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[OT] Smart (Cell) Phone upgrade now required - recommendations?

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  • [OT] Smart (Cell) Phone upgrade now required - recommendations?

    I just got an email from TracFone that I will need to upgrade (replace) my existing LG306G phone because of network upgrades to 5G. I've had this phone for probably 10 years or more, and although I really just need it for actual phone calls and text messaging, I suppose it would be nice to have access to some features such as web browsing and various "Apps". I still have 6201 minutes and 1102 service days (until 9/9/2024) left on my phone, which may easily last the rest of my life, and they are transferable to my new phone. So they have 42 different models ranging from an I-phone II 64gb for $430, to a reconditioned Alcatrel flip phone for just $5. I'm looking at models in the $50-$60 range, and here are some that will probably meet my needs:

    Added specs: Cost, HxW, Usage time, RAM/ROM, Camera Rear/Front $60, 6.2" x 2.9", 18 hour, 2G/32G, 8M/5M $50, 6" x 2.8", 12 hour, 2G/16G, 8M/5M $50, 6.3" x 3.0", 17 hour, 2G, 13M dual $40, 5.9" x 2.8", 12 days, 2G/16G, 13M/5M $60, 6.24" x 2.94", 31 hour, 3G/32G, 8M/5M $60, 6.15" x 2.92", 17 hour, 32G, 13M/5M/8M

    I'm leaning toward one of the Samsung models. I also would prefer a smaller phone like the one I have (2" x 4"), but the only ones that small are flip phones. Otherwise it seems the usual size is about 2.5 to 3 inches wide and 5 to 6 inches tall. I'll probably be ordering in the next couple days - any experience and advice appreciated.
    Last edited by PStechPaul; 09-03-2021, 01:06 AM. Reason: added info
    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
    USA Maryland 21030

  • #2
    Looking at the 42 different models available I see the iPhone SE is one of the options. That's the model I have, only mine has substantially less capacity. Understanding the Ford vs. Chevy, Apple vs. Android debate, I don't want to come across as hocking a sales pitch here, but I have found there is substantial peace of mind that comes with being able to take advantage of some of the basic complimentary cloud storage services that come with having an iPhone. I realize it's a bit of a (big) budget buster, but if these services are still available when using the TracFone service, which I would hope they are, then I would give that SE serious consideration.


    • #3
      LG quit the phone business recently FWIW. The LG G4 was legit but everything else I've seen from them was lacking in one way or another relative to other vendors. Moto quit after google bought them and wrecked the company, sold them off and they came back but who cares?

      The Samsungs are probably a decent bet. I had a Galaxy S7 and it fell out of my pocket on a roller coaster and I was relieved (once I realized google had auto-saved all of my photos to the cloud despite my turning that off at one point) and have been buying Oneplus phones ever since. The older samsungs were great, but once they started getting in the $800+ range for a new flagship phone bought outright, I said no more. Oneplus is going the same direction now too, unfortunately...


      • #4
        The a20 may be a good bet. The 3 gb ram will make it seem faster when you have multiple apps running. The 32GB is partially used (about 1/2) by the OS and the rest will be used by applications. A microSD card is usually a good idea for storing pictures.

        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.


        • #5
          I am also leaning toward the Moto e6, if its claim of up to 12 DAYS usage is anywhere near true. I don't expect to be using this for much more than just phone, text, and perhaps web browsing when away from the house WiFi. The Moto also has a 13 MP camera, which is impressive, and better than my Nikon Coolpix L22 with 12 MP, and for $40 I can't go too far wrong, or be too upset if it gets broken or lost. I carry the camera in a case which also holds my small phone, and I carry both around with me almost everywhere. I like the camera for its optical zoom and macro lens, so I may still use it at home,and get a case for the new phone that I can easily and safely carry.

          I'm not a fan of Apple products, so even if they were in the $50 range I probably would still not be interested. Yeah, kind of a Ford-Chevy vs Toyota-Honda thing.

          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
          USA Maryland 21030


          • #6
            I have a Motorola G7 Power and I really like it. It is not over featured, but has everything I need. This model is known for very long battery life. It does exceed its advertised battery life by a large margin. I use mine much like you say you will use yours. I would not hesitate to buy another one if I needed to.

            Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first


            • #7
              I also have a moto g7 power about 2 yrs old. It lasts a few days with heavy browsing and has nearly replaced home computer. I am forever googling for some bit of knowledge. I installed a storage card when new. Android is for me, but my kids wouldn't have anything but the latest iphone. For a mid$ device it has plenty of features.


