Normal Phones Doing Normal Dude Stuff on a Budget

FrgMstr

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I know a lot of HardOCP readers figured this out a long time ago. There is no way in hell you need pay these huge prices for the latest phone when you are just doing "regular guy stuff" with it. Cageymaru pointed me to this video that Louis Rossman has put together that is about 1 hour long. He takes his time and show some very real world usage scenarios and how those experiences change between phones. $230 Moto G vs $350 Samsung S7. Good stuff.

Check out the video.
 

Sojoe

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I have always bought Moto G series phones for both myself, the kids and my wife. They are exceptionally good value for money. No slowdown over time, no weird shutdowns. I am currently on the G5 with 3Gb Ram, cost me ~$150 (in Europe).
 

dandirk

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Agree phones are getting to be like PC/Laptops (I generally suggest $5-600 laptops)... General users can stick to the mid level and be perfectly fine.

The only thing to consider imo is the camera, since phones have pretty much replaced them. It wasn't until the S6 where I thought the cameras were performing in the way you would expect for point and click people like myself. iPhone was a bit earlier to that party from what I gather as well (GF has not complaints on 6s but that is my only direct experience with iOS camera).
 

BigJayDogg3

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https://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Samsung-Galaxy-S7,Motorola-Moto-G4/phones/9817,10054

S7 has a display of 1440 x 2560, moto g has a display of 1080 x 1920
Even though the S7 has a 820 snapdragon, it has a lot more of a display to push.
When this guy tests by clicking links, checking to see how long things download it's mostly a test of latency of the network.
I think that's the point, hence "normal dude stuff."

That said, I'd be far more interested to see this comparison after 6 months of real usage and its loaded up with apps that want to run in the background.
 

ChefJeff789

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Agree phones are getting to be like PC/Laptops (I generally suggest $5-600 laptops)... General users can stick to the mid level and be perfectly fine.

The only thing to consider imo is the camera, since phones have pretty much replaced them. It wasn't until the S6 where I thought the cameras were performing in the way you would expect for point and click people like myself. iPhone was a bit earlier to that party from what I gather as well (GF has not complaints on 6s but that is my only direct experience with iOS camera).
Have to agree here. I've got a G5 Plus That works great, but I buy Samsung S's for the wife because of their excellent cameras. She loves taking photos, and is well worth it if it's the primary camera she uses.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I have always bought Moto G series phones for both myself, the kids and my wife. They are exceptionally good value for money. No slowdown over time, no weird shutdowns. I am currently on the G5 with 3Gb Ram, cost me ~$150 (in Europe).
yeah i have the moto g5 plus 64GB, well worth the 250 i paid for it. i don't need some overpriced fancy ugly looking edgeless screen crap to browse the web and play a couple mobile games.
 

TwiceOver

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For me it is more about "If I drop/lose this, what level of care do I have". $250 is about my "well that sucks, oh well" level. $800 would ruin my day.
 

Bigbacon

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this is why I just buy a used phone and keep it for years. usually hundreds cheaper and it works and does exactly what a lot of new ones does.
 

katanaD

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i have had my samsung s5 for years now. no reason to change it until it dies.

nice only having to pay $40 a month for service since i own the phone
 

1_rick

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I bought an LG G5 at a stupid one-day-sale price at Best Buy around the time the G6 was released. I mainly got it because it had a good GPU, something budget phones don't really do as well, and I was playing a few games that really needed the extra horsepower.

Having said that, I don't play them as much, so I can't justify the kind of prices current flagships want. $800? Really? And the rumors are the GS9 will be even more expenseive. Instead, I bought a Galaxy Tab S2, which isn't quite as powerful, but is close enough for the games I play, and cost about $300, and has a much much bigger screen.

At this point i'm looking at something like a midrange Moto phone for my next one because it does about everything I want except play games I'm not playing much any longer.
 

thesmokingman

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I bought an LG G5 at a stupid one-day-sale price at Best Buy around the time the G6 was released. I mainly got it because it had a good GPU, something budget phones don't really do as well, and I was playing a few games that really needed the extra horsepower.

