...



2.png 22.png


What you see mentioned is all well and good, however what is not mentioned is that the ads will instead be delivered to your secondary home screen. I personally would prefer to be free of all the above and buy the 32 GB unlocked version for $199 or the 64 GB unlocked version for $269 from Motorola or Best Buy.
 
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Pegi

Limp Gawd
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Yeah, I would get the G6 over the Essential phone just because I've consistently read that the Essential has bad cell reception, at least on T-Mobile's bands and I've seen a few other carrier users complain about it as well. Plus I'd say the G6 will probably get better battery life overall and will have longer (but not faster) software support at this point since it's over a year newer. Next in line to consider would be the Nokia 6.1 or 7 I think.
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm checking out the Nokia right now. Funny how one can start with a budget of, say, no more than $300 but then one starts looking at a Nokia 7.1, which is about $350, and then starts to think why not go up even more and get this or that? A slippery slope, indeed! At this point, the Moto G6 is still leading the pack but will read up on the Nokia. Even though our needs are fairly basic, I don't want to end up with a phone I won't be happy with. Thanks for the rec.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
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226
My browsing has led me to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Nah, using a stylus is not at all on my radar. But price is right. Comparing it to the Moto G6, is it better/faster or are they comparable? Specs:

phone.JPG
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
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My browsing has led me to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Nah, using a stylus is not at all on my radar. But price is right. Comparing it to the Moto G6, is it better/faster or are they comparable? Specs:

View attachment 124537

The Note 9 is much more powerful than the Moto G6 -- it's also typically much more expensive (the normal up-front price is around $900 to $1,000). If you see one for $300 unlocked (that is, not on contract or instalments), it's probably either a scam or stolen.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
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The Note 9 is much more powerful than the Moto G6 -- it's also typically much more expensive (the normal up-front price is around $900 to $1,000). If you see one for $300 unlocked (that is, not on contract or instalments), it's probably either a scam or stolen.
Ah, man...it says in big, bold letters $300 and then in much, much smaller letters "in three installments" or $900 upfront. Definitely out of my budget. Will keep perusing. Just wondering if I should spend a *little* more, knowing I will hold onto the phone for a few years. The search goes on. Thanks for opening my eyes.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
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Ah, man...it says in big, bold letters $300 and then in much, much smaller letters "in three installments" or $900 upfront. Definitely out of my budget. Will keep perusing. Just wondering if I should spend a *little* more, knowing I will hold onto the phone for a few years. The search goes on. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Welcome! I'd certainly be open to it. You don't have to go for a Note 9 or even a OnePlus 6T to get a phone that will go the distance, but this is something you're committing to for a while... an extra $50 or $100 now could be worth it if you're not feeling the pain three or four years later.
 

BladeDancer314

Weaksauce
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Nov 22, 2018
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I just upgraded from a nexus 5 to a nexus 6p.... Im a few years behind on the smart phone thing... but Im not paying 500 for a phone ever again
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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226
I just upgraded from a nexus 5 to a nexus 6p.... Im a few years behind on the smart phone thing... but Im not paying 500 for a phone ever again

You know, I gotta say that I appreciate your dose of reality. While I certainly don't want a crappy phone--which is why I posted here looking for advice--I guess I'm just not the type of person who requires all the fancy bells and whistles of a more expensive phone. I'm sure there are folks who do need those capabilities. But not me, either. I think the Moto G6 would probably work just fine for me. Of course, now that I've dragged my feet Amazon has went up on the price a bit. So I may procrastinate a little longer, just waiting to see if any other deals pop up before Christmas, but then likely I'll get the Moto G6. Maybe an inexpensive phone just replaced more often is the ticket.
 

viper_0307

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
245
Just got a Moto G6 (4GB RAM, 64GB) variant; should be about $270. I am happy with it. It will get Pie on due time. My first Android phone.

My other choice was Nokia 6.1.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
226
Just got a Moto G6 (4GB RAM, 64GB) variant; should be about $270. I am happy with it. It will get Pie on due time. My first Android phone.

My other choice was Nokia 6.1.
Just ordered the Moto G6 today, the same one you have, although I did pay $299. Should get it in a few days. Thanks to Aurelius, who suggested it originally, and all who seconded it.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
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Just ordered the Moto G6 today, the same one you have, although I did pay $299. Should get it in a few days. Thanks to Aurelius, who suggested it originally, and all who seconded it.

Welcome -- sounds like it'll probably fit the bill nicely.
 

ZeqOBpf6

Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
753
Used phones >>>>>>>>>> new phones

I bought my last three phones used. One or two from Swappa and the other from here.


I'd take a Pixel or Pixel 2 mostly because not having bloatware I have to go through hoops to actually remove is more valuable than an app that loads .01% better or whatever their competitors offer.

https://swappa.com/mobile/buy/google-pixel/unlocked $150. Well within your budget. The Pixel 2s are under $300 but IMO not worth double the money.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
226
Used phones >>>>>>>>>> new phones

I bought my last three phones used. One or two from Swappa and the other from here.

https://swappa.com/mobile/buy/google-pixel/unlocked $150. Well within your budget. The Pixel 2s are under $300 but IMO not worth double the money.
I'd never heard of this site. Will bookmark it for the future. I do still need one more phone (only bought one G6) after I get Christmas all paid off. Got the G6 for my SO; figured I would check out its features and decide whether I wanted one as well. It actually has lots of really nice features, but I did note it won't connect to my router's 5G (it does connect to lower band with no problem). Looking online, I see now a lot of people...a LOT...having this issue. Haven't yet checked out how it works outside the home, which will be the most telling. Anyway, I'm digressing. I will bookmark this site and keep an eye on it in the future. Thanks much for the suggestion.
 
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