time for a new smart phone

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
My lease is about to expire on my Pixel 3A. I'm not going to keep it . . . I don't care much for the thing. It has a mind of its own, often changing settings randomly, like turning on DND, or turning on Airplane Mode, or turning off BT. It's annoying. I have seriously thought about reactivating my ancient Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport, but the battery is probably shot, and Samsung/Sprint phones are full of bloatware. If I had any idea what I was doing, I'd wipe the S5 and install a new battery and a completely lean OS with only the minimum apps.

I do know I want to go as cheaply as possible. A decent camera is nice, but not required. I prefer a smaller phone over the tablet size things bouncing about these days. I'm allergic to all things Apple. Any ideas out there? We have Sprint, which uses CDMA, but they were bought out by T-Mobile, which is GSM, so I need to look into which is required now.
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Andrew
I used to be allergic to apple as well, until I got an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Now I can’t see me going back to Android anytime soon.

my daughter has the iPhone 11 and loves it. She previously had an iPhone 6, and waited that long to upgrade.

for work, they gave me an iPhone 2020 SE. Not a bad phone, very lean and minimal, does what I need it to for work.

If i HAD to go back to Android for some reason, I’d probably look more toward Motorola than anything else out there now
 
Location
Central Florida
Real Name
Timothy Williams
iPhone XR 128 gig and never had an issue. It has been dropped more times than I care to remember. Liquid screen saver was the best 50 bucks I ever spent on any phone. Phone was a gift from my daughter. I've used androids in the past but much prefer iPhones. Had a 6 before this. I had a Galaxy 5 and and LG before and they both were possessed. Took the LG in for repair because it would wake itself up , go through the contacts and randomly call some one. The Verizon rep said he didn't know whether to send it to repair or call an exorcist. They just gave me my money back which I bought the 6 with.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
J.T. White - the brilliant Canadian photographer who has lived in Korea for more than a decade, wrote a post last year in praise of the iPhone 11 Pro (not the huge 'Max' mini-tablet-sized version, but the smaller version) which he had acquired and had been using to take photographs with for some time. (His rather amazing photo blog is at jtinseoul) I know it's a total fallacy to think that, if I bought a Leica, my pictures would be half or even a tenth (or a hundredth!) as good as those of Henri Cartier-Bresson - but I have to say that, after reading his post on the photo capabilities of that camera, I nearly succumbed to a serious case of GAS.

Having said that, phones are personal in many weird and strange ways, and, metaphorically, 'whatever floats your boat' is probably the best phone for you. And the other side of the coin is that JT White has used a number of different cameras and photographic media over the years - including various Ricoh's, some Leica's, and a handful of other cameras - and he seems to achieve remarkable results with all of them. But I still can't stop daydreaming about someday having a phone in my pocket which would let me 'capture' the world in ways similar to the ones he seems to have perfected.

In terms of reliability, I have to echo Tim's comment: my current iPhone XR has not only survived a number of almost un-survivable situations, but just seems to last and last and last, and has almost (but not quite) never gone out of commission.

It would be nice to have a phone one didn't have to worry about, though. Maybe phones are like cats: it's not so much finding the right one... as allowing the right one to find you.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Real Name
Steve
Another post ignoring your wishes. The 12 MP camera of the iPhone 12 is really good as long as you don't use digital zoom. It has two lenses, wide and really wide. This last couple of weeks most of my day-to-day shots have been with the iPhone. The mini has the same camera but is smaller.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
If I were in the market for a new phone (and I may be before long, as the battery of my iPhone SE is showing signs of what normally turns out to be terminal decline) I would be looking hard at an iPhone 12 Mini, just for the form factor. Every other modern smartphone seems to be enormous.

-R
 
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Location
Central Florida
Real Name
Timothy Williams
Tim about feeling like my Pixel is at times possessed. I might have to really consider embracing The Dark Side.
When I first started with my first iPhone it felt clunky to use ,but it just worked. The more I used mine the more I loved the fact that, it just worked. Now it has become so slick and easy I would not use anything else. I would go for the 11 but I'm still loving the free phone and 25.00 phone bill.
 

CraigC

Top Veteran
Location
Toronto, Canada
Real Name
Craig
Definitely down want to pile on, but iPhone for me all the way as well. They just work.

I am "only" on a 7 Plus, but really like it. Looking to upgrade in the near future, likely to the larger 12 - maybe even a 12 Pro.

Having said that, my wife has a Pixel 4a and absolute loves it. She upgraded from the original Pixel when the 4a was launched. She won't switch from Android.

Perhaps check it out.
 

Apollo T.

Veteran
Location
NJ
@tonyturley ,
Sounds like you're looking for a phone maybe w/ a camera rather than a camera w/phone.

All S5 batteries shown on amazoo are under $20. If it's like replacing batt on S4 will take less than 3 mins. (that's what it took me to do first time). Doesn't get cheaper than that and buys you time to shop for a better deal. With big push for G5 phones you may ue able to find a used beauty.