Having said that, I don't play them as much, so I can't justify the kind of prices current flagships want. $800? Really? And the rumors are the GS9 will be even more expenseive. Instead, I bought a Galaxy Tab S2, which isn't quite as powerful, but is close enough for the games I play, and cost about $300, and has a much much bigger screen.

At this point i'm looking at something like a midrange Moto phone for my next one because it does about everything I want except play games I'm not playing much any longer.
The Tab S2 is tuned very well for videos. I was lucky to get the S2 9.7 when it released from Target when they were doing the super stacking of codes. Got it for 313 out the door Nov 2015. It still is my daily viewer.

My daughters old ass S4 finally died. I ordered her a refurbed S7 for 218 bucks. That is a decent price imo.
 

SixFootDuo

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I'm still rocking my Nexus 6 after 3 years and it's been a champ for me. I recently flashed over to Pure and it's been fantastic. I think it runs better than when it was new.
 

pfc_m_drake

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I had a Nexus 5x until this past fall. I purchased a *refurb* Pixel 1 from Woot as a 'might as well' upgrade this past fall - but really the 5x (which I purchased at launch for $299 back in 2015) was still rocking along perfectly well.
Give me a $299 Nexus 5x class device all day long and I'm plenty happy. Anybody dropping $800-$1000+ on a phone is nuts (IMO).
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Yeah, I've been thinking for a long time that for what most of us do, you don't need to spend a ton on a phone.

Most of us (at least me) will never play a game on our phone, or do anything CPU or GPU intensive. Phones wind up being mostly web/email/youtube/GPS devices, and for that even a few year old phones will do just fine.

I currently have a first gen Pixel which was somewhat expensive, but I'm not convinced I'd do that again. I primarily bought it because of the Nexus/Pixel lines frequent security updates, but next time around, I'll probably just get a cheaper model confirmed to be a compatible LineageOS device. LineageOS beats even Google to the punch with most security patches.

I recently picked up a used S7 for my future mother-in-law for ~$200, and it is a great phone, and much cheaper than my Pixel was. I was planning on putting LineageOS on it, but she tends to fill up her storage with pictures and video in a hurry, and I couldn't get the photo app to automatically store images to the SDCard for some reason, so I switched back to the stock ROM for her, but I'd totally do this with LineageOS for myself.

I did the same thing for a tablet to replace my damaged 2013 Nexus 7. Picked up an 8" T-mobile branded LG G-Pad X for $100 in mint shape on Swappa. As soon as it gets here, I'm going to flash it with LineageOS, and it should be a great little tablet for my GPS and Spotify needs in the car.

The only thing giving me pause is that my phone choices are somewhat limited because I use Google Project Fi. Hopefully there will be more compatible devices by the time my Pixel needs replacement.
 

Maxx

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I have always bought Moto G series phones for both myself, the kids and my wife. They are exceptionally good value for money. No slowdown over time, no weird shutdowns. I am currently on the G5 with 3Gb Ram, cost me ~$150 (in Europe).
I have the G4 Plus (well actually I have two now) which I got unlocked for <$200, 64GB/4GB, and while the CPU could be faster it's just an amazing value. There are technically competitors (available in Asia) but damn if it doesn't fit my needs perfectly.
 

Dalexx

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Everyone knows you buy the $1000 phones to show off how cool you are, even if you don't have cell service.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Everyone knows you buy the $1000 phones to show off how cool you are, even if you don't have cell service.
Once you stick them in a case, pretty much every candy bar phone on the market looks mostly the same.
 

FrgMstr

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Everyone knows you buy the $1000 phones to show off how cool you are, even if you don't have cell service.
Bought mine for the camera. Doubt I will be upgrading any time soon considering how well it works.