              • #8
                I recently switched from a Samsung Galaxy S8 to an iPhone Mini 12. I really like the iPhone. An important factor in the decision is that my wife uses an iPhone and puts everything into the Apple universe, so having an iPhone allows me to easily be connected to all of it.
                From a NERD point of view, I could do much more with my Galaxy S8 since it supports USB OTB? Allowed me to connect data radios to it to give me telemetry info from my drones. Apple doesn't play that game.


                • #9
                  I definitely hear your comment on size..... Phone size is one reason I still have a flip phone. The other is that the flip phone does not have, or need, a protective case. It has hit the concrete many times, and still works perfectly. And the battery lasts a week, even though it is about 6 years old.

                  My wife has an Apple phone. The battery has NEVER lasted more than 2 days, even though she has most of the apps and hardware turned off usually. It is already rather large (for me) just bare, but in order not to be damaged if dropped, it also needs a rubber protective case (not unique to Apple as a problem).

                  The case makes it about 80% thicker, and probably about 10% larger in total area. And, being rubber, it is hard to stick in a pocket, or to pull out of the pocket. Of course that last bit is not all bad, but the flip phone just slides in the pocket and to the bottom, so it has never fallen out of my pants pocket (shirt pockets are a different issue).

                  The flip phone is also free with my phone plan. Not so, by a goodly margin, for the Apple phone.

                  It would be technically feasible to make a smart phone that folded, not the uber expensive folding screen, but a 2-piece screen, "connected" by software to act as one. That would make the size good, and the case could be as durable as a flip phone. Nobody does that.
                  CNC machines only go through the motions.

                  Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                  Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                  Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                  I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                  Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


                  • #10
                    I have two samsung A20s. Hate it. There are no hard buttons on it and waking it up is often a multi tap light touch or hammer on the screen or hit the power button routine.
                    And with every release of updated apps and operating systems, using it makes things more complicated. Wifey hates hers too. After a couple years I don't know if it's still available but I'd look at something else. Oyeah, there is no on screen led to notify that you have a text or call. You have to wake the thing up then look on your phone or text app. Scamsung as all makers have really cheaped out on the newer phones.

                    My last phone had a real button on it to wake the thing up. And, that button lit up with a call or text. You could set that button to many different colors to identify who called or texted you.

                    Apple stuff is a cult and are masters at extracting your money. My kid has one of those $1000 plus ones and has similar rants as I do.


                    • #11
                      Have a Moto 6, long battery life.


                      • #12
                        I went through the same with Sprint recently. I was a major hold out against smartphones for a long long time (didn't want to spend my whole day on it) but the 5G upgrade thing convinced me to try a smartphone. That plus the fact that the Alcatel flip phone I had was a complete turd. Got a OnePlus Nord200 5G and it's really nice. Bit too big for my liking, but the battery is probably good for 4-5 days, it's easy to use and I don't need to borrow my wife's iPhone any more which she's happy about. Plus I can now take as many cat and dog pics as I like


                        • #13
                          I went kicking and screaming from a flip phone to a smart phone(4G) and was pleasantly surprised. Then my carrier decided that 5G was the most important thing and stopped uopgrading(?) 4G and my signal started to have more issues than I already was. My phone crashed and I now have a 5G and the service is much better.


                          • #14
                            If you're going to use your phone to browse the Net, don't get a small phone. I loved flip phones before smartphones came up. I still do, but there are no decently priced, reliable and convenient for Net browsing ones now. So I went with Galaxy S series, and stay with them.

                            Last year I upgraded to Samsung Galaxy S20FE, and don't regret it so far. Long battery life, excellent display, fast charging, etc. And I still carry it in my pocket (I use a leather flip case that protects the display). AFAIK, the new ones are sold for about $650 now. Indulge yourself: you're worth it.
                            WI/IL border, USA


                            • #15
                              Another Moto fan here. The G6 is a good choice if you really can't spend more, but the G Power has better battery life and a terrific set of cameras. Yes, set. 4 lenses: superwide, normal, tele and blurred background for depth of field effects. The motos also do tricks others can't like shake to turn on the flashlight.

                              I'd be real careful about getting an older phone now, the issue you have run against isn't the rollout of 5g, but the demise of 3g. A lot of carriers have been using 4g LTE for data but still using 3g for voice. Now that 3g is going away, and some phones cannot do voice over LTE, AKA VoLTE or 'HD calling'. It's a real mess. My phone is an international version of the G8, and it wasn't on the ATT whitelist. I couldn't get my MVNO to enable the VoLTE and I was freaking out that my new phone was going to be garbage come February when 3G was ended. Then a few months ago there was an update to the phone, and lo and behold I have VoLTE calling!

                              TracFone locked MotoG . $141
                              Location: Jersey City NJ USA