I'm really new to smart type phones- my first and current phone is a Moto given to me 3 yrs ago- that I recently fired up. No real problems that aren't semi-human error.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
My Sony Xperia 5 (mark 1) is close to 100% stock android and bloatware free, and is tall but narrow so I can reach all but the top of the screen with my thumb, and I don't have long fingers. I quote like stock android, although every once in a while the Sony implementation bugs a little, or at least Firefox does.

Nokia also uses nearly stock android, but my Nokia 7.1 was buggy as hell.

My wife's Motorola has stock Android with a few Moto moves like the chopping motion for camera or flashlight, which is nice; trouble is, less than a year in, the phone started becoming allround unreliable, the charging port in particular.

So yeah, I'm a stock Android fan, but not all implementations are as bug free as you'd expect.
 

John King

Regular
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
ZTE T86

  • Android 10
  • IP68 rated (won't die with a dunny drop ... )
  • Almost physically indestructible
  • Battery runs about 5-8 days at 14 hour days
  • Fantastic fringe reception!
  • No Google bloatware, only essentials (calendar, calculator, contacts, etc, unlike my wife's Samsung S8 ... )
  • Relatively cheap
  • Has 64 GB internal RAM, takes micro-SD cards to 256 GB
  • USB-C connector
  • Decent camera
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
That's odd, my Pixel 3a never acts like you're describing. However, I'd recommend maybe trying one more Pixel - but one of the full-fledged ones with higher level processor instead of the slightly slower one used in the "a" models. I seem to remember the Pixel 4 was pretty cheap on B&H a little while back. Incidentally, B&H has been a surprisingly good source for smartphones. It's still hard to beat the Pixel cameras.

Alternatively, the iPhone SE 2020 is a nice fast phone, with a somewhat lesser camera. It's what my wife uses, if you dare attempt to cross over...
 
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
My wife had the iPhone SE and now the SE 2020.

My kids and I are all Android users.
I have the Galaxy 10e
One of the kids is getting a Note "something"
The other has a Pixel 4a (he use to run custom ROMs)

Yes Samsung has a good bit of bloatware, but I'm pretty good at killing a good bit of it. I don't root things while under warranty but I've been known to after.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Real Name
Steve
The iPhone 12 camera crossed the line to being a camera I actually l like, as opposed to better than nothing. This means I finally always have a camera with me because I think of my phone as a real camera and I always have my phone in my pocket. I never use digital zoom; it’s only the wide (26 mme f1.6) or ultra wide (13 mme f2.6) focal lengths because the DZ degrades the image too much for my taste. The beauty of these lenses is that they focus very closely, which has let me adapt to FLs that I don’t really like on a regular fixed lens camera. (I probably should have gotten the iPhone Pro Max because it has three lenses, one of which is a long normal (60 mme).) I still prefer dedicated cameras to the phone, but in terms of my photography the iPhone 12 was a real game changer for me
 
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I’ve been in the Apple ecosystem with my family since iPhone 3G and it makes difficult to change to another phone. There have been disappointments with iPhone models during the past but now we are with X and these seem to work pretty well.

If Android is an option, I would go for Sony or Nokia. My colleagues who have those are happier than those who have e.g. Samsungs. My mother bought a cheap Samsung for herself and it’s been pita to support her since. She also thinks that ancient Nokia she had was 100 times better phone for calling and SMS 🤣
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Location
Texas
Real Name
Don
Sorry, I can’t recommend any android phones. I seem to be allergic to android and windows and fail to understand their appeal. But I recognize many people appreciate their ability to customize and so find them flexible.
Last month got the IPhone 12 Pro Max and find its camera and video capablities quite extraordinary. When I was traveling all the time the max size was too big, but now I find it doubles as a iPad mini. Good for reading and watch video. I find myself reaching for it for photography more and more.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
My mother bought a cheap Samsung for herself and it’s been pita to support her since. She also thinks that ancient Nokia she had was 100 times better phone for calling and SMS 🤣
If all one wanted to do was make calls and send text messages, the whole world would still be using Nokia phones made around 2001. I bought a Nokia 6310 around then, and used it for the next five or six years with no problems at all. The battery sometimes lasted for a week between charges. Eventually I was seduced into buying a Sony Ericsson replacement and after that my first iPhone. The Nokia 6310 went in the cupboard and stayed there unloved for about ten years. When my elderly mother needed a phone and couldn't cope with any modern model, I retrieved the Nokia from the cupboard and found that it had about 50% battery charge left after 10 years. I put a new SIM in it and my mother has been happily using it ever since.

-R
 
Won't pay the Apple premium. Been using Samsung phones until about 5 years ago and then had a series of LG phones. LG G5, LG G6 and currently LG V40. Unfortunately LG have announced they are pulling out of the mobile phone business. The Nokia phones look good value for money but I think I still have a couple of years left in the V40.
 
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