Took both these pics in HORRIBLE lighting in the last few days. The Connect 4 picture was damn near in the dark. Pixel 2 kicks ass for taking pics on the fly that I can use in reviews. I can snap pics, keep working and not worry about it for the most part.

bad lighting 1.jpg bad lighting 2.jpg
 

Burticus

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Alacatel One Touch idol 3 is even a better deal than the Moto G5. Has all the same features but is half the price at barely over $100. Even has a larger screen.
I used an Idol 3 (t-mobile) for 2 years, then gave it to my mother in law (who had just broken her phone). I got a Moto G5 Plus from Amazon (with ads) for $179, staying on t-mobile.

While I liked the Idol 3, it chugged a bit at times and would get slow even doing basic stuff (surfing, playing silly games). The Moto G5 is faster, silky smooth.

Either way, buying the unlocked phone of your choice is the way to go. Get 95% of the functionality of a flagship phone for like 30-40% of the price.

PS - sorry I have to throw this in there.... one thing I HATED about the Idol 3 and could not figure out how to disable... the screenshot mode by hitting the side buttons at the same time. You know, like picking up the phone and trying to use it. I had millions of unwanted screenshots)
 

1_rick

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My daughters old ass S4 finally died. I ordered her a refurbed S7 for 218 bucks. That is a decent price imo.
Sure is. I've always been hesitant to trust refurb phones, although I will admit my last non-smartphone was one--the original one I got (a Samsung flip) fried itself and they replaced it with a refurb.
 

1_rick

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I had a Nexus 5x until this past fall.
I loved my 5X! I had to stop using it, though. I bought it around July of 2016 from Fi, during a sale, so I think I paid $250 for it. It worked great, but I was using it a second phone, so I canceled the account and switched it over to replace my primary, a beat-up Galaxy Note II with a badly-cracked screen on Sprint. (I use Sprint because they have signal in my office, and AT&T doesn't. Seriously, the only way to receive or make a call is to have the phone within six inches of a window.) The phone worked perfectly for the several months I had it on Fi--which, remember, is T Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Transferring it was a nightmare because Sprint's policies are insane and nobody knows what they're doing in this regard (it took three weeks of multiple web chats, emails, and phone calls. Then I finally got in touch with someone who knew what she was doing and it was working within an hour.)

Then once it was working on Sprint, it suffered constant data drops, where I'd have to toggle airplane mode to get it working again, so I gave up and bought an LG G5 on a one-day sale for $120 at Best Buy.
 

sfsuphysics

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So I went from a Samsung Galaxy Avant (super shitty Samsung phone) that I actually had to pay for through MetroPCs, luckily it was only $50 (normally $150) when I got it, then I paid $35/month for 3Gigs a month which is more than fine since I don't even use 1 GB month, now my wife also had a similarly shitty phone that she paid for and another $35/month, again she doesn't really use data... so $70/month between the two of us plus the cost of shitty phones, that don't get me wrong were perfectly fine for what we used them for, yeah they had crappy screens, crappy cameras, but whatever. Fast forward to about a year ago, notice the Xfinity phone service, $24/month for 2 years for a Samsung Galaxy S8+, $12 per GB shared data between two phones which we never exceed, so $24 x 2 + 12 = $60/month for high end phones, and the only requirement is that I have Xfinity internet. Yeah no brainer as to why I have a higher end phone now... plus the screen looks nicer, is bigger, and my old ass eyes can read stuff more clearly.
 

JMccovery

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You don't put a Van Gogh in a wal-mart picture frame. You gotta let that baby run au naturel
I don't know if I can even stomach not having a case on my V30. Used a magnetic mount in my semi, and did not want the adhesive metal pad marring that beautiful finish. Dropped it a few times, and the cheap, somewhat nice-looking case I have on it has done a nice job.

Still wish T-Mobile carried some other color than silver.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I loved my 5X! I had to stop using it, though. I bought it around July of 2016 from Fi, during a sale, so I think I paid $250 for it. It worked great, but I was using it a second phone, so I canceled the account and switched it over to replace my primary, a beat-up Galaxy Note II with a badly-cracked screen on Sprint. (I use Sprint because they have signal in my office, and AT&T doesn't. Seriously, the only way to receive or make a call is to have the phone within six inches of a window.) The phone worked perfectly for the several months I had it on Fi--which, remember, is T Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Transferring it was a nightmare because Sprint's policies are insane and nobody knows what they're doing in this regard (it took three weeks of multiple web chats, emails, and phone calls. Then I finally got in touch with someone who knew what she was doing and it was working within an hour.)

Then once it was working on Sprint, it suffered constant data drops, where I'd have to toggle airplane mode to get it working again, so I gave up and bought an LG G5 on a one-day sale for $120 at Best Buy.
The 5x was a great phone. Only reason I got rid of mine was because of constant short freezes. Apparently the encryption of the storage resulted in frequent slowdowns where the phone would not be responsible.

I got tired of it after a while, and got my Pixel.

I've heard a lot of people have had boot loop issues with their 5x's though.
 

Advil

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My Honor 8 has been an absolute wonder for the price. (~$260) I still have no issues with its performance at all. Will probably keep using it for another year at least.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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My Honor 8 has been an absolute wonder for the price. (~$260) I still have no issues with its performance at all. Will probably keep using it for another year at least.
Honor is Huaiwei's budget brand right?

Huaiwei is owned by China Telecom, a part of the Chinese government.

I just wouldn't be comfortable with that. It's bad enough that I have Google spies in my pocket, but all they want is advertising data. I don't need commie spies in my pocket as well.

I just don't trust a product designed by a wholly owned subsidiary of an authoritarian dictatorial regime which suppresses freedoms, censors information and "disappears" political dissidents.
 
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Devastadus

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I have a $10 dallor samsung intensity 2 slide phone i bought at goodwill for $10. between me and my brother who also has a slider phone and we just do phone calls and text it is only $25 bucks/month so only $12.5 bucks/month for each of us.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I have a $10 dallor samsung intensity 2 slide phone i bought at goodwill for $10. between me and my brother who also has a slider phone and we just do phone calls and text it is only $25 bucks/month so only $12.5 bucks/month for each of us.

That's great, if phone calls and text messages are what you use your phone for.

Personally I probably make 5 or less actual phone calls, and send 10 or fewer traditional text messages a month.

The reason I have my phone at all is pretty much so I can have a mobile web browser.

Since I pay for my phones upfront, and I don't use much data (I tend to have wifi everywhere I go) my plan only costs me ~$30 per month, so not much more than your old school plan.
 

tazeat

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The OnePlus 3t has been the best 'budget' phone I've ever owned... I stripped out the custom OnePlus launcher and minimal utilities and swapped them back for Google ones and I'm good to go. I'd prefer straight Android and phones from Google, but the 5x is dated (I owned one) and the Pixel's were too expensive when they came out (although not too bad now), the OnePlus was the perfect compromise and it really has been fantastic in most regards.
 

Grimlaking

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Just watch out for updates from Oneplus. They have aw big security issue in the latest one.

I'm not the target for this article. I'm one of those consumers that would upgrade their car and their phone every 2 years if I could afford it.
 

joseardzm

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the moto z play is a really good phone had if for few month until it slipped out my hands into the street and died :( it had amazing battery life, more than a day, that was for sure! moto z on the contrary last me 8 hours or so....

Now I bought moto z2 force, really cool and fast, better battery than moto z. I bet moto z2 play is still good in battery life as well, so it is a good option too. I like the moto mod speaker as when traveling is easy to have a good quality music in hotel room.
 

Ranulfo

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How good is the Moto G5? I'm debating getting a new phone but want a unit with a replaceable battery.
 

DarkStar02

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Paid ~$900 for my S8+ on launch and broke the AMOLED screen very soon after buying it. The replacement screen is around $300 just in parts. Wish I'd got a cheap phone :(
 
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